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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

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Don't Cut Your SF Manager Loose

By Kris Wright

Kris Wright - Don’t Panic. The market is tougher than I have ever seen it. The old days are back—big fees, low advances, short terms and high interest rates. Thanks mortgage market for causing this overcorrection.

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Tracy Buick Pontiac GMC Cadillac Secret Uncovered

By Kimberly Long

There’s not much that’s traditional about Tracy Buick Pontiac GMC Cadillac in Tracy, Calif. From how their advertising budget is allocated to running the sales floor, their approach is anything but ordinary. While this franchise store meets its new car objective nearly every month, approximately 90 percent of its total business is special finance.

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

A Big Part of Ray Lakes Family

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

In 2001, Terry McCormick, the current general manager of Ray Laks Mitsubishi, was brought in to spearhead the implementation of a subprime department in Ray Laks Mitsubishi in West Seneca, N.Y. In the first six months of business, the department retailed an average of 15 to 20 subprime units per month.

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Keeping Up With the Times Online: The Evolution of BillWalsh.com

By Daymond Decker

Daymond Decker - Walsh knew that the next generation of customers would not be satisfied with two-dimensional photos of cars, an address and a phone number ...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Seventh Profit Center: Your Vehicle Inventories

By Scott Dreisbach

Scott Dreisbach - The vehicle inventories you've invested in are no different than any other type of investment portfolio...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Missed Profit Opportunities

By Don Reed

Don Reed - In the pursuit of additional profit opportunities in your service department, you must focus on maintenance of your customers’ vehicles. This is a missed opportunity for many dealers who do not perform complete, thorough inspections of...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

It is Not Internet Inquiries: It is Internet Sales

By Michael Rees

Michael Rees - So, you sign up for these programs and the number of visitors to your new Web site increases. You even hire a dedicated Internet manager to manage all these inquiries. The number of Internet sales increases, so you think...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Train to Bridge the Gap: Connecting the BDC and Sales Department

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - Why do we train our BDC personnel? Because we need to bridge the gap between the sales department and the BDC, and the easiest way to do that is by properly training both sides.

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Why Bananas Are Good for Hiring: Making the Most of Opportunity

By Justin Spath

Justin Spath - As our economy moves more and more towards a significant banana, I think it is safe to say that we in the retail automotive industry will notice the effects.

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Used Vehicle Fear: What Exactly Are You Afraid Of?

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - New car dealerships rely almost entirely on trade-ins to round out the mix of vehicles on their lot. What happensif your more expensive vehicle sales slow down and stop generating these trade-ins?...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Internet Sales Process - Part One: Commit to Methodical Follow-Up

By Sean V. Bradley

Sean Bradley - We find that a lot of dealers have sporadic follow-up protocols. For example, they will follow up with a prospect via phone and the Internet for one to two weeks straight, wait three days, then resume for another week of follow-up...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Measuring the Internet Department Results

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - The one thing everyone has discovered is that no one has figured out exactly how to wrap their arms around a topic like Internet sales ..

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Preparing for the Good Times and the Bad

By Mauricio Espinosa

Mauricio Espinosa - In this time of economic uncertainties in the U.S., it is important to your business that you have alternate plans, a clear vision of your challenges and the proper metrics with which to manage.

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

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

By Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson - People are losing jobs, the price of gasoline is skyrocketing, and then there’s the dreaded “R” word: Recession. As a leader, you are supposed to be upbeat and optimistic about the current economy.

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Meaning Behind the Term "Fixed Operations"

By Don Reed

Don Reed - Why do we classify half of our dealership as variable and the other half as fixed? What is the difference between the two? Should they operate independently of one another or operate as one? Is one more important than the other?...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Snoozing and Losing: The Case for Arbitration Agreements

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - I am frequently asked whether dealers’ use of mandatory arbitration agreements as a defense against class action lawsuits and as a way to escape potentially crippling court-awarded damages is a tactic that actually works...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Five Basic Steps to a Special Finance Deal

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - There are five basic steps that will help keep your deals on track. Car dealers who follow these five steps consistently will be successful and maximize the gross profit on every deal, every time.

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Leveling the Playing Field: Granger Motors Focuses on Marketing Online

By John Carroll

John Carroll - These days, just about everyone working for Granger Motors in tiny Granger, Iowa, has almost universal access to the Web. Anyone responding to a vehicle on the Web page is ringing right into the mobile number of the Web sales manager...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Forming a More Pefect Union: A Village Dealership Unites all Fronts to Catapult Internet Sales

By Jennifer Rincon

Jennifer Rincon - Before the Web site or even the sales process could be modified, Bell, at Hagar’s urging, decided to clean house. His first instinct was to gather all the third-party leads and the handfuls of phone numbers, and unify all...

Tags: BDC

Blog

On-the-Point

Jim Ziegler
All Things Must Pass

By Jim Ziegler
Ziegler mourns the loss of Gregg Allman as Ford and Hyundai shake up their leadership teams and Carvana struggles to stay afloat.

Join the Battle of Jericho

By Jim Ziegler
Ziegler has harsh words for the so-called geniuses behind escalating factory incentives, political support for autonomous vehicles, AutoNation's 'millennial-friendly' pay plan, and the Carvana IPO.

Don't Run, We Are Your Friends!

By Jim Ziegler

The Future Ain't What It's Cracked Up to Be

By Jim Ziegler

Opening Observations

Over the Curb