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October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Congress, CFPB Tussle Over Finance Legislation

By Jean Noonan

The CFPB has generated some stormy weather over its review of rate participation, but the clouds may finally be parting.

Tags: auto finance, congress the car business, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Finance, pricing discrimination, race profiling, rate markup

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Reviewing Yelp

By Stephanie Forshee

Yelp’s Morgan Remmers speaks with Auto Dealer Monthly about the company’s latest changes. She also offers tips on how dealers can best use the platform.

Tags: advertising on Yelp.com, auto advertising, Dealer Review Sites, online advertising, online reputation management, return on investment, social media marketing, using social media, Yelp, Yelp reviews

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Cal Worthington: Brand of Gold

The Television Bureau of Advertising described the late Cal Worthington as “probably the best-known car dealer pitchman in television history.” Some of his most memorable “Go See Cal” commercials show Worthington wrestling a grizzly bear, hanging upside down from an airplane, riding an elephant and standing upside down on his head.

By Stephanie Forshee

Every good business needs a voice. So whom do you want to be the face of your dealership? And how can you be sure the right message is being delivered?

Tags: Advertising, Cal Worthington, Celebrities, dealership profiles, Easterns Automotive Group, Marketing, television advertising, YouTube

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Go See Cal [Worthington]

By Gregory Arroyo

The editor pays homage to the legendary Cal Worthington and wonders if there will ever be another pitchman like him.

Tags: branding, Cal Worthington, commercials, dealership culture, fun selling, obituary

September 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Shifting into High Gear

By Greg Goebel

The 2013 Special Finance Benchmarks are in, and all indications point toward a strong market for dealers and increased competition among finance companies.

Tags: 2013 Special Finance Benchmarks, back-end profit, Dealer Advertising, front-end profit, lead conversion, special finance

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Boutique Dealership

By Kelly Wadlinger

The magazine’s resident boutique dealer breaks down the benefits and challenges of operating a nontraditional lot.

Tags: boutique style dealership, dealership marketing, dealership profiles, Fiat, Kelly Wadlinger, off site service, unusual dealership locations

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Sales Professional of the Month September 2013

Paul Adkins E-CarOne Carrollton, Texas

By Kirsti Correa

In March 2011, while searching for a car of his own, Paul Adkins ventured onto the lot of E-CarOne in Carrollton, Texas. A month later, that single visit turned into a job, and he hasn’t left since.

Tags: car sales stereotype, E-CarOne, follow up, lead management, Paul Adkins, repeat and referral sales, Sales Performance, Sales Professional of the Month, sales profiles

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

YouTube Sensation: Google Auto Talks Video

The YouTube page for Rosenthal Automotive in Reston, Va., has attracted a regular following of nearly 50,000 subscribers. The dealership’s staff constantly uploads new videos of test drives, reviews and more.

By Stephanie Forshee

Auto Dealer Monthly goes one-on-one with Lindsay Schultz, head of industry for automotive at Google, the parent company of YouTube.

Tags: Automotive Internet Media, commercials, Google, online advertising, product awareness, return on investment, YouTube

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

No Discount Available

By Nathan King

Accounting wiz explains why the LHPH contracts you sell to your related finance company don’t qualify for the same deduction you take on BHPH paper.

Tags: Auto Leases, bhph, Deficit Reduction Act, Discount, factoring, Finance, IRS, Leasing, LHPH, UCC in section 2A

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Top 10 Website Fixers

By Ali Amirrezvani

Is your website a nice place to visit? Expert offers a 10-point checklist you can use to supercharge your site and capture more leads.

Tags: automotive SEO, call to action, Dealer Websites, Google, google analytics, google ranking, lead management, mobile website optimization, Online Marketing, search engine optimization, Web Tools, website, website marketing best practices, website optimization, website tracking

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

How to Keep Associates Motivated After the Training Is Over

By Greg Wells

Expert offers three keys for coaching staff to follow a new process after the trainer leaves.

Tags: continuing education, Dealerships, sales incentives ideas, sales team motivation, Training

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

It’s a Win-Win-Win

By Greg Goebel

Special finance guru breaks down his process for desking a deal that works for you, your customer and the finance company. He also delves into lender relations and more.

Tags: approval-to-book ratio, Deal Structuring, Dealertrack, finance company, regional finance specialist, rehashing the deal, RouteOne, special finance win win

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

‘This Lawyer Walks Into the F&I Office …’

By Tom Hudson

The magazine’s legal expert found several common mistakes in the paperwork for his new car, each of which could cause trouble for the dealer.

Tags: common paperwork problems, conspicuous notices, F&I, FAA, Federal Arbitration Act, Federal Trade Commission, FTC, implied warranty, UCC, used car notice, Used Car Rule

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

How to Add a New Department

By David Keller

Diversifying your operation can bring new customers, new revenue — and new accounting concerns. The magazine’s resident number cruncher asks the tough questions.

Tags: accounting concerns, advertising costs, bhph, CASH FLOW, expanding your dealership, future space requirements, Marketing, new customers, New Department, new revenue, personnel, special finance

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Marketing Maintenance

By Paul Potratz

The magazine’s marketing guru lays out a plan for improving your service department’s six customer touchpoints. If followed, the strategy can turn the department into a marketing machine.

Tags: check in process, ClearMechanic, CRM, customer loyalty, Customer Service, customer touch points, dealership vs local mechanic, enhance loyalty, Greeting customers, improving your service department, J.D. Power and Associates, post-service follow-up, selling service, Service Department

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

At Your Service

By Gregory Arroyo

The editor delves into two studies that paint a bleak future for dealership service departments and a third that says vehicle owners are there for the taking.

Tags: AAA, aamco, aftermarket repair chains, AutoMD, AutoMD.com, consumer confidence, dealership marketing, Dealership Service Profits, DMEautomotive, do-it-yourself service, Goodyear, independent service providers, jiffy lube, online videos maintenance tips, pep boys, service provider loyalty, YouTube

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Spotting a Fake Online Review

By Stephanie Forshee

Lawsuits filed by Edmunds and Yelp against firms posting fake reviews serve as another reminder of the high-priced battle review sites are waging to maintain their influence on consumers.

Tags: BuyYelpReview.com, Cars.com, Customer Reviews, DealerRater, Edmunds, fraudulent reviews, Gartner Research, Humankind Design Ltd., lawsuits, reputation management, trademark infringement, WayBack Machine, Yelp reviews

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Serving Up Sales

By Stephanie Forshee

Terry Longmore was focused on service-department sales long before it became fashionable. That dedication is paying off for Beasley Ford Lincoln, where Longmore’s department is capturing 3 to 5 percent of his store’s sales leads from customers waiting in the service lounge.

Tags: Closing Ratios, Creative Selling, customer loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, data mining, dealership profiles, educational-based questions, JD Power and Associates, selling cars to service customers, selling with mobile devices, TEGA Technologies’ Service Turn

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Back on the Road

By Tariq Kamal

Meet four dealers who are closing deals and driving loyalty by providing a much-needed service to customers who have filed for bankruptcy.

Tags: bankruptcy, Consumer Portfolio Services (CPS), financing bankruptcy customers, First Investors, OnlineBKManager, Prestige Financial, rebuilding credit, repeat customers or referrals, special finance

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Clock is Ticking

By Greg Goebel

Special finance guru offers a time-proven strategy for converting all types of special finance leads.

Tags: a phone call and a call guide., a plan, adverse action letter, Credit Interview, CRM, Customer Interview, establish rapport, handling subprime credit internet leads, Internet Leads, special finance

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Keeping The Lights On

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Sales Professional of the Month: Mike Smith

By Kristi Correa

In his 41st year working at Jim Bass Cars & Trucks in San Angelo, Texas, Mike Smith has sold nearly 140 units in the first half of 2013.

Tags: benefit of the customer, customer loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, follow up, repeat and referral sales, Sales, salesman incentives ideas, top sales producer

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Comments Are King

By Steve Hurn

Asking every customer to submit an online review is the best way to encourage positive reviews, head off negative reviews and get car buyers talking about your brand.

Tags: commenting platform for genuine reviews, customer referrals, Customer Reviews, Customer Satisfaction, facebook marketing, Google, Kia, Marketing, Online, Online cars study, public comment, reviews, social engagement platform, twitter, web marketing

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

5 Ways To Maximize BDC Leads

Greg Wells is president of AllCall Automotive Contact Center

By Greg Wells

Is your website designed with BDC leads in mind? Expert lists the five features that produce the most appointments.

Tags: BDC, business development center, credit application, Customer Service, electronic leads, Internet, live chat

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Thomas B. Hudson is a partner in the law firm of Hudson Cook LLP.

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Subprime loan programs with automatic interest-rate reductions are great for both dealers and their customers, but could run afoul of TILA standards.

Tags: APR, CFPB, credit reports, Good Repayment Incentive Program, GRIP, Lending, Subprime, subprime lending, TILA, Truth in Lending Act, UDAP

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Counting On Service

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

An efficient, profitable parts and service operation can generate steady revenue and keep customers coming back.

Tags: Customer Satisfaction, customers, Parts and Service, Revenue, Service Department

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Point And Shoot

Paul Potratz is COO of Potratz Advertising

By Paul Potratz

Marketing expert explains how selling a car is like selling a camera: You have to create brand awareness before trying to sell a price.

Tags: Car Shopping, Marketing, Pricing, sales cycle, sales funnel, Sales Process, Shopper Behavior

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

What Generation Gap?

By Gregory Arroyo

What I think does make Gen Y different is that they lived through one of the worst economic crises since the Great Depression. And if you had family that lived through the ’30s, you know what that did to their psyche.

Tags: Consumer Buying Habits, effects of the recession, Generation X, Generation Y, Young buyers

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Sales Professional of the Month: Michael Nekava

Michael Nekava, Helms Bros. Inc. Bayside, N.Y.

By Kirsti Correa

Michael Nekava is known on the show floor of the Bayside, N.Y.- based operation as “Mikey Mercedes".

Tags: client relations, creating relationships, Customer Service, repeat and referral sales, top sales associate, top sales producer, Vehicle Sales

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

5 Keys To Better Callbacks

By Kelly Wadlinger

The magazine's F&I pro lays out a five-step primer to getting stronger callbacks from finance sources.

Tags: Auto Lending, automatic allowances, bankruptcies, creating relationships, Credit Bureaus, credit reports, Equifax, Experian, F&I, F&I manager, financing bankruptcy customers, flat program, Relationship lending, special finance, TransUnion

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Diesel-Powered Dealer

By Tariq Kamal

Auburn (Wash.) Volkswagen's Matthew Welch is fiercely loyal to his customers, his staff and the VW brand. He's also a tireless advocate of diesel powerplants.

Tags: automotive SEO, Dealer Websites, diesel an alternative to hybrid, Diesel Powered, Digital Marketing, EPA, Fuel Economy, product penetration, sales incentive ideas, subprime financing, United Car Care inc., Volkswagen, Volkswagen Credit

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Check The Stubs

Greg Goebel is the CEO of Used Car University LLC. GoebelG@AutoDealerMonthly.com

By Greg Goebel

Fraudulent paystubs are a serious threat to your dealership and the trust you’ve built with your finance companies.

Tags: bank fraud, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Credit, Credit Applications, Federal Trade Commission, Finance, finance company, Fraud, special finance, testimonials

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Failure To Sign

Thomas B. Hudson is a partner in the law firm of Hudson Cook LLP.  THudson@AutoDealerMonthly.com

By Thomas B. Hudson

A Georgia dealer dodged a legal bullet after management failed to sign a document, but there was no escaping the cost of defending the matter in court.

Tags: arbitration agreements, documentation, implied warranty, Lawsuit, legally binding, Warranty, you review your closing processes and training mat

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Putting Up A Fight

By Stephanie Forshee

The industry continues to emerge from the Great Recession, but dealer-protection bills approved in New Hampshire and Colorado prove that not everything is getting back to normal.

Tags: auto dealer, dealer bill of rights, dealer protection, disenfranchisement, economic downturn, Essential Brand Elements (EBE), facility upgrades, lawsuits, lobbying, NADA, OEM, two-tier pricing

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

3 Sales-Killing Words

By Michael Cassinelli

F&I expert identifies three words producers need to avoid at all costs when working with customers. Find out what they are and what words you should use instead.

Tags: auto finance, Customer Service, extended warranties, F&I, F&I pricing, F&I products, Finance, GAP, Pricing, Sales, Sales Process, sales skills, Service Contracts, Word Tracks

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

12 Steps To Selling Service

Don Reed is the CEO of DealerPro Training Solutions.

By Don Reed

The magazine’s service coach breaks down a service-selling process that can deliver a 30 to 50 percent closing ratio.

Tags: building referrals, CSI, feature benefit selling, profit, repair orders, Sales, selling service, Service Department, vehicle delivery

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Deconstructing The Tax Relief Act

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

Accounting wiz explains three key points dealers need to know about the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

Tags: fiscal cliff, leasehold improvements, Obama, Obama administration, tax payer relief act, Tax Revenues

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Millennials, Mobile And F&I

By Tom Callahan, President Ally Insurance

Technology in the hands of a skilled F&I salesperson will help empower the customer.

Tags: Consumer Buying Habits, CSI, CSI score, electronic leads, F&I Process, Generation Y, Internet customer, internet sales, Millenials, Technology

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Telling The Future

By Gregory Arroyo

The editor bites on a pitch for an article about the future of auto retailing, a topic he's steered clear of given the emotions it tends to stir.

Tags: branding, Cars.com, Dealer Websites, Dealership, Electric Vehicles, Essential Brand Elements (EBE), Factory Image Study, InInternet Shopper, NADA, National Automobile Dealers Association, OEM, sales pitches, Tesla, website

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Test Drives Delivered: A Profile of a Unique Seattle Startup

John Wehr (left) and Grant Feek (right) cofounded Tred in 2012. Wehr, the company’s chief technology officer, spearheaded technology projects for HiiDef Inc., creators of Flavors.me and Goodsie.com.

By Stephanie Forshee

A Seattle startup is taking a different approach to improving the car-buying experience, one that is supposed to drive a better connection between dealers and their customers.

Tags: concierge services, Customer Service, customer service innovations, dealership profiles, Innovations, Online Buying, sales incentive ideas, Tred, West Coast dealerships

June 2013, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Data-Driven Sales

By Courtney Cole

The magazine’s back-page columnist lays out a plan for getting customers to pull the trigger on a new car. All it takes is a little tech and the right data.

Tags: BDC, customer loyalty, Customer Retention, data mining, dealer website, Marketing, repeat and referral sales, ROI, Technology

June 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

On the Go

By Stephanie Forshee

Mobile CRM can allow salespeople to access key data without ever having to leave the customer’s side. Managers can use the same technology to keep their employees in line, even when they are out of the office. But legal experts say that both conveniences can be areas for concern.

Tags: BDC, Charapp & Weiss, CRM, DealerSocket, Fisher & Phillips LLP, Gartner Research, Mobile Applications, mobile solution, SoftwareBlog

June 2013, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

10 Must-Dos Before Selling the Store

By ADM

Now that the economy has turned around, selling a dealership can be done with a lot more comfort. But dealers need to be smart before making any hasty decisions.

Tags: auto dealerships, BDC, dealership owners, National Automobile Dealers Association, Selling an auto dealership, selling the store

June 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Sales Professional of the Month: Prince Sinsuat

By Brittany-Marie Swanson

More than 4,000 Stokes Honda North customers have purchased cars from Prince Sinsuat in the 12 years he’s worked the showroom floor.

Tags: client relations, creating relationships, CSI score, Customer Service, internet marketing, repeat and referral sales, Sales, Sales Tactics, top sales associate, top sales producer, YouTube

June 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Describing F&I's Role

Thomas B. Hudson is a Partner in the law firm of Hudson Cook LLP. THudson@AutoDealerMonthly.com

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

The magazine’s legal eagle dusts off his soapbox to deliver a warning he’s delivered countless times before. But this time, there’s more at stake than the threat of consumer lawsuits.

Tags: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, discrimination, Finance, Indirect Lending, lawsuits, loans, Regulations, retail installment contracts

June 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Invisible Customer

Julie Jamison is the director of marketing at CAR-Research XRM.

By Julie Jamison & Keith Shetterly

Your CRM contains a goldmine of sold customers, however industry pros explains why these leads often go missing.

Tags: CRM, customer loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, customers, Email, Email Marketing

June 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

CRM Goes Beyond Technology

Phillip Barras, vice president of dealer services for Dominion Dealer Solutions Phil.Barras@AutoDealerMonthly.com

By Philip Barras

It takes more than technical know-how to maximize your CRM tool. The experts agree that process, accountability and personal leadership are the keys to success.

Tags: CRM, CRM data usage, data mining, digital retailing solutions, DMS integration, PCG Consulting, repeat and referral sales, Sales, technology solutions

June 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Going Toe-To-Toe With Google

Brian Burt BBurt@AutoDealerMonthly.com

By Brian Burt

If your business depends upon online search results, any changes to Google’s algorithm can have a profound effect. Web marketing expert offers six steps for responding to an unexpected change.

Tags: Customer Satisfaction, Dealer Websites, Google, Online Marketing, Online Marketplace, search engine optimization, Social Media, updates, web marketing, YouTube

June 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Capturing The Special Finance Lead

Greg Goebel is the CEO of Used Car University LLC. GoebelG@AutoDealerMonthly.com

By Greg Goebel

Special finance expert Greg Gloebel explains how he would spend his advertising dollars to attract credit challenged customers in today’s market.

Tags: Advertising, budget, Consumer Portfolio Services Inc., credit application, Greg Goebel, Internet Leads, Marketing, ROI, special finance

Blog

On-the-Point

Jim Ziegler
Fasten Those Seatbelts

By Jim Ziegler
With a major slowdown imminent, Da Man says it’s time to ditch those new-age theories and get back to the basics.

Objects in the Rearview Mirror

By Jim Ziegler
The past is right behind us and the future is coming fast. The Alpha Dawg plots a course for your store’s success and shares advice for Elon Musk, Johan de Nysschen, and pre-owned managers.

The Big Talent Drain

By Jim Ziegler

A Faster Horse

By Jim Ziegler

Opening Observations

Over the Curb