! I think that is exactly what you are doing!
the percentage of people that do read dealership reviews is much smaller than the industry tries to present. - There is a mountain of data on this from well respected research firms, you've not supplied a shred of credible data to support this claim. You mentioned a survey size of 62k, I've seen Google surveys I could barely make out on the Hangout video that amounted to maybe 3k responses to a Gated-Content survey which we both agree is suspect at best.
The surveys you quote could be simply taken out of context as you try to take our study out of context also but keep in mind you don't have all the data. - Taken out of context? I can only assume you haven't read any of these studies. I'm fairly convinced of that to be honest, it explains why you have so much misplaced faith in your own data and the conclusions you've drawn from it. I'll be happy to review your "data" if you want to release it, but recognize that you are contradicting Nielsen, About, Cone, Google, Polk, Harvard, eMarketer etc... Do you honestly believe your data is up to par with any of these, let alone ALL of them? They ALL disagree with you, Paul, ALL of them.
What I am saying is there are many other things a marketer or business owner should be focused on before how to build reviews - You may want to pick up a few of the studies I suggested earlier. In your video you mentioned that it was your opinion that Toilet Paper had a more tangible effect on the reputation of a dealership than their online reviews. Consumers will never know what kind of toilet paper you buy, they WON'T be there to care!
I am sorry that the thoughts I have presented make some uncomfortable- I'm not uncomfortable with your thoughts, Paul. I am very uncomfortable with you presenting them as facts!
A dealership's reputation isn't online or offline anymore than your inventory is online or offline. Your inventory is your inventory represented online and off; your reputation is your reputation, represented online and off. Neither exist in a mutually exclusive vacuum. The best online efforts can never cover for offline antics, but suggesting that providing great service in store is the ONLY requirement for a positive online reputation is totally inaccurate.
I've never supported paying a 3rd party to manage or build reviews. It is the dealer's responsibility to protect, preserve and promote THEIR reputation. I'm also not challenging you on this because I work for DealerRater. The idea that your data and any conclusions you've come to from it is a threat to my livelihood as you suggested in your Hangout video and again here is more than a little off base. Believe me or not, but I was trying to help you not go down this path because I'd already seen the results from the Polk study released Sunday at NADA I referenced earlier.
Paul, this is not personal at all, I don't think you're a bad guy, but I think you've got a bad case of thinking you know something that you can't know based on a flawed study you conducted and your own personal shopping behavior. It is abundantly clear to me that you do not have a good grasp on this particular topic and the opinion that you are sharing with dealers as fact is frankly irresponsible. You are a tremendous marketer, your retargeting strategies are top notch, I can't get away from you online. There are many things I wouldn't dare question your knowledge on, but this is clearly something you haven't taken time to educate yourself completely about and what you are saying is just plain wrong.
Final Thought: There is nothing wrong with challenging conventional wisdom and thinking out of the box. There is something very wrong about willfully ignoring all of the evidence in favor of your own preconceived notions and conclusions. Dealers, please use all of the resources available to you. Many dealers have called me to share their personal success with review content marketing. I'm hopeful that some will join the conversation.
of any ADM member in formulating their own opinion and then acting upon it. However, I will share something that a guy named Paul Rushing once taught me, early in the creation and launching of ADM...
I had complained to him that his criticism of opinions i expressed were putting a damper on my willingness to express an opinion. He called me on the phone and basically said, "If you are going to use the social web to express your opinions, you had better develop a thicker skin... This is not a venue for wall flowers..." Or, something to that end, (Paul, I am hoping I didn't botch the quote too bad). At any rate, Paul was right... This network/community was created to allow the free expression of opinions and information, along with the counterpoints and debates that will inevitably go along with such expressions of sentiment and opinion. Often times this is not pretty, or nicey nicey, and will at times divert into areas that are irrelevant.
But, that is what makes things like democracy and freedom of speech messy and at times chaotic. Like so many of the changes in the auto industry... There is usually a value side, but also many people who are made uncomfortable. I have been around long enough to have asked customers, "Yeah, well... will Kelly buy your trade-in for what that stupid website says it is worth?" to have then suggested "Let's take a look at the Kelley Blue Book Trade-In Value at KBB.com to get an idea about what you can expect for a trade-in value..."
So, regardless of what you believe today, including the value, credibility or prudence of opinions expressed, be prepared to possibly have a change of heart in the future... You may end up being surprised how easy it is to change your opinion when financial and career success are involved. So, before an attack is leveled based on any one ADM member's opinions, I suggest you temper your response to include consideration of that person's perspective... And, likewise... Let's keep in mind that remaining somewhat professional in regards to our acceptance of criticism without taking such commentary to be a personal attack is probably good advice as well... Sorry to ramble on about this topic!…
ulture"? Because I was somehow blessed and taken as her husband by the accomplished and published Feminist Scholar and Gender Studies Professor Dr. Elizabeth Archuleta, I have been exposed to various theories, attended conferences, lectures, read books and delighted in over ten years of conversation with a fully accredited Professor who currently is Faculty and Research Fellow at one of the largest Research University based Gender and Women Studies Departments in American academia... For that reason, among others, I certainly respect the widely disparate opinions in regards to this topic and the specific blog I posted... However, I will gladly debate the issues raised in a forum moderated by Professional Feminists (ie: Feminist publishing and teaching is their paid vocation) who are PhD's and current faculty at an accredited Women's Study's University program, and am confident that those who have posted diatribe and outrage at the inappropriatness of this Top Ten Sexiest Women list will exit such a debate both humbled and perhaps with a different opinion.
The reality is that the very people who would have lists such as this banned, removed and the authors punished are cut from the same cloth as those that perpetrated the Salem Witch Trials during the early years of European colonization of North America... Which was done as a means of controlling women and ensuring their power was mitigated and neutralized from further development.
I would be proud to see my wife, any of my sisters or either of my daughters featured on a list like this one. And so would most people who celebrate and admire feminine strength, beauty and professional accomplishments... Today, I am proud to have been described by several educated and highly respected feminist authors as a "Feminist"... Ten years ago I was uncomfortable when I heard this term used to define my perspectives and track history of decisions made and actions taken, because I thought a person had to be female to be described as such. But now I know better and understand that men who are comfortable in their own masculinity and gender role as a man, are the men who are most supportive of the Feminist perspectives that impact the women, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and nieces they love and who helped develop their own healthy and balanced sense of what roles and responsibilities come with being a man that women and men respect.
I am proud to congratulate the ten women who were selected to be on this list of professionally accomplished, beautiful and confident enough in themselves to be considered "Sexy" social media professionals... Well done ladies! I am certain the men in your lives who love and respect you are also proud of this and your many other accomplishments!…
can use to support your ongoing success in selling and marketing to women.
SALES AND MARKETING SUPPLEMENT
Find and Leverage your Referral Champions
CALL CENTER SUPPLEMENT
The Telephone Game
Referrals from satisfied customers are the best way to grow your business. In fact, 93% of customer identify word of
mouth as the best, most reliable source about ideas and information on products and services (NDP World). Clearly you
need to tap into your customers for warm leads, but you don’t want to scare anyone away by pressuring them to turn over
their address books or by making them uncomfortable with constant requests for referrals.
For best results, you need to have a plan. The following steps can help you to map out your course of action for
obtaining warm leads from your customers.
Step 1. Identify your Referral Champions – the customers who are most primed and most likely to recommend your
services to friends, family and contacts. But don’t be fooled - the biggest spenders aren’t necessarily the best Referral
Champions. The following checklist includes a set of typical attributes that you can use to identify Referral Champions:
Has high customer satisfaction
Has made a previous referral, either upon request or on their own
Has a broad network, socially and/or professionally, through activity in the community and other outlets
Is knowledgeable about your industry and enjoys being kept up to date on new products, services or styles
Is collaborative and likes to share information on a variety of subjects
Is enthusiastic and influential
Think about your client list. Who would be your top 5 Referral Champions?
Step 2. Get to know your Referral Champions. Once you identify who your Champions are, you need to gather key info
about them. Some you may know better than others, since you’ve been doing business with them for years. Others, you
may need to have a few friendly conversations with them where you delve deeper into their interests and activities.
Step 3. Cultivate your relationships. Once you’ve identified your Champions and their interests, take time to cultivate
those relationships. Advocacy can be boosted by giving special attention to those clients. Below is a list of simple things
you can do to give them the attention they deserve, and to win them over.
1. Sign them up for a complimentary subscription to a newsletter you produce to keep them up-to-date.
2. Send them educational articles on topics that would interest them – not only ones you produce, but anything you
see in a magazine or online that may be of special interest to them or help them in a real, relevant way.
3. Send a small gift and note to thank them for being a part of your business.
4. Discuss industry news, trends and new industry opportunities to get them excited.
5. Conduct events with Champions based on their unique interests…
Would you please provide assistance in reviewing our pay plan structure against industry standards?
Can you help us to ensure that our pay plans best support our corporate strategies?
The first type of inquiry is normally the easiest for me. I call this the “WHAT Should We Pay?” inquiry. My initial response is to refer the client to the GH&A website at http://garryhouse.com/prod04.htm, where compensation guidelines for the three major franchise groupings are displayed. Before ending my conversation with the client, I typically say, “If you find that you are significantly higher than your franchise guide in any department or in any compensation category, please get back with me. You probably have an organizational issue, a productivity issue, or you’re simply paying your people more than you should be! And I can help you find a solution.” With those who re-contact me, I jointly perform an analysis and critique of their organization and compensation structure, utilizing a Microsoft Excel application. A working sample of this application, labeled “An Application to Help Plan Your Organization and Compensation Structure - Variable Operations” is available on my website at http://garryhouse.com/products.htm.
Inquiry #2 is usually more challenging to deal with. I call it the “HOW Should We Pay?” inquiry. Dealers asking this type of question normally recognize that their current compensation plans are somewhat “out of step” with the strategies they are attempting to employ in response to our ever-changing industry. Most of these dealers already know that they need pay plan revisions that will reinforce the habitual performance and flawless execution of those daily tasks expected of their employees. My challenge from this type of inquiry stems from the cultural differences between dealerships and dealership departments. We see cultural differences from franchise to franchise, from one geographic location to another, and from one leader’s background and personality to another’s. These cultural differences are what determine a department’s method-of-doing-business and the ensuing customer experience. There are numerous methods-of-doing-business from store to store and department to department, many of which are very successful. As a compensation SME, my job is not to recommend or change a department’s method-of-doing-business, but rather to identify it, and match the compensation plan to that method-of-doing-business.
If you are one of those leaders who is wondering how to deal with the uncomfortable prospect of implementing needed changes in sales, management, and/or administrative compensation, Garry House & Associates Co. will very capably assist you with this challenge. Although our industry abounds with qualified management consultants, I am one of the very few trusted subject matter experts who specialize in compensation analysis, planning, and application. The complete client list of dealerships and dealer groups with whom I have worked in this very specialized consulting area demonstrates my experience and is available for review at www.garryhouse.com/serv03.htm. I expect and welcome your due diligence.
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