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Dealers: You're On Facebook...Now What?

Dealerships are jumping into Social Media and I’m excited. But who’s going to manage the beast? Back when the Internet was emerging, dealers or GM’s would assign someone in the store to handle it ‘in their spare time’. I was one of those. Today, dealers should be cautious
using this same tactic for Social Media. As we found out with the Internet, Social Media is not a fad that will be gone in a few years. 75% of adult internet users are on Social Media (Nielsen, June 2010).

A few years ago, I was working at a Japanese high-line store and we took in a Porsche 911 on trade with the engine light on. We sent it through the Service Dept for Recon. They were able to get the engine light to go out (although I never knew exactly how) and we put the car
on the front line for sale. A buyer came in that weekend and purchased the car. Two days later, it came back on a flat-bed. Why? The engine had seized because it had no oil. In an effort to save money on the Recon, we let our Japanese-trained technicians work on it. Had it gone to the Porsche dealer a few blocks away, we might have saved the car. Instead, we had to put a $10K engine in it.


Letting just anyone ‘do’ Social Media is risky business. Social Media is much more than setting up a Facebook page, uploading YouTube videos and broadcasting Tweets. Most dealerships set up a profile on Facebook and notice that there are many more things on the to-do list. Pretty soon, interest wanes because they find out it’s harder than it looks to create valuable content every day. Who then is best suited to handle the dealership’s online campaigns?


CHOOSE WISELY


If you have employee that can free up the time and has the knowledge on how to use the Social Media tools, it might seem like an easy solution. So did sending the Porsche to our Service Dept. If you have an employee who knows how to use Facebook or Twitter, chances are they know how to use these tools for personal reasons. Engaging the online customer (Marketing), generating leads (Advertising) and building your store’s online reputation (Public Relations) is perhaps asking more of that employee than they are capable of.


Collaboration with a talented strategist is necessary to achieve your dealership’s goals with Social Media. Experts provide training and guidance to acclimate you and your staff to the process of engaging your online buyer. You’ll find that engaging a Social Media specialist not
only costs less but it will quickly bring in leads you never knew existed.

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This morning, when my alarm went off expectedly early, I woke up and read my email. (FYI: the secret to being a morning person when you aren’t a morning person is to set your alarm earlier than you wake up and snooze it repeatedly until you actually need to wake up. Tricks the mind. You can thank me later.) Because I’m most likely addicted to the internet, I simply can’t get my day started off right without laying there in bed and reading any emails that appeared during the night. Groupon? Hated it today but that doesn’t matter. Bloomies is having a sale on bedding (yes!) and Kate Spade has a new jewelery line. All those retail tidbits get tucked away for later. I’m totally buying this Kate Spade bangle tonight, but that’s a different story. http://www.katespade.com/product/index.jsp?productId=10776447&c... Sometimes, my inbox contains work information, and then I know what to do right when I get to work. I can schedule my day based on any 4:30a email emergencies, or non-emergencies. Before my feet hit the floor out of my bed, I feel totally prepared for my day. I also have one more habit through the day. When I get home from work, I check the mail. I scowl at any bills, tuck away any coupons, get really excited about any invitations, flip through any catalogs. I look at each piece, evaluate it, and put it in the right place. Bills and coupons on their own fridge clip, invitations get an individual magnet, catalogs on the coffee table. There’s a system, people.At this point, you are probably asking yourself, “Who cares? Seriously, MacKenzie…. You read your email on your phone before you ever get up? Weird.” However, as a marketer, you really should care. Am I your customer? Because Kate Spade and Anthropologie have me down to a science. Kate Spade finds me over email and on Facebook every morning.Anthropologie finds me by email and Facebook in the morning and catalogs at night (PS: If you are a girl and don’t get the Anthropologie catalog, sign up for one IMMEDIATELY. It’s like a pretty clothes explosion.) They have dialed into my buyer behavior and invested in the mediums — read: social media and direct mail — that are effective for their target audience. I doubt I will ever see an Anthropologie tv commercial. They only speak to me through direct communication, and it’s working.The good news for marketers is that these mediums are relatively inexpensive, it’s easy to track your success, and a great way to speak directly to your customer. You can’t go to every prospect’s home and show them your perfect little bangle. But you can access them through their habits. Make those habits count. I have habits that include mass mediachannels, but the message isn’t tailored to my specific tastes. No one talks back to me, like they on a Facebook Wall or on Twitter. If you are ignoring these direct communication segments, then you are ignoring buyer behavior that very well may be critical to your success or failure. Make an investment in these mediums. (and, shameless plug, TaCito happens to be a good firm to go with. Just saying.)
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http://www.internetsales20group.com

Interview with Whitney Willis Snow - Internet Director of Willis GM & Winner of AIS's "Dealership of the Month" Award December 2010

(READ the FULL Interview UNDER the IMAGE :)

Automotive Internet Sales “Dealership of the Month” goes to…

Willis Automotive of Smyrna Delaware

Willis Automotive of Smyrna Delaware are killing it on the Internet! They literally rose from the ashes and turned their organization around in some dark times. Willis Automotive of Smyrna is part of the Willis Automotive dealer group. They have 3 stores, Willis Automotive of Smyrna, Willis Ford and Willis Automotive of Middletown. They started their Internet initiative about a year and a half ago, right in the middle of the automotive collapse. As a matter of fact, they were one of the GM dealerships to get a letter. They lost their Chevrolet Franchise in Middletown Delaware. But this group did not let the economy beat them. They regrouped and created a NEW strategy and persevered through difficult times and are now set to reap all of the rewards from all of their hard work and tenacity. We are going to interview the Internet Director, Whitney Willis Snow-

AIS- First off, congratulations Whitney to you and your team! You just closed November 2010 with 48 units! That is AMAZING. You went from 5 units on the Internet and losing a franchise to 48 units and almost $100,000 GROSS in 30 days! I am so proud of you and very excited to share in your success.

WWS – Thank you, but it is a huge team effort. I am blessed to work with such an amazing group of people.

AIS – Whitney, your full name is Whitney Willis Snow… So, I am assuming you are an owner…?

WWS – We have a family business for over 60 years now… My mother, father, uncle, brothers etc… This is literally a family business. A small dealer group with 3 stores. I am the Internet Director and the youngest of the family in the business.

AIS – Tell us about the organization…

WWS – Simple, we are a family owned dealership with a ton of integrity. As I mentioned we have been in business for 6 decades and are very active in our community. Our reputation is everything to our family. How we treat our people… not just or prospects or clients, but how we treat our employees and each other. We strive to do the absolute best we can possibly do each and every day.

AIS – How were you engaging the Internet?

WWS – Not very much at all… We didn’t really have a strategy, no real dedication or commitment to the Internet as a “department”. As a matter of fact, when I first started working the Internet at our dealership I would simply email the prospect back once and then “hand over the lead to a salesman”.

AIS – Ok, what changed and why…?

WWS -We decided to actually build a “real” department with a strategy, focus and put resources behind it.We hired Dealer Synergy to assist us in creating the Internet Sales strategy and Standard Operating Procedures. We hired a new web design company to re-design our dealership website. We then focused on driving a lot more traffic to the dealership organically with SEO, VSEO and Social Media as well as buying leads from 3rd party providers.

AIS- What was the most challenging thing for you and the fledgling department?

WWS – That is easy… “Teaching an old dog new tricks” LOL! No, seriously… getting this accepted by the showroom floor and the sales managers. It was VERY difficult in the beginning. We had so many people that were pessimistic, resistant, non-cooperative even to the point where we felt like people were purposely trying to sabotage the department. It was crazy! I felt like, here we were, dumping a ton of resources trying to grow the business and help everyone… from salesmen to managers, but there were people that felt like we were taking away from them, or that they knew how to do things better.

AIS – How is that possible?

WWS – As I mentioned, this is a family owned dealership. Our staff has been here for a very long time. We don’t have a lot of turn over. Everyone just needs to realize to get a bigger “piece of the pie”, the “whole pie” needs to grow! We are all working towards the same goal!

AIS –What happened with the Middletown store?

WWS – Bottom line is during the whole automotive economic collapse GM sent us a letter and we lost one of our Chevrolet points. It was very hard because we have been in business for such a long time. But we decided not to shut down the dealership, we turned it into a Pre-Owned and NAPA Car Care Dealership.

AIS – How has the Internet affected your dealership business?

WWS – Point Blank… the new Internet Department SAVED us from losing our business. NO Exaggeration… The units we have been selling out of the Internet Department kept the doors open.I don’t think we could have survived the automotive economic situation without our Internet Department. We have increased internet volume and gross each month. As a matter of fact we have also increased the dealership’s total volume of sales as well as the dealership’s total gross profit.

AIS- How is everyone at the store now a days with the department…?

WWS- MUCH BETTER… there is a lot of more communication, a lot more appreciation for the department and a lot more respect for not only the department but for all of the team members in our department.

AIS- How many people are in your department?

WWS –There are 4 Internet Sales Coordinators (Phone Ninjas / Appointment Setters), my Assistant Director, and myself for a total of 6 people in the department.

AIS – What are the biggest challenges for your team?

WWS – The same, I’m sure, as all internet departments… handling people J dealing with price, objections in general, attitudes, etc…

AIS – Any advice?

WWS- Absolutely… be prepared. We have a plan of action for EVERYTHING. Phone Process, Email process… objections and rebuttals and of course “What If” process… What if this happens, what if that happens… what if, what if, what if… you have to be prepared for everything and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Sharpen the saw. That is why we are part of the Internet Sales 20 Group (www.internetsales20group.com) and very active on www.automotiveinternetsales.com

AIS – Yes, you are! Congrats on winning the Dealership Video Testimonial!! That was AWESOME!!

Anything else you would like to add to the readers?

WWS- Yes… Don’t let ANYONE tell you that you can’t do something! Don’t let ANYONE discourage you from your goal/mission. You can do anything you put your mind too!

** Also, if anyone wants to call me directly for any advice or questions, it would be my pleasure. I believe in Synergy and in the whole Internet Sales 20 group concept. With that being said, if you HAVE any IDEAS or resources that you think are worthwhile that can help me to continue growing my department…PLEASE feel free to contact me and let me know!

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http://www.internetsales20group.com

AutoTrader.com Agrees to Purchase Auto Inventory Solutions Leader HomeNet Automotive

ATLANTA and WEST CHESTER, Pa., Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- AutoTrader.com, the Internet's ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website, has agreed to purchase HomeNet Automotive, a leading provider of online inventory management and merchandising solutions.

The purchase is expected to close by the end of the year.

The addition of HomeNet to the AutoTrader.com family of companies and brands provides AutoTrader.com with a best-in-class inventory management solution for the thousands of auto dealers who use AutoTrader.com to present their inventory of new, used and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles to online vehicle shoppers.

Founded in 1996, HomeNet's proprietary "Get. Edit. Deliver" technology has helped thousands of automotive dealers nationwide generate a high volume of leads and increase online vehicle sales. HomeNet's signature solution, the Inventory Online (IOL) vehicle marketing suite, is an industry-leading vehicle inventory management and marketing system.

AutoTrader.com's purchase of HomeNet will bring a variety of benefits to dealers who post vehicles for sale on AutoTrader.com and to car shoppers who use AutoTrader.com to research and compare vehicles, find dealer specials, review inventory of cars for sale and select dealerships to visit.

For dealers, incorporating HomeNet's proprietary inventory management system into AutoTrader.com's dealer tools will allow for easier and faster inventory management and merchandising online. Dealers will be able to upload their listings faster, make updates and adjustments to their listings more easily and overall enjoy more flexibility and control in presenting their inventory for sale on AutoTrader.com.

Consumers shopping for vehicles on AutoTrader.com will have access to better vehicle information, enhanced listings that include more photos and dealer comments, advanced search capabilities and more frequent updates and information about the cars they are shopping for and researching.

The agreement to purchase HomeNet is the third in a series of acquisitions AutoTrader.com has announced in recent months. In September, AutoTrader.com announced the purchase of vAuto, the automotive retail industry's leading provider of advanced software tools for used vehicle management, pricing and inventory optimization. Then, in October, AutoTrader.com announced its planned acquisition of Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com), one of the most recognized and influential brands in the automotive industry.

"We are always looking for opportunities to grow our company, organically or through acquisitions, in ways that will make AutoTrader.com even more valuable to the auto manufacturers and dealers who advertise on our site and to the 15-million-plus consumers who shop for vehicles on our site every month," said AutoTrader.com President and CEO Chip Perry. "We were fortunate to be in a position to purchase vAuto and to agree to purchase Kelley Blue Book and HomeNet when these companies came available and we are excited about the value our combined companies can bring to the very competitive automotive shopping and marketing industries."

AutoTrader.com plans to operate HomeNet as an independent subsidiary.

Bob Landers, a 10-year AutoTrader.com veteran sales executive who was formerly vice president for AutoTrader.com's Southeast division, has been appointed general manager and vice president of HomeNet. He will be the top executive at the company, replacing founder and former president and CEO Jesse Biter. Landers will work directly with other leaders at HomeNet and be responsible for day-to-day operations and long-term growth at HomeNet.

About HomeNet Automotive, LLC: HomeNet Automotive helps the automobile industry save time and sell more vehicles. It is the leading provider of inventory merchandising, management, and marketing solutions, led by its flagship product, Inventory Online (IOL) Internet Marketing Suite. IOL is a web-based vehicle marketing solution that helps tens of thousands of automotive dealers to engage buyers online and bring them into the showroom by streamlining the process of converting raw vehicle data into consumer-friendly and emotional online ads. For more information, please email sales@homenetauto.com, visit http://www.homenetauto.com, or call (877) 738-3313

About AutoTrader.com

Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com, created in 1997, is the Internet's ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers and is a leading online resource for auto dealers, individuals and manufacturers to advertise and market their vehicles to in-market shoppers. The company also provides a robust suite of software tools for dealers and manufacturers to help them manage and market their vehicle inventory and display advertising on the Internet. AutoTrader.com continues to grow key business metrics, including revenue, profitability and site traffic. Today, AutoTrader.com attracts more than 15 million unique monthly visitors who utilize the site to review descriptions, photos and videos of vehicles for sale; research and compare vehicles; review pricing and specials; and read auto-related content like buying and selling tips and editorial coverage of major auto shows and automotive trends. AutoTrader.com operates two other auto marketing brands, AutoTraderClassics.com and AutoTraderLatino.com. AutoTrader.com also owns used vehicle management software company vAuto. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.


SOURCE AutoTrader.com

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More Questions from the new guy!

Ok guys this is a quick one I think. Are there any sights devoted to salesperson satisfaction? We all know how much traction sites like dealerrater are getting, I am just curious about the salesperson aspect of it.

Using myself as an example I have been with the same dealership for over 9 years and have some good testimonials on dealerrater, However I believe they belong to my current dealer. I am moving over 2 hours away to live closer to my wifes family. I do not wish to harm my current employer, but would love to have the testimonies on my service to help me gain future clientele. any suggestions?

Thanks for your help!

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Polk scoring

Good morning everyone!

I am in the process of breaking down all our Ecommerce department does and explanations of all the intricities to our corporate executives. One item I am struggeling to come up with a clear definition that is easy for them to understand is on explaining Polk Scoring. I breifly checked the net and didnt find anything that I felt would help me. Anyone have a good explanation? I think I am trying to OVER explain it.

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Speaking Fluent Social Media

My first job in the car business was working for this crazy family who owned 2 dealerships. The patriarch of the family had immigrated from Europe and loved talking to his customers. He would turn on the “Swiss Country Gentleman” shtick and they would eat it up like ugly girls asked to the Prom. He even had commercials on late-night local TVusing the same persona telling everyone that “Our salesmen don’t work on commission”. This brought a lot of people into the store and they all drove away with a smile.

This dealer had his kids helping him run the dealership. One was the Sales Manager, one the Service Manager and the youngest did deliveries for the Office. This was the juggernaut running this enterprise. They all spoke Swiss to each other…all the time…in front of customers and, ofcourse, the employees. Their saving grace was their take-no-prisoners Controller. He made sense of things, especially when the family would fight, and he made sure all the numbers landed where they needed to be.


My point here is that when management is speaking a different language, how can your staff bring their best game? Shouldn’t all the players be playing from the same Playbook to increase sales? The same applies to Social Media campaigns today at dealerships. Management decides to set up profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Yelp without a strategy that includes grassroots employee participation. Merely having Social Media in place doesn’t guarantee that staff will understand it and incorporate it into their daily jobs.


To better foster and manage Social Media, educate and develop everyone in the store. Make sure they’re speaking the same language. Take steps to engage employees and customers so they can easily collaborate with each other. Whether it’s the Salesperson asking the customer to give a short video testimonial at delivery or the Service Advisor reminding his loyal customers to ‘Love us on Yelp’, dealership Social Media marketing doesn’t work without each staff member’s buy-in and daily involvement.


In Social Media, your employees are the players who move it from a marketing campaign to having a conversation with your customers. Are they speaking the language of increasing sales?

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http://www.internetsales20group.com

http://www.willissmyrna.com/

Congratulations to Willis Automotive, located in Delaware for WINNING the "BEST Dealership Testimonial" Contest!!! We received a LOT of Video Testimonials from dealerships from different parts of the country and I have to tell you they were fun to watch!! Thank you for taking your time to make them and upload them.

Willis Automotive won $300!! I will make sure that Whitney Willis Snow send us a video when she gets her $300 :)

Here is the winning video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keJn-2NlIYQ&feature=player_embedded

Ok, Why did I create this contest and give away $300??? For a couple of reasons...

- First, I wanted to do something fun for the website and I know EVERYONE likes FREE Money so... :)

- I wanted to show how REALLY important Video Testimonials are and I know that just asking dealers to create them isn't enough... I / Dealers need to incentivize salesman and the internet team to create as many awesome videos as possible. It is VERY important that dealerships realize that what other people think about them and say about them is VERY important.

I was VERY pleased with the dealers that entered the contest... I was proud to see some of the dealerships go HEAVY into this project and upload a LOT of videos from their prospects / clients.

- I wanted to gauge the creativity of the videos... And I have to admit, there is a LOT of work to be done. I watched ALL the videos uploaded and noticed the same pattern... dealer after dealer. It seemed for a lot of the videos they did NOT have a strategy... a focus. I actually saw some videos where it seemed like the people did NOT want to be on video!! It is very clear that you all need to CREATE a strategy BEFORE you start to shoot the camera. Remember that there is a reason why people go online... every prospect has an expectation... what they are looking to accomplish. It is important that you "lead" the prospect / client if needed before you shoot the video. Take video testimonials on specific things like: Price, Availability, Convenience, Looking for a different way to do business, research etc... from a first time buyer, female perspective, credit challenged etc...

** Let the prospect or client talk. Try to slow down on the narration of ALL the videos...

- Make the videos FUN, interesting, passionate etc... Video is important but now a days video is all over... so you want to make your content interesting NOT just there.

All in all, this was a GREAT FIRST contest for the new AIS site!!

Thank you for all that participated and Congrats to Willis Automotive for winning the $300 prize!

SVB-

http://www.dealersyenrgy.com

http://www.facebook.com/seanvbradley

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Unhappy Car Buyer Gets 120,000 Views on YouTube

I was browsing through the website of a prominent dealer-chasing law firm recently (I know, I have weird hobbies), and came across a posting about a dealer with a link to a YouTube video. This dealership is part of a good-sized group that is very well-regarded in the area. As I am personally acquainted with this dealer group, I can attest to their integrity and dedication to customer satisfaction. So, when I clicked on the YouTube link, I expected to see another unconvincing customer with a bad case of buyer’s remorse. Well, I wasn’t disappointed – the customer bought a cheap older car and expected it to run like a brand-new Mercedes.Not surprisingly, the video attempted to make the dealership look terrible and completely at fault. But here’s the thing - this video wasn’t an amateurish clip of a customer ranting and raving, it was obviously professionally done. So well done in fact that I suspect most consumers viewing the video would find it believable.Then I noticed the view count on the video. Over 120,000 views so far, most of which are from the last month or so. Needless to say, I was astounded! One car deal, one customer, one dealership, over 100 thousand views? No way, this has to be a mistake.Sadly, it’s no mistake. Here’s how it happened:The video was produced by a consumer group who naturally had an agenda of their own. While the customer’s initial complaint was that the car had problems and he wanted his money back, a good portion of the video dealt with how the customer was saddled with an unfair arbitration agreement by the dealer. Now, according to the clip, the poor customer can’t get his day in court, has had to wait years for his arbitration hearing, has little or no chance of winning in arbitration because it’s skewed towards the dealer, and all kinds of other nonsense.The arbitration issue is what caused this video to go viral. Consumer groups and plaintiff’s attorneys have been lobbying against arbitration agreements for years. This is just another sneaky way to promote their agenda. There are now links to this video on consumer sites, legal blogs, you name it. The worst part is that the video shows up on page one when you Google the dealership or search on YouTube. It’s just a darn shame.
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Happy Black Friday! Carpe Diem!

Hello! I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday yesterday with friends and family. Sometimes that's exactly what we need in order to hit the "reset button" and refocus on our careers. I know that I am very thankful for being back to Dealer Synergy, and one of my favorite and rewarding things, in my mind, is to give back to our clients and other people we come in contact with to make them better people and better skilled professionals. We are here today AND tomorrow for any support you may need throughout the weekend, and ensure a strong month-end.

People across America have one thing in mind today and this weekend...and that is to shop, shop, SHOP!

Perception is reality, and every TV, newspaper and website advertise that you will absolutely get the BEST deals of the YEAR today and have all kinds of weekend blowout sales. RIDE THE WAVE! Make sure that anyone you speak to knows that this is very true especially in the Automotive business. From my experience, dealerships are just as busy as malls, retail stores this weekend, so turn these shoppers into BUYERS! Really push for appointments for today and tomorrow, and worst case scenario, if they can't make it, you can always relay that this holiday sale is going to be extended through month-end, and push for Monday and Tuesday to ensure you finish your month strong!

In Sean's Turkey day post below, he included quite possibly one of my favorite videos I have ever watched. One of my favorite sayings is "Carpe Diem", which is Latin for "seize the day" and I believe this video really sums it up in one of the best ways possible. If you haven't already, watch the video, and take about 2 minutes to think about it. I guarantee it will be 5 minutes (or 300 seconds) well spent. Make your time efficient and productive...and make every minute, second and phone call that you make count!

As always, our team here at Dealer Synergy appreciates and encourages comments, blogs, testimonials and participation...so let us know what you think, because we look forward to hearing from you!

Have a great weekend!

Andy

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http://www.internetsales20group.com

http://www.dealersyenrgy.com



I wanted to wish everyone a VERY Happy Thanksgiving from me, my family and the entire Dealer Synergy Team. I personally have a tremendous amount to be Thankful for. As you might or might not know, I was in a horrific, near fatal Jet Ski accident in Puerto Rico this past summer. It was a sureal experieince to say the least, I was in Puerto Rico for 2 months and out of work for over 3 months due to the accident. I had a lot of time to think, reflect and truly appreciate what I have. Sometimes when you are going at "warp" speed everyday things might get taken for granted. I am Thankful for my life, to be able to breathe. As simple as that may sound I am sincere. I am blessed and Thankful for my family, friends, company, clients and the ability to do what I love each and every day.

Life is WAY Too Short!! BeThankful that you have life and the opportunity to be and do anything you want to do. Reflect... Soak it all in... Enjoy it!

God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving

Sean V. Bradley-

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href="http://www.willisautomotivegroup.com">http://www.willisautomotivegroup.com http://www.willissmyrna.com http://www.willismiddletown.com
Call us NOW 302-653-2301
Deer hunting is a HUGE deal in middle and lower Delaware... right where our stores are located! This customer shot this testimonial and sent it in on opening day of deer season!!! Congratulations to Trey Wallace who got his first buck!! He says he couldn't have done it with out the help of his Chevrolet Silverado and Willis Automotive!! WOOHOO!!!
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http://www.basilresale.com/
http://www.joomla.org/
http://www.internetsales20group.com

At the recent Internet Sales 20 Group in Philly I had the opportunity to meet with Subi Fernando, the Internet Director for Basil Resale Centers. I have to say that I was VERY impressed with how much on point she was with Automotive Internet Sales and was equally impresses of her use of Joomla! For her organization's MAIN WEBSITE! http://www.basilresale.com/ The site is NOT perfect, there is room for a lot of opportunity, a lot of growth but the site isn't bad at all and the best part is that they own it themselves! They utilize a FREE platform called Joomla! (which is an open source CMS). I have seen a Lot of companies use Joomla! for focus / micro sites but rarely have seen it used as their primary site. The fact that they pay $26 dollars a month for the site is AWESOME!! Plus, they have NO CONTRACTS... They do it all in house. I am Not saying that this is for everybody... For the record, I DO NOT mow my own lawn lol! But, I do want dealers to know that there are OTHER viable options than what they might already know about. I like the idea for a progressive dealership (or dealer group) to take control of their OWN Multi Million Dollar Department and RUN with it... If they have the skills and resources to do so.

So, Kudos to Subi and to Basil Resale Centers!!! For more information on Joomla! or Basil Resale Centers... Contact Subi, she is a member of AIS.

SVB-
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Add me!! I need friends!!!

Hi everyone! It's been a great 1st week back to Dealer Synergy and I have spoken with many of our clients so far for a phone training or just to say Hello! There is so much that can be done to get our dealerships ramped up for year-end, and I promise I will reach out to those of you I haven't spoken to yet very soon. I have been working on more material to help improve Dealer Synergy's action plan in keeping our dealers ramped up, and better than ever on the phones. With the economy constantly changing, I have new scripted rebuttals that will help our departments handle more types of customers.

Our phone trainings have been going great, and we have some new clients that will be able to take advantage of our brand new cirriculum of phone trainings to make you a "Appointment Ninja" faster than ever! Everyone that is fluent and already taking advantage of "the 10 steps" will get even better! It's the perfect time to start making the end-of-year "push" to really CRUSH the competition and finish the year with fantastic numbers (and PAYCHECKS!!).

As of now, I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend...and we all know the weekend is always better after having a BIG Saturday....so CONFIRM those APPOINTMENTS!! :)

Andy Fedo

VP of Training

Dealer Synergy

andy@dealersynergy.com

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http://www.internetsales20group.com

Recently Google created a Tsunami of change by integrating Google Places into organic search results. Dealers called me to ask what I thought these changes would have to their Automotive SEO strategies. I was not quick to answer because I think that Google is still refining their balancing act of SEO, SEM, and Google Places.

With that said, I am feeling much better about the changes that are in play. I was worried that the new Google Places integration would start at the top of organic listings which would favor websites connected to a Google Places page. From what I can see, Google is still rewarding exact match domain names and highly optimized websites before the “mosh pit” (in green) is displayed.

In the example below, a broad search phrase like “Los Angeles Dealers” produces a list of car dealers that have Google Maps, but before those listings, three company websites appear.

Los Angeles Car Dealers

In the search results shown above, you can see that an “exact match” domain with good content, links, and relevance PRECEDES the massive block of results shown in green that are enhanced by Google Places data. You can also see the other two websites that rank above the Google Places block are not slackers at all: Automotive.com and Cars.com.

Google SERP Find Exact Matches First

I’ve said this before and will repeat it again, Google always tries to present, on a search results page (SERP), the best matching assets in its database. Google, Yahoo, and Bing all weight exact matching domains very high as long as the websites have relevant content. Redirected domains that are not hosted will never appear in search results so all those parked domains you may own are not helping you. It may be time to get those parked domains on a real content publishing strategy!

Don’t Forget The Stars

When Google integrated Google Places, the normal 8-10 organic listings were changed dramatically which created a “jump ball” once again in the search marketing Olympics.

I would like to remind all car dealers that they MUST develop a comprehensive Internet Reputation Management (IRM) strategy to increase participation of their clients to posted reviews. My recommendation is that a successful dealer should have TWICE the number of positive reviews “stars” of their nearest competitor. That may be harder in years to come but all dealers should have a few HUNDRED reviews posted from authentic customers.

Testing Search Results Start To Show A Trend

From recent testing that I have done, websites hosted on great domain names may actually have an edge over local car dealer websites. Take a look at the search listed below. The websites that Google felt were best matches and NOT in Google Places were listed first. Then the local dealers were listed.

Once again, the TOP websites above the integrated and enhanced Google Places organic listings are two heavyweight contenders UsedCars.com and Yahoo Autos. For the car industry, the bigger, more established inventory advertising websites could be getting more traffic because they are NOT in the green Google Places area and shown at the top of the page.

Miami Used Cars

This trend continues as you type in even broader searches, and you can see that websites that are EXACT matching or that have high SEO inbound links on targeted keywords, appear on Google Page One before the Google Places block. So, in essence, Automotive SEO strategies are still in tact and dealers that have EXACT matching microsites with great content are getting a boost.

The Future Automotive SEO

Since I am an advocate of Automotive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies, you would expect me to defend this marketing strategy but I will be the first to say that the changes with Google Places is still a dynamic event. I’ll keep you posted on what I find and make recommendations to take advantage of opportunities I see.

About the Author

Brian Pasch

Brian Pasch is the CEO of the PCG Digital Marketing and an active writer for the automotive community.

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http://www.internetsales20group.com

Automotive Internet Sales is GIVING AWAY FREE CASH MONEY... $300 (Out of our own pockets...) I have a CONTEST That I put together for you all!!

Contest Details -

We are looking for the BEST Customer Testimoniasl from your Dealership(s)!

Contest Rules -

You NEED to upload Customer Testimonials to www.automotiveinternetsales.com (This Site :) AIS is looking for The Best Video... that doesn't simply mean the most expensive... It means we are looking for POWERFUL Testimonial videos that will actually influence people into wanting to vist / purchase from your particular dealership versus the competition.

AIS wants to see the diffferent types of Video Testimonials that you get... Are they for New Cars? Used Cars? Finance / Special Finance? Service / Body Shop etc... Female Buyers... etc...

AIS is looking for creativity and CONTENT!!

Contest Reason / Goals -

Here at AIS, we believe that VIDEO is SOOOO Important & We also believe that having AWESOME Prospect / Client testimonials that you can use in your marketing initiatives, your website(s), your email teamplates, your online reputation management strategy as well as SOCIAL MEDIA... Can seriously give you a competitive edge in your market. We decided to offer a $300 CASH contest to whoever uploads the "Best" Dealership Testimonial video to AIS. This is a GREAT way for us to teach & learn from each other in this community.

Contest Time (Start / End) -

Contest has officially started and it will officially END November 23rd 2010

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http://www.facebook.com/Locklearautomotive
http://www.internetsales20group.com

Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dealership comes up with a VERY CREATIVE Social Media Strategy for their FaceBook using "call of Duty, Black Ops" as a Promo for "Likes"... Basically, all a person has to do is "LIKE" Locklear's FaceBook Fan Page and they will be entered into a FREE drawing / Contest for a FREE Call of Duty, Black Ops game-
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http://www.facebook.com/Locklearautomotive

http://www.internetsales20group.com

** If you "LIKE" their dealership on FaceBook, prospects are automatically entered to win a FREE "Call of Duty, Black Ops" game!


(Let me know what you think about this type of campaign... or if you have a unique social media campaign you would like to share with the community).

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Thank you for the warm welcome back to Dealer Synergy! It's been a busy 48 hours and I've been re-absorbing the Orange and Black in heavy doses! I've spoke to a lot of you so far, and I will be reaching out to everyone to say Hello in the near future, and see what I can do IMMEDIATELY to help you be a stronger phone sales ninja and Internet department. I will constantly be getting out new material and tools to help boost sales, and I ALREADY have some tips to help you make more money (that's why we work...right!?!)

After doing 18 phone trainings with Internet Coordinators, Sales Managers, and Internet Directors in just 2 days, I've found a few routine things that I did when I was in ALL of your shoes before, that can help you starting TODAY:


1. Inbound calls - Ask for more phone numbers! Make sure that if the customer gives you a work/home number, ask the obvious question "Do you also have a cell phone number?" I'm pretty sure 99% of America will have a cell phone...and now you have a number to reach them at work or home...and don't be shy to ask for a 3rd number AND email address too!! This is a very important time of your call, so don't rush yourself to the next step. This will help you confirm your appointments at anytime, leading to a better show ratio.

2. "Please get a pen" - This simple phrase at the end of your call will work...GUARANTEED! Those of you I have spoken to in the last few days have heard me emphasized to tell you customer (when confirming your appointment) to "please get a pen". At this point, give the customer PERFECT directions to your dealership, your name, and direct phone number, and the person you have delegated to handle the customer at the door. Also make the customer "REPEAT your phone number back to you, to assure they have it right". This will confirm that they were in fact writing it down. We now have a much better chance of that customer calling us back if something comes up, or they get lost, etc...

3. RE: APPOINTMENT - Send email confirmations the day before your customer is due to arrive. Hopefully even if your customer didn't get a chance to return your call, they may check their email at night, over their morning coffee, or sometime before they are due to be there that following day. Some people are very email savvy, but it's "hard to talk at work"


Happy Selling and Always Be Closing!!

Andy Fedo

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