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May 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Walk the Talk in Inventory Management

By Harlene Doane

We’ve all heard the statement before. You have to walk the talk. It’s not enough to say you will do something; you have to do it. It’s time for dealers to manage their inventory better. Dealers are talking about inventory management in record numbers, but ...

Tags: BDC

May 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Right-Sizing in The Current Economy

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

As with any industry, the automotive retail industry has seen its fair share of buzzwords. The new buzzword in the industry is “right-size.” In order to avoid being a causality of the economy (NADA estimated 700 dealerships shut their doors in 2008), many dealers have been advised to ...

Tags: BDC

May 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

First-Party Internet Leads

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

It’s no secret; dealer-generated leads close better than purchased, third-party leads. Not only can third-party leads get expensive, but some in the industry are saying third-party leads aren’t what they used to be.

Tags: BDC

May 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Old School Meets High Tech

By Tom Langas

Tom Langas - Every company out there that does Web site design has their vision of what your site should be to be successful. They are not aware of your market's nuances, quirks and hot spots. It is up to you and others in your company to stick by your guns and make these talented designers see your vision.

Tags: BDC

May 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Why Should You Have a BHPH Web Site?

By Charley Pompey

Charley Pompey - Picture this: you leave your office on a Monday night and the last thing you do is make sure your desk is clear and ready for the next day. On Tuesday morning you find five completely filled out and signed credit applications from customers neatly arranged on your desk.

Tags: BDC

May 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

High Performance Auxiliary Web Sites

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel- As I have been saying for months, the reporting of the death of the SF industry is beginning to sound much like infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline from 60 years ago. Yes, the industry has definitely changed, but without a doubt it is still alive and kicking, and while it’s more challenging than in recent years, much can be learned from the SF Top 10 dealers.

Tags: BDC

May 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Mobile Marketing Today

By Todd Swickard

Todd Swickard - The hype is building about mobile marketing and how it will affect automotive in 2009. Early adopters are pushing text messaging and mobile Web advertising. Those who sell mobile marketing services say it’s the future of CRM. After all...

Tags: BDC

May 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

BHPH Marketing and Advertising

By Kimberly Long

The mortgage meltdown, the shrinking of the subprime credit market and the tightening of credit across the board have been bad news for many in automotive retail. However, buy here pay here dealers seemed to be in the perfect position to reap some benefits from the effects of the credit crisis.

Tags: BDC

May 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Jim Shorkey and Courtesy Suzuki

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

“When they first started talking about this recession, I announced to my team, ‘There’s all this talk about a recession. I’m not participating. If you’re participating, you’re in the wrong room,’” said Jim Shorkey, dealer principal of Courtesy Suzuki and Jim Shorkey Kia in North Huntingdon, Pa.

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Misdiagnosed Dealer Plague

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - I have talked to many banks in the past few months, and guess what? They don’t seem to be in the business of loaning money anymore. Seems strange, as they should have a hard time making a profit if they pay depositors and...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Part Three: Outsource to In-House - The BDC Ramp-Up Process

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean -There are many different functions a BDC can perform. Some of the most popular ... in-house BDCs performing well include: working Internet leads, working purchased leads, taking incoming sales calls from advertising and direct mail and ...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Growing Rate of Technological Change

By Rick Gibbs

Rick Gibbs -Despite current economic conditions, the rate of technological change continues to grow at exponential rates. This is extremely important to your dealership because it ultimately affects the way consumers shop and make purchase decisions...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Rising to the Challenge

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - Last year at this time I was preparing to run my first marathon. It was a goal I set for myself a decade ago, but had never come close to accomplishing. This time was different however, as I had armed myself with a proven training plan. By executing it, I was able to cross one more thing off my “Bucket List.” ...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Collection CSI - Should You Measure It?

By Brent Carmichael

Brent Carmichael - How would your collection department CSI (Customer Service Index/Indicator) measure up to everyone else’s in the BHPH industry? Most BHPH operators haven’t given it a second thought. As yet, there hasn’t been a...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Hidden Cost in Your Workman's Compensation

By Harlene Doane

There are two ways to address workman's compensation. The first is risk management.... The second is before and after the injury that has occurred.

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The "New" New Frontier

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - Rick has added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm that you know Rick in order for you to be friends on Facebook,” read the e-mail in my inbox. That is how it all started in mid-December while I was recovering from surgery. My thought was, what the heck is Rick doing? We are already friends. I have all his phone numbers and his ...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Effective Customer Communication

By Ryan Linnehan

Ryan Linnehan - Just as there are many methods of communication for dealing with your spouse, there are also lots of ways we can communicate with customers, all of which are important, but some are more...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Many Pennies Make Dollar Sense

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - A penny by itself just isn’t worth much any more. However, pennies still add up to dollars and several dollars can change your bottom line. Lately, in an effort to change the bottom line, many dealers have taken the time to review their operations to squeeze out ...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Many Pennies Make Dollar Sense

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - A penny by itself just isn’t worth much any more. In some European countries they don’t even accept one-cent coins, instead opting to round everything to the nearest five-cent piece. However, pennies still add up to dollars and several dollars can change your bottom line. Lately, in an effort to change the bottom line, many dealers have taken the ...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Educating SF Customers to Ensure Future Business

By Jacob Lawson

Jacob Lawson - How many times have you bent over backwards to put a special finance deal together? How many times have you been able to get the same deal done when those customers come back ready to trade in their vehicle? I think you will find the answers to those questions to be at completely different ends of the spectrum ...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Copywriting: The Foundation of All Great Advertising

By Rob Anderson

Rob Anderson - The headline is the most important aspect of any type of advertising. There are several ways to approach a headline. Most popular for me is the problem/solution headline. I deal a lot with credit, so the most prominent example is...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Develop a Multi-State Survival Mode

By Hal Scott

Hal Scott - A few wrong decisions today and even those dealers fortunate enough to have old family money could easily be gone. This is not a revelation for many of you, as fear for financial survival has savagely ripped through every...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Perils the Independent Dealer Should Avoid

By Ben Donnarumma

Ben Donnarumma - “Business at buy-here, pay-here dealerships is picking up as bigger, nationwide subprime lenders tighten credit, or quit the business. As other lenders raise their standards, buy-here, pay-here dealerships are the only option for...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Could-Do v. Should-Do Attitude, Focusing on the Immediate Picture

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - Now is a time to focus small. It's a time to not only look at the big picture, which is, frankly, a bit overwhelming and even a little scary, but to focus on the smaller, more immediate picture ...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Part Two: Outsource to In-House BDC's - The Preparation Stage

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - During the preparation stage, most business development efforts should be outsourced, and the dealership will assume the bulk of the business development duties in the final stage.... The preparation stage involves four crucial steps:

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Back to the Basics of Simple Operational Procedures and Processes

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - You may not be able to control the new car market, the economy in general or the finance companies, however, what you can do is take another hard look at your business and figure out what is working for you. Meet with your managers weekly to...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Good Lawyering Pays Off in Defense of GAP

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - Lawyers who make their livings suing car dealers have latched onto yet another way to get their hands into dealers’ wallets. A slew of class action lawsuits around the country allege claims against dealers when...

Tags: BDC

April 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Stop Telling and Start Selling

By Kirk Manzo

There are three primary ways we all take in information: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. In other words, we see, hear and touch to learn. How well do you incorporate all three elements during your product presentations? In order to incorporate...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Key to Maximizing Current Showroom Traffic

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - Selling opportunities have always been too precious to squander, but now, it can cost a dealer the store. The bottom line is that in order to succeed in today’s special finance market, you must be able to quickly distinguish a ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Daunting Task - CRM Service Selection

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - Dealerships across the country are jumping on the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) bandwagon. Are you on it? If not, you are likely in the CRM minority because CRM is gaining momentum across the country. According to a J.D. Power and Associates study, 86 percent of customers that purchased a new car were ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Making Wise Decisions

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - The decisions to slash personnel may have the biggest long-term impact on many dealerships and it might not create the anticipated effect. In the short run, it does reduce expenses, but at what cost? The hardest thing to replace in a dealership is good talent. You just can’t afford to make the wrong personnel decisions ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Four Great Legal Tips - by Tom Hudson

By Harlene Doane

Four Great Legal Tips

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Four Free Resources

By Harlene Doane

Four Free Resources

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Ways to Save Time

By Harlene Doane

Five Ways to Save Time

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Fourteen Money Making Ideas

By Harlene Doane

Fourteen Money Making Ideas

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March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Twenty-One Ways to Save Money

By Harlene Doane

Twenty-One Ways to Save Money

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Ten Fundamentals of a Business Plan

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - Let’s hope and pray that 2009 is better to car dealers than the last two years have been, but instead of just hoping and praying that business will turn around this year, take matters into your own hands and aggressively storm the market with a positive mental attitude, focused actions and ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Wise Decisions This Year

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - The decisions to slash personnel may have the biggest long-term impact on many dealerships and it might not create the anticipated effect. In the short run, it does reduce expenses ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Training Your Staff - Upfront Pricing System to Increase Profits

By Jacob Lawson

Jacob Lawson - Seventeen percent of consumers thought a dealership should make over $2,500, while 18 percent thought up to $2,500. Another 21 percent were willing to let go of $2,000 ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

A Half Hour Can Save the Farm

By Hal Scott

Hal Scott - Success today requires strong fixed coverage. Your service, quick service, parts, body and detail departments have to be “dialed-in.” Adding 0.5 hours to each repair order in service, quick service and body shop is not just...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Moving Toward Excellence

By Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson - He was as profound in his thinking as he was in his execution and so focused on his vision that strategies were in place to correct actions that could be counter-productive to the vision. His belief in being sovereign was so strong, he actually created cooperation with ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Protecting your Reputation Onlne

By J.D. Rucker

Jim Rucker - Taking the steps necessary to defend your reputation and make it stronger on the search engines could be the difference between you getting a sale and your competitors getting that sale...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Key Elements to F&I Revenue

By Kirk Manzo

Kirk Manzo - With volume scarce, the F&I office becomes critical to operational cash flow for the dealership’s very existence. F&I managers become key players and must ensure they are consistent in their process to extract maximum revenue from each...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Looking Back Before Moving Forward

By Ryan Linnehan

Ryan Linnehan - They say, “Hindsight is 20/20.” Well, I’m not sure who “they” are, but “they” do bring up a good point. The passage of time will often provide us with a new perspective as we review the results of what has already happened. Not only that, but ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Dealer Web Sites Gain Traction

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - With 52 percent of shoppers visiting dealership Web sites, dealership Web sites are now the second most visited sites by automotive Internet shoppers during their buying process ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Class Certification Motion Defeated in "Unauthorized Practice of Law" Case

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - In several jurisdictions around the country, dealers have been hit with class action lawsuits alleging that the dealers’ actions in completing legal forms such as buyer’s orders and retail installment contracts constitute...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The 40,000-ft View of Outsourcing to In-House BDC's

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - Can a dealer begin business development as an outsource service and transition to an in-house operation? My answer to that question is a resounding “yes.” Of course, that “yes” comes with a few ifs. This route will work if...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Bursting the 30-Plus Year Bubble

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - Dealers say consumer credit doesn’t exist. Certainly, some banks and finance companies have perished. Others have merged, while others have had their access to capital greatly reduced. Guess what? To create revenue banks still have to loan money. Credit is still available, even to subprime credit customers. The difference is that ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

'Tis Tax Time Again

By Brent Carmichael

Brent Carmichael - It’s that time of year again. Time to make hay while the sun is shining, so to speak. It’s tax time. And if the competition for those tax dollars hasn’t challenged BHPH dealers enough, the current economic conditions have not made the pursuit ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Those Pesky Loan Covenants

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

Dave Keller - If you did not have a good year, your lender’s collateral has probably decreased and their risk has likely increased. When risk increases, banks become nervous. Most bank loan agreements have loan covenants that customers (you) must ...

Tags: BDC

Blog

On-the-Point

Jim Ziegler
A Faster Horse

By Jim Ziegler
The Alpha Dawg wonders where the demand for driverless vehicles is coming from and has good news and bad news — but mostly bad news — for Fiat Chrysler and Cadillac dealers.

Strangers in the Mall

By Jim Ziegler
The Alpha Dawg makes new friends, stands up for Cadillac dealers, charts the rise of the independent lots, and reconsiders free trade agreements.

You Can’t Handle the Truth

By Jim Ziegler

Watch Out for Grizzlies

By Jim Ziegler

Opening Observations

Over the Curb