The Cobalt Group’s sponsored “Breakfast of Champions” Seminar
I just got back from attending Cobalt’s sponsored “Breakfast of Champions”. It was held at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown beautiful Baltimore, it’s a little over an hour from there I live and usually an easy drive.
Hugh Cabello was the guest speaker / trainer for the day. I thought be did a good job actually. You never know what to expect when you go to these free seminars. Will you take a few “things” back home or will it be nothing more then a plug for the vendor?
Rather then type out a long winded posting here, I thought I would copy some of my notes that I took during the seminar. Excuse the jumping around but I have a tendency to be all over the place when I take notes.
- Yahoo statistics show that customers send out on average 6-8 vehicles requests during their shopping phase. – I thought this seemed to be a little on the high side but I guess if you consider the consumer shopping for a used car in the mix, 6-8 should be an accurate number.
- Over half of your customers do not know if they want New or Used. – I totally agree with this. Matter of fact I do my best to roll a customer into a used car whenever possible, always offering used car options for all of my new car inquiries.
- The average customer has 2 email addresses. – I have like 8 but I know I’m not “average”. Most people do have a home and a work email. This was something that Hugh touched on and one of those “things” that I walked away with. He encourages asking for the customers work email. “And what is you work email can I contact you at Jeff?”. Good idea!
- “You don’t have to buy a vehicle today do you?” – I love word tracks. If you’re good enough with the right word tracks at the right time, it can help you sell just about anything to anyone. This is one of those word tracks I would use all the time and for some reason got out of it. That was another “thing” that Hugh reminded me to take back home. This word track works! It removes the pressure that most consumers feel when dealing with us dreadful sales people. You’ll be surprised at the answers you get back.
- No Templates – That’s all I have written down. If I can recall, like I; Hugh is not huge advocate of canned templates. Yea, I have a few that I use but most are nothing more then starter templates and are built for customization. Right after my cover on Digital Dealer I received several emails and phone calls requesting a copy of my “crafty template”. I’m telling you right now, there is NO silver bullet email template. Email templates will never sell you a car.
- It was humorous to hear Cobalt talking about dealer website design and their need to be user friendly.
- There was a lady that talked for awhile about SEO, Google and PPC. A big apology to her, I don’t remember her name (I found out her name was Lisa Dobbs, sorry Lisa for not taking better notes). She pointed out a few tips; one was to be sure to buy your URL as a keyword. I guess this was note worthy, though about 99.9% of the time if someone types your URL into Google or Yahoo, your website better dam site be #1 in the natural listings.
- Keep a close eye out for previous customers sending leads from your website. – I can’t recall if that was part of the discussion or if it was something that popped into my head and I wrote it down. Anyways, if you have a previous customer send in a lead from yuor website, It’s imperative that you recognize them as a previous client and ask them if they are still driving the vehicle they bought from your dealer. Ask if they would like to work their previous sales person again. Thank the customer for shopping with your dealer “again”. Believe me, it’s impressing when you recognize your previous clients. They love it!
- It takes on average 5 phone calls for a customer to remember your name!
- They spent about 15 minutes reinforcing the importance of using 3rd party leads. Preferably dealix leads, thought they did mention AutoUSA and Autobytel in the mix.
- Hugh said to call your customers 1 day before their Birthday. Not the day of or the day after.
- They went into a 10-15 minutes undertone sales pitch for Onstation. If I had to guess this was main reason for offering the free seminar. I don’t care who you are or what vendor you are, your main intentions for free trainings are to drum up some business. And rightfully so, I’m sure it’s not cheap to offer these free trainings / seminars.
- Cobalt NEVER EVER mentions their Prospector CRM tool. It’s actually a shame. Prospector had its challenges but it could have been way more then what it currently is. Cobalt bought Prospector CRM from Cowboy several years ago, re-skinned it and basically moved it to the side. I was doing some research and actually found that Hugh Cabell was a National Relationship Manager Cowboy Corporation before Cobalt acquiring them.
- Providing Price – Hugh seemed to be an advocate for sending / quoting a price. And we all know this is always a huge subject for discussion. I take my leads one by one and then decide if I’m going to quote a price via email or phone. However, I agree with Hugh, since the customer very rarely buys exactly what they inquire about, why not send the consumer some pricing. It’s what they are looking for.
I had a few more notes written but I think this covers the important stuff. Thanks to Cobalt for putting on a better then average free seminar. Thank you Hugh for your energy and for giving me a few “things” to take back home.
I try to attend each and every seminar or training whenever I can. I don’t care how long you have been in this business; you can almost always walk away with at least 1 thing. And of you don’t, take the opportunity to network and shake some hands. You never know who you might run into.