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July 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Best of the Best

By ADT Staff

Dealers honor their favorite vendors, technology providers, trainers, and finance companies in the 12th annual Dealers’ Choice Awards.

Tags: Awards, Dealers, Dealer's Choice Awards

June 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Road Weary

David Gesualdo

By David Gesualdo

The publisher returns from a long road trip with regulatory compliance on his mind.

Tags: CFPB, compliance, Regulations

June 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Sit Back and Unwind

By Jason Heard

Back-outs are part of the dealership life. What’s your policy?

Tags: customer satisfaction, Customer Service, Policies

June 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Language Skills

Photo by Lenny Ramos

By Stephanie Forshee

David Kim became a 30-car guy by building an impressive base of repeats and referrals among Korean-Americans.

Tags: Customer Retention, repeat and referral sales, sales, Sales Professional of the Month

June 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Look Within

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

If you’re wondering where all those pesky rules and regulations come from, look no further than the dealer down the street.

Tags: CFPB, Legal, Regulations

June 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

New Topic for Your 20 Group

By Brent Tally

Facilities expert outlines strategies, concepts and metrics that could make you the star of your next 20 Group meeting.

Tags: 20 Groups, Dealer Facilities, facility upgrades

June 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Digital Marketing Dividing Line

Andy MacLeay

By Tariq Kamal

Dealer.com’s Andy MacLeay sorts through the latest developments and explains the importance of measuring intent and connecting car buyers with dealers — and their vehicles.

Tags: Cox Automotive, Dealer.com, digital marketing, Trends

June 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Your F&I Process is Dragging You Down

When Howard Hughes designed and built airplanes, including the so-called “Spruce Goose,” he paid attention to every last detail. The author advises dealers to do the same for the F&I process. 

By Jim Maxim Jr.

Technology expert explains how new menu technology is helping dealers build more trust, sell more products and speed up the F&I process.

Tags: F&I menus, F&I process, F&I training

June 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

3 Pitfalls of Analysis

By Mark Stringfellow

Properly analyzing the connection between a positive online and in-person experience requires dealers to reconsider the way you analyze metrics and respond to bad reviews.

Tags: Customer Retention, customer satisfaction, Online Marketing

June 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Feed the Need

By Michael Maledon

The time to reexamine your fair credit compliance policies and programs has come. Expert identifies five crucial areas of exposure.

Tags: compliance, Credit, Credit Scores

May 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

React, Adapt, Win

David Gesualdo

By David Gesualdo

This month’s dealer profile is proof that adaptability breeds success.

Tags: Dealer of the Year, Dealers, F&I, Legal, sales

May 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Take Me to Your Leader

By G.P. Anderson

How do you handle unhappy guests who want to speak to the boss?

Tags: Customer Retention, Customer Service, F&I, Sales Tactics

May 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Fair Play

By Stephanie Forshee

Scott Kemp has been one of Crippen Auto Mall’s top two salespeople every month for more than 15 years, and the secret to his success is simpler than you might think.

Tags: sales, Sales Professional of the Month

May 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Zombie Arbitration Agreements

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

A Georgia case proves the wisdom of a periodic review of your dealership’s forms.

Tags: arbitration agreements, Lawsuit, Legal

May 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

How PPM Drives Retention

Properly designed and presented maintenance programs help auto dealers engage customers throughout the ownership cycle.

By Ryan Williams

With rock-solid processes and measurable goals, prepaid maintenance programs can help dealers keep more car buyers coming back and create limitless service and sales opportunities.

Tags: Customer Retention, Maintenance, Prepaid Maintenance, sales

May 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Your Culture Is Causing Stomachaches

By Harlene Doane

Just when you think you have your dealership culture figured out, something causes that familiar pain in your gut to return. Operations expert shares advice for avoiding upset stomachs in the workplace.

Tags: Customer Service, dealership culture, DealerStrong, Operations

May 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Why of F&I

In the finance office, products that fit the needs of the customer, their vehicle and your market offer real value and drive real profits. 

By Ronald J. Reahard

Justifying the existence of the F&I department requires dealers to take a hard look at the value it offers to customers and its effect on the sales process.

Tags: Dealers, F&I, F&I products, sales, training

May 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

The Ratings Giant

Allen Turner’s Pensacola, Fla. Hyundai dealership beat out 800 competitors nationwide to earn DealerRater’s 2016 Dealer of the Year honors.  Photos by Caleb Pierce

By Tariq Kamal

Allen Turner credits his Hyundai store's 2016 Dealer of the Year award to a customer-first sales and service philosophy that has generated more than 1,000 positive reviews on DealerRater.

Tags: Dealer of the Year, Dealers, Hyundai

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Welcome to Cigar City

By David Gesualdo

Tampa will host Dealer Summit, an event tailored to the needs of dealers and dealership management.

Tags: Dealer Summit, Dealers Choice Award, F&I and Showroom

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Don’t Ignore Your Managers

By Steve Fox

GM says dealers who fail to reward open communication will find that minor issues can develop into major problems.

Tags: Communications, Dealership, managers, Service

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Strange Adversaries

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

The CFPB has found an unexpected foe in Eric Schneiderman, an activist attorney general who believes arbitration is ‘efficient and effective.’

Tags: CFPB, legal training, lemon law

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Take Control of Your Used-Car Inventory

By Bill Mokry

If you give your used units the attention they deserve, they will reward you with increased profits.

Tags: Dealership, Inventory Management, Used-Car Sales

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Are You Ready When the Phone Rings?

By Tony Troussov

If your team’s phone skills have faded in the Digital Age, you may be losing opportunities. Map out the road to the appointment and make sure no sales call goes unanswered.

Tags: Phone Customers, sales training, training

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Price Is Right

Photo: John Holstein

By Stephanie Forshee

Ed Price stands at the threshold of retirement after more than 25 years at West Virginia’s Stephens Auto Center.

Tags: sales, Sales Professional of the Month

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Your Ecommerce Director: In-House vs. Outsource

Among other duties, a dedicated ecommerce director builds and maintains their dealership’s presence online, on social media and on third-party review sites.

By Matt Childers

Who is in charge of your digital campaigns? Building an online presence requires real leadership, and the choice between hiring an in-store ecommerce director or outsourcing those duties depends upon the wants and needs of the individual dealer.

Tags: digital marketing, e-commerce, online advertising

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

5 Dos and Don’ts of Local Search

Where is that dealership? In-market car buyers rely on local search to quickly and easily find businesses in their area.

By Troy Smith

Local search is absolutely essential to making sure car buyers can find you, but it is an easy target for competitors and disgruntled employees who may wish to hijack your directory listings.

Tags: Dealerships, digital marketing, search engine optimization

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

How to Get Your Dealer License

Photo: James Pierce

By Todd Bryant

Expert offers a six-step plan for first-time auto dealers.

Tags: business tools, Dealers, Legal, Regulations

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Launching Special Finance: Part Six

Photo courtesy Tax Credits

By Greg Goebel

Despite a parade of obstacles, Champion Motors’ Red Team pulls out a win in overtime.

Tags: DealerStrong, Finance, special finance, training

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

6 Tips for Your Next YouTube Video

Many dealers don’t realize they can use the cameras built into their late-model smartphones to record YouTube-quality videos. Photo by Karlis Dambrans

By Brian Wiklem

Digital marketing expert offers six surefire ways to boost leads from the videos you post online.

Tags: digital marketing, internet marketing, social media, YouTube

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Launching Special Finance: Part Five

Champion Motors’ new SF department hit a couple speed bumps in Month Four but continued to show progress in setting appointments and making sales. Photo by Michael Coghlan

By Greg Goebel

Website and BDC issues have slowed but not stopped the progress of Champion Motors’ new special finance team.

Tags: DealerStrong, Finance, special finance, training

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

What to Expect in 2016

The Honda Civic was the No. 1 leased vehicle in the U.S. last year, a sure sign that leasing’s popularity is no longer limited to the highline segment. Courtesy American Honda Motor Co.

By Vic Lance

Dealers have much to look forward to in 2016, a year in which new-car sales are expected to continue to rise and a number of other trends will affect the way you do business.

Tags: Autonomous Driving, Honda, leasing, new-vehicle sales, Regulations, Ride-Sharing, Trends

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Pushing Boundaries

David Gesualdo

By David Gesualdo

New technology is not a substitute for salesmanship, but it can create more opportunities to do business the right way.

Tags: Customer Service, Geofencing, Regulations, technology

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

3 Ways to Get Personal

By Jason Heard

General sales manager explains how facility tours, trade walks and common courtesy can restore the human touch to an increasingly digitized transaction.

Tags: customer satisfaction, Customer Service, trade-in

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Low-Hanging Fruit

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Countless examples prove that dealer advertising is an easy target for regulators.

Tags: CFPB, Deceptive Advertising, FTC, Regulators

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Why I Love This Business

By Ronald J. Reahard

Top trainer explains why honest, hardworking dealers are rewarded with happiness, peace of mind and financial gain.

Tags: Dealers, Tips for Success, training

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

I Heart Millennials

By G.P. Anderson

Whatever their age, car buyers appreciate service, professionalism and the opportunity to save time and money.

Tags: customer satisfaction, Customer Service, Millenials

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Here Come the Readability Police

By Nicole Munro

The Texas Plain Language Law will mandate that auto finance contracts be written at an 11th-grade reading level by 2017.

Tags: auto finance, CFPB, contracts, legal training

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Commit to Excellence

By Ronald J. Reahard

Build your F&I training program the same way you would build a house: on a solid foundation with expert craftsmanship and high-quality materials.

Tags: F&I, F&I training, Product Sales

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Get Your Customers Back

At Pacifico Marple Ford Lincoln in Broomall, Pa., the Pacifico brothers and their partners are employing loyalty geofencing to retain more sales and service customers. Photos:Kirk Hoffman

By John Possumato

Loyalty geofencing is helping dealerships like Pacifico Marple Ford Lincoln recapture car buyers by sending powerful, targeted, above-the-lock-screen messages to their smartphones.

Tags: digital marketing, smartphones, target marketing

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Save Money on Your Next Surety Bond

By Eric Halsey

Improving your credit score, demonstrating strong financials and choosing the right agency can drastically reduce the premium on your next auto dealer surety bond.

Tags: bonds, Credit Scores, Dealerships

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Changing Dynamics and Best Practices

By Clayton Stanfield

An eBay exec shares two key pointers for dealers who are new to digital automotive marketplaces.

Tags: Customer Service, digital marketing, ebay, Internet Leads

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Enduring Optimism

By David Gesualdo

Dealer Summit comes to Tampa with lofty goals and high expectations.

Tags: Dealer Summit, Education, networking, training

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Life Among the Elite

After eight years on the job, Rodriguez has built a database of repeat and referral customers. 

By Toni McQuilken

Oscar Rodriguez didn’t come to the car business by design, but his desire, hard work and dedication led to Chrysler Elite status and Sales Pro of the Year honors.

Tags: sales, Sales Professional of the Year, Sales Tactics

January 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Launching Special Finance: Part Four

By Greg Goebel

The DealerStrong team experiences the highs of beating expectations and the lows of an underperforming BDC and third-party lead provider.

Tags: DealerStrong, Finance, special finance, training

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

When Is It Safe to Assume?

By Steve Fox

GM explains why some assumptions are par for the course and others can cost you business.

Tags: sales, Sales Tactics, Volkswagen

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

A Good Fit

By David Gesualdo

Digital marketing is attracting increasing numbers of bright young minds to the automotive industry.

Tags: digital marketing, online shoppers, technology

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Recordbreaker

Photo: Toni McQuilken

By Toni McQuilken

Brandon (Fla.) Ford's Ricardo Liburd snagged the December 2015 Sales Pro title, thanks to his brainpower, social skills and boundless energy.

Tags: internet sales, sales, Sales Professional of the Month

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Vicarious Liability

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

When is a dealership liable for its customer’s negligence?

Tags: compliance, lawsuits, risk

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Pull That Trigger

By Denny Long

Trigger leads are an effective way to capture in-market car buyers who may have been turned down for financing at another store.

Tags: Finance, Subprime Financing, trigger leads

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Open-Source Selling

By Ronald J. Reahard

Dealers who struggle to close Internet-savvy prospects may benefit from acknowledging the breadth and depth of each customer’s research and offering additional third-party resources.

Tags: Internet Shopper, Sales Tactics, sales training

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