Automotive Internet Sales - Free Resources
Make Money Mondays With Sean V. Bradley - Dealerships Need To Staff Properly
Guest Post By Sean V. Bradley, CEO, Dealer Synergy
I have been immersed in automotive Internet sales, BDC, and digital marketing for almost 15 years. Needless to say, in this time there have been countless evolutions in social media, lead generation, mobile devices, and every other form of technology.
Through it all, one thing has always remained constant and important – PEOPLE. We have always needed, and continue to need, good quality people. No one has invented robots that sell cars, and no one has eliminated the need for automotive sales professionals, Internet directors, or appointment setters. Through all of the technology upheavals, social media fads and the Google ZMOT craze, the ONLY thing that has not been eliminated or genetically enhanced is the “People” aspect of the department.
People are the backbone of this industry. People sell cars, people conduct product presentations and demo drives. People qualify prospects, identify their wants, wishes and expectations, and then meet them and exceed them. No matter how much technology we have at our disposal, it is the “People” that make everything happen – before, during and AFTER the sale!
That being said, dealers must make sure they have the RIGHT people in their departments, and not settle for anything less than what is needed for success. Too many times dealers take “ANY” “body” that is available. They only recruit when they are desperate and need “bodies.” It is rare to see dealers proactively recruiting for the right candidates.
The scary truth is that this is true throughout the dealership – but it is becoming an epidemic in the Internet Sales Department, the BDC / Call Center, etc. In these departments, many dealers are not staffing correctly. Horrifyingly, they are either hiring the wrong people to run their multi-million dollar department, and / or they do not have the appropriate number of people in their department. It is common to see departments with way too many leads and only one or two BDC reps managing 500, 600, or more leads.
If you’re not staffing these departments properly, know that this practice is just plain badon many different levels. Here’s why:
- You are BURNING through Internet Ups, only capturing the “low hanging fruit.”
- You are NOT able to effectively communicate with your individual Internet Prospects because you are spread too thin to have the proper amount of e-mail / phone call follow-up protocol.
- You will have prospects slip through the cracks and potentially buy elsewhere.
- It’s NOT just the leads for the current month that are not being handled properly; there is also your Residual Flow Factor to consider. The average buying cycle is 45 – 90 days. So, if there are 500 leads (fresh for the month), there are an approximately 250+ carry over leads that you’re still working.
- Most painful: lost revenue.
Dealerships must have a consistent and proactive recruiting protocol. They must also know which sources are the best for recruiting top talent. Here are a few proven resources:
Here’s another, more creative way to attract qualified candidates for employment: Create a TV / Web Commercial. That’s right, a commercial for HR. Here’s an example of a commercial we created for one of our dealer clients, Bill Dube Hyundai (Scott Dube is the President of the Massachusetts State Auto Dealers Association):
Whether you create your commercial in-house or outsource the job is up to you. No matter how you do it, my strong advice is to produce one.
Once you have a Web / TV commercial created, I recommend you syndicate widely for maximum visibility through resources including the following:
- Facebook and Facebook ads, sponsored posts, etc.
- Google Ads and Video Pre-Roll ads
You can even create a “We are hiring” button on your website!
Remember: you are only as strong as your weakest link. And if your weakest link is your people, you need to – and CAN – do something about it immediately.
If you have any questions about this article, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org feel free to give me a call at (267) 319-6776.
Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized training and consulting company in the automotive industry.
Ken Pollock Auto Group was tired of traditional and digital means to recruit. They NEEDED Good people and FAST, so they had Dealer Synergy create a TV commercial to use broadcast and cable to generate a lot of resumes.
If you are struggling to find the right people for your team, I suggest that you consider using broadcast television as a resource to drive lots and lots of resumes!
*** This company is AWESOME... They offer some AMAZING resources for Dealerships!
While the other sales people at my dealership were freezing, chasing fresh ups outside on the blacktop, I was warm and cozy, tucked away in my office - glasses first into my MacBook building my personal brand. It's not that I don't enjoy following customers around in the cold at a 20% closing ratio, it's more so that I wanted to focus on customer loyalty and presenting myself to the general public in a manner that would bring them directly to me…without all of the chasing that is. So why did I choose to build a personal brand? What made me feel that this was the best course of action?
Every time you turn around, you see marketing techniques for DEALERSHIPS to differentiate themselves to the consumer and make their dealership really "stand out." Why, as sales people, would we not want to use these techniques to our own personal advantage? You ARE the dealership. You do the business. You are the business. The business is You. So why not market yourself like You, yourself, are the dealership? Simple and selfish - maybe…But definitely effective.
These days, consumers are more educated than ever. (Thank you Google.) They are looking for a fast, efficient, and easy way to their product and service provider. They want an expert that is knowledgable, trustworthy, and professional. They won't stop their search until they feel that they have absorbed enough content to feel like they can make an educated decision with the professional that they are the most comfortable with. The objective of personal branding is to turn yourself, literally, into a brand just like any other popular item or service. You want them to feel as comfortable buying a car with you, as they do when they are at the super market buying their dependable every day household items. Think about it..When you find a certain type of toothpaste, laundry detergent, cleaning product, or deodorant that works for you, what do you do? As long as that product consistently meets your needs the same way every time, you'll stick with that brand. What's even better, is that you'll tell others about that particular brand that has never let you down. And they'll tell their friends. And their friends will tell their friends. Fortunately, these days, that happens faster than ever due to social media platforms.
So how do you get started? Well, start with YOU. Sounds simple, but you have to do it right. Be yourself. People want to rely on a real person, not a man-made marketing tool. Like I said, just be yourself. Easier for some people than others, but if you have to, just spend some time getting to know yourself and who you really are. Being genuine goes a long way, especially in this business. Next, you need to understand exactly what it is that your brand does. Chances are, your dealership has a "Mission Statement," and this simply your individualized take on that. It defines what makes you different from every other sales person in your market. What do you have to offer that makes you stand out about the rest? i.e. Speedy process, free vehicle delivery to the customer's residence or place of business, 24 hour customer help line, etc. Find out what is most sought after by the customers in your target market and figure out a creative way to offer it.
What is the first thing that pops into your head when someone mentions a common, popular brand? Their logo. Is a logo absolutely necessary when developing your own personal brand? No, but I think that they are really a lot of fun, and they definitely set you apart from the rest of the competition. People love and recognize logos. Like I said, it's the first thing that pops into their head when they think of any brand. Choosing your logo can be tricky considering it is what ultimately represents you as a brand and service. It can be something as simple as incorporating your name or initials into something, or as elaborate as the carpet in the Taj Mahal.
That all sounds great and pretty easy, right? But here's where it may get a little bit tricky. CONSISTENCY. Your mission statement and what you decide to offer has to be done THE SAME WAY. EVERY TIME. EVERY DAY. TO EVERY PROSPECT. NO EXCEPTIONS. WITHOUT FAIL.. FOR AS LONG AS YOUR PERSONAL BRAND IS YOU. If you don't follow this rule, there is no brand called you. You'll still be outside chasing fresh ups just like "every other" salesperson. You also have to be patient, this doesn't happen overnight; however, if you do execute this rule correctly, you will have an inbox full of prospects, and customers lined up out the door to see you. Keep exercising this rule, and you will become the brand that they (and all of their friends and relatives) depend on. As long as you are as dependable and have the same consistency as that favorite household product, the customer will return again and again and again. In the business we all know that return customers have the highest closing ratios, pay the most gross, and give the best CSI. Still thinking about taking your chances standing in the huddle, outside in the cold, waiting for the "up bus?" I didn't think so.
I received an email from this dealership and was very excited when I saw that this dealership was using Digital Marketing Initiatives to try to recruit for their dealership!!
I think this is AWESOME!! Dealers NEED to use:
* Facebook and other forms of Social Media
* Their website & micro sites
* Pay Per Click
* Permission Based Email Campaigns as well as newsletters
If a dealership wants to hire or needs to hire additional members to their team... they need to think out of the box.
I am always looking for ideas to help dealers be successful. If you have any additional ideas for HR / recruiting, please let us know!
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