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June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Eight Ways to Make People Want to Read Your Dealership E-mails

By Michael Teitelbaum

Michael Teitelbaum - According to a Direct Marketing Association survey, e-mail returns an impressive $57.25 for every dollar spent, far better than traditional advertising or direct mail ...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Who Is Watching Your Internet Sales Transactions

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - We’ve been warning for the last several years that the AGs are taking an increasingly active interest in car dealership advertising practices, and the advertising practices they are interested in include Internet activities...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Three Percent Difference: Frank Kent Motors Uses eCRM to Increase Closing Ratios

By Daymond Decker

Daymond Decker - Their next line of attack is to tie together technology and one-on-one communication. “Whenever Frank Kent has a special,” said Groters, “we notify our customers immediately.”

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Auto-Torium's Consistant Performance

By Kimberly Long

To simply look at Auto-Torium’s special finance numbers, it would be easy to forget the subprime upheavals and poor economic climate that dealers must contend with these days. However, keeping their sales consistent from month to month has not been accomplished without some effort and a few adjustments. As finance director T.C. Munroe said, “It’s a very, very delicate balance.”

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

In-House BDC's Are Worthwhile

By Marla Belson

Marla Belson - “Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing—the result.” – Vince Lombardi

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

More Than Just Internet Leads

By ADM

“There’s no advertising dollar that any dealer could spend that’s going to get them as big a bang for the buck as they can get doing Internet leads … there’s no direct mail, there’s no TV or newsprint or radio advertising that has a return on the investment dollar that these do, whether they’re coming from DealerLink or any other company in the business,” said Parker.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Ultimate Accountability

By Marla Belson

Marla Belson - No matter how you cut it, the ultimate accountability will always be your bottom line. The salespeople’s paychecks are their report cards. The doc is ours.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Four Keys to a Long-Term Pay Plan

By Jack Lintol

Jack Lintol - As the old saying goes, “The reward for a job well done in the car business is a minor adjustment in pay,” and it’s usually not an upward adjustment. How many of us have asked someone the question, “Why did you leave that dealership?” only to hear, “because ‘they’ cut my pay”.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

SF Plans Can Be Tricky Business

By Kris Wright

Kris Wright - Pay plans should evoke teamwork. Many stores I visit have pay plans where everyone gets paid from sales gross regardless of where it is derived from.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Online Videos are Gaining Popularity

By Sean V. Bradley

Sean Bradley - During March 2008, ComScore data said there were 11.5 billion online videos viewed in the U.S. This number is incredible and it continues to go up every month. With over 70 percent of Internet users in the U.S. on broadband high-speed connections, video will only become more prevalent.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

People Sell Cars

By Kevin Day

Kevin Day - Just after the turn of the century, mighty Wal-Mart (yes, that Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer) entered the used car market. This amazing saga began as a joint venture between Wal-Mart and an established dealer group called Asbury.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Inventory Management Programs: Tracking to Profits

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - With the current economic climate forcing many dealers to rely on used vehicle sales to pull them through the slump in new car sales, it’s more important than ever to have a solid system in place for management of used vehicle inventory.

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

How to Write a Killer Car Ad: The Classic AIDA Style Never Goes Out of Style

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - An effective ad for a car dealer will have even more impact since there are so few ads out there that are well done.

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

No Way But the Dangerfield Way: Reviving a GMC, Pontiac, Buick Store with BDC Expertise

By John Carroll

John Carroll - “We track every number in the store,” he said, “and when we see people falling below that number, we find out what’s causing that number to fall. Most dealers don’t know until the end of the month..."

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Run a Rental Operation From Within the Dealership: Champion Rent-A-Car Pockets Additional Profit

By Jennifer Rincon

Jennifer Rincon - Many dealers are under the impression that they will lose money with rentals. So, they turn to other rental companies, which pay about $1,500 per month to the dealer, and then slam them with inflated rental bills.

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Detailing is Very Much Alive: Dealerships are Increasing Customer Satisfaction and Profits as a Result

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - While some consider reconditioning and detailing synonymous, they are very different. According to Ken Billado, assistant manager of the detail operation at The Automaster (a high-line and import dealership group out of Shelburne, Vt)...

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Leader of the BDC: Hire the Right Business Development Manager

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - This person’s communication skills should be so strong that he or she is capable of taking any customer T.O. in the BDC to secure an appointment...

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Make the Interview a Shining Part of Your Sales Process

By Michael Rees

Michael Rees - Hold your managers accountable for your sales staff actions ... Have your managers track each step of the sales process, and have them get involved with every customer early in the process to ensure compliance with your process ...

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Quantity versus Quality: The Great Lead Debate

By Rob Anderson

Rob Anderson - Quality is important, but only from the perspective of credit score. Lead generation costs money, and if you generate too many leads and your staff becomes overwhelmed, valuable leads are ignored and forever lost as opportunities ...

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Creating Career Paths For Service Technicians

By Justin Spath

Justin Spath - This is not an easy task because the service department has a fairly nontraditional organization structure. In many other departments, career paths are clearer.

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Used Cars Can Boost Overall Sales in 2008

By Rob Chesney

Rob Chesney - The key to expanding used-vehicle sales is to market that inventory online. In fact, the J.D. Power study reports that last year was the first year that Internet use surpassed all other shopping methods in locating the used vehicle that a buyer...

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Recruiting Top Performers: How To Hire What You Want And Need

By Don Reed

Don Reed - The first step in recruiting for any position is to determine the maximum compenstation you are willing to pay a top performer...

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Proper Balance In The Service Department: How To Understand Financial Statement Service LIne Items

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - The inventory account that reflects the dollar amount of technician’s labor on open repair orders is work in process inventory. This account should be shown on your balance sheet after the parts inventory account along with...

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Managing Inventory; Three Trends On The Rise

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - Many new vehicle dealers are now using this software, also known as inventory prediction programs, to ensure they are stocking the vehicles buyers want. In some cases, this has caused dealers to say no to a ...

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Web Site Decisions

By Craig Criswell

Craig Criswell - In fact, do a google search or use your OEM’s site to search to find a dealership. Looking at just a few of them will demonstrate how similar many are and which ones offer something a little different...

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Hispanic Economic Growth Continues To Outpace Projections

By Mauricio Espinosa

Mauricio Espinosa - If you are not actively targeting the Hispanic market of your community , then I have to ask you this question: Do you want your competitor to have a firm hold on the Hispanic market when its value tops a trillion dollars?

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

How to Become Differently Better

By Don Reed

Don Reed - If your dealership’s new vehicle unit sales decline by another 6 percent, what does that mean to your bottom line? For those of you who own a franchise that is also losing market share, the decline is even greater...

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Remember The Importance Of A Personal Connection

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - In business, the most successful product is one that is not easily copied. The commodity that consumers consider the most valuable, and hardest to come by, is good customer service...

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Staying Abreast Of Internet Evolutions: SEO versus VSEO

By Sean V. Bradley

Sean Bradley - Traditional search engine optimization (SEO) takes at least four to six months to provide any true results or value. This is because each search engine is different and has different algorithms, which are rules or criteria of ranking...

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Amato Autos All-Star BDC Does More Than Make Calls

By John Carroll

John Carroll - “With the BDC in place, we picked up the pace. We felt we could run a little bit harder. Now we don’t have to train 28 salesmen on how to handle a phone call. We have professionals to handle the calls."

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Speed of Money

By Scott Dreisbach

Scott Dreisbach - Have you ever wondered how one of your competitors always seems to be able to deliver more vehicles than you, how someone in your 20 Group was continuously selling 1-to-1 (or more) used vehicles to new, or how they grossed more per unit than you?

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Risky Business: Choosing the Right Insurance Carrier, Coverage and Contract for Your Dealership

By Steve Cline

Steve Cline - If you want to protect your investment, you must consider the Coverage, Carrier and Contract. Dealerships invest significantly in both property and inventory.

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Stop Wandering Around Your Advertising Expense

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

Dave Keller - One of the problems I see in many dealerships is the lack of motivation from the sales staff, both sales managers and salespeople, to actively and accurately determine what brought the customer into your dealership...

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Driving The Web 2.0 Era: Consumers Are In The Driver's Seat Long Before The Sale

By Rob Chesney

Rob Chesney - Retailers are responding by incorporating new elements into their Web sites. In fact, Gartner Research reports that 47 percent of respondents in a 2007 survey say they will integrate Web 2.0 features into their Web sites...

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

What Do Your Mailers Say? The Never-Ending Entertainment Of Direct Mail

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - If the customers who buy during an [employee pricing event] pay more than the dealership's employees, the dealership's mail become Exhibit 1 in an "unfair and deceptive acts and practices" lawsuit by a customer.

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Ask The Wrong Questions, Get The Wrong Answers

By Dean Evans

Dean Evans - The problem is getting what you ask for isn’t always a good thing. If you’re asking for the wrong Web site, that’s precisely what you’re likely to wind up with. Dealers manage to do this in two main ways...

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Strategies For Success In The Pre-Owned Marketplace

By Rob Mudd

Rob Mudd - Our message is targeted to a transient existing market. Non-automotive ad people fail to realize that we are dealing with an existing market that is going to buy ‘this week’ who then ...

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The BDC Blueprint: The Basic Materials To Build Business

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - There are seven basic materials for building a BDC: space, people, hardware (computers and telephones), Internet access, software, call management services, and lead sources. As with any building project, you need to determine what you want to build so you know the quantity and quality of materials you need.

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Your Most Important Customer: Implementing An Internal Customer Relationship Management System

By Justin Spath

Justin Spath - Oftentimes, people become so focused on their own work that they lose track of the fact that everyone plays an important role in the function of the dealership.

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

10 Common Mistakes In Advertising - Part 2

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - An advertiser with 17 different things to say should commit to a campaign of at least 17 different ads, repeating each ad enough to stick in the prospect's mind.

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Training Gossip Doesn’t Work: Implement a Method of Training that Does Work

By Jeff Smelley

Jeff Smelley - The average individual experiences a 10 percent to 15 percent retention rate of new information presented during a typical training session. Therefore, multiple training sessions are required to reach the 80 to 90 percent knowledge level for above average performance.

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Internet Money Terms: Finding Search Engine Keywords That Convert

By J.D. Rucker

Jim Rucker - Search terms that are very specific fall into the category of high relevance, but low search volume. If someone types in “2004 Chevrolet Cobalt Baltimore,” they are probably great candidates to buy your vehicles that match ...

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Other End of the Spectrum: Is It Really a Lack of Opportunity?

By Mauricio Espinosa

Mauricio Espinosa - ... satisfaction is only a beginning. It’s the foundation, the base, of the pyramid. In order to climb that pyramid and reach for loyalty and fidelity, the base must be strong and stable...

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Grow Your Dealership Revenue with CustomerFunding.com, Inc.

By James Hawks

In today’s market with diminishing sales, declining profits and falling consumer credit, how can dealers increase revenue? One simple answer is Internet leads—more specifically, subprime Internet leads.

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Lamb Auto Jumps in With Both Feet

By Kimberly Long

“It’s just a matter of committing to it.” That’s how Ed Walsh, general manager, explained the success of Lamb Auto’s new special finance departments, more commonly referred to within the dealerships as secondary finance. “We’re just wholeheartedly committed to secondary finance and it’s been paying off handsomely.”

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Trail of Success Leads to Alexander Automotive

By Jennifer Rincon

The official mascot of the University of Tennessee is Smokey, a blue tick coonhound native to the state. The dogs were bred to track small game with agility and accuracy.

Tags: BDC

April 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Key Measurements to Better Dealership Health: The Little Things that Add Up to Increased Profits

By Ryan Linnehan

Ryan Linnehan - Some important numbers we need to monitor in the BHPH business are cash on hand, sales volume, charge-off levels and net profit...

Tags: BDC

March 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Business Ethics – Who Needs Them: Improve Your Reputation Every Day with the Right Choices

By Justin Spath

Justin Spath - Ethical issues are something few of us are ever really prepared to deal with when they occur. The big ones we can see and handle (because they usually have major consequences) usually involve courts, judges, and fines.

Tags: BDC

March 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Suspicious Behavior Warrants a Closer Look: Guard Your Dealership Assets

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

Dave Keller - Most fraud is uncovered because the person committing the fraud made a simple mistake or forgot to do something that day to cover it up. Most fraud, if committed by an office manager or controller, is normally difficult to discover...

Tags: BDC

March 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Paradigm Shift To Accountability: When Is The Time To Start A BDC?

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - Okay, enough sarcasm for now, but how do you measure up in supporting your technicians? The only way to find out is to spend a day in your parts department at the technicians counter.

Tags: BDC

Blog

On-the-Point

Jim Ziegler
Fasten Those Seatbelts

By Jim Ziegler
With a major slowdown imminent, Da Man says it’s time to ditch those new-age theories and get back to the basics.

Objects in the Rearview Mirror

By Jim Ziegler
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.

The Big Talent Drain

By Jim Ziegler

A Faster Horse

By Jim Ziegler

Opening Observations

Over the Curb