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Dorothy has a tremendous amount of Automotive Sales, Management and Internet / BDC experience and knowledge.
I am honored to have such great feedback from her about the Internet Sales 20 Group as well as about the Dealer Synergy system that we just installed into her dealership, Honda Manhattan (BRAM Auto Group).

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Sean V. Bradley has 15 years Automotive Internet Sales experience selling over 110 INTERNET units per month when he was an Internet Director at Pine Belt Automotive in NJ 


Joe Cala was the Internet Sales Manager at Nelson Mazda in Tulsa Oklahoma that took their department from 7 units - 80 units per month online. Joe then went on to Gateway Toyota, a Penske store to become the Internet Director for 6 years. Joe was delivering 150 INTERNET units per month. Cala also worked for for a year.

Both Cala and Bradley have extensive Automotive Internet Sales experience and have created a 5 part Internet Director responsibilities series. 

If you would like more information please go to or call them at 856-546-2440 


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Internet Director That Sold 150+ Units Per Month ONLINE Gets Promoted To General Manager
Joe Cala has 12 years Automotive Sales Experience, holding positions in:

* Showroom Sales

* New Car Sales Manager

* Used Car Manager

* Internet Sales Manager

* Internet / BDC Director

Joe Cala also worked for 1 year as an Autotrader Account Executive.

Joe is going to make an incredible General Manager of Dealer Synergy

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Gaining the Competitive Edge As A Member Of A 20 Group


Before I go into the “why”, let’s discuss the “what”. Specifically, what is a 20 group? A “20 Group” is a group of dealers in noncompeting markets that get together in exotic locations nationally and internationally, on a quarterly basis, to “synergize”. Although once required that a group consist of approximately 20 dealers (hence the name “20 Group”), this does not always hold true today. Some “20 groups” consist of 30 dealers while others may only consist of 15. Ultimately, the number of dealers in the group is not as relevant as the criteria by which the group itself is structured.


Today 20 Groups are structured a little differently, but it’s important to understand their origin in order to appreciate their evolution. Originally, the 20 group audience was composed of Dealer Principals, General Managers and/or senior executives of the dealership. It also originally focused on franchise dealerships. For example, in a “Toyota” 20 Group, you would find 20 different Toyota dealerships from 20 different markets, usually from all over the country. But even though the franchise was exactly the same, diversity still existed within the “Toyota” 20 group itself. For example, you could have dealerships that were small, large, part of a dealer group, part of a corporation, in a rural area, in the city, single point or part of a multi franchise point; all with different strengths, weaknesses, passions and fears. These dealers were intentionally diverse. This was imperative to the success of the 20 group to ensure impartial feedback.


Some of the most common areas of comparison, coverage and discussion in a traditional 20 group were:


  • Financial Composite
    • Expenses
    • Gross
    • Net
    • ROI
    • S.W.O.T.



  • Break Down of Different Departments
    • New Car Sales
    • Used Car Sales
    • Advertising / Marketing
    • Vendors / Suppliers
    • CSI / Customer Service
    • Human Resources
    • Legal
    • OEM Situations
    • Accounting / Floor Plan


  • And More…


How was the data collected? Each dealer within the 20 Group would be responsible for filling out their “input sheets”, which would become part of the overall 20 group composite. The input sheets worked as the core for analyzing all of the details, metrics and financials mentioned above. The sheer act of an individual dealership filling out an input sheet and tracking the proper metrics was worth the price of membership. Always remember, what isn’t being tracked, can’t be measured and what can’t be measured, cannot be improved upon. Surprisingly, a lot of dealerships today still simply “wing it”. The 20 group input sheets forces the dealers to hold themselves accountable because they have no choice but to fill them out. Lack of doing so could lead to the dealer being fined or worse yet, kicked out of the 20 group completely. After all, in order for the composite to hold its validity, the numbers must be true. Garbage in equates to garbage out.  Now with those completed input sheets, the 20 group, led by the 20 Group “Moderator”, was able to take the dealers individual metrics and consolidate all 20 dealerships’ input sheets into the group’s composite. Upon consolidation of the metrics, the moderator and each dealer within the 20 group, is able to see the entire 20 Group in one view and see which dealers are excelling and which individual category they are excelling in. On the opposite spectrum, the group could see which dealers are struggling, where and why.  From this data, the group could create “standards” or “benchmarks”. The group could see who is above, below or on track for 20 Group standards. But, this is only the beginning. Now that all of this “field intelligence” has been exposed, the real “SYNERGY” begins! Within each individual 20 Group session, dealers spend time discussing what is successful, what vendors are good and what strategies are successful. Also, what vendors are bad and what to do when bad things happen. In essence, the composite acts as a conversational starter. The true value is being part of a specific group of like minded people, at your level (or better) and the group works together for one sole goal…to evolve the entire group synergistically.


The core principals described above still remain constant and relevant for today’s 20 groups. People need cars today like they needed cars back then. That hasn’t changed. But what has changed, is the medium by which people are buying cars. With 97% of consumers going online prior to stepping foot into a dealership, the Internet Sales Department was created. As mentioned, 20 Groups originally were for franchised dealers and broken down by franchise. Soon after, Independent Dealership 20 Groups started popping up, followed by:


  • Used Car 20 Groups
  • Special Finance 20 Groups
  • GM 20 Groups
  • CFO 20 Groups
  • Internet Sales 20 Groups


20 Groups are essential for success in today’s market. Shakespeare said “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are”.  If you are a Dealer Principal, GM, Internet Sales or BDC Director or any other senior executive within a dealership or dealer group, I suggest that you find a 20 Group that fits your dealership’s focus and needs.


Remember to find the RIGHT 20 Group for your unique needs and situation. You do not want to join a CFO 20 Group if you are looking for BDC information and clarity. Just like you wouldn’t hire a Service Writer Trainer to train your Internet Sales Department, you do not want to join a “traditional” 20 Group if you need information, strategy and clarity for Internet Sales. I also suggest that you are careful with 20 Groups that claim to do “everything”. Dr Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says “Put First Things First”. Meaning, you want to identify which area of the dealership you want to perfect first and concentrate solely on that department. Once you solidify the success of that specific department, you can move on to the next focus. For example, if you want to compare and synergize with other Porsche Dealerships, then join a Porsche 20 Group. But if you are looking for clarity on your Internet Sales Department, BDC or Digital Marketing initiative, then find a 20 group that specializes in that area. 

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Sean V. Bradley Training Internet Sales Directors On Projections & Forecasting - Automotive Sales

I had two Internet Sales Directors Fly into my corporate office for "Internet Director Immersion Training".

This video is me "Free-Styling" My vision, my formula for profound success. This is the reason why we have so many national success stories. If you watch this video you can and learn how to duplicate this system for your dealership. I have to be honest and say, that you will have to probably watch this numerous times but it is worth it.

If you have ANY questions about this video or how YOU can do something like this for your dealership. Please feel free to email me at OR you can call my cell phone # 267-319-6776

I look forward to sharing in your success-

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This blog was inspired to me when I got here in the late morning (I'm usually the closer!), and both of my two Internet Coordinators were running around; one looking for pictures of a particular vehicle, and the other was finding out from our Sales Managers if we can do "better than the internet price" because the customer wants to know before she gets here...

All I could do is shake my head, and try to explain some facts in the automotive world:

- More than 3 out of 4 customers will NOT buy the vehicle they originally inquire on via the internet

- Most customers will ask about price as an inquiry, but most of the time it is NOT an objection

- About 9 out of 10 customers go to the internet before coming into a dealership

- Most customers visit 2 OR LESS dealerships before making a purchase

I'm sure this is happening more often than it should in dealerships everywhere, and it is very ineffective.  To put it blunt...a waste of time! 

Don't lose mind of the fact that we do this every day, and know the quickest and easiest way to get it done.  Most often we help people purchase vehicles more times in a week, than most people experience in a lifetime!  So why are we as professionals running around on wild goose chases looking for information that will end up being irrelevant in the sale? 

Spending more than 80% of your time on less than 20% of your customers is a recipe for disaster!  You will not be happy with your end-of-month results if you tend to try to give the customer too much "TLC" before they get to the dealer.  Imagine all of the customers you can be calling, scheduling for appointments and getting to show up, rather than having a few valuable employees seeking information on one tough prospect.  This is the opportunity cost that you have to sacrifice to do this for one customer, in hopes of that one customer you are spending all that time on is going to convert to a sale.  Does this make sense?  ...I hope you said NO

The customer controlling you, the professional appointment setter, is indeed getting what they want, but not helping you get what you want in return.  We want to create a reason for the customer to come to the dealership, and without avoiding the question, give the best answer to make us both happy.  For example, we tend to get scared when a customer asks the price and treat it as an objection before we have to.  Even worse yet, bring up price before the customer because we THINK that is the most important thing to them.  Having a list of fact finding questions and good answers that make sense to the customer will help you avoid running around, and get the customer to do what we want...and that's to come into the store.  We can find out information about what they want, to better guide them to the best deal possible.

Asking question a question like: "what was it in particular you liked about that vehicle?" is a very simple but powerful statement.  You will find out if your customer likes the budget, brand, style, etc...of that car, and then be able to make suggestions of similar vehicles.  A customer may have been looking at 3-5 vehicles on your site, but only asked about one.  You may make suggestions, and find the vehicle is one of the same ones that they were also looking at!  By making numerous suggestions you are creating an "information overload" situation, while also understanding what the customer’s wants and needs are.  I have even found that sometimes they come to the conclusion themselves that it would be easier for them to come in and take a look, simply because of how informative I am on the phone.

Constantly mixing in phrases like "when you get here..." and "I'm glad we had this chance to talk before we meet..." paired along with being helpful on the phone will help you convert more "lookers" into "buyers" when they do get to your lot as well as get more prospects interested in coming to see you soon!

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4th Generation Dealer & Internet Sales Director, Brandon Maxwell of Maxwell VW, Volvo Subaru Interview on AIS from Dealer Synergy on Vimeo.

4th Generation Dealer & Internet Sales Director, Brandon Maxwell of Maxwell VW, Volvo Subaru Interview on AIS

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The Mission Of A E-Commerce Director!!

Ok the month is pretty much over now and I wanted to reach out to everbody in regard to the amazing transformation that we have went through here in our E-Commerce Dept.  As a E-Commerce Director I've learned that there are many things that the director needs to be doing on a daily basis.

  1. Making phone calls with the coordinators!!  Have you heard of the saying "Lead by example."  Before I would barely make phone calls during the day; NOW I'm right in the middle of combat banging out calls also!!  My goal every day is at least 50 calls and most days I'm making 60-80 calls with my team.  Productivity has increased drastically and the team has much more respect for me now that they see that I don't mind getting my hands dirty. 
  2. T.O.  Every time that a valued internet customer says that they want to wait to make a purchase or they are no longer in the market etc; I want to talk with the customer.  The goal of this strategy is not to micromanage but to give the consumer options that the coordinator may not know existed.  Being that I sold cars for five years I have learned that many customers want us to educate them on the best way to buy a car.  For example a customer leaves the dealership that didn't purchase a vehicle I'm going to call that customer and thank them for coming in and when the right time presents itself ask the customer why he/she didn't buy.  I've been told "I don't have the money for the down payment" WHAT!!  "Mr/Ms customer if I can get this deal to fit into your budget with no money down can we earn your business?"  I have had customers respond with "Absolutely."

I truly believe that a dealership with a strong E-Commerce Dept and equally relevant EVERYBODY at the dealership supports the E-Commerce Dept there will not be a dealer in town that would ever be able to compete.   

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This past Monday and Tuesday Sean Bradley from Dealer Synergy was in town speaking with Durran (GSM) and I (Internet Director). During one of our interviews Sean asked me to explain my relationship with Durran. I started working for Alan Vines Automotive at the age of 18 as the "photographer" and moved my way to Assistant Internet Director and now Internet Director, always following in the path of Durran Cage. Durran has always focused on rather than just training me on processes and the ins and outs of the dealership, to build myself as a leader through character. Now that I am the Internet Director I am constantly asking Durran for advice on how to be the best. His answer every time -- "what are you doing to better yourself as a person and better those who work under you?" This has always spoken volumes to me as I push forward as an Internet Director. I will try to expound upon the small things he did in another blog.

Another key I have found is to build your dealership's character within the community, asking the question "what separates my dealership from others besides pricing and inventory?" For example we recently sponsored a group in the nationally recognized Relay For Life. Rather than putting ourselves into Relay For Life, which can take up massive amounts of time, we sponsored a group already in the event. Our Relay For Life is massive within the community. By sponsoring a group we had our dealership name on every t-shirt they gave out and had a truck parked at the tent. As a person with a close family member dealing with cancer this not only meant a good amount to me, but it showed the community we care.

Back of shirt - 

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