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Flushing Your Olympic Marketing Down the Drain of Bad Processes

The OEMs and the vendor/consultant marketplace are more and more teaching dealers all about modern marketing, and I get why:  Generating good traffic these days requires lots more than a newspaper, radio, or TV ad.  We’re all being shopped on the Internet by customers, and we need to be there, and be there strong, in order to win sales.

And, so, if we train and execute our dealer marketing to be at Olympic levels across all our media, including the Internet, then we’ve greatly improved our business, right?


If your marketing generates $300 calls being bungled by your $8-an-hour receptionist, if your sales staff lot-quals and drops your ups without a T.O., if your sales managers lose deals over $150, if your finance managers hit good-credit customers too high . . . if any of these, and more, happen, your processes are losing you sales.  And the same is true in service, because how many appointments don’t get set because you rely on busy writers and low-paid receptionists to set them?  How many up-sells don’t happen because they aren’t even asked for?

As you attend conferences and bootcamp training this year (the more the better!), don’t just look for new “Olympic” marketing for your sales and service, look for tools and services to help you make more money from better processes.  There are a lot of “Internet Rainmakers” to help you, but do your processes allow a sales-destructive and uncontrolled race down the drain--or do your processes and tools channel all that water into a beautiful pool to get the most sales possible?

Because it’s no use being the “Olympic High Diver of Marketing” if you and your sales just get flushed!


P.S. I apologize for the, er, "graphic graphic", but it was so funny I couldn't resist!  :)


By Keith Shetterly,
Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

Views: 75

Tags: automotive, crm, floor, internet, lot, marketing, phone, processes


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Comment by Robin Beebe on April 18, 2011 at 10:34pm
Keith, I have  attended four DD Conferences as a lone wolf from the marketing side, the topics in your post are exactly the reason I have my company's COO attending with me this week.  Internal processes can make or break a dealership.
Comment by Keith Shetterly on April 14, 2011 at 3:31pm
P.S. Ralph, and I like the idea of "getting their attention".  :)
Comment by Keith Shetterly on April 14, 2011 at 2:39pm
Well said, Ralph.  I have to add, though, that my post is just pointing out the importance of processes, and to not plan on marketing saving your dealership.  I think the Internet has exposed our weaknesses, and--as Pogo said, for those that remember him--"we have met the enemy, and he is us!"  :)
Comment by VJ on April 14, 2011 at 2:27pm
Great point Ralph...did I mention Pavlov?
Comment by Ralph Paglia on April 14, 2011 at 2:13pm



I just finished a marathon conference call with a Toyota dealership I am working with and the reason the call went so long was the anguish triggered by the topic you covered in this post... However, I would like to point out a few mitigating factors that make the case for "stressing" your sales management capacity and competency with more effective marketing:


1. Dealerships with lousy Internet Lead Response processes and execution rarely do anything about their incompetency if they get low lead volume... Send them 2,000 leads per month and watch the management team scramble to fix those very same broken processes that they considered inconsequential at 300 leads per month.


2. Poor phone management skills for a sales department are easily ignored when very few phone calls come to the dealership's sales department... Increase the incoming sales calls by 500% and there will be customers who will somehow find a way to make direct contact with the owner to tell him/her what a mess the store's phone handling processes are.  After receiving several complaints a day for a few weeks, the dealer will wake up and actually fix those issues.


3. Regarding floor traffic... When enough customers come in because of the Vehicle Buy-Back program and the sales "professionals" working at the dealership send them away saying "we don't buy cars, we sell them...", there will (again) be a few hardy souls who will go on Facebook and post the incredible story of incompetency that someone related to the dealer (spouse/son/daughter, etc.) will bring it to the dealer's attention and action will be taken... Maybe.


Here's the bottom line; after 30 years in the car business I can safely assure you that when poor execution of a dealership process occurs around a seldom seen circumstance... Nobody gives a darn about it! But, when those very same incomplete, poorly designed or flawed executables happen around a sales opportunity that overwhelms the dealership by sheer volume, then actions are taken to correct the processes, or people are replaced.


Wanna get a dealer's attention on Internet lead Management? Send him 5,000 leads a month!

Comment by Keith Shetterly on April 14, 2011 at 2:06pm

Thanks VJ!  I think a lot of dealers don't understand this.  And this is also what a lot of good-intentioned automotive marketing people don't understand:  Their product and/or service looks like crap if the dealer doesn't sell more cars using it.  So they need to be aware of the need for great process for great profits, not just great marketing for great traffic.


P.S. Somebody sent me the GIF as a joke, and I couldn't wait to find a way to use it.  :)

Comment by VJ on April 14, 2011 at 1:58pm
Amen! Keith, nice observation on the "insanity" dropping calls, no T.O.'s, losing deals because of $150 and so on. The best processes in the world do not work, and so does not the marketing, when the entire team, and by ENTIRE I mean entire is not insync and pulls on one string in one direction - 105% customer satisfaction and an attitude which is waking up even the sleeping beauty. We all talk about reputation mgmt, more ad dollar spending, etc but it just really starts with a sincere approach to the customer "let me help you" - slow down and adjust! AND I APPRECIATE THE GIF - great idea

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