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March 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Lead Conversion Gap

Dealers need to clearly articulate what is different and better about their organizations. Price is only relevant in the absence of value.

By Tariq Kamal

Experts offer advice to dealers who have been disappointed by their efforts to convert leads to appointments and sales.

Tags: branding, Internet Leads, lead conversion, Sales Tactics

March 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Better Than Repossession

The misguided attack on starter interrupt devices stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of their function and the benefits they offer to car buyers. 

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

The misguided attack on starter interrupt devices stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of their function and the benefits they offer to car buyers.

Tags: Debt Collection, Legal, Repossessions

March 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

A Fish in Water

Sales Pro of the Month Oscar Rodriguez. Photo: Jessica Rodriguez

By Tariq Kamal, Managing Editor

Oscar Rodriguez found his calling as a sales pro at All American Chrysler Jeep Dodge of San Angelo (Texas).

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

March 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Taking the Lead

David Gesualdo, Auto Dealer Monthly Publisher.

By David Gesualdo

Converting leads and increasing sales in today’s marketplace may require some dealers to abandon long-held beliefs.

Tags: new-vehicle leads, Sales, Sales Tactics

February 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Everything in Its Place

Custom workstations allow dealers to design and maintain clean, efficient shops that can reduce customer wait times and help retain skilled technicians. 

By Tim Vaughan

Custom workstations allow dealers to design and maintain clean, efficient shops that can reduce customer wait times and help retain skilled technicians.

Tags: Customer Service, Maintenance, Service Department, technician training

February 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Top 8 Tax Time Pitfalls

Image via IStockPhoto.com

By Greg Goebel

An SF expert lists the most common mistakes dealers make during tax refund season and how to avoid them.

Tags: special finance, tax refurn, tax season

February 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Revolution Begins at Home Pages

Dealers who believe F&I should move to the front of the sales process should start with their websites. 

By Pete MacInnes

Dealers who believe F&I should move to the front of the sales process should start with their websites.

Tags: F&I, Financing, Online Marketplace, websites

February 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Break the Chains of Desktop Detainment

By Geoff Bedine

New mobile tools are making a difference in unexpected areas, including the trade-in appraisal process.

Tags: Technology, Trade-In Appraisal, Vehicle Appraisal

February 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Customer Satisfaction is Worthless

As sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer once put it, “Customer satisfaction is worthless. Customer loyalty is priceless.”

By Jason Heard

A dealership GM says anybody can create an acceptable experience, but creating repeat business is an endeavor unto itself. He offers five practical tips for pricing and retaining your most loyal customers.

Tags: Customer Satisfaction, Sales Training

February 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Death of Disparate Impact

The District Court ruled that the Department of Housing and Urban Development overreached in creating a new rule designed to address disparate impact among home buyers. 

By James S. Ganther, Esq.

A District Court judge’s decision in a housing discrimination lawsuit could help derail the CFPB’s ongoing campaign against auto dealers.

Tags: CFPB, discrimination, U.S. District Court

February 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Stick to the Script

A lawsuit against a Minnesota dealer highlights the need to keep the cost of a service contract from being part of the finance charge.

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

A lawsuit against a Minnesota dealer highlights the need to keep the cost of a service contract from being part of the finance charge.

Tags: Finance, financial regulation, Legal, Service Contracts

February 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Real Pros Don’t Close

The need to establish trust and transparency has taken precedence in an era defined by well-informed Internet customers and pressure from state and federal regulators. Photo: IStockPhoto.com

By Paul Hatcher

GM says pressure from consumers and regulators will force sales pros to abandon their lifelong reliance on ‘closing’ tactics.

Tags: closing rates, Regulations, Sales Tactics, Sales Training

February 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

A Taxing Season

Many car buyers use their income tax refunds as down payments. Offering to double the amount creates value at every credit tier. 

By Paul Potratz

Take the guesswork out of the tax-time rush by planning targeted and timely online marketing campaigns.

Tags: advertsing campaign, online marketing, tax season

February 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

On Target

David Gesualdo, ADM Publisher

By David Gesualdo, Publisher

A changing industry requires increased focus on customers and the factors that drive their buying habits.

Tags: David Gesualdo, Ed Bobit, Sales Professional of the Month

February 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

A New Legacy

Justin Russell, Sales Pro of the Month. Photo courtesy Ford of Pasco

By Tariq Kamal, Managing Editor

With help from his father and other mentors, Justin Russell has blazed a path to Internet sales success at Legacy Ford of Pasco (Wash.).

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

January 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Dealership Disrupt

Photo via istock.com

By Zach Kempf

Technology disruptions are reshaping the buying experience and forcing dealers to rethink their sales processes.

Tags: customer relations manager, Internet of Things, Social Media, TrueCar

January 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Your Medical Marijuana Policy

Photo via istock.com

By David Missimer

Dealers' zero-tolerance drug policies are still valid in states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

Tags: Michigan

January 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Rules and Regs

Tariq Kamal, Auto Dealer Monthly Managing Editor.

By Tariq Kamal, Managing Editor

Compliance Summit is not an annual event. It’s a traveling show. We will be in Dallas this April and Chicago in June, before joining up with Industry Summit in Las Vegas next ­September.

Tags: Compliance, Compliance Summit, Regulations

January 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Three Bright Ideas for Low-Cost Leads

Photo: IStockPhoto.com/Vladimir Floyd

By Nan Mossey

In 2015, more dealers will use conversion pages, marketing automation and exit intent technology to drive sales and reduce their ad spend.

Tags: lead conversion, Lead Generation, online marketing

January 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Time to Man Up

Photo via istock.com

By Ronald J. Reahard

The auto industry and the finance companies that fuel it have yet to mount a proper response to the CFPB's threats and actions.

Tags: CFPB, Compliance, Finance

January 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Dealer's Choice Awards Presentation

Randy Crisorio (left), president and CEO of United Development Systems Inc. and Jeff Jagoe, senior vice president of agency operations for IAS, celebrate their companies’ Diamond Award wins for F&I Training and F&I Products. 

By Auto Dealer Monthly Staff

For the first time, representatives of companies honored in the annual Dealers’ Choice Awards were invited to accept their awards in person at Industry Summit.

Tags: Auto Dealer Monthly, Awards, Dealer's Choice Awards, F&I

January 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Turn Dealbreakers into Dealmakers

Photo: istockphoto.com/yingyang

By Greg Goebel

The art of selling additional cash down payments takes on added importance during the holiday season.

Tags: Customer Satisfaction, Finance, Sales Tactics, special finance

January 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Inventory Tsunami

Photo via istock.com

By Greg Goebel

As predicted, November brought big book drops to used-vehicle inventories nationwide. Special finance guru lays out a plan for beating the winter blues, moving the metal and planning for success in 2015.

Tags: Inventory Management, seasonally adjusted annualized rate

January 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Lead Generator or Time Waster?

Members of the Millennial generation are more likely to be found on Twitter than LinkedIn, and if they visit your website, they will probably be using a mobile device. 

By Rich Moore

Early experiments with social media have left many dealers wondering whether they should continue to invest time and money in the platform and how to quantify the return on investment.

Tags: Internet Leads, online marketing, social media marketing

December 2014, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Sales Professional of the Month: Greg Rietz

By Tariq Kamal

Lujack Honda’s Greg Rietz gets in early, stays late and follows through on his promises to customers.

Tags: Sales Professional of the Month

December 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Jump-Start Your Dealership

Photo: istockphoto.com/Matt_Brown

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

Challenging yourself to rethink every phase of your operation can yield actionable results — and more efficient accounting.

Tags: accounting concerns, economy, personnel, recession, Training

December 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Detective Work

Photo: istockphoto.com/Vladimir Floyd

By Steve Fox

Are your investments working for you? Dealers who fail to test automated systems risk losing precious capital.

Tags: CRM, Internet Leads, ROI

December 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Be Careful What You Demand

Discovering the unique needs of each customer is key to selling protection products and, like any skill, F&I professionals must practice it every day, on every deal, to be proficient. 

By Ronald J. Reahard

Dealers who insist on higher production must be sure they aren't pressuring their F&I professionals into cutting corners.

Tags: auto dealer, F&I Training, PRU, Training

December 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The 100% Rule

David Gesualdo, Auto Dealer Monthly Publisher

By David Gesualdo

Your process for total compliance and F&I sales should be designed to meet a common goal.

Tags: Compliance, Deceptive Advertising, Finance, FTC

November 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Escape From Finance Island

By Jason Heard

F&I pros can use sympathy, efficiency and leadership to break down the barriers between themselves and the sales team.

November 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

A Million Reasons to Behave

By Tom Hudson

A Missouri dealer was ordered to pay $1 million in punitive damages to a customer who sued for fraud.

November 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

The Big Shake-Up

Steve Fox started his automotive retail career as a service tech and now serves as general manager for Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Santa Rosa, Calif.

By Toni McQuilken

Steve Fox refuses to settle for the status quo, and his restless spirit is driving leads, sales and service at Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Santa Rosa.

November 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

High Visibility

By David Gesualdo

Dealers have the ability and opportunity to redefine their image among U.S. consumers.

November 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

We Are the 64%

New data proves that a significant number of potential special finance customers will purchase at another dealership — most likely one that has a proven process in place and a team committed to capturing their share of that market. 

By Greg Goebel

New data proves that nearly two-thirds of dealers who serve subprime customers are being outsold by their competitors. Escape the 64% club by committing to special finance and getting your entire team on board.

Tags: Greg Goebel, special finance

November 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Top 3 Questions for Your Service Manager

By Fred Fordin

In the service department, a sales-first mentality can only be achieved by crunching the right numbers and ensuring a thorough inspection is performed on every vehicle.

November 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

New Tools for Web Conversion

Exit intent technology can help dealers capture more leads from their websites by tracking the digital behavior of individual visitors and engaging them just before they leave. 

By Brian Hart

Before you increase your ad spend or invest in a new lead-generation program, consider three proven strategies for capturing more of your website traffic.

November 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Dawn of the Compliance Age

By Jim Ganther

The Great Recession and sweeping regulatory changes created an environment in which only dealers who demand compliance in every aspect of their operations can survive.

November 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Pick Up the Phone!

By Joe Verde

Sales pros must be trained to return every phone call, even when there may be trouble on the other end.

November 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Drive Your Mobile Strategy to Success

By Bob George and Pete Bruhn

Searches initiated on phones and tablets will soon overtake desktop searches. Are you prepared to deliver a relevant experience to mobile users?

November 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

13 Keys to BDC Failure

By Greg Wells

Follow this advice to guarantee your business development center is doomed before it launches.

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Apples and Pomegranates

By Tom Hudson

Consumers will suffer from the CFPB’s use of the word ‘loan’ in place of ‘auto finance contracts.’

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

It’s Monday, But That’s OK

By G.P. Anderson

F&I pros can escape the weekly grind by focusing on authenticity and turning car buyers into loyal customers and dealer advocates.

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

At the Vanguard

By Stephane Babcock

Check out three futuristic utility concepts from Detroit, Japan and Brazil.

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Season of Prosperity

By Greg Goebel

This year’s Special Finance Benchmarks prove the subprime auto finance market continued to sizzle throughout the summer of 2014.

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

How to Prosper With Flat Fees

By Pete MacInnis

While the CFPB threatens sweeping changes, dealers are thinking ahead and reducing F&I pain points by moving financing and loan decisions to the start of the sales process.

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Saving F&I

Combining the efforts of sales and F&I could negatively affect customers by narrowing their financing options. F&I professionals must be trained to demonstrate the value of all types of financing, including dealer-arranged financing. 

By Ron Reahard

Before you eliminate your F&I department, bring it back to life by clearly delineating its purpose and establishing its value to your customers.

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

6 Touchpoints for Service Customers

Customers are more likely to order needed repairs and return for future service when dealers make constant, transparent and friendly communication a priority. 

By Paul Potratz

Dealers are earning loyal service customers by focusing on providing a positive experience in every phase of the transaction.

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Progressive Dealers

Steve Song took over as president of FH Dailey Chevrolet in San Leandro, Calif., in 2011. Song believes General Motors is invested in creating opportunities for minority members in a changing industry. 

By Stephanie Forshee

Minority dealers have increased their numbers, but many say the industry is still lacking in terms of representing its customer base.

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Show Stopper

By David Gesualdo

Education meets entertainment value at Industry Summit.

September 2014, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Sales Professional of the Month: Justin Hart

By Kelsey Nolan

Take a look at this month's Sales Professional of the Month. If you know of a sales pro who deserves some recognition, let us know by clicking on the link at the end of the article.

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