Sean V. Bradley's Posts (936)

Beth Bartlett Will Be A Featured Speaker At The Internet Sales 20 Group 12 Training Conference In Nashville, March 18-20 To Register GoTo: (Dealer Principals And GMs are FREE)

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The Internet Sales 20 Group 12 also known as the #IS20G Training Conference will be headed to Nashville, Tennessee March 18th to the 20th. You do NOT want to miss this year's #1 Automotive Sales Training Event. This will be the 12th year that we have hosted this Epic Event. Here are some of our AMAZING #Speakers ! Here are the Problems you can solve by attending this AMAZING Conference... To Register for the IS20G 12 Conference go to: or Call 856-546-2440

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Humanize Your CRM: Winning and Keeping Clients

Every dealership has a script: a preconfigured, tried-and-true reel of company footage and the same tagline plastered onto each commercial. “President’s Day Sale”, “End of Year Clearance Event”, ad nauseam until the script can be recited by anyone within earshot. And then you forget about that dealership until the next holiday.

Welcome to 21st-century advertising in the automotive industry. It’s been Groundhog Day for what feels like decades. Floor and phone sales still dominate much of the market, and the interaction between dealers and customers after purchase is nonexistent. When 92-99 percent of your audience would rather engage with the online market than talk to sales professionals, you’ll find a distinct void sucking up sales within the industry. Impersonal commercials and greeting cards won’t bring kindle to that fire.

This has partially to do with a complete absence of strategy. Inconsistent communication and a general lack of aggression in driving sales put otherwise prominent dealerships behind the Eight-Ball. Our own LA Williams, known for igniting latent talent in sales professionals, once ran a “Power Hour” exercise to see just how motivated he could get his clients to be. Tactfully, however, he wasn’t measuring the top performers; instead, he chose to focus on the lowest scorers. They resulted in an average of 37 calls in an hour’s time. That’s 37 ways a dealership could capitalize on Internet phone sales but weren’t. That foundation needs to be cemented into the minds of each and every sales professional.

“But not everyone is going to answer their phones”, you might argue. And that’s a valid point. Have you asked your sales professionals how else they’ve contacted potential leads? If they’re flexing all of their talents behind phone calls, they’ve already lost. Emails, however, begin the building process for developing leads into customers. But email alone is one aspect to taking charge of your leads. A coalition of sales professionals and managers should take charge of these leads. You should know the strengths of your team better than anyone. If you’re the best phone sales professional in the office, get your coordinators involved in the email process. What seems like a wasted resource is actually an interpersonal attempt at engaging with buyers, inquiring with different perspectives.

Then go beyond that. Don’t just call a customer or a lead: video chat them. Get them into your lot without visiting it. Let them see the face behind the phone call or the email. Reassure your audience. Offer them live advice that gets them to stay engaged. We live in a society of instant gratification, and by providing the knowledge at their convenience wins over potential buyers that would otherwise block a cold call.

Just getting leads to your dealership isn’t enough. You need to keep winning them over. Customers deserve to feel like you’ve earned their trust. Something as simple as a video message wishing them a happy birthday or a festive video wishing them well during the holidays keeps the dealership in the back of their minds as a friendly and trusted source. There may be hiccups along the way, and potential clientele might take to the Internet to vent their frustrations or offer criticism. That’s why it’s vital to address these concerns. Don’t just apologize for the poor experience; learn from it, make it a priority to root out the issue and address how best to rectify it. Contact these people and understand where you lost their trust. Try to earn it back, and don’t burn the bridge. Every lead was worth the effort, and it’s vital to retain a positive standing with your clients. Be transparent in your approach to making their experience better than the last dealer.  Do everything in your power to “suck less than the other dealers”.

There’s a sense of “set it and forget it” that has plagued the way dealerships market themselves. It’s easy to insert the strategies that have worked decades ago to chase leads. That doesn’t help the ship without a captain. Steering a ship without a course makes your strategies lost at sea. Guiding your customers beyond the initial journey offers gives them a reason to sail with you over and over. It’s vital to make your CRM an ongoing experience to make leads and clients remember you. Otherwise, you’ll end up another regurgitated commercial during holiday weekends.

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Be the Disruptor of Your Industry

Bring up Blockbuster or Toys R’ Us in conversation, and you can immediately evoke a sense of nostalgia. These companies were iconic, almost unbreakable brands that were ingrained into our culture. That was twenty years ago, when innovation in the industry was what exclusives you offered in a brick-and-mortar storefront. They couldn’t have possibly predicted the meteoric rise of Amazon and Netflix. These “disruptors” foresaw the changes in the market and rode the tide to their unprecedented successes. That’s because they learned that following new trends in the market was vital in the decade where we went from computers to computers embedded in our cell phones.

This level of innovation has cast a shadow over the automotive industry, still relying on age-old practices that predate the Blockbusters of the world. Dealerships have failed to seize opportunities that could lead them to the forefront of the industry. Does the future lack a sense of direction for dealers, or is the future of marketing already laid out before us?

If the automotive industry is going to survive the rise of platforms like CarVana’s and, they need to find the same successes that brought Amazon and Netflix into our homes. That starts with “disrupting” the competition. Dealerships need to be proactive responders to market trends, finding success in social media campaigns and innovating new ways to engage customers.

That can be as simple as video calls to consumers, engaging with them as if they were already at the dealership. This personal level of intercommunication means that salespeople can walk the lot with customers at their convenience, and see their vehicles in perspective. Videos also bring immediate benefits to advertising and marketing teams. Changing strategies by personal engagement with customers, potential and current, means that dealers can keep in constant contact with leads. Even something as simple as a “Happy Birthday” video from the dealership continues conversations with customers.

Creating content on a daily basis is another way to innovate the industry. This could come in the form of videos showcasing new cars or vlogs offering a transparent look into the dealership. This shares with the customer that you are actively seeking ways to engage with your audience. Rather than put an ad on television, email your customers with enticing offers. Instead of cold calls, share a video on social media showcasing your dealership or your salespeople. Customers are attracted to faces and personalities, and keeping constant updates on your organizations lets your potential clients know that you’re confident about your organization.

Speaking on behalf of salespeople, branding your employees through social media offers an individual way to tap into your organization without intimidating customers. Let your salespeople have their own FaceBook or Instagram accounts, keeping contact with customers to reassure them that they have an ally within your organization.

Being an active participant on social media goes beyond these platforms. Job recruitment sites and Google reviews keep you engaged with your audience. Directors and managers should take charge, but allow other leaders within your organization to tackle these responsibilities. Show your audience that you are quick to respond to their needs, and that customer service goes beyond the dealership. This allows organizations to see where they stand with customer relations and have an active way to improve their standing with customers.

New companies offer instant gratification with their purchases, including new players within the automotive industry. A dealership doesn’t need to lose ground because these companies can thrive online: it simply means that dealerships can take an active role in an ever-changing market. There may come a time where brick-and-mortar dealers lose to the convenience of CarVana or, but if organizations ensure that they are keeping up with these trends, they have a real shot at maintaining a competitive edge that extends well into the next technological wave. Personality, active engagement and constant contact can make dealerships feel a part of the 21st century.

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Sean V. Bradley, CSP Is an 8 Time Speaker This Year At NADA 2018 856-546-2440 


If you are going to NADA 2018 this year in Las Vegas make sure you attend one or both of Sean's Official NADA 2018 Convention Workshops! 


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CEO of Dealer Synergy, Karen Bradley will be a first time Speaker at NADA and she was asked to conduct not one but two POWERFUL Training Sessions on Time Mangment, ORganiation and Professional Development. You do not want to miss Karen speak and train at NADA 2018 in Las Vegas this year! 

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AWESOME VIDEO Example of a Local Car Dealership That is Heavily Involved In Their Community. 
*** WHAT DOEAS YOUR DEALERSHIP Do For the Community? And Do You have a VIDEO Showcasing it?

Sean V. Bradley, CSP Is Keynoting The Digital Dealer Workshop In Chicago February 13th & 14th 2018

You Will Not Want to Miss This Keynote at Digital Dealer Workshops

+ Save 50% off with Promo Code SYNERGY

This panel discussion will be facilitated by worldwide automotive trainer Sean V. Bradley, CSP who will bring together an elite panel of automotive forces, each with unique areas of expertise, to help you build an unstoppable defense for your store to combat against the automotive industry’s own “evil” forces. 


The concept of which was inspired by the animated TV program, Voltron: Defender of the Universe. (For the non-anime-familiar, Voltron’s storyline revolves around forces that merged together to form one unstoppable mega-force defense for the galaxy in a battle against evil.) 

Primary Learning Objectives:

    ⇒ Learn what the MOST important "Key Performance Indicators" (KPIs) are from a $1.1 billion-dollar dealer group that delivers 5,600 units per month. 

    ⇒ Identify specific activities that your sales team can immediately do to proactively generate business for themselves and your dealership.

    ⇒ Learn the MOST important technology resources that are being utilized by the most successful dealer groups in the country.

     ⇒ Learn how to form your "Voltron" defense.

Panelists include: Joseph Shaker, Principal Owner, Shaker Auto Group; Toni Anne Fardette, Director of Business Development, Atlantic Automotive Group-The NY Auto Giant; Louie Herron, Owner, Louie Herron Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram; and Brian Chapman, VP and General Manager, Homer Skelton Ford. 


Don’t miss this Keynote Presentation and over 40 more Marketing, Sales, and Management seminars at Digital Dealer Workshops Chicago, February 13-14th at the McCormick Place.  

Register with promo code SYNERGY to get 50% OFF!

Registration includes comp passes to the Chicago Auto Show (Feb 10-19th)

If you are thinking of attending #DigitalDealer in #Chicago next month... REGISTER with CODE "SYNERGY" for a 50% Discount! Digital Dealer is giving all of my network a 50% discount since I am Keynoting and Karen Uriarte-Bradley is conducting a break-out session. Don't miss this POWERFUL Training Workshop! Call or text me if you have an y questions 267-319-6776

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Dealers NEED to Take the TCPA (Texting) Compliance VERY Serious...

I have a Dealer Group in NJ that just forwarded me an email from the State Dealer Association's Attorney WARNING them that there are MULTIPLE Dealerships wrapped  up in Class Action Lawsuits over TEXT Messaging (TCPA Compliance) VIOLATIONS. The Dealer was very distraught and issues an IMMEDIATE CEASE AND DESIST TO HIS ENTIRE Dealer Group from TEXT MESSAGING under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE until their attorneys dig in and make sire they are NOT at risk! What I find is there are so many dealerships out there in clear violation of the TCPA Compliance and are risk for lawsuits... class action lawsuits! What is worse is that some for these dealers have NO IDEA. They think what they are doing is legal because their CRM company or their Text Messaging Vendor says they are legit and compliant. I URGE ALL Dealers to consult with their Dealer Association and their attorneys and CONFIRM that they are 100% compliant and NOT at risk of a lawsuit or fines. TCPA-ctia-messaging-principles-and-best-practices.pdf

Here is some information that I have come across

* This is an article I found online:

When do I need permission to text someone? How do I know I really have permission? Are they contacts or subscribers!?

Did you know that you must legally obtain permission to send a text message to a mobile device?

The latest edition of the CTIA’s Best Practices Guide for SMS Marketing and Communications, released on January 19, 2017, places an additional degree of emphasis on consent and TCPA compliance.

As stated in our terms and conditions and usage policy, all of our clients have a legal obligation to ensure that their contact lists and messaging content are compliant with all applicable state and federal laws, as well as all requirements established and enforced by the CTIA that regulate SMS/text messages transmitted via short code.

What Is TCPA Compliance?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) went into effect in 1991, and it has since been modified to include SMS/text messaging.

In a nutshell, the TCPA stipulates that businesses and/or organizations must receive express written consent from individuals prior to sending any SMS/text messages to them.

Obtaining an individual’s phone number—regardless of whether they are a potential lead, an existing client, a former customer, or a member of your group or organization—is not the same as receiving permission to contact them.

There are only a few special exceptions under the TCPA (such as appointment reminders and delivery notifications) that may be subject to exemption. For additional information about compliance guidelines that apply to specific industries and/or audiences, The Data and Marketing Association’s Comprehensive Guide to Compliance is a useful resource.

Why Does This Matter?

The TCPA provides for a private right of action and statutory damages and permits class-action lawsuits. Damages start at $500 and go up to $1,500 per recipient for each text message sent.

If you are unsure as to whether your contact list meets the established criteria for consent outlined by the TCPA and CTIA documents referenced (and linked) above, we advise you to consult with your organization’s compliance team and/or legal counsel.

How to Start Importing

To enable contact import permissions, please complete the following steps:

  1. Review the documents referenced in this message
  2. Review your contact lists to determine if they meet the compliance requirements
  3. Edit your contact lists in consultation with your organization’s compliance team and/or legal counsel
  4. Email with a brief summary explaining how, when, and where consent has been documented for the contacts that you would like to upload
  5. Include the total number of contacts on your list

A member of our team will review your request and make every attempt to respond within one business day.

If your request is approved, you will receive a confirmation message and instructions for uploading your list as a CSV file into our system.

If your request is not approved, an alternative method for building a compliant contact list (such as keyword opt-ins or web form opt-ins) may be recommended, along with instructions and tips to help you succeed.

Disclaimer: Please note that this advice is for informational purposes only and is neither intended as nor should be substituted for consultation with appropriate legal counsel and/or your organization’s regulatory compliance team.


** This is the attachment that the Dealer Association Sent to the Dealer Principal (It is from a vendor and seems to be years old:

Today’s reality regarding real time communication is proven in the data. On average smart phone users in the United States send 764 text messages and place 164 phone calls per month. Without a doubt younger users skew the data, but even people aged 55 to 64 text on average 80 times per month and 65+ text on average 32 times per month. Based on this information we can say, “When in Rome do as the Romans do.” Texting has become the most efficient form of communication when immediacy (of a response) is needed.

Why should service advisor, sales person or your BDC text? Put yourself in your client’s shoes. A teacher in a classroom, a worker in the field, a professional in a meeting – all of them can reply to a text much faster and with more convenience than they can answer a call or return a voicemail.

The data supports this as texts are replied to, on average, within 4 minutes. The expectation for a return call to a voicemail is the same day and the expectation for an email is 24 hours. A teacher can text while class is in session, the carpenter can text with work in full swing and a lawyer can text while in a meeting.

Continue reading to better understand the rules as they apply to automobile dealerships in the United States.

Advantage Tec has all the proper DMS integration and texting solutions required for your staff to abide to the rules discussed below.

Do TCPA regulations allow businesses to text customers?

YES, businesses and their employees may market & communicate via text. However, there are rules businesses need to adhere to.
The salient points car dealerships need to know regarding mobile messaging in the United States.


TCPA – Telephone Consumer Protection Act
FCC – Federal Communications Commission
ATDS – Automatic Telephone Dialing System or Auto-Dialer
Text Messages – Text messages are “calls” for the purposes of the TCPA.

  1. Prior to September 23rd, 2013 you could text based on having an established business relationship with a customer. This is no longer the case. The TCPA rule no longer allows the “established business relationship” clause to circumvent written authorization. This means automobile dealerships must attain “prior express written consent” before telemarketing, advertising or texting from an auto-dialer, prerecorded device or software solution. Written consent must be clear and conspicuous and not be a condition of purchase. To comply, written consent can be attained with a written signature, through email, a website form, or a text message. You may not, however, send an ATDS text message requesting a person to opt-in.
  2. Prior to July 10th, 2015 FCC Declaratory Ruling and Order the definition of an ATDS or auto-dialer was unclear. The current ruling as of, July 10th 2015, and the most recent language states: “Auto-dialer” for the purposes of the TCPA, is any technology with the capacity to dial random or sequential numbers, regardless whether the technology has the current capacity to make the call in issue & equipment to send Internet-to-phone text messages. In summary, a service advisor or sales person who takes his personal phone and texts a client will not be liable under the TCPA for mobile texting. A dealership’s exposure lies in the inappropriate content a text message may contain. An advisor or sales person that uses an automotive vendor’s texting tool should attain written authorization prior to the software or an auto-dialer initiating a text conversation.
  3. The biggest misnomer and exposure that Advantage Tec sees with dealers using competitive offerings is the opt-in text. Specifically this means a text that is sent to a customer asking, “May I Text You” without prior written consent. A business cannot text a customer to ask if it is okay to text them without prior express consent. We see CRM vendors and texting vendors break this rule daily. Advantage Tec’s DMS integration assures compliance with these TCPA rules.

Car Dealers’ FAQs:

What are the highlights for car dealerships regarding the most recent TCPA regulations?

  • TCPA regulations are aimed at restricting unsolicited phone calls and text messages.
  • One must have unambiguous written consent before telemarketing or sending text messages from an ATDS. Oct. 16th, 2013.
  • Unsolicited commercial messages (phone & text) must include the ability to opt-out. Jan.14th, 2013.

What are the positives for auto dealerships in the most recent July 10th 2015 ruling?

There is a big positive in the most recent ruling. “Consent for non-telemarketing, non-advertising calls can be demonstrated by the called party giving prior oral or written consent, or by the caller giving their wireless number to the person initiating the autodialed call/text. This ruling is a positive for automotive dealers, as it reaffirms (at least in the nontelemarketing context) previous FCC Orders which recognize that by providing a business with a wireless number, the consumer has given prior express consent to receive a call.”

What is an ATDS or Auto-dialer?

An auto-dialer for the purposes of the TCPA is any technology with the capacity to dial random or sequential numbers, regardless whether the technology is actually used to make the call in issue, and it is not limited to its current configuration but also includes its potential functionalities. An ATDS can also be equipment to send Internet-to-phone text messages.

What is the difference between Text Marketing, One to One Bidirectional Texting and Immediate One-Time Text Messages?

Text Marketing is the name usually associated with a one-time blast with a marketing solicitation to a list of mobile phone numbers. This type of text marketing to customers that have not opted-in or given written consent is what the TCPA is trying to prevent.

One to One Bidirectional Texting is considered a conversation between two people. Although this is not mass marketing under strictest interpretation of the rules prior written consent should be attained for automated May-I-Contact You texts, automated appointment reminders texts, automated welcome texts and automated follow-up survey as an example. For one to one texts initiated by a service advisor written permission to text is not necessary (if no marketing or telemarketing message is in the text). For example, it is okay to ask for repair approval or notify customers that their vehicle is ready.

Immediate One-Time Text messages refer to one-time automated text messages sent immediately to a consumer’s request for information as part of an ad campaign. The automated response to the consumer’s request is TCPA compliant. According to the FCC, this type of text messaging is not “telemarketing” or “advertisement” texting, but merely the fulfillment of the consumer’s request for information. The FCC states that in order to qualify as a one-time automated text message it must (1) be requested by the consumer, (2) be sent immediately in response to a specific consumer request, (3) contain only the information requested by the consumer with no other marketing or advertising information.

Can a service advisor text a one to one personal message using texting software to help them get approval for job repairs or to notify a customer about vehicle status?

Since the repair message is likely not a marketing message, written consent based on the repair order will not be required. The provision of a cell phone number is sufficient consent for service advisors to call/text customers relating to the repair order. An automated text sent on behalf of a service advisor or dealership should only be sent with written consent.

Can a sales person text a customer with vehicle information, pictures or video using mobile messaging software in follow-up to a potential purchaser’s visit to the dealership if the potential purchaser gave the sales person their mobile number?

Text sent using a software solution will likely be considered by the FCC as an autodialed text message. The text message might also be considered a telemarketing message for which written consent is required under the TCPA.

Can a dealership follow up on an email lead with a text to that person?

No this is a violation of the TCPA rule. Express consent on the lead form or written consent is required.

Can a dealership follow up on a phone lead with a text to that person?

No, under the strictest interpretation this is a violation of the TCPA rule. Express consent on the lead form or written consent is required. However, courts may rule that a person leaving a dealership a voicemail probably wants to be contacted. If the response is timely and not telemarketing based it’s not likely to be a TCPA issue.

Can a dealership follow up on a chat lead with a text to that person?

No, this is a violation of the TCPA rule unless you receive written consent during the chat. The dealership must have written confirmation in the chat asking if they can call or text the number provided.

Can a dealership follow up on a text lead with a text to that person?

It is unlikely that written consent will exist, so sending a text to the person under the strictest interpretation of the TCPA is not allowed. However, common sense and the initiation of a text communication would indicate they are expecting a response to their text. As long as the response is timely, includes opt out instructions and is not telemarketing in nature then it is not likely to be a TCPA issue.

Can a dealership initiate an outbound text to a mobile phone number obtained from the DMS or CRM?

Yes if written consent was received from the person with the entry of the phone number into the DMS or CRM. As outlined above, a service advisor has latitude to text one on one if it is not a telemarketing text without written consent. This is not the case for a sales person.

Can a dealership initiate an outbound text to a mobile phone attained from a marketing list or other mobile phone list?

No. This is text marketing and written consent is needed – dealers should NOT do this.

How can a dealership show and track written consent?

Your texting solution provider should be able to show electronic written consent documentation and produce records of written consent.

Can an ATDS text a customer and ask if it is okay to text them or ask them to opt-in?

No. You cannot text a customer to ask them if it is okay to text them without prior express

What about Internet-to-Phone Messaging?

The FCC addressed the status of Internet-to-phone text messaging and qualified this technology as an auto-dialer under the TCPA. This is technology that allows a party to send an email to an address that combines a recipient’s mobile telephone number with the mobile provider’s domain name resulting in the delivery of an email message. Such a text requires prior written consent.

Are there any exceptions to the TCPA texting rules?

The FCC order has granted limited exceptions to TCPA liability for certain free “proconsumer” calls or text messages about time-sensitive financial issues or health care messages.

What are the fines or violations fees?

If there is a violation, the statutory penalty is $500 per violation (call/text). If a plaintiff can show the violation was knowing or willful a court can increase the penalty up to $1,500.

Why are these TCPA regulation so complicated? Why do I hear different rules from different vendors?

On July 10th 2015 the FCC issued a 166 page Declaratory Ruling and Order. The rules are subject to interpretation. With time the courts will determine the interpretations in the rulings. A recent example is the summary judgment in favor of defendant Shac, LLC. The court determined that the promotional text messaging sent by Shac involved human intervention and therefore was not an auto-dialer for TCPA purposes. So, despite the FCC increasingly expansive regulatory action against telemarketers, the court has applied more reasonable standards in interpreting TCPA regulations.

How do I know which car dealership mobile messaging software solution providers are TCPA complaint?

The texting software vendor can only help you achieve compliance with proper process, education and software. It is the dealership that must be complaint; a good software solution will guide personnel with screens that allow or do not allow messaging based on written consent.

What should every dealership do to practice safe texting?

  • At the point of sale collect written consent from the customer allowing you to text them in the future.
  • At the point of service or when a customer brings in a car for service or repair collect written consent from the client.
  • Attain written consent on website forms and chat. Whenever you capture phone numbers in lead forms or in person make it part of the dealership process to attain the customer’s consent to be contacted via text messages.
  • Make sure to honor opt-outs. Offer “text stop to end” in messages sent and make sure your mobile messaging vendor blocks unsubscribed numbers from all future text messages.

Are TCPA regulations something a dealership should discuss with their attorney?

Yes. This document does not provide legal advice. It has been written by Advantage Tec to help businesses better understand TCPA & FCC rules. The reader of this document should not rely legally 

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The Internet & Phones Are the NEW “Showroom” … Your Cheese Has Been Moved 856-546-2440 

When I first entered the automotive sales industry in 1999, my sales manager at the time gave me a copy of the New York Times Best Seller, “Who Moved My Cheese,” written by Spencer Johnson, M.D. This motivational fable centers around navigating through unexpected twists in your journey to find “cheese” (a metaphor for what you want in life). It was this book that inspired me to think outside of the box.

I entered the automotive industry at an interesting time. The “internet” had just started to become something. We were receiving internet purchase requests from our OEM via fax! Our “CRM” was a paper desk log and a highlighter. Our data mining / equity mining and customer retention was done from a little box filled with index cards.

When I got into the business, the vast majority of dealers and managers didn’t like or understand the internet. Most thought (incorrectly) that the internet was merely a fad. Many in the industry had negative feelings surrounding internet prospects and internet sales.

After I read “Who Moved my Cheese,” I was determined to avoid getting sucked into this negativity, and instead, I embraced the internet and took an active role in overcoming the challenges that came with it. I studied as much as I could on my own, taking classes on everything from website design, to SEO, etc. I earned certifications in this new field so I could evolve with the world in my new career. All of this paid off beyond belief.

I went from averaging 30+ units per month on the showroom floor (I was a sales consultant but “handled” all the internet leads because no one else wanted to), to becoming a manager and getting recruited to a dealer group in Central New Jersey (Pine Belt).

By 2002, I was delivering 110 units per month online at a Nissan Kia Cadillac dealership and holding gross!

Fast forward 16 years later to today, where I am blessed with perspective. I’ve trained more than 25,000 automotive sales professionals, and worked with 1,100 roof tops, everything from single-point “mom-and-pop” dealerships on the brink of bankruptcy to billion-dollar and publicly-traded dealer groups. I’ve learned so much about what works and what doesn’t.

I’m sad to report that despite increased tools to aid sales efforts, a vast majority of dealers today are not even close to delivering 110 units per month online — what I was doing 16 years ago! And NO, it’s not just because of opportunity or location. There are dealers today that have better franchises, better location, better inventory, more inventory, more money, more people, and still do not even come close to what we were doing in New Jersey, 16 years ago. It has to do with infrastructure, philosophy and strategy.

NADA says:

  • 92-99% of Americans go online before they step foot into a dealership.
  • The average car shopper spends over 11 hours conducting research.
  • The average prospect is visiting 10 dealerships or websites (online) before they ever visit a dealer onsite.
  • The average in-market buyer ONLY visits 1.2 dealerships.
  • The average closing ratio for an internet prospect or phone prospect once they show up to an appointment is 45 – 52%!

What this means is that if you get them to the dealership as an appointment, they will buy from you unless something goes wrong at the dealership. To be specific, I am talking about actual in-market buyers…people that are qualified to buy an automobile from you. The data is clear, it is not an opinion – it is fact. Hardly anyone that buys a car (who is qualified) goes from dealership to dealership (physically) anymore. That is why NADA says it’s “1.2” dealerships they visit. Folks, we know there is no such thing as a .2 dealership! Let me repeat that again. An actual in-market, qualified buyer only visits 1.2 dealerships period. This means if you are successful in getting them to the dealership you will sell them an automobile. Obviously, this excludes if something goes wrong or if they are upside down on their trade, their credit is unqualifiable, the vehicle is not available or they are not realistic. But for the most part, the vast majority will buy from you. You just need to get them to your dealership for that appointment!

NADA also says that out of the 16,500 franchised dealerships in the U.S., the average dealership:

Delivers 96 units

  • Has 10 sales consultants
  • Has two sales managers
  • Has either and/or both a GM or GSM
  • Has an F&I manager
  • The average sales consultant delivers on 9.6 units per month
  • The average cost per sales in advertising is $640 per car sold
  • The average closing ratio on a fresh showroom prospect is 18-20%
  • The average dealership has approximately 480 showroom opportunities (in dealership prospect visits)
  • That is 14-15 professionals for ONLY 480 opportunities!

On the flip side, the average dealership receives approximately 400 FRESH internet and phone opportunities per month (sometimes just internet leads alone are 400). Plus, there is a “residual flow factor” of an additional 250-300 “carry-over” leads. Realistically, the average dealership has 650-700 REAL opportunities (both fresh and carry over) every single month but they have a fraction of the support staff as the showroom does. The average dealership either:

  • Has those internet and phone leads distributed to the showroom floor and makes the sales team follow up with all those opportunities in addition to all the other things they are supposed to be doing.
  • Has a BDC or some version of a BDC model in their dealership but even with some version of a “BDC,” they only have approximately two full-time BDC reps, or a BDC manager and one to two reps at most.

The result is that the vast number of dealerships don’t even convert a true 10% of the 400 fresh opportunities, never mind 12-15% of the total opportunities of both the fresh and carry-over leads. Remember the total opportunities per month are 650-700. That means the total deliveries should be between 75-105! Yes, that is right, if a dealership receives 400 fresh leads per month but has a residual flow factor of 250-300 and a REAL 650-700 opportunities to do business! With that said, 75-100+ is more than realistic. It is their responsibility. If not, you are leaving money on the table. But yet, the vast number of dealers struggle to deliver 40 out of the 400 fresh leads!

The reason this is happening is because the majority of dealerships are NOT set up correctly. They are still using traditional thinking and strategy for both HR and for marketing. Dealers are still setting up for the “traditional showroom,” 10 sales consultants, 3-4 managers to deliver the average of 96 units.

But as we clearly have identified, the internet and phones are the NEW showroom so why are dealers still setting up their showroom with an antiquated strategy?

We have taken Route 4 Cars in Paramus, N.J. from delivering 75 units per month online to 298 units per month online at $2,300 per copy! And we did it by treating this department like it was a full-blown dealership. They have 10 BDC reps, an internet director and two sales managers / desk managers (one for Chrysler and one for Hyundai). They are a self-contained “dealership” within their dealership. Their internet department delivers triple the number of units than the average dealership. As an example, here’s a typical month for them:

  • Start the month approximately 900 carry-over leads on day one of the new month
  • They receive approximately 1,600 fresh emails and phone calls.
  • Their 10 BDC reps make a total of approximately 29,000 outbound calls
  • Their BDC tracks approximately 3,300 conversations / connections
  • Their BDC makes over 950 appointments
  • They have more than 590 appointments show
  • To deliver 298 units at $2,300 per copy…

As you can see, their internet, phone, BDC department is more accurately described as a “follow-up” department. That is exactly what they mostly do. Look at the amount of outbound calls it takes to convert to a connection! I didn’t even get into all of the other forms of communication opportunities like:

  • Text messaging
  • Emails
  • Video
  • Video email
  • Video text messaging
  • Video social media communications
  • Apple Facetime / Skype
  • Social Media communications (like Facebook or Instagram “DM”)
  • Chat

The question is how in the world can a showroom sales team follow up with ALL of that (and at that level) while doing all of the “traditional” showroom sales activities? The answer is, it is impossible!

Let me explain by sharing an experience I had while speaking at an elite NADA Ford 20 Group. I was speaking with a GM of a single-point Ford dealership located down South. The GM was very proud to profile his dealership for me:

  • Single-Point Ford Dealership
  • 27 Sales Consultants
  • 4 Sales Managers
  • Plus, a GM and 2 F&I Managers
  • Total of 34 Automotive Professionals and Managers

When I asked him how many units he delivered from phone and internet, without blinking he said, “111.” I said, “Your organization is MASSIVELY underperforming!” He looked at me like I was crazy but I quickly explained that if you do just basic math… 300 – 111 = 189. Divide 189 by the 27 sales consultants. That means if you take phone ups and internet ups out of the equation, then the sales team is only averaging seven units per salesperson per month! And without giving him a second to breath I added, “And, if you are paying them on bonuses for volume, you are paying and incentivizing them to be complacent with mediocrity!” He still seemed confused so I explained, “There are eight ways a showroom sales consultant can sell an automobile:”

  1. Walk-In
  2. Be-Back
  3. Internet Up
  4. Phone Up
  5. Prior Customer / Orphan Owner
  6. Referral
  7. Service Conversion
  8. Prospecting

If you take phone and internet out of the equation and the sales team is only averaging seven units per month per salesperson. But yet there are six entirely different other ways to sell a car. What are they doing? What are they not doing? He almost fell out of the chair. He got it.

Let me go even deeper. His dealership was designed for showroom operations with HR and marketing. But the reality was the vast amount of opportunities flowing in were for Internet Sales and Phone Sales. So, his team was focusing their time on reacting to those opportunities. They were the low-hanging fruit and well in abundance!

Here is the worst part… Because his dealership was not set up the correct way, their internet operation was not yielding as many units as they could have because they did NOT have the infrastructure in place to receive maximum return.

If they had the infrastructure similar to Route 4 in New Jersey, they could have easily NET increased another 60-70 units from the Internet / BDC side of the business. AND if they had the proper amount of people (and the right people, trained with the right processes) on the internet / phone side, that would have freed up all 27 sales consultants to spend the proper amount of time, attention and skill on the other six ways they could sell an automobile like:

  1. Maximizing fresh walk-in traffic
  2. Increasing be-backs
  3. Working the service drive for service conversions
  4. Maximizing ALL prior customers and orphan owners
  5. Generate MORE referrals and create more referral agents
  6. Prospect more, provide more deals that do NOT come from the dealership

**If the dealership was able to modestly increase the average units delivered per salesperson per month from 7 to 9, the dealership would be able to achieve a NET increase of 54 additional units from the showroom side! That is a total NET increase from both the showroom and internet / phone side of 114-124 (at $2,000 per copy). That is an additional $280,000 per month additional revenue and almost 3.5 MILLION additional revenue the first year. All of that by understanding the “cheese” has been moved. There is a NEW way to do business. Dealers need to accept this, make adjustments in their strategy and this will allow them to absolutely begin to generate more revenue immediately!

This is NOT an idea or a hypothetical. This is REALITY. The dealers that want to sell more cars, more often and more profitability are the ones that evolve. The dealers that don’t will have to be complacent with mediocrity or risk getting destroyed by competition.

If you would like to learn more about how to find your “cheese,” email me at for a free strategy session. It would be my pleasure to assist you.

About the Author

Sean V. Bradley, CSP is an entrepreneur, published author, speaker, and award-winning international trainer. He is an eight-time NADA/ATD convention speaker and a FranklinCovey Certified Facilitator. He has earned the coveted “CSP” designation in the National Speakers Association. Sean is also a member of the elite “Million Dollar Speakers Group” in the NSA, as well as a State Association Speaker and Trainer. He has spoken at over 217 NCM and NADA 20 Groups. Sean has personally trained over 25,000 automotive sales professionals in 1,100 unique roof tops. EMAIL:

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3 Scholarships Available For The Upcoming Internet Sales 20 Group 3- Day Training Conference In Philly July 10th - 12th 

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17 Tips for Effective Time Management

Prioritize, complete, delegate or delete your tasks to maximize production and achieve your goals.

Are you tired of feeling like you never have enough time? You worked all day without stopping, yet you cannot clearly identify the tasks that have been completed. Unfortunately (and fortunately), we all have the same exact amount of time to maximize or waste.

There are 86,400 seconds in a day. Once they are gone, they are gone. Use them wisely! It’s time to stop working harder and start working smarter. Being busy is not an indicator of success. Instead of creating habits to be busy, create habits to do more in the same amount of time or less.

The No. 1 concern I hear from auto dealers is that there is not nearly enough time to accomplish tasks. Most people are investing some serious hours in the store, yet they leave feeling dissatisfied with their productivity level. Their stress level is through the roof. They are agonizing over the tasks that didn’t get done and dreading their return the following day.

When I conduct time-management training and consulting, I begin by qualifying the method in which the members of the organization manage their tasks. I typically find that half are crisis-oriented, allowing the day to take them wherever it goes depending on what fires they are putting out, and the other half are “to-do” list-driven. While the latter is way more efficient than just allowing the day to lead them, this still is not enough.

The following 17 tips will bring you closer to increased productivity. They will help you distinguish the priority tasks from distractions disguised as tasks and, ultimately, achieve your goals.

1. Stop saying you don’t have enough time!  Our thoughts become our words and our words become our actions. If you continue to tell yourself that you do not have enough time, you won’t.

2. Maintain a master task list, but not just a long, running list, randomly arranged. Instead, assign due dates to those items based on priority level. You should have two tasks lists: one for personal tasks and one for professional tasks.

3. Use the “ABC” order method to assign priority levels to your tasks. A. items are items that are due the same day, B. items are items that are due within the next few days and C.items are tasks that are due a week or more out. Items that have due dates are clearly defined, but for the others, assign them.

4. Take your ABCs one step further. Once you qualify your tasks as As, Bs and Cs, drill down deeper by turning your As into A1, A2, A3, A4 and so on. This will give you the ability to put your most important tasks in sequential order.

5. Work in threes. Relieve the sense of feeling overwhelmed by thinking about three tasks at any given time. Handle your A1, A2 and A3 first, then assign the next three items. Small bites are easier to digest.

6. Work within your influence. As my daughter would say, you are not an octopus. You can only accomplish as much as you are physically able, so no need to concern yourself with Tasks Seven, Eight and Nine when you haven’t completed the six tasks before them.

7. Use the Three Ds. Do it, delegate it, or destroy it. As tasks arise, determine if you will do it and assign it an A, B or C or delegate it to someone else in the organization (or a friend or family member, if it’s personal). If the task doesn’t further advance your life personally or professionally, eliminate it completely!

8. Use a calendar and put all your appointments on it. The same goes for personal and professional engagements. Whatever gets scheduled gets done.

9. Just say “No”! Have the courage to say “No” to tasks when your plate is already full. If the task is being assigned from above, try asking, “I have no problem with jumping on that, but please let me know which of these other high-priority tasks you would like me to put off in order to accomplish this newly assigned task?”

10. Limit interruptions. Self-interruptions are a thing too. It takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption. Allocate an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon to label as “quiet time.”

11. Plan “interrupted” time too. Allocate one hour of the day to proactively determine what tasks need your assistance. Failing that, let your team members know that they can stop by at a certain time to get assistance.

12. OHIO — only handle it once. Don’t procrastinate. If you aren’t going to do it, delegate it or destroy it.

13. Don’t discriminate. In other words, don’t put off the tasks you don’t like doing. Take emotion out of it and work objectively.

14. When working on tasks, begin with the end in mind. Waiting to see where a project will take you is not a productive mindset. A defined agenda will keep you focused and moving smoothly, allowing you to complete tasks in a shorter time frame and reduce your stress level.

15. Pick a day of the week to complete each recurring task. Treat them like appointments and they will become habit.

16. Eliminate distractions. Don’t feel the need to answer the phone just because it is ringing or check emails constantly. This may be a hard habit to break, but close out your email browser and assign yourself certain times of the day to check emails, voicemails and social media.

17. Breathe. Unless you are performing brain surgery or dismantling explosives, I promise you it will be OK. Sometimes just taking a small timeout to rest your mind is enough to do the trick.

Karen Bradley is the CEO of Dealer Synergy. She has 10 years of sales training experience and nine years’ experience as a Franklin Covey-certified trainer and facilitator.


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"Test Driver" - Eye of the Tiger Parody Teaser from Dealer Synergy on Vimeo.

** WORLD PREMIER of the (Soon To Be SMASH HIT) "Test Driver" #TestDriverSong AKA the Rocky Song "Survivor" (Eye of the Tiger) PARODY for the #AutomotiveSales Industry! #CarDealers should be able to relate! As you might or might not know but we are famous at Internet Sales 20 Group for making AWESOME #MusicVideos , our LAST ONE we did, The Drake#HotlineBling PARODY went VIRAL and we got over 200,000 views BEFORE the Record Label FLAGGED US on YouTube so we reuploaded on Vimeo. There are NOT nearly as many views on Vimeo but thats why and WHY this song is on Vimeo as well so we don't lose it :) We will be shooting the OFFICIAL Music Video at the upcoming 10 in #Philly July 10-12. This year's production is going to be EVEN BIGGER than our SMASH VIRAL HIT "I just Wanna Sell A Car To You". So, please LIKE, COMMENT and more important SHARE this song. Lets get it ALL OVER the industry and lets get ready to CRUSH the Music Video in Philly at #IS20G10! THANK YOU ALL and a SPECIAL Thank you to L.a. Williams III aka L.A. Dubb who wrote and produced the track!!

Here is the Hotline Bling Parody MUSIC VIDEO "I just wanna sell a car to you" -

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