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It seems like everyone is talking about new years resolutions. Some people call them resolutions while others call them “goals” for the new year. What ever the case may be don’t waste one more day…set your goals! I talk to customers everyday and everyday I hear the same thing…”I don’t have enough time to ________(fill in the blank)”. If it’s important to you and more importantly to the success of your dealership then make the time. Goals will not be accomplished on their own. Here is what I think about when I am setting my goals:
1) I look at my previous years accomplishments and failures and put those failures at the top of the list for this year. I don’t give up on them. Like they say there’s always next year.
2) I write down goals that are reasonable and attainable.
3) I set a timeline; think of the snowball effect, if any of you listen to Dave Ramsey you know what I’m talking about…set out to accomplish the smaller goals first
4) I write them down and put them where I can see them every day; fridge, bathroom mirror, wallet, next to the computer; wherever just make sure they are visible…you know the saying…out of sight out of mind.
5) I verbally talk about them with my family and friends so they know what I am trying to accomplish.
6) Finally I make a conscious effort everyday to attain them
I set not only personal goals but professional, spiritual and physical ones as well. I would encourage all of you to sit down and do this as soon as possible! Better yet get everyone at dealership together and discuss goals for the new year. Come up with your dealerships goals together and make them well known. It’s a lot easier to accomplish goals when everyone is working towards them together. I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season! Here’s to a happy, healthy and successful 2012!

The Internet has definitely changed the way people shop for products and services. Instead of having to get in their car and drive around to get information about their next product or service everything is now right at their fingertips. It is this simple fact that has made prices for goods and services even more competitive than ever. They days of having a captive market you could sell to at any price are pretty much over. Buyers are in some cases even more knowledgeable about your products than your own sales personnel. So if all things are equal why would someone buy from a company if the price is identical at a store 10 miles closer to home? This is where the wonderful world of Social Media Marketing comes in to play.

Sites such as Facebook and Twitter started out as a way for individuals to information amongst the people they know and trust. I use the keyword TRUST here strategically. Soon social media made a shift into the business world. If individuals can communicate amongst each other it only made sense that businesses could share the latest and greatest about their companies. Now just like before we ever had these networking sites or even the Internet for that matter people tended to buy goods and services from people they trusted. They did not have elaborate sites such as Facebook to instantly share their experiences they communicated with the people they know around their towns.

The main benefit of going social is that it gives businesses a way to become more visible not just to the masses but to the people’s most inner circle within these masses. By building a level of trust with one person that “fans” your page you instantly gain the trust of the people that trust “their” opinion.

Social media marketing needs to be a conversation, a natural process people use to communicate and connect with one another.

The other day I was helping one of my new dealers launch a car on eBay. The car was a unique vehicle, 2012 Nissan GT-R, with gorgeous pictures and great notes..basically just an overall great listing. While I was walking him through the process I told him about the time I was reviewing another dealers account and noticed that he had listed a Nissan GT-R on eBay with NO, that’s right ZERO, pictures and all that showed were stock photos. He also didn’t bother to write any notes. Did I mention the reserve on this car was $96,000!!! So I called my dealer to ask why he had done such a crazy thing and his reply floored me…”Ashley, the type of person looking for a car like this knows what it looks like”. So you are telling me that just because I know what one looks like it’s not important to actually show what the ACTUAL vehicle looks like. So are you saying that the stock photos are a true representation of the color of the car, has all of the same features and options and the same color interior?? Cause what if I don’t really know what a Nissan GT-R looks like but I am interested in the one you have listed? Bottom line is that if you list a car on eBay you should have at least 40 photos..and if you don’t have 40 at least have 1!! So do you think that dealer sold that car on eBay…absolutely not!

I know we have talked about it before…especially when Google made the change to how they display, or lack there of, 3rd party reviews. I had a customer call me the other day wanting some suggestions on how to best display review sites and testimonials on his website. He is changing his delivery process and is now going to have the sales associate pull up the page with the customer at the point of delivery and ask them to write a review right then and there. I think it sounds like a great idea cause we all know that at the point of delivery the customer is going to be as happy as they will ever be, sorry but that is “typically” the truth, and what better time to ask them to write about their experience. I did warn my dealer that he might get push back and some people might not want to fill out a survey at that time and might feel pressured into it so it and that the delivery of how they ask the customer will be just as important then the delivery of the car. Some people might want to write a testimonial in the comforts of their own home without the sales associate hovering above them so if they don’t want to write one let them know that you will email them the information on how to write one should they decide to do so at a later date. Have you changed your process at the dealership on how you collect testimonials and reviews? If so we want to hear from you!

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