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http://www.BradleyOnDemand.com/ 856-546-2440 

Make Money Mondays with Sean V. Bradley - BDC Service Conversions "Buy Back Program"

In this week's Episode of Make Money Mondays Sean V. Bradley, President of Dealer Synergy, explains a efficient tactic to bring more traffic to your showroom. You should be looking at your Service Department as the customer depot instead of waiting every day for the up bus. NADA says that a person is 7x more likely to purchase a vehicle from a dealership where they've had their own car serviced. 

To visit all of our Make Money Mondays in one place visit: http://www.MakeMoneyMondays.net/

If you like Make Money Mondays, you will love Bradley On Demand: http://www.BradleyOnDemand.com/ 
856-546-2440 

For more information about Dealer Synergy, visit http://www.DealerSynergy.com/

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If you have any questions, call or text Sean on his cell 267-319-6776.

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http://www.dealersynergy.com 267-319-6776
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Video is one of the most powerful tools a dealership can use to establish strong communication, captivation, clarity, rapport and build trust. Here is an example of a dealership using "Real Time" Video communication via Apple FaceTime with a Service Customer and the Service Writer! Forrester Research says that 1 Minute of video is equivalent to 1.8 Million written words! I am going to repeat that… 1 minute of video = 1.8 Million words! You can use real time video communication to enhance the experience a prospect or a client has with a dealership. This example is for the Fixed Ops department, but real time video communication with resources like Skype, Google Hangouts and Apple FaceTime also have massive potential with new and user car prospects as well as clients!
Is your dealership truly leveraging real time video communications? If not… Why Not? Senior Citizens are using Skype to communicate with their Grandkids… shouldn't you and your dealership use it to communicate with your prospects and clients? If you would like more information on real time video communication or if you would like me to assist you and your dealership, call me on my cell at 267-319-677 or email me at sean@dealersynergy.com

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Today’s Women’s Wednesday focuses on women’s reviews, and why they MUST be a critical, daily and intentional component of your business practice – both with the sales team and in the service drive.

As the #BigDataAuthority on women’s dealership experiences, we have shared that this powerful buying segment will purchase 27 million cars at new and used car dealerships this year. That equates to over 75,000 vehicles a day. What is your share of this?

Did You Know?

1. Women rely on and use car dealer reviews 50% more than men. This makes sense as they don't want to get it wrong.

2. JD Power reports that women leave higher scoring dealer reviews than men.

3. Women go to 2 dealerships before buying a car. If they leave your dealership and don't buy - 70% of them will NOT return.

4. The top reason women buy from your dealership is NOT price. The way she is treated is paramount.

Market your trust and transparency via the positive reviews you have received. Women especially trust other women reviews and experiences. This helps them narrow down their choices on where to buy a car.

How to Be the Go-to-Dealership for Women

  1. Dealers that market reviews have women walking into the store with an expectation of trustworthy and respectable service. And they get it.
  2. Stop marketing on price alone. Advertise your CERTIFIED logo in TV ads, classifieds, and lead gen sites (AutoTrader, TrueCar, Cars, etc.)
  3. These dealers are report selling 10 – 15 more cars a month – a huge increase to monthly sales performance.

So stop selling exclusively on price alone.

Begin advertising to women+families on what matters to them: they are treated exceptionally and are provided a tremendous value in the product they are buying. And, reviews reinforce that your shoppers can count on that.

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women? Click here to learn more.

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here to download.

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Most reliable car brands

There was a great article published by Motoramic about the most reliable car brands which you can read here. The author determined the most reliable automotive brands by looking at almost 350,000 appraisals performed by “professional car buyers who are trained to detect mechanical and structural issues” with no biases. The study is beneficial because most reliability studies are on new cars within the first 90 days. Longer term reliability studies don’t usually go beyond three to five years.

We wanted to come up with our own algorithm to determine reliability and see if our findings matched Motoramic. We analyzed over 500,000 cars, model years 1995 to 2014, listed for sale on MojoMotors.com to determine the average selling price depending on a vehicle’s mileage. Using a linear regression model, we were able to calculate the dollars of value lost as mileage increased and ultimately, the number of miles until a car lost all value.

In other words, we found out how much mileage could be racked up before a car became valueless. Less reliable brands will lose value quicker since they have a greater chance of breaking down with fewer miles on the odometer. Make sense? One thing to remember – just because a car is considered valueless beyond a certain number of miles in this study doesn’t mean it won’t drive for another 100,000 miles.


10. Mazda – 177,729 miles until worthless

Mazda has been known for building economical cars. Their lineup has expanded in the last few years as they now offer compact, midsize and full size crossovers that have fared well in reviews. Go here to learn more about the different used Mazda models and reviews.

9. Acura – 178,947 miles until worthless

It doesn’t hurt that Acura is the luxury brand powered by Honda engineering. It should also be noted that Acura is the only luxury brand to squeak into the top ten most reliable car brands. For further reading, read reviews of used Acuras here.

8. GMC – 188,584 miles until worthless

GMC has been building quality pickups, SUVs and crossovers a very long time. Since GMC splits many parts with Chevrolet, repairs aren’t usually too expensive. This is why you’ll see Sierra pickups with miles well into the hundreds of thousands. Read more here for used GMC reviews and research.

7. Subaru – 189,370 miles until worthless

It isn’t too surprising Subaru is on this list. According to Polk’s auto data, 95% of Subarus sold in the last ten years are still on the road. Pretty impressive. So are their all wheel drive systems and boxer four cylinder engines. For additional Subaru reading material including Subbie reviews and different models, go here.

6. Nissan – 195,593 miles until worthless

Nissan is consistently one of the most Followed brands on Mojo Motors, but they usually aren’t perceived as being one of the most reliable brands on the road. They should be. Nisan vehicles, especially their cars, are among the most reliable shoppers can buy. Learn more about the best Nissan rides and read reviews here.

5. Chevrolet – 195,754 miles until worthless

If you’re a prisoner of the present, you might think Chevrolet is anything but reliable. Ahem. Recalls aside, the last few generations of automobiles built by Chevrolet are their best ever. Especially Chevy pickups, SUVs and crossovers. For reviews and research on a variety of Chevrolet vehicles, keep reading here.

4. Dodge – 198,266 miles until worthless

Dodge, like Chevrolet, is known more for their pickup trucks than cars. Thanks to the resale value of a Ram pickup, the brand makes it into the top five of this list. Our advice? Stick to a high mileage Ram pickup or Grand Caravan minivan, the same can’t be said about Dodge cars. Go here for reviews of popular used Dodge cars and trucks.

3. Ford – 198,409 miles until worthless

Unlike other American automakers, say Dodge or Chevrolet, Ford has both reliable trucks AND cars. The Ford Focus compact and Fusion midsize, along with Ford’s lineup of crossovers make them the most reliable American automaker on this list. Having the best-selling vehicle in the country, the F150 pickup truck, doesn’t hurt either. Learn more about used Ford vehicles here.

2. Honda – 209,001 miles until worthless

While Dodge and Chevrolet excel at the big trucks, Honda excels at pretty much everything. Look at the ‘miles until worthless’ stat because Honda and Toyota boast a 10,000 mile lead over Ford. If the average driver puts 12,000 miles a year on their car, that 10,000 mile difference is almost an entire year! For reviews and research on used Honda vehicles, keep reading here.

1. Toyota – 210,705 miles until worthless

The public perceives Toyota as one of the most reliable automakers and our study concurs with this perception. While Toyota might not build the most eye-catching cars, they are certainly reliable and efficient. A Lamborghini it is not, but a cost-effective car it most definitely is. Keep reading for reviews, research and pictures of the best used Toyotas.

Graph of How Toyota Depreciates Overtime

Please note that while this data is a great way to understand how vehicle prices correlate to reliability, no study of used car reliability and its value is perfect. This is a make-specific study, not a breakdown of models, trims or years. There can be a large variation between each model’s trims and there are many factors that go into the price of a car. Things like color, options, warranties and whether a car is a certified pre owned or not all greatly affect a cars valuation. Our study did not account for these variances.

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Today’s Women’s Wednesday is about becoming new leaders in the growing and dynamic market of women consumers.

As competition tightens, the need for exceptional leaders at dealerships couldn’t be greater. Wayne Gretzky, the hockey legend, explained the key to his success, “a good hockey player knows where the puck is – however, a great hockey player knows where the puck is going”.

To be an exceptional leader like Gretzky, a proactive and anticipatory approach is important. Currently, the industry is dynamic, producing great opportunities to differentiate. It is imperative to take strategic risks and be proactive about tapping emerging trends that pertain to women+families.

Did You Know?

1. Women in the U.S. buy 50% of vehicles – about 75,000 a day at new and used car dealerships

2. According to the U.S. Census, over one-third of women out-earn their husbands

3. More and more children are born to single moms

These may seem like just numbers but they are real money-making and business performance boosting statistics for dealers who want to be positioned as the go-to dealerships in their market. How?

1. Recognize Women have the Buying Power: Break from the traditional model and make the store more women+family friendly. Since women are propelling sales, cater effectively to this buying segment by hiring more women sales and service advisors. Hire qualified people that relate and look like your customers for a more comfortable and successful sales experience.

2. The Changing Family: Women are the breadwinners in over one-third of family households. There are many homes with stay at home dads, same gender parents and multiple generations living under one roof. Cater to each potential customer with ultimate respect.

3. Meet Your Customers Where They Are:

a. Problem Solve: As more children are being born to single moms, it is important to know that all parents appreciate a child-play area.

b. A Caring Company: The #1 requested concierge service item from women is an overnight vehicle. This shows you understand the inconvenience of having a car repaired overnight and are willing to go the extra step to do something about it; providing hassle and worry free service.

c. Have women WANT to BE THERE: Have fun services like a boutique fitness and yoga studio with changing area, shower, and rest rooms. (Not everyone wants to sit and watch TV.) How about Play Stations for mom gamers while their car is being serviced? Sound silly? At one time your grocery store simply sold food. Now it has services like banking, café, childcare, dry cleaner, pharmacy, and health and wellness, and other conveniences.

d. Install vending machines with healthy food options and beverages (not just M and M’s & Pepsi) and provide Starbucks coffee and tea. How about a manicurist in the store, part time?

e. Free car wash policy is a winner for you and your customers as they will stop in a lot more frequently – different and more lasting relationships will be created.

f. Engage and Educate: assist customers in getting to to know their new car better with a specialist 1 on 1, or spend time checking out the latest safety+tech features of your top 3 models being featuring this month.

Women visit two dealerships but they buy from just one! What plays are you making to ensure she picks your store? Leadership paired with strategy is a better game than luck in capturing new business.

For more on Leadership and to read about Wayne Gretzky type of Dealers, click here.

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women? Click here to learn more.

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here to download.

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With this Women’s Wednesday we will focus on the Service Drive at your store.

Women buy a car about once every 6-7 years, but they visit the service lane several times a year. The good news? This is where on-going loyalty is developed. The not-so-great news is that 42% of women report they no longer go to the service department where they purchased their vehicle. And, you will never know it is their LAST visit, because they may smile, pay the bill, and never say a word, even though they have made up their mind not to return. As the Big Data Authority on women's dealership experiences, the top 6 reasons are:

  1. Not satisfied with the experience
  2. Did not like the way they were treated
  3. Inability to get the problem fixed to their satisfaction
  4. Cost to service the repair
  5. Hours + Location not convenient
  6. Lack of concierge services
DID YOU KNOW?
While 79% of women would recommend the service department to friends and family, less than two-thirds report not receiving follow up communication. Are you and your web provider optimizing platforms to provide educational tips and stay connected with your customers, post visit? Stay in touch by being her trusted advisor 365/24/7 – not just the 3 days a year she is in your store. How? Visit here.

Increase loyalty by paying attention to the little things, like:

  1. Provide Ultimate Respect: Provide respect+treat women graciously every single visit. This builds rapport, trust and loyalty.
  2. Key Concierge Services: The #1 requested concierge item from women is a courtesy car. This shows you understand the inconvenience when the car is undergoing maintenance and repair overnight. Services like Wi-Fi/TV, café and play area for children also help deliver a quality dealership experience while women+families wait.
  3. Best Ear Forward: Your top listeners are the Service Advisors - or, should be. Why? To hear what women are saying and not saying. Your best listener behind the service counter makes female customers more comfortable to ask questions concerning repairs and, when triggered or upset, provides a space to problem solve and get the issue handled and move on.
  4. No Threatening CSI “Requests”: Careful about strong-arming your clients with comments that sound intimidating regarding CSI, like: “Leave all 5’s or call us first before submitting”. This can sound completely inauthentic and uneasy to women.

For the Top 2014 Brand as Rated by Women when Servicing their Vehicles, click here.

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women? Click here to learn more.

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here to download

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Our customers in this business today can smell insincerity like a shark senses blood. From the moment that they first meet you, and all through our sales process, they are looking for any hint of insincerity that may have seeped from you. This creates both the challenge for us, and the opportunity.

I like to think of sales as nothing more than the transfer of emotions. I also like to think of closing as making simple sense - basically justifying the emotions logically in the form of a car deal.

The reason that people are so sensitive to insincerity from car sales people is because of the high number of average and insincere sales people that are out there. Many of our customers have dealt with one of these annoying sales people at one time or another. These are the sales people that seem more interested in making their commission than anything else. These are the sales people that tend not to follow up with their customers, and keep in touch with them over the long term. Even though their customers trusted them to guide them though spending 20-30-or 80 thousand dollars, they neglect to continue serving that customer. This only reinforces the mentality that people tend to have about car sales people - because there are so many of us out there that are proving their preconceived notions to be correct.

Ask any person you know what they think in general of lawyers, and more often then not you will get some sort of negative explanation about their line of work in general - and the same goes for lots of other sales people out there in other industries. But not their lawyer. This is what creates the opportunity.

People want to deal with people that believe in the value of the services they provide. They want people that don't just believe at a general level, but at a level that is so great that this emotion is transferred to them. They want to feel your passion come through. Anything less than that is perceived by many people as insincerity - and rightly so.

People don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.

What we need to do is make sure we are not only keeping our attitude in check each and every day, but that we feel great about our line of work. We need to feel deep down that we are not only offering the very best quality of service, but also that if we allow that customer to leave and purchase from an average salesperson down the street - we are then doing them a great disservice.

If we are able to transfer our emotion and passion for what we do to our customer during our process, more often then not we will not only gain a customer and a commission, but also a friend and long term business relationship.

 

Remember, people don't buy what we do, they buy why we do it.

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How involved is your connection with each of your customers? Excellent personalized customer service is what sets a great dealership apart from others. Providing superior customer service is an essential part of gaining repeat business. If you routinely followed up with every customer, in a way that would not increase your workload, how much more business could you do? Let's take a look at the customer experience process, from the perspectives of two different customers.

Without Automated Targeted Communication

The online lead (Buddy): Buddy is viewing vehicles on the dealership website. He wants to purchase a truck, and he sees two that he likes. He reads about them and views pictures on the website, then signs up for the dealership's email newsletter in case they are having any good deals.

Buddy forgets his search for a few days, then decides to check out another dealership website. He also views their trucks, and does so on a variety of other local dealership websites as well. After several months of searching, no one from any of the dealerships has contacted Buddy and he has not made a purchase.

The customer who has purchased (Minnie): Minnie purchased a car about a year ago. She received a call from the dealership three months after her purchase, letting her know that her car was due for an oil change. Minnie has not heard from the dealership since, and has discovered a shop that can do her regular maintenance for slightly cheaper than the dealership.

These situations are common. Most automotive customers now research vehicles online before visiting the dealership. In many cases, dealership staff do not have the tools to reach out to all the online leads they receive.

Once customers purchase vehicles, they require ongoing maintenance, and routine appointments are a great way to drive repeat business back to the original dealership. Does your staff contact every customer to let them know each time that their vehicle requires routine maintenance? Oil change notices, appointment reminders, updates about winter tires and special promotions... Are you contacting each customer with this important information?

If you are contacting each customer, that requires a lot of time, effort and organization. You could spend your whole day just calling customers. Is there a way to simplify the process of reaching out to customers, while still effectively connecting with them and enhancing the level of customer service that you provide?

With Automated Targeted Communication

Now let's imagine how the customer experience could be enhanced with the help of an automated communication solution.

The online lead (Buddy): Buddy views the trucks that he likes and signs up for the dealership's email newsletter. He immediately receives a welcome message: “Hi Buddy! Thanks for signing up. Use the promotional code TIRE2014 to get 20% off your purchase of windshield washer fluid or gas line antifreeze.” He receives another email the next day, with a list of “deals of the month” and he spots a truck. He clicks the link to view more information.

Two days later, he gets an email entirely focused on trucks, with links to pages highlighting the features of each of the dealership's trucks that are currently in stock. He sees the truck he likes, and clicks the link. The next day, he receives an email “Hi Buddy, would you like to test drive a Brand X 2014 truck? If you find the truck of your dreams, we will throw in three months of satellite radio free, just for you!”

Buddy goes to the dealership and tests out the truck. The salesperson is friendly and helpful and soon Buddy has decided to purchase.

The customer who has purchased (Minnie): Minnie just purchased her car. She told the salesperson that the best way to reach her is through text messaging. Two weeks after the initial purchase, Minnie receives a text message: “Hi Minnie, we hope you're enjoying your new car! If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know. You can always text us or call us at ---.”

Every three months, Minnie gets a text message letting her know that her car is due for an oil change. She even books her appointments through text messaging. On the day of each appointment, she receives a text message reminding her of the appointment time.

Every few months, Minnie receives messages and promotions that are tailored to her car type and purchase date. She always receives routine maintenance notices so her vehicle stays in top shape, and she also gets reminders when she should put on and take off her winter tires. Each year on Minnie's birthday and on the anniversary of the day she purchased her vehicle, she gets exclusive text message discounts and promotions. The communication process is quick and easy, and Minnie has never been so satisfied with customer service, so she continues to return for her maintenance and has recommended the dealership to friends.

Conclusion

Automotive salespeople and customer service representatives provide the most important connection to customers, and their hard work and friendly attitude encourage customer loyalty. Yet it is difficult for staff to contact each customer on every important date with updates about their unique vehicle and personalized promotions.

With the assistance of automated software that is currently available, staff can contact hundreds of customers with a single click. They can set up a communication plan at the beginning of the year to ensure that every customer receives maintenance reminders based on their purchase date and date of last appointment, a special promotion on their birthday and more. Automatic messages are sent on the customer's preferred mode of communication. All messages are sent from a single automated solution.

Imagine how much more new and repeat business you could gain if you could follow up with every online lead and in-store customer, and provide information that is directly relevant to each unique individual. Your daily workload is reduced, yet you are able to provide more personalized service to each of your customers.

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There's a trend in the automotive industry that is alarming. We hear this scenario played out almost every day and it normally manifests itself into one of two stages:

  • Stage 1: The Fresh Tech Hunter - When a dealership is tired of the limitations of their various vendors, they often go hunting for a replacement that has the latest and greatest automotive internet marketing technologies at their disposal.
  • Stage 2: The Better Treatment Hunter - When a dealership is tired of slow response times and vendors pointing their customers towards tutorials about how to fix their own problems rather than fixing it for them, they go hunting for a vendor that acts like it wants to keep their business by treating them better through customer service and tech support.

Why can't it be both? What happened to the days when vendors were forced to have strong technology and amazing customer service rather than today's trend which seems to force dealers to choose between one or the other?

Here are the descriptions of both types of vendors:

 

The Technology Trendsetter

It's the nature of the beast. Search, social, lead generation, website design, mobile, CRM - it seems like the technology is advancing too fast for most vendors to stay fresh. As a result, the bigger vendors are the ones who have the resources to keep their technology at the top. Unfortunately, they fall into a catch-22; by being large enough to have the resources to stay ahead, they are also faced with the big-boat-syndrome of not being agile enough to make swift adjustments when major changes occur in things such as the Google search algorithm or website coding advancements.

Having proven technology that works today and that will continue to work tomorrow is the only real solution for dealers that want to stay ahead of the curve.

 

The Customer Service Company

Technology is great, but it comes at a price. All too often, the vendors that are large enough to have the resources to develop the best technology have not been able to scale their customer service and keep it personal. Moreover, the trend towards the coveted big contract changes the focus of the vendor; when they land an OEM contract, their client is no longer the dealer. They now answer to the OEM. This is bad news for customers service at the dealership level.

Smaller companies tend to hold each individual client at a higher value than larger ones and must do whatever they can to keep their customer service at its highest level. Dealers might love technology, but if you can't fulfill their needs at a personal level and treat them as more than just a number, they'll still leave.

 

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

This is where the advice comes into play. Don't get wooed by technology alone. Don't settle for second-rate technology just for strong customer service. It's challenging to fill both shoes, but for a dealership to be truly satisfied with their vendor, they must take the time to find out how both sides of the coin work for that vendor.

This is where vetting comes into play. When taking a pitch from a vendor, be sure to write down all of the things that impressed you most about the technology. Test it out by finding dealers that are using the technology. Don't find 3 or 4. Find 20. Then call them. All of them.

When you call the other dealers, be certain to focus on the customer service component. The technology is important, but if their dealers have to waste too much time trying to get changes done to their website or are unable to have consultations on a regular basis with an expert at the vendor, they're probably not the right vendor for you.

Dealers no longer have to settle for anything less than the best of both worlds. For too long, they've trusted their vendors up until the point that they get fed up with the technology not working, the customer service falling short, or both. If you truly vet each potential vendor partner for both criteria, the result will be much better in the long term. It's not an easy process, but nobody likes switching vendors all the time. Find the right one right now and enjoy a long and mutually beneficial relationship with them.

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Busy Being Distracted

I received an email from a friend…it reads…

--

Hey L.A. You always talk about how people should practice empathic listening? well here’s a story that supports your argument100%.

 

I stopped in the local Subway to grab a quick sandwich. Luckily there wasn't a line, but I was still left waiting as no one was there to handle my order. Two other employees were busy helping other customers, and one of them yelled,

"Michelle, counter!"

About 30 seconds later a 20-something customer service rep came out, didn't look me in the eye and blurted, "Ca’I help you?"

I was ready, since I had ample time to prepare my script.

"Yes, please. I'd like a six-inch turkey, on whole grain, not toasted."

She slapped on gloves, then looked at me a bit puzzled and said, "You said meatball, right?"

That was odd. "Turkey" sounds nothing like "meatball." "No, I said turkey. On whole grain."

She searched for the turkey, fumbled around a bit, then looked at me again and said, "White bread?"

I thought she was joking. I gave her a "You're kidding right?"-kind of smirk.

Realizing she actually didn't know, I replied, "Well, again, I'd like whole grain please."

A few seconds passed as she feverishly threw together the sandwich, looked up and said, "You said toasted, right?"

Now I'm laughing. I replied, "Actually, no, I didn't say that. And no thanks, not toasted."

Finally she asked, "What would you like on it?"

Given my experience up to this point, it took everything I had--trust me-- to not return with something like, "I'd answer, but I don't think it will do any good, so just ask me a second time right now."

Instead, I maintained my composure and very slowly told her what I'd like, item by item. I even pointed at them to help her visualize.

 

Crazy Ha’un!

--
No…not crazy at all.

I'd like to think this experience is the exception with service people, sales people, or even just people in general. You and I both know that unfortunately it is more the norm.

The typical attention span today is mere seconds--if that. People are addicted to distraction.

Young and old. We communicate in abbreviated phrases. We get news in headlines, scrawls and tweets. If a website doesn't grab our attention in seconds, click. Next.

And don't even get me going on the entire notion of "present but absent," which is using your mobile device to text, call, tweet, email or whatever-- when you are WITH another person. Any time someone does that they are indicating, "I've got a more important person on the other end of this."

Present but absent.

OK, let me get this rant back on the tracks. My point is the reality today is that we must operate in the environment where people in general have shorter attention spans than ever.

We are more distracted and inundated with stimuli than ever before. To be effective in the sales game, we need to proactively counteract that when we are sending, and receivingCommunication.

A couple of very rudimentary, but nevertheless important points.

Pay Attention
I believe that to truly be an effective communicator, you need to work hard at the art and science of simply paying attention.

Yes, that means actually listening to what the other person is saying, and not thinking of what you will say next. Or worse, interrupting them with what you want to say.

It means not checking your emails, texts, tweets, Facebook or any other site while you are speaking with a prospect or customer. I heard a speaker say that there is no such thing as multi-tasking, since a person can only do one thing at a time. If you are flitting from thing to thing, you are not doing any of them very well. Certainly you wouldn't have your A-game when you are talking on the phone and trying to perform several other activities.

Here's a test worth taking: on the remainder of your spoken communication today, on the phone and face-to-face, practice "Venus Fly Trap" listening. That means grabbing on to every word you hear as if you would be tested on it, with dire consequences if you failed. You might be surprised at how much you really hear.

Pre-empt their Distraction
What's harder to control, but certainly doable, is grabbing and keeping their attention. How? Talk about their favorite subject: them. This is not new. But then again, I don't know why more reps don't do it.

Sitting in my voice mail inbox right now is a message from a clueless caller who left a 90-second message about the service he provides to Fitness Facilities and how he wants to set up an appointment so he could show me how I should be using his service in my Fitness Facility. Uh, hello. It wouldn't take more than a few seconds to find out exactly what I do, which is not run a Gym.

What my business is is helping salespeople do what he didn’t. Create interest, engage prospects and customers, and move the sales process forward. That's what we talk about here every week, and my sites are full of free info, and much much more that you can invest in.

if you made it all the way to here, congrats. You either have a refined attention span, and/or I kept your interest. Follow these ideas and you will be way ahead of those who are busy being distracted.

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Many of the Google Places listing that I check for car dealers are NOT setup properly for their business. This impacts the number of times a dealership's Business Listing will appear in search results. For some dealers in metro areas, their Google Places listing will show over 15,000 a month. With this in mind, anything that could increase the visibility of your local business listing should be embraced.

Every Google Places listing DEFAULTS to a 20 mile service radius around the business address. This is one of the most important setting on your Google Places listing because it sets the geographic positioning of the consumers you serve. Car dealers routinely deliver cars to customers that are outside of a 20 mile radius of their business. With this is mind, dealers should inspect your service area settings in Google.

Google Places Special Geography


Dealers that have physical locations near bodies of water will find that a simple radius setting is not the most accurate map of their service area. In the screen shot below, Harris Auto Group in Canada is located on Victoria Island. If they left their Google Maps service area radius set at 20 miles, which is the default, they would not cover Victoria which is a major market for the island.

Google Maps Service Area Settings

Fortunately, Google Places will allow you to enter in specific town names to create a polygon that covers the areas that the dealership serves. In the photo above, you can see that the shaded area was created by inputting the towns in the "List of Areas Served".

Don't Abuse This Setting


I encourage dealers not to abuse this setting and show unrealistic service coverage maps. I have a feeling that Google may penalize anything that would be contrived as scamming the system. I would say that a 50 mile radius for most dealers is reasonable. So take a minute and look into your Google Places service area setting and see if it has been set too conservatively.

Also, while you are looking at your Google Places listing, make sure that it has:
  • Five great photos of customers taking delivery of cars or your work in the community. Kill the building photos.
  • Five great videos. Three customer testimonial videos, one welcome video, and one service video.
  • Proper categories that describe your business. There is a category for every OEM brand
  • Make sure one category you select is "Used Car Dealer"

If you have any questions on Google Places, just type in your question below.
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