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Trace Ordiway's ADM Blog (18)

CONFESSIONS OF A MYSTERY SHOPPER - PT 10

They are tired of doing so much work.



After 250+ mystery shops I think I can safely speak for the group when I say that my mystery shoppers are exhausted.  Their eyes hurt and their heads ache.…



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Added by Trace Ordiway on August 7, 2011 at 12:06pm — No Comments

CONFESSIONS OF A MYSTERY SHOPPER - PT 9

They don’t trust you.

 

We both know it’s largely unfair, but they don’t trust you. 

 

You’ve seen all the polls where buyers say if they could bypass the dealership and buy directly from the manufacturer they would.  They trust the OEM, but they don’t trust you.

 

A couple weeks ago, I heard a Ford maven say this (I’ll paraphrase): “The more your outgoing emails resemble Tier 1 emails, the more prospects trust you.”   By gawd, he’s on to something.…

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Added by Trace Ordiway on July 24, 2011 at 8:10am — No Comments

CONFESSIONS OF A MYSTERY SHOPPER - PT 8

Our team’s official Ford Motor Company job title is Digital Marketing Consultant.  Sounds cool.  I like it. 



But it’s actually a misnomer as it suggests that we want to sell you SEO/SAO, website development, lead generation and other services.  And we don’t.



For some time now I’ve been telling people that our real title should be Best Practices Consultant: Internet-based Retail New Car Sales.  But besides being too long, it’s also inadequate because it…

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Added by Trace Ordiway on July 10, 2011 at 5:57pm — 1 Comment

CONFESSIONS OF A MYSTERY SHOPPER - PT 7

Imagine that you run a restaurant.  



Out in the dining room it’s nothing but surprises: you open each day with no idea how many people are going to come through the doors, what they are going to order, whether you have too much or too little staff or food on hand, etc. etc. etc.  Anything goes, and that’s what makes it fun.

 

But back in the kitchen there must be order and process: if the kitchen is not systematically organized and operated the dishes will not make…

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Added by Trace Ordiway on June 26, 2011 at 9:30am — No Comments

CONFESSIONS OF A MYSTERY SHOPPER - PT 6

It’s odd how, in the fortnight that passes between these lite e*****, the theme for the next one always appears out of recent dealer visits.  For example, if I write about lead response times it’s because, unexplainably, LRT became an issue multiple times in my visits during the two weeks prior. 



The issue that revealed itself this time is Over-Thinking The Lead.  I had some poor mystery shops, and from stores that should know better and do better.  When we looked for a…

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Added by Trace Ordiway on June 12, 2011 at 12:25pm — No Comments

CONFESSIONS OF A MYSTERY SHOPPER - PT 5

I just discovered that in the past sixteen months I have launched more than 225 mystery shops.  Wow.  I didn’t realize there had been so many.



You’d think after 225+ mystery shops a guy should have some profound observations and conclusions to share about mystery shops, right?  I don’t know about the profound part, but, yeah, you’re right, it seems that a person should have some observations and conclusions to share.



So I’ve spent the last couple hours…

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Added by Trace Ordiway on May 29, 2011 at 8:47am — 2 Comments

CONFESSIONS OF A MYSTERY SHOPPER - PT 4

Are you still debating whether to employ text messaging in your eLead response process?  This story may get you off the fence.

 

One day a couple weeks ago, as I do most days, I was sitting in a General Manager’s office reviewing his store’s recent mystery shop. 

 

When I told him the Lead Response Time (LRT) was a disappointing 5 hours 36 minutes he immediately went to his CRM to verify.  To my surprise, the CRM said the response time was 41…

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Added by Trace Ordiway on May 15, 2011 at 5:37pm — 2 Comments

CONFESSIONS OF A MYSTERY SHOPPER - PT 3

This week a wonderful thing happened.  I got to see real salesmanship in action.



Here’s the set-up: I only mystery shop Ford dealers, and I almost always mystery shop for an F-150.  But this week I got the wild urge to do something different.  I had two stores to shop so I sent the same request to both: the female shopper clicked the “Get  Info” button on a specific 2012 Ford Focus in the dealer’s inventory and, in the Comments/Questions box, wrote “Does this one have a…

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Added by Trace Ordiway on May 1, 2011 at 7:18am — No Comments

CONFESSIONS OF A MYSTERY SHOPPER - PT 2

Last week, while at a dealer client, and while reviewing the mystery shop I had just done for them, I flashed on a story told to me last year by one of my teammates.  First know that this was a pretty typical mystery shop – the shopper received 2 emails and 1 phone call before the store stopped contact attempts.  Now the story:



Bob was 13 years old, in middle school for the first time, and faced with having to ask a girl to an upcoming school dance.  Like a lot of 13 year old boys…

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Added by Trace Ordiway on April 17, 2011 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

CONFESSIONS OF A MYSTERY SHOPPER - PT 1

As one who launches three to four e-mystery shops per week, I get to see the marketplace from a perspective far different than the one I had when I worked at a store.  I’ve learned that a lot of what, in my selling days, I thought was good material actually contains a message far different from the one intended – and that the message that comes across is not always a good one. 

 

Judging by some of the follow-up emails I get from dealerships today, many stores still have the…

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Added by Trace Ordiway on April 3, 2011 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

SECRETS OF INTERNET SALES SUCCESS – REVEALED!

OK, the title of this story is intentionally cheesy, but rest of it is real.  I mystery shopped some Dallas Region Ford-Lincoln eCommerce Elite (Top 100 stores in USA for new Ford-Lincoln Internet sales) stores recently and was surprised to discover that their response processes are similar.  This piqued my curiosity, so I called my DMC teammate in southern California to ask him how the  #1 new Ford Internet sales store in the country does… Continue

Added by Trace Ordiway on March 20, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

A TALE OF THREE SALESPEOPLE

This is a true story told to me in 1996 BC (Before Computers) by my friend sales trainer extraordinaire Diana Ball Cooksey. (http://www.dbcooksey.com/)



Diana was a busy working professional and single parent with little time for projects outside her day-to-day work and home responsibilities.  But she needed to buy some health insurance.  So she left voice messages after hours (this is the days before PCs, remember) with three agencies,…

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Added by Trace Ordiway on March 5, 2011 at 12:25pm — No Comments

IF CONTENT IS KING, WHAT AM I?

Vincent: How about a dog?

Jules: I don't eat dog either.

Vincent: Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?

Jules: I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy, but they're definitely dirty. But a dog's got personality. Personality goes a long way. *



*******************************************



If you immerse yourself in the discussion topics and blogs on the popular Internet car dealer sites (Dealer Refresh, ADM, Driving Sales, Kain Idea… Continue

Added by Trace Ordiway on December 24, 2009 at 5:00am — 9 Comments

ESCHEW OBFUSCATION

I have been avidly following an ongoing discussion thread here on ADM entitled “NEED HELP - Templates for the first 8 Days - No Contact.” Wow! Get out the boxing gloves! It began over a month ago when a dealer, feeling that his email templates were not up to the task, asked ADM members to share their own successful templates with him. The topic and the responses it has generated highlight the wide range of individual takes on this touchy subject, proving once again that, while few in the… Continue

Added by Trace Ordiway on December 7, 2009 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING

The title of this piece comes from a quote attributed to the screenwriter William Goldman. He was referring to the fact that, although the motion picture industry has been in existence for more than 90 years, no one in the movie business can accurately anticipate the public's taste or predict how well a picture will do in the theaters. In the end, a picture's success or failure is to a great degree just luck.



Is that not true of all retail? How many of us have held a big sale to… Continue

Added by Trace Ordiway on November 23, 2009 at 4:30am — 5 Comments

THINK OUTSIDE THE (BLACK) BOX

It seems to me that, as a community of Internet Retail Car Sales professionals, we devote a lot of discussion to the success or failure of the online software tools and services that we employ. However, very little is said about the success or failure of our dealer websites to successfully merchandize our products and services.



Yikes, was that a dry opening paragraph or what? OK, let me phrase it another way. I want to talk about the first thing prospective customers encounter when… Continue

Added by Trace Ordiway on November 15, 2009 at 8:30am — 11 Comments

YOUR BABY IS UGLY - PT 1

How do you tell someone that their child is ugly? Is it possible to tell a parent that his/her baby is homely? And even if you do, will they hear it?



The baby above is a metaphor for something that I believe vexes the Internet-based retail car business. It certainly does me. It is this: as an industry (retail automobile sales) that suffers from a somewhat low regard by the populi, a regard that we all want to see improve, it behooves us to put on our most professional public face.… Continue

Added by Trace Ordiway on November 1, 2009 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

YOUR BABY IS UGLY - PT 2

Car dealers are legendary for their ability to produce unbelievably bad TV commercials; why should we be shocked when their Internet content is no better? But why does this phenomena - seemingly unique to our industry - persist? I think it's pretty easy to explain.



One of the great things about the car business is that anybody can get into it. Walk through enough dealership doors and eventually you will get hired. What you make of it after that is up to you. It’s rock n’ roll,… Continue

Added by Trace Ordiway on November 1, 2009 at 9:30am — No Comments

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