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October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Technology: Partner or Distraction

By Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson - ... there are many new technologies in the car business that can and will change your performance. Here are some basic guidelines for using technology that, if applied, will improve your potential ROI.

Tags: BDC

October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

It Is Not Too Late: Commit to Online Sales Now

By Rob Chesney

Rob Chesney - When managers consider their competition, they must ask themselves how they can compete to stay ahead or even stay in business. Just as in the real world, customer service is ...

Tags: BDC

October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Technology in 2008

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - Well, it is 2008. Yes, you probably know that by now. But are you really living in the year 2008? Is your business? The only way to know is to ask a few simple questions...

Tags: BDC

October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

By Ryan Linnehan

To be honest, it can be a sobering meeting, and one to which no one will probably look forward. As a matter of fact, the easy thing to do is just put off having the discussion, cross your fingers and hope such disastrous events never occur...

Tags: BDC

October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Driversselect Marketing Obsession

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - In walks a tiny blonde in a bright orange shirt carrying a bright orange, oversized handbag. The excitement and passion for what she does is evident from the minute she opens her mouth. She proudly states that she is in the customer delight business.

Tags: BDC

October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Voisys - Growth is the Name of the Game

By ADM

“I think we’re just feeling the effects of the mortgage industry and the money will come back pretty soon,”

Tags: BDC

October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

SMART Goal Setting

By Marla Belson

Marla Belson - Having absorbed all of this information, I now begin the task of building a new multi-franchise special finance department. This looms as an overwhelming project and a huge responsibility. In anticipation of this new project, I am drawing from the experience of and knowledge shared by my peers.

Tags: BDC

October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Internet Leads Offer Lowest Ad Cost Per Sale

By Dan Henderson

Rumors abound about what our illustrious vice president was really doing when he “oops” shot Harry Whittington, the high profile lawyer, while hunting. Well, I’m certain of the fact it was an accident, but the point was he wasn’t looking at what he was shooting at

Tags: BDC

October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Return on Investment

By Sean V. Bradley

Sean Bradley - We hear the term ROI all the time. It’s one of those overused “buzzwords.” Every vendor selling any product promises dealers a great return on investment. To me, that means getting the most back from your efforts.

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Fast Funding Still Expected in Special Finance: Eights Simple Steps Will Keep Cash Flowing Even in More Stringent Times

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - Fast funding must be the culture of the dealership. For some dealers, that means a significant change of policy...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Building Blocks to Compliance: Central Valley Autos All-Around Success in F&I

By Jennifer Rincon

Jennifer Rincon - Central Valley Automotive has a way of good-naturedly rushing the customer into handshakes with most of their staff. “Our entire sales staff—at all four stores—is very quick to introduce the customer to the manager ...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Compliance Headaches: Adverse Action and the “Red Flags” Rule

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - Compliance in general is an ongoing headache for dealers. Adverse action, in particular, is something many have been struggling to get a handle on for quite some time ... Compounding their worries, dealers will soon have to contend with...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Don’t Be Timid: Lack of Liquidity Paired With Fear and Ego Becomes a Lethal Mix

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - It is a tough, tough market for many auto retailers. I warned of this last October saying the recession was here, and it is. I could care less about a few paltry economic growth indicators.

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Employee Insurance and Benefit Packages: Current Trends and Ways to Save

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - With such high costs to dealers, it’s understandable that some dealers are evaluating their plans, weighing their options and even modifying coverages in the current economic climate.

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Get Better Gas Mileage with SEO

By J.D. Rucker

Jim Rucker - Gas mileage is a hot topic to automotive consumers. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a hot topic to automotive dealers. With today’s economic conditions, getting the most mileage ...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Building Trust, Building Sales and Managing Your Online Reputation

By Rob Chesney

Rob Chesney - There are many ways in which a dealer can begin to build buyer trust online, and it all starts with the listing. When listing a used vehicle online, it is important to ...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Making the Most of Online Employment Ads

By Justin Spath

Justin Spath - The function of an online employment ad is really no different than one that appears in print. The key thing to remember is that due to the form of the online employment ad, ... you are not constrained by the print format. There are no ...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Taking Tips from the Golf Pros: Explain Why - not Just What - in Your Marketing

By Rob Anderson

Rob Anderson - “I want a low interest rate, no money down and a $75,000 Escalade even thought my credit has been shot since the Reagan Administration. I also want a $199 monthly payment on that Escalade.” ... What is important is how you respond to the request.

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Drive Business, Drive Profits with Digital Advertising

By Daymond Decker

Daymond Decker - More consumers are turning to Internet search engines as a primary tool for filtering both vehicles and dealerships ...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Uncovering Eight Common Myths About Web Sites

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - Your Web site is the flagship of your business marketing plan, and it’s open 24/7, whenever a prospective customer wants to learn about you, your dealership, your inventory and your financing. By simply...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Strengthen Your Team

By Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson - T.E.A.M. has six key components. No one component is more important than another, but if you don’t have them all in place, you’ll be out of balance ... The six components are:

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Cash Flow: An Urgent Matter

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

Dave Keller - If you are a typical dealer, you probably check your cash balance daily. Some dealers run their business by their checkbook balance, while others use the actual bank account balance and release checks accordingly. Which is better?...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

One Extraordinary Act Per Day

By Ryan Linnehan

Ryan Linnehan - There are many ways to create value, and we have talked in the past about some ideas that could be included in a “Value Package” that would be presented to our customers in an attempt to...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They Aren’t Following You

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq - If you are a dealer, you may take some comfort from the fact that your customers seldom get upset enough to haul you into court. That comfort disappears, though, when you find out that your customers are being encouraged to sue you...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Best Practices for Developing Your Red Flags Rule Program

By Mark O'Neil

Mark O'Neil - Compliance with the new Rule is mandatory by Nov. 1, 2008. Your program must be appropriate to the size and complexity of your dealership and the nature and scope of your activities, and your board of directors must approve the initial program.

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Lack of Consistent Accountability

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - Dealers, frustrated with the results in the BDC, are trying to solve what they believe is a management problem. However, the root of the problem may be much deeper. The problem lies in ...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

It’s Enough to Make a Grown Man Cry: The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - The truncation and expiration date parts of the FACTA legislation turned out to be the worst sort of "gotcha" legislation...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Business Development Centers Can Maximize Service Appointments

By Don Reed

Don Reed - One very effective way to correct this is to send all incoming service calls to a business development center (BDC). Properly trained BDC personnel can provide a multitude of services that will increase owner retention...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Building a Web Site That Lasts a Lifetime

By Rob Mudd

Rob Mudd - A point of caution: don’t be misled by the word “interactive.” If that interactivity is not shored-up by good retail messaging, all you will have at the end of the day are a lot of useless “cookie” crumbles. It’s not about the toys, but the ...

Tags: BDC

September 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

New Trends in Ad Spends: Make the Most of Your Money

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - I’ll bet that even in these slower times, more leads come through your Web site than through your front door. I’ll also wager that there are, in most cases, far more people visiting or “driving by” your Web site than there are...

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Million-Dollar Attitude

By Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson - My dictionary states a “personal view of something, an opinion or general feeling about something.” It does not state that it is good or bad, just an opinion about something. So, when and how does it become positive or negative?

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

A Tale of Two Economies: How Smart Marketing Can Help your Dealership Thrive, Not Just Survive, During Difficult Times

By Sarah Mooneyhan

Sarah Mooneyhan - Take a closer look at where you are spending your marketing dollars. Review your marketing key performance indicators for each lead source, such as lead-to-sales conversion rate and cost per sale ...

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Downeast Toyota’s Interactive Web Site and Rapid Response Time Reels in Customers

By Daymond Decker

Daymond Decker - Since their new site went live, there have been 65,355 unique visitors and 4,351 total sales and service leads. About 40 percent of Web site visitors spend one to five minutes on the site ...

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Taking the Franchise Route for BHPH: Gary Duncan’s Two J.D. Byrider Stores

By John Carroll

John Carroll - “With the franchise, you get a great computer system, monitoring of all facets of buy here pay here,” said Duncan. “You get a consultant that comes in and visits periodically.

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Attracting, Training and Hiring for a BDC or Call Center: Industry Experts Weigh In

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - The success of a BDC or call center is heavily dependent on having well-trained employees. The selection process of hiring the right employees coupled with a motivating compensation plan and intensive and ongoing training will yield the best results.

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Right BDC Option: Choosing the One that Fits Your Dealership

By Justin Spath

Justin Spath - The biggest advantage to an in-house BDC is that you have complete control over it. You decide who is hired or fired, how it is managed, what the requirements will be, and how to improve on it or change it to meet your business needs.

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

How to Create the Greatest Customer Experience Ever

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - Since many of your competitors are miserable at creating fantastic customer experience, this creates a huge competitive opportunity for you. Here are five simple starting points to create the greatest customer experience ever ...

Tags: BDC, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, customer-focused service

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Gas Prices, Economy Driving Interest in Small Cars

By Rob Chesney

Rob Chesney - A sample search on eBay Motors in May shows 81 listings that advertise great or good gas mileage. Cars such as Ford Escorts and Geo Metros and Storms are being listed ...

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Internet Sales Process-Part Two: The Follow Up

By Sean V. Bradley

Sean Bradley - You also need to buy or create powerful phone scripts to use when calling Internet sales prospects, as well as voicemail scripts. The bottom line is that you need to be prepared ...

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Reach Prospects Immediately

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - There are 3.2 billion cellular connections worldwide – 260 million in the United States alone – and with the iPhone’s launch last year, the concept of browsing the Web from a mobile phone has gone mainstream. The future is now and marketersare abuzz about this new trend and the tremendous opportunities it presents.

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Accounting For Your BDC: The Practical Way to Measure the Cost

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - You know it is going to cost something to get it going, staff it, find the right software, make room in your dealership for the people staffing it, monitor the results, create advertising, update your Web site and phone numbers, etc. ...

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Little Automotive Microsite That Could: Four Reasons Why a Microsite Can Drive Major Marketing Results for Your Dealership

By Michael Teitelbaum

Michael Teitelbaum - With that single effort, the viral marketing phenomenon known as the microsite was born. A microsite is a multi-page, mini-Web site with content geared toward a specific subset of a company’s main audience...

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

New Auto Dealer Risks Require Updated Insurance Coverage

By Steve Cline

Steve Cline - Criminals are more savvy, and the amount of legislation impacting dealerships is on the rise. Other pressing issues and relatively new risks that insurers need to address are:

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Pushing Your Used Vehicle Department

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - It’s time to treat the used vehicle department as a business, specifically, one designed to earn maximum profits. You likely review the sales, expenses, ratios and trends of your dealership ...

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Be Your Own Legal Beagle: Stay Up to Date on Pertinent Laws

By Ryan Linnehan

Ryan Linnehan - It is important to stay abreast of all the legal changes that affect our industry on an ongoing basis.

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

A Silver Lining: The Case for Arbitration Agreements

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - Another problem that the housing mess will create for dealers will come from the legislative backlash that we will see as our elected representatives fall all over each other in their attempts to “fix” the housing problems...

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Positive and Prosperous: How to Change Your Perception of the Economy

By Jim Jackson

Jim Jackon - You know you need a positive spin to rev up your sales team, who are wondering how to meet their goals in such a dismal economy. After all, they’ve had the same conversations with each other on your showroom floor.

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Tough Automotive Market Impacts Lead Providers

By ADM

We've all seen the reports of trouble in the auto industry—sales plummeting, credit tightening, consumers looking for fuel-efficient cars that are in short supply. So how are lead generators reacting?

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Study Your Craft

By Marla Belson

Marla Belson - We all get that overwhelmed feeling when thinking about the state of economic affairs in America today, and if you are there, you’re probably not going to like what I am about to tell you. In fact, not at all.

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Youtube Video Testimonials

By Sean V. Bradley

Sean Bradley - We all know that the strongest form of advertising is word of mouth. We teach that to all of our sales staff. Everyone knows it; as a matter of fact, mathematically it makes sense. Average closing ratio for a fresh opportunity in your dealership is about 18 to 20 percent versus a 50 percent closing ratio from a referral or a 65 percent closing ratio from a prior customer.

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