Archive for February, 2010

Navigating Social Media in the Automotive Industry

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Click here to gain access to this helpful whitepaper by DMEautomotive, aimed at providing a brief description of social media, its importance and insights on how dealerships can integrate social media into their marketing strategies.



Navigating Social Media in the Automotive Industry

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Click here to gain access to this helpful whitepaper by DMEautomotive, aimed at providing a brief description of social media, its importance and insights on how dealerships can integrate social media into their marketing strategies.



Searching for the Truth

Monday, February 8th, 2010

How to Get More Out of your Third Party Follow-Ups

Has your dealership ever experienced the following scenario?

A prospect walks into your dealership and leaves without buying a car. The Manager asks the salesperson why and they respond that the prospect couldn’t afford the car they wanted or he didn’t have the car the prospect wanted. A third party conducts a follow-up interview with the prospect and a completely different version of the interaction is revealed.

Sound familiar? The question now becomes: What should your dealership do with those third party follow-ups to improve sales?

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Searching for the Truth

Monday, February 8th, 2010

How to Get More Out of your Third Party Follow-Ups

Has your dealership ever experienced the following scenario?

A prospect walks into your dealership and leaves without buying a car. The Manager asks the salesperson why and they respond that the prospect couldn’t afford the car they wanted or he didn’t have the car the prospect wanted. A third party conducts a follow-up interview with the prospect and a completely different version of the interaction is revealed.

Sound familiar? The question now becomes: What should your dealership do with those third party follow-ups to improve sales?

I’ve studied this situation throughout dealerships across the country. Here’s what I found. The biggest difference between stores that increased sales and those that didn’t is what they did with the third party follow-up information.

I found that unsuccessful dealerships had the tendency to ask their staff for an explanation of the prospect’s survey and feedback before they called the prospect back. Salespeople and Managers tend to get extremely defensive when they learn that a prospect does not have the same perception of their visit as they do. I’ve personally witnessed them call the prospect “crazy”. They will make excuses…like, the prospect couldn’t afford the monthly payment. If you go to your staff first, you’ve essentially tainted the effectiveness of the third party follow-up and, in all likelihood, you will not be able to effectively sell to that opportunity.

On the contrary, successful dealerships approach the third party follow-up as an entirely new opportunity. Since the prospect won’t come back to look at the very car they didn’t buy yesterday, the successful dealership has a plan to re-car the prospect. They use the information presented in the third party follow-up to get a better understanding of the prospect’s needs and determine a way to meet those needs by recommending other vehicles on the lot. They get excited about showing the prospect the vehicle that would fit their needs; stating that they “just got it” or that the staff last night was unaware of it. Additionally, if needed, they apologize for any poor service the prospect perceived to be unacceptable, offer a test drive the prospect perceived they were not offered, and express the desire to present an offer the prospect perceived they didn’t previously receive. Again, all of the dealership’s actions are based on the prospect’s perceptions that were ascertained by the third party follow-up.

At the end of the day, ask yourself one question:

Who do we sell to…Our staff? Or our customers and prospects?

Why get your staff’s opinion of what happened when you have your prospect’s opinion of what happened? The very minute you get an “update” from your staff… the very minute you go to the salesman or the manager to “better understand what happened” is the very minute you taint your view of the prospect. To be successful, you must use the information from a third party follow-up without consulting your staff, as they will affect your perspective and strategy to “re-car” the prospect.

During the first opportunity your dealership had with this prospect your staff probably reacted to “what are you looking for” and allowed the prospect to control what vehicle you showed them. But now, thanks to the third party follow-up, you are in control. You know the prospect’s personal vehicle needs and their down payment and monthly payment budgets. You know your inventory. This time you can control which vehicle you show the prospect and you know what your profit margins will be when they purchase the vehicle.

Following a third party follow-up, make sure you implement two processes:
(1) Have a different manager and salesperson tackle this opportunity
(2) Have a “re-car” plan – Work the numbers on two separate vehicles that you know will fit the prospect’s personal and financial needs and will generate you sufficient gross profits before you call them back.

~ Steve Dozier, Sales Director @ DMEautomotive

Bio:

Steve Dozier brings 15 years of experience in the automotive industry to DMEautomotive. Before joining Full Circle Solution and DMEautomotive, he held upper level management positions in the retail industry. Steve also owned a consulting company that specialized in CRM and direct mail, which brought in $2 Million in Sales for approximately 5 years. While serving as a consultant Steve was consistently recruited by the top 3 CRM firms of that time.

Since starting with DMEautomotive Steve has held a managerial position overseeing the Dealer-to-Dealer team. He is responsible for the entire telephony sales department.

Steve is married with two children and enjoys scuba diving and boating in his free time.

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-dozier/10/903/623

8 simple rules for navigating social media

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Knowing how to navigate social media is similar to navigating your neighborhood streets. Just as you wouldn’t slam on the gas between two stop signs a hundred yards apart, you should be conscientious of the acceptable behaviors and expectations of participating in social media. Here are 8 simple rules for engagement in social media.

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8 simple rules for navigating social media

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Knowing how to navigate social media is similar to navigating your neighborhood streets. Just as you wouldn’t slam on the gas between two stop signs a hundred yards apart, you should be conscientious of the acceptable behaviors and expectations of participating in social media. Here are 8 simple rules for engagement in social media.

1. Social media is meant to be FUN! Inject some personality into your postings, be friendly and be entertaining. But remember to keep it clean.

2. Don’t push…Pull. Ask questions….don’t sell. Especially not right off the bat. Listen and learn from your audience. Build a rapport. Eventually you should be able squeeze some sales messages in without backlash. Promote your dealership in a non-intrusive way.

3. Be authentic. Be you. Be honest about who you are and what your intentions are.

4. Give up control! Let your followers and fans speak and share their experiences. Don’t restrict who can and can’t leave comments. When someone does share, be sure to respect his or her opinions.

5. Be realistic. Don’t expect immediate results. You can spend a half an hour a day on social media but understand that it will likely yield a very unsuccessful result. The more time and effort your dealership is able to dedicate, the better the engagement. Additionally, social media is aimed at building deep, meaningful relationships. And we all know that those don’t happen overnight. It’s been said that social media will never close a deal, but it can certainly create a buzz about your product. The deal must be closed once the prospect enters your dealership.

6. Address any concerns or negative feedback immediately. “When you respond quickly to a customer concern or complaint it lets the customer know what to expect when they do business with you,” according to Lori Vajda Social Media Coordinator for AutoNation. Not only is the timeliness of response important, but also the manner in which you respond. If someone posts a comment on Twitter, respond on Twitter. This ensures that the same people who saw the initial comment will also see your response.

7. Frequently update your profile with meaningful, relevant and timely information. A stagnant profile will scare off customers and prospects alike quicker than a salesperson in a vintage polyester suit.

8. Measure. Just as with other marketing efforts, don’t forget to track your progress. This can be done easily by tracking the number of fans you obtain, the number of Twitter followers, the number of times a tweet is retweeted, the number of blog subscribers or the number of video views. This information can usually be easily obtained. You can also use Google Analytics, a free tool used to track website and blog traffic (provided you don’t have something similar in place and/or you have someone who can set it up for you).

Though we’ve outlined the etiquette of social media above, if you need to remember just one rule-of-thumb in social media it’s that you should be yourself.

~ Missy Jensen, Social Media Manager at DMEautomotive.

Bio:

Missy designs, deploys and maintains the social media initiatives for DMEautomotive in an effort to increase brand awareness, distribute company and industry news, provide updates on products and services and promote consumer engagement. Missy enjoys the process of learning; researching and watching projects come to fruition!

Prior to her transformation into a web specialist and work with DMEautomotive, she has 10 years of experience in the marketing and communications industry. Missy served as the Director, Handicapping & Communications for a regional golf association and helped successfully launch and maintain a cutting edge technology-based ticket resale program on behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals

Missy attended St. Lawrence University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology. She also holds a Master’s Degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH. She can be reached at missy.jensen@dmeautomotive.com

LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/missyjensen