by market size and product type. If you are able to do so please list out your package level and your monthly cost along with the average number of used vehicles you list and your city. For everyone that participates I'll send back the finished spreadsheet for your own benefit.
SAMPLES OF RESPONSES TO DAVID SHOWN BELOW:
Ford Partner - 150 used vehicles - $3900
THANK YOU!!!!! I hope a lot of people respond. This will be of GREAT
Premium/Partner dealer. $5,540 a month with 15 “Free” spot light adds
a month. We average about 120 used vehicles on the ground.
120 cars - base package - 9 photos - 4 spotlights - $1500
149 units 110 used/39 new
9 pics video
Premium Partner - St. Augustine/Jacksonville Metro area
Average 70 Used vehicles and 90 new vehicles listed
3K a month
Having very good success with them, especially with spotlight cars.
What are people paying for spotlights, I've heard some dealers getting
them as low as $20 an ad in volume. Also, anybody using their Alpha
$3000 a month and $40 per additional spotlight ad in quantities of
30. But I spoke to a dealer at the auction this week that was paying
30 for $1000 and I've heard of even lower.
We have 50-60 used listed 0 new. Basic package @ $1400/mo and 2
spotlights and nine photos.
My goal for the new contract is to get three stores on as Ford partners for $9000 a month.
Nissan Partner 80 used/month includes 43 spotlights/month
Featured Package (mid-level), $2,200/mo, approx 60 units, although we had
quite a bit of water on the lot and have been liquidating units that don't
meet our new benchmarks, so right now we're pretty light in units, but 60 is
a good average for us.
We're in Athens GA, ZIP 30604
I should add that back in December we looked over A/T's YTD performance and
decided to give them 30-days notice. We go dark on the 21st. We're putting
the $$$ into search, tools for our own site, etc.
"B-Market" Temple, TX 76502
Chevy Used Cars with Premium Listings
All other Used cars have Featured Listings
Around 80 used and 250-300 New (Chevy and Toyota)
New Cars are Featured with Specials (dynamic ads) (3 spotlights/mo)
Hi All, Strange I posted here 3 days ago, but I cant find it.. So here i go
again. We pay roughly $2500 for our package, we run with anywhere between 75
and 100 used cars. I manage to get about 30 spotlights a month from my rep.
My GSM likes to play the "were gonna cancel" game and she always jumps up
with free spotlights to smooth it over. I really dont see the value int he
spotlight ads. I am spending this week going over the budget and making
chances accordingly, may cut back on Autotrader and cut cars.com altogether.
I just have not had a lot of play in our market. Although we are in the
Atlanta market area, we are a country store about 35 miles from downtown and
I am starting to think we will do better putting the money elsewhere.Ok,
thats my two cents. Business is picking up here, hope you all are doing
Toyota Premium Used Partnership which includes 20 spotlights and 20 more for
a total of 40 spotlights a month
3700.00 on the road...:)
At the end of the discussion's time period, David Kain responded to several people who asked for a copy of the spreadsheet with the following statement, which I believe is a testimony to Mr. Kain's integrity:
"If you provided data for the spreadsheet I would be glad to send the information but would prefer not to if you are not a contributor because it is proprietary data. Does that make sense? - David Kain"…
and conclusions is less important than adopting a "critical thinking" approach to improving upon everything being done in a dealership. Personally, I recommend that dealers look at all their marketing investments by category (not supplier) each month with a critical thinking and analysis approach to the question: "With a total marketing and advertising budget of $XXX,XXX.XX, are we optimizing the allocation mix for maximum impact on our objectives...". When I manage or consult with dealership Internet departments, there is always some level of purchased leads that become part of the overall budget. Why? Because it is a logical and rational decision based on a methodical analysis of historical ROI and it is part of having a comprehensive strategy.
For example, it seems illogical to me that any dealer would buy leads from a supplier like AutoUSA or Dealix for years and years... Then a decision is made to "stop buying 3rd party leads" and a source of 10, 15, 20, 30 or however many deals sold each month to leads from these suppliers is simply erased... I don't get it... I have done it, suffered from the negative consequences, and then in hindsight saw how ignorant I was to shut off previously good long term partners... You knoow what makes a LOT MORE SENSE? If you have been increasing your self-generated leads to a point where you are comfortable cutting back on marketing budget allocated to 3rd party leads, then consider the following scenario:
OLD 3rd Party Lead Buying Budget:
150 leads (<35 miles) each month from Dealix @ $20 = $3,000
50 leads (<35 miles) each month from AutoUSA @ $20 = $1,000
50 New Car leads each month from Autobytel @ $20 = $1,000
25 leads (metro market) each month from Jumpstart @ $20 = $500
100 leads (<35 miles) each month from iMotors @ $20 = $2,000
Total 3rd Party Lead Budget (OLD) = $7,500.00
NEW 3rd Party Lead Buying Budget:
50 Truck and SUV leads each month from Dealix @ $20 = $1,000
25 leads (20 miles) each month from AutoUSA @ $20 = $500
20 Used Car leads each month from Autobytel @ $20 = $400
25 leads (metro) each month from Jumpstart @ $20 = $500
50 leads (20 miles) each month from iMotors @ $20 = $1,000
Total 3rd Party Lead Budget (NEW) = $3,400.00
In the above scenario, we reduced the 3rd Party Lead Budget by OVER 50% and increased both the quality of the total lead mix, and the vehicles being sought is better aligned with what we need to sell. After all, if you are a Toyota dealer, buying Prius leads may have zero impact on your store's total Prius sales... So why would you buy them?
Too many people in the car business want to make sweeping statements that portray decisions about the subject matter as being black and white, when in the real world, we need to optimize a hundred shades of grey to maximize our marketing efficiencies, sell more vehicles, and reduce our advertising cost PVR.
Any dealer can log into their Dealix administration tool and place check marks next to make, model, type, year and other variables that specify which leads on what vehicles you are willing to pay for... I've had months when I only checked 2 or 3 models, and my lead volume would go from 300 to 50 leads... And the bill reflected that reduction. So why would you just shut off such a powerful tool, instead of managing it?
Automotive Lead Exchange (ALE) lets dealers bid on leads by year, make, model, financing, geography and more... You cannot convince me that a Ford, Chevy or Dodge dealer in the current market conditions would NOT be able to capitalize on Truck and SUV leads within 20 miles of his dealership, and only from zip codes with average income levels over $100K a year.
Most members of ADM probably know my reputation for developing powerful and highly effective strategies and tactics that generate thousands of home-grown leads for dealers... But, You know what? If you really want to get good at generating your own leads while working at a dealership, then you need to study the way automotive lead providers generate leads. And what better way than to keep doing business with them, but scale the expense back by cherry picking the very best leads from them as you grow your own lead generating capabilities.
When somebody tells me that they have stopped buying any 3rd party leads, I ask them 2 questions:
1. Which competitor now gets the leads from these suppliers for the customers that live within 5 miles of their dealership?
2. Correct me if I am wrong, but I see you have 150 new 2008 Pickup Trucks in stock, and it is almost October 2008... Have you decided that it is NOT a prudent and wise decision to buy leads originating from the area close to your dealership that have selected a New 2008 Pickup Truck?
Think... Construct a plan based on what you need or have available to sell, and then boil it all down to your best guestimate based on historical numbers. It simply does not make sense to fire a well run, high integrity 3rd party lead provider when you can manage which leads you are buying by vehicle, customer, location and other parameters that can be used to optimize your results.
Oh yeah... Then take the $4,100 you saved on 3rd party lead buying fees, open up a Google Adwords account, create a Keyword targeted search advertising campaign. HOWEVER, only bid on keywords that your dealership's website is NOT organically ranked by Google within the top 5 free listing positions. That might use up around $1,500 to $2,000 a month if you are in a large market, far less in rural or less densely populated regions. Take the remaining $2,000 left from your 3rd party lead provider budget cut and allocate $800 to a professionally produced monthly eNewsletter that goes out to your best 20,000 email addresses (I had over 200,000). Make sure you go with either Outsell or IMN because they are both whitelisted and they both do a great job. With the remaining $1200 to $1700 in your former 3rd party lead provider budget, create placement targeted Google Adwords campaigns using animated Flash based digital advertising. Pick 100 websites that you are going to have your ads appear on whenever anybody located within your Google Metro geotarget area. For example, if you are a Ford dealer, get the space on FordF150.net, Ford-Trucks.com, Stangnet.com, BlueOvalNews.com, etc. If you are a Chevy dealer, use your adwords account to own websites such as GMinsidernews.com, Chevy-Volt.com, SilveradoSS.com, ChevyCobalt.info, Chevy-Malibu.com, etc.... And, there are many makes that would do well with sites like FamilyCar.com, AutoMallUSA.net,, Auto123.com, AutomobileMag.com, NewCarTestDrive.com and hundreds more. Sometimes Google can make it challenging to find the best sites (they need to sell you the dogs), but I have collected over 1,400 automotive website URL's that you can use Google Adwords to bid on website space and place animated Flash display ads (like the 2 San Francisco Ford Ads on ADM's home page), Click-To-Play Video Ads, Static image ads, text based ads and all kinds of eye catching creative displays to capture a car buyer's attention BEFORE they go to a 3rd party lead provider website and submit a lead!…
igious world they must be written as comprehensively as possible to stay in compliance with a growing list of applicable regulations.
That said, your request is highly dependent on the areas of responsibility that are assigned to your manager, the size of the support team that must be factored into the total cost of sales and how you differentiate between your Internet Department/eCommerce and your BDC.
Rather than pose more questions than answers I copied an example of a compensation plan for a hybrid Internet Manager / Internet Specialist system to represent areas that must be addressed --- not necessarily the amounts that should be assigned to them since sales volume must be factored in!
I hope that it will spark some conversation on this post even if it doesn't apply directly to your situation.
After all, what are friends ... and ADM ... for!
PS: Remember to reschedule our IntellaCar presentation. You are obviously busy but it definitely deserves a spot on your To Do List!
INTERNET MANAGER AND SPECIALIST COMPENSATION PLAN
INTERNET MANAGER _________________________
EFFECTIVE DATE ___________
INTERNET SPECIALIST ______________
EARNED COMMISSION COMPENSATION PLAN:
• $1,500.00 BI- WEEK SALARY INTERNET MANAGER - $1000 BI-WEEKLY SPECIALIST
• On appointments generated by the Internet Manager via the internet resulting in a Finalized Sale or Lease (collectively referred to as a “Finalized Sale”), the Internet Manager will be paid a commission of $25.00 (taken out of the commissionable gross).
If generated by an Internet Specialist the Internet Manager will get $10.00 and the Internet Specialist will get $15.00
• On Dead Deals (deals that were written up but not finalized or actively followed up by the original salesperson for 72 hours) that you bring back to the dealership resulting in a Finalized Sale or Lease (collectively referred to as “Finalized Sale”) the Internet Manager will be paid a commission of $50.00.
(All orphaned owners, lease renewals, galley lists etc. will be directed to the BDC OR the Internet Department. The Internet Manager will distribute the contacts at his/her sole discretion to himself /herself or an Internet specialist)
• On New and Used Car Sales appointments that show up that the Internet Manager generates the Internet Manager will be paid a commission of $10.00. If an Internet Specialist is involved they will each get $5.00
• On Service appointments and Parts sales that the Internet Manager solicits from closed RO’s that show up and close a customer paid RO in excess of $50 the Internet Manager will be paid $5.00. If an Internet Specialist is involved they will each get $2.50.
• If we meet our VPA goal the Internet Manager you will receive $100 – Internet Specialist $50
• If we exceed our CSI/SSI/FFV zone average the Internet Manager will get $100 – Specialist $50
• If we have a positive “bottom line Net Profit” for the entire dealership the Internet manager will receive a one time bonus of $500.00 to be adjusted to monthly profit goals thereafter – the Internet Specialist will receive $250.00.
ADJUSTMENTS TO EARNED COMMISSIONS AND BONUSES: The Internet Manager and Specialists agree that the Earned Commission and Bonuses may be adjusted at any time,
(1) to correct any error in calculation, whether that error is the result of miscalculations by the Company, the General Manager, any Sales Manager or any other person;
(2) if any sale or lease is subsequently determined not to have been a Finalized Sale,
(3) if a Finalized Sale is rescinded, reversed, rewritten to adjust to bank approval, rolled back or otherwise unwound for any reason; or,
(4) if there are any finance and insurance related returns and/or chargebacks including, but not limited to, prepaid loans and warranty cancellations. Any such adjustment that results in a decreased Earned Commission will be treated as an Advance, as defined below. Any such adjustment that results in an increased Earned Commission will be paid at the next pay day.
Shown Appointments: No commission will be awarded on any deal unless the Internet Manager or Specialist has an entry on the desk appointment log signed by a Sales Manager proving a confirmed appointment with the customer prior to the date the customer arrives for the appointment.
Commissionable Gross Defined for Vehicles: Commissionable Gross is the total gross sales revenue (that is, the aggregate selling price of all vehicles) of the Sales Department minus the total expenses associated with those vehicles as determined by normal and customary company accounting procedures. Commissionable Gross does not include:
(1) the vehicle’s cost as defined below,
(2) a dealer pack as set forth below (which is determined by the dealership at its sole discretion),
(3) all costs in any way associated with the sale of the vehicle including but not limited to: costs related to dealer trades or similar transportation costs, costs related to commitments made by the dealership to the customer at the time of sale for additional equipment, accessories or alterations or repairs, bank and finance company fees, management fees ($200.00),
(4) the difference between the trade allowance credited to the customer for their trade minus the trade’s actual cash value determined by the sales manager (over allowance amount) or (under allowance on a trade). Commissionable Gross includes holdback paid to the dealer.
The dealer pack on New and Used vehicles is $200.00. The cost for a new vehicle is the vehicle’s “invoice” cost plus the costs related to any equipment, accessories or alterations or repairs made to the vehicle and any related factory delivery fees or charges (e.g. Express Delivery fees).
The cost for a used vehicle is the vehicle’s actual cash value or its acquisition cost (or the averaged or adjusted cost) plus all costs related to the vehicle’s acquisition, reconditioning, including but not limited to: buyer fees, transportation fees, auction and bank fees, all reconditioning costs, costs related to accessories and alterations, lot damage costs, Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle (CPOV) certification costs and costs included as standard equipment on the vehicle.
Finalized Sales Defined: No commission or unit credits will be awarded on any deal until the deal is “finalized.” To be a “Finalized Sale”, all paperwork must be completed and approved, the vehicle must be fully paid for and/or funded by a financial institution, the vehicle must be delivered to the customer, and the deal must meet the requirements of Earned Commissions, as defined below.
Earned Commissions: The Internet Manager or Specialist must be an employee of the Company at the time a deal becomes a finalized sale; until that time, no commission has been earned by the Internet Manager or Specialist. Moreover, a commission is not earned until it is calculable, which includes the condition that the monthly financial statement has been prepared and approved by the Dealer Principal or General Manager.
The Internet Manager or Specialist only earns the commissions for each scheduled day worked during the month. In other words, if an Internet manager or Specialist is scheduled to work 25 days during the month and is absent 5 days during the month, the Internet manager or Specialist will only earn a prorated share of the commissions for the month based on each day actually worked.
Draws Against Commission/Advances: All advances/draws against future Earned Commissions will be treated as loans and will be deducted from future Earned Commissions, Wages and/or any spiffs/bonuses prior to the payment of same. The Internet Manager or Specialist acknowledges that such Advances/Draws are for the Internet Manager or Specialist’s benefit and authorizes such deductions. Any overpaid commissions or advances must be paid upon your separation from the Company and will be deducted from any pay or benefits (including vacation) you have coming. If you are terminated, voluntarily or involuntarily, prior to month end, you are only entitled to be paid for the hours you actually worked pursuant to the federal and state minimum wage requirements, taking into account the actual commissions and bonuses you earned.
Attendance Documentation: You are required by federal law and by ABC Motors to keep an accurate record of all the hours you worked each day. Hours worked in excess of your scheduled hours require approval in advance by the Sales Manager. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in discipline up to and including termination. You are also required to work all hours and days for which you are scheduled in order to be eligible for your full earned commissions or any monthly bonus.
Notice: This is the total pay package and no further payments are anticipated or expected. The Dealership reserves the right to amend or terminate this compensation plan and/or rate at any time without notice at its sole discretion. This agreement supercedes any previous agreements with respect to your pay plan. If it becomes necessary for the Dealership to amend this plan or if it is terminated, commissions will be paid at the next scheduled payroll disbursement based on “Finalized” sales as described above, in accordance with the amendment.
I understand that nothing in this pay plan creates or is intended to create a promise or representation of continued employment and that my employment, position and compensation is for no definite period. I have the right to terminate my employment at any time, with or without cause or notice, and the Dealership has a similar right. I further understand that my status as an “at-will” employee may not be changed and that “at-will” employment is the sole and entire agreement between the parties. I acknowledge that I have carefully read and understand this agreement, and acknowledge receipt thereof.
Signed/Accepted: ___________________________________ Date: _______________
Approved By: ___________________________________ Date: ________________…
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