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FROM THE DESK OF JOHN KRAFCIK

 

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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I truly belive in all my heart that CARS.COM is trying to do the right thing!!

THANK YOU to all of the dealers, Trainers/Consultants/Advocates, especially Jim Ziegler and Sean V. Bradley that made noise about this new program that was launched.

As of today here is a message from them :

http://dealeradvantage.cars.com/da/2013/05/moving-forward-testing-new-ways-to-drive-exposure/

He did also refer to a 23 minute video from Brian Pasch FOR the idea, which I have personally NOT watched.  I think overall, this "test" was a good and bad one.

Good - we are engaging customers more and following up, and anything that does slip through the cracks on the dealership level, we can find out if the customer is still on the market with another automated email process. This does increase value to Cars.com to me as a dealership....ONLY if we fix the BAD!

BAD - ...which really should be "horrible"!  Bottom line, a company we are paying for a car buyer...is now turning that buyer into a shopper with other suggestions.  They are also providing financing options and other 3rd party validations, and that part is OUR JOB as the dealership to do! 

**(Please refer to Robert Wiesman article EXACTLY about that written a few days ago!)

We can ALL work together (aka Synergize!!) to make this a HUGE WIN/WIN/WIN situation for us as the dealership, Cars.com as a trusted vendor and advertiser, AND the customer looking for the best deal!

 

Andy Fedo

Director of Internet Sales, Lithia Nissan Hyundai of Fresno

afedo3@yahoo.com

 

 

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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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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! (...no 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

afedo3@yahoo.com

 

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Have you ever seen a car dealership ad that promises to pay off the loan balance of your trade-in, even if you owe more than the value of the trade-in? Well, the Federal Trade Commission has stopped a handful of dealers from continuing to deceive buyers with this too-good-to-be-true offer.

See, what was happening, says the FTC, is that the dealers would just take that negative equity and roll it over into the loan for the new car. One dealer even required customers to go out of pocket for the difference.

"Buying a new car or truck is a major financial commitment, and the last thing consumers need is to be tricked into thinking that a dealer will 'pay off' what they owe on their current vehicle, when they really won't," said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "The Federal Trade Commission is constantly on the lookout for potentially deceptive ads, and brings actions to stop them when appropriate."

The specific dealers named in the FTC complaints are: 1) Billion Auto, Inc., in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; 2) Frank Myers AutoMaxx, LLC, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; 3) Key Hyundai of Manchester, LLC and Hyundai of Milford LLC, in Vernon and Milford, Connecticut, respectively, and which advertise jointly; 4) and Ramey Motors, Inc., in Princeton, West Virginia.

An ad for Key Hyundai contained the following statement: "I want your trade no matter how much you owe or what you're driving. In fact I'll pay off your trade when you upgrade to a nicer, newer vehicle." And Ramey Motors promised to "pay off your trade no matter what you owe . . . even if you're upside down, Ramey will pay off your trade."

The FTC has ordered these businesses to stop misrepresenting that they will pay the remaining loan balance on a consumer's trade-in.

The Commission says it began looking into these deceptive practices as a result of one of last year's public roundtables regarding consumer protection issues that may arise in the sale, financing or lease of motor vehicles.

FTC Takes Action To Stop Deceptive Car Dealership Ads [FTC.gov]

Links - http://consumerist.com/2012/03/ftc-goes-after-car-dealers-for-lying-to-customers-about-trade-ins.html 

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Sean V is paying me!!!!

 

 My name is Robert Wiesman, a true front line automotive sales professional. I have roughly about a year and a half in this business and if want to be a six figure player YOU NEED TO INVEST AND TREAT THIS LIKE YOUR OWN business!! I can not stress that enough! Everybody knows it, everybody says it, but hardly any one really does it! I do!!

 

Invest in yourself

1. Look good

2. Drive what you sell

3.Training materials, role play everyday and when you get home with your signifigant other, buy any books, audio, dvd and virtual training you can get your hands on, Derek Jeter hits the batting cage daily, if you are a pro you should as well.

4.Dominate social media, custom pages, solid informative content. You can not post too much.

5. Brand yourself. Look at www.robertwiesman.com. Build yourself as a brand and keep it in front of people.(Not going to give away all my secrets.

6. Your own website. Make yourself stand out to your clients as a true professional. 'Before we get together sir take a moment and check out my web page to learn a little more about the services I provide. Helps with credibilty. Keep it posted consistently with strong information that will make it a resource for car buyers.

7.YouTube Channel. Consistently record informative videos that give great information on one of life's biggest accomplishments buying a new car. Service tips, specials, up keep, performance, etc.

8.Prospecting tools. Keep your name in front of as many people as possible. Stickers with your information on them in the door jams and gas cap, pens of course drop them off at every bar, restaurant, etc. magnets for the refridgerator, insurance/registration card holders with your information on it, referral cards with your bird dog program on it,brochure with your information and a brief desription of the services you provide. I use many more and I am determined to stay on every ones mind and stay in front of as many people as I possibly can.

9.Marketing. Treat yourself like you are the dealer. Utilize SEO, VSEO, old school but effective is ads in local magazines ad newspapers. Radio is still solid but what is even better is being a guest on a local talk radio show as an "auto expert". I can not stress how important it is to brand yourself and keep your name buzzing and on the tip of everyones tongue. I am not going to give you all my creative ideas.

10. Technology. Maximize and utilize all this amazing technology. The iPhone and iPad have some great tools to run your business more efficently. This is 2012 baby it's time you joined us!

 

There are many other ways to invest in yourself and YOUR business. It really is your business so why would you even think for one second you do not need to invest in it? Treat you as if you are the dealer, the entity. Become a house hold brand, that is a automotive professional that geniunely cares about others vehicle needs.

The few ideas I listed above will plant many seeds and if done on a consistent basis will turn into many many deals that come to the showroom asking for YOU!!!!

Put your money where your mouth is!

www.robertwiesman.com

 

Robert Wiesman

717-816-9313

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Hyundai-Race--Times-Square-2.jpg

Hyundai has launched an inventive social marketing program called the “HYUNDAI RACE” at Times Square, one of the busiest city cross streets in the world. By downloading a controller app from the iTunes app store, participants can enjoy the HYUNDAI RACE featuring the all-new Hyundai Veloster on a prominent billboard via Hyundai WiFi.

Steve Shannon, Hyundai Motor America vice president of Marketing said, “Having a large video display in Times Square certainly creates awareness among consumers through creative graphic elements. But Hyundai’s racing game takes engagement to a new level. The game invites the audience to interact with Hyundai in the middle of one of the world’s busiest venues for commerce and tourism. It’s a great example of our innovative marketing at work.”

HYUNDAI RACE  is played by tilting a smart phone like one would steer a car. Players race their Veloster against the clock and their score will get posted on the billboard to be ranked amongst other players. HYUNDAI RACE will be up on the billboard in Times Square until the end of this year, and Hyundai will continue launching a number of other interactive experiences in Times Square thoughout 2012.

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