Turner 4 dealers's Blog

November 3, 2009

A great book and you’ll support our veterans as well!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joe Turner @ 6:08 pm

When you Pre-Order “Never Fly Solo” by Lt Col Rob “Waldo” Waldman he will donate 100% of advance purchases to veterans in need.  Watch the video at

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November 2, 2009

TK Carsites Recognized For Excellence in 2009 Automotive Search Marketing Report

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joe Turner @ 3:36 pm

The Automotive Search Marketing report issued by the Pasch Consulting Group identifies TK Carsites as one of the top website platforms in the automotive industry.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Pasch Consulting Groups 2009 Automotive Search Marketing Architecture (ASMA) report released at this years Digital Dealer Conference recognizes TK Carsites as one of top industry leaders in automotive website platforms. Major improvements to TK Carsite web platforms including a Google SEO compliant inventory module, embedded blogging , and dynamic homepage banner graphics earned them the Super Charged Search Marketing merit award.

The 2nd annual ASMA report seeks to provide car dealers with an unbiased evaluation of automotive website platforms and integrated search marketing tools. The 2009 ASMA study included a review of 34 automotive website providers and highlights 9 companies as industry leaders in automotive search marketing.

TK Carsites “Super Charged Search” award was based on their utilization of search marketing strategies that are not leveraged by other automotive website vendors. According to Brian Pasch, CEO of the Pasch Consulting Group and underwriter of the ASMA report, Microsites and landing pages are not new to the search marketing community, but how TK Carsites implements these two strategies delivers unparalleled results.

In addition to their cutting edge on-site SEO tactics, the company also offers off-site SEO services and social media marketing tools that generate traffic formerly unheard of in the automotive industry. Pasch added, Of all website providers reviewed in this study, TK Carsites is the only vendor we consider who is pushing the SEO and Social Media envelope.

This years top rated platforms received the first ever engraved ASMA award in honor of their achievement. The results of the 2009 ASMA report were announced to attendees of the 7th Digital Dealer conference in Nashville.

More information about TK Carsites is available online at http://www.tkcarsites.com/

About Pasch Consulting Group

The Pasch Consulting Group is an automotive Internet marketing company and works with all major dealer platforms when providing Internet marketing services to car dealers across the nation. PCG focuses on off-site SEO strategies, geo-targeted lead generation, search engine marketing and Internet reputation management.

Brian Pasch is the CEO of the Pasch Consulting Group. Brian is a 20-year veteran of the direct marketing industry. His career has spanned both management and technology roles.

PCG works for and with an ever-growing number of businesses large and small from all over the country to maximize results of their digital marketing efforts.

Visit their automotive marketing website at: http://www.dealer-seo.com

Another award for TK Carsites! Way to go guys.

Nashville Digital Dealer Conference shows business improving

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joe Turner @ 3:01 pm

As I sit here in the Nashville Convention Center and look around at the crowd mulling about exhibit hall, and the standing room only crowds in the breakout workshops, it’s clear to me that business must be coming back. 

  The dealers that I spoke with are looking to improve the way the reach customers and market their stores.  It seems like the biggest crowds were at the workshops and booths that featured SEO, SEM and Social Media. 

  I think it not only signals that business is coming back, but that a fundamental shift it the way dealers will approach marketing and advertising in the future.  I remember several years ago when the crowds were gathered around workshops and booths that featured websites.

  Are you prepared for the future?  Are you using Social Media to engage your customers?  If your not then you may want to start. 

October 28, 2009

Be proactive not reactive

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joe Turner @ 12:17 pm

Had a conversation yesterday with a friend of mine that owns a Nissan store.  We were talking about how social sites like Facebook can be used by dealerships. 

  He was not excited about the prospect of engaging upset customer in the open on Facebook.  I certainly can understand his trepidation.  We are used to settling a customer’s issues in an office not in the showroom. 

  But the reality is that while we may have discussed and settled an issue with an upset customer behind closed doors in the past they still talked to their friends and family about what happened.  Social media today actually represents a better opportunity to earn the future business of not only their friends and family, but many others as well.

  By engaging the customer in an open forum you demonstrate to potential customers that you are a reputable dealer and can be trusted.

  So don’t be afraid to open up and engage your customer base online, you’ll be planting the seeds for future customers as well as retaining existing ones. 

October 23, 2009

How to use Twitter to drive traffic

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joe Turner @ 11:43 am
I just read an article "200 DeGeneres followers go to Dallas dealership" that made me realize that Twitter really can drive actual not virtual traffic to your store, you just have to get creative.  On Monday, October 19th, the Ellen DeGeneres Show start posting tweets telling her followers "If you are in (or near) Dallas, it’s a good idea to be following me on twitter…"
 
That started at series of tweets through Tueday.  At 2:00 PM she tweeted "Dallas followers go to Sewell GMC @7474 Lemmon Ave. Be there by 5:30! Write my name on a dollar, give it to Jeannie & you’re in the running!"
 
About 200 people showed up and she gave away a GMC Terrain and raised money for breast cancer research. 
 
My mind is spinning thinking of ways to use Twitter and Facebook to drive even more than 200. 
 
 

October 21, 2009

The road to the sale then and now

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joe Turner @ 1:52 pm

 

This month I have been talking about how the ten step sales process or road to the sales has transformed.  I was going through some boxes and found an article that I wrote in the Spring of 2004 for a workshop I did in Raleigh-Durham, NC.  The article was about what I believed to be the ten steps to selling an Internet customer. 
 
So as you read this article keep in mind that it was written in 2004.  I will review and see how we can update even more to take advantage of known trends and technological advances since then:
 
Everyone that's been in the car business for any length of time has been introduced to the ten steps or road to the sale.  It's fundamental for success.  Where the traditional road to the sale was written for and counts on face to face interaction, the Internet process relies on your process and communications skills.  Where your image and personality helped to make a good first impression on the lot, the speed and message of your responses set the stage for the Internet process.
 
Throughout the process on the Internet your ability to communicate via phone and email will directly impact your ability to make the sale.  Simply put, the lot customer is already there and presumably to buy a car.  With an Internet customer you have essentially the same process, however, you have the added steps of getting the customer the requested information and getting them in the store where the two processes merge.  So let's take take a look at what i believe are the steps involved in the Internet sales process.
  1. Receive and Respond
  2. Sell – Self / Process / Dealership
  3. Determine Want / Need
  4. Select a Match
  5. Send / Present a Quote
  6. Follow-Up
  7. Sell / Set the Appointment
Receive & Respond:  As stated earlier the speed and content of your initial response sets the stage and "is" the first impression the customer gets of you and your dealership.  Let's start with speed of response.  Knowing that most Internet customers will submit several requests when shopping for a car, you want to make sure that your response stands out. 
 
While auto responders are perfect for a quick initial reply there are a couple ground rules that you need to follow.  First, keep it brief and to the point.  Second, let them know it's an auto responder.  Just let them know that you received their request and that you will be contacting them very soon.  Even though an auto responder was sent the clock is ticking since Internet customers have become accustomed to immediate information.
 
The content of your real initial response is very important.  For example, if you use a template for your initial response that ask for more information and send it to a customer that submitted a very specific request you  lose all credibility. 
 
Sell – Self / Process / Dealership:  Without face to face interaction you will need to establish rapport and build trust with your timeliness, phone skills and your dealerships process. 
 
Imagine that you're a customer and have submitted requests to four different dealerships.  Of the four only three even respond and two send emails asking when you can stop by the store.  However, one send you a copy of the invoice and and shows you two others car they have that are similar and could save you some money.  Experience tells me that a majority of the time the guy that offered more information will win. 
 
Your emails should not only provide more information but tell how your store's process will save the customer time as well as money. 
 
Determine Want / Need:  You begin to work on this step with your first response.  Each subsequent email should continue to do this until you have established exactly what they are looking for.  This step is fairly basic and simply asking the right questions to get to know them and what they are looking for. 
 
Select a Match:  This is where your morning lot walk pays off.  Knowing your inventory and keeping an accurate inventory list on hand or readily available will help tremendously. 
 
Send / Present Price Quote:  There are many different thoughts on sending a price quote.  Many say absolutely not until they're on the lot, others will only do it on the phone.  If you're reading this then your dealership hired me to help show you how to sell more cars online.  Therefore i am going to focus on what has worked for me. 
 
In eight years of selling to Internet customers I have tried just about everything.  In doing so I have determined that Internet customers are not looking exclusively for the best price.  I believe the majority are looking for a convenient and hassle free process.  They are trying to avoid the old school showroom method.  It was when I started sending out informative price quotes that my sales really took off. 
 
Pick out a car that you have in-stock and that you feel is close match and send them and email with the installed options and your Internet price.  The customer is more like to respond if you have provided them with the options and pricing.  You can also include a car higher and lower to give them options.  If it's not what they want they will let you know. 
 
Follow-Up:  This is where most dealerships fail.  A consistent follow-up plan will do more for your sales than just about anything else. 
 
Remember that Internet customers start looking earlier in the sales process than traditional customers so a follow-up plan is absolutely fundamental to your success. 
 
Sell / Set the Appointment:  I know that there cases where you sold a car to someone out of state  and did the paperwork by mail and had the car shipped.  Those are the exceptions and not the rule.  Most of the time you still have to get the customer in store and we've all heard the expression "that you never get what you don't ask for."
 
In each of your emails and calls always ask for the appointment.  Then send reminders a day or so before the appointment.  
 
At the time there was a distinct difference between what we called an "Internet" customer and a traditional lot customer.  Today that line has blurred so much that it hardly exist anymore.  Today nearly everyone has done some research online.  So for all intents and purposes everyone is just a customer.  
 
Today it's even more important to have a process and with Social Media's increasing influence it's actually easier. 
 
 
Just a thought…

October 16, 2009

Video your walk around today.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joe Turner @ 2:43 pm
As the week winds down and let's talk about the Presentation.  In most cases the customer still has to come in to actually sign the papers and complete the transaction, so there will still be a real presentation done at that time.  But to really set you apart from the other guys, why not do a killer virtual presentation? 
 
Have one of co-workers follow-you around the car with a small video camera.  Remember to keep it to short segments so do a spot at the front and talk about the engine and performance.  Then move the passenger side and talk about the safety and styling features and benefits. 
 
However you normally do your walk around just break it into small segments.  Stay ENTHUSIASTIC, they're not in front of you so you want your confidence to burst out of the video.  Keep in mind that the object here is twofold.  First, to tell then about the car.  Second, to MAKE YOU STAND OUT from the other dealerships.
 
There was a  friend of mine in Nashville that started doing live Saturday morning commercials.  They were ok, but did not generate the response that he really wanted.  So one Saturday he started acting like that guy on the car king show and Saturday traffic went crazy. 
 
I think the trick is to be just hokey enough to catch and HOLD their attention, while not being so loony that they won't come in.  But,the great news is we're talking about short clips to one customer so go ahead and experiment. 
 
This is still a people business and you can use technology to sell yourself, the store and the car. 
 
 
Just a thought…

October 13, 2009

Got 30 seconds, how about a walk-around?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joe Turner @ 4:13 pm
According Sean Bradley of Dealer Synergy there are really only three things that need to happen in a sale.  The first is the opportunity to do business, which occurs when the customer submitted their request.  Next, you have to get the customer to like and trust you, which we covered in the two previous posts. 
 
So now you have to show the customer what you have to offer, what makes you better than the rest.  And again with technology today, the possibilities are endless.  Using an inexpensive video camera you could do a brief 30 second walk-around of the vehicle their interested in along with one from a few other similar cars.  The trick is to keep it short and sweet.  They still need to come in so save something for the real presentation.  Think of it as an elevator pitch.  You have 30 seconds to tell them about that car so they will want to come in and get a closer look.
 
Remember, it's not always price that drives their final decision.  In fact, there have been numerous studies that show many things factor in to their decision to buy. 
 
For many it's about convenience.  Do you offer to take the car to them?
 
Others want a specific color or option, are you willing to locate what they're looking for?
 
Reputation is a factor for many as well.  do you video your satisfied customers and put those videos online? 
 
Make this week the week you take a step forward and try something different and see what new results come from it.  A fast response means nothing if you don't sell a car.  That was one thing I always did was try new things.  Some worked great  and others did not.  But I always tried and through that process sold more cars than anyone else at the dealership.
 
So what will you do this week?
 
Just a thought…

October 9, 2009

Today’s road to the sale, Building Rapport and technology

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joe Turner @ 11:08 pm

This month I am taking a look at the Road to the Sale and seeing how I might adapt the steps for the new digital world.  The other day we looked at the Meet and Greet, today let’s look at building rapport. 

 

Deep down, I still think that the greatest job in the world is selling cars.  I loved it on day and part of me longs to do it again.  If I were selling today, I would be a Social Media PRO.  Notice that I said “I” and not the store. 

 

Personal Branding today is so easy and yet so important.  If you sell cars today and do not have a Facebook page, you’re crazy.  Not only would I have a Facebook page but I would buy those little ads in the youth league and school programs and point them to my Facebook site.  I would have a Twitter account and talk about the car business, talk about new models that are coming, talk about your service department, send out seasonal reminders about wipers etc…  The point is talk about anything that’s interesting to you.  

 

On your Facebook page talk about your family,  post pictures of Little League games etc.. but as Paul Rushing so aptly pointed out the other day, do NOT try to sell via Facebook.  Instead use Facebook to “Sell Yourself.” 

 

Remember this business always has been and will always be a people business.  And one of the first lessons in this business is “People buy from people they like.”  So use Social Media sites to show potential customers why they should like you, in other words establish common ground.

 

Previously, I mentioned that you as a Salesperson should have your own Facebook page.  The store should have either a Fan Page or Group page.  The store’s page should be used to send out “press releases” about your store, your brand, your market etc. 

 

You should also use this page to provide customers an easy forum to communicate with your dealer.  I am currently reading a book titled “Socialnomics” that cited a recent study that said a majority of people would rather do without their email than their social networking.  Today’s consumers are far more likely to blog about you than email you.  If you provide them the space you’re more likely to stay on top of potentially irritated customers and respond promptly to save a relationship.  And in today’s market that’s what its all about. 

 

If I were a General Manager, Owner or Service Manager I would make sure that my Service advisors have a Facebook page as well.

 

I believe that technology has actually made the “Establishing Rapport” part of the road to the sale easier than ever for those that are willing to embrace it.

 

Just a thought…

October 7, 2009

Today’s meet and greet, what is it?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joe Turner @ 5:05 am
While the car business has changed a lot over the years some things haven't changed.  For example every sale begins with a good old fashioned meet and greet.  But the meet and greet has changed. 
 
When I first got in the business it was some variation of a warm and friendly handshake, eye contact and a hearty welcome.  Today, a majority of customers arrive at the dealership via the web long before they arrive physically. 
 
So just what is a modern meet and greet.  I suspect that like many things you can get varied opinions.  I think that we can use the tools that we have and still accomplish what the meet and greet was intended to do.  For example a quick and friendly reply to their inquiry can be the digital equivalent of the handshake.  A brief video telling about you and the dealership can fill in for the eye contact.  The goal in the physical and the virtual are really the same, to set you apart from the competition. 
 
So break out the video camera shoot a short introduction, say about 30 seconds, and try attaching or linking to a video on your next replies.  Studies have consistently shown that Internet customers are not looking at price only.  The want more than a deal, they want convenience and just as importantly they want to feel comfortable with you and your store.  So have several videos ready. 
 
Introduce the Service Manager and tell about those awards, introduce the Finance Manager, talk about you lenders, services and great rates.  Have the owner or General Manager tell about why your store is the BEST place to buy.  How about a short video walk-around of the car their interested in.  Again, it doesn't have to be fancy just sincere. 
The best part guys, is that the equipment today is so inexpensive that it's so easy to get started,  So the question becomes how will you set you and your store apart, what will make you stand out from the other dealerships, it's up to you.
 
Just a thought…
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