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March 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Well-Trained Professional: Increase Profits By Arming Yourself With The Right Question At The Right Time

By Becky Chernek

Becky Chernek - Well-trained sales personnel know that determining the payment budget of customers on the lot will not ensure their approval by the bank source. Many customers have been schooled to quote a much lower payment than the one they have in mind.

Tags: BDC

March 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Parts and Accessory Sales Online: Know What and When To Sell Through Research

By Rob Chesney

Rob Chesney - eBay Marketplace Research is an online tool that provides subscribers with transparency into the marketplace in order to gauge the sales performance of specific products and categories...

Tags: BDC

March 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Three Practical Ways Your Dealership Can Leverage SEO

By Michael Teitelbaum

Michael Teitelbaum - It’s a common misconception that SEO simply involves throwing keywords against the digital wall to see what sticks. In reality, this tactic could hamper your site’s SEO effectiveness...

Tags: BDC

March 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Pay Now or Pay Later

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - A company was interested in buying a substantial part of a Georgia dealer’s BHPH portfolio of retail installment sales contracts. My contact wanted me to look over a few deal files and tell him if the documentation looked good.

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Universal Rules for Increasing Down Payments

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - People who have bad credit are in their situation because they don’t have enough money! Money is always a factor with special finance and always will be. The solution to this universal finance problem is simple...

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Making the Correct Call: Where Prime Ends and Sub Prime Begins

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - The earlier you make the correct call and get the deal to the appropriate manager, the better the chance you have of putting together a deal.

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Building Trust with Your Web Site: The Trait Buyers Are Looking For In Your Dealership

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - You likely have an "About Us" section of your Web site. Use it to include information about your dealership...

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Be Positioned To Take Advantage of BHPH Opportunities

By Ryan Linnehan

Ryan Linnehan - There is no doubt that mainstream financial investors have the BHPH market squarely on their radar screens, and having access to that capital can definitely make things interesting for our industry in the days ahead!

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Keep Expenses Under Control: The Delicate Balance Between Sales and Expenses

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - If your sales and gross profits are declining, are your total expenses decreasing proportionately? If not, it’s time to review your income statement. Print your income statement in a format with the last 12 months side-by-side in...

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Your Service Plan for the New Year: No Cost Changes That Produce Net Profits

By Don Reed

Don Reed - If you want to focus on “controllable” expenses, then take a long look at policy adjustment and shop supplies. Implement a log for each of these and require your manager to review it with you weekly...

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Finding or Developing Professionalism

By Justin Spath

Justin Spath - In general, a person is considered a professional if they exhibit the use of a specialized set of skills developed through education and training and they use independent judgment in the functions of their job.

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Your Sales Game Plan: Does It Include Improving Processes?

By Michael Rees

Michael Rees - What if instead of cutting expenses, the same dealer makes a plan to implement and follow proven sales processes? Instead of worrying too much about volume and gross goals ...

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Simple Funding Solutions

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - Fast funding must be the culture of the dealership. For some dealers, that means a significant change of policy. Every dealer must set their own internal standards. I preferred the...

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Get More Out of Your Computer

By Jeff Smelley

Jeff Smelley - There are some important computing jobs that get put off, or just do not get done, because they take a long time to run or slow your computer to a crawl. You no longer have to put off such tasks because you don’t have time during the work day. Schedule these jobs to be run automatically when you aren’t there.

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Top Of The CSI Pyramid

By Mauricio Espinosa

Mauricio Espinosa - The Hispanic market is a significant driving force behind the CSI Pyramid. This market wants to be loyal. To be loyal is to be faithful to something or someone, whether it is to the government, a business, a spouse, a leader, etc.

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Regaining The Lost Art Of Financing

By Richard Costello

Richard Costello - Simply change to a pricing model that numerous other industries – including mine – have used successfully for many years. They adopted a variable wholesale rate structure that would increase ...

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Big Three Questions of Marketing

By Marla Belson

Marla Belson - Advertising and marketing are my favorite aspects of special finance. Most of us who have been working in this field for a while have developed a certain passion for specific kinds of marketing. My passion lies with direct mail and Internet leads.

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Video Search Engine Optimism

By Sean V. Bradley

Sean Bradley - It goes without saying that training is essential for your call center and all employees who handle your inbound phone calls. While some dealerships have chosen to use third-party companies for this function, I am not a big fan of outsourcing your call center for several reasons:

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Three Factors That Affect Consumers' Purchase Decisions

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - Why do people decide to buy? Some consumers use an intense system of thorough investigation before they decide to purchase, while others are basic impulse shoppers.

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Four Critical Steps to Investing in Marketing and Advertising

By Jack Lintol

Jack Lintol - ACE has helped dealers across the country get into the subprime business or improve their existing subprime business.

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

When Can You Accept Over-Spending?

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - So, I will say it. There are times when I believe it is OK to overspend your ad budget.

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Finely Honed System Success at World Hyundai

By Jennifer Rincon

It’s tough to be a player in the auto retail business, especially when your dealership is flanked by large auto malls nearby and is 30 miles from Chicago. Then try putting yourself last in the lineup at Matteson Auto Mall of Illinois, the largest campus-style auto mall in the United States, with very little foot traffic...

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Shades of Ed Sullivan

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - “We’ve got a really big shhhoooow for you…” Certainly, that same exclamation should be used for the 2008 NADA Convention set to take place in San Francisco in early February.

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Web-host Selection: Sometimes You Have to Reevaluate Your Priorities

By Craig Criswell

Craig Criswell - The purpose of the site is to make buying that next vehicle easier. It must attract and engage the ever-growing number of people doing research online for their next vehicle purchase...

Tags: BDC

February 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Creating E-mail Policies At Work

By Mark Benjamin

Mark Benjamin - Many small-business owners are not fully aware of their legal rights when it comes to monitoring their employees’ e-mails and fear that the company may be breaching privacy laws by reading their staff’s e-mail correspondence.

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Steps to World-Class Customer Service

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - Creating a great customer experience is both incredibly simple and the hardest thing you'll ever do. There is nothing magic or mysterious about it, but you have to turn your mind inside-out.

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Web Site Upgrade Engages Shoppers: Schumacher Auto Group Sees Results

By Daymond Decker

Daymond Decker - At Schumacher, the main strategy for bringing customers to their Web site used to be traditional advertising, especially print, but now they are doing less traditional advertising and bringing more people directly to the site through...

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Sisters Take The Reins At Oldest Transportation Company: Hare Chevrolet Makes Way For The Sixth Generation

By John Carroll

John Carrol - It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. A few years ago, the family bought two area stores and later sold the underperforming Chrysler/Jeep location. Cole chalks it up to experience...

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Focusing On Fixed Ops: Crest Cadillac Thrives On Southern Hospitality

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - The customer is taken to the private office of one of the four the service consultants/advisers who usually spend between seven and 10 minutes with each customer to understand the customer’s concerns.

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Your Succession Plan: The Factory Influences Your Decision

By Ron Smith

Ron Smith - Many succession planning decisions will be governed by not only the factory sales and service agreement (“Franchise Agreement”), but also by appropriate provisions of state franchise statutes...

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Don’t Lose Your Mettle When Moving The Metal In A Down Market

By Rob Anderson

Rob Anderson - Consumers have grown cautious and the economy has slowed, but opportunities still abound for dealers. These opportunities are created by less competition amongst retailers in the marketplace.

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Gain Traction With Online Listing Option

By Rob Chesney

Rob Chesney - Vehicle purchase protection is provided by eBay Motors to passenger vehicle buyers who complete their purchase on the site to protect against cases of outright fraud ...

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Public Citizens Arbitration: Report Misses The Mark

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - The foundation of the report is Public Citizen’s claim, based on its study of nearly 34,000 collection cases, arbitrators found in favor of businesses in 94 percent of the arbitration proceedings...

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Training Your Service Customers: Pays Big Dividends

By Don Reed

Don Reed - Starting today, ask each of your advisors what maintenance is required by your respective manufacturer. I’m betting they don’t know. If that is the case, then require them to read the warranty book and they will find the words...

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Buy-Sell Agreement Structure: Smart Decisions for Tax Purposes

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - The buyer should always review any and all existing leases of the dealer to verify which leases must be assumed through purchase...

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Integrated Automated Training To Reduce Compliance Risks

By Raj Sundaram

Raj Sundaram - To help mitigate risks, your dealership must do more than have compliance policies in place, it must also enforce them.

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Dreaded "R" Word

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - Over the past 24 to 30 months, the new retail sales volume for domestics has been reduced by 20 to 30 percent, and in some markets the reduction is over 50 percent.

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Protecting Your Money The Low-Tech Way

By Jeff Smelley

Jeff Smelley - In what’s transitioning to a cashless banking environment, you must carefully inspect credit card authorizations, electronic funds transfers and payment authorizations.

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Hitting The Bulls-Eye: Effectively Targeting Your Market

By Rob Anderson

Rob Anderson - Bull’s-eye marketing is about locating your best prospects ... You can start mapping by looking at your key marketing and support materials, then comparing them to those of your closest competitors.

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The CSI Pyramid Part II: Retention

By Mauricio Espinosa

Mauricio Espinosa - At many businesses, we found first-time customers usually give good-to-excellent ranking scores. However, as time and experiences continue, the results deteriorate.

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Full-Spectrum Finance: Providing What the Customer Needs

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - In order to direct a customer away from specific vehicles, bypass price, ask for significant down payments and still structure profitable deals, you must have a program to sell. In special finance, this program is ...

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Florida Dealer Weathers The Elements: Pompano Honda Sets Records

By Daymond Decker

Daymond Decker - According to statistics provided by Honda, 80 percent of typical Honda buyers first turn to the Internet to conduct online research...

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Sales Skyrocket With Hispanic Market Focus: R&R Auto Sales Thrives In Orland, Calif.

By John Carroll

John Carroll - It's all part of reaching out, letting the Hispanic community know, in a myriad of small and large ways, they'll be welcome when it comes time to buy a vehicle.

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Advertising: Spending Those Dollars Weekly

By Kris Wright

Kris Wright - Dealers often spend advertising dollars without tracking the “true” productivity of each medium. Since the market is more competitive than ever, we have to compete to have the most effective advertising mediums as well.

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

2008 Special Finance Hall of Fame Awards to be Presented at the 2008 Special Finance Convention

By Greg Goebel

2008 SFC

Tags: BDC

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Run Your Own Marathon: Eleven Steps To Reaching The Finish Line

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - Every journey begins with a first step. I believe that first step is being Inspired to Set Your Goal. You have to be inspired to achieve something that you have never accomplished.

January 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

NADA's Razzle Dazzle Convention: Profitability Heads to the Bay

By John Carroll

John Carroll - ... while hosting dozens of workshops each day over the 4-day event to better prepare dealers for what’s shaping up as one of the most challenging years the auto retail business has seen in decades.

Tags: BDC

December 2007, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Waiting Game In F&I: How Punte Hills Toyota Keeps The Customer Engaged

By Jennifer Rincon

Jennifer Rincon - However, most customers are not impressed with legal savvy. They simply want to buy a car and get on with their day. This leads the F&I team back to the first question: time. “Time is absolutely of essence to us,” said Hakes.

Tags: BDC

December 2007, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Automotive Wage Compliance In The Dealership: Minimum Wage Law Does Apply

By Justin Spath

Justin Spath - The FLSA is the federal law that details standards for the basic minimum wage and overtime pay. It covers employers who have ...

Tags: BDC

December 2007, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

How To Play By The Rules On eBay Motors

By Rob Chesney

Rob Chesney - To build a solid reputation online, begin by providing every detail you have available regarding vehicles you have listed. For example, take pictures of a vehicle from all angles, including any dents, scratches or other imperfections...

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