Top Dealerships Are Profiting From Video
Video is the most powerful resource for any car dealership. That’s right out of all of the shiny objects, magic beans and great ideas. “Video” is the most powerful opportunity for dealers to have an unfair competitive edge against their competition. But the problem is that the vast majority of dealerships do NOT have a video strategy and what is worse is that they do not even realize that they truly need one! As a matter of fact, 75% of ALL businesses in ALL verticals do not have a video strategy or even plan on creating one! This blows me away because video is a major part of our lives, it is totally integrated in everything we do.
The current lack of respect towards the importance of video and massive underestimating its viability reminds me of the “Hip Hop” music phenomenon. Most people thought that Hip Hop was a fad, it was a silly trend in music that would blow ever. Others though that Hip Hop was only for the urban market and corporate America stayed away from it. Well… that is obviously not the case. According to Forbes, Hip Hop currently generates over 10 Billion dollars per year and has moved past just music and the urban market. Hip Hop has integrated into every aspect of mainstream America. Now look at how the Internet was received in the Automotive Sales industry. It was looked at the same way as Hip Hop music. It was not taken seriously. Dealers thought it too was a fad and would pass. It had no legs. Back in 1995 – 2000, in the early days most dealerships still did not even have a CRM. They were using paper desk logs with highlighters and the OEMs knew that dealers were not taking the Internet opportunities seriously. They use to have to fax dealers Internet leads because dealers didn’t understand or utilize the Internet correctly. Then came Social Media, dealers thought that too was a fad like the Internet itself. They believed that it was a waste of time and a distraction. They thought incorrectly that you couldn’t sell cars on Facebook. Now, there are dealerships like Castle Auto Group in Chicago that are selling a tremendous amount of quantifiable units directly from Facebook on a monthly basis. The same is happening to Video. Sean V. Bradley, CSP wrote the first article in the Automotive Sales industry about Video Search Engine Optimization in 2006.Ten years later and most dealers still do not understand VSEO never mind using it as part of their dealership’s digital marketing strategy. Fast forward three or five years from now, would you be reading this article or would you be watching it on video?
Here are some of the most recent and powerful statistics of video:
Car dealerships also have a couple of other realities confused. Just because you have video content doesn’t mean it has any search engine optimization (SEO) value. There is an art to “Video Search Engine Optimization”. Unfortunately, there are a lot of pirate companies and vendors that peddle VSEO but have no idea what they are doing and don’t possess the true skills and knowledge to optimize dealers’ video content. To be clear, video content on a website, social media or anywhere doesn’t automatically mean that the video is optimized. A video on YouTube for example is almost like a full blown website
A website and video BOTH have:
Video SEO is UNIQUE because:
Another colossal mistake that dealers actively do daily is utilize generic, recycled video content from their OEM or from the Internet and expect it to be search engine optimizable. This is seriously wrong because if you are a Chevrolet dealership how can Google rank one of your OEM videos on the first page of Google when it is being used by 3,000 other Chevy dealerships across the country. Same thing if a dealership is buying video clips or content online or worse straight hijacking video on YouTube utilizing websites like www.KeepVid.com.
Now that it is seriously clear the power of video in general, lets dive into how important video is for the Automotive Sales industry specifically. Here are some recent Automotive Sales Video Stats:
Now that we have talked about the “Why” video is so important, let us discuss the “How”. Specifically, how can dealerships use video to take their organizations to the next level and not compete in their market but truly dominate their market.
Here are some of the most successful and profitable dealerships in the country with video:
The Atlantic Auto Group AKA The “New York Auto Giant” in Long Island, New York
The Atlantic Auto Group, led by the eCommerce Director for the dealer group, Toni Anne Fardette saw the true potential of video production and invested in a full video production strategy by creating high quality but cost effective video production for all 22 roof tops in her dealer group. All of their roof tops use video for:
RK Auto Group’s (Featured on the cover) Dealer Principal, Jim Gee and its GSM John Luciano saw tremendous value in video production enough to invest in a cost effective Dealer video production company to come to their dealership with a team of highly trained video production specialists that soley work with Car Dealerships and understand Automotive Internet Sales, BDC and the culture that goes with it. RK was able to showcase its beautiful dealership and their unique value package proposition with some of the most advanced video production technology and techniques at a fraction of the cost they thought it would cost.
RK Auto Group utilizes the same video production strategy as the $1.1 Billion Dollar Atlantic Auto Group. But unlike the New York Auto Giant, RK Auto Group is an average size Chevy, Kia & Subaru dealership in NJ. One additional video strategy RK utilizes is to show public how altruistic they are. They are huge supporters of the community. In their “Why Buy From Us” video, they show and discuss how out of the 3,000+ Chevy dealerships in the country, they have been the #1 Chevy dealership for Chevrolet’s “Making Strides For Breast Cancer”… for the last 4 straight years!
Castle Auto Group is a 3 roof top Dealer Group in Chicago that generates 3,000 leads per month (Almost ALL of their traffic is organically generated) and delivers over 350 units online per month! Castle Auto Group has similar strategies as the other dealerships mentioned. Additionally they have an aggressive Video email template library in their dealership CRM. Internet Director Gus Medina and ISMs Mike Rodriguez and Oliva Montoya spent a lot time creating CUSTOM video email templates for follow up, and customer relationship management. Their video email strategy has increased email read opens and their appointment shows are AVERAGING 70% plus!! That is because they are utilizing video emails for ALL appointment confirmations.
AutoFlex Leasing in Richardson, Texas delivers 300+ units per month at over $3,500 per copy! They created a powerful video strategy (similar to everyone listed thus far). One of Dealer Principal, David Blassingame’s favorite videos is his dealership’s “Video TO”. That is right, he created a video himself where he says “I heard you are no longer are interested in a car from us… I hope it wasn’t something we did etc..”. He has that video set as an automatic action plan in his CRM and ANYTIME a sales person or BDC rep deads a lead for ANY reason, the prospect gets a “Video TO” from him directly. David says that has been one of the most powerful tools ever!
Even Sales Professionals are understanding the power of video. Jeff Cormier has the absolute most powerful website in the country for a showroom sales consultant, www.JustAskForJeff.com He has video throughout his website but one of the most effective uses of video is for both the new and pre-owned inventory. If someone goes to his website and clicks new or used car inventory and does NOT see what they are looking for via video he tells them not to worry, that the vehicle is probably in transit but if not he can get it for them within 48 hours etc… What is so amazing is that most dealerships don’t even set expectations for prospects if they do not find what they are looking for. And “Inventory” is the #1 visited place on a dealership’s website.
Type into Google “2014 Toyota Sienna NJ) and you will find a large video player first position natural Google and then in second position natural Google, there is another video listing. The punchline is… its for the HONDA Dealership! The local Honda dealership is conquesting ALL of the Toyota Dealerships in NJ and crushing them with this placement.
I can keep going with example after example. Please call me at 856-546-2440 or email me at Karen@dealersynergy.com for a free strategy session and a complete list of what kind of videos you should be shooting and where to use them at.
Check out this interview I did with my friend Jeff Cormier for Dealer Synergy. Jeff crushed it! Auto Pros need to pay attention to what he is doing. He literally has the absolute BEST website in the entire Automotive Sales industry for a showroom sales consultant! Take a look at his website www.JustAskForJeff.com . AND... it is still a work n progress!
But more than the awesome technology and great value he provides his clients like by being the ONLY CERTIFIED Car Seat Installer / Inspector in his county!! Jeff gives to the community he is a member of "Super Heros for Kids" in Ohio.
I invite you all to look at his website, read about Jeff Cormier. Get to know him and friend him on Facebook (And all other social media). This is a rising star in our industry and great things are going to be coming from him. Karen and I are 100% behind him and truly look forward to sharing in his success!
Also, let us know what you think of his website and if you have any other ideas what we could or should add to it to make it even better!
Thank you my friends-
The gist of the article was that dealers don’t see enough return on their investment in social media.
Why do you think this is?
Is this because people aren’t interested in their local dealers on social media, or is it because campaign effectiveness in social media lacks?
A 2014 survey of more than 10,000 active car buyers found that social media ranked far below dealer websites, web searching and the automotive news media as a source of information when they are shopping.
In the NY Times article, Hyundai of Huntsville General Manager Matt Howell is quoted as saying that personal relationships are more important than social media, and that he is yet to attribute any meaningful impact on his business to social media.
Could it be that this manager does not truly understand the role of social media, or is he simply taking the wrong approach?
In the aforementioned article, another dealer is quoted saying, “I don’t even bother wasting my people’s time posting all day.” By focusing on ads, including ones that target car buyers when they are near rival dealers, the dealer reported an increase in sales while cutting marketing expenses per car sold to $90 from $500.
Are Facebook Ads the answer to dealers’ woes with social media? What about producing quality content that engages people, like other brands do, which marketers continue to stress importance?
What is “quality” dealer content anyway?
Is it happy customer videos? Is it warm fuzzy photos and videos that make people feel good?
When I encounter dealers producing this type of content, engagement is low, e.g. single digits. This is no way to market your dealership. Do you see other local retailers do this?
Which brings me to my point…
Dealers are local multi-million dollar operations that are unique in the retail world. You can’t really equate franchise dealerships to any other entities in an apples-to-apples comparison. However, they are franchises, they are retailers, and they do thrive on repeat customer business much like other local franchises and retailers, so many of the same basic principles do apply:
While all four of these suggestions are equally important, each of them requires its own strategy to achieve.
The customer experience is a byproduct of the integrity of the dealership, which begins at the ownership level and works it way through the fabric of the organization. Most dealerships in my experience do provide a good customer experience, but no organization is perfect. There is always room for improvement. Without this, everything else is in vein. If your dealership isn’t reaching or exceeding your standard on customer experience then you need to strive to be a change agent there or else move on.
This is a challenging objective, especially over time. My philosophy is that dealers need to lean on whatever resources they can to consistently provide quality relevant content. By “quality and relevant” I mean information that is published by the dealership on dealership resources, e.g. the dealership blog and social media profiles.
The information does not always have to be produced by the dealership, but the more that can be, the better.
Here’s a resource; check out Jason Stum’s Ultimate Blogger Resource Pack on his siteMarketPunch. Here you will find multiple resources that Jason has produced to give dealers powerful useful resources for producing blog content which of course can then be used in social media. This could be a terrific starting point for you.
Take my word for it, people aren’t interested in videos of your happy customers and they aren’t interested in gimmicky information such as cute pet videos. People want to know what’s in it for them and when you can save them time and money and give them a great value then you don’t want to be shy about letting them know that.
Put together exceptional offers, make them look and sound fantastic, and then let as many people know about them as possible. The great thing about digital media today is that it gives us insights as to who might want to know about what, and when, and how. Leverage today’s advanced tools and data and partners to execute smart and effective marketing and advertising campaigns.
As I just mentioned, leverage today’s advanced tools and data and technology. Dealers today have access to incredible resources, giving you the ability to reach people across multiple channels and different platforms and devices. But you need to harness these resources through key vendor relationships.
If you are tuning out vendors because you don’t want to be bothered by the noise then you are doing you and your dealership a disservice. If that’s the case then you might want to consider avendor visit protocol. You are not a data or computer technology company, you are a car dealership; you sell and service vehicles.
The Dealer Synergy Video Production Team produced and directed this AWESOME track that hits home with Automotive Sales Professionals all over the country. EVERYONE can relate to this song and the Music video is funny as hell!
If you LOVE the Song and Video, please comment, like and SHARE with EVERYONE PLEASE! Lets make this song go viral!
The #1 Song In The Automotive Sales Industry "I Just Wanna Sell A Car To You" Drake's Hotline Bling Parody
Here is another example of a "Value Package Proposition" or "Why Buy From Us" video that the Dealer Synergy Video Production Team created for #AtlanticHonda part of the Atlantic Auto Group in #NewYork. Let me know what you think. If you have any question about a "Why Buy From Us" message or video, please ask away!
Toni Anne is the eCommerce Director of the Atlantic Auto Group, a 1.1 Billion Dollar Dealer Group based in Long Island New York. She was recently the COVER Story for Auto Dealer Daily (Monthly) Magazine for December 2015.
Check out that Cover Story - http://www.autodealermonthly.com/article/story/2015/12/building-an-online-empire.aspx
And please click this Video Review she did for Dealer Synergy -
For information on Video Production or Consulting, please call or text 267-319-6776
Thank you Jeff Cormier for such an awesome #review!
Karen and I loved getting to know you, Emily and your beautiful daughter!! You have an amazing family! It is an honor to call you all our friends. You are so very welcome. This industry loves you guys!
Trice Finch, Epic Auto Sales Manager Reviews The Internet Sales 20 Group 8 - IS20G
This video was created at the Internet Sale's 20 Group in New Orleans, LA. This song was written by Dealer Synergy's team and LA Williams. Produced and Performed by LA Williams. This was created to be a parody of Drake's Hotline Bling.
Most Up To Date Statistics State That Car Dealerships Need A Video Strategy - 2015 Video Is The Most Powerful Tool For A Car Dealership. A dealership or dealer group can utterly crush the competition and have an unfair advantage in their market by having a video strategy. This video has the most up to date video statistics. Most businesses do not have a video strategy. Here are the areas that a dealership needs to focus on for video: - Video Search Engine Optimization - Video Emails - Video Conferencing - Video for Website(s) - Video for Social Media - Comparison Videos - How to videos - Videos for CRM - and so much more!
Meet Jeff Cormier, the "6 Million Dollar Car Salesman". Jeff is a Car Salesman at Liberty Ford in Ohio and just recently lost his 6 year old son, Xander. I found out about his situation on Facebook. I was rocked by his story and donated to his GoFundMe account (The original one) but I couldn't get him out of my head. My heart just broke for this man and his family and I wanted to do something more... So, I reached out to Jeff and started to mention him, guild him, train him in Car Sales. I know for the rest of his life he is going to have to deal with the reality of life without his son. That is hard enough, money should NOT be a concern. I didn't want him to struggle or worry about money. I wanted to teach him how to be a massive success in Car Sales. I wanted to teach him how he can build his own business from scratch and really make being a Car Salesman like he is running his own business!
So, I enlisted some of my friends in the industry that happen to be publicly traded companies, 100 million dollar companies and even billion dollar companies. These vendors were AMAZING! They provided products and services to Jeff that are going to help take his business to the next level!
Jeff is being set up with MORE products and services than the average dealership! This is truly amazing to watch. Take a look at the full list of vendors that are going above and beyond!
Register for the Internet Sales 20 group 8 #IS20G #New Orleans to meet the "6 Million Dollar Car Salesman"
Here is the link to the DealerElite post that I did earlier...
The "Internet Sale" is REALLY A "Phone Sale"
If you are one of those Internet sales managers or business development center agents who takes pride in their email templates and spends a ton of time reading and writing amazing emails, you are not going to like this article.
Emails suck! That’s right, I said it. Emails suck. They have the lowest percentage of engagement and conversion of virtually any form of communication. And yet untrained Internet sales representatives spend the majority of their time playing the email game and wondering why they are not crushing it online.
Let me break down the reality for you:
The average email open rate is 2% to 4%
Only 7% of all communication is text (emails, chat or text messaging)
Nine out of 10 people on the Internet prefer to communicate via the phone
Tone and inflection is 38% of communication
Visual perception and body language is 55% of communication
For the readers out there who might not know me, I want you to know that, before I became a consultant, I ran an Internet department that sold more than 110 units per month online — and that was way back in 2001–’04, when it was all brand-new. I have since trained more than 13,000 automotive sales professionals in more than 900 dealerships, and I have been able to identify what actually works, what doesn’t work, what sometimes works and what works all the time. And one thing I know never works is relying on email to sell cars. The Internet purchase request may start via email, but it almost always escalates to the phone.
The Philosophy of Communication
There are clear rules of engagement for communicating with prospective car buyers. Email sells the phone call, the phone call sells the appointment and the appointment builds the relationship. That relationship is what leads to the product presentation, the demo drive and, ultimately, the sale.
I am not suggesting you shut down your email server. I am merely asking you to prioritize your follow-up. Focus your attention where you are going to have the maximum effect. As Stephen Covey of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” fame says, “Put first things first.”
I suggest you create an amazing email template library. If you do not have one and feel you are not skilled enough to create one, find a consultant who is and hire them. Here is a snapshot of three types of emails you should create and the strategy you need to use each one effectively:
1. Traditional email: Create an email for every one of the first 31 days of contact. Make sure each one articulates what is different and what makes your dealership a better choice than your competition — both local and national. Remember, price only becomes relevant when there is an absence of value, so the goal here is to create and build your dealership’s value proposition.
2. Video email: Video has a click rate that is 53 times higher than standard email messages. People prefer to watch videos to get the information they need in a single viewing. This is so much more effective and compelling than emailing back and forth with every customer. Videos allow you to ensure your message is clear and concise and conveys exactly what you want car buyers to know. It also cuts down on the confusion and misunderstandings that occur when someone misreads an email.
3. Client reviews and testimonials: One way to add value to your emails is to include current and past customer reviews. Even better are video testimonials that allow your potential buyers to hear directly from those who have already purchased on why your dealership is the best. You should also look to incorporate Google and Yelp reviews of both your dealership and salespeople to help build your reputation as the kind of person and place buyers want to do business with.
Create a powerful email library that incorporates all of these techniques and integrate it within your overall CRM strategy, then forget about it. That’s right: set it, forget it and let the CRM do what it is designed to do: deploy an automated email action plan for fresh leads, dead leads, sold leads, engaged leads — everything! With your email template library and automated action plan in place, you can now focus on dialing the phone. That is where the money is.
Yes, It Really Works
Calling Internet prospects escalates the level of communication, reduces the confusion and miscommunication inherent to email and helps establish a personal relationship.
Calling Internet prospects escalates the level of communication, reduces the confusion and miscommunication inherent to email and helps establish a personal relationship.
I know I am going to get some pushback on this article. I can hear it now: “But, Sean, what if someone says, ‘Email only, do not call me’?” I don’t care. I am still picking up the phone and calling them. “What if they say, ‘Just email me the bottom-line price’?” I don’t care. I am still calling. “What if they say they want the information on a specific vehicle in stock and provide the stock number?” I don’t care. I am picking up the phone and calling them, period.
This might sound archaic, but it really isn’t. The reality is that the average prospect is going to find and visit 10 dealership websites before they ever set foot in a store. I want to escalate the level of communication as quickly as possible so I can sell an appointment. The average (qualified) prospect visits less than two dealerships in person before they purchase a vehicle. The game is won or lost on the phone.
When dealers hire me to consult for them and I evaluate their current process deficiencies, one of the most common time-wasters is Internet managers and reps spending excess time reading each individual lead, looking at what the prospect is asking for and then writing a custom response. Or worse, actually creating a custom video response way too soon. The reason this is actually counterproductive is that Internet teams are spending too much time reading and creating emails versus actually connecting with prospects. Remember, the email open rate is only 4% at best! It truly does not make sense to look at each individual Internet purchase request, read it, respond to it and then decide whether or not to make a phone call. This just wastes time.
You want to make sure your Internet or BDC team is trained on phone sales. The average connection on phone calls is 11% to 14%. If you condition your sales reps to make at least 120 outbound calls per day, in an eight-hour day, on average, they will connect with up to 17 potential buyers — every day.
Keep in mind, these are the Internet sales coordinators or BDC reps. They are not doing product presentations, demo drives or deliveries. Their whole objective is to establish connections with prospects. Why waste time manually reading and responding to every email possible when it will only result in connecting with an average of a maximum of five potential buyers out of that same pool of 120 prospects?
Use email to set up the phone call and get customers engaged at a high level. That is the true path to Internet sales success. If you disagree, let me know — or better yet, try it and see the results for yourself.
Sean V. Bradley CSP is CEO of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized digital marketing expert and author of “Win the Game of Googleopoly,” a No. 1 Amazon bestseller.
SOURCE - http://www.autodealermonthly.com/channel/internet-department/article/story/2015/09/internet-leads-are-phone-leads.aspx
http://dealersynergy.com/Internet-Director-Development - 856-546-2440
Internet Director Development Training Workshop - October 13-14, Cherry Hill - New Jersey
The Internet Sales 20 Group is the preeminent workshop in the automotive industry, and is designed to be highly interactive, and this year’s IS20G8 is dedicated to the Cormier family. For every IS20G 8 ticket sold, we will donate $100 to support the Cormier family. So help the Cormier family and raise awareness about natural allergens and their impact on asthma suffers, by purchasing your IS20G8 ticket now. Use coupon code XANDERIS20G for special pricing!!!
To Register for the Internet Sales 20 Group 8 -
And for all you IS20G 8 news and information, visit the website:
Please Support One Of Our Own, Internet Sales Manager & Military Veteran, Jeff Cormier Suffered An Unspeakable Tragedy… He lost his 6 year old son, Xander. Please Help Support This Family
Karen Bradley Training FranklinCovey's "Put First Things First" - 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Certified FranklinCovey Trainer and Facilitator, Karen Bradley is onsite at Route 4 Cars in NJ. Route 4 Cars is a 2 roof top dealer group in New Jersey that delivers over 500 units per month and wants to increase to over 600 units per month and they feel the best way to accomplish that is by INVESTING in their people. So, Route 4 Cars hired Dealer Synergy to train their entire executive team on the official FranklinCovey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Foundations Curriculum.
In this video Karen is training on the 3rd Habit… "Put First Things First". Another way of saying that is "be careful of distractions disguised as opportunities".
Here is FranklinCovey "Time Matrix"
If you have any questions or would like more training you can go to www.BradleyOnDemand.com or call Dealer Synergy at 856-546-2440
Sean V. Bradley's Evolution Keynote For Industry Summit's Tech Talks
Make Money Mondays - Use Video And Text Sales Prospects
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