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June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Used Vehicle Sales Can Provide Stability During a Choppy Economy

By Rob Chesney

Rob Chesney - An increasing number of dealers are discovering that online used vehicle sales are a direct and efficient way to increase revenue ...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Driving is Fun: Make Sure Your Customers Know That

By Michael Rees

Michael Rees - Salespeople have to show excitement when presenting a vehicle—not just mentioning the features that a particular vehicle comes with, but painting the picture as to what these features will do for the customer ...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The View From Your Front Door Looking Out

By Ryan Linnehan

Ryan Linnehan - Our goal should be for people to always see activity going on at our lots. Activity breeds excitement, and excitement breeds sales.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Internet Statistics Verify Capabilities Of Online Video

By Sean V. Bradley

Sean Bradley - The first step is taking time to think of a totally new concept that will capture people’s attention. Humor is a great way to accomplish that. You need to know that one of the most powerful aspects of online video is the viral aspect...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Hiring the Right People to Work in your BDC Today

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - Recruiting for a business development center (BDC) is serious business because these individuals will represent your dealership to the community ... If you hire the wrong people, you could inadvertently ask prospects to shop elsewhere.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face: Don't Let the "Bad Lead" Syndrome Stymie SF Growth

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - The primary goal is to establish good rapport and set an appointment. Without achieving this, a sale will most likely never occur. Please note, I did not say work to get the customer approved before you invite them into the store!...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Internet Resources: Utilize the Wealth of Information at Your Fingertips to Learn and Save Money

By Justin Spath

Justin Spath - ... while I can’t begin to cover the entire Internet, I can take a little time to highlight a few resources online that will be beneficial to you as a dealership owner, operator or manager.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Search Marketing Manifesto

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - Because paid search ads show up only when someone has searched for a keyword relevant to your product, you only advertise to interested consumers ...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

SEO 2.0: Optimizing with Blogs, Social Media and Social Networks

By J.D. Rucker

Jim Rucker - Establishing a stronger presence through Web 2.0 can drive traffic to a Web site and greatly improve a dealer’s search rankings on Google, Yahoo and the other search engines...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Technician Shortfall: Proper Recruiting, Hiring and Training to Attract and Retain Qualified Individuals

By John Carroll

John Carroll - Several technical schools say that slightly more than half their graduates wind up at dealerships, while hosts of newly minted automotive technicians take positions with the after-market companies that specialize in hiring entry-level...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Service Retention: The Value of Your Service Advisor

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - A recent manufacturer study indicated a sharp rise in the chance of selling a customer another vehicle based on the number of times they visit your service department. A single service visit increased that chance by 29 percent...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Choose Your Words Wisely: The Proper Questions to Ask Customers

By Ryan Linnehan

Ryan Linnehan - In the buy here pay here (BHPH) world, little things can definitely make a big difference—oftentimes the difference of whether or not we make the sale, hold the gross, or prevent a repossession.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Court Your Consumers: A Lesson on Love

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - Your customers are interested in your dealership only because of their own needs. The only reason they want information about you is to make sure you will treat them right. Your goal should be to make them feel comfortable and cared for...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Unresolved Immigration Issues Impact U.S. Auto Sales

By Mauricio Espinosa

Mauricio Espinosa - If current trends continue, the population of the United States will rise to 438 million by 2050** ... and 82 percent of the increase will be due to immigrants and their U.S.-born descendants

Tags: BDC

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

Blog

On-the-Point

Jim Ziegler
It's a Nerd Meltdown

By Jim Ziegler
The Alpha Dawg coaches sales managers through a CRM crash, shares advice for desking deals the old-fashioned way, and explains why AutoNation’s rumored pay plan revision and GM’s thrice-delayed Project Pinnacle are doomed to fail.

There’s a Vacancy in Mom’s Basement

By Jim Ziegler
The Alpha Dawg discovers the cure for Millennial Madness and goes deep on certified pre-owned leasing, the case against Sage Auto Group, and the end of the big publics’ shopping spree.

Objects in the Rearview Mirror

By Jim Ziegler

The Big Talent Drain

By Jim Ziegler

Opening Observations

Over the Curb