I am a new Internet Sales Manager for Don Elliott Autoworld. When I started in Dec. the department was not performing. I have managed to turn things around and last month I sold 30% of the dealerships sales. I am always trying to find ways to to something better.
My question that I have is; our dealers name is being bought by several of our competitors and companies such as Dealix and so forth. I have been trying to do some research on getting a Trademark or Service Mark on the Name Don Elliott. My dealer feels that I can do it and that there is no need for legal assistance.
I have investigated the process for this and I am wondering if this even help? Should or can I Trademark the phrase Don Elliott Wharton TX. Does it matter if I included the town and state or should it just be the Owners Name?
If you could please help or give some guidance.
Microsoft’s Dealer Management System (DMS) plans pilot projects in early 2007.
"Microsoft initially wants to work with dealers who have a strong interest in innovating the business processes in their dealerships, including optimizing the sales or service processes."
This could be interesting…
An interesting new study from Yahoo and comScore. The study looks at searcher behavior in the automotive segment.
Over a 3 month period, they were able to determine that 45% of the U.S. population visits an automotive website. This amounts to 716 million unique visits.
"We were incredibly surprised at just how large this market is"
The study goes on to talk about the “three types” of automotive websites and how these companies conflict with each other in the search engines (like how I have a huge conflict with automotive.com and dealix’s dealernet.com websites, shadowing what I consider to be my territory in the natural listings in the search engines).
It also shows that most users are visiting the OEM websites more than the second tier aggregators.” This is why I think that it’s becoming increasingly more important for the Manufacturers to design their websites even more towards converting the customer into a lead.
The study also noted ”Despite the large numbers of users visiting automotive web sites, 6% engaged in actual shopping behavior.”
Follow this link to the article
(if this link does not work use the one below)
Last week I attended the Mosley Automotive Group “Online Sales Success Workshop”.
First, let me thank Cory Mosley for the opportunity to attend his seminar and to meet him and his staff. The seminar was informative, especially for the beginning to intermediate ISM or the GSM or GM who is finally realizing that the industry is changing and it’s time to get on board and understand this stuff.
Cory began the seminar with a brief summary of the topics that were going to be touched on throughout the day. I found Cory to be an impressive speaker who does a nice job of holding your attention. He keeps you in the real world, touching on stories of his past as an ISM; stories with which we can all empathize.
The day flowed well from one speaker to the next. Speakers included;
•Cory Mosley himself
•Leonard Satisk from Mosley Automotive
•Jeff Clark from Dealer.com
•Joe Vraneza from Kely Blue Book
•Darrell Steele from OnStation
and a few others, with each having over an hour to discuss their topic of expertise. No one seemed out to just pitch their product, which was refreshing. There were a few plugs here and there, of course, but they were lithe and inviting.
Lunch was particularly enjoyable; Cory had us sit at designated tables and prescribed us with a task that encouraged everyone to interact. Conversations at my table ranged from SEM and CRM to process and marketing. There is nothing better than having the opportunity to speak with colleagues. I know I starve for conversation with others in the same position as myself. At most dealerships it’s not as if you can step over to the next ISM desk or even slide into the GM’s office to talk about ISM and dealer technology. Because most are still lost on the subject, the conversation ends quickly.
One idea that struck a chord with me is to ask your customer if they want the “Internet Special” or the “Manager Monthly Special Price”. Placing a time restraint on the price can give you an idea of where the customer is mentally. I’m not going to get into this too deeply…find out when the seminar is going to be in your area www.moselyautomotive.com and pay attention when Leonard Satisky is speaking. It’s good stuff!
The seminar lasted the entire scheduled time. There was no leaving early…Cory had the day filled, which is nice when you spend good money to attend a seminar like this. I love going to these seminars for a little recharging; and you can always pick up something new or something you forgot. This one was no exception. If you’re a beginning or intermediate ISM or a GM, take the time to attend! Thanks, Cory!
Are you a Mercedes-Benz BDC Manager?
If so, I have put together an exclusive website just for us!
MercedesCRM.com – this is where you can go to voice your opinions and share your comments about the “Mercedes Qualified” CRM Vendors that Mercedes-Benz USA allowed you to choose from and are now currently using.
I took it upon myself to put this site together after attending the MB-BDC meeting in Philly. While I was there, someone had suggested that Managers should be supplied a list of dealers corresponding to each CRM Vendor. This would allow the Mercedes BDC Managers the ability to Network and “Team Up” with other Mercedes BDC Managers in order to help get enhancements features added or changed to their CRM Software. I thought it was a great idea! (if that person ever reads this..please send me an email!).
So, IF you are indeed a Mercedes BDC Manager, please visit MercedesCRM.com or link directly to your corresponding CRM Software Vendor page below.
- Higher Gear CRM
- UDC – Universal Dealer Consultants
- ADP web CRM
- Reynolds & Reynolds Contact Management
- AutoBase CRM
- NCompass CRM
- Elead CRM
- ReckonUp CRM
If you are not a Mercedes BDC manager but are using one of the mentioned CRM Vendors, please feel free to express your comments as well.
Can anyone elaborate more in this?
A Toyota dealer in Los Angeles wants Toyota USA to help curb what he calls “abuses of online marketing by some competing dealerships”. Apparently some of their competitive dealers are buying their dealerships trades name in the search engines and believe the practice is diverting shoppers looking for his dealership to a competitor’s store.
I agree, this can divert the shopper. However, I’m not sure if there is anything that can or should be done about this (other then retaliation).
I have heard through the grapevine that several Manufacturers have been talking about getting strict with their dealers practicing this BUT what can they do about 3rd party websites doing the same thing? Is the manufacturer going to be able to police this as well? What about if your buying leads from Dealix, and Dealix is buying leads from the website that is bidding on your dealers trade names, and your competitive dealer is buying that lead from Dealix..WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? Just because it’s not direct…you’re basically contracting another company to run SEM on competitive dealer’s keywords then buying that lead. I just don’t see how you can police this.
My current opinion is to keep it open. As long as the dealer is not using your actual dealers name in the text of their ad, I think it’s ok. It’s no different then a dealer renting a Billboard right down the road.
Take a look at this…I did a keyword search on Google for “Hagerstown Mercedes Dealer”. You can see..#1 and #3 are my competitors (I’m in the middle) and since they are in the top positions, this reflects a high CTR (click through rate)..meaning people are indeed diverting from their original search and clicking on my competitors ads.
I could get mad about this but it’s the game. I recommend setting up a separate campaign for your trade name keywords and having selective copy in your ad to better focus the customer towards your ad, what they came looking for anyways. MORE IMPORTANY..statistics show that “natural listings” have a higher conversion, so BE SURE that your dealers website is number 1 or more in the natural listing for these keywords as well!!
What do you think is fair?
Take the poll and be sure to share your thoughts and comments!
I’m always on the prowl for new software to add some spice to my online marketing. I came across this program, FastStone Photo Resizer.
FastStone Photo Resizer is an image converter / resizer intended to enable users to convert, rename, resize, add text and watermarks to images in a quick and easy batch mode.
The features that I find most handy is the text and watermarking. Getting your contact information (phone number and dealers URL) on your vehicle inventory photos is a great practice. I subscribe to several different ad sources for our pre-owned inventory and send many of our vehicles to several different free listing sites. Many of these sites don’t have your phone number prominently displayed nor do they allow you to have your dealers URL displayed on the vehicle details page.
With the watermark feature you can get fancy and place a CPO Logo on your photos. Why not build value in your vehicles with your photos as well?
Most of the features (convert, rename, resize) you won’t need if you have a decent vehicle inventory management system (like Homenetinc.com ..yea that was a plug but they don’t pay me for it.) but if you want to send your photos somewhere like a free listing page, they sometimes restrict the size of photo you can send. So the resizing feature can come in handy.
If you’ve been wanting to add your phone number or your dealerships URL to your inventory photos, this is an easy to use software that will get the job done for you quickly! Check it out!
Note: I don’t know these guys personally but if you use the product, donate some money their way via PayPal or pay for a licensed version. It’s cheap!
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.