What can I say about Dealer Talk 2015?

Do you remember the Lollapoolaza rock tours that took the world by storm during the 90’s?


It was a collection of the who’s who of modern music; each concert made your ears salivate. Imagine a concert that brought together the best of alternative rock, hip hop, ska, funk, and heavy metal. What Lollapoolaza was for music in the 90’s, Dealer Talk has become for automotive marketing in Canada

Dealertalk’s version of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Ice Cube, Stone Temple Pilots looks like these marketing rock stars: Jeff Kershner, Marcus Sheridan, Grant Gooley, Scott Stratten and Laura Madison.

2015 plans to take the Dealer Talk series to the next level.

Marcus Sheridan, “The Game Has Changed: How Sales & Marketing Changed Forever and What You Must Do About It”

Sheridan will be a hit with car dealers. Marcus plans to teach the audience how to bring their dealership into this century, to gain trust with potential customers as opposed to going to battle with them over price.

Sheridan was forced to reinvent his own pool business after the market collapse of 08’. How did he do that? Sheridan became a trusted partner and a teacher to his customers. With $0.00 marketing dollars to spend and near financial collapse, Sheridan started a blog that answered questions that potential pool buyers had. Fast forward seven years and Sheridan’s site, www.riverpoolsandspas.com is the world leader in pool related content, and recently River Pools and Spas has become a pool manufacturer. Teaching and trust can go a long way in the digital world, and Sheridan will teach you how to do that.

Laura Madison, “How I Used Personal Branding, Social Media & Video to WIN New Business In the Dealership”

Laura Madison was just like you, but better. Laura knows how tough it can be grind it out daily on the blacktop trying to close deals.

Instead of complaining about her own lack of ups, she created her own personal brand. How did she do that? By become a source of helpful information to customers in her local town by using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and her own blog. Laura used this approach to start selling over 25 units a month; not bad for a Toyota dealer smack dab in the heart of Montana, full of loyal truck drivers.

Laura plans on teaching the sales people in the crowd of the importance of building a brand and experience, and making car buying experience rather than a transaction.

Scott Stratten- Unselling: The New Customer Experience

Scott Stratten’s list of credentials and accomplishments run longer than a Dave Matthews Band drum solo. And that is long.

Forbe’s ranked him one of the Top 5 social media influencers in the world, and Stratten also wrote “UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging” ranked as a best seller by Globe and Mail.

Scott’s a modest guy and would rather spend his time at Dealer Talk talking about his recent car buying experience. Scott will talk about how using “Unselling” can help you close potential buyers before they show up on your lot.

Scott will give specific examples of how to keep these potential online customers coming back for not just another car, but for service appointments as well.

Grant Gooley-Remarkable Marketing & Consulting Topic: Dealership Marketing Roast – The Hard Truth!

I was checking out some of the “other” online publications and forums, and took notice to a few conversations around utilizing tablets at the dealership, specifically on the Showroom floor.

I couldn’t recall if I had ever uploaded and shared my presentation from last years Dealer ThinkTank regional events and last years Driving Sales Conference. Looks as if I had not. So here it is – http://www.slideshare.net/kershner/mobile-workflow-and-the-showroom-process-of-the-future

If I were on the sales floor, my tablet would never leave my side, until I placed it in the hands of a potential customer. There are too many stats that support all the reasons to utilize a tablet on the showroom (and service) floor.

Are you personally using a Tablet at the dealership?
If so – what apps are you using and what pages/services do you have bookmarked to easy access?

Please comment HERE in the forums.

Can You Find the Terrible Template?

If you had a salesperson who was going through a sales presentation and constantly choking on step four of that presentation process, you’d find a way to fix the issue in step four…


Better presentations lead to more sales, right?

Guess what? There is a point in your automated follow-up process that is choking and affecting not only the remainder of your follow-up campaigns, but possibly your deliverability to your other customers.

Here’s what I mean…

A Fresh Look at Dealership Measurement and Reporting

To a lot of managers, the thought of yet another monthly vendor report is about as exciting as an empty dealership on Saturday afternoon.

New Cars.com reporting features

I get it – you’re busy, you’ve got a system, things are “okay.” But that’s a losing way of thinking. In the world of big data and advanced analytics, failing to embrace all of the information available to your dealership will only put you at a disadvantage.

Do you think Berkshire Hathaway Automotive runs the numbers? I sure do.

Elevating Our Metrics

Before I get into some of the new tools you can you use to tailor and improve your store’s presence on Cars.com, I want to level the conversation.

Don’t Be Weak Sauce

That’s what we used to call our fellow coworkers on the showroom floor when they couldn’t close a deal. “WeakSauce”.

weak sauce sales person

It was a put-down. Naturally, this happened at the end of the showroom visit with a customer. The salesperson would attempt to walk them through the sales process, showing off the car, taking them on a demo drive, maybe asking for the sale too late. Then, during the write-up, they’d get hit with an objection that would have them backtracking, and the prospect would leave the store.

That is when you were WeakSauce.

However, I realize that the reason to call someone WeakSauce has changed. Over the years, car dealers have constructed a showroom process that serves more our desire to stay in control, than it does the customers’ needs.

Within this process, there is very little to object to until the very end. In my opinion, if you’re waiting until the end of a customer’s visit to discuss numbers, trade value, financing approval and more, holding off until the very last minute of their time in store to field an objection, you’re WeakSauce.

The best automotive retail professionals today (notice that I didn’t say “salespeople”) know they should seek out objections early and often when working with a potential client face to face. (It’s somewhat the opposite of a sales call where you should never actively seek objections).

Nonetheless, from the Needs Assessment, you must be asking clients about their previous experiences, research, questions, concerns, expectations, and more.

The Needs Assessment has become the most imperative element of a retail professional’s duties. You are in the industry of finding answers, solutions, and inventory for car shoppers, so needs assessments must be ongoing.

It is more important for you to be fluid and flexible in your process than it is to be rigid and disciplined to a “road to the sale”. Nowadays, if you don’t have the skills to shift your process to the in-store customers’ needs, you’re WeakSauce. If you try to “slow the customer down” so they fall in line with your process, then you’re WeakSauce.

WeakSauce no longer applies to the salesperson that couldn’t sell a car because they weren’t strong enough to walk a client through the entire road to the sale. No. Today you’re WeakSauce if you aren’t strong enough to adapt to each customer’s specific needs and goals for that particular visit, shifting the process to accommodate their preferred buying habits.

Get strong. Don’t be WeakSauce.

GM’s Shop, Click Drive Program

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 9.13.38 PMLatest HOT Topic in the Forums

While it’s not rolled out to all 50 states, a few have been doing this GM program of online car buying – no feet on the lot. 

Check out this video and article here.

As a dealer, what do you think? Do you think you would sell a lot of cars from implementing this program?

As a consumer, would you buy (please, try to imagine) a vehicle without stepping foot, not only inside the dealership, but inside your new vehicle?

Personally, I struggle thinking about skipping the test drive.

What do you think would be the positives and negatives to this?

Join the discussion