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September 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Firing Line

Courtesy NBC Universal

By Paul Hatcher

Terminating an employee is always hard, but if they have been properly recruited and trained, the decision can be easy.

Tags: employee retention, employees, Firing, Training

September 2015, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Launching Special Finance: Part One

By Greg Goebel

Welcome to Part One of a six-part series of articles about the launch of a startup special finance operation at an already successful independent dealership on the fringe of a major U.S. metro market.

Tags: DealerStrong, Sales, special finance, Training

September 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Case of the Invisible Waiver

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

If the waivers intended to protect your dealership aren’t clearly visible, they might as well not be there.

Tags: common paperwork problems, Compliance, documentation, Legal

September 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Internet Leads Are Phone Leads

By Sean V. Bradley

Relying on email alone will not lead to confirmed appointments or sales.

Tags: creating relationships, digital marketing, Internet Leads, new-vehicle leads

August 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Art of Connectivity

Customer service is greatly enhanced by the ability to access vehicle information from anywhere on the property, and even more so when that information can be shared between locations. 

By Jim Rogers

Dealers are using unified communications to improve customer service and drive sales.

Tags: communication networks, Connected Vehicle, Technology

August 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Technical Issue

David Gesualdo

By David Gesualdo

For better or for worse, the proliferation of technology and data is effecting sweeping changes throughout the auto industry.

Tags: Data, digital marketing, Technology

August 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Can I Be Direct?

By Jeff Dodson

Crafting a winning direct mail marketing campaign in the Digital Age requires a clear, concise message that drives car buyers to your website.

Tags: Lead Generation, mailing list, Marketing, Sales Tactics

August 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

4 Ways to Keep Service Customers Coming Back

Jim Alton

By Jim Alton

Low turnover and rock-solid policies for labor times and pricing help retain your valuable service customers.

Tags: Customer Service, employee retention, Parts and Service

August 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Duty Calls

By Jason Heard

GSM offers pointed advice for selecting your compliance officer and putting them to work.

Tags: Compliance, compliance officer, FTC, human resources

August 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

How to Elevate Emotions and Excitement

By James Mueller and Steve Howard

Use the subtle and not-so-subtle emotional clues every customer divulges to get them excited about the vehicles and features you know they’ll love.

Tags: Sales, Sales Tactics

August 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

A Rolling Reg Z Violation

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

If you’re going to advertise terms on loaner cars, you had better include disclosures as well.

Tags: advertisements, disclosure, Regulations

August 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Second Act

Selection Specialist Tim Engle, left, stands with General Sales Manager Michael Strenge on the showroom floor at McCafferty Hyundai in Langhorne, Pa. Photo: Melissa Rago

By Toni McQuilken

Tim Engle stepped out of early retirement and into a successful second career at McCafferty Hyundai.

Tags: Hyundai, retirement, Sales Professional of the Month

August 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

A Day to Remember

Shift your focus away from sales and toward customer service to make buying a car at your dealership a memorable experience.

By Ronald J. Reahard

Shift your focus away from sales and toward customer service to make buying a car at your dealership a memorable experience.

Tags: Customer Service, Sales Tactics, Sales Training

August 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

It Takes Two to Text

At Winner Ford in Cherry Hill, N.J., Digital Marketing Manager Andy Dasher is using a text-messaging platform to improve his store’s communications with prospects and existing customers. Photo: Matt Morris

By John F. Possumato

Digital marketing managers like Andy Dasher are learning that a robust, two-way text-messaging platform can drive in-market leads and help keep dealerships on the FCC’s good side.

Tags: digital marketing, Marketing, text marketing

July 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Straight to the Source

Dean Evans

By Tariq Kamal

ADT sits down with Dean Evans, a digital marketing expert with experience in the retail, OEM and third-party segments.

Tags: digital marketing, LotLinx, SEO

July 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Advertising Roulette

Thomas B. Hudson

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Failing to nominate a compliance officer is like betting against the regulatory house.

Tags: Advertising, Federal Trade Commission, Regulations

July 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

How to Find and Keep Service Techs

By Jim Alton

Having trouble hiring quality service technicians? You might not be looking in the right places.

Tags: employees, Hiring, Parts and Service, technician training

July 2015, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

There Is No Bubble

Raj Sundaram 

By Tariq Kamal

The magazine caught up with Dealertrack’s Raj Sundaram to discuss sales forecasts, the specter of the subprime auto finance bubble, digital retailing and the Dealers’ Choice Awards.

Tags: Dealer's Choice Awards, Dealertrack, subprime auto finance

July 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

How to Hire a BDC Manager

Look for these essential skills and abilities when choosing the person who will helm your business development center.

By Wendy Reeves

Look for these essential skills and abilities when choosing the person who will helm your business development center.

Tags: BDC, Hiring, Management

July 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Increase Your Closing Ratio by 20%

Time-honored strategies can still have a profound impact in the Digital Age.

By Mark Stringfellow

Time-honored strategies can still have a profound impact in the Digital Age.

Tags: Closing Ratios, Sales Tactics, Sales Training, The Next Up

July 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

One of a Kind

Thielen Motors sales pro Mike Stone has forged a 50-year career in auto retail with the help of his wife, Donna, and a stream of repeat and referral business. 

By Toni McQuilken

Mike Stone’s 50-year career in auto retail was built upon his genuine desire to serve customers over the long term.

Tags: Awards, Sales, Sales Professional of the Month

July 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Tear Down Your Silos

Successful Internet dealerships are built on an interdependent strategy that puts showroom sales pros and BDC agents on the same page. 

By Sean V. Bradley

Successful Internet dealerships are built on an interdependent strategy that puts showroom sales pros and BDC agents on the same page.

Tags: Dealerships, Google, online marketing

July 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

For the Win

David Gesualdo

By David Gesualdo

The annual Dealers’ Choice Awards stand apart in honoring the industry’s best partners, providers and finance companies as selected by dealers and dealership personnel.

Tags: Awards, Dealer's Choice Awards

July 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

The 2015 Dealer's Choice Awards

The 2015 Dealers’ Choice Awards recognizes the industry’s best vendors, suppliers and finance companies as selected by dealers and dealership personnel. 

By ADT Staff

The 2015 Dealers’ Choice Awards recognizes the industry’s best vendors, suppliers and finance companies as selected by dealers and dealership personnel.

Tags: Awards, Dealers, Dealer's Choice Awards

June 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Pay to Play

Compensation can be a major point of contention among dealers, managers and employees. GM explains how initial planning can prevent future headaches. 

By Steve Fox

Compensation can be a major point of contention among dealers, managers and employees. GM explains how initial planning can prevent future headaches.

Tags: compensation, employees, Payment Plan, Sales

June 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

What Really Motivates Your Employees?

The carrot-and-stick approach is losing its appeal as leaders find new ways to encourage productivity. 

By Mike Esposito

The carrot-and-stick approach is losing its appeal as leaders find new ways to encourage productivity.

Tags: employees, productivity, sales team motivation, Training

June 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Recording the F&I Transaction

Adding cameras to your F&I process can boost production and compliance — and put you ahead of the YouTube curve.

By Ronald J. Reahard

Adding cameras to your F&I process can boost production and compliance — and put you ahead of the YouTube curve.

Tags: F&I Products, F&I video-recording, sales transaction

June 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Pinocchio and the Senator

Thomas B. Hudson

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler calls enterprising Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren out for repeating a popular myth about auto finance, regulatory oversight and dealer participation.

Tags: CFPB, dealer financing, Regulations

June 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Fair-Weather Foes

ADM Publisher David Gesualdo

By David Gesualdo

The so-called consumer advocates who are bullying dealers were nowhere to be found when times were tough.

Tags: CFPB, dealer financing, NADA

June 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Capture, Conquest and Close

Opportunistic dealers are using geo-conquest mobile advertising to steal prospects from their competitors’ showrooms. 

By John F. Possumato

Opportunistic dealers are using geo-conquest mobile advertising to steal prospects from their competitors’ showrooms.

Tags: Advertising, mobile marketing, Vehicle Sales

May 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Show Your Pride!

Struggling sales pros should remember to take pride in their work and seek referrals wherever they may lie. 

By Jason Heard

Struggling sales pros should remember to take pride in their work and seek referrals wherever they may lie.

Tags: job growth, Sales, Salespeople

May 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Your Constant Value Proposition

Firas Makhlouf is CIO of Driver’s Village, a Syracuse, N.Y., auto group that puts a premium on highly trained and informed BDC agents. 

By Greg Wells

Providing exceptional customer service at every touchpoint is the best way to reassure customers they will be treated fairly when they visit your dealership.

Tags: Customer Service, Dealerships, price

May 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Are Your Employees Pickpocketing Your Profits?

Lax policies and unauthorized charges, discounts and freebies could be nipping away at your bottom line. 

By Harlene Doane

Lax policies and unauthorized charges, discounts and freebies could be nipping away at your bottom line.

Tags: Discount, Sales, Sales Manager, Training

May 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

A Biased Report

Thomas B. Hudson

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

There is much to dislike about the CFPB’s 728-page report on pre-dispute arbitration clauses.

Tags: arbitration agreements, CFPB, Dodd-Frank Act

May 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

On Course

Tariq Kamal, Auto Dealer Monthly Managing Editor.

By Tariq Kamal

The 2015 Automotive Forum promised good times — and significant change — for dealers in the years ahead.

Tags: Automotive Forum, J.D. Power, NADA

May 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

In Favor of Shop-Click-Drive

The move toward digital retailing is the inevitable result of increased familiarity with self-service transactions. 

By David Kain

The move toward digital retailing is the inevitable result of increased familiarity with self-service transactions.

Tags: Internet shopper, online retail, Shop-Click-Drive

May 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Subaru Soul

Mark Sattler is May's Sales Pro of the Month.

By Toni McQuilken

Mark Sattler has snagged the May Sales Pro title, thanks to his hard work, dedication and love of his brand. If you know of a sales pro who deserves some recognition, nominate them by clicking here.

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

May 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Living the Dream

Mario Murgado (right), owner of Miami’s Brickell Motors, stands with partners Rick Barraza (left) and Alex Andreus. 

By Tariq Kamal

Bold business moves and a dynamic setting proved to be the winning formula for Brickell Motors and its owner, Mario Murgado.

Tags: businesses, Dealers, Miami

April 2015, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Battle of Sacramento

In 2012, California’s capital was the site of a yearlong battle between state lawmakers and buy-here, pay-here dealers. Two new laws designed to protect consumers are now on the books, and dealers say they’re causing headaches on both sides of the sale.

By Tariq Kamal

In 2012, California’s capital was the site of a yearlong battle between state lawmakers and buy here, pay here dealers. Two new laws designed to protect consumers are now on the books, and dealers say they’re causing headaches on both sides of the sale.

Tags: California, Legal, legislation

April 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

A Prescription For Attitude

Dr. G.P. returns with a powerful new medication that increases effort and performance with very few side effects.

By G.P. Anderson

Dr. G.P. returns with a powerful new medication that increases effort and performance with very few side effects.

Tags: Finance, Finance Manager, possitive attitude, Training

April 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Good to Great in 3 Easy Steps

Sourcing inventory from Craigslist can bring ideal SF units and new customers to your store.

By Shawn Foster

Establishing proven processes for sales, desking and inventory acquisition can boost your SF numbers in short order.

Tags: Credit Scores, credit scoring, inventory, special finance

April 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Look Who Emailed Me!

An invitation to join the CFPB’s Company Portal should not be ignored, and some dealers may choose to sign up preemptively. 

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

An invitation to join the CFPB’s Company Portal should not be ignored, and some dealers may choose to sign up preemptively.

Tags: CFPB, consumer complaints, Email, Legal

April 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Who’s Celling Whom?

Customers no longer have to drive down the street to browse other dealers’ inventories or negotiate for a more favorable price or trade-in value. 

By Ronald J. Reahard

Smartphone-powered customers will prove worthy foes to sales and F&I pros who fail to anticipate their questions and appreciate their easy access to information.

Tags: cell phone, Google, Sales, Sales Tactics, Sales Training

April 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Win the Game of Googleopoly

A robust website may not be enough to crowd out the throngs of competitors and third-party retailers clamoring for space on the first page of Google search results. 

By Sean V. Bradley

A robust website may not be enough to crowd out the throngs of competitors and third-party retailers clamoring for space on the first page of Google search results.

Tags: Google, google ranking, SEO

April 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Twice as Nice

Sales Pro of the Month Matt Reynolds. Photo: Justyn Phillips

By Tariq Kamal, Managing Editor

This month's sales pro Matt Reynolds has found lasting success and perfected the art of the two-car deal.

Tags: Dealers, Sales Professional of the Month, Sales Tactics, Volkswagen

April 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Heads Up

Tariq Kamal, Auto Dealer Monthly Managing Editor.

By Tariq Kamal

The willful ignorance that threatens professional football is not reflected in the auto industry.

Tags: Compliance, Compliance Summit, Regulations

April 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

4 Elements of a Killer SEO and PPC Strategy

By Zach Klempf

Dealers who want to crash the digital marketing party must have a basic understanding of SEO, PPC, Web traffic analysis and key takeaways.

Tags: digital marketing, online marketing, SEO

March 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The New Old Guard

Twenty years into the Digital Age, some dealers still refuse to acknowledge the shift toward and profit potential of properly converted Internet leads.

By Toni McQuilken

Twenty years into the Digital Age, some dealers still refuse to acknowledge the shift toward and profit potential of properly converted Internet leads.

Tags: Lead Generation, Sales, Technology, Training

March 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Future Is Now

For third-party lead providers, it's clear that providing dealerships with the highest quality leads, in the areas they wish to target, will be key.

By Toni McQuilken

Experts agree that lead procurement and management is changing rapidly — too rapidly, perhaps, for some dealers to keep up.

Tags: Internet Leads, Technology, virtual showroom

March 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

A Fool’s Errand

You must have the team ready to do the job and know what success looks like and how they will be measured. Quantity of leads is never a successful plan.

By Toni McQuilken

The experts agree that generating more leads without improving the conversion process is a recipe for disappointment.

Tags: Internet Leads, lead conversion, Lead Generation

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