I just stumbled over your web site. Your the first person / site that seems excited about internet sales and help. I just took over the internet side of a growing Toyota Cadillac dealership in Iowa after 6 years of sales. The goal is to create a department.
The sale steps are the same however I am looking for tools of training and lead management that does the kind of email and web site editing you talked about on your page.
What do you recommend for lead management and training or advice for getting past first and second emails without price.
I will book mark your page and review often any help you might be willing to give is awesome.
Ever since I started this website/blog I have had the opportunity to meet some great people in this business. I often receive several emails a week from ISM’s just getting their feet wet. Every now and then you meet someone that really sticks out from the rest of the crowd. Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with Jake Wirth, ISM for a smaller Suzuki dealer in Indiana. Jake was just getting started at the dealer as their new Internet sales manager, we were talking about everything from Dealer websites to follow-up process to CRM/ ILM software.
Jake put his thoughts and some of his beginning experiences on paper and asked me to share it on DealerRefresh.
Wow…some companies are ruthless. I was doing a general search on Google for “websites for auto dealers” and found this Sponsored Link that reads like this..
|www.bzrecovery.com – Disappointed? Too Expensive? Done? Call for affordable new websites!.|
OUCH! This ad is obviously going after BZ Results and targeting dealers that use BZ.
The link took me to MJMI. "Building America’s Best Dealership Websites" seems to be their tag line. Sort of a strong statement if you ask me. I don’t know though, I’ve never worked with or used any of their products. Their sites look “ok” and their ILM/CRM is nothing short of BZ Buzztrak.
I don’t really have an opinion on this but found it interesting how aggressive some of these dealer website site companies are.
This article was in the AutoUSA Newsletter; "Star Leader". I’m not sure who wrote it but I found it to be a decent source of information so therefore I decided to post it here on DealerRefresh.
|How To Immediately Maximize Your Online Customer Close Ratio
Do not be mistaken by the fact that the Internet is a new technology for automotive shoppers. Online purchasers are not a new breed of car buyer – they are, in fact, surprisingly traditional. Understand that and you can close more of them, faster and for higher profit than ever before.
This is not speculation. The findings of a recent Cobalt report called Lost Opportunities: The 2005 Industry and Dealership eBusiness Performance Study confirmed that online shoppers generally share a distinct but familiar customer profile.
Of course, you have to cut through a lot of statistics to get the full picture. Isolate key figures, though, you’ll notice a distinct trend:
The conclusion? That online customers want a fast response and a good price. It’s that simple. These are classic customers – people who are literally ready to close today if you can give them a price that meets their budgets and expectations. And if you can’t, they’ll wait until they find someone who can.
There is clearly relatively little brand loyalty among these shoppers – even among the large percentage who say that brand was the primary reason they bought elsewhere. To see why, just consider the nature of online shopping.
Like all customers, online shoppers are not naïve to the point that they submit their information for a brand that doesn’t appeal to them. After all, automotive brands are known quantities – they’re not mysterious entities that customers discover for the first time when they step onto a lot.
What’s more likely is that these customers simply aren’t terribly concerned about brand, and they’re willing to consider a wide range of options until they find a car that meets their other, more important criteria.
When asked why they chose whatever vehicle they finally purchased, of course, it’s natural for them to say “brand” – they did, after all, switch preference from their initial choice. But that’s really just another way of saying is that they found a vehicle with the qualities they were looking for – price, availability, color, you name it – somewhere else.
So what’s a dealer to do? There are three immediate steps:
First of all, respond immediately – and not just with an email, but with a phone call. These are shoppers who are ready to move, so don’t give them the chance to get away.
Secondly, give them a price. If 92% of online shoppers buy somewhere else, you’re not taking a big risk here, and if your prices are aggressive, you stand a much better chance of getting that customer in the door.
Third, be flexible when it comes to selection. Since so many of these buyers don’t care if you’re selling Ford or Fiats, your best opportunity for success is to demonstrate value wherever it happens to be in your store, whether it’s the new vehicle showroom or the used vehicle lot.
Follow these three simple rules, and you’re much more likely to improve your favorability among online shoppers – and that translates directly into sales.
I want to briefly touch on the second step, "Give them a Price". I know this is always a huge discussion…to email a price or not to email a price. Even to this day I’m back and forth with this topic. Though I have a formula that has been very consistant for me.
First, If I can get the customer on the phone and schedule an appointment…there is no need to send a price…right? However..many times the customer doesn’t answer or they leave you a bogus number. If I’m unable to get the customer on the phone right away… I use an old age in-stock unit priced very aggressive as a price quote (photo of that car included) to a general price quote lead. I also follow up with another email with a Pre-Owned vehicle that is close to what they are considering.
I can’t begin to tell you how effective it is to send that price quote. Most of the dealers in my market are still reluctant to send a price to a customer via email, so many times it totally works to my advantage. Chances are the price quote in the model that I send them is not the trim or color they want anyways, but it grabs their attention enough to allow me to start building communication with the customer. Hey..if they buy the Sale Unit…so be it, I needed to sell it anyways!
When was the last time to typed in your dealers name in Google or Yahoo to see what other competitive dealers are buying ad space by bidding on your dealers name as a keyword? Do you think it’s fair to do this? All the 3rd Party Lead vendors do it, even many of the Manufactures do this this to drive traffic to their shopping service sites like gmbuypower and forddirect. This topic will get more heated as dealers and the Manufacturs become aware of the issue.
Have you ever been curious to what would happen if you erased ALL of your internet presences? Shut down your website, turn off your auto-responders, neglect to answer customer emails, pull your inventory from AutoTrader and turn off your Adword campaigns.
Would your dealer actually feel the impact? And if so…would it take 1 month or more? Would your sales drop by 5%, 10% or with the aggressive internet sales manager, maybe 20-30%?
I sometimes wonder what would actually happen. Would it really have an impact or would the dealer go on selling cars as usual? Would the local customer stop by the dealer anyways? Would you still eventually sell that used Honda Accord to a “walk in” customer?
Just how important is it to have an Internet sales and/or marketing department? Of course I want to say it’s very important since I have an "invested interest"…but I still get curious sometimes to know what would happen.
The 2006 AAISP Annual Conference will be held in Nashville, TN April 3-6, 2006.
I hate to say this but I will NOT be attending the AAISP conference this year (I was actually asked to speak..sorry Dean I would have loved to!!). I have a good friends wedding to attend, it’s out of town and the time frame would be cutting it too close. I have several people I was hoping to meet up with but I guess it will have to wait until another conference. Let me know how it goes though. I’ll be curious to know how it all comes together.
Please, when you return…share your COMMENTS, likes, dislikes and anything else you would like to talk about.
|The theme of the conference is "The Internet Path to Profits." Attendees at the Annual Conference can participate in keynote, seminar and workshop sessions, learn from "Best Practices" Idea Labs, ‘Topical Tables" Luncheon Conversations with peers, and one-on-one consultations with experts. Follow "The Internet Path to Profits" at the 2006 AAISP Annual Conference.
WHERE: Nashville Airport Marriott
WHO: Anyone engaged in, or supportive of, automotive Internet sales at the dealership level.
WHY ATTEND: Expand your horizons! Increase your knowledge! Enhance and refine your professional skills! Consult with the experts! Earn your Professional Certification! Prepare to increase effectiveness, productivity, and PROFITS!
WHAT: THE 2006 AAISP ANNUAL CONFERENCE . . . simply the best lineup of expert presenters and workshop leaders, the most timely topics and effective interactive session formats available to Internet sales practitioners.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? The On-Site Registration Conference Fee for AAISP Members is $495. The On-Site "Join and Register" Conference Fee is $595. Participants from a single dealership or dealer group are eligible for a $100 group discount on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th registrant and a $200 group discount on the 6th registrant and beyond.
Autotrader has introduced their 2006 Market Adjustment pricing and I personally think they are getting ahead of themselves. On average they have hiked their rates anywhere from $800 to $1500 over the 2005 pricing depending on what market you’re located in or what package you sign up for. With the new inflated pricing, they are trying to convince us that their “enhanced products” are worth the extra money. But I don’t think so!
They’re pushing their new “Find Your Dealer”,a dealer search tool found on the homepage providing easy access for consumers to find your “enhanced dealer information” pages. Basically allowing consumers to search by dealer rather then my make and model. These dealer pages will allow you to add Specials, a photo of your dealership, services provided (Spanish speaking, incentives, rebates, etc.) and a few other small additions. About the only enhancement that I find of any value is the ability to list 27 photos. But then again… 9 photos is a decent number to generate a lead, plus it’s always an easy excuse for me to get the customers email address so I can send them a link to more photos and drive them to my website.
Here is my thinking…consumers go to AutoTrader to shop for vehicles, NOT to find a dealer. If they want to find a dealer they will google it or go directly to the dealers website. I’m sorry but I do not see the benefit in the new product enhancements especially for the additional money they are charging. Are you really going to sell anymore cars with a Dealer Search feature? Maybe having the ability to add some new and used car specials to a “Specials Page” can have a small benefit, but let’s face it…how many dealers update their specials page on their own dealer website?
They’re also offering 360 degree video tour? Come one…most of these programs suck up bandwith and are slow to load. Why do you need a 360 degree virtual tour when you get 27 photos anyways? I’m thinking this is nothing more then a way for allowing DealerSpecialites to charge for an additional 360 video shoot service.
Don’t get me wrong, I like AutoTrader and am very effective with it, usually selling 15-20% of our used car inventory a month with it. Though if I jumped up to the 2006 pricing, I truly do not think I would sell anymore cars. The only thing that is going to be affected is my cost per sale…and in a bad way.
None of this even takes into account that they want to charge the same amount for their New Car inventory search (being enhanced)! So go ahead and double that price for listing your New inventory on AutoTrader as well.
Sorry Chip Perry but this had to be said!
Any way…I could be totally wrong about this..it’s just my opinion what’s yours?
Many cookie cutter dealership website vendors don’t allow for additional wording on your Homepage and sub-pages other then the usual default generic text they supply. And if they do, most dealers never take advantage of having the power to change or add text. Below is an example of a generic writing that I copied from a another dealerships websites credit application page.
“For information on your personal financing options, please fill out the information requested below, and then click on the “Submit” button.”
BORING!! There’s nothing persuasive about this. Not to mention, the dealership website that I just copied this from used a size 8 font; too small for most people to even read.
Here is what I would suggest:
“We here at ABC Motors offer the Best financing options available for our customers. Our team of in house financial consultants work EXTRA hard, hand in hand with the largest and most competitive banks to be sure you receive the truly competitive rate. So before you visit your local bank LET US WORK FOR YOU!
Take a few seconds and fill our Secure Online Credit Application. We’ll have you an answer in less then 1 hour! -during business hours of course.
Come ‘on…does this really makes a difference you ask? Of course it does! It can and does effect your websites overall conversion.
Another area that copy makes a HUGE difference is in your vehicles description page. This can be a tough and overwhelming task for larger dealers but if you have the ability to do so…take the time to write a descriptive paragraph about the vehicle you have for sale.
We are confident that you’re going to love this Honda S2000 Convertible. You’ll be taking the long way home to experience its razor sharp cornering, high revving VTEC engine producing 200HP, world class gear box with F1 inspired racing cockpit and one of the shortest gear ratios on the market. Excellent power to weight ratio, excellent acceleration, excellent chassis stiffness and balance, excellent suspension, everything about this car is EXCELLENT!!
Showcased in the Beautiful Grand Prix White on Black Leather. This S2000 comes equipped with the standard features along with the optional 8 Disc CD Changer, XM Satellite Radio and Security System. This 1 owner, Garage Kept and Dealer Maintained S2000 has a clean CarFax to back it up!
Confidence is your end RESULT when you purchase from ABC Motors. Don’t let this one slip by! Give us a call at 1-800-ABC-1234.
It’s a great idea to have every page on your dealership website with wording that is personal and enticing. Be creative and distinguish your dealership website from all the other run of the mill dealership websites.
I keep hearing a rumors that BZ Results has been bought by ADP? Is this true? Does anyone have any inside information on this? What would this mean for BZ Productions and ADP? Share your Comments with the “comments” link below.
WardsAuto announces that ADP did buy BZ Results;
|WardsAuto.com, Mar 17, 2006 12:23 PM Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) steps up its presence in the world of dealership websites this week by acquiring BZ Results, a digital marketing and consulting company.
The acquisition is the latest in a series of announcements that shows ADP is intent on putting some teeth into its dealership Web initiatives.
Details of the deal have not been announced, but ADP officials confirm that BZ President Sean Wolfington will remain with the company as a part of ADP’s digital marketing management team. BZ, based in Coventry, RI, is a 10-year-old company with more than 100 employees and 650 dealership customers.
The acquisition provides ADP with a critical piece to its Internet initiatives, Dynamic Web Site and Web Marketing, launched earlier this year.
ADP expects BZ’s technology and process for managing customer relationships and managing prospects to be an important addition to its Dynamic Website suite.
“With BZ Results comes the proven ability to drive sales in greater volumes from online marketing efforts, as well as improved success in closing deals when online prospects arrive at the showroom,” says Steven Anenen, president of ADP Dealer Services.
ADP’s efforts in dealer online initiatives, for the most part, have been lackluster in recent years. But late last year, it became evident the company was about to turn its attention to dealers when AutoNation Inc., the nation’s largest dealership group, confirmed it had chosen ADP to build and host its websites.
AutoNation is launching its new websites in April and hopes the move will enable its customers to complete more of the sales process online, says Gary Marcotte, senior vice president-marketing.
What are your thoughts?
How will BZ or ADP change with this
New Update: ADP buys Cobalt