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Creating a Memorable Experience in Your Showroom - Make Money Mondays

In this week's Episode of Make Money Mondays Sean V. Bradley, CSP, President of Dealer Synergy, discusses the importance of creating a memorable experience for your customers in your showroom. If an automobile is the second largest item that the average American will every buy in their entire lifetime, why wouldn't you pull out all of the stops to make sure they cherish the moment of receiving their new car? Take advantage of the resources at your fingertips and make sure your customers fall in love not only with their new car, but your dealership as well!

Sign up now for Internet Sales 20 Group 10 in Philadelphia, PA July 10-12, 2017!

If you like Make Money Mondays, you will love Bradley On Demand: 

For more information about Dealer Synergy, visit

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

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Make Money Mondays with Sean V. Bradley - Know Your Used Car Inventory

In this week's Episode of Make Money Mondays Sean V. Bradley, President of Dealer Synergy, explains the importance of evidence manuals. A Digital Evidence Manual is a clever way for you to show why a prospect should buy a vehicle from you. Previously evidence manuals were made with notebooks and pictures, but in the modern age, we are seeing them created in videos and on tablets. You should always try to receive a customer review after you sell someone a vehicle.

Sign up now for Internet Sales 20 Group 10 in Philadelphia, PA July 10-12, 2017!

To visit all of our Make Money Mondays in one place visit:

If you like Make Money Mondays, you will love Bradley On Demand:

For more information about Dealer Synergy, visit

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

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Are you capitalizing on your blog?

Make sure your utilizing your blog to the fullest extent! On this week’s Hard FactsSamantha explains how your blog can not only boost traffic to your website, but also creates demand for your products and services! Watch this week’s Hard Facts to learn about some things you should know before hitting the publish button on your blog that will drastically effect its reach and performance.

Instagram: @Potratz
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The Internet has made it possible for car shoppers to have numerous options, outside of their local dealerships, when it is time to purchase a new car. While this gives small dealerships an even playing field to compete with their larger competitors, marketing professionals in the automotive industry have been forced to alter their marketing strategies to adapt to the changes in technology. 

For lack of a better term, today's car shoppers have become lazy. They expect marketing professionals to read their minds and automatically address their needs. Although tedious and at times frustrating, having the ability to identify your customer's needs can be very beneficial to the success of your dealership. 

More Prepared - By identifying your customers' needs before hand, you will be more prepared to interact with them once they enter your dealership. Doing your research prior to meeting your clients, will help you to address their concerns and surpass their expectations. 

Shows you are listening - Having the ability to identify your customer's needs, shows that you are paying attention. If you take the time to consider your shopper's needs, get to know their likes and dislikes, and make changes that reflect their concerns, your customer will appreciate your efforts. Additionally, they will see that you value them as individuals, and will ultimately be more likely to make a purchase, refer your dealership to others, or be a return customer. 

While the changes in technology have forced marketing professionals to alter the way they do business, having to know your customer on a more personal level does have some benefits. Identifying your buyer's needs beforehand helps you be more prepared to serve them, as well as shows that you value them. 

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The next time you turn on your television, do me a favor! Watch the commercials and see if you can identify what target audience the advertisements are intended for, and what calls to action are included to entice that audience to buy.

Once you’ve had a chance to complete this little exercise, take a look at the advertising and marketing materials produced by your dealership. Can you identify the target audience and call to action?

If you take a look back over the articles I’ve written over the past year or so, you’ll recognize a consistent theme. I tend to focus my articles on the importance of creating customer segments and ways that you can reach out to them more effectively.

While I won’t get into it too much in this article, I wanted to show you a cool Audi Australia commercial that I found online that features famous Beatboxer Tom Thum. Take a look at the video and let me know in the comments what audience Audi Australia intended this commercial for and what action they hope is accomplished.

What do you think? Comment below!

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July 1, 2013



To All Hyundai Dealers:


With pleasure, I announce the launch of Hyundai Customer Reviews powered by SureCritic, a new and innovative program created for your dealership’s Service Department.  Hyundai Motor America designed this web rating and review program for you to leverage customer satisfaction in order to more efficiently market your dealership’s reputation, increase web visibility, and ultimately grow customer retention.


In today’s consumer-driven marketplace, automotive retailers need a web presence.  In fact, your Service Department has one, whether created by you or not.  HMA collaborated with a group of our dealers to create a program that ensures a positive presence with verified reviews from real customers.


Our approach is simple.  Customers complete a four question web survey about their service experience.  Customers can share their review on the social media sites of their choice.  Dealers can address and fix customer complaints before lower ratings post on the web.  Dealers can also share reviews via social media sites.


A six month pilot among 22 dealers produced fantastic results.

·         Ratings averaged 4.7 on a 5-point scale.  All dealers performed at 4.3 or higher.

·         95% of customers would recommend the dealer for service.


The law of averages applies to the web: The more real reviews your dealership receives, the closer your score reflects real performance, which is over 4-stars for most Hyundai dealers.  The many positive reviews overshadow the few negative reviews, but these negative reviews lend credibility to the process.


Hyundai Customer Reviews launches as a voluntary program, and I encourage all dealerships to participate.  Web ratings represent the CSI of the future.  HMA will guide you through the enrollment process and support you through the simple start-up period.


Hyundai Customer Reviews comes at no additional cost to you.  That’s how strong we feel about it.


Watch for a communication from Frank Ferrara, Executive Vice President of Customer Satisfaction, with program details.


Stay humble, stay hungry,

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Sometimes, social media seems to be integrated into every part of the day. But, are companies reaping rewards or return from the social-media campfire conversations?

That would be a NO.

There are plenty of conversations that power a business to stand out from the competition, but for many, deducing all the fodder into financial gain is not easy.

The number of small businesses that have increased their social-media budget has quadrupled, and 43 percent of small businesses now spend more than six hours each week dealing with social media.

In the near future, I’d hedge to bet businesses will discover that online reviews provide more conversation in fewer places, and reveal the invisible customer – the one that got away (and launched an online review assault against the company).

Our research suggests Facebook is not the first stop when people want to check out a business; they often go to review sites beforehand.

The Verification

My team at eReputationBUILDER recently did a study on two dealerships, one with high-end buyers and the other with mid to low-end buyers. We analyzed sentiment and patterns in both review growth and customer perception.

The two departments that benefited the most with this game changing insight into customer preference and behavior were operations and marketing.

Here are our findings: Despite differences in target markets (upper-middle incomes vs. middle to lower incomes), both dealerships experienced a growth in reviews. No matter how much or how little a person spent on a car or service repair, no matter regional differences, people still wrote reviews.

  • Negative encounters that led to bad reviews for both target markets all resulted in similar descriptions – rude service, dealership was a rip-off, sales team was dishonest, etc.
  • Positive encounters varied according to the target market. This led us to conclude the variables that drive customers to write negative sentiment are much more common than the variables that evoke positive feedback.

Group 1: High-end buyers

  • Features they looked for in their car
    • Options and customization
    • Elegant and classy look
    • Speed
    • Easy Handling
    • Advanced technology
    • Push-button parallel parking
  • Features they look for in a dealership
    • Waiting room amenities (Wi-Fi, free coffee, etc)
    • Detailing their car when it gets serviced
    • Financial Transparency
    • Polite, no stress salespeople
    • The Look of success, from the showroom to the people in it
  • Experiences that led to negative reviews
    • Bad amenities (e.g. no Wi-Fi in waiting area, etc)
    • No financial transparency in the buying process
    • Salesperson was rude and not appropriately dressed
    • Dealership was dirty or looked rundown
    • People were too aggressive to get the sale

Group 2: Mid to low-end buyers

  • Features they looked for
    • Mileage
    • Dependability
    • Car Safety features
    • Warranty
    • Access to manageable payments
    • Family friendly vehicles
    • Features they looked for in a dealership
      • No hassle financing
      • No co-signer required
      • Incentives
      • Different car options in their price range
      • Nice and friendly personnel
      • Family oriented
      • Experiences that lead to bad reviews
        • Bad customer service
        • Dealer not working with them to find the right price
        • Unnecessary delays in the sales process
        • Stressful rush to make the deal
        • High waiting times for service


Brand association was stronger for lower-mid car buyers, but upper-income buyers cared more about luxury features. Dealers can leverage this research by making changes internally and invest dollars in marketing and operations. Propelled from the customers voice, reviews are measurable and certifiable.

The lower to mid-market company should link the brand name with its amenities (e.g., "INSERT DEALERSHIP NAME offers..."), while the higher-end business should advertise the luxury attraction ("Vehicle comes with push button parallel parking”).

Online review sites are a game changer, no doubt. But they are the dark horses in this race, at least in terms of where businesses are currently putting the most focus. Companies need to use these reviews to better their business practices and improve satisfaction and acquisition. Listen to what your customers are saying; and refocus according to your target market. You are sure to reap the benefits.

Jerry Hart

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Great follow up to the Dallas event everyone!  Also great to hear the updates from some of our members, and thank you to everyone that helped me learn last month in at the Internet Sales 20 Group.

I got back to the office and my scatter-brain didn't know what to do first.  I have had the advantage of doing this a few times before with a previous job... ;-)  so we are doing a pretty good job of not making mistakes as we build moving forward.  I find myself continually referring back to my IS20G handbook, and the Thirty-something pages of notes I took in 3 days to help me be thorough in anything we work on improving. 

As Karen and Sean Bradley mentioned on the phone, we have to focus on a few goals, then define a way to get there, then have an action plan to accomplish it.  I am taking the next step now on working on the next 3 action plans to grow the department.  I feel that our team has implemented strategies and process to address our first 3 issues that I deemed urgent at IS20G.  Our most important goal was to get rid of our sub-par rating on all customer review websites NOW, and we did some VERY basic things in just one month to see INSTANT improvement:

- Make colorful flyers and put them at all salespeople's desks, as well as the sales tower.  Have them actively put them in customers hands while delivering their new vehicle.

- Send "Thank you" cards for everyone that purchased and visited the previous day. 

- Conduct "how was your experience" surveys while addressing the "Thank you" cards. 

- Send my flyers for reviews in the "Thank you" cards, especially the customers that I speak to and complete the quick survey

- Take pictures of everyone with thier new vehicles! Ask for permission to use the picture on Facebook and other social media websites..and make it FUN!  Ask the customer to tag themselves, like/share the picture, and be active in your dealership's pages.  Who doesn't like to brag and show-off to everyone when they purchase a new vehicle!?? 

- SPIFF our salespeople on getting reviews, and asking customers to mention thier names.  My personal reward that we came up with here: I buy them a drink! ( alcohol!  Starbucks, Rockstars and Monsters to keep them alert!!! LOL  "Drink of thier choice" is inexpensive and goes a long way with your sales team!)

The key to implementing successful proceedures is to have everyone embrace the new process, show everyone in your dealerships that it is a positive thing that you are implementing, and most importantly, make sure everyone is AWARE and proactive in sharing with customers.

I did a simple "S.W.O.T." (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities to grow, Threats to hinder us) analysis to see where I was when I flew back to California a month ago, as opposed to where I am at month end.  I can see where I have improved, and where we still have room to implement new strategies to continue to sell more cars, more profitably and more often! 

p.s. Let's get on the phone with our Accountabila-buddies!  Synergize to be more successful...and see you all in L.A. in November!


Andy Fedo

Director of Intenet Sales, Lithia Nissan Hyundai of Fresno


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Wow! After 48 hours, I believe the jet lag is gone! And just under 48 hours (and waiting over an hour in the airport AFTER I spoke to someone) to FINALLY get my bags back from my trip to Dallas!! Aaahhhhh!!! 
I'm still flying high, though, because I have so much energy from the Internet Sales 20 Group, which in my opinion was the most motivating 3 days of my life.  I say my "life" because my "career" is only a tip of the iceberg.  If you are not happy as a person, you will not be happy as a professional.  Attitude does not start with an "A" by's because that's where it all starts!!  I made some genuine connections with great people that I can't wait to see in Los Angeles at the next event and they have definitely changed my attitude for good! 
To sum up 32 hours in 3 days of intense learning and sharing thoughts, great customer service rules the world, and everything else, including the sales, will come naturally!
Being in customer service myself, I find that I analyze others in the same profession daily.  Sometimes, it benefits us to adjust our approach on the phone, and in order to do that, we need to make sure we understand where it all starts.  I believe we all know this to be the obvious, but common sense isn't so common...right!!?? 
Case in point.  I recently had an issue with a common furniture company. I called into the trusty "800" number, and after a few minutes playing with the "automated person" trying to tell a computer what my issue was, I finally got a human being!  I wanted to exchange some office cubical pieces I ordered.  I then got transferred to a guy in I-dont-know-what-country-land...that was absolutely no help.  I had asked the company to return the pieces, or instead of returning them, just help me exchange for what I need.  He proceeded to explain why he couldn't exchange the broken parts for new ones.  After this conversation going nowhere for about 10-12 minutes, I then requested to speak to a supervisor that can help me....hopefully.
As if you didn't already get my point, the supervisor was even better at giving me reasons as to why they "couldn't do it" (GREAT at using 3rd parties as verification for procedure, just like we do in the car business with bank programs, vendors, and even state and federal regulations).  I then realized I had to put my salesman cap on, and along with that comes "the sweet man voice" ...and for the record women, this works better for you than it does for us men! ;-) 
Remember the thing about bees with honey, as opposed to bees with vinegar...right?
I proceeded to put myself in her shoes, and bluntly asked to put herself into mine as the customer that spends a lot of money with her business.  I literally asked her to "close her eyes, and imagine my frustration with having to deal with your company, that you charged me (and didn't disclose) a ridiculous amount of money to deliver furniture that I could have picked up (across the street). One piece was missing, another broken, and all I want is to do what my company hired me an Internet Sales Department to help my business grow!!! ...and quite frankly, I hope you can appreciate that my time is money, and I don't like wasting money!  I do not mean to have an attitude with you ma'am, but I'm really hoping you can make this better.  Can you see what I am saying and appreciate where I am coming from?"
IMMEDIATELY, she put me on hold for less than 20 seconds, and came back with a 10% credit and refunded the WHOLE delivery charge!  My new furniture is coming Next Friday, and I told her that I am very eCommerce savvy, and that she just turned the murderous review that I was about to put ALL over, into a satisfying experience that I appreciated her making right! 
Don't be afraid of bad reviews and irate customers!  Even if we put our happy face on everyday, we can't please everyone, all the time.  No matter how hard we try, there will be "that one".  The real professional will acknowledge the objection,  isolate it, and come up with a satisfying solution that helps both parties better themselves.  If the customer is right, let's do the right thing.  If the customer is wrong, then let's explain to them why it is, what it is.  Use 3rd parties when evaluating trades, telling people interest rates, or even quoting price!  "We have a cash price, retail (financing) price, and a leasing price...which one were you most interested in Mr./Ms. Customer..??" 
Now you are asking an open ended question to find out what the customer's concerns are.  When the prospect suggests a ridiculously high number for their trade, we can't tell them they are wrong and how it really is (as much as we want to).  There is a right way and an even better way to handle every situation that arises.  As Dr. Covey says to begin with the end result in mind, and simply handle every situation with the care it deserves.  Without customers we wouldn't have a job! 
Happy selling!
Andy Fedo
Director of Internet Sales
Lithia Nissan Hyundai of Fresno
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There's a trend in the automotive industry that is alarming. We hear this scenario played out almost every day and it normally manifests itself into one of two stages:

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

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

Here are the descriptions of both types of vendors:


The Technology Trendsetter

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

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


The Customer Service Company

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

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


Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

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

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

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

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

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The Value Of Video Testimonials

The value of video testimonials is a strategy that every automotive dealership needs to have in place as a part of their social media online presence. Photo's are very important too however, the impact that your video will have on the consumer is much stronger with video.

With the average dealership selling 100 units a month imagine the impact that the dealership would have if a strategy was in place to get either a photo or a video of every sold customer, customers in service, customers in the bodyshop and customers in the parts department just to name a few.  We know that most stores nationwide are not taking advantage of this opportunity to dominate the market with these videos which is great for the stores that do to steal market share from stores that are sleep at the wheel.

Now what is awesome about these videos is that one can take these videos and spread them like wildfire all over the Internet. There are multiple video sites that the dealership can use to upload these videos to and then use different titles for each site to dominate other dealerships.  For instance, imagine if a consumer did a search on Google and typed Ford Mustang Manhattan, KS and your video shows up as the first result on the first page of natural Google for your dealership which is by the way over 50 miles away.  The consumer that would have went to the local dealership has now clicked on your video which takes them to your social media site with links to your inventory and video testimonials of happy customers.  Now who do you think that consumer is going to call?

It's great that most dealers are asleep at the wheel and still operate under the premise of if we build a dealership they will come.  What this does is gives a competitive advantage to the dealership that understands this strategy and crushes the competition online.

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Waynesville Automotive BDC-to-Sales Handoff

VIP%20Appointment%20Agenda.pdf ==> Scanned Copy of Waynesville Automotive VIP Appointment Agenda

This video shows how to structure your BDC to Sales handoff to effectively turn the internet customer over to the sales floor without losing rapport for the purpose of a true VIP experience.

** This video was inspired by information we learned at the Internet Sales 20 Group in Chicago

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Are you building value during your presentation/demonstration?

The first variable that I would like to go into is the matter of getting the consumer excited about making their next biggest purchase next to buying a home.  I've been studying the Ritz Carlton Gold Standards and I would like to place emphasis on one of the standards called the "three steps of service."  It's defined as follows: 

  • A warm and sincere greeting. Use the guest's name.
  • Anticipation and fulfillment of each guest's needs.
  • Fond farewell. Give a warm good-bye and use the guest's name

Imagine for a second if your dealership gave every customer a Ritz Carlton like experience.  Are you aware of the value that it would bring to your dealership!!  Equally relevant, imagine how much easier it would be to close the deal with this added value. 

Let's look at some issues that may start the buying process off on the wrong foot:

1.  30 people standing outside like a pack of wolves. 

2.  Putting your cigarette out as you approach the customer.

3.  The attire that you are wearing looks like it was balled up in the corner. 

These are things that one would never see at the Ritz Carlton and that is why people don't mind spending the extra money due to the fact that their is a perceived value.  You must separate yourself from the old way of doing business and let the customer know that you take the opportunity to do business serious.  This added value will be needed when you are $200 away in payment or needing a cash investment that he/she didn't consider prior to coming to your store.

Last but not least is be a professional!!  Act like you're at the Ritz Carlton when dealing with customers and watch how your numbers grow i.e. offer your customer something hot or cold to drink, give them a tour of the dealership, take them to the bathroom don't just point where the bathroom is located and if the owner or GM is walking around introduce your customer to those in executive positions.  We must learn that we are in the "Wow" business which means we must have a strategy in place to "Wow" the socks off our customers. 

I'll go over the other variables soon good luck and good selling....








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Building Customer Relationships

Building Customer Relationships

Training Tips from Dealer Synergy

One of the biggest keys to remember about automotive sales is building the relationship with the customer. From the first email to the first phone call, to the keys in their all builds the relationship. We all know that buying a vehicle is one of the most significant purchases in a person's life. If we are going to get someone to buy from us, we must earn their trust. We could have the best prices, best service departments, earn more awards, and give away the most to charity, but if we don't work on building a good relationship with our customers, it all goes to waste. When you greet someone on the phone or on the lot, the customers tie you to the entire dealership. Treating customers with respect will go a long way. Think of them as family (if you get along with your family). How would you want your parents, grandparents, or siblings to be treated if they contacted your dealership? Would you want someone to answer the phone and rush to the next call...blowing off most of what they said to rush to make their quota? No. You would want their experience to be pleasant. You would want their concerns heard and addressed. You would want them to feel comfortable and know they are getting the best vehicle to fit their needs and the best deal on that vehicle. Think about these things on the next customer you encounter. What kind of impression are you making on them? What are they going to tell all of their friends and family about you and the dealership? 

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Busy Being Distracted

I received an email from a friend…it reads…


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


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

"Michelle, counter!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Crazy Ha’un!

No…not crazy at all.

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

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

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

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

Present but absent.

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

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

A couple of very rudimentary, but nevertheless important points.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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4 consumer points to consider when selling car accessories

Since the release of the popular film “The Fast and the Furious”, car accessorizing has shifted from being a secret of car gear enthusiast to a main stream phenomenon. Two sequels later and the aftermarket accessory market continues to average 8% growth annually. Car dealerships would be wise to keep up. The demand for car accessories is high. And, just like fashion accessories there are hundreds of options. And, trends change rapidly. Here are four reasons why people love certain car accessories.

1.       Making a Personal Statement

Crisp leather jacket, “I’m a rebel”, Eco-friendly seat covers “I care about the planet”. Just like fashion accessories, car accessories help your buyer make a statement about who they are.  A car is an extension of its owner, and we all want to present a certain “self” to the world. So, whether it’s a bike rack on a rugged Jeep Wrangler or a spoiler on a sporty Mazda 3, accessories gives buyers another way to express themselves through their car.

2.       Affordable Luxury

It’s inevitable. There is always going to be a prospect that’s eyeballing a Mercedes-Benz but their budget lines up more with a Toyota Corolla.   The right accessories can make that Corolla feel like a Benz. With today’s economy more and more people are learning to live within their means. That doesn’t mean buyers don’t still desire luxury.  But, in terms of cost efficiency it’s harder to justify. Rather than stretching their budgets almost $20,000 more on a luxurious brand consumers will invest $5,000 more in alloy wheels and seat heaters giving an economical brand a very similar look and feel.

3.       Protects the Value

A new car loses 11% of its value as soon as it leaves the lot. So unless they plan to ride until the wheels fall off, it’s not an ideal investment. People are aware of this and are more concerned than ever about protecting the value. Accessories like bed and trunk liners, covers, and deflectors can protect the resale/ trade-in value of a new car. This makes your buyer more confident about shelling out so much of their hard earned cash.

4.       More Convenience

 We as Americans are always on the go, we love to multitask, and prefer to be able to do things in our car just as we would if we were in our homes. Certain accessories were designed to offer a level of convenience that many buyers are looking for. The iPod adapters are one of the hottest selling accessories right now. It offers buyers the convenience of listening to their favorite music without needing CD changers.  Navigation systems and Bluetooth are other accessory options that appeal to a buyer looking for convenience.

Insignia Group, the leading provider of accessories sales systems and training has helped dealers maximize profits for over 10 years. Supporting 20+ brands and dealerships nationwide, we help our customers establish and grow their Accessories Profit Center. Call 888-579-4458 to learn more or schedule a demo.

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In the early ‘90s an acquaintance received a new job assignment. He was to set up an outbound telemarketing department to sell off millions of dollars of off-lease computer equipment.


He assembled a team of “telemarketers” – accountants and administrative assistants from within the company. He sourced and obtained a prospect database. A sales and call management system – a CRM -- was evaluated and installed. In the meantime, caller phone-skills training got underway while he developed daily call goals and quarterly revenue quotas.


In the second year of its operation, this in-house effort generated $20 million for the company.


Do you see an application here to your business?


What’s your CRM doing for you?

Your CRM should be a money machine. A detailed plan for its use, operation, reporting and management is vital. Hold accountable every user in sales, service and F&I accountable for capturing customer data into it. Be sure these individuals use the CRM to stay in contact with their customers.


It should go without elaboration that daily CRM use for customer communication is important. However, to create a money machine from it put it in the hands of individuals capable of riding it hard.


Start your engines

The following steps are a guide to CRM profitability:


  1. Train internally or hire an individual to be your CRM specialist who likes speaking by phone. Their personality should project well to the listener.
  2. Establish specific calling goals and make them aggressive. Define specific calling objectives: mining customer data for equity-play customers; customers soon to come off lease; or, older vehicles you’d like returning to your service department.
  3. Ask your marketing person or agency to draft phone scripts. Scripts should detail key benefits and selling points for each call type. Train your specialist to use them to guide conversations.
  4. Include in these scripts a variation of the Road to the Sale. Craft the script so your specialist’s conversation brands your dealership.
  5. Determine your calling specifics. These include calling hours, call-out quotas and revenue expectations. Here’s a model: The number of dial-ups per day required to achieve X number of live calls X number of these calls that convert to X number of fruitful discussions = X number of sales opportunities. Decide to whom you will assign resulting live opportunities. This is the individual who will meet-and-greet the shopper when they come into the store.
  6. As management, track this activity to hold your specialist accountable for making the calls as required. Use these reports to monitor performance.
  7. Compensate based on the caller’s adherence to and meeting of the quotas and objectives. Add a spiff for every call resulting in an appointment set. Layer another spiff when the appointment shows (incentivizes proper appointment reinforcement efforts), and consider adding a percentage or flat commission when the appointment converts to sale.

These seven points provide a framework for turning your CRM into a true profit center. Truly, CRM application like this is a “numbers game,” which the right structure, the right objectives and the right specialist can turn into more “solds” on your lot and more ROs in your service department. 

Source - Automotive Digital Marketing (RePost) 

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