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 knowing your car inventory. Whether it is a new or preowned vehicle, you should know the features along with the benefits of each individual vehicle. Inventory is the #1 page on your dealership's website. You should know what all of your vehicles natural competitors are when working with a prospect. At the end of the day, the most important thing for you to do is qualify your prospects.
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In Loving Memory Of Jim Lacy, Dealer Principal OF RC Lacy Ford Lincoln Subaru - RIP Jimmy
James C. Lacy
Posted: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 12:30 am
James Calvin Lacy, 47, of Catskill died suddenly Sunday, March 2, 2014 at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson. He was born July 19, 1966 in Catskill, the son of Roscoe and Sally (Whitaker) Lacy of Catskill.
Jim attended Catskill Central Schools and was a graduate of Catskill High School, Class of 1984. During his high school sports career, Jim reached the NYS finals in basketball, golf and tennis, and was recognized for his accomplishments on ESPN television. He attended SUNY Brockport and Hudson Valley Community College, and was a member of both basketball teams. Jim was currently the co-owner of RC Lacy Ford Lincoln Subaru in Catskill. He was a member of the Catskill Golf Club, Catskill Elks Lodge, REMAX Long-Drive Golf Competition and Vonex Long-Drive Golf Teams, which traveled throughout the United States, Japan and Canada. An avid fisherman, Jim also enjoyed golfing, skiing, traveling abroad, gourmet cooking and helping coach his two sons’ sports teams.
In addition to his parents Roscoe and Sally Lacy of Catskill, Jim is survived by his wife, Tami (Brandow) Lacy of Catskill; two children, Dylan James Lacy and Justyn Taylor Lacy of Catskill; a sister, Jennifer Lacy Cargioli of North Carolina; a brother, Daniel Lacy and wife Gina of Catskill; father in-law and mother in-law, George and Mary Brandow; Gordon and Rosalie Johnson, and Tamara Butterworth; brothers in-law and sisters in-law, Mark and Kelly Brandow, Gloria Johnson, Jason and Amy Johnson, and Derek Butterworth; uncle and aunt Calvin and Jeanne Lacy; nieces and nephews, Craig Garifo, Amanda Garifo, Nicole Lacy, Troy Lacy and several other aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends may call 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Traver & McCurry Funeral Home, 234 Jefferson Heights, Catskill. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Friday at the funeral home. Rev. Ronald B. Cox will officiate. Interment will follow in the Town of Catskill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the James C. Lacy Athletic Scholarship Fund, 25 Maple Ave., Catskill, NY 12414.
Never has there been a more dedicated band of starry-eyed optimists than the surviving Lincoln dealers.
These brave souls have jumped through every hoop and swallowed every bitter pill the manufacturer served with hardly a whimper. They put up the money and built the upgraded facilities, separated their showrooms, and upped their game in anticipation of the rivers of milk and honey in the Promised Land.
Of course reality always trumps fantasy. Truth is, it just ain’t happening.
I don’t think it’s ever going to happen if Lincoln stays on the current course. Please remember, I love Ford. I regard Alan Mulally, Mark Fields and Jim Farley as personal friends. This is not mean-spirited Jim Ziegler talking here.
I speak to these dealers when they come back from automaker meetings worked up in a frenzy of excitement. Talk to them a few weeks later, and they’re back to the grind of moving these cars in a market where they are the underdog.
Last year it was the MKZ midsize. This was billed as the future of the brand. Then, after a dismally inept launch, Lincoln is refocused on the upcoming launch of the MKC cross/utility vehicle.
Excuse me, this is Jim Ziegler talking from the heart. I have a special place in my heart for Lincoln. I drove them in the glory days. I owned nine Town Cars and several Mark VII’s back-to-back. Watching the brand go downhill has hurt me, as I now drive Cadillacs and Buicks. Sad to say, their quality is scoring higher and the models are more appealing.
There’s still time to save Lincoln and have it retake its rightful share of the luxury market. But the clock is ticking and the brand is totally on the wrong path. I don’t always claim to be the great and powerful wizard, but; here are some of the things I would do immediately.
Get rid of that God-awful ugly-ass grille you’re so proud of. I have talked to numerous consumers and it’s hard to find anyone who believes it’s attractive, classy or stylish.
Put a full-court press on modernizing and upgrading the Navigator. What genius-thinking has allowed your flagship full-sized luxury SUV to become a stale, old- technology, outdated, jazzed-up Expedition with a navigation panel the size of a postage stamp?
Let’s see, Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator. Let me think for second here? Perception is reality. Ford threw away the full-sized SUV market all at once.
MKZ, MKS, MKZ, MKT now MKC. This is absolutely stoo-pid thinking. Did somebody on the marketing team have a lobotomy? Nobody, and I mean nobody, has the foggiest idea what those models are.
I used to always say that American vehicles should have names. American luxury has personality and swagger. Put exciting and innovative names on Lincoln models, and stop changing them all of the time.
Get rid of the MKT cross/utility vehicle. It is an abomination, a Frankenstein of a CUV. (And, while you’re at it, dump the Ford Flex too). And while I’m on a rant, who the hell thought it would be okay to put the “Town Car” name on an MKT?
While we’re on the subject, explain again exactly why the real Town Car was discontinued?
Yes, it was long of tooth and getting stale, but who allowed that to happen? It was extremely profitable at the time of its execution and you certainly threw away the livery business that you once owned. There is a market for full-sized luxury and you axed your entrant before you had anything legitimate to replace it with.
You are so eaten up with chasing Generation Y that you totally threw away your bread and butter, the Baby Boomers. I’m talking about 77 million consumers who have more than 75% of America’s wealth and buy 60% of the new cars.
We’re talking about sane and stable people here who used to always buy your products. Now, you threw them to the four winds because you were concentrating on Generation Y’ers living in Mom’s basement. Build cars aimed at people who are qualified to buy, who can and will buy now.
Call me crazy. Everyone else seems to. But, I would halo a Lincoln semi-performance pony car squarely aimed at the Generation X professional that now buys BMW. It wouldn’t be a Mustang, but a Lincoln with its own persona.
Even Acura is bringing back the NSX. I would design a $60,000 Lincoln sports car that would have the entire world talking. Sorry, the MKZ isn’t what I’m describing here.
Try to think of some other incentive programs other than leasing to attract new customers. Once again, you’re too fixated on trying to be like the Europeans. It’s been a long time since Lincoln has thought outside of the incentive-program box. It’s same old, same old. The MKZ launch was an example of right car, bad execution. Your dealers did not let you down, you blew it.
Simplify the technology. I am applauding your return to sanity on new models with manual controls that consumers can understand and operate and don’t cause distracted driving. My wife is now driving a Cadillac again, but when she drove Mercedes and BMW, she felt she needed an engineering degree to operate those cars’ infotainment systems.
Finally, admit when you’re wrong. I know this is difficult for any executive that works for any automaker.
For 38 years in the industry I’ve watched thousands of factory executives come and go. It’s always the same. The new ones come in the business thinking they know more about retail than the dealers. They try the same old crap that didn’t work before.
It’s an endless cycle. By the time we get you trained as to what really works, here comes the next generation. Another constant: Going to your dealers to bail you out.
I believe Ford has some of the best top executives we’ve seen in decades. But they’re not infallible. My ideas might not all be the best, but at least I’m thinking. And thinking on a different track.
Okay, the National Automobile Dealers Assn. convention is in New Orleans next month. Please find me and say hello. I’ll be all over the convention floor. Dealers please go and participate. Take a copy of this article to the Lincoln make meetings. They’ll like that. Tell the factory guys Ziegler sends his love.
Jim Ziegler is president of Ziegler Supersystems as well as a trainer, commentator and public speaker on dealership issues. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. WardsAuto readers also may comment on this article by logging in or registering below.
My name is Chelsey Here at Lacy Ford Lincoln and Subaru in Catskill, NY. I have been working here for almost 5 weeks. This Internet Department has been working very hard this whole week training with Dealersynergy. When I started here, I was unsure about a handful of things on how the internet sales worked. I knew a little bit about dealerships but not a good amount. But when Sean and Anthony came here they answered a lot of my problems. They are a very good team and know what they are talking about. The time that Anthony has been here helping us on the phone with scripts has been GREAT. He showed us how to handle a bunch of different situations. I had a hard time with a customer I couldn't get him to answer the phone and terrible responses with email. Anthony jumped on the phone left a VM for him and he called us right back. Anthony did his thing and made the appointment, My jaw dropped, I was shocked on how he handled the customer. He made it look easy, not saying its hard just that I have had a hard time getting ahold and getting this guy to listen to me. Basically I am saying that this has been the best experience I have had in awhile and I took a lot of recordings and notes and I will take this advice and help to the top and use every piece that they gave me. Thank you for the help and we will do our best at showing how good we can be.
Powerful video testimonial from the Jones Family that was at a dealership across the street and they walked over looking at the Ford Escapes and ran into a closer that sold them a 2011 Ford Escape!! Sell or be Sold!!
The Hickman's were driving a loaner from a dealership in Wichita KS when they came to Long McArthur in Salina KS. They were given a Ritz Carlton like buying experience in Salina KS and decided to leave the loaner with us so that we can return it to the dealer in Wichita KS!!
Posted by JD Rucker on December 9, 2012 at 11:48pm
Next to computers, tablets, and smartphones, our cars are often the most technologically-challenging item that we deal with on a daily basis. Every model year brings out new gadgets and gizmos that are designed to enhance, adapt, and often-times engage with other technologies that we carry with us. Tablets are used as owners' manuals. MP3 players have become our stereos. Speakers and mics interact with our phones for hands-free driving. These are the common examples. Today's cars can do so much more.
The advertising on the OEM level often focuses on technology. Why do so few dealers do the same? It's not that they need to advertise the latest advancements to SYNC or show off the technology in any way. That's the manufacturers' job. They can, however, demonstrate that they have both an expertise in making these technologies work for their customers as well as an eager willingness to make it happen.
Many dealers do this. Few market it properly. Many of the car ads we see on television or the internet still focus on sales, price-beating, and gimmicks. What if (and think about it for more than a second) instead of promoting their dealership the same way every other dealership does, they took the path of focusing on their expertise and customer service. What if they weren't just there to sell you a vehicle. What if they were there to help you make it fit in with your technological existence?
It's an idea that was sparked by a friend, Jeff Cryder at Lebanon Ford, about a year ago but that didn't manifest itself in its current form until tonight. I was debating with a friend about his iPhone 5 versus my Galaxy SIII. His "winning" argument that obliterated any chance of convincing him that my phone was better than his: the Genius Bar.
Price is a losing battle in the automotive industry. Most dealers will be within dollars of each other when negotiated down to the bottom line on identical cars. The focus on "we treat you right" is still a powerful message but doesn't quite have the zing that it once did; the number of scandalous car dealers with poor practices has diminished dramatically in recent years and the majority do what they can to treat their customers with respect.
Technology. Expertise. A willingness to help customers get "plugged in" to their cars and take advantage of the tremendous technologies available to us - these are the things that might just work from a marketing perspective. It would be a welcome change from a television advertising perspective. It would be a differentiator at the website level. On social media, it could shine. Now, apply this to both the sales and service departments and I think you might have something.
Failure is a state of mind. It has been said that failure is not falling down but refusing to get up. Thomas Edison tried 10,000 times before he was successful in creating the light bulb. He said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Each time we believe we have failed at something, it is simply another step to the process. Henry Ford said, "Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely." Unfortunately, most people see opportunities as work. This causes them to not try. If you get frustrated and filled with self-doubt, think how different our lives would be if the inventors of the past had let previous failures stop them.
The 7 Secrets to Ford's Social Media Marketing Success
Last year I noticed articles and videos appearing online and on Social Media such as YouTube about the Ford Fiesta. So I decided to dig a little deeper to find out about what Ford were doing in Social Media to market their products.
Scott Monty is the Head of Social Media at Ford and has only been there since 2008 and put in place a Social Media strategy including multiple Social Media channels.
Scott said that his “Jewel in the Crown” is the Ford Fiesta Movement that involved selecting 100 socially vibrant individuals who were provided with the European version of the Ford Fiesta 18 months prior to it being manufactured and released in the USA. These socially media aware fanatics were encouraged to share their experience with the Ford Fiesta over the 6 months on their Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube channels.
What were the strategies that Ford implemented to create viral awareness without one dollar of traditional marketing spend?
The 7 secrets to Fords Social Media Marketing Success
People trust corporations less so with the rise of social media you need to allow other people through word of mouth create trust for you through Social Media (it amplifies your message)
Reached out to those who are listening and let them do the talking for you and to connect with people like themselves
Let them know that you are real people just like them and are passionate about what they do and the Ford Brand
Run a competition involving Social Media eg.. To be selected to drive a Ford Fiesta for six months – select 100 of those who are “socially vibrant” such as Michelle McCormack ..view her application on YouTube.
Aggregated the content on Fords Fiesta movement website (crowd sourcing content) without editing it!
Implemented multiple Social Media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to create digital buzz
“Get On Board” the executive team and the board of directors
11 million Social Networking impressions
5 million engagements on social networks (people sharing and receiving)
11,000 videos posted
15,000 tweets.. not including retweets
50,000 hand raisers who have seen the product in person or on a video who said that they want to know more about it when it comes out and 97% of those don’t currently drive a Ford vehicle
38% awareness by Gen Y about the product, without spending a dollar on traditional advertising ( Fords model “Fusion” doesn’t have that awareness after 2 years of being out in production and yet it has received hundreds of millions of dollars in traditional marketing spend).
Following the Ford Fiesta movement the launch of the Fiesta Ford did run a traditional marketing campaign including TV, Print and and Outdoor advertising.
According to J.D. Power, about 9% of spending this year by automakers will be digital (Ford’s share spend is 25%.. and they were the only company not bailed out by the Federal Government), but that will rise to about 12% by 2012 as more companies embrace social networking, online gaming and rich media ads in place of traditional TV and print.
Scott Monty’s advice on whether Social Media Marketing is right for your company,
“If your customers are there you need to be there too” he also went on to say “You need to listen.. see how they behave and act similiarly”
Today, Consumer Reports really gave it Ford regarding the Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus. (More on that here) It is pretty surprising given the success Ford has had over the last few years, growing in reliability and quality with not only their vehicles, but also their technology.
Anyway, I checked out Ford's twitter feed, which is the most active in the entire auto industry, and they linked to a discussion forum on their website. The topic was : "Tell us why you love Your Ford Explorer."
I just thought that was a really smart social media and reputation management technique. Here's that tweet.