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Last night I saw the final version our our first PCG Pit Stop video and I was taken back that I looked older than I perceive myself to be at 49. HD video cameras are fantastic delivering crisp, high resolution. Along with that comes accurate depiction of skin shading, wrinkles, blemishes, or five o'clock shadow.
The camera we used did a great job of showing my increasing grey highlights!!
I was thinking about my first reaction to the video and I came to the conclusion that the camera was a "trusted lens" into how I look to others. Regardless of how I feel or perceive myself, I'm showing signs of age.
I thought about how this applies to car dealers and I was struck with a number of analogies. Dealer principals and General Managers have their own perception of their dealership and like the video camera, it may not reflect their reality.
So I thought about the process by which stake holders in dealerships across the US and Canada can find "trusted lenses" that can look at their business and provide a fresh sense of reality. With all the money dealers spend each month on advertising, wouldn't it be prudent to invest in a reality check?
A Lens For Phone Processes
Dealers depend on their phone system to connect with consumers and the best dealers have developed processes for call handling. Most provide phone training for their staff. Your dealership may feel that you are doing a great job on handling the phone, but are you?
Company like Jerry Thibeau's Phone Ninjas or Chip King's Call Revu are trusted lenses that car dealers can hire to inspect phone processes. Dealers will be well rewarded to focus a third party lens on their phone calls, as I recently learned at the AMBC. Less than 10% of dealers who were mystery shopped had winning scorecards.
A Lens For Lead Management Processes
Dealers spend significant funds for advertising their inventory which generate direct email leads and calls. Dealers also purchase third party leads. Every dealership has unique processes for lead handling. Questions always arise on forums and conferences about the ideal number of leads that should be handled per person, but there is no correct general answer.
The correct number of leads per employee depends on individual dealer processes, BDC structure, and detailed quality measurements. However, dealers are not always adept on inspecting their own processes and results are often tainted by predjudice.
A trusted lens for BDC structure and lead management are companies like those led by Joe Webb at DealerKnows.com or independent consultants like Keith Shetterly, Joni Stuker and Christy Roman from NowMarketPlace.com.
The improvements that can be made from recommendations that would result from a third party lens in lead management and/or structure are not insignificant.
A Lens For Integrated Advertising Strategies
Dealers are discovering that a unified advertising campaign will yield the strongest results for the dollars they invest. However, most dealers have multiple silos of spending with little coordination between advertising partners.
It's common to see a dealer print ad with promotional offers with no corresponding ad copy on their websites. I estimate that over 50% of dealer "specials" pages are outdated or out of sync with their current offline advertising campaigns.
A trusted lens for creating a comprehensive marketing strategy are companies lead by Sean Wolfington at Tier 10 Marketing or Paul Potratz at Potratz Advertising. And if you are ready to completely rethink your advertising strategy, another trusted lens is Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller at RichDealers.com.
The point of this article is to start a discussion on other "Trusted Lenses" that can help dealers effectively review their important dealership processes. These include SEO, SEM, Chat, Fixed Operations, Video Marketing, and the list goes on.
Dealers need to remember my reaction to watching my own video; it challenged my perception.
With competition on the rise, I challenge members of this community to invest and hire trusted lenses to give you a fresh look at ALL your dealership operations.
The number I want you to focus on in your entire operating budget. Now think if a series of trusted lenses could increase your profits and reduce your expenses by 5%, 10%, or 20%.
Is it worth you looking into the camera??
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing