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JimmyVee & TravisMiller

marketing solution

what’s working now? Marketing that Drives Sales


If you’re like many dealers today, what you’re doing to attract customers is not working the way it should be — or the way it once did. There was a time when you could just buy ads, show up at the dealership or send a postcard and get traffic. That’s no longer the case. Haven’t you been wondering what’s changed? Where have all the customers gone? The extinction of buyers is two fold: The traditional model is broken and the old way of doing things is worn out and ineffective, and automotive marketing incest is rampant. Dealers tend to copy what other dealers are doing, often with no regard for the effectiveness of the pilfered strategies. This incestuous marketing behavior creates stale, unoriginal marketing and lackluster response. Too many dealers are wasting their time, money and opportunity with traditional marketing practices that are worn out and do not deliver profitable results.

Listen up. If you are a dealer who wants more — more prospects, more sales, more money — you can have it all, no matter what the economic conditions. The caveat? You must be willing to do something different. So what’s working? What can you do today to make a difference tomorrow without breaking the bank? Here’s a sure-fire approach any dealership can take to immediately make a dramatic impact on the bottom-line: 1. Stop Thinking Media

Most dealers jump right to asking, “Where should I place my ad?” or “Where can I list my cars?” Then when the chosen media doesn’t perform the way they think it should they state triumphantly, “______ doesn’t work.” (Fill in the blank with whatever media you’ve tried and were disappointed with.) Then that media gets crossed off the list of possible choices and you’re one step closer to finding the magic media. Or so you think. If you continue this trend and this way of thinking, you will quickly run out of media options and be left with only bus benches and matchbook covers. With every other media crossed off your list you’ll be forced to come to the conclusion that marketing doesn’t work. That’s certainty not the case. It just doesn’t work the way you’re doing it — the traditional way. You have to stop thinking about where the ad




should go and start thinking about who the ad is for and what makes you uniquely different. 2. Stop Selling Cars

What? Perhaps we should say, stop marketing vehicles. Everyone sells vehicles and features. Whether you’re selling one brand or another, most consumers could care less about what you offer and have a thousand options when it comes to buying what ever vehicle you’re selling. So why should they pick you? If you fail to create a compelling reason for people to buy from you, you will wind up right in the middle of the commodity market where logic dictates the sale and you’re left with no option but to compete on price and selection. That’s when your lead flow dries up and your profit suffers. 3. Sell Help, Sell Hope

Instead of talking about the features of your products and services, start talking about the specific reasons a prospect should choose you over everyone else and what they have to gain from the transaction. Declare to the world, “I am the obvious choice. Doing business with anyone else would be foolish because we offer XYZ.” You are selling help from a bad vehicle or comfort from a stressful process or hope someone can get the car they need and want.


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To do this, you need to make concrete offers and tie those offers to powerful benefits they provide. You can’t expect the prospect to make that connection. They won’t and you’ll lose the pulling power of your ad. Also ask yourself: What do prospects gain by working with you? What do they have to lose by not working with you? What are your competitors missing? What do you do potentially better than anyone else? How to you help alleviate pain, fear or discomfort in the process? If you want to generate traffic at will, you have to sell dream fulfillment. Your potential customers are dying for a buying preference that makes their decision-making process easy. So, make your claim, back it up with a promise and a guarantee and tell the prospect exactly how and why you will make their life much, much better. The new method of driving traffic and sales is to communicate your ideas and differentiation through a compelling story or message that causes people to take action and allows you to measure your results. Most dealers don’t know this information and many of those who do know it are too stubborn, too lazy or too afraid to do anything with it. The wise person who takes this information and runs with it will be in striking distance of dominating their market, making their competition impotent and ending up with a lead producing machine so powerful that they’re actually able to take a few days off each week to spend with their family because the marketing is so effective. It truly is what’s working for of the top dealers across the country with our help. Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller are founders of the Rich Dealers Institute. They can be contacted at 866.867.9618, or by e-mail at



sales & training solution

is the road to the

as seen on

sale obsolete? A lot of conversations these days by “New Age/Next Gen” car people say that the “Old School” sales processes are no longer valid with today’s consumers. Just the reference to the term “Old School Car Guy” is an insult designed to conjure up mental images of an extinct mastodon being sucked down into the tar pits after eating the last brown shriveled leaves off of the trees. The hidden message in these terms is that “you’re stupid and we’re smart” — an intimidation by negative labeling. In truth, the retail car business is forming sides in the turf wars between the techies and the traditionalists, and nobody is giving ground. I have just returned from an extended “road trip” of 23 cities in 14 weeks, coast to coast, actually working in dealerships, speaking at major conferences and performing consultancies. In other words, I am seeing a lot of best practices — what does, and more importantly, what does not work. Even though I have embraced technology as part of the sales process, it is not the entire process. Automobile sales still have to have a structured process, from “Meet and Greet the Customer” through “Deliver the Vehicle and Follow-Up.” I don’t believe there will ever be a day when technology will entirely replace the human relationship in car sales. The things we do and the words we say are our toolbox. Time after time, I’ve experienced dealerships’

transformations to much higher volume sales and much higher profitability when the management installed and enforced a “sales culture” with defined step-by-step, measurable and accountable sales processes. Unfortunately, most dealerships have never quantified exactly what they expect sales persons and managers to do and say as they interact with your customers. Oh, we have a vague idea but very few managers can tell me their exact process — and very few can honestly say their sales professionals are doing it the way they describe it. That’s why I consider myself extremely fortunate that my career began as a car sales professional and that my first management position was as an F&I manager. If I owned a dealership today, I would require that all of my sales managers had F&I experience. A great F&I manager is a master of “The Process” and has to be a precision closer with a stop watch running. Is it any wonder the sales department is always amazed when the finance manager repeatedly “bumps” the customer after they thought they had all the money. Perhaps processes and training had something to do with it. We have the tools today to achieve “super productivity.” There are great CRM programs available to organize, measure and manage sales and follow up, but these programs are only as good as the managers who are responsible for the results. So in other words, there is no “Old School” or “New School.” There are only processes that incorporate both. “The Old Car Dog” who resists and fights everything new, or the “Next Gen” with no track record who believes he knows it all — both have to bend and adapt to “The School of What Really Works.” One characteristic shared by virtually every successful dealership in the country is that they have well-defined sales processes and that they require every salesperson to follow these processes — without exception. So, the original question was “Is The Road to the Sale Obsolete”? The answer is emphatically “no.” And the answer is also “yes.” The trick is teaching managers to be managers and sales professionals to be students of their profession — and for both to be masters of the processes. James A. Ziegler is the president of Ziegler SuperSystems Inc. He can be contacted at 866.621.9881, or by e-mail at

Lights. Camera. Accelerate. Join us in Las Vegas for the ultimate hands on video training seminar. Digital Marketing Strategies Conference The Famous Monte Carlo Hotel February 1-3, 2012 Las Vegas, Nevada


AS+DE December 2011 Featured Editorials  
AS+DE December 2011 Featured Editorials  

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