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All You Need To Know About Road Trip Safety

Road trips make for the best vacations and the ones that you get the most family memories from. They are also somewhat complicated to organize, especially if you’re traveling with kids and going on long stretches where you can’t get assistance on the road.

As is the case with most safety issues, the key is to predict what the problems might be and to prepare for them beforehand. This means that you may need to spend a bit more, but it will buy you peace of mind.

General checkup

The first thing to do is to make sure your car can withstand a long trip. That’s best done by driving to a mechanic and going for a general checkup. It’s a more expensive way to take care of cars but once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to notice a problem before it can actually cause some damage and more importantly, it won’t happen on the road. 

At the same time, you should do these checkups on a regular basis regardless of whether you’re going on a trip. When this is the case, it might not even be necessary to stop at the mechanic before you take the road trip.

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A good night’s sleep

Regardless of how good of a driver you are, you’re not at your best when you’re driving tired. That’s why you should plan your trip so that it starts in the morning after you’ve had a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast. 

It’s also recommended that you take breaks during the trip. It depends on where you’re going and how good of a driver you are but you should make a quick stop every four hours or so. This will keep you alert for the whole trip.

Losing your keys

One of the most annoying and easily solvable problems you could come up against is to lose your keys while you’re on the road. If you’re making a lot of stops, carrying a lot of stuff and spend some time in the local motels and gas stations, you get the idea of how it can happen.

It’s best to be prepared for this scenario and get some cheap car keys to keep on your person at all times. These keys don’t have to be able to unlock your doors remotely or do anything else but get you into the car and get it started when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with no keys.

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Gear up

There are a few things you need to bring along just in case and it’s best to have them all in one place. This will also help you find the items faster when you need them. There’s a lot of debate on what you need to have with you, but these are the essentials:

-You’ll need some water even though you could buy some along the way
-Make sure you have warm blankets especially if you drive at nigh
-A flashlight should be a part of your standard car gear
-The same goes for jumper cables and road flares in case something happens
-You should have all the tools needed to change a tire
- Make sure your phone is charged and that you have an extra battery on you
-A car needs to have a first aid kit and you need to know how to use it.

Conclusion

If you want to make sure you have a fun and memorable road trip, you should prepare for it and keep your family safe on the road. It will save you a lot of money and trouble in the long run.

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Purchasing a used car can be very confusing. Before agreeing on the price and other sales terms, buyers should conduct an elaborate physical check. This step is very important for determining the vehicle’s value and negotiating a fair price. In this article, we’ve explained some of the most basic checks you should do. 

Exterior check

Car tyres are the first thing you should check because big or uneven tyre damages can help you to negotiate a smaller car price. Check the tyres and measure their treads. If they aren’t solid or they are shallower than 1/16th of an inch, you’ll probably need to replace them, which is a good enough reason to ask for a smaller price. And you can always take a page from Australians who tend to get quality cheap tyres in Sydney, thus saving money on the car and on the tyres. In addition, tyres also need to be worn evenly and tread damages should be symmetrical. 

Bad alignment can be caused by worn steering and suspension components or frame damage. In this case, you’ll need to check several auto parts shops and determine the price of the worn parts, in order to continue the price negotiation. 

Check the car’s paint job and take note of every scratch, dent or a rust spot. Then ask the seller if you can drive the car to the nearest auto mechanic shop and place it above a vehicle inspection trench. There, you should check the car’s frame, which needs to be solid, not welded or bolted in, because this is a sign that the car had a serious crash. You should also check the exhaust system for black spots, which indicate leaks. If the car has underbody rust, you should mention it as well during the price negotiations.

Hood check

After you’ve opened the hood, check the vehicle’s identification number (VIN) and compare it to the one from the registration documents. If the numbers don’t match, or the VIN under the hood is scratched or deleted don’t buy the car, because it might be stolen.

You should also check the hoses and belts. They shouldn’t have cracks and the radiator hose must be firm. On the engine block look for any kind of leak or corrosion. These damages may require an expensive future repair. Before you close the hood, pull a transmission dipstick and check the color of the fluid. It should be pink or red. If it’s dark and it has burnt smell, the car may have a major mechanical problem. 

Interior check

First, you should check upholstery for tears, rips or any other type of damage. Then check the car’s air-conditioning system, the computer, and the odometer to determine the mileage. You should bear in mind that sellers often reprogram the odometer before they put the car on sale. 

Driving test

Don’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive. During the test drive, you should check the brakes. Press the brakes hard, while going at least 30 mph in an area without traffic. If the car swerves it means it has bad brake calipers or worn steering components. If you feel any vibration or hear squealing or grinding noises, you’ll need to replace the brake pads or resurface the rotor. 

You should also check the car for any sounds or trepidation during low-speed rides, or while doing a 90-degree turn. In most cases, this indicates that joints, arms or some other mechanical parts need to be changed, which can be very costly.

Car salesman’s insider tips:

  • When checking the exterior, run your finger down the joint edges between panels. If they are rough that indicates that the car had a recent paint job;
  • When checking the interior, check the light button. Its worn look may indicate that the car was used as a cab because cab drivers need to turn on the light at the end of every night ride (to count the money). These vehicles often come with hidden engine problems, because they have much bigger mileage. 
  • Lots of greasy grime deposits inside the exhaust pipe indicate the major problem with the exhaust system. 
  • Foam residue on the inside of the oil filler cap indicates that the head gasket is leaking. This is a major problem, which requires a costly repair. 

 

If you’re not into cars, bring a skillful car mechanic who will check the car’s engine and perform a test ride in order to determine car’s damages. This will give you enough arguments for lowering the car’s price or for canceling the purchase of the car is in bad shape.

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Ensure Your Car is Ready for Winter

If you live in a climate that boasts cold winters, as most of us do, you are probably aware that you need to prepare your car for what’s to come. Most tasks are related to prevention and they are extremely important if you want to be as safe as possible while driving. After all, you don’t want to endanger your life or lives of other people because you were too lazy to make sure your car is ready for cold, snowy and icy conditions on the roads. So, here are some of the most useful tips that should keep your car in the best possible condition during the winter season.

Oil replacement

It’s very important to change the oil in your car regularly, especially during the winter. Make sure you consult the owner’s manual and see what type of oil is recommended by the manufacturer and stick to the instructions to the letter. Basically, you’ll need a thinner oil in the winter, which means you might need to use a different type altogether.

Engine coolant

Another thing you have to inspect is the quantity and quality of coolant (antifreeze) in your car. While many drivers opt for a 50/50 ratio of coolant to water in normal weather, they tend to go for 60/40 in the winter. Also, make sure you have enough coolant in the system if you want to avoid damaging your engine, which might cost you a fortune.

Check the battery

You are certainly familiar with a sight of a driver trying to start their car on a cold winter morning, but without success. The reason is that your engine needs more current from the battery in low temperatures in order to start, which is why your battery has to be functioning perfectly.  Turn on your headlights before you start the engine and then turn your engine. If the lights get brighter, your battery is probably dying. Even better, if you have a voltmeter, use it to measure the voltage. Alternatively, you can take your car to your mechanic, who can also inspect brakes, cables for cracks and the battery fluid.

Protect the bodywork

Just like you need to make sure the engine and other parts of your car are fully functional, you should do the same when it comes to the bodywork. One of the best investments is to have quality paint protection film installed, to protect not only the paint, but also the car from light scratches and contaminants, such as bug splatter and bird droppings. Such a film prevents your car from discolouring, which is a common problem with many brands, especially their older models.

Get your washer fluid and windshield wipers ready

You need to make sure you have a good washer fluid with an antifreeze solution in the winter, since regular fluids won’t do well in freezing temperatures. Generally, it’s a good idea to replace your windshield wipers at least once a year, but you may need to do it more frequently, depending on wear and tear. You don’t want to find yourself stuck with old wipers when the first big snow storm hits.

Check your tires

One of the more important things to check before the winter are the tires. Needless to say, they have to be in perfect condition to provide the best service. You should always make sure you have the right type of tires for each season. You might need to get tires with studs if you drive in perilous conditions. Also, the pressure in the tires should be checked regularly. Finally, exercise caution when pressing the gas pedal and don’t slam on your brakes.

Keep your gas tank filled

You know that you shouldn’t let your gas tank get completely empty ever, but this is even more important in the winter. The cold weather can cause condensation to form in an empty or nearly empty gas tank. That water then can drip down into the gas and sink to the bottom where it might get into your fuel line. You can only imagine the damage that can occur. So, make sure you have at least a quarter of the tank full at all times.

Maintaining your car is extremely important if you want it to serve you well and provide maximal safety. Winter conditions can be very dangerous and it takes a careful driver and a fully-functional car to deal with them. While your experience and skills might be limited, you mustn’t let your car be unprepared for such conditions!

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Joe Webb of DealerKnows Will Be A Speaker At The #IS20G 12 Automotive Sales Training Conference in Nashville, March 18-20

http://www.InternetSales20Group.com

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Beth Bartlett Will Be A Featured Speaker At The Internet Sales 20 Group 12 Training Conference In Nashville, March 18-20 To Register GoTo: http://www.InternetSales20Group.com (Dealer Principals And GMs are FREE)

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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 Cars.com, 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 Cars.com, 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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Pitfalls of Purchasing a New Car

No matter how much money you’ve set aside to buy a new car, you’re bound to have some fears. The most typical ones are related to being ripped off, i.e. being tricked into overpaying. This is perfectly normal, since most of us can’t afford to spend so much money and not get our money’s worth. So, what is it that we should know and do when the time comes to buy a new car?

It’s an investment

Needless to say, purchasing a car is one of the biggest investments we are forced to make every few years and we don’t want to see our hard-earned cash go down the drain. We keep hearing stories of people being ripped off or paying too much, we compare the prices of similar models and try to find the best deal. We are happy to learn that we’ve paid less than someone else for the same quality.

This is all fine, but we tend to forget more important things. To begin with, are you getting the car you want and need? Can you afford the maintenance? What mileage do you normally cover and does your car need heavy investment to make it safe and reliable? These are all questions you should be asking yourself before you look at the price.

Financing terms

We often tend to forget to see the big picture when it comes to the total price we’re paying for the car. We celebrate a small victory when a car dealer agrees to lower the price, but we conveniently forget, for example, that the smaller the downpayment, the higher the interest rate. Choosing a wrong deal can easily turn out to cost us more that the quoted price.

Of course, it’s best to use cash or an interest-free loan arrangement, but not many are able to do that. Plan B is to put as much downpayment as possible and choose loans no longer than 3 years.

We overspend… time

Some statistics show that people tend to spend much more time shopping for a car, even though there are specialised companies helping us quickly buy and sell cars. People waste too much of their own time looking for the best deal, that at the end they may end up wasting more time, i.e. money, than they think they’ve saved. Of course, it all depends on how much you value your time. The more you value it, the more money you’ll lose by spending countless hours unnecessarily looking for the best possible deal. On top of it all, you may fail to find what you’re looking for and get really frustrated.

Looking at the big picture

Having a car costs so much more than the price you pay to make it your own. You need to calculate how much money you’re going to need for maintenance, petrol, insurance, etc. Plus, you need to make sure you have a reliable mechanic somewhere close, so that you don’t have to pay through your teeth for towing in case something goes wrong. Some statistics show that the average length of car ownership is around 5 years, so it might sound unrealistic to plan to have the same car for ten years or so, especially if you’re planning to expand your family.

Too many cars to choose from

We are now spoiled for choice when it comes to pretty much everything. From flavoured bottled water to cars, there are hundreds of different products on offer and this may be overwhelming to many. This is quite understandably because there’s more pressure on buyers to make the right choice. And once they finally choose a car, if it doesn’t live up to the expectations, the once-proud owner gets frustrated and depressed. So, try to remove that pressure and focus on what you need and what you can realistically afford. Everything else is secondary.

As you can see, what should be a happy moment for everyone can easily turn into a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be the case. The most important thing is to remain realistic and remember that it’s you who’s buying a car and not the other way round.

 

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Best Ways to Sell Your Car

Thanks to the Internet, there are more opportunities to sell your car than ever before. Whichever method you choose, you’re often pitting the price against convenience. In other words, the quicker you need your car sold, the less money you’ll likely be getting. On the other hand, if neither time nor convenience are the issue, you can hope for the best price for your car. Also, no matter which method you choose, there are things you need to do to bring your ride into a hot sale condition.
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There can be some tasks demanding the vexing amount of efforts like finding car loan without a credit history. Credit points are proof of your honesty and sincerity in clearing your debts. There will be a lot of difficulty in finding a lender for a car or an auto loan without testifying your history. But before giving up you ought to hit the last station by trying your luck in Florida.

If you need finance to buy a car or auto you will have to put some extra effort.  Since you have absolutely no credit history the lender will find it difficult or may find you untrustworthy. Loans for cars without credit history can be obtained from a consigner lender who will give away ownership only after full repayment or a bank. But obtaining an auto loan without credit history from a bank may be troublesome as they may demand some mortgage also. So it’s better to switch to independent consigners.

As you are already devoid of the most necessary requirement to prove your ability to pay back so you will have to prove your credibility by producing other authentic documents.

Here Is A List Of Documents Which Can Prove Your Authenticity-

  • Birth Certificate
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Passport
  • Form FS-240
  • Optional National Identity Number or Social Security Number (SSN) issued as a citizen, permanent resident or temporary (working) citizen.
  • If you had taken any loan previously and have returned it within the timeframe, a written statement testifying your credibility form the lender will be most useful.

Now as you have produced enough inanimate evidence, some living people testifying your authenticity will be a very positive help.

  1. Find a Guarantor: In such a case a guarantor with a clear profile will be an invaluable plus point. If the guarantor holds some post of authority like a cop or someone in the government, there will be more weight to your request and it’s quite possible that you will succeed.
  2. Keep your Behaviour calm and tranquil: Calmness on your part will present a more trustable character in front of the lender. Your inappropriate behavior presents you a desperate person, which may invoke a suspicion of folly in the eyes of Florida auto loans.  So proper conduct on your part is a necessary requisite.
  3. Producing testimony of fair work: If you haven’t taken a loan in the past then you can present the example of your fair repayment in other cases.
  4. Always produced legal and true credentials:  If your documents are all clear and free of any kind of lawsuits, this can be used as a testimony of your right conduct.

After Getting The Loan  Take Care Of The Following Measures:

  • Avoid any kind of legal trouble.
  • Pay the return timely.
  • Avoid taking further debt without clearing the already taken.
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Sean V. Bradley, CSP Is an 8 Time Speaker This Year At NADA 2018 

http://www.DealerSynergy.com 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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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?
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http://www.DealerSynergy.com 856-546-2440 

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 support@simpletexting.com 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.

SOURCE: https://help.simpletexting.com/compliance-consent-and-legal-stuff/compliance-and-consent/tcpa-compliance 

** 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.

Definitions:


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
consent.

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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It’s that time of the season when every business owner ponders the next year strategy while buying the presents. Maybe, you are one of those entrepreneurs who can’t focus on celebrating holidays due to the lot of thinking. If it’s true, you are definitely not alone in this. Automotive industry in whole and car buyers shopping behavior have changed drastically during the last years. At the end of 2017 many auto dealers ask themselves two questions:

What to improve in 2018?

How to avoid overspending on it?

There are tons of automotive software on the market, but you definitely don’t want to overspend on redundant technology that won’t improve your business.

Here is the list of car dealer software spending money on which will be worthwhile in 2018.

Responsive Dealer Websites (RDWs)

Responsive design bridges the gap between your a uto dealer website and mobile, laptop or tablet users. The result of this construction is new leads for you and good user experience for your customers. The quality of visitor’s interaction with your online inventory affects the whole impression of your business. If you can’t provide your customers with decent inventory displaying, they will doubt your ability to provide them with good, reliable cars.

A responsive dealer website resizes the layout by using fluid, proportion-based grids and flexible images. Regardless of the device your inventory is being viewed on, customers won’t have to “catch” the images and vehicle description. Every page of your website will be adapted automatically.

Responsive web design was already a must in 2017, but you still have time to switch to it. Include this investment into your 2018 budget and you won’t regret it.

Vehicle condition reports

Every dealer has a list of wishes for the upcoming year, we bet you have it as well. One of the wishes is to widen the reach and attract non-local buyers. Such kind of prospects differs from the local one and requires different approaches. On the one hand non-local buyers can’t visit your showroom to inspect the condition of the vehicle thoroughly, but on the other hand very few people would buy a car in ignorance of its state. This dilemma can be solved by online vehicle condition reports. It is the car dealer software that allows dealers to upload the detailed information about the each part of the vehicle with respective photos attached. Customers can see the vehicle general grading and the minor grades of its separate parts and areas marked with the color. With vehicle condition report customers will see the car from all its sides and get the evaluation of every part. They will be able to compare not only the exterior and interior of the car, but the condition of its every detail.

By putting your money into condition reports, you build consumer trust — the first step towards long-term relations.

Live Video Streaming

Video is one of the most powerful marketing tools for auto dealers, it retains customer attention longer and leaves a trace in his memory. As the proverb says, a picture is worth a thousand words. We can add, that a video is worth a million of them. Instead of only talk business, you can show it to your customers.

Live Video Streaming™ is an automotive software that enables you to give your customers the live video tour of any vehicle at your dealership. During such tours you can answer customer questions, give additional information and show any car detail on viewer’s demand.

You can set the camera into the cabin and showcase the live test-drive to non-locals. Customers will be able to make their decisions online without showing up at your dealership.

Closing words

There are a lot of changes ahead of us for sure, and nobody can tell what 2018 is going to bring. However, with responsiveness, online vehicle condition reports and video streaming software dealers can future-proof their business and improve their sales in the upcoming year.

Source: https://www.autoxloo.com/blog/which-automotive-software-is-a-good-investment-in-2018.html

Read more…

Responsive Dealer Website

It’s that time of the season when every business owner ponders the next year strategy while buying the presents. Maybe, you are one of those entrepreneurs who can’t focus on celebrating holidays due to the lot of thinking. If it’s true, you are definitely not alone in this. Automotive industry in whole and car buyers shopping behavior have changed drastically during the last years. At the end of 2017 many auto dealers ask themselves two questions:

What to improve in 2018?

How to avoid overspending on it?

There are tons of automotive software on the market, but you definitely don’t want to overspend on redundant technology that won’t improve your business.

Here is the list of car dealer software spending money on which will be worthwhile in 2018.

Responsive Dealer Websites (RDWs)

Responsive design bridges the gap between your a uto dealer website and mobile, laptop or tablet users. The result of this construction is new leads for you and good user experience for your customers. The quality of visitor’s interaction with your online inventory affects the whole impression of your business. If you can’t provide your customers with decent inventory displaying, they will doubt your ability to provide them with good, reliable cars.

A responsive dealer website resizes the layout by using fluid, proportion-based grids and flexible images. Regardless of the device your inventory is being viewed on, customers won’t have to “catch” the images and vehicle description. Every page of your website will be adapted automatically.

Responsive web design was already a must in 2017, but you still have time to switch to it. Include this investment into your 2018 budget and you won’t regret it.

Vehicle condition reports

Every dealer has a list of wishes for the upcoming year, we bet you have it as well. One of the wishes is to widen the reach and attract non-local buyers. Such kind of prospects differs from the local one and requires different approaches. On the one hand non-local buyers can’t visit your showroom to inspect the condition of the vehicle thoroughly, but on the other hand very few people would buy a car in ignorance of its state. This dilemma can be solved by online vehicle condition reports. It is the car dealer software that allows dealers to upload the detailed information about the each part of the vehicle with respective photos attached. Customers can see the vehicle general grading and the minor grades of its separate parts and areas marked with the color. With vehicle condition report customers will see the car from all its sides and get the evaluation of every part. They will be able to compare not only the exterior and interior of the car, but the condition of its every detail.

By putting your money into condition reports, you build consumer trust — the first step towards long-term relations.

Live Video Streaming

Video is one of the most powerful marketing tools for auto dealers, it retains customer attention longer and leaves a trace in his memory. As the proverb says, a picture is worth a thousand words. We can add, that a video is worth a million of them. Instead of only talk business, you can show it to your customers.

Live Video Streaming™ is an automotive software that enables you to give your customers the live video tour of any vehicle at your dealership. During such tours you can answer customer questions, give additional information and show any car detail on viewer’s demand.

You can set the camera into the cabin and showcase the live test-drive to non-locals. Customers will be able to make their decisions online without showing up at your dealership.

Closing words

There are a lot of changes ahead of us for sure, and nobody can tell what 2018 is going to bring. However, with responsiveness, online vehicle condition reports and video streaming software dealers can future-proof their business and improve their sales in the upcoming year.

Source: https://www.autoxloo.com/blog/which-automotive-software-is-a-good-investment-in-2018.html

Read more…

As we gear up for 2018, we’re providing you with a powerful white paper. While everyone knows the power of women buyers, are you aware of how women are impacting your business?

  • What percentage of your business is generated by women?
  • What percentage of your leads are generated by women?
  • What percentage of your service drive business is generated by women?

Clearly, you can’t grow what you don’t know!

The average new car dealer sells 819 vehicles annually to women. But if you don’t have a benchmark for tracking this, how can you improve sales to this growing segment that now buys 4.5 of every 10 cars, especially in a more challenging retail climate?

The white paper Behavior Economics: Increase Sales to Women by $2 Million provides a clear road map to crack this code in two key areas:

  1. Five easy steps to train your sales advisors to adapt, coach, and motivate them to adopt new attitudes and behaviors to engage this buying segment.
  2. New tracking metrics to gauge and propel your store to cultivate sales to women and families and be a destination dealer.

DOWNLOAD YOUR WHITE PAPER NOW

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www.FaceBook.com/TheBillionDollarGirl 

Billion Dollar Girl, Interviews Toni Anne Fardette - Atlantic Auto Group - Millionaire Car Salesman

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