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June 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Make Your Customers Tick

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - To determine what motivates a customer to buy a vehicle, we first must identify the different things that make customers tick. Each customer has a hot button, but combinations of the following motivators are usually present in each customer’s decision-making process.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Using Your DMS to Analyze Operational Results

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - Review your year-to-date income statement as compared to the prior year, specifically whether vehicle gross profit percentages remained consistent or were lower than the prior year.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Your CRM is One of Your Best Employees

By Greg Wells

Greg Wells - Every dealer has a few great employees, but few dealers think of their CRM as one of them. I’ve always thought otherwise. There are 10 reasons you should feel the same way

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Hidden Costs of a CRM

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - Customer relationship management (CRM) software and systems can be an incredible waste of time and money, and the resulting exposure to liabilities is an ever-growing concern for the small business owner. These systems can also be the most valuable tool available to stabilize revenue and grow your business, and the difference starts at the top.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Findlay Automotive Launches New VW Store

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - During one of the worst recessions in the country’s history, many businesses abruptly halted any plans for growth. However, while 2009 may have been a risky year to launch a new dealership, Findlay Automotive Group took the next logical step in growing the company’s footprint by opening their newest store.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Web Traffic is Up

By Richard Valenta

Richard Valenta - Analysts and dealers alike are saying this spring will be great for business. Traffic to dealership Web sites is up across the country. During the past year, reduced expenses affected many dealers’ marketing and advertising efforts, including their Web sites.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Protecting Your Customer’s Privacy

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - When we do a dealer F&I compliance audit, one of the things we do is to go dumpster diving, or at least “trash can rummaging.” That’s because there seem to be an awful lot of dealers out there who haven’t yet gotten the word that we have laws protecting the privacy of their customers.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

How to Design a Fixed Ops Marketing Plan

By Don Reed

Don Reed - A worthy goal for every dealer would be to sell a new or used vehicle today and keep that customer coming back to your dealership for life. You want them coming back for all their service needs, for parts, for body repairs, to buy additional vehicles for their family and of course, to trade in the vehicle you just sold them to buy another. Makes sense, right?

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Rogers Auto Group BDC Nets Customers Online

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - When fishing, a net will usually yield a better return than a fishing pole. At Rogers Auto Group in Chicago, Ill., David Ortiz understands and employs this concept to drive traffic to the dealership. Although he’s the BDC manager, he also manages the dealership Web site, which is where most dealership traffic is spawned.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

CRM and BDC in BHPH

By Brent Carmichael

Brent Carmichael - Is a CRM right for you? Maybe a BDC is what you need. Whether they realize it or not, all BHPH dealers have some form of both, or at least they’d better if they want to survive.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Trust but Verify

By Kirk Manzo

Kirk Manzo - The practices of reviewing deal jackets on a regular basis (once a month at minimum, once a week is preferred), analyzing production reports, and conducting daily managers’ save-a-deal meetings continue to be the gold standards for our industry.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Traditional Media Once Again Working Well in Special Finance

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - As the calendar turns to March, good news seems to be abounding in the special finance world. E-mails and phone conversations with dealers and their managers indicate that business is indeed returning to that of the old days (late ‘90s) when SF was solid and deals were reasonable.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Top 10 Search Engine Optimization Factors

By J.D. Rucker

J.D. Rucker - Search engine optimization is both an art and a science. While there are factors that every professional in the industry agrees contribute to the success of an SEO campaign, the differences come in how much weight is given to each factor.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Are You Equipping Your Managers?

By Tony Troussov

Tony Troussov - Training people should be a top priority when developing a successful team. Most dealerships or dealer groups focus on improving salespeople while ignoring the skill set of employees in other revenue-generating departments.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Getting to the FAAQs

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - During the course of a year, accountants are asked many different questions. Some of the more frequent questions are: What should I pay myself for salary? What should I pay myself for rent, and what should the lease term be? Should I consider starting a buy here pay here (BHPH) operation if I am a new car dealer? Getting to the FAAQs

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

SEO Need to Know

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - Successful search engine optimization (SEO) is ever-changing, which is why many dealers enlist the help of third parties to properly optimize their Web sites. And choosing a reputable provider can be a challenge. If you’ve recently evaluated providers, you’ve likely learned a little about SEO, but your education on the subject was probably embedded in a sales pitch.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Finish Line Ford Laps the Competition by Building a Used Car Presence

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - Proper inventory management is a fast-paced race, but it is one a dealer can come from behind and win. Case in point: Finish Line Ford in Peoria, Ill., is currently averaging 300 sales per month. When compared to the 70 per month it was averaging throughout most of 2008, it’s obvious the dealership came from about the middle of the pack and is now leading the way.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Responding to All Things Internet

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - The Internet can be your best friend or your worst enemy. To effectively communicate and maintain strong relationships with Internet customers, responses to inquiries must be immediate and consistent and you must interact with customers on the latest Web 2.0 Internet avenues.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Solving the 2010 Profit Puzzle

By Greg Wells

Greg Wells - It happened one Thanksgiving Day. My mom and her sisters gathered around the dining room table and placed a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. I’d seen them do it every Thanksgiving Day of my life.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Be Optimistic Even in this Economy

By Bill Leslie

Bill Leslie - That was an odd comment, so I asked him what he meant. "They don't like their customers, and they don't like their own business. They are rude, and expensive, and when you are done working with them, you'll feel pretty bad about having given them your money."

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Have You Searched Your Dealership Lately?

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - I have talked with probably more than 10,000 dealers about special finance over the past two decades. The range of their commitment to special finance has been from “off the charts” to a “you couldn’t get me to touch it with a 10-foot pole.”

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

It's the Manager, Stupid

By Bill Leslie

Bill Leslie - Before you take offense at the title of this column, please note that it is pointed at me. I'm the one who is stupid. I learn over and over that my success, and the success of my business, is dependent on the managers I hire. I seem to relearn this lesson about every 12 months. Maybe if I write it down, I'll remember it.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

“Oh, You Meant ‘New’ New”

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - There’s “new,” and there’s “used,” but sometimes even a seemingly black-or-white determination like this can turn more than a little bit gray. Here’s one court’s attempt to resolve the question of, “How new must a car be to be ‘new?’”

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

2010 - Your "Friend?"

By Todd Swickard

Todd Swickard - Is it the year for social networking in the car business, where we all connect to our customers and show them how good of a "friend" we are? Or is it the year that we make videos of everything? Why don’t we clog servers to show them video instead of pictures?

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

BHPH Personnel Breakdown

By Gene Daughtry

Gene Daughtry - Good people—in any business, this is a requirement. Your front-line people have to create a welcoming atmosphere so folks coming into your business feel comfortable. As the owner or manager, you have to work hard to train your people to represent your company the way you intended.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Herbies Auto Sales on a Mission for Success

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - The dealership, located in Greeley, Colo., could have easily become a casualty of the credit crisis and recession like so many other businesses. In April 2009, the bank holding the dealership’s line of credit failed and was taken over by the FDIC, freezing that line of credit. “We’ve been operating without a line of credit. It’s been very interesting,”

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Tax Law Changes and Other Tax Considerations

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - On November 6, 2009, the President signed the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 (WHBAA). This and many other factors can affect your business’ taxable income for 2009 and beyond. Some of the below changes are beneficial, and some are not.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Identify Your Existing Special Finance Opportunity

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - It is a new year, and many dealers have finished their annual planning and are prepared for a continued upswing in business for the coming year. Based on the calls and e-mails I have received recently, that includes for some dealers (for very good reasons) a refocus on their special finance efforts.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Who's Selling Who?

By Brett Boatwright

Brett Boatright - You know the sales rep who says, "When I’m a manager, I will never be like this jerk I work for." Although, the minute they get promoted, they become the same jerk. Why does this happen? The simple answer is: It's all they know!

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Planning: A Challenging Event for 2010

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - Four successful dealers – three franchise (Bert Boeckmann, president/owner, of Galpin Motors; Steve Hinchcliff, president and CEO of H&H Chevrolet; and Carlos Ledezma, dealer principal Of Cable-Dahmer Chevrolet) and one independent (David Andrews, dealer principal of City Auto) – shared their plans and goals for 2010 with Auto Dealer Monthly.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Social Media’s Increasing Role in Dealership Marketing and How Your Dealership Can Get Started

By Joe Turner

Joe Turner - Few things have changed the way businesses advertise like social media. Of course, radio was a big change from print, and TV brought a whole new dynamic, but advertising was still a matter of pushing a message to the masses and hoping some got it.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

BHPH Dealers Gain a New Advantage with Zoombak’s Locate Assist™

By ADM

Zoombak®, a leading provider of GPS tracking devices, recently announced the launch of Locate Assist™, a new feature for the company’s buy here pay here product, Zoombak GPS Recovery™ Finance Track. This new feature will give buy here pay here dealers an advantage they didn’t have before in tracking their vehicles.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Necessary Skills to Increase Opportunity Share

By Greg Wells

Greg Wells - With a predicted 11.2 million sales in 2010, we will be short six million sales compared to 2007. Six million missing sales equates to 36 to 40 million missed showroom opportunities. It’s not market share you should focus on, but opportunity share.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

2010 Forecast Calls for Mostly Sunny Skies

By Brent Carmichael

Brent Carmichael - For those of us in the BHPH world, the weather for 2010 looks to be mostly sunny with a few clouds here and there and a slight chance of a shower or two (very similar to what we saw in 2009).

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Do Recognition and Compensation Motivate?

By Kirk Manzo

Kirk Manzo - The root of the word “motivation” comes from the Latin word “motivus” meaning to move or take action. So what moves your people to take action?

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Picture-Perfect Online Inventory

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and Steven Sodikoff, dealer principal of Steven Toyota Scion in Harrisonburg, Va., believes it applies to his inventory. Recently, Sodikoff invested heavily in his dealership’s online presence in a rather unusual way. He took an empty service facility and transformed it into a high-tech photography studio.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Skinning Cats

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - The old adage says there’s more than one way to skin a cat. The following plaintiffs sought to have the court hold the dealer liable for their injuries. First, they claimed that the dealership couldn’t disclaim the implied warranties of sale with respect to a safety defect.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

BHPH Dealers Improve the Basics in 2009 for Better Cash Management

By Brent Carmichael

Brent Carmichael - The main focus for BHPH dealers in the NCM BHPH 20 Groups program for 2009 was cash management. They looked to maximize cash flow to fund growth and/or reduce reliance on borrowed capital.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Attracting and Retaining the Best Employees

By Tony Troussov

Tony Troussov - Imagine what would happen if your organization was attracting and retaining the best of the best employees. What type of atmosphere would that create for your customers? What results would your company attain? Take a moment and think about it. Compare your answers to the reality you face every day.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The New School is the Place to Be

By Dean Evans

Dean Evans - The war between the "old school" of marketing and the "new school" of marketing continues to rage, regardless of the gains the new school has made and the losses the old school continues to suffer in the marketplace. The Internet has the attention of the vast majority of consumers.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Two Easy, Inexpensive Ways To Help You Locate Your Next Buy Here Pay Here Lot

By Charley Pompey

I do not believe that “dealer row” is always the right place to be. Your local zoning may dictate a concentration of automotive retail and repair facilities into one area of your city or town. If you have the flexibility to choose otherwise, here are my thoughts.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

On the Phone with the SF Customer

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - BDR intuition is the skill to know which direction to take at the fork in the road during customer interactions. Ad and lead sourcing helps make this simple by identifying credit issues early. Being on point and having BDR intuition when speaking with a special finance customer is vital because these potential buyers are likely filling out multiple credit applications.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Stronger Customer Relationships Through Fixed Operations Marketing

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - The name Sonic Automotive is well-known to anyone in the industry, and with good reason. It is the third-largest automotive group in the country with 153 dealerships and more than 30 collision centers and a Fortune 300 company. Carrying more than 30 different vehicle brands, its reach stretches literally across the country, from California to the Carolinas.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Rethink Your Business Model

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - I just finished attending a couple of conventions where I spoke on various expert panels and met with hundreds of dealers. I have spent many hours on the phone with dealers who have called wanting help to “stay alive.”

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Above All Else, Choose Character

By Bill Leslie

Bill Leslie - Six months ago, we caught an employee stealing on his first day on the job. We caught him red-handed. There was no doubt involved, and he admitted the theft. There were divided opinions among the decision-makers, but the decision was to give him a second chance. We really needed to fill that spot.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Three Key Elements of High-Performing F&I Departments

By Kirk Manzo

Kirk Manzo - As we approach year’s end, now is a good time to examine your processes and procedures in all areas of the dealership including sales and F&I. The interaction between these two areas of the dealership is the life blood for future growth.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

BHPH Dealers Look Back at 2009

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - For many dealers, 2009 has been a kick in the teeth. However, one group of dealers, buy here pay here (BHPH) dealers, haven’t been hit as hard as some dealers who’ve fought to keep their doors open. Many BHPH dealers have persevered without significant losses.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Profits, Cash and Liquidity

By Ben Donnarumma

Ben Donnarumma - Cash may be king in the car business but cash flow rules! It is the life blood for any business, especially for money vacuums like car dealerships. Just talk to a local banker today about getting a short-term loan for a car dealer; even with the Small Business Administration backing 90 percent of the principal, banks still consider such a loan to be a risky endeavor.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

RightWay Automotive Credit Does it Right

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - With 15 used car stores in Michigan and Illinois and about 650 employees, RightWay Automotive Credit as it exists today is a far cry from where it began.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

CPO = New, Perfect?

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - Could we make this stuff up? The plaintiff thinks that “certified pre-owned” means “new,” is handed a CARFAX report by the dealer that shows two accidents for the car, but relies on a salesman’s assertion that the car has been in only one wreck and drives the car 80,000 miles before suing the dealer.

Tags: BDC

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