Thanksgiving is here – So Thank You!

I’m always happy when Thanksgiving is here. This occasion allows the opportunity to appreciate and express the gratitude to each and everyone that has been, and continues to be an active reader and participant here on DealerRefresh.


I absolutely appreciate and Thank Everyone for your support which has helped DealerRefresh continue to grow, support and provide a place for all of us to gather online to converse, share opinions and best practices while building relationships throughout the industry.

Lets not forget to thank our current DealerRefresh sponsors. Their support and advertising is another reason why we have the funds and resources to continue on at the level we do. Take a moment and not only click on one of their ads but take a few moments to visit their website and see what services they have to offer. 

We THANK EVERYONE for your support while hoping you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day

While you have some extra time sitting there on the couch (stuffed full of food) reading this, check out some of the discussions you may have missed on DealerRefresh over this busy holiday week…



TrueCar names AutoTrader veteran Chip Perry as CEO

TrueCar names AutoTrader veteran Chip Perry as CEO


“I’ve followed TrueCar’s progress for many years and am truly excited to be joining the company,” Perry said in a statement. “My initial focus will be on TrueCar’s dealer partners — listening to them and finding ways to serve them better.

Mr. Perry’s accomplishments at Autotrader are notable. What do you think happens for TrueCar from here?

Comment over in the dealer forums

Comparing Conversion Rate is Meaningless, Let’s Find Out Why

Conversion rate: this is not a new buzzword. It’s a long-lived metric that requires attention.

Comparing Apples To Oranges

With that being said, it’s a very difficult metric to compare side by side with other dealerships. In simplest terms, the reason why conversion rate is so difficult to compare is because most dealerships are not measuring the same conversions.

If your conversion data set is not exactly the same as the dealer in your 20 group, then you will be either fictitiously confident or sulking in data disappointment for no good reason. In some cases you may not even be able to compare your own conversion rate on a year over year basis.

Let me first properly define what a conversion is for the context of this article: a conversion is an action that is completed on your website, whether it be a form submission, page visited, phone call, or other action. These can also be called goals.

There is not typically a right or wrong goal to measure. Because of that, dealerships very rarely compare the same goals. There is also NO industry standard, and by default, each provider will track different goals.

Let’s look at an example of conversion rate results:

DealerRefresh Welcomes New Sponsor: TextUps SMS Lead Generation

In today’s ultra-competitive automotive environment, every lead, be it a walk-in (“up”), phone call, or online form submission, is vital to the success of your dealership. Despite this, dealers every day, either knowingly or unknowingly, sacrifice hundreds of leads, and conversely hundreds of deals each month due to a reluctance to change.

Text Leads for Auto Dealers

How? By not implementing an effective text messaging strategy that generates leads.

With well over 200 million texting devices in use in the United States alone, and 6.4 billion texts sent every 24 hours, it is an injustice not only to potential car buyers, but to vehicle owners as well if their local dealership is not be embracing this form of communication.

The challenge then for dealers isn’t whether or not to implement a text messaging strategy, but how.

There are numerous uses and applications for text messaging at a dealership, from the shopper experience where a consumer is considering a purchase with your dealership, to the owner experience where a customer is already engaged with your dealership.

Inspecting Dealership Website Traffic For Unusual Click Activities

Who Is Visiting Your Privacy Page?

Google Analytics is the “Up Log” for your virtual showroom. It is critical for dealers to develop the skills needed to inspect the website traffic that they are generating through their marketing efforts. Every dealer has their own unique online marketing strategy. However, there are a set of tasks that must be integrated into monthly inspection of campaign performance at the dealership.


Recently, I have been writing about my concerns regarding email conquest campaigns. You can read the entire series of articles by visiting my LinkedIn profile.  In this blog post I will outline how dealers can create a Google Analytics segment to identify suspicious website traffic. I will define suspicious as a high number of clicks to pages that consumers normally do not visit.

The Road to the Sale is DEAD?!

The reason automotive retail has such a bad reputation is for the exact reasons some have listed — forcing the customer to follow a “road to the sale“, trying to control the customer, and most importantly not allowing the customer to have a voice.


Customers are demanding something different. If your store doesn’t offer them a better and faster experience – someone else will.

I’m especially concerned with the spiff justification. Traditional retail commission plans incentivize the sales rep to do exactly what you said- steer the customer down a path they don’t want to go. There is an inherent distrust built into that model.

You are assuming the dealer or sales rep (whose being extrinsically motivated by money) knows better than the consumer themselves what the consumer wants. All because they had a 5-10 minute conversation about their “lifestyle choices”.

It doesn’t matter that the consumer has been researching their purchase for months and has probably sought guidance from friends and family. The sales rep knows best (and their pockets are lined as a result).

The reality is less and less people have any brand or dealership loyalty.

The new way of buying a car must be faster and customized to each shopper. If you can’t buy a car in an hour you are doing something wrong. If your sales reps are being paid a spiff based on a “special of the day” you won’t have any of the repeat business you mentioned in your post.

Eliminating the road to the sale and empowering your customer advocates to customize the sales process to meet (and exceed) the customer expectations is how you are going to survive.

This was a response to an engaging that’s been a long time thread around whether or not the Road to the Sale is DEADWhat do you think?

I would love to hear what you have to say over in the forums comments. Why not join me, over in the dealer forums, we have over 30 comments –

These 3 Basic Elements will have you TRUSTING your Dealer Forecasting

Missing your dealers forcasting


“It’s a new month, and a redemption month! To hit our forecast, everybody should sell at least 2 more cars than they did last month!”

How about this one:

“We just hired 2 new sales people and they are both rockstars, ya know, great ‘car guys’. They should bring 15 more cars apiece this month! Our forecast just went up 30 cars!”

This one seems much more solid:

“In order to get an idea of our sales next month, let’s take a poll of the sales team and have each individual guess how many cars they will sell. Then we add these up and try to beat the total forecasted.”

Or this:

“How many cars did we sell last December? Let’s sell 10% more this December.”

…these are all examples of goals.

A monthly sales goal can be used as a great motivational tool for the sales team, but upper management should never use such an anecdotal and archaic method to properly plan for their next month.

When establishing a realistic plan for the future, these “what does your gut tell you” sessions at the beginning of the month need to end. Immediately.

These goals are nothing more than unsubstantiated numbers plucked out of thin air. So why do we do this each month?

Change Happens Fast – Even faster in Mobile!

Just like Ferris Bueller says: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

Change Happens Fast

You blink and you could miss some new, innovative way to sell, communicate, or close a deal. If you don’t keep up, you will lose out.

So, as life flies by and I take my daughter on college visits, (blink), I find myself with a little time to myself. What do I do?

Research articles on customer service and the automotive industry. I live life on the edge…Don’t be jealous.