Automotive Digital Marketing

Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders

Loading... Be Patient!

3 Steps to Acquire Real Gold instead of Fools Gold

Author's Note: "Hello ADM community. Happy to be here. I just signed up last week and can tell I am with my kind. I've enjoyed reading so far. Listed below is my first blog here in the ADM community. Hope you enjoy. Even if you don't, thanks for reading anyway. :)"


Gold is valuable! (“Thanks Jeff for the heads up there…”) Which is precisely why you want to avoid Pyrite. This iron sulfide mineral, which is still in use for manufacturing, has earned the nickname “Fools Gold” because of its close resemblance to the real thing. I think you’d agree with me, it would be a shame to pay a Gold price for Pyrite.

Vendors can be just like this.

Some are worth their weight in gold, others can make you look like a fool. We all need vendors. There are many consultants and vendors out there that do a great job in serving the automotive retail community. And others that don’t.  Or, some that do a great job that you may not be ready for just yet…..

So why is it that so many vendor partnerships fail?

It’s so easy to blame Autotrader for low sales and missed expectations, (and cancel the service) even though we checked the reports for the first time in three months today.  (Aaaand forgot to see if the pictures and comments were being polled properly) That display/retargeting campaign? Must not be working! Did I check it? I sure did, the day I signed the agreement! Have I checked it since? Aw shucks……

There might be a legitimate problem with a vendor service, but if we as managers and decision makers do not step up and hold ourselves accountable for how we choose the vendor and how to manage the vendor service, or carefully consider whether we need it at all, we are going to be throwing money away. Additionally, we could also compound an error by getting rid of a potentially profitable partnership simply because we haven’t looked in the mirror first. And back we go into the vicious cycle of “next shiny new vendor up!” syndrome.

One of the best little 3 step programs for choosing vendors (or for making any business decision really) is: 1. Clarify 2. Simplify 3. Execute. Like all programs, you have to do it, not just read it, and your mileage may vary. I can tell you one thing, this works! Here it is (with apologies to Brian Tracy and whomever he borrowed this off of)


  • What needs to be done?
    Why are we considering this?
  • Should we do it? How will we do it?
  • Who will lead/manage/execute this?
  • What resources will be made available to give the best shot of success?


  • How many steps/tasks/assignments are essential?
  • How many steps/tasks/assignments can be eliminated?


  • Daily, Weekly, and Monthly
  • On Time
  • In the correct (read, previously agreed upon) way and method


This isn’t rocket science, but then again, common sense isn’t common practice. It’s what we do, not our good intentions, which ultimately matter.

Every vendor partnership you have should be considered an investment moving you forward toward your business goals. Avoid the cowboy attitude of “I got a vendor so I don’t have to think about that.” Inspect what you expect. You don’t have to spend a lot of time monitoring vendors. However, weekly reports and monthly meetings (at a minimum) to go review benchmarks and progress is huge and can cause you to reap significant benefits. You simply cannot afford to use “hope” as a strategy.

Regardless of the current state of your vendor relationships, if you Clarify, Simplify, and most importantly, EXECUTE on what you agree to do, you will be able to find out pretty quickly if your vendors are worth their weight in gold, instead of wasting your precious time mining for shiny rocks that are best used as fossil fuel.

Views: 608

Tags: automobile, cars, dealerships, internet, sales, vendors


Oops... You need to stop "Lurking" on ADM and become a more genuine Automotive Professional by completing your membership registration. As a registered ADM Member, you can post comments, publish your own articles (be a star!) and start Forum discussions. Stop being an online "Peeping Tom" and JOIN ADM RIGHT NOW!

Join Automotive Digital Marketing

Comment by Bill Cosgrove on September 21, 2013 at 7:15pm

Thanks Jeffery. And I'll second Tom's welcome to ADM. I agree that accountability starts at the source. It easy to lay the blame elsewhere for your short-sightedness or lack of follow through.

We all make mistakes and should step up to the plate and accept them, learn from them and move on. Sorry Tom had a fat finger moment

Comment by Tom Gorham on September 21, 2013 at 6:37pm

(Whisper) Pssst... Bill, it's Tom, not Tim.  But you're right!

Comment by Dale Ferrell on September 17, 2013 at 8:35am

As a vendor I can appreciate this blog on several levels. What I will take away is the 3 Steps and implement from my end to make sure I am clearly explaining the value I bring to a dealership. Thanks Jeffrey!

Comment by Tom Gorham on September 12, 2013 at 4:20pm

Great post Jeffrey and welcome to ADM!  I love your three steps to execution.  I truly believe that as much communication as possible should occur between the dealer and the vendor throughout the relationship.  It should be a partnership in both planning and execution.  The sign and forget attitude on the part of the dealer OR vendor doesn't resonate.

If something isn't working, we in the dealerships have to look at whether we are doing our job before we blame the vendor.  Sometimes we need to improve and sometimes it's just not a good fit.  And sometimes the vendor just isn't up to snuff for whatever reason. 

Automotive Professional Network and Resource Exchange for Car Dealers, Managers, OEM and Marketing Practitioners seeking Best Practices.

ADM Sponsor

William B. Terry
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...

Please Consider Automotive Marketing Professional Community Sponsors

ADM Badge


Based On Your Interests...

ADM Consulting, LLC

Onsite/Offsite Combination ADM Consulting, LLC Professional Services
Select the maximum monthly investment you plan to make
Sign up for

Automotive Marketing Tools

Get ADM Toolbar

Click here to take the ADM Member Survey

Getting too many emails from ADM? Click mailbox below to control which types of alerts and updates you are sent......



ADM Professional Services
Phone Consultation
Topic or Issue:

Top Automotive Marketing Forum Discussions

1. BDC or Virtual BDC

Posted by Peter Stratton on February 26, 2020

Share the Best Content w/AutoMarketing Community

© 2020   Created by Ralph Paglia.   Powered by

ADM Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service