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SINCE 1940

January 2013

A Publication of the Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association

Information and Insight for Florida Used Car Dealers

www.FIADA.com

You’re in the Driver’s Seat 16 We’re Here to Keep You On Course page 6

A QUIET QUALITY Brandi Noegel is FIADA’s Quality Dealer of the Year.

26 PARTNER SELLING

8 WAYS TO SERVE YOUR CUSTOMER AND REAP THE REWARDS

FULTON, MO PERMIT NO. 38

PA I D PRST STD U.S. POSTAGE

www.fiada.com

January 2013 — Independent Dealer — 1


Dealer Membership Application \

Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association 1840 Fiddler Court Tallahassee, FL 32308 Phone: (800) 237-0448 (850) 385-2712 Fax: (850) 385-3251 www.fiada.com

Applicant Information

Please select the type of membership:

New Membership

Company Name: _______________________________________________________

Renewal Membership

Rejoin Membership

□Sole Proprietorship □Partnership □LLC □Corporation

Dealer License Number: _______________Contact Name: __________________________________________ Title: __________________________ Store Address: __________________________________________City: ______________________________ State: _____ Zip Code: ___________ Mailing Address (if different than above): ________________________________ City: _______________________ State: _____ Zip Code: ________ Telephone:______________________________ Fax: ___________________________Secondary Phone # or Cell #: __________________________ County: ______________________ Email Address: __________________________________ Web Site: ___________________________________

Dealership Information 1. How many years have you been in business? ______ Or If you are not yet licensed, please check the following box

□ Not Yet Licensed

2. How many lots do you (will you) own and operate? ________ 3. How many full-time persons do you (do you plan to) employ? ________ 4. How many part-time persons do you (do you plan to) employ? ________

□your buy here/pay here □finance company □banks □credit unions □other________________________ 6. How old are the majority of the vehicles you sell (you will sell)? □1-2 years old □3-5 □6-9 □10+ 7. What price range do your (will your) vehicles sell for at retail? □ 0-5,000 □ 5,001-10,000 □ 10,001-15,000 □ 15,001-20,000 □ 20,000+ 8. What is your (anticipated) avg. inventory (# of vehicles) per store? □1-10 □11-20 □21-30 □31-50 □51-75 □76-100 □101-200 □201+ 5. How do your (will your) customers obtain financing?

FCC Communications Consent (FCC)

I understand that by providing my mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number and fax number, I consent to receive valuable and timely communications via mail, parcel, e-mail, telephone and/or fax from or on behalf of the Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association (FIADA). This consent shall remain in effect until FIADA receives a written revocation signed by an authorized representative.

Signature:

Date:

Code of Ethics Agreement This signature certifies that I am eligible for membership in FIADA, and that this application, if accepted, binds me to uphold the Bylaws of the FIADA, its Code of Ethics, and all local, state, and federal laws pertaining to the motor vehicle industry.

Signature: Method of Payment Please select your preferred method of payment.

□ Check (Made Payable to FIADA) □ Credit Card Membership Dues

□ $325 Annual Membership Fee □ $350 Annual Membership Fee + PAC Contribution** **Do your part in supporting the legislators who have helped our industry. Contribute $25 to the FIADA Political Action Committee. Contributions are voluntary and are not tax deductible.

2 — Independent Dealer — January 2013

Date: Credit Card Information

□ VISA □ MC □ AMEX □ DISCOVER Credit Card Number:___________________________________________________ Exp Date:__________ Name on Card: ____________________________________ Billing Address: ______________________________________________________ City: __________________________________ State: _____ Zip Code:__________ Signature:__________________________________________ Amount:__________

□ As an additional service to you, your annual membership will automatically renew each year on your renewal date by charging the same credit card used in this membership transaction. Unless this box is checked, you agree to the annual charge to your credit card for your membership.

www.fiada.com


Dealer Independent

MAILING ADDRESS 1840 Fiddler Court Tallahassee, FL 32308 TELEPHONE (850) 385-2712 (800) 237-0448 FAX (850) 385-3251 WEBSITE www.FIADA.com EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Christopher Leedom President Dino Mercurio Senior Vice President Brandi Noegel Chairman of the Board David Cox, CMD Secretary Paul Matton Treasurer Frank Fuzy Regional Vice President George Hickey Regional Vice President Steve Marbais, CMD Regional Vice President Jim Winterick, Sr. Regional Vice President Jim Winterick, Jr. Regional Vice President FIADA STAFF Lisette Mariner Executive Director Terry Myers Educational Instructor Sarah Langley Administrative Director Nicole Lee Development Administrator Amelia Tillman Administrative Assistant Christy Taylor Editorial/Advertising

POSTMASTER:

Send address changes to

FIADA • 1840 Fiddler Court Tallahassee, FL 32308 (850) 385-2712 • Toll Free: (800) 237-0448 Fax (850) 385-3251 • www.FIADA.com The Independent Dealer is a publication of: Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association, 1840 Fiddler Court, Tallahassee, FL 32308 The magazine is published every month in Tallahassee and distributed to Florida new, used, wholesale and lease/retail car dealers. Advertising rates are available upon request. The statements and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Independent Dealer or the Association. Likewise, the appearance of advertisers, or their identification as members of FIADA, does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services featured.

www.fiada.com

Contents January 2013

For members of the Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association

C O L U M N S & F E AT U R E S 4

President’s Message Christopher Leedom

6

Executive Director’s Message Lisette Mariner

10

Membership News New, Renewing and Rejoining Members

12

Logged On Post a job, submit your resume or look for employment in the official www.FIADA.com Career Center.

14

NIADA Certified Gives Dealers a Competitive Advantage The NIADA Certified Pre-Owned program is designed to give independent dealers a way to compete with franchise dealer CPOs.

16

A Quiet Quality FIADA Past President Brandi Noegel has the honor of being FIADA’s Quality Dealer of the Year.

20

Legislative Update Sandra Mortham

22

E15 Fuel Making Its Way to a Pump Near You If you have not yet heard about E15 fuel, you might soon will. How the com position of gasoline is changing and what you should know.

26

8 Steps to Serve Your Customers and be Rewarded The concept of partner selling can bring value to your customers and rewards to your business.

Get your continuing education complete before the April 30 deadline. FIADA’s options include online courses or in person at one of our Title and Registration Courses held around the state. Go to www.FIADA.com to register or find out more. January 2013 — Independent Dealer — 3


FROM THE PRESIDENT

Welcome to 2013! BY CHRISTOPHER LEEDOM, FIADA PRESIDENT

W

ith a new year always come new challenges and opportunities. Hopefully you are gearing up for what could be your best year in business yet. Last month I encouraged each of you to take stock of your business and set some aggressive goals for 2013. All of us have the opportunity to participate as small business owners in the economic fabric of our state. And from my perspective, we are very fortunate here in the sunshine state. We generally have a better economy than much of the country due to our economic drivers. We have ample opportunity, and we have a market for our product that is clearly on the rise. Both used vehicle and new vehicle sales were up in 2012 over 2011. I think this is a good thing all around. More new car sales means more used inventory pipeline in the future. It is nice to see volume back

going to capitalize on the market that exists. You may want to obtain the sales data for your county or market, analyze it and see where you stand relative to other dealers, and then set a goal to increase your market share in 2013. When sales opportunities increase it does not always disperse equally across all participants, in fact it never does – the dealers with the better mouse trap whether that is marketing, inventory or simply value offered are the ones that get increased market share. Also, I want you to know that as an association we are working on a schedule of town hall meetings leading up to our premier annual convention that will provide information and knowledge to help you capitalize on the marketplace in 2013. Watch for announcements of these events and come out and attend. You will meet some great dealers and get some great ideas as well. The goal of FIADA is to help each dealer have the resources and knowledge to succeed. It is one of the best safety nets you can have as you operate your business.

I believe we will see some very strong demand in 2013. Virtually every dealer is likely to have opportunity for sales growth and sales usually translates to profit. above 14 million units versus the 11 million range of a few years ago. I believe we will see some very strong demand in 2013 for traditional retail, special finance and buy here-pay here financing. This means virtually every dealer is likely to have opportunity for sales growth and sales usually translates to profit. I would suggest you stop and think about how you are 4 — Independent Dealer — January 2013

Remember to support our FIADA PAC this year. There is always a range of legislative activity we are monitoring and it helps to have the resources to support those that will advance our position. Contact Lisette Mariner or contribute on line at www. FIADA.com. Whether it is $25 or $250, every bit helps. Have a great month; see you at an FIADA event soon! Christopher Leedom, FIADA President www.fiada.com


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Contact Protective’s Florida representative, Chris Behrens at 866 452 7335 A “National Corporate Partner” has met stringent NIADA criteria demonstrating that it can provide valuable products and services to NIADA members. No legal partnership has been created by the granting of this status, but NIADA does receive compensation from Protective. Lifetime Engine Warranty, Limited Warranty, Vehicle Service Contracts (VSCs) and GAP are backed by Lyndon Property Insurance Company in all states except NY. In NY, VSCs are backed by Old Republic Insurance Company. GAP, Lifetime Engine Warranty and Limited Warranty are not available in NY. Credit Insurance is backed by Protective Life Insurance Company in all states except NY, where it is backed by Protective Life and Annuity Insurance Company.

www.fiada.com

January 2013 — Independent Dealer — 5


EXECUTIVE DIREC TOR’S MESSAGE

What FIADA Has to Offer You BY LISET TE MARINER, EXECUTIVE DIREC TOR

E

“I’ve had 6 years of higher education at New York University. This was better.” – Josh Silverman / Lakeland

Here are some of the comments I’ve heard so far:

(Legislative Advocacy) “I joined and renew my membership to support the industry I make a living from.”

arlier this month, I started looking around and taking stock of why dealers join (and re-join) the FIADA. What are the benefits that mean the most to you? What are we doing well, and what else can we do to help you with your business? What I’ve heard are great stories about the legal assistance, education materials, legislative advocacy and great customer service dealers receive when contacting the FIADA. Comments range from the comical, “If it wasn’t for FIADA’s attorney, Rob, I would be in an orange jumpsuit picking up trash on the side of the road. He tells it like it is and that’s why I renew my membership year after year,” to the more basic of “A lot of dealers I know wouldn’t be in business today without the association.” Overwhelmingly, the comments are of the legal assistance and educational resources we provide. Even if you’re not a member, when you think of FIADA, what comes to mind? I want to hear from you.

(Regarding our Pre-license class) “Exceptional, very informative, explained in easy to understand terms and examples. Information was repeated in ways that tied into other topics. Handouts were in an order that insured information was able to be covered completely. Attention to detail and responsibilities of being a motor vehicle dealer were stressed at every aspect with emphasis on ethics and an unwritten code of conduct.” “Great experience. Class was informative and taught me a lot not only about the law and policies, but also how to be successful in this business.” – Reginald Forbes / Ft. Lauderdale 6 — Independent Dealer — January 2013

(Technical Assistance) “With FIADA, you have the ability to call someone and get an immediate answer to your technical questions; a call to an attorney will cost you, perhaps you won’t get the answer you need, and it certainly isn’t immediate. A single call to the FIADA solved a regulatory issue in a day that we had been dealing with for the past year. I don’t get that kind of turnaround anywhere. It gives me great peace of mind in knowing that immediate help is just a phone call away when I need it,” John Batson, ATCO Discount Company, Inc.

“Being a member keeps you in tune with what’s going on in Tallahassee. It gives you access to dealers all over the state for whatever help is needed. It provides us with the tools we need to run a successful business,” Steve Marbais, Marbais Enterprises These are all great things to hear from so many satisfied and true supporters of the Association. It is nice to know we are doing something right, but Continued on Page 8. www.fiada.com


Y 28 DA T FLOA

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WHAT FIADA HAS TO OFFER YOU continued from Page 6.

we also want to know what we can do better. In a time when everyone is competing for every dollar and the economy is tight, we’ve reached the fiscal cliff and fallen over, the Association continues to maintain its mission to anticipate, recognize and respond to the members’ ever changing needs for education, information and resources. It is our goal to:

CODE OF ETHICS •

Members have a general duty of integrity, honor and fair dealings toward the general public.

Members shall comply with all city, county, state and federal laws and shall endeavor to keep themselves informed of those laws governing their business.

A member shall not intentionally injure the business reputation of another member or competitor.

Members shall employ truth and accuracy in advertising and selling.

Support and assist members in understanding and complying with regulatory issues

A member shall stand by any guarantee given with the sale of a motor vehicle.

A member shall not perform any act which would bring disrepute to the motor vehicle industry.

Advocate fair legislation on behalf of independent dealers and their customers.

Members shall expose or halt, where found, any scheme designed to deceive or defraud the automobile buying public and aid in prosecuting those guilty of such acts.

Increase membership.

Members shall consistently strive to improve business methods to the end that the public will be better served.

Promote a Code of Ethics.

Members shall encourage the American system of free enterprise.

Enhance the image of the used car dealer.

Improve customer confidence and satisfaction.

FIADA’s commitment to the mission will enable its members to increase their profitability and business success. FIADA is not an office in Tallahassee, it’s an Association of hard-working independent auto dealers and we want to hear from you. Together, we can make a difference in this industry. See if you’re a member of the FIADA, visit www.fiada.com and see if you’re listed in the “Find an FIADA Dealer”, under resources. If you’re not listed, then you’ve let your membership lapse. A quick call to the FIADA office (800-237-0448) can be your remedy. Members and Non-members: We want to hear from you! Go to www.FIADA.com and take our survey on FIADA services that are important to you. 8 — Independent Dealer — January 2013

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web based DEALER MANAGEMENT

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It’s not too late.

As of January 1, 2013, a new Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) process is mandatory for any business that finances vehicles, vessels or mobile homes in Florida.

Don’t get left behind!

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28

January 2013 — Independent Dealer — 9


MEMBERSHIP NEWS

New Members aCCEL MOTORSPORTS, INC. Orlando, FL Jacqueline Hoevenaar Sponsor: Steve Marbais AUTO AUCTION Celebration, FL Joseph Barron Sponsor: FIADA BEYOND CARS, LLC Miami, FL Preston Cowvins Sponsor: Kevin Scott EX-CHANGE AUTO, INC. Pinellas Park, FL Randy Fritz Sponsor: FIADA IRON HORSE AUTO CORPORATION Dade City, FL Brian Adrian Sponsor: FIADA

DECEMBER 2012 MOBILITY STYLES, INC. Weeki Wachee, FL Edward Makhoul ORLANDO LAWN TRUCKS, LLC Orlando, FL Jim Lashley Sponsor: Terry Myers

30+ Year Members Car Collection of Tampa Credit Cars Don Scott Motors M & W Auto Sales Mears Motor Leasing Ray’s Used Cars Tucker Auto Sales

Integrity Auto Sales R & L Auto Wholesale The Truck Junction

CASSIE BOEMI-LEE Naples, FL Sponsor: FIADA

Tampa, FL Orlando, FL Ocala, FL Panama City, FL Orlando, FL Dade City, FL Orlando, FL

Port Orange, FL Lakeland, FL Sarasota, FL

10+ Year Members

SCOTT DAWLEY Sarasota, FL Sponsor: Chris Leedom ANTHONY TIDWELL Lakeland, FL Sponsor: Kevin Scott

LG Auto Sales LLC Winter Garden, FL Luis Rubio Sponsor: Terry Myers

Car-Time, Inc. Dixie Motors LLC E & M Auto Sales (Off Lease Only) Family Auto Mart, Inc. First Coast Auto Sales Galeria Auto Mart, Inc. Holt Auto ales, Inc. J.D. Byrider Sheriffs Ranches Enterprises, Inc. Ultimate Image Auto, Inc.

Bunnell, FL Live Oak, FL Palm Springs, FL Melbourne, FL Jacksonville, FL Apopka, FL Kissimmee, FL Jacksonville, FL Live Oak, FL Tallahassee, FL

Under 10 Year Members

2012

Creative Automotive Financial Solutions Inc. Jacksonville, FL Steve Sokoloff

Give the Gift of Membership! FIADA President Chris Leedom has challenged FIADA members to recruit at least one new member this year and double the size of the Association. One easy way to do that is by sponsoring the membership for a fellow dealer. To sponsor a membership for a new dealer, please call the office at (800) 237-0448. 10 — Independent Dealer — January 2013

DECEMBE R 2012

20+ Year Members

KeVIN BARKLEY Miramar Beach, FL Sponsor: FIADA

Rejoining Members D E C E M B E R

Renewing Members

Appearance Plus Auto Sales Pinellas Park, FL Auction123.com Weston, FL Auto Line, Inc. Atlantic Beach, FL Automotive Credit Corporation Southfeild, MI Automoie One, Inc. Longwood, FL Citrus Auto Trader Lecanto, FL Elite Autos Port Orange, FL Freeland Moore dba Harbor Nissan Port Charlotte, FL KPM Auto Exports, Inc. Lake Park, FL Larry’s Auto Service Center Beverly Hills, FL M & M Auto Sales Cape Coral, FL Macklin Automotive Co. Avon Park, FL Manheim Orlando Ocoee, FL Manhem Palm Beach West Palm Beach, FL March Motors, Inc. Jacksonville, FL Mobility Styles, Inc. Weekie Wachee, FL Park venue Motors New Smyrna Beach, FL The Wholesale Club Sarasota, FL www.fiada.com


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September November2012 2012——Independent IndependentDealer Dealer——1111


LO G G E D O N

Career Center: Post Jobs and Search for Employment

T

he job market is tight and full of capable people who are looking for a good job. Yet, sometimes finding the right person with the right experience can be hard. In the same way, if you are the one looking for a job, it can be difficult as well. The FIADA has a tool to help with employment options, for both providers and seekers. The FIADA Career Center can be found under the Resources tab at www.FIADA.com. From the Career Center menu you can search available openings, search resumes, submit an opening or subscribe to be informed of when new openings are posted.

1

Search for Openings

2

Submit an Opening

3

Adding a Resume

1. Search for Openings: The first choice in the FIADA Career Center is to search for openings. The search can be as detailed or open as you choose, including fields for keywords, city, position title and more. 2. Submit an Opening: Click “Submit an Opening” in the Career Center and fill out the job specifics. 3. Adding a Resume: The Career Center has a resume search feature that can help an employer find candidates that have the specific skills they are looking for. To add your resume, click on “Manage Profile” in the My Profile box, and then scroll down to the Networking & Careers heading. You can also access the other job search features from this page.

12 — Independent Dealer — January 2013

If you would like to be notified of new jobs as they are received, click the Subscribe button in the FIADA Career Center. Choose the job categories you are interested in and get an email alert when a new openings is posted.

www.fiada.com


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January 2013 — Independent Dealer — 13


NIADA Certified Gives Dealers a Competitive Advantage A Certified Pre-Owned program gives car buyers peace of mind when purchasing a used car and with NIADA Certified, FIADA members are able to provide certified vehicles to their customers. By Christy taylor

T

he NIADA Certified program has undergone some changes recently and continues to be a valuable benefit for members. Now, independent dealers have the chance to offer a product that will allow them to compete with the certified preowned guarantees franchise dealers have been offering for years. Vehicles eligible for NIADA Certified status include those 14 years old and newer with less than 100,000 miles. To qualify, the cars have to pass a 125-point inspection. Coverage options, chosen by the dealer to offer to customers, include 3 month/3,000 miles or 6 month/6,000 miles with a 36/36 engine and AC and a 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty. The NIADA CPO limited warranty options include coverage of engine, air conditioning, turbocharger or

14 — Independent Dealer — January 2013

supercharger, automatic and manual transmission, transfer case, drive axle, steering components, select electrical components and seals and gaskets. All of the plans include a roadside benefit that covers towing, rental car fees, key lockouts, road services and trip interruptions. Customers who are interested in CPO vehicles are often willing to pay a little more for the status and search a little longer. According to a Cars.com survey conducted in November, 51 percent of CPO shoppers have a college degree and 43 percent earn more than $65,000. When asked what they are looking for in a CPO vehicle, respondents said quality, reliability and value. The survey also found that shoppers search for four months or more

before they found the vehicle they eventually bought. Dealers can offer consumers another option by adding to the NIADA CPO coverage with an extended NIADA Total Care or NIADA Total Care Plus service agreement. A service contract sale can also offset the cost of enrolling the vehicle in the CPO program. Only FIADA and NIADA members have access to the NIADA Certified program so the first step is to confirm your Association membership. After that, dealers are asked to contact Mike Simms at (817) 785-6188 or Michael. Sims@amtrustgroup.com to enroll. After enrollment, dealer’s are given marketing materials to use with their sales collateral outlining the program and sales training from NIADA Certified professionals.

www.fiada.com


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www.fiada.com

©2012 Spireon, Inc.

January 2013 — Independent Dealer — 15


A

Quiet

Quality

Brandi Noegel is a veteran dealer committed to providing quality service to her customers, and to the Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association. By CHRIST Y TAYLOR

T

he Noegel name is an institution in their hometown of Starke, Florida. For over 65 years the family has sold reliable automobiles at affordable prices to the community with customer service always being their top priority. Brandi Noegel, the dealership’s current president, is proud to be carrying the torch and providing that same level of quality that has been maintained throughout generations. Most dealer stories begin with growing up in the car business or taking a job detailing cars as a teenager. Brandi’s tale is a little different. Though she has always had a love for cars, she has not always been involved with selling them. In fact, Brandi’s career began as a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines; a job she took because she loves to travel and it seemed like such a glamorous choice. Maybe it was fate when a young guy named Larry Noegel moved in next door to her in Jacksonville in 1970 and after getting to know each other as neighbors they began dating. Larry had graduated from the University of Alabama in 1969 and started working for his dad, Stanley, at the family dealership shortly after. In 1975, Larry was running the car lot for his dad and bought it from him 10 years later. Along the way, Brandi and Larry married though each maintained their separate careers. When the long-time bookkeeper at Noegel’s Auto Sales left, Larry asked his wife to consider stepping in to take her place. Brandi had been a business major in school and was familiar with accounting, so she agreed to help out part time. The rest may be, as they say, history. Brandi took on the bookkeeper position part time and maintained her flight attendant duties as an auxiliary member. She brushed up on her office skills at the nearby Santa Fe College specifically to learn more about computers, which were just starting to become a business necessity. She remembers bringing in the first computer to Noegel’s, floppy disks and all, and being amazed at how much more efficient they would be with the new machine. Noegel’s Auto Sales has always been, and continues to be, the largest independent dealership in Starke. Their lot on the main Highway 301 is prime real estate as the road is the main route for travelers heading from

“I was really surprised and proud to be chosen as Quality Dealer. It was such an honor and has been a journey for me. I watched my husband get this award and knew it was such an honor for him. I never thought one day it would be me.” —Brandi Noegel 16 — Independent Dealer — January 2013


Jacksonville to Tampa and all points in between. Across from the County Courthouse, Noegel’s Auto Sales is a city landmark that many residents use to give each other directions. The Noegel name is synonomous with cars in Starke as well. In fact, when they survey their customers about how they heard about the dealership the most common response is usually “we just knew you were here.” That sterling reputation, combined with a respectable inventory and modest pricing has driven a deeply loyal customer base who have been buying cars there for generations. As a fairly rural area, Starke was hit pretty hard during the current economic crisis, but Noegel’s continues to be able to provide them with the cars they need and can afford. The staff at Noegel’s Auto Sales includes 12 employees along with a service center with four technicians. The majority of the employees have been with the dealership for years and the group enjoys working there. “Our customers are always telling us, ‘we don’t know what we would do if you were not here’,” Brandi said. “We sell them cars, service them and repair them and they are all so appreciative of that.” Noegel’s Auto Sales has been a member of the Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association since about the time it opened its doors, but Brandi can remember specifically when they really started to make the most of their membership. Larry had come back to the office with a brochure about the Association’s upcoming convention and asked Brandi what she thought about it. “It can only help,” she remembers saying, and with that the Noegels made plans to attend. When they arrived, they were greeted by the well-known and respected FIADA Past President Bob Galloway from Cocoa Beach who made it his mission to help them have a good experience. They did and soon knew that by getting involved they would not only be giving back to the Association but growing their own business as well. Brandi recalls when they were building their current location (which is located across the street from the original lot), they had many discussions with their FIADA friends and got some time and moneysaving advice and ideas. The Noegel’s could not get enough of the networking, education and all around fun they had with FIADA. “We continued to build great friendships with the other dealers,” Brandi added. The Noegel’s would plan their attendance to the FIADA Annual Conventions as family vacations every year, and brought their daughter Ashley from the time she was a www.fiada.com

Brandi Noegel (right) accepts the prestigious FIADA Quality Dealer of the Year award with her daughter, Ashley (left) at the Annual Convention. baby until she graduated high school. Ashley grew up around the FIADA and was much a part of building their family legacy as her parents. The Noegel’s leadership history in FIADA is long-standing. Larry Noegel served as President in 2001 and was given the honor of Quality Dealer that same year. When Larry became ill and passed away after a 10 year battle with cancer in 2008, Brandi knew she could not let the family business that her husband worked so hard for close or be sold to someone else, so she stepped in and ran the dealership. Though she had worked side-by-side with her husband for many years, it was her first experience in selling cars by herself and she relied on the FIADA a lot to learn more about what she was doing. Her commitment to education grew into a leadership position of her own, serving on the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and most recently as President from 2010-2012. When her term ended at this past Annual Convention in Boca Raton, she was honored with a special surprise. Her fellow dealers gave her the title of Quality Dealer, also making the Noegel’s the first husband and wife Continued on Page 18. January 2013 — Independent Dealer — 17


A QUIET QUALITY continued from Page 17.

to ever have both served as President of FIADA and win the Quality Dealer award. It was a humbling experience. “I was really surprised and proud to be chosen as Quality Dealer,” Brandi said. “It was such an honor and has been a journey for me. I watched my husband get this award and knew it was such an honor for him. I never thought one day it would be me.” Brandi says she has always thought a Quality Dealer to be someone who gives back to the community, whose business has a good reputation and who is an actively involved member of the FIADA. By that definition she is more than qualified. Not only are here business and FIADA resumes above par, but her community service work is admirable. She is a board member and Past President of Altrusa, a professional women’s club in Bradford County that focuses on encouraging reading and education in youth. Under her direction, the club was named a “5 Star Club” and was given special designation during the area’s “Make a Difference Day.” She also sits on the board of the Santa Fe College Foundation, which raises millions of dollars annually to fund scholarship programs for students. Because she wholeheartedly believes in promoting education, Brandi worked with the area’s only high school, Bradford High, to organize a special program that rewards students for high attendance and good grades. The kids would earn entries into a drawing for every A or B they received as well as for certain attendance requirements. At one of the last home football games, Noegel’s Auto Sales would bring the car they were donating and hold the drawing. The experience, and getting to know the winners by hearing their 18 — Independent Dealer — January 2013

One of Brandi’s hobbies is restoring antique cars. The gold 1953 Dodge Coronet is one of her favorites because it has a lot of history with the dealership. Noegel’s Auto Sales used to have a Coronet on a pedestal above their original location as a landmark to help customers find their way. stories, was a rewarding experience for everyone. As a member of the Florida Works Board for Alachua and Bradford Counties, Brandi volunteers with the organization whose mission is to help unemployed youth and adults with rural economic development, technology and entrepreneurship training. The organization gets its funding through Federal grants. Noegel’s Auto Sales has also most recently donated a car to the Florida Sherrif ’s Youth Ranches when they participated in the FIADA “Cars for Kids” program. Between the car and all donations they were able to raise over $8,000. These are just some highlights of Brandi’s community involvement, as the list of groups and projects she has been involved with is long. She is a Rotarian, donates time to helping sheltered animals, and has even grown her hair for the sole purpose of donating it to Locks for Love so a child with Alopecia could have a wig and a chance to feel beautiful.

Civically, she helped get a law passed in Bradford County that takes three dollars from every speeding ticket to help fund the area’s Teen Court, giving youth offenders the chance to try their cases amongst a jury of their peers and understand how the judicial system works. Even with all of these accomplishments and credentials, Brandi still had a hard time believing she was the one chosen as FIADA’s Quality Dealer. Sitting at the front table with her daughter, she heard NIADA President Chris Martin telling a story that seemed very familiar but she would never have guessed would be about her. She was emotional and a little at a loss for words when she stepped up to the podium to accept the award. She graciously accepted it, and said that there was only one word to describe how she felt: Proud. Proud to have been chosen Quality Dealer. Proud to be a female independent dealer paving the way for the next generation of women, and proud to be a member of the Florida Independent Dealers Association and all that it stands for. www.fiada.com


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L E G I S L AT I V E U P D AT E

Commissions Convene Preparing for the Start of Session BY SANDRA MORTHAM, FIADA LOBBYIST

A

s we move further into the new year, the legislature is busy with their new committee assignments. Our top priority on our legislative agenda is Surrender Stops and we need to be prepared to talk to those legislators who will be hearing this bill. During the Annual Convention in Boca Raton, you will recall one of the legislators who spoke to our group was Rep. Pat Rooney from Palm Beach County. He has graciously agreed to sponsor our legislation in the House. In the Florida Senate, we are happy to report that Senator Kelli Stargel of Lakeland will be our legislative sponsor. Both Senator Stargel and Rep. Rooney were supported by our FIADA PAC.

Here are members of the key committees that will be hearing our upcoming bill: Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommitte Representatives: Hooper, Ed [R], Chair Ray, Lake [R], Vice Chair Fullwood, Reggie [D], Democratic Ranking Member Antone, Bruce [D] Artiles, Frank [R] Davis, Daniel [R] Fasano, Mike [R] Goodson, Tom [R] Nuñez, Jeanette M. [R] Porter, Elizabeth W. [R] Richardson, David [D] Rogers, Hazelle P. “Hazel” [D] Torres, Jr., Victor M. [D] Transportation & Highway Safety Subcommittee Representatives: Davis, Daniel [R], Chair Ray, Lake [R], Vice Chair Slosberg, Irving “Irv” [D], Democratic 20 — Independent Dealer — January 2013

Ranking Member Artiles, Frank [R] Fitzenhagen, Heather Dawes [R] Hooper, Ed [R] Nuñez, Jeanette M. [R] Perry, W. Keith [R] Powell, Bobby [D] Raburn, Jake [R] Raschein, Holly Merrill “Holly” [R] Rogers, Hazelle P. “Hazel” [D] Stewart, Linda [D] Watson, Barbara [ Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Members Chair: Senator Andy Gardiner (R) Vice Chair: Senator Gwen Margolis (D) Senator Jeff Brandes (R) Senator Greg Evers (R) Senator Audrey Gibson (D) Senator Jack Latvala (R) Senator Tom Lee (R) Senator Jeremy Ring (D) Senator Wilton Simpson (R) Senator Eleanor Sobel (D) Senator Kelli Stargel (R)

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Senator Geraldine F. “Geri” Thompson (D) Committee on Transportation Members Chair: Senator Jeff Brandes (R) Vice Chair: Senator Gwen Margolis (D) Senator Jeff Clemens (D) Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla (R) Senator Greg Evers (R) Senator Rene Garcia (R) Senator Arthenia L. Joyner (D) Senator Tom Lee (R) Senator Garrett Richter (R) Senator Geraldine F. “Geri” Thompson (D) If you know one of these members, take the time to go by their office and let them know the importance of the Surrender Stop issue to your business. They will be glad to see you. Get a copy of the Fact Sheet at www. FIADA.com so you can leave it with the legislator or his or her aide. Legislators always like to see their constituents and how legislation affects their lives. www.fiada.com


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E15 Fuel Making Its Way to a Pump Near You The environmentally-friendly and more plentiful ethanol/ gasoline blend may be on the way, but not without its share of questions and concerns. BY NICOLE LEE

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here are plenty of important safety signs posted at gas stations these days, reminding drivers to turn off cellular phones, be aware of static electricity, and avoid smoking near the gas pump. As of July 2012, in a few locations, there is a new sign that has been posted as well: an orange and black box warning motorists to use E15 fuel only in flex-fuel vehicles and cars made after 2001. Customers may have heard about E15 in the news recently, and they may have concerns about how this new fuel affects car engines. As a used car dealer, it may be helpful to understand what E15 fuel is, what impact it can have on gas mileage, and what types of cars are approved to use E15. This way, you will be prepared to answer customer questions accurately.

domestically, using gasoline blended with ethanol reduces U.S. dependence on foreign oil suppliers. What is E15? Simply put, E15 is 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. Most of the gasoline currently sold in the United States

What the E15 label looks like at the pump.

What is Ethanol? Ethanol is an alcohol-based alternative fuel that is made by fermenting grains such as corn, and it is the most widely used liquid biofuel in the world. Blending ethanol with gasoline is better for the environment because this fuel produces fewer harmful emissions than gasoline alone. Ethanol is also less expensive, and because most ethanol is produced 22 — Independent Dealer — January 2013

contains ethanol, but the exact amount varies by region. In 2011, the United States consumed 133.9 billion gallons of gasoline compared to 12.9 billion gallons of ethanol, which means, on average, about 9% of our fuel was ethanol. Fuel that does not exceed 10% ethanol by volume is referred to as E10. This fuel has been available in gas stations for about thirty years, and currently makes up about 90% of the total U.S. gasoline

market. In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency approved gasoline blended with up to 15% ethanol by volume for use in model year 2001 and newer vehicles as well as flex-fuel vehicles. This fuel is called E15. All gasoline vehicles have been approved to use E10, but only lightduty vehicles with a 2001 or greater model year have been approved to use E15. E15 has not approved for vehicle models less than 2001, and it is also not approved for use in boats, lawnmowers, chain saws or snowmobiles. Will E15 damage a vehicle? E15 has received a lot of media attention lately due to a survey released by AAA on November 30, 2012. AAA claims that E15 could be harmful to engines and that drivers should expect a loss in vehicle performances. Further, AAA states that E15 should be suspended because consumers have not been properly notified of its affects. Energy advocates have responded to AAA by saying E15 is the most tested fuel to date, that testing has showed no significant loss of vehicle performance, and that ample information will be posted about which vehicles should not use the fuel in their vehicles. The American Coalition for Ethanol has even accused AAA of trying to protect the oil companies rather than the consumers. Will a manufacturer’s warranty cover E15 Claims? Even though the EPA has determined it is safe to use E15, many car companies do not cover E15 fuelContinued on Page 24. www.fiada.com


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E15 FUEL COMING TO A PUMP NEAR YOU continued from Page 22.

related claims in their warranties because their engines and exhaust systems were not designed with the intension of supporting more than 10% ethanol fuel. The long-term use of ethanol may cause potential corrosive damage to fuel lines and other engine components, and AAA warns that E15 does not comply with all fuel requirements specified in most owners’ manuals. Currently, there are five manufacturers who state that their warranties will not cover E15 fuelrelated claims: • BMW • Chrysler • Nissan • Toyota • Volkswagen Eight manufacturers say E15 related claims may void warranty coverage: • GM • Ford • Honda • Hyundai • Kia • Mazda • Mercedes-Benz • Volvo

The vehicles that have been approved by automakers to use E15 include: • flex-fuel models, • 2001 model-year and newer Porsches, • 2012 model-year and newer GM vehicles, and • 2013 model-year Ford vehicles. Has Ethanol ever fueled cars before? Yes – ethanol has been used to fuel cars for over one hundred years. In 1896, Henry Ford’s first automobile, the quadricycle, was built to run on pure ethanol. By today’s standards, Henry Ford’s 1908 Model T would have been considered a flexible fuel vehicle since it could run on ethanol, gasoline, or a combination of the two. The demand for ethanol as a fuel source decreased after World War II, and was not used again until the United States began to limit the use of lead in gasoline in the 1970s. Foreign producers such as Brazil, shipped less expensive ethanol into the United States, but Congress placed an import tariff on foreign-produced ethanol, which increased the cost and limited imports. Congress enacted a series of tax benefits and insured loans like The

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Energy Security Act of 1980 to small domestic ethanol produces in hopes of encouraging an increase in ethanol production and blenders in the United States, but many went out of business. In the late 1990’s, major U.S. auto manufacturers began producing flexible-fueled vehicles capable of operating on E-85, but most of these vehicles used gasoline as their only fuel because of the shortage of E-85 fueling stations. E15 in Florida The first gallons of E15 were sold in July 2012 in Lawrence, Kansas. Right now, most of the nation’s ethanol comes from corn produced in the Midwestern states. Florida’s yearround growing season could compete with other states for home-grown energy sources, though. Some Florida companies are experimenting with ways to develop ethanol using organic sources like orange peels. Fuel manufacturers who want to sell E15 will have to go through several legislative steps before registering with the EPA including: • • •

Submitting emission research on the health effects of their E15 fuel, Conducting health tests in their distribution area if adequate data is unavailable, Overcoming laws and regulations which restrict gasoline from containing more than 10% ethanol, Blending special low evaporative emissions with E15 during the warm summer months of June 1 – September 15 to comply with The Clean Air Act.

Once the fuel is produced, gasoline retailers selling E15 or E85 will be required to designate separate pumps and storage tanks as “E15” or “E85” only, or they will need to install blender pumps which can pull www.fiada.com


fuel from E10 and E85 and blend the combination to produce varying amounts of ethanol such as E15, E20, or E30.

The Renewable Fuels Standard requires the United States to increase the use of renewable fuels such as ethanol gradually over the next twenty years, so we can expect to see E15 and other renewable fuel options at our gas stations in the future. Only time

Will E15 Raise Gas Prices? No. If anything, E15 should lower gas prices since fuel content will contain less gasoline. Ethanol is cheaper and easier to produce than gasoline.

will be able to tell the actual affects of ethanol on our cars, but now, when customers have questions about E15, you will be able to provide a knowledgeable answer that should put some of their E15 fears to rest.

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SALES TRAINING

8 Steps to Serve Your Customers and Be Rewarded Selling from the perspective of serving customers as a partner may not just get you the sale, but also a reputation of someone they know and trust. The result is a positive sales experience from start to finish. BY Ed RIGSBEE, CSP, CAE

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artner selling is a very logical approach to selling in today’s electronically connected world. We all like to do business with people we know and trust. This simply makes a buyer more confident in their purchase. If you sell from the perspective of serving customers as a partner, rather than an opponent, your rewards will certainly follow. Step 1—Caring To become a trusted partner with your prospects and customers, first care enough to see their needs through their eyes. Their perception is their reality. Seeing things through their eyes will help you to position yourself as their caring and trusted partner—rather than just another vendor.

26 — Independent Dealer — January 2013

Step 2—Knowledge Product knowledge is table stakes in the game of selling. Without product knowledge, one will be lost in the fine art of translating product features into customer benefit. The other knowledge is that of knowing customer needs, wants, and desires. This comes from direct and meaningful communication with your customers. I’ve found that a basic understanding of NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP), the science of how the brain learns will assist any salesperson to become substantially more effective in the sales process. Step 3—Listening Listen for NLP indicators. Everybody has a primary basic learning strategy:

visual, auditory, or kinesthetic (feeling). People use each of the three strategies in different learning environments. Yet, most people favor one strategy. Determine your customers preferred strategy by listening to the kind of words they use. Talk with them in their NLP favored terms to build rapport more quickly. As an example, the customer who says something like, “I wonder how this will look on me?” is most likely a visual learner. Talk to that person in visual terms. Say something like, “Just picture yourself...” This is called direct or matched communication; you are mirroring your customer. Had you said, “Feel this fabric...” You would have had a communication mismatch. This communication matching is very effective in fast rapport building. The more rapport you have with the prospect/customer, the more they will tell you exactly how to sell to them. Step 4—Questions One learns more through asking than does one in answering. Ask and listen, is the formula for selling success. The correct questions, if answered, allow you to hear exactly how to sell to the individual, or organization. Asking about needs, wants, and desires—along with past purchases will help you to know what product features will deliver the benefits desired. In your questioning, be certain to determine preferred learning strategy quickly and use seeing, hearing, or feeling words in your efforts to question prospects and customers. www.fiada.com


Step 6—Buying Motives Be a partner by helping prospects and customers to solve their problems… justify their emotional decision to buy through the logic of fulfilling their buying motive(s). Listed below are the six basic buying motives—they should cover most buying situations. Understand how your products and services solve these buying motives and you can be a successful partner with your customer for life. Different people, in different situations have one or more of the following buying motives. As an example, people generally buy insurance for fear of loss rather than for profit or gain, but play the stock market for profit or gain. Similarly, they buy aspirin and other pain killers for avoidance of pain rather than for pride and prestige. Yet pride and prestige is why most people buy an expensive luxury automobile. Sell to your prospect or customer’s buying motive and you’ll close the sale much more quickly. 1. Profit or Gain 2. Fear of Loss 3. Comfort and Pleasure 4. Avoidance of Pain 5. Loving and Affection 6. Pride and Prestige Step 7—Create Urgency Help people to understand why it is in their best interest to act now. Answer objections simply and quickly, as if your customer is asking a question—because that’s what they really are doing. Say, www.fiada.com

“That’s a great question, I’m glad you asked.” Then go into overcoming their objection by telling how a particular feature creates a benefit that makes their life better. My favorite method in answering a prospect’s questions is the feel, felt and found method. Say, “I know how you feel, Mrs. Smith recently felt the same way. (Affirm their feelings.) She wasn’t sure the colorful fabric of a swimsuit

would hold up to the chlorine of a community pool. She went ahead and took a chance. We chatted the other day, and she told me that she found the color did hold up, even better than she had expected. She thanked me for helping her to choose such beautiful swimwear.” To create urgency, talk about the limited availability or seasonal nature of items. Continued on Page 28

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Step 5—Benefits To this day, viewing Web Sites, sales and marketing materials, and listening people talk only about features, causes me great pain. People buy based on benefits; meaning how the product or service makes one’s life better. Features are those things built into the product or service that assist in delivering the desired benefit. Your customer is always thinking, “What’s in it for me?” If you act as a partner to your prospect or customer, you will always focus on talking about how the product or service will make their life better.

January 2013 — Independent Dealer — 27


PARTNER SELLING continued from Page 26.

The herd effect is sometimes helpful to get people into action. This is when you talk about how many have already been sold today, this week, or month. Ask them, “How many times have you gone back to a store to buy something you wanted but didn’t buy and it was gone?” Don’t let this sort of thing happen to your customers. Be a partner and help them not to be disappointed. Step 8—Close the Sale You cannot be a successful selling partner for long, unless you turn your prospects into buying customers. You, and your company, must earn a profit. While I am distressed by the number of my live seminar attendees that have told me they came just to learn closes, I am encouraged by the number that “got” the partner selling basics. While closing is crucially important, there is so mush more to selling than the twisting of arms. I love soft selling and an excellent soft close is silence. If you have enough confidence to remain quiet, simply review your offer, ask for the sale, and wait until your prospect speaks. For most people, silence is very

uncomfortable. This is the only pressure I’d ever suggest you use. Additional closes that I believe you will find helpful: 1. The Assumption Close. As their “partner” act as if it was natural for all your customers to buy. 2. The Act Now Close. If you snooze, you loose! Buy it today before it’s gone. Yes, this creates internal pressure, but you are not arm twisting. 3. The Little Decision Close. First get prospects to commit to a style or color that they like rather than to making the purchase. Then try one of the other closes. 4. The Premium Offer Close. Buy now and we’ll include... 5. The Doorknob Close. As the customer is leaving the store, or as you are walking out of the prospect’s office, say, “Oh, by the way…I’m really interested in knowing what is the real reason you decided not to buy today?” At this point, they feel safe and will answer honestly. Then you ad a good partner can say,

“Oh, I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you about… Let me further explain...” Then go to the feel, felt, found method of overcoming objections and when you are comfortable that you answered all questions, try a different close. 6. The Ask for It Close: There is nothing wrong with simply asking for your prospect to buy. The three great words that will change your life are: Ask For It. Be a bold and fearless partner, overcome rejection and doubt. Always, ask your partners for their business. While the above suggestions are not magic and not guaranteed to work all the time; in my experience the above ideas will help you to build more meaningful relationships with your customers and to sell more quickly. Ed Rigsbee is an author of three books on business collaboration and has over 2,000 print-published articles. Many know Ed as “The ROI Guy.” More information at www.rigsbee.com

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January 2013 Independent Dealer Magazine