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January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Online Video - Here it Comes

By Raul Vazquez

Raul Vazquez - Online video is here! ComScore measures more than 11.5 billion online videos that are being viewed each month.

Tags: BDC

January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Why Your Advertising Isn't Working

By Brett Boatwright

Brett Boatwright - With today’s troubled economy negatively impacting almost every dealership across the country and the ink on monthly financial statements turning from black to blood-red, why do most owners and upper management teams advertise the same way they did five, 10 and even 25 years ago?

Tags: BDC

January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Focus Inc - Dedicated to the Dealer

By ADM

While the credit markets have tightened, it’s important that consumers realize they can still get approved for an auto loan. Focus can help improve consumer confidence with its direct-response marketing campaigns broadcast via infomercials.

Tags: BDC

January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Here's to Fresh Beginnings

By Marla Belson

Marla Belson - Clank—I could hear the heavy sound of the dead bolt locking the front door after the last customer of 2008 drove off. As the handful of us sat watching the taillights cross the curb, I thought the showroom windows would fog up from everyone letting out a collective sigh of relief.

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Boost Aftermarket Product Sales and Efficiency in Three Easy Steps

By Mark O'Neil

Mark O'Neil - Aftermarket products are an essential profit center for your dealership, but during an economic slump, boosting these sales is crucial. Although you may be seeing fewer buyers in your showroom, you can compensate for less volume by ensuring your F&I department is maximizing every deal.

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Curry Auto Center Expands its Lineup

By John Carroll

John Carroll - “When I was approached to consider purchasing the Chevrolet franchise to add to my existing GM lineup,” said Curry, “I was excited about the opportunity because it was just that, an opportunity. By adding Chevrolet, our dealership became a ...

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Don’t Panic: Be Smart

By David Wilson

David Wilson - I started in the retail automotive industry when interest rates were 22 percent, customers were sparse and everyone was saying how bad it was. The dealer I started with had just hocked his home to invest in the deal and we lost over $200,000 the ...

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Compliance Complacency: How Much Compliance is Enough?

By Aaron Proctor

Aaron Proctor - When I speak to dealers for the first time about the Privacy Act or Red Flags compliance, I begin with three questions...

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Mountain View Auto Takes on the Virtual Frontier

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - Mountain View has been steadily working toward a stronger online presence for several years, striving to mold efforts into what Erwin described as “a full-fledged, go-after-it, no-holds-barred concept of e-commerce.” That concept has developed into a ...

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

An Exercise in Planning and Patience: Purchasing a Franchise is a Drawn Out Affair as Aztec Chevrolet Discovers

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - Buying a dealership, even a small one, can be a complicated experience, even for seasoned business owners. Just ask Luis Aliniz, dealer principal of Aztec Chevrolet Pontiac Buick in Beeville, Texas.

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Business Development Centers: The Most Accountable, Measurable Department

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - This position is generally one of an order-taker and is often responsible for fielding complaints. Probably, the CSR you are most familiar with is employed by your cell phone company...

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Buying or Selling a Dealership: When to Call in the Experts

By John Carroll

John Carroll - For anyone trying to sell a dealership, nothing beats a combination of financial health and clear potential for new growth. But with the economy in a swoon, demonstrating either of those traits these days is no easy task.

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Is Special Finance Dead? Don’t Confuse Near-Prime Cutbacks with Special Finance

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - Through the first nine months of 2008, the flow of money through securitization has amounted to less than $1.5 billion; through the first five months of 2007, over $12 billion flowed into subprime finance.

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Pigs Get Fat, Hogs Get Slaughtered

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - One surefire way to make sure a court won’t enforce your arbitration agreement is to ask it to do more than get you in front of an arbitrator. I can’t tell you the number of arbitration agreements I’ve seen that indicate...

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Things You Should Know When Selling on eBay Motors

By Rob Chesney

Rob Chesney - ... dealers are discovering that online used vehicle sales are a direct and efficient way to increase revenue that has been battered by a decrease in new vehicle sales and foot traffic ...

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Choose Success: Sales Are As Strong As You Make Them

By Michael Rees

Michael Rees - Are you and your team using the fact that so many people are saying business is bad to tell yourselves: “It’s okay that we’re not doing any better. We can’t help it; it’s just the economy”? ...

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Advantages of Flash: The Rules Have Changed Over the Years

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - Now that dial-up users are considered ancient and search engines can read Flash content, both major objections have been eliminated ...

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Important Things You Must Consider If Buying or Selling A Franchise Dealership

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - One of the things you should do before signing the buy-sell is consider what floorplan source you will use for financing the vehicle inventories...

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

For Coral Springs Auto Mall, Rough Winds are Just the Beginning

By Jennifer Rincon

Three years ago, Coral Springs Auto Mall lost dozens of valuable units – not to a robbery or economic downfall, but to a group of metal light poles. During Hurricane Wilma in 2005, violent winds caused a number of 25-foot-tall poles to snap from their foundations, toppling sideways and crushing eight or nine cars at a time, every time.

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Youtube Surpasses Yahoo in Number of Searches

By Sean V. Bradley

Sean Bradley - As we know, video—specifically, video search—is powerful, but did you know it was this powerful? Recent statistics from comScore data...

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Enfotrace's GPS Device Offers a Technical Edge

By ADM

Technology can improve a dealer’s business in many ways. One technological tool that has been helping improve collections for some time is the starter interrupt device.

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Maximize Every Lead

By Michael Fishman

Michael Fishman - In a time of economic turbulence, generating showroom traffic is more critical than ever

Tags: BDC

December 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Four M's of Marketing Techniques

By Raul Vazquez

Raul Vazquez - I’ve often addressed how to maximize your ad dollars, how to get the most from your customer database and how to differentiate yourself from your competition in your customer's mind. All of these issues have a direct impact on your sales...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

If You Can't Track It...

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - The current trend in advertising isn’t about where you spend your ad dollars as much as it is about how you spend your money. According to NCM Twenty Group data, as of June 2008, advertising expenditures are not rising.

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Exceeding Expectations: A Message for Frazzled Finance Managers

By Becky Chernek

Becky Chernek - To often, manager assume they know the reasons customers reject particular products and fail to learn the rationale behind customers' decisions.

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

What Every BDC Needs: Skills, Not Scripts

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - If you train on just scripts, you're putting your money (and possibly your ROI) on only seven percent of communication.

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Improve your Collections Instantly

By Ben Donnarumma

Ben Donnarumma - By paying close attention to what is going on, especially when it comes to collections, you can minimize the mistakes being made inside and outside of your company and increase the money you collect...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Top 10 Sales Killers in Special Finance

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - In special finance, the customer's buying power needs to be determined effectively and discretely long before ever presenting a vehicle.

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Maryland Dealer Improves Leads and CRM with New Web Site

By Daymond Decker

Daymond Decker - As Web sites became popular in the past, it was important to simply “be” on the Web. But today’s Internet user is far more savvy than 10 years ago, and last year it became clear to ...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Lessons Learned From the Election

By Joe Turner

Joe Turner - I was reading an article recently about some of the differences in the ways the two campaigns operated during this past election and some things really jumped out at me...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Stop Satisfying Customers

By Paul Rushing

Paul Rushing - Are you placing a lot of emphasis on satisfying customers? Is the only time you hear from your customers when they have a problem after they buy from you? Do you have someone on your staff whose job it is to handle customer complaints and to resolve issues?

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Greatest Investment in the World

By Ryan Linnehan

Ryan Linnehan - Most people know the Golden Rule ... But lenders have a different “Golden Rule”: He who has the gold makes the rules! Unfortunately, they are afraid to lend it—even to prime customers!

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Learning from Rock Stars

By Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson - Prior to the conference, I had been asked to speak at the conference before a panel representing four of the most well-known professional speaking bureaus. I arrived at the auditorium for my presentation—it was set up just like

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Laughter Can be the Best Medicine for Building Customer Trust

By John Carroll

John Carroll - About 15 years ago, said Trenary, who runs three dealerships in the St. Louis area, Ben Turec screened a television spot he put together from several years’ worth of bloopers swept up from his ad agency’s cutting room floor. Blown lines, pratfalls, ornery animals; it all ...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Marketing Highway - The Express Lane: Taking You to the Top Fast

By Dean Evans

Dean Evans - When it comes to allocating marketing dollars, most dealers have it backwards. Newspaper, television and radio have been such an integral part of their advertising programs for so long that many dealers still place those mediums at the top of...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Marketing Highway - The Toll free Lane: Social Networking

By Paul Rushing

Paul Rushing - Social networking in the automobile industry is starting to take roots and will propel the industry ahead. Social networking is nothing new to anyone who has had an Internet connection for more than 30 days; almost all of our online activities...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Marketing Highway - The Internet Route: Shifting Gears at the Right Time

By Robert M Moore

Robert Moore - ... before jumping on the Internet-charged bandwagon, you should ask yourself, “Do I need more leads, or do I need to do more to improve my performance with the leads I already receive?” ...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Law of Unintended Consequences: What the Future May Bring

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - The mortgage mess has spilled over into the car arena. The credit markets appear to be temporarily shell shocked and reluctant to assume any risk. Finance companies that lived on the securitization model can’t...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Boost Service and Parts Business with One-on-One Relationships

By Gary Simmons

Gary Simmons - Consider the usual dealership scenario: the sales person sells the vehicle and assumes their job is done. Instead of introducing the customer to the service team, showing them the bay, and explaining that their services are...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

New Car Leads Are not Always New Car Buyers

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - ... of all the traffic (actual visitors) you get to your dealership Web site, 42 percent have not even decided whether to buy a new or pre-owned vehicle ...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Cost-Effective Marketing Ideas: Get Your Customers to Promote You

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - There are a lot of prior customers we don't think about until they walk through the door again to see us. We have to contact them first. We have to make an effort to be in front of them...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Lead Management Processes: The Backbone of Marketing

By Phil Dupree

Phil DuPree - A four-hour response time is a good target (the average dealer response time is between five and six hours), but the faster the response, the better...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Growth through Targeted Hispanic Marketing

By Rob Anderson

Rob Anderson - The Hispanic market is the only auto-buying market in the country experiencing growth. Have you begun to target Hispanic people whose first (and sometimes only) language is Spanish? If you haven’t, you might be ...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Leasing Changes Can Mean New Opportunities for Dealers

By Rob Chesney

Rob Chesney - A growing number of dealers are finding that online used vehicle sales are an efficient and profitable way to increase revenue ...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Independent Dealers Achieve Internet Advertising Success

By Howard Polirer

Howard Polirer - Although independent dealers don’t have all of the Internet advantages of franchise dealers, most are vigilant when new tools are developed that can grow their business. Independent dealers who are advertising on the Internet...

Tags: BDC

November 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Storybook Service: Piercey Automotive Gets Creative to Keep Customers

By Jennifer Rincon

Jennifer Rincon - The service directors, who are interacting with customers, constantly collect ideas for improvement. The seeds of these ideas, though frequently shared at the monthly meetings, can get choked by a busy schedule.

Tags: BDC

October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Change How You Interact with Service Customers: The Future Depends On It

By David Boyle

David Boyle - Why is it with all the advances in technology and processes, the way we sell service and interact with our customers hasn't changed in decades?...

Tags: BDC

October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Ray of Hope

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - As much as I like those phone calls and e-mails, what made me happier was hearing that his business was going great, and that he had three straight excellent months. I was especially happy because ...

Tags: BDC

October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Proper Balance of Technology & People: Keys to Successful Dealer Web Site Chat

By Ted Rubin

Ted Rubin - In addition to qualified, dedicated personnel to man the chat, you also need knowledgeable people to continually analyze the methods that are working best...

Tags: BDC

October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Seven Fast Facts: Red Flag Compliance

By Daryl Allegree

Daryl Allegree - While most auto dealers already have systems in place to verify the identity of their finance and lease customers, their current systems may not be in compliance with the new, more elaborate requirements called the “Red Flags” Rule.

Tags: BDC

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The past is right behind us and the future is coming fast. The Alpha Dawg plots a course for your store’s success and shares advice for Elon Musk, Johan de Nysschen, and pre-owned managers.

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Opening Observations

Over the Curb