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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 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!

I was skimming through the October 2011 issue of Auto Success and I came across an article, on page 32, that talks about mining your own data and how a dealer is sitting on a gold mine. Think about it, instead of spending thousands of dollars on print ads and mailers to new prospects why not dig into your own database and market to current customers that have purchased from you and service their car with you? Clearly they are already coming to you so you need to take advantage of that. If you want to spend money on a mailer then spend it on a in-equity letter that you can mail out to all of your current customers that you have a much better chance of getting into a new car then someone that has never stepped foot on your lot. Also use the service department to your advantage. When someone drives into the service department take a minute to look and see how much that customer has in their car or better yet have that info ready before they even get there, if they have an appointment already scheduled, and have a sales associate on hand to talk to them about what their options are. These are just examples and there are a million different ways to mine your data but don’t miss out on great, and easy, way to gain some more sales.

If you weren’t able to get on our eBay advanced training, hosted by the wonderful George Hatch, today then you missed out! But you are lucky because I took notes and here were the highlights.

* The click experience equals the brick experience!
-Every page view=a buyer walking your lot
-Every bid=a serious buyer looking to make a deal

* Traditional Retail eBay/Internet
1) Meet/greet 1) Online 1st Impression
2) Lot Walk 2) Virtual Showroom
3) 6 Position 3) Virtual Walk Around
4) Test Drive 4) Virtual Test Drive
5) Resale 5) Messages/Question
6) Trial Close 6) Bid/Offer

* How to create the best notes: 5 steps

Paragraph #1-What is the vehicle? Make, model, year, mileage, condition
Paragraph #2-Why is this vehicle special? Options, warrant, VHR
Paragraph #3-Price support-Low reserve, price, special financing
Paragraph #4 Who are you and how do I reach you? Name, phone number and photo
Paragraph #5-About you-About the dealership; why buy from you?

* Subtitles are one of the best ways to improve your search results. Use ALL 80 characters-key search terms, major options

It was a great training! We help our dealers on a daily basis on eBay and no matter how many times I train someone I still learn something new every time. If you have any questions about eBay or maybe you have never done eBay and you are ready to try it out call your account manager today, we are here to help!

Have you signed up for our eBay advanced training on Wednesday, October 19th at 1:30 Central yet?

If not make sure you register today and reserve your spot! If you have any questions please reach out to your account manager!

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/631598104

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”-Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005
Click here to watch the commencement speech:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA&feature=share

Every day I find myself reading through at least one forum, if not more, on one automotive site or another. I like to keep up with what is out there and know what people, dealers, are talking about. This morning I read this entry on a great forum, Automotive Digital Marketing, When’s the last time your saw an evidence manual?. If you haven’t taken a minute to check out their forum I urge you to do so today! The author of the post asks the question, Where is your evidence manual? To be honest I didn’t even know what he was talking about and then I read on and thought, “That’s a great idea”! For those of you who don’t know what an Evidence Manual (EM) is basically it’s a “brag book” with pictures of happy customers and testimonials etc. I used to work with Saturn dealers and the one thing I loved about going to visit them is they all had pictures showering the showroom of happy customers and their new cars. What better way to build a potential buyers confidence then showing off all of the happy customers you have?? Jae went on to say that with today’s technology it’s even easier cause all you need is a camera, memory card and an electronic picture frame. Perfect! So all you have to do is take a picture with your happy customer as soon as they get the keys to their shiny new car and upload it to the electronic picture frame that is sitting on the front of your desk on the showroom floor and viola..instant customer testimonials!

I heard about this company recently and laughed when I went to the website. I love how upfront and transparent they are and how they tell you prior to even getting a chance to scroll through the website that they DO NOT HAVE TECHNICAL SUPPORT and should you want it they DO NOT HAVE IT and if you require it then you SHOULD NOT ORDER IT. I know the capitalization I just used might be overkill but that is exactly how they have it on their website, in big bold letters, basically telling you to not buy their product but if you choose to you are on your own and good luck! I wonder how many people still buy the product without technical support. Do you think that technical support is that important that should a company NOT offer it that a customer would not buy the product? “>this company recently and laughed when I went to the website. I love how upfront and transparent they are and how they tell you prior to even getting a chance to scroll through the website that they DO NOT HAVE TECHNICAL SUPPORT and should you want it they DO NOT HAVE IT and if you require it then you SHOULD NOT ORDER IT. I know the capitalization I just used might be overkill but that is exactly how they have it on their website, in big bold letters, basically telling you to not buy their product but if you choose to you are on your own and good luck! I wonder how many people still buy the product without technical support. Do you think that technical support is that important that should a company NOT offer it that a customer would not buy the product?

What would you think if you opened a mailer from a local dealership and you saw an offer for the new 2012 Chevrolet Malibu along with an offer for a discount on a haircut?? Would that seem strange to you? For most yes but for people that live in the Dallas area, specifically the suburb of McKinney might not. Why you ask? Because El Dorado Motors not only offers service to keep your vehicle in tip top shape but they also offer services to keep YOU, the customer looking your best. I saw this story yesterday and thought, “What a great idea!”. I love it when a dealership thinks outside of the box and offers their customers something other then the norm. I used to work with a dealer that offered pedicures in the service department so customers could get a pedicure while they waited on their car getting serviced. Another great idea! Its little things like these that make a dealer stand out. What can you do different to stand out??

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