Autospeak-Straight Talk contains articles covering digital and social media marketing social communities and events marketing

Don't Call Them "BOUGES!"

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(Posted on Jul 13, 2013 at 05:01AM by William Cosgrove)

Most sub Prime buyers have been in this position for some time realized their car buying experience is different from that of their more credit-worthy peers. Some due to circumstances beyond their control are experiencing the sub Prime process for the first time. These buyers still warrant respect. Despite credit woes, their dignity remains intact and they want to be treated fairly and professionally.

To give you an idea of just how Sub Prime can impact your business, this Past February versus the same month a year earlier saw purchasers with FICO scores below 550 shoot up 48.3 percent year-over-year.

In fact, analysts found that the trend toward lower FICO scores among used-car buyers resulted in an average of 561.3 in the opening days of April. The added  share of sub-670 credit score buyers increased to 46.9 percent from March's reading of 46.37 percent and the year-ago mark of 35.22 percent.


Subprime is the most profitable segment in the pre-owned vehicle segment for which you must be equipped to compete.

 

Go to Dealer Monthly for the Stats


Author Bill Cosgrove
DealerNet Services 

Bad Medicine-Who’s Really Getting Better?

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(Posted on Jul 13, 2013 at 04:53AM by William Cosgrove)

First I want to thank Jim Ziegler and Manny Luna and others for their due dilegence in the Autogate affair that is currently unravelling and have made it possible for me to get some attention on a topic close to my heart.

I want to take advantage and seize the moment concerning all the controversy surrounding Cars, com among others with hints of more to come.

Why? Because I hope that finally YOU the dealer who is following this mantra will come out of the ether and realize that the medicine that the giant classified Ad and Services Companies have been prescribing Dealers is showing its nasty side effects and is WRONG.

Let’s take a look at some numbers to see just how much these churn and burn marketing strategies can affect Dealers. One side effect of this strategy is that you are always chasing inventory to sell more to make less money – who does that benefit?  

Another side effect is management and salespeople are working harder to make the same or less money and if you have worked at a dealership in the past few years these guys have more responsibilities than ever before. This leaves the possibility of losing conversions and inventory purchasing errors. Plus, you are probably spending more money to drive that traffic to churn those cars and - who do you think benefits from that.

Another side effect is that you start taxing you facilities ability to do the MPI (Multipoint Inspections) reconditioning e.t. and unless you spend more to fill the gap you chance having other problems with Inventory presentation. WHO DO YOU THINK THIS AFFECTS?

Sure there are dealers that sell for one take or leave it price and do well but how long do you think it would be when this becomes the rule and not the exception. There will be more consolidation and small and medium size dealers will be put out of business by the churn and burn stores that need to gobble up more and more market area to survive. And who do you think this will benefit? –

I am not a conspiracy theorist by you can’t help but see the correlation here especially with what has been surfacing over the past couple of weeks.

According to FirstLook, total sales in April climbed 0.7 percent vs. year ago to 3,819,127 units. vs. 3,792,604, transaction prices across all three channels were down 6.46 percent to $8,928 from $9,545 in 2012 excluding aftermarket product.

So let’s do the math.

$9,545.00- $8,928.00 = $617.00. Let’s say on the average you sell 50 pre-owned units per month. Let’s say you could have sold just 25 of those 50 units and grossed $309.00 more per unit.

$309.00

X 25 units

$7,725.00

Let’s say that you could have made another $800.00 dollars per unit on the back end.

$800.00

X 25

$20,000.00 Let’s add it up

 

You just made at $27,725.00 more in gross that in a year adds up to $332,700.00 plus what you have just saved on all the added costs of churning and burning units and the costs of potential Presentation of inventory and inventory purchasing errors, losing conversions in the rush to churn e.t. in the rush to churn.

 

Let’s say that you sell an additional 10 cars a month with the churn and burn method. Using $1200.00 as an average gross and gross $800.00 on the back end you would have grossed $20,000.00 Dollars or $240,000.00.

 

$332,700.00

$240,000.00

($92,000.00)

 

You grossed ($92,000.00) less plus all the additional overhead it took to Market, Buy, Prep and sell them. -Who is does this benefit?

If you need to go outside your market area to gain market share and have the population density within you geographic market area for growth YOU need to look inside not outside and fix the problems  within- Who will benefit from this?

If you set your goal of growing within your market area the benefits are greater and put those additional resources you are using to draw in people from outside your market area you will be better for it. People who purchase from outside your market are price buyers only because you have no value to offer them.

So think about it and do what you think is the right path for you to take. For most of you-you will realize the only ones that are getting feed are the Dragons.

One of the rules of value creation is: if your actions don’t create value, then your actions decrease value. If your sales or marketing presentation does not increase the perceived value of your products or services, it decreases the value your customers or prospects perceive they get from you.

Author Bill Cogrove

DealerNet Services

AFTER THE BAD MEDICINE- WILL YOU BE READY FOR THE TOUGH MEDICINE?

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(Posted on Jul 13, 2013 at 04:48AM by William Cosgrove)

If you the Dealer think you could or should be doing better, you need an experienced independent Consultant.

 

If you the Marketing Company are putting your reputation on the line and driving traffic to a Dealer who is not prepared to sell them you need  an Independent Consultant in there first.

 

Remember you as the Dealer or Marketer are in the Driver’s Seat So Take the Wheel -When you’re going straight ahead-you get there faster-and safer so take control and win the race. If you are not committed and prepared 1000% It is time to GET OFF THE TRACK.

The blame always lies with you. Before you blame your vendor or (presumably) competent staff- look in the mirror- maybe they are not the incompetent ones.

 

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is determined by customer visits. Your bottom line lives or dies by IT- BOTTOM LINE.  And it is crutical to design your marketing campaigns and structure your staff to do what works best for YOU at YOUR location in YOUR geographic area.

 

If you're not Marketing to the Latino/Hispanic market-YOUR LOSING A LOT OF MONEY. The Latino/Hispanic population of the US is the 20th largest economy in the world so is not to be ignored. Please go to the more section above and follow the link "ENGAGING THE US LATINO MARKET" at Autospeak (Engaging the US Latino Market) to get a better understanding of impact this market segment represents.

 

 

  If someone isn't willing to tell you this to your face- Get another Consultant.

  If you didn't already know all of this -YOU BETTER GET A CONSULTANT

 

        Bad Medicine-Who's Really Getting Better?                                             Posted By Bill Cosgrove    DealerNetServices

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR MARKETING

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(Posted on Jul 13, 2013 at 04:21AM by William Cosgrove)
First of all, let me preface this by saying that it seems to me that the vAutos, Autotraders and True cars of the world are trying to commoditize the automotive industry. This may work well for the corporate owned multi-franchise companies but for the rest……

Advances in technology are giving dealers the tools to directly market through their own websites, Social media, etc. and within their geographic area to increase floor traffic at their location. Once there they must have the confidence in their sales force to get the job done.

A good sales management team knows their market and has the tools in house to know what is selling for them and how to effectively control their inventory. My question is why are dealers paying big money to let companies come in and tell them how much to sell and/or buy their vehicles for and what vehicles to buy to increase sales. What are you paying management for? One day I overheard a rep from Autotrader tell the preowned manager that he needed to lower his prices to get better results.

That preowned manager bucked the trend of lowering prices to compete online. - And guess what- average grosses in his department were much higher than the average and his total unit sales were improving. Number one that is why you have a “good” sales staff and “good” finance people for and number two you can always come down in price but I never heard a customer say a price was too low.

Dealers should work with a marketing company who is going to help them drive traffic and not try to run their company. The bulk of dealerships sales are still made within their geographic area and that is where they should be focusing.

Author Bill Cosgrove
http://dealernetonlineservices.biz


 

Closed Loop Analytics Can Improve Your Automotive Marketing

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(Posted on Jul 13, 2013 at 03:04AM by William Cosgrove)
One of the most important elements of any marketing plan is the ability to track the effectiveness of new initiatives.  

The ability to compare conversions prior to and following changes in an email or direct mail campaign can indicate whether you are receiving an adequate return on your marketing investment.  One of the most valuable methods  for determining ROI is closed loop analytics, which provides key metrics of  marketing initiatives. 

In most inbound marketing strategies, analytics play a critical role.  However in an email or direct mail campaign, automotive  closed loop analytics can provide insights that can springboard your marketing  to new levels of success.  

The metrics of automotive closed loop analytics can measure a variety of results including website visits, showroom visits  and purchases.   Depending on the granularity of
your metrics, you may also be able to determine specific  characteristics of these interactions like age group, income, or level of  enthusiasm. 

Comparing the results from before and after an email or direct mail  campaign can help you identify the most important components of your new initiatives and expand them, including:


  • Long-term results—Automotive closed loop analytics can provide
      results throughout the lifetime of your company.  Once you have
    implemented an  analytics system that integrates your email or direct mail
    campaigns with your 
    CRM system,  you can
    continuously receive insights.  As your needs or objectives evolve, you
      can modify the resolution of your analytics to help identify the most lucrative
      consumer markets.

  • Agile system—Most closed loop systems are easily modified to allow 
    virtually immediate results from an email campaign.  If you would like to
    know  how many people clicked on a Call-to-Action (CTA) in the latest batch of
    emails,  then you only need to click a button.  This type of responsiveness
    may require  additional investment up front, but the data available can help
    make your  dealership a success for years to come.

  • Identify key marketing ideas—One of the most elusive objectives in
      any marketing strategy is identifying the marketing message that is most
      effective. Automotive closed loop analytics can instantly identify those
      components and help you understand why they are so successful.  For
    example you  may find lifetime service options are a key to maintaining customer
      relationships which bolster sales.

  • Unique metrics—Measuring ROI on direct mail has been difficult in the
      past, but with the use of new techniques like showroom controls or dedicated
      phone lines, you can accurately measure how effective your new initiative
    is.   Using a phone number exclusively for direct mail responses and
    coupons with RFID  tags can indicate the precise number of reactions with a
    relatively low  cost.

Inbound marketing strategies are designed to coax consumers who are  already interested in purchasing a car find your business and make a purchase.   With the aid of automotive closed loop analytics, you can refine your  marketing strategy to identify those consumers who are most likely to lead to a  sale.  

If you would like some more tips on how to integrate automotive closed loop analytics into your email and direct mail initiatives, download our Automotive Marketing eBook:

If you would like some more tips on how to integrate automotive closed loop analytics into your email and direct mail initiatives, download our Automotive Marketing eBook:
 

http://info.palmeradagency.com/get-more-car-buyers?hsCtaTracking=890b950d-728f-49b4-8203-bf891fa354c9%7C0a330377-b367-4e68-86bb-b1c733f5e9fc




http://dealernetservicesonline.biz

Closed Loop Analytics Can Improve Your Automotive Marketing

Tags:
(Posted on Jul 13, 2013 at 02:59AM by William Cosgrove)
One of the most important elements of any marketing plan is the ability to track the effectiveness of new initiatives.  

The ability to compare conversions prior to and following changes in an email or direct mail campaign can indicate whether you are receiving an adequate return on your marketing investment.  One of the most valuable methods  for determining ROI is closed loop analytics, which provides key metrics of  marketing initiatives. 

In most inbound marketing strategies, analytics play a critical role.  However in an email or direct mail campaign, automotive  closed loop analytics can provide insights that can springboard your marketing  to new levels of success.  

The metrics of automotive closed loop analytics can measure a variety of results including website visits, showroom visits  and purchases.   Depending on the granularity of
your metrics, you may also be able to determine specific  characteristics of these interactions like age group, income, or level of  enthusiasm. 

Comparing the results from before and after an email or direct mail  campaign can help you identify the most important components of your new initiatives and expand them, including:


  • Long-term results—Automotive closed loop analytics can provide
      results throughout the lifetime of your company.  Once you have
    implemented an  analytics system that integrates your email or direct mail
    campaigns with your 
    CRM system,  you can
    continuously receive insights.  As your needs or objectives evolve, you
      can modify the resolution of your analytics to help identify the most lucrative
      consumer markets.

  • Agile system—Most closed loop systems are easily modified to allow 
    virtually immediate results from an email campaign.  If you would like to
    know  how many people clicked on a Call-to-Action (CTA) in the latest batch of
    emails,  then you only need to click a button.  This type of responsiveness
    may require  additional investment up front, but the data available can help
    make your  dealership a success for years to come.

  • Identify key marketing ideas—One of the most elusive objectives in
      any marketing strategy is identifying the marketing message that is most
      effective. Automotive closed loop analytics can instantly identify those
      components and help you understand why they are so successful.  For
    example you  may find lifetime service options are a key to maintaining customer
      relationships which bolster sales.

  • Unique metrics—Measuring ROI on direct mail has been difficult in the
      past, but with the use of new techniques like showroom controls or dedicated
      phone lines, you can accurately measure how effective your new initiative
    is.   Using a phone number exclusively for direct mail responses and
    coupons with RFID  tags can indicate the precise number of reactions with a
    relatively low  cost.

Inbound marketing strategies are designed to coax consumers who are  already interested in purchasing a car find your business and make a purchase.   With the aid of automotive closed loop analytics, you can refine your  marketing strategy to identify those consumers who are most likely to lead to a  sale.  

If you would like some more tips on how to integrate automotive closed loop analytics into your email and direct mail initiatives, download our Automotive Marketing eBook:

If you would like some more tips on how to integrate automotive closed loop analytics into your email and direct mail initiatives, download our Automotive Marketing eBook:
 

http://info.palmeradagency.com/get-more-car-buyers?hsCtaTracking=890b950d-728f-49b4-8203-bf891fa354c9%7C0a330377-b367-4e68-86bb-b1c733f5e9fc




http://dealernetservicesonline.biz

The Front Lines Where The Real Battles Are Fought

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(Posted on Jul 12, 2013 at 07:44AM by William Cosgrove)




Here are some stats that Most of us already know and most Dealer Principles and GMs may already know. But let’s give it another read because this is important to your business.

Not all buyers use the same criteria to choose a dealer or are influenced by the same dealer experience and sales processes.

According to the Foresight Research 2013 Dealership Report, Taken from UCN News, based on a study of 7,543 recent U.S. new car and truck buyers, experience with a brand drives most purchases.

While 17 different automotive marketing communication channels are analyzed in this study, none are more influential to the purchase decisions of new car and truck buyers than the dealership experience with the exception of prior brand experience. Forty-nine percent of all buyers this past year report that their dealership experience was highly influential to their decision to purchase the vehicle they did. 

The average new-vehicle buyer today is older (nearly half are over age 55). They are also wealthier and experienced with the buying process. Dealer reputation and relationships are key to this group.

Younger buyers (many of them first-time buyers) bring a narrower set of expectations into their buying process. These buyers want and need dealer assistance, but one out of four say their dealership experience took too long.

Buyers aged 35-54 (representing 37 percent of current buyers) reflect a mixture of their younger and older counterparts. Like younger buyers, they are very concerned with getting a good price/deal, and financing options. Yet like older buyers,
they have high expectations of their dealer experience.

So let’s think about this. This means that the people on the front lines and by this I mean the salespeople, including those in the BDC department, Service Writers, Parts and Body Shop Departments. Now why did I just refer to all these people as salespeople?

Because they all better be. These are the people that are selling you, your services and products and if they don’t know how to sell and how to treat people-your losing a great deal of business.

So why do a lot of you think that you can get these people on the cheap and expect great results. You pay a lot for your marketing and other vendors services and hopefully they are doing the right things.

But these employees I just mentioned are your most valuable asset and you are not going to get or have the right people on the cheap. I showed in one of my last posts a dealer who was paying top dollar and getting top results. These stats just gave me the opportunity to maybe shed more light on my mission to prove my point.

You can hire consultants to train, train and do more training and give people all the tools in the world to do a job but if you don’t have the right people your just wasting your money. And by the way what are your managers doing?

You need consultants who know how to get the right people in right the positions first Which means consultants who have proven themselves on the front lines and in the trenches who can find right people you need. And again, what are your managers doing?

If you need to hire consultants, (And again what are your managers doing), find one who is going to weed out all the non-performers and who is hire by and who is looking out for you the owner and not the management that may be the root of
your problems.

A lot of good salespeople and managers have already left the Automotive Industry because they can perform in any Commission Sales Industry and are going where they can be rewarded for their talent.

There are those who would like to commoditize the Industry and have store clerks waiting on people. But I can tell you that if this happens there will no longer be room for the Small and Medium Size Franchise Dealer.

By having the right people you don’t need to train them because they’re professionals and are driven to perform. So if you take all that money you pay to train and get no return from and put the right people (Including Management) on the front lines- you will not only save most of the money you spend on consultants and realize that the ones on the front lines are your real ROI.


Author Bill Cosgrove
http://dealernetservicesonline.biz

Stiletto Network Inside the Women’s Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business

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(Posted on Jul 12, 2013 at 05:00AM by William Cosgrove)

Stiletto Networks are about becoming the biggest, boldest, bravest version of yourself that you can be.”

Claudia Batten, serial entrepreneur


Watch this video - Stiletto Network

 

Stiletto Network is a story of female friendship—disguised as a business story, a tale of women banding together to improve lives and companies and communities, to realize their dreams and change the world.

Women like Kim Moses, who created the most downloaded app in the history of Warner Bros. Or Jennifer Nason, who oversaw the largest high-yield bond offering of 2010. Or Mallun Yen, who joined the founding team of RPX, one of the fastest-growing start-ups in history, and steered it toward a $1 billion IPO. Or Joan Amble and Marilyn Alexander, who were fast-tracked to corporate board seats. Or Shauna Mei, a go-getter in her 20s who launched a company and got John Mack, the former Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, on her board. Or Bonnie McElveen-Hunter and Melanie Sabelhaus, who created the most successful fundraising pilot in the history of The Red Cross.

What do they have in common? They’re all members of Stiletto Networks.

During the past few years, women’s groups have been coalescing in every major American city. Formidable ladies across industries are convening at unprecedented rates; they’re forming dinner groups and networking circles, and collaborating not only to achieve clout and success, but also to create a more just, equal society.

Stiletto Network is about those groups: the “Babes in Boyland,” “Power Bitches,” and “S.L.U.T.S.: Successful Ladies Under Tremendous Stress.” It’s about what happens when bright, caring women—from captains of industry to aspiring Millennials to moms launching businesses in their basements—come together to celebrate and unwind, debate and compare notes. But it’s also about what happens when they leave the table, when the talking stops and the action starts.

With engrossing narrative marked by compassion and wit, Stiletto Network is the first book to shed light on this groundbreaking movement.

DealerNet Services

Finding Your Style- Commission Sales

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(Posted on Jul 12, 2013 at 04:34AM by William Cosgrove)
I cut my teeth selling at an early age selling door to door. From delivering newspapers to Fuller Brush to Cash is Best, for which Ted Turner was a fugitive from the US holding offshore on his yacht in international waters for purporting a pyramid scheme, to selling the original wind up fire and burglar alarms for the home.

After having had my foot caught in the door many times I eventually found my way into Automobile sales. I was so excited to have this opportunity because here were people coming to me looking to buy what I had to sell.

I felt like a kid is a candy store and never looked back. This business allowed me to experience owning my own businesses but I always came back to what I always loved.

When I think of all the advice available to train a good salesperson I think of why salespeople would not all be superstars. After years of being around commissioned sales and salespeople both in and out of the Automotive industry it is apparent to me that the art of selling (and it is an art) is a talent that few people ever master.

I have seen so many techniques that salespeople use to make a sale that works very well for them but would never work for me. As a matter of fact, Some I could not even fathom how they even made so many sales with their “Style” of selling but it worked for them.

What worked for them would never work for me or you.. You can only observe and take those observations and find a “Style” that works for you and make it your own.

This “Style” for the fortunate ones something that comes naturally making selling for them almost effortless. Sales must be looked at as a challenge- the more difficult the sales is to make, the more satisfaction you get from the experience.

That challenge is something that the truly gifted crave, need and look forward to each and every day in every aspect of their lives. It is like a game of chess that is played and each move determines an eventual outcome that a true salesperson is driven to win by reading each move of the opponent before it is even made.

We are all actors on a stage in our journey through this wonderful life but only a few can mold and manipulate the parts they play.

There is and always has been a misunderstanding or maybe even a lack of respect for these truly gifted people. Only a secure, talented and gifted manager who driven to hit that next level knows that he must let these salespeople work their craft using their own “style” to make the relationship rewarding and successful.

These are the type of people that one needs to make a business truly successful. The ones who are in it not just for the money but because they are driven to succeed. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Constantly be looking for the people that will take, maintain and always be looking for that next rush that only these people get from their work.

If you have all the tools and have not found your “Style” as an owner, manager or salesperson unfortunately you probably never will. But if you know all this and never stop looking to surround yourself with these truly talented people you will have your battle plan and will eventually win the war.

Author Bill Cosgrove
http://dealernetservicesonline.biz

 

Advanced SEO: How to Get on Page One of Google

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(Posted on Jul 12, 2013 at 03:13AM by William Cosgrove)





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