The Ontario Dealer - Volume 7 Issue 2

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YOUR CONNECTION TO ONTARIO’S USED CAR INDUSTRY

THE ONTARIO UCDA

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE USED CAR DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF ONTARIO

> INSIDE:

PLUS DEALER PROFILE: Broadway Auto Sales /24

HOW TO CLOSE MORE DEALS /38

ARE YOU SELLING OR ARE THEY BUYING? /20 SPRING 2019

THEONTARIODEALER.COM


Convenient. Accessible. A dynamic platform at your fingertips soon.

Stay tuned on the launch of this unique tool that includes: • Dashboards to optimize your performance and implement strategies • Financing scenarios calculators • Online training modules to increase your efficiency • Access to important news Get in touch with your Desjardins advisor to discover how to obtain your privileged access


THE ONTARIO UCDA

IN THIS ISSUE

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2

Spring 2019 USED CAR DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF ONTARIO 230 Norseman Street, Toronto, ON M8Z 2R4 Tel: 416.231.2600 Toll Free: 1.800.268.2598 web@ucda.org

FEATURED STORIES Pre- and Post- Sales Service for Younger Customers By Matt MacDonald

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ucda.org Publication Mail Agreement #41890516

ONTARIO DEALER

Are you selling or are they buying? By Chris Chase

is published by Laservision Graphics Ltd. four times a year.

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130 Industry Street, Unit 36, North York, ON M6M 5G3

Increasing Community Profile with Charitable endeavours

EDITOR Gina Monaco Tel: 1.647.344.9300 or 1.289.456.4617 gina@ontariodealer.com

ADVERTISING SALES Terry Coster Direct: 416.360.0797 Office: 647.344.9300

PHOTOGRAPHY photosbypierce.com

By Barb Lehtiniemi

28 Google My Business for Ontario Dealerships

05 07 09 11 16 18 24 32 38 42 44

The Driver’s Seat Warren Barnard

Editor’s Note Gina Monaco

Member’s Corner Bob Pierce

The Law Matters Jim Hamilton

Trends Chris Chase

Tech Talk Angela West

Dealer Profile Ronda Payne

The Common Lawyer Justin M. Jakublak

How to Close more Deals David Miller

Old Car Detective Bill Sherk

Aftermarket Accesories David Miller

by Angela West

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DESIGN thrillhousestudios.com

CONTRIBUTORS Chris Chase, Ronda Payne, Bill Sherk, Angela West, David Miller, Matt MacDonald, Barb Lehtiniemi If you are interested in having your personal opinion heard, contact the editor at gina@ontariodealer.com

The publisher of The Ontario Dealer reserves the right to turn down any advertising or content submitted to it. The Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario and the publisher accept no responsibility for claims or statements made by advertisers in this publication or by the independent authors of articles appearing in this publication. All statements and opinions appearing in this publication are those of the writers themselves and are not to be construed as reflecting the position or endorsement of the Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario or the publisher.

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2 | 3


OMVIC Listened In response to an OMVIC survey, more than 3300 dealers and salespeople said they wanted to learn more about: •

All-in price advertising

Contract cancellation

Disclosing collision repairs

Disclosing vehicle condition and needed repairs

Disclosing negative equity

And those dealers and salespeople said they’d like

Vic

the information via video and interactive tools. We Delivered.

Introducing the Help for Dealers Resource. Meet Vic, host of the OMVIC Help for Dealers videos. Created to assist dealers and salespeople to better understand and comply with the MVDA, each video is 2–3 minutes long and includes a downloadable toolkit. Take advantage of these resources: view the videos and download the toolkit on OMVIC’s website. Also NEW: the MVDA Key Elements Course! Were you registered before 1999? Did you pass the OMVIC Certification Course prior to 2010? Would you like to earn the designation: “Certified in Automotive Law and Ethics (C.A.L.E.)? Then the Key Elements Course (KEC) is for you! Designed by OMVIC and The Automotive Business School of Canada (Georgian College), with the assistance of the Used Car Dealers Association (UCDA), the KEC is for registered dealers, managers and salespeople who haven’t taken the current Certification Course.

“Fairness and professionalism are good for the consumer, the industry and your business”

The KEC covers important information to help ensure compliance with the regulations governing automotive sales. Strengthen your credibility and demonstrate to the public that you’re a proven professional — visit OMVIC’s or Georgian College’s website for more information and earn the C.A.L.E. designation today!

4 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

Learn more at omvic.on.ca


THE DRIVER’S SEAT Spring At Last! Gone are the days where a couple would set aside a whole day or several days to visit multiple dealers in search of the best deal. Today’s consumer knows what they want and they want it now! They also know how much they want to pay. There isn’t as much loyalty as in the past, about where they’ll look to buy. But, at the same time, consumers are looking at more than just the price.

Executive Director, UCDA

They’re looking for an experience that will build trust in the dealer they’re considering.

IT WAS A LONG, COLD WINTER FOR MANY ONTARIO DEALERS and the chill

Increasingly, “Trust” is becoming the single most important element of closing a sale.

By Warren Barnard,

went beyond just the weather outside.

Sales were sluggish for many dealers and the Spring selling season has come none too soon. No matter what the season, the industry has changed quickly and dramatically, some might say not for the better, over the last ten years, five years, even over the last couple of years. There's no doubt, it’s a digital world and a digital industry now. People find cars online, do their research online, visit dealers online and probably only contact one or two by email, chat, text and, increasingly rarely, by phone. By the time the consumer gets to your store, they’re most likely ready to buy. At that point, it’s your sale to lose ... so don't mess it up!

Consumers control the selling process more than ever before. Perhaps the process is now so controlled by the potential purchaser that it’s better to call it a buying process, not a selling process. Take on-line consumer reviews, for example. Negative reviews can have a devastating effect on a dealer. The first thing many consumers look at is a dealer’s Google star rating … less than 4 stars and many consumers will not even consider buying there. So, as one of our featured stories in this issue of The Ontario Dealer asks, “Are you selling or are they buying?” Here are some of the stories you’ll read in this issue:

Google My Business: Business listings help people find and learn about your dealership - these are crucial tools for getting your name and brand more widely recognized, and for attracting potential customers. Google My Business is quick and simple to set up, and is an essential tool for success in the digital world. Are you Selling or Are They Buying? Information is key in today's used-vehicle transactions. Finding that common starting point is the first step to building a buyer-centric dealership whose processes are tailored to the customer's benefit, not the dealer's. Pre-and-Post Sales for Younger Customers: The world of customer service continues to trend further and further away from the “traditional” methods that were once considered to be universal. With customer service an integral part of any successful business, adapting to these new methods of serving younger customers is crucial for the continued prosperity of your dealership. How to Close More Deals: The days of advertisements featuring the used car salesman wearing a plaid sports coat talking bargains on their lot are well behind us. Today, showrooms are modernized and the bargaining table has become more of a consultation. In the end, it's still about the sale, as dealerships, like any retail business, are defined by monthly and annual sales targets. Please enjoy this issue of The Ontario Dealer and here’s hoping for a warm, prosperous Spring for all! ■

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2 | 5


SET UP THEIR NEW SOUND IN SECONDS Simply snap a photo of the VIN number using the SiriusXM Dealer App. It’s free, and you’ll give your customer access to commercial-free music, curated content, and more than 140 channels. Download the app and start today.

© 2019 SiriusXM Canada Inc. “SiriusXM,” the SiriusXM logo, channel names and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc. and are used under license.

6 | THE ONTARIO DEALER


EDITOR’S NOTE Green Your Dealership and Attract More Customers As you know there’s been a shift in the way consumers shop. They are more concerned about the environment and are interested in products that are more environmentally friendly, and are willing to pay more for those products.

By Gina Monaco, Editor

IN 2011, ONTARIO ALREADY HAD 4,125 MEGAWATTS (MW) of renewable energy

projects operating and 6,255 MW under development. A simple drive around the province and you’ll see the evidence of energy strategies -- farmers with groundmount solar systems on their land, and wind turbines and wind farms everywhere. The now defunct Green Energy Act was instrumental in changing the way people think about renewable energy. Ontario was the only place in the world to have a plan to completely phase out dirty coal power and replace it with a cleaner, greener grid. The push for a sustainable environment remains strong. Like most auto dealers, you are very busy. But, in the middle of all that busyness, you might consider what you can do to help the environment and “green” your dealership. Although this might sound a bit strange, it could boost sales and save you money, while helping save the planet.

Replacing incandescent light bulbs with more efficient fluorescents can save money. You can save even more electricity by installing motion sensors and dimmers to minimize unnecessary light use.

So, what does this mean for your dealership? Car buyers are researching their choices, online and through their social networks, before they walk into a dealership. They’re looking for the perfect car, but they also want to find the dealer who can give them the best service, and who reflects their values.

For your next event, you can boost your green reputation and save some money by using fewer disposable decorations like balloons, confetti, or streamers. Some dealerships have permanently replaced these displays with hanging plants. This could also be a chance to market your green efforts to customers by advertising your new environmental practices on social media.

Distinguishing yourself as an environmental leader among dealers could give you a competitive edge.

Tailor Your Efforts to Your Community

The first step, as always, is making sure your dealership complies with all laws and regulations, including applicable environmental regulations. Some dealerships have already taken an environmentally sensitive approach through building design, right down to the coffee cups. For example, heavy insulation cuts the need for climate control, timers control the lot lights at night, reducing the dealership’s nighttime light pollution, collecting runoff from air conditioning units to water outdoor plants, handling contracts and internal communication electronically can save paper. It Can Be Easy Being Green You don’t have to completely remodel or build a new building to start going green. You can start small, with office supplies and coffee cups made from recycled materials. Maybe create incentives for your employees to go paperless, and offer branded, reusable mugs instead of paper cups in the break room.

Consumers aren’t just looking for an auto dealer that cares about the planet. They’re looking for an auto dealer that cares about their community as well. Community-focused practices can also mean smaller actions, like making sure your dealership beautifies the surrounding area. After you reduce noise and light pollution, for example, you can then partner with other local businesses to showcase your work for the environment. If you’re in a small community, you might consider this: Compost all food waste, and use it to grow an organic vegetable garden right on the car lot. The vegetables can be served at community picnics, which can be a great way to connect with customers and promote the dealership. Better yet, get the community involved in maintaining the garden. There are lots of ideas to green your dealership. Don’t miss an opportunity to save money, boost sales, build customer loyalty . . . and help preserve the planet. ■

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2 | 7


The Canadian Automotive Museum

WHAT’S ON AT THE AUTO MUSEUM? The Canadian Automotive Museum was established in 1962 as a community project of the Oshawa Chamber of Commerce to promote the history of the automotive industry and to promote tourism in the area. For more information visit canadianautomotivemuseum.com

Trust at first sight Introducing the CARFAX Canada Advantage Dealer program The newest way for dealers to set themselves apart from the competition while attracting more customers using the CARFAX Canada brand. A program that showcases dealers who value transparency, helping them to build trust and confidence in consumers like never before!

To learn more, talk to your CARFAX Canada rep, call 1.866.835.8612 or email support@carfax.ca

8 | THE ONTARIO DEALER


MEMBER’S CORNER Are You Selling Access to your Financing Portal? manager”. Their job is to find a Dealer B and offer them an opportunity to finance their customers through Dealer A’s portal. Dealer B simply fills out a credit application with their customer, gets copies of their driver’s license, proof of income, etc. and comes to an agreement on the price of the car. The customer signs a bill of sale with Dealer B, they may or may not know the details of the financing and it could be subject to change depending on their credit worthiness. Now here is where it gets dicey.

By Bob Pierce Member Services Director OF COURSE NOT ! ARE YOU SURE?

The longer I stay in this industry the more I am learning. This questionable practice is becoming an everyday event, whether you know it or not. For example, Dealer A has met the qualifications to have access to one or more of the internet financing portals. The Dealer now has borrowing privileges from 1 or more of Canada’s major lending institutions for their customers. Dealer A has signed a very comprehensive lending agreement setting out specific obligations on the dealer and requirements about applying for Dealer A’s credit customers. Some dealers, for any number of reasons, can’t meet those requirements and can’t finance their customers. Let’s call one of these dealers, Dealer B. A Problem Looking for a Solution Someone working for dealer Dealer A engages the services of a “mobile finance

Dealer B sends the financing package to the mobile finance manager and it is sent through Dealer A’s financing portal hoping for an approval. If it is approved Dealer A buys the vehicle from B at the agreed price and completes a new bill of sale for the customer. The finance contract is printed out and along with the new Dealer A bill of sale, the package is returned to Dealer B for the customer’s signature and delivery. If the deal isn't approved, the application is returned to Dealer B for clarification and perhaps submitted another time. This Solution has Consequences In this case Dealer B sold a car and got it financed, Dealer A gets a finance reserve and the Mobile finance manager receives a commission. The customer drives away not totally understanding why they have a bill of sale from a dealer they have never met. All they know is “they’re driving”. Apart from the MVDA issues (I won't get into them this issue), the real problems happen when the deal goes bad, the lending institution finds out that the credit application

was not quite accurate, the customer defaults and the vehicle is repossessed. The customer now wants someone to explain what role Dealer A played in the deal. Over the last year, we are aware of more than a dozen Dealer A’s that have had their relationship with the lender and their access has been terminated. Why was Dealer A terminated? Remember the contract that Dealer A signed with the lender? It has a term in it called “total recourse”. This means that if the lender suffers “any loss” due to errors or omissions caused by Dealer A’s use of the portal, Dealer A is responsible for the lender’s losses. Lenders don’t care who did what. They will send a “nice” letter advising Dealer A that one or more deals have gone into default and they may want a meeting to discuss. Depending on how the dealer reacts to this letter, the lender might send another letter. That letter is not so “nice” and now they want Dealer A to submit a payment plan for their losses. If the lender is still not satisfied, the lender terminates access. Your access to a financing portal is not for sale. Your portal access is for your real

customers and your finance people have to understand that extending it to anyone else comes with serious consequences. ■

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2 | 9


A member service of the UCDA

Does your DMS integrate with Accounting software like QuickBooks? A high percentage of Used Car Dealerships are using QuickBooks to manage their invoices, pay their bills, and track their cash flows. They also use it to generate month-end and year-end financial reports as well as prepare for quarterly or annual business taxes. One of the biggest hurdles they face is putting data into their DMS and then re-inputting the same data into their accounting system. This is a tall order as errors are easily made when done manually. SureFire DMS has solved that problem by providing a seamless integration with Quickbooks Canadian Edition software. KEY BENEFITS Manage Sales and Income - You can manage sales and income in QuickBooks by having SureFire DMS push your invoices to Quickbooks so you can track sales by customer. Keep Track of Bills and Expenses – with the click of one button SureFire DMS can send your vehicle related bills directly into Quickbooks so all of your expenses are categorized. Track Inventory - keep track of the inventory you sell including particular unit costs, SureFire DMS pushing into QuickBooks will automatically track and update this for you. While keeping track of inventory is doable in an Excel spreadsheet, it can be very time-consuming

Gain Key Reporting Insights to Your Business - By managing all of your cash inflow and outflow activities, you are able to access several reports that provide valuable insights into your business such as: • Profit and Loss Report • Balance Sheet Report • Statement of Cash Flows Simplify Taxes – Do you dread tax season. Whether you have to consolidate several Excel spreadsheets or organize a shoe box full of receipts, it can take you longer to get your tax professional what they need than it takes to prepare your tax return from within Quickbooks!

Don Garry, President of SureFireSolutions.com, notes “We are seeing a significant increase in the number of Dealerships requesting our seamless integration with Quickbooks. The accuracy and detail which we can provide in your accounting system is unsurpassed!”. SureFireSolutions.com is a leading Canadian provider that offers an affordable and easy-to-use cloud or local based DMS for the Automotive, RV, Marine and Motorsport Industries. Their end-to-end system includes Finance & Insurance (F&I), Customer Retention features, Inventory, Sales, Mobile app and Parts and Service. Dealership feedback about their training and ongoing program support is excellent.

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For more information or to book an online demo, call SureFire Solution’s Sales Department @ 1-877-214-2522 Ext. 1 ... We’re there for you!


THE LAW MATTERS Blockchain for Dummies Blockchain is a record of transactions recorded on a peer to peer network. A peer to peer network is a collection of various computers linked to allow files to be shared between selected users, an example of such a system is often seen in small offices with no dedicated file server.

By Jim Hamilton Legal Services Director

BLOCKCHAIN FOR DUMMIES? This article

must be for me because few topics leave me as confused. On the other hand, just because it’s hard to grasp is no excuse not to try. Why does it matter? It matters because transactions are emerging from the background economy into the forefront involving this technology and it likely won’t be too long before dealers start getting approached to accept it as a means of payment for a motor vehicle. Let’s define our terminology first. Bitcoin, for example, is just one of the better known names for a currency that is better described as “cryptocurrency”. Bitcoin has cache because it was the first and was the reason for the creation of the technology that underpins it, which is called “Blockchain”. Blockchain technology is the real star here because cryptocurrency is only one aspect of its function.

Blockchain, therefore, allows participants to confirm transactions without the need for a central clearing house of any kind. The potential applications are huge, but some examples are fund transfers, trades, voting and any other transaction where the need for a permanent, transparent, accurate and costeffective record is needed. In other words, it is an old-fashioned ledger in a cyber environment. It works like this: Step 1 A user requests a transaction. Step 2 The request is broadcast to a peer to peer network of computers. Step 3 The transaction and the user are validated using known algorithms. A verified transaction could involve cryptocurrency, for example. Step 4 Once verified, the transaction is combined with other transactions to create a new block of data for the ledger. Step 5 The new block of data is then added to the existing blockchain in a way that it is permanent and unchangeable. Step 6 The transaction is complete. Problems? Well there are plenty for dealers, like anyone

considering this new modality. As with any disruptive technology, these concerns will have to be overcome at some point. Here are some difficulties that occur to me. The tax man. As things stand right now, whether you call it Bitcoin or quidditch, the Canada Revenue Agency still wants the money that has the Queen (or some ex-prime Minister or other luminary) on it. CRA does not accept tax payments by cryptocurrency. Indeed, CRA considers the whole market to be merely barter, and cryptocurrency not a currency at all, but a form of property or commodity, subject to capital gains and the like. Expect your accountant’s hair to whiten. Security. I’m sorry, but in light of recent high profile hacks of Equifax, Yahoo and the U.S. Department of Defence, just by way of example, I get nervous when techy types tell me anything is foolproof. Plus, the market is unregulated and has the look and feel of a wild ride through the old West right now. Privacy. See above. Trustworthiness. It seems to me any network (or any currency for that matter) is only as good as the people who participate in it. Who exactly is behind the computers in the much vaunted peer to peer network we hear so much about. We’ve all seen the commercial where it turns out to be some high school kid. So, yes, there is much reason for caution, but if these obstacles can be smoothed over, there is almost limitless potential for this new economic engine. Who are we to stand in the way of progress? ■

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PRE- & POSTSALES SERVICE FOR YOUNGER CUSTOMERS By Matt MacDonald

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THE WORLD OF CUSTOMER SERVICE CONTINUES to trend further and

further away from the “traditional” methods that were once considered to be universal. Cold calling and up close and personal service are methods that are quickly being lost to time, especially when it comes to engaging younger millennials and those belonging to generation Z. With customer service being an integral part of any successful business, adapting to these new methods of serving younger customers is crucial for the continued prosperity of your dealership.


YOUNG CUSTOMERS | MATT MACDONALD The importance of adapting There’s no denying that younger millennials are a force to be reckoned with for businesses around the world. Younger customers are expecting companies to continue meeting their needs and wants in less traditional ways, and aren’t afraid to let people know when they feel that they’ve been burned by a business. According to the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC), 74% of millennials reported that they would switch to a different retailer or brand after having a negative experience.

service operations to include younger audiences simply can’t risk failing to make an impression. Social media reigns supreme Social media is one of the most effective tools that your business has at its disposal, being used by the vast majority of young people on a very

regular basis, and for a wide variety of purposes. Not only is social media the most widely used form of digital media, but younger users are using it more and more in order to get answers to their questions and to track customer reviews for retailers and products that they’re interested in. Having a social media presence on

They’ve also shown again and again to be more than willing to share positive experiences with their friends, family, and social channels, recommending products and services with the people close to them. Businesses looking to expand their customer

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YOUNG CUSTOMERS | MATT MACDONALD in advertising, and a preference for basing their purchasing decisions on reviews and experiences. This has led to digital self-service features becoming extremely popular for many businesses, using things like live chat widgets and frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help solve the problems of customers.

major platforms not only helps you remain relevant within these spheres, but gives younger customers the option to interact with your business and brand on a platform that they’re comfortable with. Just being on social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter gives your business a competitive advantage over less tech-savvy companies, and ensures that your business will be immediately accessible to customers of all ages. Social media pages can be used to offer quick customer support, similar to self-service features.

74% of millennials reported that they would switch to a different retailer or brand after having a negative experience.

14 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

Encouraging your customers and followers to message your business pages will give them a direct line of contact to your customer service representatives. This takes less time than logging a support ticket, and can be done by customers while they’re on-the-go. Social media channels can be used to directly answer customer inquiries, and to update followers on all the goings on in and around your dealership. The growth of DIY and self-service Younger customers have grown up with access to digital gadgets and tools, and have become acclimated to having endless amounts of information at their fingertips. As such, younger people often prefer to search for and review information about products and services themselves, taking matters into their own hands. This is largely due to a growing distrust

Self-service features go a long way in adding to the service experiences of younger customers, giving them the tools needed to solve their questions and small problems without the need to turn every molehill into a mountain. These self-service options are generally much quicker than traditional support phone calls, and give your customer service agents the opportunity to address larger and more urgent issues that customers are experiencing. Implementing self-service features into your dealership’s website and social media channels can create a positive service experience for younger customers, and can be a major plus for your reputation amongst this audience by showing them that you respect their preferences and are adaptive in meeting their needs. Convenience is key Younger customers want things done as quickly and conveniently as possible. This means creating opportunities for more convenient


YOUNG CUSTOMERS | MATT MACDONALD they fill out surveys and questionnaires to help your business improve its service. SMS support also gives you the opportunity to quickly send out appointment reminders, and to offer straight to the point service that allows your staff to address issues and free up time for other important duties. Keep it personal

forms of customer service. Social media channels and self-service features are a great starting point, but might not be enough to keep younger customers returning regularly. It’s estimated that younger millennials spend about 14.5 hours every week texting, talking, and using social media via their smartphone. Many businesses have turned to offering customer service by SMS text messaging, offering customers a convenient, impersonal way to interact with their favourite companies and brands. Gigaom estimates that 98% of texts are opened and read, whereas only 22% of emails are actually opened.

Younger customers want things done as quickly and conveniently as possible. Texting also offers your customer service reps an easy way to follow up with customers for post-sales service by asking questions about how satisfied they are with the products and services they received, as well as request that

Adapting to a new customer base doesn’t mean that your dealership has to ditch every aspect of its customer service department. Just because your business is in the process of implementing new technologies and convenience measures, doesn’t mean that your customer service department has to lose its soul or personability. Younger customers appreciate a mixture of personalized customer service and technological convenience, making it important for you and your staff to remember what set your dealership apart in the first place. Being transparent, open, and genuine in your interactions with customers goes a long way in creating repeat customers and establishing loyalty. Continuing to offer personable service while accommodating the evolving needs of younger customers may be something that takes time and effort, but customers will connect with the level of quality they are receiving, and will often go the extra step to recommend your business to family, friends, and followers. ■

Text messaging can be done from anywhere, at anytime, and doesn’t require slowing down any part of a customer’s day. Business text messaging is available in a number of customer relationship management (CRM) and customer service solutions, with some of these solutions turning each customer text message interaction into a support ticket, making it easy to log and keep track of customer interactions.

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TRENDS By Chris Chase

THE AUTO INDUSTRY IS ALREADY IN THE MIDST OF A MAJOR SHIFT

away from traditional car models to a marketplace dominated by SUVs and crossovers. While much of the recent growth in crossovers has come in the subcompact segments, there are signs of a surge among the mid-size models popular with family buyers. It began earlier this year when Chevrolet and Honda launched new five-seat, midsize crossovers to fill notable gaps in their lineups. While it will be some time before the Chevrolet Blazer and Honda Passport appear in used-vehicle inventories in significant numbers, the presence of these brands will spark renewed buyer interest in the segment.

The Blazer and Passport approach the mid-size crossover category from different angles, but neither breaks new ground. The Passport is the more conventional of the pair with its taller roof, higher profile and larger windows. By contrast, the Blazer’s more aggressive appearance channels the Chevrolet Camaro sports car with a lower roofline and rakish windshield and tailgate angles. Chevrolet also seems to have drawn inspiration from the Toyota Venza, a surprisingly adventurous-looking vehicle

16 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

discontinued after 2016 by its usually conservative manufacturer. With these two big-name models beginning to attract the attention of new-vehicle buyers, it’s a good time to look at some more established mid-size crossovers and SUVs that are likely to attract the attention of usedvehicle shoppers. Toyota Venza Let’s start with the Toyota Venza, simply because it marks a rare example of a big-time manufacturer exiting a segment experiencing significant growth. The Venza’s trims were built around four- and six-cylinder engines available with front- or all-wheel drive. That fourcylinder is a relatively uncommon 2.7L that was also used in the Sienna minivan and Highlander three-row crossover. It was best suited to the Venza -- the smallest vehicle of that trio -- with its 182 hp. That engine is strong enough for most drivers, but those who intend on using the vehicle’s towing capacity will

prefer the available smooth V6’s 268 hp. Four-cylinder models are rated to tow 1,134 kg, and the V6 is good for 1,587 kg. In 2016, Toyota added a Redwood package whose most notable feature was attractive reddish-brown leather upholstery. Below that in the range, an XLE package included leather upholstery, heated front seats and navigation, and a Limited group brought HID headlights, passive keyless entry and a 13-speaker sound system. Among the Venza’s downsides for budget-minded drivers are its standard 19-inch wheels, for which tires tend to be expensive to replace. On the plus side, Toyota made winter driving easier by making a front wiper de-icer standard for much of the Venza’s production run.


TRENDS | CHRIS CHASE Ford Edge

Hyundai Santa Fe

We’d argue the Ford Edge is the trendsetter in the mid-size, five-seat crossover class. It’s unremarkable to look at but more entertaining to drive than most of its competitors.

Hyundai redesigned its popular midsize crossover in 2013, introducing new styling and a pair of then-new fourcylinder engines.

In the years following its 2007 introduction, the Edge’s powertrains were based around the V6 engines common in mid-size crossovers of the time. More recently, Ford added a 2.0L turbo “Ecoboost” four-cylinder that became the standard engine. A Sport package started out as mostly a styling exercise, but later gained a turbocharged V6 and an upgraded suspension to back up that trim’s performance promises. A 2011 redesign included finicky touch-sensitive buttons for climate and radio functions (in addition to the infotainment touchscreen). In 2015, Ford reverted to “hard” buttons that were more user-friendly. Through 2014, Edge trim levels were SE, SEL, Limited and Sport; Titanium replaced Limited in 2015. Overall, the 2015 model projected a more upscale image. Ford’s Ecoboost four-cylinder engine promises better fuel economy than the 3.5L V6 it ostensibly replaced. It also makes better low-end torque, but the V6 is stronger in highway driving due to its higher horsepower rating. Shoppers loyal to Ontario’s manufacturing sector will appreciate that Ford builds the Edge at its Oakville factory.

The Santa Fe is popular for a reason: it’s pleasant to drive and boasts ample interior space. The entry-level 2.4L engine is a good performer despite its modest 190-hp rating; the upgrade is a 2.0L turbo motor that lent this crossover sharp straight-line performance with the promise of better fuel economy than the previous generation’s V6. In early models, Premium trim included niceties like dual-zone climate control, heated steering wheel and heated rear seats; optioning the Premium trim with the turbo engine added passive keyless entry. Hyundai updated the Santa Fe’s styling in 2017. That year, the mid-range SE trim came with the items listed above, plus blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear side window sun shades, a panoramic sunroof and leather upholstery. Note that this five-seat model was called Santa Fe Sport from 2014 through 2018 to differentiate it from the seven-seat Santa Fe XL. Nissan Murano The Murano is one of the best-known names in the mid-size crossover class, thanks to Nissan’s decision to position it as a premium choice in this category. That’s not to say the Murano comes standard with many features not offered by its competitors. The difference is subjective and more evident in the Murano’s interior finishes, especially following a 2015 redesign. Unlike many cars in this class, the Murano has never offered fourcylinder power. Instead,

Nissan’s 3.5L V6 is standard, its 260 hp going through a smooth, continuously variable transmission. AWD was standard in older versions, but Nissan added a front-drive option in 2015. From 2015, standard features also included dual-zone climate control, passive keyless entry, 18-inch wheels and a backup camera. Notable features in high-end versions include a power-adjustable steering column and a 360-degree exterior camera system. Nissan also fits the Murano with a handy tire inflation alert system that honks the horn when you reach the recommended pressure. Subaru Outback The Outback is one of the oldest names among mid-size crossovers, first appearing in the mid-1990s as a variant of the Legacy station wagon. While the Outback has grown in subsequent generations, it has one of the smallest interiors in its class thanks to its relatively low, car-like roofline. Subaru trades heavily on its allwheel drive expertise: the company’s “symmetrical” AWD system is considered among the best in the industry, differing from most by remaining engaged fulltime rather than operating in two-wheel drive mode until losing traction. Subaru redesigned the Outback in 2010 and again in 2015, with the latter of those two generations the more handsome. Noteworthy features include the manual transmission that came standard with the entry-level four-cylinder engine and was unique in the class. On the downside, that 175-hp engine is weak and makes the Outback feel underpowered. A 3.6L six-cylinder is the better choice, performance-wise, but takes a toll on fuel economy. The Outback is also desirable for its available EyeSight active safety system. Added in 2013, it quickly became one of the best of its kind. ■

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2 | 17


TECH TALK By Angela West

HERE’S THE LATEST ON WHAT’S HAPPENING IN AUTOMOTIVE GADGETS AND APPS. Spring has sprung, marking the perfect occasion for drivers to do away with the old and outfit their vehicles with the hottest gadgets and accessories. Here’s the latest on what’s happening in the world of automotive gadgets, apps, and accessories. Enjoy Bluetooth wherever you go Mobile devices have rapidly adopted a number of Bluetooth features that let owners listen to their favorite music and take and make phone calls with any Bluetooth-compatible sound system. The Mpow Bluetooth Receiver lets drivers enjoy all the luxuries of modern Bluetooth technology without having a compatible vehicle. This portable adapter comes in the form of an aux adapter, plugging right into

18 | THE ONTARIO DEALER 18 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

your vehicle for hands-free calling and music and podcast listening. The Mpow Receiver is compatible with Bluetooth 4.1, HFP, HSP, A2DP, and AVRCP.

W x 10.25″ D x 10.75″ H. The Cooluli Classic features 4L of storage space, making it perfect for a wide variety of food and drink options.

This versatile Bluetooth receiver is compatible with the majority of modern mobile devices, and can connect up to two devices at any time for maximum flexibility. The Mpow can be automatically paired with your device upon enabling Bluetooth, and provides up to 8 hours of full play time on just 1.5 hours of charging. For drivers also looking for an indoor Bluetooth adapter, the Mpow can be taken anywhere and is compatible with the majority of Bluetooth electronics.

The Cooluli Classic is powered by a unique semiconductor, running energy-efficiently and ultra-quietly. This unique cooler and warmer can be powered through AC 100-120V and DC 12V/7A power cords, and even features USB compatibility, allowing you to bring it anywhere and power it in any way you see fit. The Cooluli Classic cools down its contents to 40° below ambient temperature, and can warm up to 149°.

Find out more about the Mpow Bluetooth Receiver at xmpow.com. Never worry about spoiled lunches again There are few things worse than leaving your breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a hot vehicle all day long. Hot temperatures in your vehicle can quickly make fears of food spoilage a very real possibility. The Cooluli Classic Mini Fridge Electric Cooler is the perfect answer to your worries, keeping meals, drinks, snacks, and medication cool and safe on-thego. The Cooluli Classic is a portable lightweight thermo-electric cooler and warmer that can be brought anywhere, weighing just 4 lbs and measuring 7.25″

Grab your Cooluli Classic Mini Fridge Electric Cooler today at cooluli.com. Charge your devices quickly without missing a beat

The Anker PowerDrive+ 2 Ports is a USB car charger for the modern age, letting drivers charge their favourite devices quickly and efficiently with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 compatibility. The PowerDrive+ plugs right into your car, charging your favourite devices up to 75% faster than other car chargers - with Quick Charge 2.0, your devices will reach up to 60% battery in just 30 minutes. The PowerDrive+ is Qualcomm-Certified, featuring an official Qualcomm authorization chip. It’s compatible with a wide variety, including the Samsung Galaxy, Apple iPhone and iPad, and other Android smartphones and tablets. Featuring a zinc-alloy finish, this car charger is one of the most stylish and robust Quick Charge-compatible chargers available.


TECH TALK | ANGELA WEST For more information about the Anker PowerDrive+, visit their website anker. com. Keep track of your tire pressure with this solar powered monitor system Being able to monitor the pressure of your vehicle’s tires is extremely important, as an under- or overinflated tire can very quickly grow into a dangerous situation for even the most experienced driver. The ZEEPIN C220 Tire Pressure Monitor System is the perfect option for drivers looking to conveniently and easily monitor the pressure of their tires on-the-go. This all-in-one gadget sits conveniently on your dashboard, with four sensors that attach to your tires and monitor tire pressure in real-time, giving you an idea of your car’s tire health during every trip. The ZEEPIN is powered by solar energy, eliminating the need for constant battery-changing or charging. Boasting an impressive crystal clear TFT colour screen display, the ZEEPIN TPMS will alert drivers in situations where tires are leaking continuously, when dangerously high tire temperatures have been reached, and when tire pressure reaches critically high and low pressure levels. Also included in the display is battery capacity, solar charging status, and a spare tire display that will keep you up-to-date on everything you need to know about your TPMS and your vehicle’s tires. To find out more about the ZEEPIN C220 Tire Pressure Monitor System, visit zeepin.cc.

Jump start your vehicle from anywhere A dead battery is a major burden to any driver, especially those stuck in a situation without easy access to a jump starter or a kind passer-by. The Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry 1700 Peak Amp 12 Volt Jump Starter is the ultimate solution to any dead battery situation, giving drivers instant access to a jump start without having to rely on the kindness of strangers. The Jump-N-Carry can deliver up to 1,700 peak amps to your vehicle’s battery, giving it the boost needed to get you off and running once again. Weighing just 18 lbs, the Clore Jump-N-Carry is the ideal tool for any road trip, saving you from the unpredictability of a bad car battery, and saving you from mistakes that will drain the battery. The JumpN-Carry kit includes sturdy cables and clamps and a built-in charger. The Jump-N-Carry’s rechargeable battery can hold its charge for up to 30 days, requiring little maintenance and charging from drivers. This convenient jump starter is used by amateurs and professionals around the country, thanks to the consistency and reliability of service offered. Read more about the Clore Jump-NCarry 1700 Peak Amp 12 Volt Jump Starter at cloreautomotive.com. An all-in-one survival kit for worst case scenarios There are many occasions where drivers might be in need of an

emergency survival kit - whether it be an accident or a camping trip, it’s important that you have access to the tools needed to save a life. While it may not be a flashy “gadget”, a first aid kit is one of the most important accessories your vehicle can have. The Aootek Upgraded First Aid Survival Kit is the perfect option for drivers looking to be prepared in the event of a worst case scenario. This Aootek Survival kit contains more than 20 life-saving tools, all contained in a handy kit that you can take anywhere.

Aootek

No matter what you need, the Aootek Upgraded First Aid Survival Kit has it - wire cutters, needle nose pliers, saw blade, screwdrivers, a knife blade, key buckle, scissors and more. Also included are survival supplies like a multi-purpose flashlight, whistle, compass, fire starter, fishing lines and weights, bandages, a tourniquet, and even an emergency blanket. No matter what unfortunate situation you may one day find yourself in, the Aootek kit has got you covered. To find out more about the Aootek Upgraded First Aid Survival Kit, visit aootek.com. ■

VOLUME 7, 6, ISSUE 24 | 19


ARE YOU SELLING OR ARE THEY BUYING? By Chris Chase

So the likelihood you'll end your day with a happy customer and one less car in your inventory depends on how well you can answer one question: Are they buying, or are you selling?

IN TODAY'S USED-VEHICLE TRANSACTIONS, information is key.

More often than not, shoppers arrive at your dealership armed with reams of it, gleaned through hours of online research, and are ready to take home a vehicle. But there are still some used-vehicle customers who come in with a basic amount of knowledge and are hoping to learn more about their options by speaking to someone faceto-face.

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How to find that answer will be different with every customer. But before you get there, you'll have to ask a lot of other questions to tailor the experience to the shopper. “The first thing you should probably ask is what they would like to know,” said J.P. Ostiguy, Senior Manager at Stouffville Nissan. “A lot of people come well-armed and if you're trying to start from level one, you're trying to slow things down when the customer is already at level three. Ask your customer, 'What research have you done already? Let's start there.' If you

start where the customer wants to start, you're much farther ahead." Automotive strategy expert Jason Harris says finding that common starting point is the first step to building a buyercentric dealership whose processes are tailored to the customer's benefit, not the dealer's. "What dealerships in the past have taught salespeople is you've got to qualify them to make sure that the product is right for them," said Harris, who calls that notion old-school thinking. "We still have to qualify, but we don't qualify to the product. We qualify to where they are in their sales process. We have to be respectful of the consumer and their time. Are they shopping? Are they researching? Or are they out to buy because they've done so much research?


SELLING OR BUYING | CHRIS CHASE "If we can cater our processes to where the individual is in their sales funnel, then we can provide an experience that's unique to them," he said. Matt Stoffel, sales manager with digital marketing firm 9 Clouds, says you don't even have to wait for that customer to come into the showroom to start learning about what research they've done. "If you've got an appointment with a customer who's coming into your store, you should be looking into your online system at what they've been doing ahead of making this appointment," said Stoffel. He talked up the importance of lead-tracking technology, which can show, for example, that your customer has read blog posts about the features of a vehicle or how to choose the right trim level for their needs.

"If you start where the customer wants to start, you're much farther ahead." "As I start that conversation, I might tease out a few of those things and probe for how much that person really read and digested that material," said Stoffel. "Then I don't have to spend all my time selling. If they've already won themselves over there, I can focus on other things."

"How (it often happens) is that the dealership buys a lot of vehicles and prices them as low as possible online to stay competitive," said Sean Kelley, CEO of CarMotivators.com. "As a result, the car is the focus and the commodity. That's one way to attract shoppers, but that's not a sustainable business model for dealers." "The salespeople become the product. The car is no longer the star; now it's the people who work with (customers). If you market your salespeople and you leverage them to create online relationships with your customers, you can attract buyers through means other than having the best price." Harris says that many times, it's the salesperson's job to simply facilitate the customer’s experience. "By the time they get to the dealership, I don't think they're actually buying anything," said Harris. "Studies have been done (that demonstrate) the average person visits no more than two dealerships before they make a purchase. And the only reason they end up going to a second location is because we (messed) it up and didn't provide a frictionless process." Harris adds that the quality of the experience you provide as a salesperson should be the same no matter how much money the customer wants to spend.

"To a lot of people, $25,000 is a lot of money, but to others, $175,000 is a lot of money," said Harris. "The dealerships that are doing this really well are treating every single customer as if they are that $175,000 buyer. I hate the fact that we separate out the way we treat our customers based on the amount of money they're spending with us. We really should not be doing that at all." Does a customer's gender matter? Christine Mitchell, a dealer and consumer educator also known as The Car Lady, thinks so. "Traditionally, women are more researched and they need more time," said Mitchell. "Men tend to look more for performance, they tend to look more for gadgets. I think women are statistically more utility-minded. Durability and reliability tend to be top of mind." She says women are more anxious about the process of negotiating a vehicle purchase because they think they'll be patronized, especially when dealing with a male salesperson. "Everybody wants to be heard and everybody wants to be understood, and I think it's even more important from a female perspective," said Mitchell. "Listen to her and build a relationship with her. Be prepared to let her go if

What are you selling? Another question to ask yourself is: What are you selling? Sure, your job may be to send as many customers as possible home in a used vehicle they're happy with. But because so many customers sell themselves on the vehicles they're interested in through online research, the vehicles are no longer central to the transaction for those shoppers.

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SELLING OR BUYING | CHRIS CHASE she's not prepared to buy today, but follow up. Build that relationship and trust with her, and don’t come off as a slick sales guy." Mitchell believes dealerships are starting to realize they need to become more inclusive. "Like speaks to like. I think if I was a woman outside the industry buying a car, I would probably look for a woman salesperson. The misconception is that a woman doesn't know as much about a car as a man does, but that is absolutely not true. I know for a fact that dealerships are looking for more women to work on the retail side and outside of administrative roles." "The number one thing is to listen," said Kimberly MacPherson, founder of the Buy It Smart and Sell It Smart sales training programs. "As a trainer in dealerships, I see it constantly (where) the lady is in with her significant other and is just completely not being paid attention to at all. I can't believe that still happens." "(Women) want transparency, truth and honesty. Answer the questions. How much is the vehicle? It's $12,995, not, 'Well, if you buy it today, it's a payment of $350.' That’s not what she asked. It's really just listening: Show up, sit down, and try to understand the total needs of the customer. I think that's missing in general."

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"You don't want her to go home and be unhappy," Mitchell said. "You know why? Because she won't service with you. If you can't convince her that you want to earn her business and trust as a sales customer, you’re never going to get her back for service. She’ll find out where else to go." With sub-prime customers, you're selling a loan, not a car When working with a sub-prime buyer who has credit challenges and a limited budget, MacPherson said you have to stop selling the car and focus on finding them a loan. Marketing tools like online loan applications have made it easier to identify sub-prime buyers before they come to the store. MacPherson said that kind of tool is important these days because 40 per cent of loans processed through Dealertrack are to higherinterest-rate companies that specialize in car buyers with poor credit. "What's happened is we're selling the traditional prime way to half the customers and that's the only way that

we've taught salespeople to operate," she said. "Sell the car, the customer gets emotional on the vehicle and then we bump them on the payment. (But if) the customer has filled out a credit application online, at home, and we're still trying to sell them a car; stop selling the car and focus on getting the customer's money in place." MacPherson said that if you're successful in selling the loan to a subprime buyer, you can create a customer retention program that helps to educate that buyer about how to re-establish their credit rating. Often, that means managing the customer's expectations about what kind of vehicle they'll be able to buy for the loan that's available to them. "A question we ask the customer is: 'What is it you're getting to work in now?'" she said. "If they say they need a truck because they work construction but it turns out their mom drives them to work, a compact car will probably work for a year." MacPherson said by doing that, a subprime buyer can improve their credit situation considerably within two years, "if they keep their job and make their payments. We show them the way to get the truck. It's not going to be the first sale, however, that promotes retention. It's truth and honesty, it's full disclosure and all that happy warm stuff that you often don't see in the car business."


SELLING OR BUYING | CHRIS CHASE lean into what we're doing, not lean back in their chair." His idea was to have his salespeople open his store's payment system on the TV to walk the customer through building a payment where everyone could see it.

Think about what your process looks like to the customer A big part of tailoring your dealership's experience to the individual is considering how it looks through the shopper's eyes. Many people dislike buying cars because of the stigma created by old-fashioned sales techniques. When Ostiguy moved to the auto industry after working in marine and ATV sales, he was "blown away" by how bad it was. "I'm the first one to say the car experience sucks because we don't make it easy," he said. "People prefer to buy a house because you can do it faster and with more confidence than buying a car. People come in to dealerships with this 1950s approach of, 'I'm going to get screwed over.'" Kelley says it's important to set the customer's expectations about the transaction by telling them how the process works and how long it's going to take. "Objections come up because the customer doesn't have clear expectations of what's going to happen to them," he said. "The number one most important thing a salesperson can

do is tell the customer where the bus is going and why it's going there before they try to get them onto that bus. "Ask them: 'Does that sound good to you? Do we need to make any adjustments to make it work for your schedule?' Just by doing that, you build trust and create a situation where the customer doesn't have any objections because they know what to expect." To help change the public's perception of used-car sales, both Harris and Ostiguy agree it's time to do away with desks. "Stay away from your desk if at all possible," said Ostiguy. "We use the lounge, we use the car, we use everywhere else, but the minute you sit at a desk, people feel trapped and uncomfortable." When Harris ran a dealership, he switched out desks for round tables he called 'product pods' that salespeople used when it came time to talk about prices and payments. "There was nothing but a keyboard, a round table, a few chairs and a TV mounted on the wall," said Harris. "That's it: No phone, no brochures, no clutter. (That) allowed us to sit side-byside and actually work together towards something. I wanted the customer to

"What ended up happening was that the customer started grabbing the keyboard and doing it themselves," Harris said. "This was actually beneficial for us because it produced a payment that they generated, not a payment that we generated. It wasn't our responsibility to sell you that payment because you literally clicked the buttons yourself. You generated that payment." Remember the golden rule Kelley says one key to car sales success is following the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. "When you follow the golden rule, you're already right about 25 percent of the time, and that's only because 75 percent of the time you're not communicating as effectively as you could," he said. "There are different communication styles and different types of car buyers. If we treat everyone the way we like to be treated ourselves, we're following the golden rule."

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But he suggests going further and upgrading the golden rule to an even more valuable one. "At the end of the day, we should follow the platinum rule: Treat people the way they want to be treated." ■

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2 | 23


DEALER PROFILE Broadway Auto By Ronda Payne

A MECHANIC GROWS A FAMILY BUSINESS IN 1978, TONY TANGREDA HAD HAD ENOUGH OF WORKING AS A MECHANIC FOR SOMEONE ELSE . He

started his own gas station and mechanic shop at the corner of Keele Street and St. Clair Avenue West in what is known as the Stockyards district of Toronto. He also bought and sold vehicles and by the 1980s the used car part of his operation had expanded so much that he moved to a larger location in Aurora dedicated to his dealership. With even greater growth on the horizon, Tony moved Broadway Auto Sales to its current headquarters in Bradford in the late 80s.

Tony’s son J.P. Tangreda is now the general manager, but as a very active and involved 70-yearold, Tony is still buying all of the vehicles for the lots and for wholesale. “My dad started this place back in 1978, so it’s something that he’s always been passionate about,” J.P. says. “It’s something he’s worked very, very hard to grow. He started as a mechanic and ventured out to open his own business. Now, we have a hands-on continued on next page

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VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2 | 25


Broadway Auto Sales father-son team. I swear my dad is the smartest, sharpest person you’d ever met. For a 70-year-old guy he is on the ball.” Tony and his wife are still the owners of the business, but as J.P. explains, it’s very much a family-run operation with his two brothers and sister working primarily as sales people. About five years ago, Tony and J.P. realized that a large number of customers were driving in from the Keswick area to purchase vehicles. It was natural to open a satellite location in the region given the lack of used car dealers there, but having a large population. The concept worked well enough that a couple of years later, when they noticed people coming in from Uxbridge, they repeated the process with another satellite location. While there are numerous car retailers in Uxbridge, not many are used car dealers and the region has a strong, growing population base. J.P says it was 100 per cent his dad’s idea to get the two new locations open. “We went out together to sign some leases and next thing you know, we’ve got a couple of new locations,” J.P. says. There is a significant difference between how the Bradford location looks and operates and how the two satellite locations do business. However, cars are

rotated between all locations on a regular basis in order to keep the inventory fresh. The lots are always colourful, with flags and bright shiny cars at the front. “Control is so important. We know what vehicles are where at what given time,” J.P. notes. “If a customer comes to the Bradford lot and wants to see a certain car, we usually have drivers on hand. We can go to that lot and pick it up and bring it back here. And the same for the other locations.” Tony owns the inventory on all three lots, so the drivers keep cars moving from location to location as needed. And if a customer has a specific vehicle in mind that isn’t at Broadway, J.P. and his team will find it. Generally, the auto retailer has about 400 cars between the three lots and while they offer everything from cars, trucks, vans and SUVs, the team has learned that domestic cars are generally more popular than the import options. The main location is on a busy highway, so the rotation of vehicles is even more important given commuters are driving by twice a day, every day. J.P. hopes seeing the busy lot inspires people to think, “we gotta go in there” when they are ready for their next car. He says it’s essential that employees are ready to care for everyone who comes on site.

“There are probably 20 [staff] people at the Bradford location,” he explains. “The other two locations are much smaller. Keswick is just run by one guy. It’s a smaller building with a smaller lot. The Uxbridge location is similar to the Keswick location. The fellow there, he and his daughter run it.” All three locations fall under the Broadway Auto Sales umbrella and are seen as part of the family. That sense of family is strong in all aspects of the company from the front end sales-people to administration, the mechanic shop

and the detailing department. There’s low employee turnover in the company with the mechanic on staff for more than 15 years, a few long term sales people and of course the enduring family members on the team. The people who run the satellite operations are just as tightly enmeshed in the company as any other employee. Perhaps even more so. “We’re constantly talking every morning,” says J.P. “They are very good at letting me know what they need and we get it for them. I’m very happy to have those two fellows on my team. Those guys are my buddies too, we talk all the time, so there’s no mystery.” The sense of family extends beyond the inner-workings of the business. J.P. appreciates that the culture of the operation is felt by those who come looking for a car as well.

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DEALER PROFILE | RHONDA PAYNE

Most people see the cars online – whether on Broadway’s own site, through Kijiji, Auto Trader or OntarioCars – then come in to make the purchase. Word of mouth is also important and one of the reasons J.P. and Tony ensure customer service isn’t just a platitude, but the way business is done.

“The number one thing is that I think people get that friendly-family vibe from us,” he says. “A lot of our customers are truly repeat customers. We go that extra mile for them. We definitely over-deliver when the customer comes to pick up the car. The customer says ‘wow I didn’t know you were going to do all of this to the vehicle.’” The Ontario Safety Standards are a minimum to ensure the road-safety of a car, but J.P. likes his team to take things a bit further, so that customers know a car from Broadway exceeds the minimum and isn’t going to break down on the 401.

The mechanic shop is one of the busiest departments, checking over cars that Tony has bought, getting them ready for the lot and maintaining customer cars. Taking care of customers also means facilitating lending, so J.P. and the team offer lending through the big banks as well as smaller and auto-specific lenders. “Everybody that’s available to extend credit, we try to get the best deal and the best loan for our customers,” he says.

J.P. and Tony feel that Broadway is at just the right size. “I think we’re currently at a size that is at the maximum of where you want to be for a family business,” J.P. says. “To add more

Customer care goes beyond the expected. When J.P. received an accessibility report from the government of Ontario, he took it to heart to ensure customers with mobility challenges or other issues would know they could access Broadway’s locations.

“We try not to go off a minimum requirement,” he says. “If I know for a fact that I probably shouldn’t be putting that customer out on those minimum tires, I’m going to change them. I want that customer “I try to keep a handle on everything,” he to go out and feel good about what they says. “Every business in Ontario should got and know that we took care of them.” have that [accessibility report] on their website, so I got ahead of it and did J.P. wants Broadway’s customers to feel that right away. We try to get ahead of great about their purchase. If there are any concerns, he handles them personally. everything that comes our way.” “If there ever is an issue, I don’t put the customer through the mechanic. I handle it. If someone is upset, I can explain what we’re going to do to fix it,” he says. “You can choose to buy an extended warrantee or not to buy an extended warrantee, but if they come back within a month or so, with a break squeal, we’re going to take care of them. If you do have an extended warrantee, we try to make it easy if you choose to come back here. We try to make the whole experience easy.”

“We have a good system where we kind of log our customers. Then after a year or two we call them up,” he explains. “Staying in touch with our customers is important. If you know someone has come in for a certain vehicle we don’t have, you can call that [former customer that has the specific car] in and get two sales out of it.”

Located on a highway in the suburbs, Broadway doesn’t get any foot traffic, so other methods of attracting people are employed. “The internet has drastically changed things,” J.P. says. “We get calls from everywhere and anywhere. We’ve had people from B.C. literally fly out to pick up their car. We have people from five minutes to five hours away come to buy a car.”

to our plate right now would be a little too much to handle and would take away from keeping our business from running efficiently. We don’t want to stretch ourselves too thin. We’re at the perfect size right now – but this is quite a ways from the gas station on the corner.” J.P. wants to ensure the business and the family maintain the good name his father established. They sponsor local sports teams as well as special fundraisers. The family is well known and respected both on the retail and wholesale side of things. It’s about honesty and integrity. “We’re just good old country boys who want to do good,” he says. ■

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2 | 27


INCREASING COMMUNITY PROFILE WITH CHARITABLE ENDEAVOURS By Barb Lehtiniemi

CHARITABLE WORKS CAN BE MUCH MORE than a feel-good exercise or a

deduction on the company's tax return. A well-crafted charitable program can be a vital component in a business' strategic plan. Increasingly, consumers expect businesses to practice social responsibility beyond their legislated requirements. Businesses need to participate in communitystrengthening activities and, importantly, be seen to be doing so. A time or monetary investment in charitable causes can support a company's objectives to build community trust and brand loyalty.

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Participating in charitable endeavours creates a win for all involved. While the main purpose of undertaking charitable fund-raising campaigns or related events is to support the community in which a business operates, there are a host of spinoff advantages that flow back to the business involved. Goodwill Businesses that provide support in some way to charitable organizations enjoy a greater stature in their community than those who do not. Studies show that people associate works of charity with positive

attributes such as honesty and high ethical standards. Any time a potential customer hears about a business, they use the information to form a perception of the business involved. A business affiliated with a charitable cause boosts its positive image out in the community. Additionally, the greater number of people from the community who are involved, the greater an opportunity a business has to make positive contact with potential customers. Charitable events are perfect opportunities to promote your business as an integral component of a caring community and to increase brand recognition.


CHARITABLE ENDEAVOURS | BARBARA LEHTINIEMI

Media Coverage Advertising is expensive, but media coverage can be free for those involved in newsworthy events. Media outlets often cover positivenews stories to counter the often overwhelming number of grim issues. Local charity events can command significant media coverage. In smaller markets especially, a business hosting a charitable event can find itself with front-page coverage in a community newspaper, without having to dip into the advertising budget. Businesses are wise not to leave media coverage to chance, though. Discuss media strategy with your partnering charity to determined who is in charge of contacting media outlets and issuing press releases related to the event. For businesses who have an advertising relationship with media outlets, the media's advertising sales representative may be able to provide insight on how to ensure your event is covered. Also utilize your social media channels to promote the event and drive traffic to your website or location. Employee Satisfaction Employer and employee values intertwine to develop company culture. Employees who observe their employer's interest in improving the quality of life for the community they serve often develop an increased interest in the community themselves. Employees also develop positive

feelings about working for an employer who has positive values and community spirit; these positive feelings boost their job satisfaction and the attitude they take to work each day. Additionally, involving employees directly with the charitable event, whether in the decision-making process or through their direct participation with the event itself, boosts the employee's personal feelings of worthiness. While hosting a charitable event can take time away from a business's core focus, the time can be seen as an investment in the community and supporting the company's objectives to increase brand recognition. Increased Business Traffic Consumers seeking to make a purchase often choose businesses they are familiar with. Getting a customer through the door is a necessary first step to making a sale. With more consumers researching purchase decisions online, it can be a challenge to persuade potential customers to visit a physical location and connect with a dealership's sales team. Hosting charitable events can increase traffic to a business location. Making the dealership a drop-off point for a food drive, for example, brings many people to the dealership's location, increasing their familiarity with the

business and boosting the image they hold of the dealership. Website traffic can increase, too. Placing information about the charitable event on the dealership's website and promoting the event on social media can attract more traffic to the site. Each additional visitor to the dealership or its website is an additional opportunity to cultivate a favourable impression—one that may later translate to a sale. Increased Sales Since purchasing decisions depend on multiple variables, it's difficult to point to a business's participation in charitable works as a driving factor. However, all the elements suggest the possibility: building and maintaining a favourable community image, enthusiastic employees, increased media coverage, and more traffic in the door, are all elements that promote positive feelings toward the business and increase the likelihood that customers will consider making a purchase at some future date. Attitudes have a direct impact on consumer behaviour. The opinion a potential customer develops about a business begins forming long before they begin shopping. Choosing a business that does good works for the community allows a customer to align their values with the company—the

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CHARITABLE ENDEAVOURS | BARBARA LEHTINIEMI customer feels they are helping the community by supporting a business that does so.

win for ease of implementation, community profile, and increased visits to the dealerships.

There are many ways to incorporate a spirit of community giving into a company's business plan, and many more possible charitable endeavours than a company can implement. Below, we highlight three successful examples:

CarHub's charity event scores high on community involvement

Car Nation food and toy drives increase walk-in traffic One of the simplest charitable events to execute is a community food, toy, or other type of collection effort. The business teams up with a local charity, such as a foodbank or children's hospital, and agrees to serve as a dropoff point for community donations. Car Nation's group of dealerships, headquartered in Burlington, have been hosting food and toy drives for years (www.carnationcanada.com/ community-events.htm.) Partnering with local organizations, such as a community foodbank or the McMaster Children's Hospital Foundation, Car Nation's dealerships serve as a drop-off point for donations during designated months. With minimal set up and lots of social media promotion, drives such as the ones Car Nation hosts can increase foot traffic into dealerships. Each person in the door represents an opportunity to make a connection and raise the dealership's community profile. In addition to the annual food and toy drives, Car Nation hosts a number of other charitable events, including fundraisers for breast cancer and cystic fibrosis, ensuring their business brand is continually visible in the community and is associated with positive ventures. Car Nation's charity events are a

30 | THE ONTARIO DEALER 30 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

CarHub North York Chrysler and its sister dealership CarHub Caledon Chrysler jointly conduct an ambitious and innovative charity event each year that hits all the winning marks. Each year since 2014, CarHub's annual charity event (www.caledonchrysler. ca/charity.htm) gives away $25,000 to charity. Instead of choosing one charity, CarHub gets the whole community involved to decide which charities receive a portion of the $25,000 donation. After soliciting suggestions from employees and customers, CarHub draws up a list of charities with local connections. Then they invite the community to vote. The three charities garnering the most votes share a proportional amount of the $25K donation. After trying a few methods for collecting votes, says Lori Grant, CarHub's Marketing Manager, CarHub found using a social media poll proved to be the most efficient and fair process. "We post links to the polls on our websites," says Grant, "as well as in social media and through emails to our customers, partners, and vendors, encouraging everyone to pass it along." The charities also get quite involved in promoting the event, as they are competing to get the most votes and, therefore, the largest donation. Employees are highly involved as well and look forward to the event's launch

each year. "They really get involved," says Grant, "sending it to their friends, family, and work associates, to get as many people voting as possible." CarHub's charity event, which runs each December and winds up on January 1, gets media coverage, especially for the cheque presentation at the end. "When it's time to present the cheques to the charities," says Grant, "we invite representatives of the charities to the dealership, and gather the staff for the presentation. The charities have an opportunity to talk about what their charity is all about, and how they'll use the funds. It's a great way to keep spreading the word about the good work they do." Grant says the local newspapers often cover the presentation. CarHub enjoys increased community profile because of this charity event. "We always get terrific calls and emails from people who are moved that we're donating $25,000 and it's not attached to any sales event," says Grant. While there's no clear line between this event and any increased business, Grant says "We certainly do hear from customers who bring it up and tell us how they


CHARITABLE ENDEAVOURS | BARBARA LEHTINIEMI

appreciate what we're doing—that's what it's all about." CarHub's charity event is a win for charities, for high employee and community involvement, and for raising the business's profile. Autorama raises the industry profile by giving away free cars Autorama in Toronto has impressive success by giving several cars away for free each year. Instead of partnering with a charity, Autorama goes directly to the public with its own charitable initiative. Autorama's Care to Share program (autorama.ca/care-to-share) is the dealership's unique way to give back to the community that supports them. Individuals in need of a car but without the ability to purchase one apply to the program through Autorama's website. Then a committee of employees reviews the applications to decide on a worthy recipient. Care to Share is a "team effort," says Nasser Rad, Autorama's President and CEO. From finding and selecting a recipient, to choosing and prepping a suitable car, and planning and

executing the presentation celebration, many employees are involved. The final event is like a "big party," says Rad. The employees feel good about helping in the community, and the event attracts a lot of attention. The Care to Share program has definitely raised Autorama's profile, according to Rad. For an industry that sometimes scores low on the trust factor from consumers, giving away cars to needy people has a "positive force" in building consumer trust. "It really shows we care about the community," says Rad. Autorama's Care to Share event garners a fair share of media attention. Although the media don't always come out to the presentation events, some outlets publish the press release that Autorama issues in conjunction with each giveaway. Additionally, Autorama was awarded the "Urban Hero" award from Metroland Media Toronto in 2017 because of the Care to Share program. The inception for the giveaway program highlights the value in looking beyond the dealership for inspiration. Rad credits his wife, Fari,

with the idea for the car giveaway. Although Rad first thought the concept of giving away cars counterintuitive for a company dependent on car sales for survival, the Care to Share program has been good for everyone involved and good for business. Autorama's Care to Share program wins with increased recognition, high employee involvement, and increased traffic to their website. These programs represent only a few of the many possible opportunities to incorporate charitable works into a dealerships' long-term plan to boost its community profile. Consumers form opinions about businesses before they ever step through the door. A business that commits to charitable causes that benefit the communities in which they operate can improve their competitive standing and increase their brand's recognition. A business's reputation can be a key factor when customers are making purchase decisions. Being involved in charitable causes that strengthen the community is a worthwhile endeavour in its own right. With potential benefits including increased brand recognition, consumer confidence, and employee satisfaction, charitable and community involvement deserve a prominent place in a company's strategic plan. ■

photosbypierce.com 130 Industry St., Unit 36, North York, ON M6M 5G3 e info@photosbypierce.com www.photosbypierce.com

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2 | 31


THE COMMON LAWYER How to Protect Your Dealership Against Buyer's Remorse & Tricky Customers identify flaws in your staff, be less than truthful about their trade-in vehicle and will often be upset that their 'new to them' 2015 vehicle isn't in showroom new condition. Tricky customers are, in a sense, your most important customers. If you turn a tricky customer into a happy customer, the rewards are often significant. Alternatively, an unhappy, tricky customer can wreak havoc on your staff, their morale and your dealership's reputation – especially online.

By Justin M. Jakubiak

CUSTOMERS ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF YOUR DEALERSHIP. Most are fantastic

– they come to you for assistance with their transportation and credit needs, often excited about your product and the thrill of a new vehicle. That said, and I can say this because I am not a dealer or a salesperson, some customers are anything but fantastic – some are downright horrible! I refer to these customers as tricky customers; tricky customers will often be quick to

Furthermore, tricky customers can damage your reputation with OMVIC. OMVIC monitors the volume of complaints dealers receive, and may use this information to determine whether an audit or other action against a dealership is warranted. In some instances, unresolved (and in some rare cases even resolved!) conflicts with customers can lead to OMVIC issuing a Notice of Discipline against a dealership, one of its salespersons and/or the dealer principal. This means either you, your staff or your dealership will have to go through OMVIC's disciplinary process and potentially be subject to a hefty fine or a further education requirement. In terms of reputation, it is important to remember that ALL discipline decisions are made public by OMVIC. OMVIC's discipline process is not fun. It's time consuming and (for most registrants) can be quite stressful. You can certainly challenge OMVIC's findings, and you should always seek advice from the UCDA or a qualified lawyer (like myself) before you make a resolution

32 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

with OMVIC, or even respond to a Notice of Discipline. It is very important that you know your rights before you resolve any matter – not only for peace of mind, but to ensure that the resolution is within the boundaries of OMVIC's jurisdiction as provided for by the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA). The purpose of this article is to provide some reminders about the rules applicable to vehicle sales and leases, and to help you and your staff deal with tricky customers before they become a real pain in the… Are customers entitled to cancel the agreement? Lots of customers feel buyer's remorse, especially after they make a large purchase like a car. Most of the time it has nothing to do with anything the dealership or the salesperson has done. Customers simply change their mind. Unlike many consumer transactions, where customers are entitled to a "cooling-off period", which allows a signed contract to be cancelled within a short period of time, there is no coolingoff period for motor vehicle contracts in Ontario. However, if inadequate or inaccurate disclosure is made to the customer, a customer may be entitled to cancel the agreement. 90-Day Cancellation The MVDA allows customers up to 90 days to cancel a contract if the dealer does not disclose certain information in the bill of sale or lease agreement, such as:


• The distance the vehicle has travelled

1-Year Cancellation

• Whether the vehicle has been used as a police or emergency vehicle

Another important act for dealers to consider is the Ontario Consumer Protection Act, which allows customers to request that an agreement be cancelled if they have been subject to false, misleading, deceptive or unconscionable representations. These types of representations could include a false safety certificate, or a statement that the vehicle is a certain model or of a certain quality or condition that the customer later finds out to be false. In such cases, customers can request cancellation up to one year after their initial purchase.

• Whether the vehicle has been used as a taxi or limo • Whether the vehicle was used as a daily rental (unless the vehicle has subsequently been owned by someone other than a dealer) • The make, model and year of the vehicle • If the vehicle has been classified as irreparable, salvage or rebuilt, and how it was last classified

The cancellation rights that exist under both the MVDA and the Consumer Protection Act highlight the importance of regular staff training to ensure that everyone in your dealership is on the same page and understands the importance of making appropriate, fulsome and accurate disclosure. Voluntary Refunds

The legislation is drafted in a way which is very favourable to the customer – it states that "a person may cancel a contract… even if the registered motor vehicle dealer did not know the information that the dealer was required to disclose… or honestly believed it to be accurate, regardless of the steps taken by the dealer to ascertain or verify the information." It is often difficult to accurately assess the distance the vehicle has traveled down to the specific kilometer. Fortunately, the MVDA allows for a margin of error. A dealer needs to disclose the distance the vehicle has traveled, accurate to within the lesser of 5% or 1,000 kilometers of the actual distance the vehicle has traveled.

No dealers enjoy providing refunds or otherwise unwinding transactions. That said, dealers that are confident in their brand, their product and their processes will often not hesitate to cancel an agreement knowing that the customer will likely come back in the future, or refer another potential purchaser as a result of the great customer service received. A customer may not always have a valid reason to cancel a contract. However, avoiding a potential bad review online, or bad word of mouth, is often incentive enough to cancel one.

On the positive side, since there is no "cooling off" period in Ontario, a dealer is entitled to claim "liquidated damages" and retain part or all of the deposit. Liquidated damages can include a variety of costs, such as: • Vehicle preparation costs • Advertising • Freight and administrative costs • Cost for the loss of profit from the cancellation What Should Dealers Do? I strongly suggest that all dealers and dealer principals take time this spring to clean out some of the bad sales habits that may have developed over time, and to refresh everyone on the requirements of the MVDA. Regular internal newsletters and intimate training seminars are a great way to keep your obligations as a dealer and a salesperson top of mind. Additionally, there are many great individuals and groups that are skilled at providing up to date training, and who can even be hired to conduct compliance reviews. The benefits of these services far exceed the relatively minor up-front cost. Don't let a tricky customer get the best of you, your sales team or your dealership. In the event that you are dealing with a particularly difficult one, I highly recommend that you seek outside assistance to ensure that a potential big problem is resolved quickly and comprehensively. Justin is a Partner with Fogler, Rubinoff LLP and is recognized by the Law Society of Ontario as a Specialist in Civil Litigation. This article was written with the much-appreciated assistance of Micheline Singh, an articling student. ■

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2 | 33


GOOGLE MY BUSINESS FOR ONTARIO DEALERSHIPS By Angela West

BUSINESS LISTINGS HELP PEOPLE FIND AND LEARN about your dealership -

these are crucial tools for getting your name and brand more widely recognized, and for attracting potential customers. Google My Business (GMB) is a digital business listing for your business, improving your company’s local search engine optimization (SEO) and giving your customers instant access to a wide variety of information about your organization. Google My Business is quick and simple to set up, and is an essential tool for success in the digital world.

34 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

Officially taking the place of Google+ As of April 2, 2019, Google’s social media platform Google+ has shuttered its doors following a series of largescale data breaches and continued confusion over its direction. Google+ was a bold attempt by Google to challenge Facebook, the growing social media giant. It served as an identity service for Google users, and offered an intuitive hub for users and businesses to interact with each other, and to reach out to new audiences. Chances are that your business had a


GOOGLE MY BUSINESS | ANGELA WEST Google+ account up until April 2019, especially if you or your team ever made use of platforms like YouTube. With Google+ officially gone, Google My Business has taken its place as the new virtual hub for information about your business, although it does not have all of its features. Why use Google My Business? Your businesses local SEO is extremely important when it comes to customers being able to find your company. SEO helps rank your dealership higher than other local businesses, ensuring that more people see everything that you have to offer. When people search for something like “used car dealerships near me”, a number of local businesses will appear along with their hours of operation, customer ratings and reviews, photographs, and a local map detailing where they are in proximity to the person searching for them. Along with these results come more organic results that include review websites, official business websites, and more. GMB is a one-stop hub for all the relevant information about your business, telling customers everything they need to know about the services

that you offer, type of business, hours of operation, service areas, business address, and more. It can be an effective way to easily increase your local SEO at no cost except for the time it takes to maintain it and set it up. It’s been shown that Google My Business profiles and posts are highly effective when it comes to improving search results and getting businesses seen by their intended audiences. Despite this, research by Moz shows that less than 60% of businesses have posted to their Google My Business profile. Setting it up isn’t enough; you have to post to it on a regular basis. You can do this by cross-posting updates that are meant for Facebook, as GMB posts have a large character limit (up to 1,500 characters). How to get started on Google My Business Adopting a new digital tool can require a lot of time and work, but thankfully Google My Business is quick and painless to set up and maintain. In order to claim your GMB account, you’ll need a Google Account. From there, you’ll navigate to www.google. com/business and enter in the name of

your business, its location, the location of your customers (if applicable), delivery areas, business category, and finally your phone number. Once you’ve input your business information, you’ll be required to choose a verification method - the most common ways to verify your business listing are by postcard, phone call, or email. Verification may take a number of days, especially when using the verification by postcard method.

It can be an effective way to easily increase your local SEO at no cost Following your verification, you’ll be able to finish adding business details to your profile. From the GMB dashboard, you’ll be able to enter your logo and other photos, hours of operation, official website, attributes like accessibility and features, including free wifi for guests, opening date, and

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GOOGLE MY BUSINESS | ANGELA WEST Optimize your GMB page with Google Posts Verified GMB accounts can engage their audiences by using Google Posts, which allows you to post updates, blog posts, photographs, videos, and GIFs to your business page. These posts function similar to posts on other social media channels, giving you the option to post a variety of different types of updates.

much more. Google recommends adding a cover photo to your profile, along with a number of pictures of the exterior, interior, product showcase, and employees at your business in order to make it more engaging and informative for potential customers. If your dealership makes use of videos to show off new products and services, GMB also allows adding videos up to 30 seconds in length. An interactive hub for your business and its customers Once your GMB listing has been published, customers will be able to suggest edits to your page from the listing, allowing people to inform you of any mistakes so that you can get everything just right. The “Questions & Answers” feature allows people to ask questions pertaining to your business, with existing customers and people familiar with your dealership answering them. This is also where customers will leave reviews for your business, with these reviews affecting your overall rating which is displayed along with your company info when people search for your business. You can also thank the people leaving positive reviews for your business, which shows that you’re appreciative and might encourage others to leave a review.

36 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

Customer ratings give you the opportunity to interact with users who are leaving you reviews, addressing negative reviews in order to resolve issues in a proactive manner in the hopes that the user might change or revise their review. GMB’s customer reviews feature allows you to easily encourage customers to drop your business a review that actually matters and will be seen by a wide audience who will be influenced by the rating and amount of reviews that your business has.

However, GMB is picky about image sizes. Unlike other services, it won’t accept your post if the image is over 5 megabytes, is not sized to a 4:3 aspect ratio, or is not a minimum size of 720 pixels wide and 540 pixels tall. While the image size usually isn’t an issue, the aspect ratio and minimum height and width can cause some posts that you are cross-posting from other services to be rejected. This may be important to keep in mind for car listings or other major promotions that your dealership is doing. It is also important to note that GMB posts vanish after seven days. It is advisable to use a social media manager such as Hootsuite so that you


GOOGLE MY BUSINESS | ANGELA WEST can repost any listings that haven’t sold or promotions that haven’t yet ended. Google’s argument is that it keeps your feed fresh, but it will also keep your feed empty if you don’t post to Google My Business regularly. GMB posts will be visible to anybody viewing your business from Google search, and are a great way to show off new products on your lot, limited time offers and promotions, and to keep your customers up-to-date on everything going on in and around your business. You can edit and delete posts on GMB, and even preview them before publishing them to your page. How your business can rank higher on GMB The first thing you’ll have to do is ensure your Google My Business listing has been categorized correctly. You can do this by choosing the correct industry when creating your profile, and by using the five additional categories available to you. These extra categories allow you to insert local SEO keywords that are relevant to your industry and area of operation - things like “Sudbury auto dealership”, “Hamilton used car dealer”, and“Toronto automotive” can help your business rank higher and get seen by more people.

Whether it’s your business to sell New cars or Used cars... it’s our business to keep all your insurance needs covered

Your listing description in GMB can also be used for this using local SEO keywords in this description can optimize your listing further. Another way to rank higher is by embedding a Google Map on your dealership’s website, reinforcing Google searches information and bumping your business up the ranks. Google My Business is an absolute must-have for Ontario dealerships looking to be found by and engage with local audiences. GMB gives you a direct line of communication to your customers, allowing you to tackle reviews head-on, and giving you a major opportunity to improve customer experiences through engaging content that shows off everything that your dealership has to offer. But it must be posted to regularly and kept up to date in order to rise in the search engine results over other dealerships. ■

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VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2 | 37


HOW TO CLOSE MORE DEALS By David Miller

CLOSING MORE DEALS – IT STARTS WITH A STRONG SALES PROCESS

THE DAYS OF ADS FEATURING USED CAR SALESMEN wearing plaid sports coats

talking bargains are over. It might be an interesting “Throwback Thursday” theme, but that hard-sell image will likely deter anyone from walking into your dealership for the “dreaded” negotiation process.

Today, most showrooms are modern and the bargaining table has become a consultation. In the end, it's still about the sale and dealerships, like

38 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

any retail business, are defined by monthly and annual sales targets. In this world of high-tech, high-touch, it's not just about landing the next sale; it's the whole sales process that begins and ends with a detailed and forwardthinking sales approach. The focus from landing that sale to becoming a full-service consult can ring in profits, and create a customerfriendly environment that shoppers willingly take part in. This paradigm


HOW TO CLOSE MORE DEALS | DAVID MILLER

shift has been strongly influenced by the Internet – a sometimes credible source of information for consumers. The “new age” shopper comes better prepared to the negotiation table. “It's an Internet society, and that's made it ultra competitive for every dealer,” says Terry Budd, owner of Budds' Imported Cars Jaguar, located in Oakville. “You better dot your i's and cross your t's during the appraisal, as one can be quick to make a deal without inspecting the tires or additional damage.” With consumers ability to scour the Internet for information about cars and about dealerships, it seems as if the stars have to align for dealers to close more deals. More importantly, each customer now has to be nurtured, so as not to lose repeat business or any referrals. The whole process is easier said than done and needs a strong sales approach and follow through. Inventory management Dealers have to make sure they and/ or their sales representatives have sufficient inventory to have consistent sales. “If you do a better job of aligning to the retail market, you will move more cars faster and total profitability will go up,” says Lance Helgeson, industry analysis director for vAuto.

Used car price margins aren't what they used to be. Those good ol' plaid days might have seen margins in the thousands, but they now only vary between a couple hundred dollars, forcing dealers to be more disciplined when buying and selling in this hypercompetitive marketplace. Helgeson preaches the vAuto way – an inventory management software system that's being used by roughly 1,600 Canadian dealers. It's called the Velocity Method of Management, where total volume and not per sale profit margins are the focus towards a continuously flowing movement of vehicles in and out of the lot or showroom.

of volume, performance and total profitability,” adds Helgeson. “At the most fundamental level, vAuto developed a way to scan the Internet for vehicles and prices on a daily basis. From there, dealers can determine basic supply and demand, figure out retail asking prices, and how their vehicles compare to what else is out there.” vAuto is just one example of an inventory management system. There are others out there such as Autoniq or VinCue, and they all provide dealers with acquisition discipline. Through the use of these technology software

The software is geared towards today's faster pace of commerce, simultaneously getting rid of depreciating vehicles that tie up capital.

“It's an Internet society, and that's made it ultra competitive for every dealer,” “Dealers who come to vAuto, use our patented Live Market View that can take their used car department to places it hasn't gone before in terms

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HOW TO CLOSE MORE DEALS | DAVID MILLER tools, dealers may be better prepared to turn a profit, as well as set their staff up with tools to guide the entire sales process, ultimately assisting the consumer in bringing home a vehicle that they will be happy with, and suit their needs. The right product still needs customer service Having the right products at the right price is a great start, but it’s not the only thing. With lower margins per sale, factors beyond price are important, such as paying more attention to customer service, modernizing the showroom, as well as having a solid service department. It also comes down to training staff to adapt various strategies to different types of clientele. “A customer can be looking for a car as a future potential or one by this Friday – a salesperson needs to be able to react differently according to the situation,” explains Budd. To figure out how best to assist, Budd pinpoints the need to spend more time with the customer and figure out what their needs, wants, and budget are.

“You need to ask a lot of questions, and the right ones, to determine what's best for that client,” he says. “And to do that properly, a dealership needs to constantly keep online notes, while continuing to follow-up.” Ten years ago, neither dealers nor consumers were nearly as educated as today. As much as the dealer has more tools today, so do the customers. “It shouldn't take two-to-four hours to make a used car transaction,” explains Helgeson. “More and more customers are looking for convenience and ease

in their purchase, and that's where the online showroom kicks in as ground zero for getting a real payment number and working in parts of the deal.” Budd, however takes a more cautious approach to the online world. “This increase in knowledge on both ends can potentially speed up the sales process, but at times, that can require a well-trained sales associate to slow it down, in order to make sure the customers know what they think they're getting.”

Let us help your dealership with:

40 | THE ONTARIO DEALER


HOW TO CLOSE MORE DEALS | DAVID MILLER advice I can give is to find a technology provider that suits their needs and can provide instant relevancy.”

He also notes that a set of managerial eyes can't hurt the consultation. At Budd’s, their sales consultants touch base with management each day to see what they're working on and offer suggestions, to make sure nothing is missed that could potentially help the client.

“Customers should be receiving that small-town hardware store service where everyone knows your name, your history, and what you're up to. That cannot be achieved through pen and paper.”

“It's much harder to gain a new customer than retain an existing one,” explains Chase Abbott, vice president of sales at VinSolutions and Dealertrack F&I. “What some dealerships fail to realize is that the next sale in many occasions comes from the last sale. Repeats and referrals are everything in this business, and if you had a bad experience, you can strike through the repeats.” Customer service during the initial sale and throughout the vehicle's ownership is critical. Dealers need to understand – and most do – that their job isn't complete upon sale.

"..a salesperson needs to be able to react differently according to the situation”

Strong sales approach takes a commitment from all Corporate culture plays a role in building trust for dealerships, their staff and customers.

back-and-forth, and every follow-up to keep them engaged is done through the CRM.” Regardless of what technology is used, dealers will only be successful when those systems are used properly. “Dealers need to stay proactive and on the cutting edge by vetting their technology stack every six-monthsto-a-year,” Abbott adds. “The best

“The one key glue to a strong sales process is building trust and rapport,” says Budd. “Once that's built, whether it's a new customer that feels welcomed or one with a long history, everything becomes easier and makes the discussion more of a consulting role than a sales position.” Budd believes in selling cars with a conscience, “you have to treat customers how you like to be treated. When that corporate culture is right, that's when it will bear fruit.”■

Staying in contact establishes a relationship that can be built up through regular service and maintenance checks, as well as the sharing of relevant data that could include an early trade-in for the latest model year. It's always a good thing for the client to constantly come into the showroom to see what’s new. “Customer communication and experience really resides in CRM,” adds Abbott. “More than any other tool, CRM is in charge of customer communication. In a lot of ways, every

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2 | 41


THE OLD CAR DETECTIVE 1951 BUICK LOOKS AND DRIVES LIKE NEW ON THE EVENING OF SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13, we visited our Uncle

When we pulled into the parking lot, I could hardly believe my eyes! Parked in the middle of a row of cars was an original gleaming black 1951 Buick sedan! I was nine years old when these cars were new – and they still manage to work their magic on me. Indoors at the party, we met with Colleen and Rick, the proud owners of the car.

Frank in Gravenhurst and while there, We were soon outside for a photo shoot attended a 60th wedding anniversary at the Community Centre at Walker’s Point. – and cars are even more interesting

42 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

By Bill Sherk

when people are with them. And even better if those people are the ones who actually own the car! Three features of their 1951 Buick set it apart from the cars of today. The rotating radio aerial above the windshield can be pointed down by turning a knob inside the car when entering a garage with low overhead clearance. The hood can be opened from either side instead of at the front. This gives a mechanic easier access to the engine compartment and also adds a


safety feature. Your hood will never pop open at the front on the highway. And the starter motor is connected to the gas pedal. After you turn the key, press down on the gas pedal. Halfway down, the engine will fire right up! That engine is a straight eight overheadvalve power plant first introduced on Buicks in 1931. It remained in production until the arrival of a V8 engine in 1953 for the top-of-the-line Buicks and 1954 for all Buicks.

From every angle, this car is a classic.

In 1948 the Buick Dynaflow automatic transmission became available as a $244 option. By 1951, 85% of all Buick buyers opted for Dynaflow, making Colleen and Rick’s ’51 Buick relatively rare with its 3-speed “three-on-thetree” standard shift. After we took pictures, Rick treated me to a drive down the road for three or four miles. Talk about smooth! When you ride in this car, you feel like you are floating on air. The big wide comfy seats make this car a living room on wheels! And you are riding on four coil springs on the Buick suspension system, dating back to 1938, when Buick first adopted coil springs all around.

Colleen showing immaculate condition of door panel upholstery.

And feast your eyes on those wide whitewall tires that bring this car alive! And the hubcaps are surrounded by beauty rings – great attention to detail by the Buick styling studio. And the two chrome bars in the rear window – the sign of quality. And vent windows in the rear doors as well as at the front. And take a look at that massive grille, a Buick trademark for many years. And the portholes in the front fenders and the sweep of the side trim told you that this car is a Buick! ■

Rick shifting into second gear. Who needs an automatic?

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AFTERMARKET ACCESSORIES TAKING A LARGER SLICE OF THAT ACCESSORY PIE By David Miller

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ACCORDING TO DEALER SOFTWARE PROVIDER REYNOLDS AND REYNOLDS ,

the auto accessory car business brings in nearly $41-billion per year in the United States. Even more staggering is that same 2018 study states that only 10 percent of that volume is purchased through a dealership. Sales figures for Canada were not available, but we can

assume it’s approximately 10% of the US market. That means there is plenty of money to be made in the aftermarket accessory business. Accessory sales can generate additional revenue, with the added benefit of strengthening the customer/ dealer relationship.


AFTERMARKET ACCESSORIES | DAVID MILLER they're fairly important in this day and age,” adds Anthony King, pre-owned sales manager for Michael Boyer Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC. The majority of accessory sales come from new vehicle purchases – half of all new vehicles receive some accessory installation; however, there is lots of room for the used car market. Just make sure that customers know what you can get for them. The bigger challenge is how to increase accessory sales. Is it a lack of marketing, sales training, dealer trust, financial restrictions, or the ease of making a purchase in the online/digital space? We talk to a few dealers to get a better understanding of the market. How important is the aftermarket?

If consumers are going to buy accessories anyway, why not make it worth their while and work out a package deal while they're in the showroom, for that one-stop shop experience. Dealers could be proactive and let customers know what accessories are available, about installation and any warranties. Price versus accessories In many cases, price is the major determining factor. Consumers search the Internet for the best buy, which eventually leads them to a particular dealership.

“As long as the accessory is something the customer sees value in or just On one end of the spectrum, there plain wants, it's not too difficult to are consumers who see cars simply bump a finance payment to include as transportation and then there are them,” King says. others who are vehicle aficionados, who live and breathe the automobile. The average consumer falls in between. “If your vehicle can stand out and have value-added accessories, even though it might be pricier, that vehicle gets “Consumers want to personalize noticed. The secret is finding out which their possessions, whether it's phone accessories create that competitive cases, initials on wallets or cuffs of advantage for that particular vehicle.” shirts -- people want to make things unique to who they are,” says Eric Levitt, president and dealer principal, 401 Dixie Kia. “Accessories allow the customer to make the purchase exclusive to themselves and enhance their car buying experience. This can stretch from winter floor mats to a bug deflector to a remote start. Accessories allows the customer to purchase what they want or what they feel they need.”

The flip side of this equation is when the sales process isn't handled properly. King has seen that happen and calls it a “lost opportunity.” Incentives and discounts The needs of the client come first, but dealers must be aware of the needs of staff via incentives and commissions on accessories. Without incentives or the client seeing those add-ons, the only accessories you sell are the ones the customer initiates conversation on. Incentivizing the sales force will always lead to more accessory sales. “No sales representative will pass up a spiff that pays well,” says King, but cautions, “there's always that fine line to walk as it relates to profit.” That fine line comes in two forms: The sales representative has to make some profit for the dealer without too many throw-ins; while the dealer has to be wary not to take advantage of a client who may be naive or unfamiliar with car parts. If given the opportunity, taking the time to show clients how accessory

Regardless of the dealer, when asked how important aftermarket accessories are to the overall used or new car purchase, every single one answers 'very' without hesitation. Profit margin on vehicle sales are tighter and accessories can add to the bottom line. “When you consider the erosion of 'front end' profits given the proliferation of the Internet, I'd say

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2 | 45


AFTERMARKET ACCESSORIES | DAVID MILLER better scenario is using the dealer website to show how a vehicle would look with that added accessory. This virtual showroom, for both new and used-car dealers, can be a way of subtly pushing accessories -- visual displays tend to be much more effective than a sales pitch. As mentioned by Reynolds and Reynolds, the aftermarket accessory industry is a multi-billion-dollar revenue stream. Dealers can focus on different approaches like the online world, more incentives, as well as specific accessory strategies for each and every vehicle. parts look, work, and feel will create a smooth sales process. “For example, we offer all our customers who purchase a vehicle a 20 per cent discount on all accessories to give them the opportunity to customize their new vehicle,” Levitt says. “We also make sure that all vehicles in the showroom display an accessory so customers can see first-hand exactly how they look and feel on a vehicle, and to assess its quality.” Embrace the digital space. The online world is becoming a force in the used car business. All dealers should consider online shoppers and showcase what they can offer. An even

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A combination of all that, may take a little more patience from both the dealer and consumer, but that personal

touch is what many buyers are looking for. King believes consumer perceptions need to change for dealerships to grab a bigger slice of that accessory pie. “There's a general consumer notion that they can find better accessory deals at smaller vendors and online. To combat this, dealers need to reduce internal markups and retrain sales and finance managers with the belief that they can sell these items at prices competitive to smaller stores.” Every bit of information and customer service counts, and if dealers can offer competitive prices, along with a warranty, and the ease of online shopping, there's no reason that accessory profits can't be increased. ■


ANOTHER $1.5 MILLION DEALER LOYALTY REBATES GENERATED FOR UCDA MEMBERS IN 2018.

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