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Tag Archives: customer retention

Are you executing your processes???

How can you make sure that the processes you have throughout the dealership are executed every time….. and with every customer?

This has been and still remains one of the toughest things to get accomplished in the dealership.

Every dealership throughout the country has their own processes and procedures when it comes to selling and servicing their customers.

Every dealership has slightly different “steps to the sale” in regards to selling a customer a new or pre-owned vehicle.

Every dealership has their own processes on what transpires in the Service lane.

Every dealership has their own “playbook” on how they want their customers handled.

So how do you get your employees to execute this “playbook” each and every time with every customer??

You need to build a “video” library of ALL of your processes so that each and every one of your employees know exactly WHAT you want executed and HOW you want it executed.

In this video library, you need to “role play” each and every scenario in every step in every process.

Take each step in the “road to the sale” and have your management team role play exactly how you want your salespeople to execute these steps!

Take all of the processes in your Service Drive and video each one so that your employees flawlessly handle each and every step.

In building your “video library” of training material, you can give your employees the confidence and competence to succeed! Otherwise you leave the employee to “interpret” what your processes are.

By having this video library you build efficiencies and consistencies throughout the customer interaction. An efficient and consistent process is very important to having customer satisfaction AND customer retention!

Once you have this video library of every step to every process, have some fun by having your employee’s video role play each step.

There is no better training tool than seeing yourself execute a process. Every professional sports team in America utilizes “game film” to help train their team to see what they executed well and where their opportunities lie.

In building a video library of your processes, it provides a tool that your employees can utilize to sharpen their skills on a daily basis. It also provides a new employee ALL of the information that they will need to succeed and “get them up to speed” in your dealership!

Build your “core” process video library TODAY!!!

Your employees, customers and profits will ALL benefit!!!!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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“The formula for MAXIMUM R.O.I. in Social Media!”

There is a rather simple formula when it comes to getting the MAXIMUM return on your investment in Social Media.

It’s so simple…..it might overwhelm you!

And while the formula is simple…..the actual implementation is the hardest part!

The formula???????…………….”Embrace it”…….

That’s the ENTIRE formula…..”embrace it”

That’s right!!…….go ahead and “embrace” social media!

Most Dealers and dealerships are scared to death to go ahead and try!

BUT…go ahead…..”Embrace it”!!!

Let’s start with the Sales Department.

We would ALL love to have an entire showroom floor filled with salespeople that could sell 20-25 units a month without EVER having to take any floor traffic.

Some dealerships have these salespeople already! Salespeople that have their own book of business and continue to sell their 20-25 units in good times and bad.

How do these salespeople accomplish this month after month??

These salespeople do an excellent job of calling their customers, following up, sending birthday cards, holiday cards and keeping them abreast of all the latest incentives, deals and new models that are coming out!

These salespeople become the customers “friend” in the car business!

Now what if you could get your ENTIRE sales team to do all of that every day??

It’s easy by utilizing Social Media!

Engaging your customers on Social Media sites such as Facebook, allows you to constantly update your customer with your latest incentives, your latest specials and article that pertain to the vehicle that they purchased from you, thus reinforcing that the customer made the correct decision in purchasing from you!

You can also update your customers on any “new” models that may be coming out! Everyone LOVES “spy” pictures of future product!

You can engage your customers to any special events that you may have upcoming.

You can send your customer the latest pictures or video of any accessories that you may have added to another vehicle that they might be interested in.

Did you make a note of the customer’s interests or hobbies in your CRM? You can send them interesting articles on their favorite sports team or television show.

What about the servicing of the customers car?

Wouldn’t it be great to send your customers information regarding any “Service Specials?”

How about some articles or video explaining tire wear or battery life?

Send your customer articles on preparing their vehicle for any seasonal changes, i.e…..snow tires, coolant checks, safety checks before a long vacation drive….etc…..

The amount of information we can send our customers via Social Media is non-stop!

But first…….you have to “embrace” Social Media!

The whole idea of Social Media is that it is a FUN way to interact with your customer!

People have FUN with their friends. And EVERYONE wants a friend in the car business! Friends take care of friends….You can be comfortable DEALING with a friend….a friend will always treat you right….friends always recommend their friends to other friends…..

You see, by “embracing” social media, you become more than just “that salesperson” at the car dealership. You become their friend!

Every dealership wants to have a great relationship with all of their customers. They would love all of their customers to endorse them and support them! They would want their customers to refer all of their family and friends to them!

You can do ALL of this by “embracing” Social Media!

So if you are trying to figure out the pros and cons of social media, what the investment is and how much of a return on your investment will be….. know this…..You will receive ZERO return on your investment if you DON’T embrace social media.

The saying goes….”you will miss 100% of the shots that you never take”….

Go ahead…..take the shot….embrace social media TODAY!!!

This article originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of “The Social Dealership”

Here is the link:

http://socialdealershipmagazine.com/the-social-dealership/november-2011-issue/

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Service Lane Healthcare – Taking the “VITALS”

Every single time you go to the Doctor’s office, it happens.

They take your “vitals”

They check your pulse, your temperature, your blood pressure and they weigh you.

Your vitals are an indication of how your body is doing “health-wise”.

If any of the “vitals” are outside of the normal parameters, it may be an indication that your body is not as healthy as it could be.

AND….if your body is not as healthy as it could be, the Doctor then diagnoses and prescribes a process to get your body better!

So when a Service Advisor does a multi-point inspection of a vehicle that comes into the service lane, aren’t we getting that vehicle’s “vitals”??

All too often a Service Advisor misses the chance to build trust and rapport with the customer by NOT doing a complete walk-around of the vehicle and taking its vitals!

So let’s get the customer involved in taking the “vitals” of their vehicle so that the customer can understand what is going on with the health of the vehicle.

This entire process, if done correctly, will only take a grand total of 4 minutes!

Start off by having the customer step outside of the vehicle and move to the front of the vehicle. The Service Advisor then gets inside of the vehicle. Explain to the customer you would like them to check ALL of the lights on the vehicle, starting in the front. Then have the customer check their own, headlights, high and low beams, the signal lights and the emergency flashers.

Then have the customer step to the rear of the vehicle and have them check their own brake lights, tail lights, signal lights, the back up lights and emergency flashers.

AND….. beep the horn to make sure it is working correctly!

Get the customer interactive in checking both the tire tread depth and tire pressure of their vehicle. Explain to the customer that a “new“ tire has 10/32’ of tread depth. Let the customer measure the tread depth and the air pressure of their own vehicle!

Show the customer that their tires are either “wearing” perfectly or they are wearing unevenly. Explain to them that at 2/32’ the tire is “legally” worn-out.

Explain to the customer that properly inflated air pressure in a tire is the BEST way to avoid an accident and is best for the longevity of their tires.

Now let’s move under the hood.

Get the customer involved in checking the strength of the battery. With a good battery tester, you can show the customer right then and there how well their battery is performing. You can show the customer how much “life” the battery has or the possibility that it may need replacing.

Check ALL of the fluid levels of the vehicle. Show the customer where ALL of the different “dip-sticks” are. Make sure you get the customer involved in looking at these fluid levels.

Top off the windshield washer fluid while you have the hood open! It takes but a few seconds!

Then walk around the vehicle with the customer to note any existing damage that may be on the vehicle.

You now have taken the “vitals” of the vehicle in the service lane!

Are any of these vitals outside the normal parameters?

It may be an indication that the vehicle is not as healthy as it should be!

And if the vehicle is not as healthy as it should be, aren’t you the “Doctor”??…… And aren’t you going to diagnose and prescribe a process to get the vehicle better??

The customer has seen with their own eyes that they might have a light out on the vehicle.

They have measured the tire tread depth and air pressure themselves so that they know that the tires may be wearing unevenly, so they may need an “alignment” or possibly new tires.

They have watched you perform a battery check so they know that with a new season coming; they may need a new battery.

They have watched you check all of the fluid levels so that they have piece of mind that these levels are correct.

By taking the 4 minutes to go through the vehicles “vitals” with your customer, it will give the customer confidence that you are going to correctly go through the rest of the vehicle and prescribe the proper diagnosis for the vehicles ills.

This process delivers open and transparent measurements so that you instantly build value, rapport and trust.

AND…..what if the vehicles “vital” are perfect?

Well…..we ALL like to have good news when we go to the Doctor!!!!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Armed with ALL the knowledge; customers are still SCARED!

Today’s customers have access to an abundance of knowledge.

They can get on their computer or smart phone and see what the cost of a New Vehicle is.

They can appraise their own trade.

They can see what the lowest interest rates are.

They can do side by side comparisons with vehicles they are looking at.

They can check for the vehicles safety and reliability.

They can check how much insurance costs will be.

They can pretty much check on ANYTHING and EVERYTHING about the transaction!

Customers CAN, and in most cases DO, come armed with a LOT of knowledge before they enter the showroom floor.

BUT………they are still scared!

What are they scared of?

They are scared that they will still pay too much for the vehicle, not get enough for their trade, pay too high a payment, pay too high of an interest rate and most of all…….they are scared that they bought the wrong vehicle!

You see, even armed with ALL of the knowledge, there will always be some doubt by the customer that they are making the correct decision.

THIS is where YOU, the Sales Professional, can make a difference!

As a Sales Professional, you have to sell the product, the Dealership and YOU!!!!

“YOU”, make the difference in the sales transaction!!

Customers want to deal with someone that is knowledgeable, professional, and courteous…… and most of all……LIKE-ABLE!!!

So how do you get to become, “like-able”??

The formula is rather simple.

Ready???

Ask questions…….

That’s it……ask questions…and a lot of them!

LISTENING to the customer!!!!

You see the art of building rapport and knowing what a customer REALLY wants is the key to closing more deals!

The best closers do one thing better than everyone else! They ask the MOST questions.

When you ask questions, you get a better perspective of what the customer’s wants and needs are.

You get a better perspective of how they are going to use the vehicle.

You get a better perspective of what they “have to have’ and what they would “like to have”.

You get a better perspective of the information that the customer already has.

This is where, “YOU”, can make the difference!

YOU have to have extensive product knowledge of not just your own product, but the competitions product.

YOU have to have the ability to sell the advantages of your product over the competition.

YOU have to be able to know all of the 3rd party websites that are giving these customers their information! Websites such as, Edmunds, Truecar, NADA, KBB, NHTSA, IIHS, Consumer Reports, TheCarConnection, CarData, CarInfo, DealerNet…..the list goes on and on…..

YOU have to have the confidence and conviction of knowing HOW to overcome your customer’s objections with the correct knowledge and information to help them make the correct decision.

YOU can give the customer confidence that they are making the correct decision by purchasing your product!!!

The NUMBER ONE complaint of all customers in regards to the Sales experience is;

“The Salesperson wasted my time!”

The reason the customer feels that the Salesperson wasted their time was that the Salesperson didn’t listen to the customers wants and needs.

The Salesperson didn’t know their product.

The Salesperson didn’t give a good demonstration.

The Salesperson was not trustworthy.

As a Sales Professional, you have to make the customer feel comfortable and confident about their purchase!

The ONLY way you can make the customer feel this way is by becoming the very best at what you do!

Product knowledge, competitions products, comparisons, selling your products advantages, demonstrating, building value, practicing, drilling rehearsing….and……asking a LOT of questions!

Customers are armed with a lot of knowledge, yet they are still scared!

YOU can make the difference by putting all of the customer’s fears aside and making sure you give them the most professional presentation they will ever see!

If “YOU” can put the customers fears aside…..YOU will make the sale!!!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Your own employees hate you!!!!

I know…….it’s a pretty strong title for an article.

BUT….it’s true…..

It pertains to a vast majority of car dealerships around the country!

Your own employees MUST hate doing business with you!

They take their own personal vehicles and get oil changes, tires, tire rotations, alignments, batteries and wiper blades at other places!

You have made it inconvenient for them to service with you. You don’t seem to value their business and your prices are too high!

They purchase New and pre-owned vehicles from other dealerships!

They feel unappreciated and they are scared to go through the “sales process” with your sales team!

Your own employees don’t feel comfortable doing business with your own dealership!

WHY????

This scenario plays out at a LOT of dealerships across the Country!

Employees won’t or don’t do business with you!

The accounting office doesn’t trust the sales department. The sales department thinks the service department charges too much for service. The service department thinks that the sales department wants too much for the vehicles.

It goes on and on and on and on………does it sound like YOUR store???

You need to be a true leader and make sure your employees see AND feel the value you are giving them to do business with you!

YOU NEED TO VALUE YOUR EMPLOYEES!

After all, they are the ones taking care of your customers!

You have to make sure that you have a clear cut set of policies that are transparent to all your employees in regards to doing business with your own dealership!

Don’t just proclaim you have “employee pricing”! Make sure that you give your employees that “little extra” to make them feel good about doing business with their own place of work.

Are you willing to extend your “employee pricing” to your employees immediate family?

Are you willing to give your employees “special incentives” to pass along to their friends in order to get their business?

Do you, as a leader, convey these policies on a regular basis with ALL EMPLOYEES?

You HAVE to make your employee your BIGGEST ADVOCATE for doing business in your store!!

After all…..if your own employees won’t do business with you…..who will???

It takes a true leader with great communication skills to make sure that ALL EMPLOYEES feel special!

And when the employees feel special, your customers will feel special too!!!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Customers “wear” their vehicle!

Have you ever noticed that the type of vehicle that a person buys reflects their character or lifestyle?

People buy certain vehicles for a reason!

People buy pickup trucks for work or play….and maybe a little of both!

People buy minivans mostly because they have children.

People buy sports cars mostly because they like the image it portrays.

People buy high-line luxury vehicles for a status symbol.

People buy “green” vehicles mostly because they are concerned for the environment.

In ALL cases, people simply “wear” their vehicle. Their vehicle is an extension of themselves.

Like the clothes you wear, a vehicle becomes that new suit or that beautiful new dress. Maybe the vehicle becomes that sporty jacket you just bought or maybe the vehicle is that pair of sweat pants you just bought to run around and do errands with!

So if customers “wear” their vehicle, they also accessorize what they wear.

Customers will buy an incredible amount of accessories for their vehicle; just like they buy a new tie to go with the suit or a sparkling piece of jewelry to go with the new dress.

We all need to find every single opportunity to maximize our profits and give the customer a reason to be loyal to the dealership!

By making your store a “one-stop” shopping experience for those people that would like to accessorize their vehicle, you create one more reason for customers to frequent your dealership!

  • Are YOU as a dealer getting your fair share of accessory sales?
  • Are you even offering the customer accessory options?
  • Are you pricing the accessories to make it attractive for the customer to purchase from you?
  • Is your sales team involved in presenting these options?
  • Do you have 10-15% of your “in-stock” vehicles equipped with these accessories so that the customer can see them?
  • Do you have a dedicated area of the dealership to highlight accessories?

I encourage all of you to go to the SEMA show inLas Vegas!

http://www.semashow.com/

SEMA is short for Specialty Equipment Market Association, which was formed in 1963. The SEMA Show is the most excellent trade event for automotive specialty products in the world. It is consists of 6,764 companies worldwide and products in this $27.8 billion-a-year industry.

The first time I went to SEMA, I spent 2 entire days and STILL did not see the entire exhibit! It covers every square inch of the Las Vegas convention center!

Maximize your profit by checking out this show!

It is WELL worth your time!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door!

“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done.

 

Then they begin to hope it can be done.

 

Then they see it can be done.

 

Then it is done………. and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.” 

 Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

The people who are the most successful in life are the ones who create their own opportunities.

But all too often, people don’t want to give the extra effort or go the additional mile to realize their true potential!

What most people fail to understand is;

The bravest person is still scared; they are just braver one second longer than anyone else!

The calmest person is still worried; they are just calmer one second longer than anyone else!

The most disciplined person is still undisciplined; they are just disciplined one second longer than anyone else!

The most persistent person is still non-persistent; they are just persistent one second longer than anyone else!

As you can see……success isn’t given to anyone.

Success doesn’t come delivered in a pretty box with a big bow attached to it!

Success comes to those that have the intestinal fortitude to go beyond what most people think is “normal”.

Success comes to those that are willing to leave their “comfort zones” and reach out to do more!

Successful people don’t necessarily enjoy or like the things they have to do to be successful, but they understand that they HAVE to do them to be successful!

You have to have the courage to take the step forward and leave behind the forces that may pull you down!

You have to understand that success just might be……one more second away!

Make yourself have the guts, the heart, the spirit, the spunk, the backbone, the grit, the fortitude, the determination, the persistence and boldness to go forward!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Pre-Owned R.O.I. – Assess them – Find them – Fix them – Sell them (Part 4 of 4)

(Part 4 – Sell them)

In the first part of this 4 part blog, we reviewed how to “assess” what would be your “perfect Pre-owned inventory mix”.

In the second part of this 4 part blog, we reviewed how to “find” your “perfect Pre-owned inventory mix”.

In the third part of this 4 part blog, we reviewed how to “fix” or recondition your vehicles for maximum R.O.I.

Now that we know what vehicles we are looking for and how to find them and how to fix them, the next step is how to sell them!

Properly marketing and pricing your vehicle for sale is the key to a fast sale with maximum gross profit!

Let’s talk about “on-line” marketing and pricing first.

Once your vehicle is properly cleaned and reconditioned for sale, you have to take multiple pictures of the vehicle both inside and outside. Your perspective customer wants to see a LOT of pictures if they are viewing the vehicle on the internet. Make sure you include pictures of the mileage, tire tread depth and all angles of the vehicle inside and out! You should take a minimum of 20 pictures for each vehicle. Pay special attention to any upgraded factory accessories on the vehicle such as wheels, spoilers, roof racks…etc…..

The first two or three sentences of the vehicle description on-line are very important! Customers do NOT want to read a general list of the vehicles specifications and options! You MUST write the first few sentences as if you were writing a headline of a newspaper! You need to get the perspective customers attention! Sentences that start off with;

“ONE OWNER”,

“EXTREMELY LOW MILES”,

“UNBELIEVABLY CLEAN”,

“ORIGINALLY BOUGHT AND SERVICED HERE”

Get the perspective customers attention with a solid and well written description!

Produce a 60 second video of the vehicle! It not only provides a great marketing piece to help sell the vehicle, it also provides great SEO, (search engine optimization) for your vehicles on the internet! If you “tag” the video with the correct words it will show up in the search engines more easily and frequently!

You can market your vehicles on a vast number of Automotive Pre-owned websites. First, pay attention to marketing them on your own dealership website! Once you get your dealership website set, get the vehicle out to as many automotive Pre-owned websites as possible! The more exposure you have, the quicker and easier it will be to sell the vehicle!

Pricing the vehicle on the internet AND on the showroom floor should be the same! One sure way to upset a customer is to give them a price in the showroom that is higher than what they saw on-line! Seamless and transparent pricing policies need to be adhered to!

Price your Pre-owned vehicles “to market”! Don’t just “add” $ ”X” to the cost of the vehicle to set your pricing. There are many software tools to help you understand what the average retail price of a similar vehicle is in your market. Whether you use “V-Auto, AAX, First Look…..etc….the information is very similar.

The two most important pieces of criteria that a perspective customer is looking for in a Pre-owned vehicle are, price and mileage. Make sure that your pricing is in line with similar vehicles with the same mileage.

Once the customer gets to your dealership to look at your pre-owned inventory, make sure your sales staff knows all about the different makes models and trim levels that you have available!

When the customer walks into the showroom and asks, “What do you have in a 4 door import vehicle for under $12000.00?” you need to have a staff that is trained to give the customer a couple of different options within the first 60 seconds!

Your staff needs to have an overall knowledge of what pre-owned vehicles you have available and at what price points they are available at!

Marketing, pricing, knowledge of inventory and professionalism are important keys to selling a pre-owned vehicle!

Assessing, finding, fixing and selling your pre-owned vehicles for MAXIMUM R.O.I. is essential to the overall success of the dealership!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Pre-Owned R.O.I. – Assess them – Find them – Fix them – Sell them (Part 3 of 4)

(Part 3 – Fix them)

In the first part of this 4 part blog, we reviewed how to “assess” what would be your “perfect Pre-owned inventory mix”.

In the second part of this 4 part blog, we reviewed how to “find” your “perfect Pre-owned inventory mix”.

Now that we know what vehicles we are looking for and how to find them, the next step is to “fix” them.

The art of reconditioning a vehicle for re-sale is essential to achieve maximum R.O.I. for the dealership!

You have to use common sense when it comes to reconditioning a vehicle.

You want to make the vehicle as presentable and sellable as possible.

You want to make sure that your perception of what the costs are to properly recondition the vehicle fall into line with what the reality of the costs are.

If you have figured that it would cost a certain amount of money to recondition the vehicle when you obtained it and it is costing you more than what you originally thought, you need to adjust your thinking when you are appraising vehicles! That being said, you don’t want to take “shortcuts’ or not recondition the vehicle correctly to compensate for a vehicle that may have been “over appraised”!

I believe proper reconditioning of a vehicle comes down to just two simple elements.

Does the vehicle LOOK GREAT and is it MECHANICALLY SOUND?

Let’s talk about the physical appearance of the vehicle first.

I believe a great looking vehicle is much easier to sell than one that doesn’t look its best!

Have you removed all of the body dings, dents and scratches? Little dings and dents are the first thing a perspective buyer looks at before they even get in the vehicle. Did you re-paint the bumper covers to take away the scratches and scuffs?

How about the interior? Have you cleaned and shampooed the entire interior? Did you remove all of the stains from the seats and carpets? How about a new set of floor mats? New floor mats are an inexpensive way to make the interior look its best!

Was the former owner a smoker? Did the former owner have pets in the vehicle? Removing ALL odors completely is essential to making it presentable to the next buyer!

Is the vehicle properly detailed for re-sale? You have to constantly monitor the cleanliness of the vehicle when it sits on the lot! Is it washed, waxed and vacuumed properly AND daily? Are the wheels clean of brake dust and polished to look good? Did the vehicle go out on a demonstration drive and get dirty by going through puddles or by having dirt brought into the inside by dirty shoes?

Are the proper warranty stickers/paperwork properly displayed in a clean and neat fashion without damage?

Did you take off any of the competitions “badges” or dealership information and affix your own?

Is your license plate bracket affixed to the vehicle properly?

All of these little details are NOT missed by your customers! Make sure you are proactive in making sure you vehicle looks its best!

Now let’s talk about the mechanical aspect of reconditioning.

The obvious part is to make sure that the vehicle is going to pass any and all State mandated requirements for safety and inspection!

I believe if there is less than 40% life on a brake pad or a tire, it needs to be replaced. It makes a great selling point and story to the customer when you explain that this is your policy! Telling a customer that you value their safety by either putting on new brakes or tires builds value in your Pre-owned vehicle!

If the vehicle is within 5000 miles of a major service interval, go ahead and do the major service! It makes two great selling points with the perspective customer! First of all, it again builds value in your vehicle and secondly, when the customer purchase the vehicle, their first service experience in your dealership will NOT involve a costly repair! The first interaction with your Service Department will be a simple oil change. This will build retention and word of mouth endorsements for your store!

Make sure all of the accessories work correctly! Navigation systems, DVD players and stereo systems should all be checked for proper working order.

Does the vehicle have any OEM aftermarket equipment? Roof racks, fog lights, spoilers, etc….it should all be checked for proper function and instillation!

In the end, “FIXING” the vehicle correctly to maximize your R.O.I. is essential for the dealership!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Pre-Owned R.O.I. – Assess them – Find them – Fix them – Sell them (Part 2of 4)

(Part 2 – Find them)

In the first part of this 4 part blog, we reviewed how to “assess” what would be your “perfect Pre-owned inventory mix”.

Now that we know what vehicles we are looking for, the next step is “finding” them!

There are many places we can search to find these vehicles!

The “front door” is a good place to start! Are you properly appraising each and every customers “trade-in” vehicle? Are you utilizing all the available tools and software to help you in the appraisal? Have you enlisted several opinions of different Managers in the store? Did you miss something in the appraisal? Take advantage of every opportunity to take these vehicles in on trade! A daily review of trade-in opportunities between all department managers is a key to maximizing your potential!

Are you “data-mining” your database of customers? Do you utilize vehicle equity tools, software or calculators to help you proactively find customers that may be in an equity position OR have the ability to trade out of their vehicle today? Are the customers coming to the end of their lease contract or finance contract? Is the customer, “on-track” to go OVER the contracted amount of miles on their current lease? Is the customer, “out of warranty coverage” on their current vehicle? Could you use a particular year, make and model to enhance your “perfect inventory mix”? There are several great tools out there to help you in this search!

Do you have a dedicated Sales team of people working in your Service Drive? There are customers driving into your Service Drive on a daily basis. They already like and trust your Service Department! Are these customers still happy with their current vehicle? Have the customer’s needs changed since they bought the vehicle? Have the customer’s driving habits changed since they bought the vehicle? Is the vehicle nearing the end of a lease? Is there a new “body style” available in the current model the customer has? Is the customer unwilling to spend additional money to maintain their current vehicle? The Service Drive is one of the biggest opportunities for additional sales in the dealership! However, it is one of the LEAST utilized opportunities in dealerships nationwide! Don’t miss out!

Are you contacting individuals that have their vehicle listed for a “private party sale”? These individuals have their vehicle listed for private party sale for a number of various reasons. These individuals should be contacted to let them know you are willing and able to purchase their vehicle today! Explaining to these private party sellers the pluses and minuses of attempting to sell their vehicle on their own is the key element in attempting to purchase their vehicle! Explaining to the customer the ease in doing business with you is another key! Most individuals do not look forward to strange people showing up at their homes, wasting their valuable time, worrying about getting a safe and cash-able payment for their vehicle or taking care of any “payoff” on their vehicle! By doing business with your dealership, you can alleviate all of these customer worries!

Do you utilize a wholesale auction to fill in some of the gaps in your “perfect Pre-owned inventory mix”? Do you have a plan of what you want to purchase and how much you are willing to spend on each individual vehicle? Preparing your “game plan” is absolutely essential to making sure you are purchasing the correct vehicles and for the correct dollar amounts! Don’t get caught up in the auction hype! Preparing a solid game plan BEFORE you start purchasing vehicles at the auction stops you from paying too much for the wrong vehicles!

Finding the correct vehicles to enhance your “perfect Pre-owned inventory mix” is essential to maximizing your R.O.I.!

Get started….NOW!!!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Pre-Owned R.O.I. – Assess them – Find them – Fix them – Sell them (Part 1of 4)

(Part 1 – Assess them)

Pre-Owned vehicles are the life blood of any successful automotive dealership!

For some dealers, that don’t floor plan pre-owned vehicles, this is where aLOTof cash can be found!

So why is it that some dealers feel that the Pre-owned department takes a “back seat” to the New vehicle department?

Limited allocations or availability of New vehicles can be maddening! You never know when an earthquake and tsunami will impact your ability to get New vehicles.

Economic conditions can also impair your ability to have the correct “mix” of New vehicles. When gas prices go up, you can never seem to have enough “high gas mileage” vehicles available!

You can NEVER get enough of the “hot” New vehicles and there are always plenty of the “slower moving” New vehicles available!

On the other hand, your Pre-owned inventory can be as small or large as you like. You can stock the exact mix of “hot” pre-owned vehicles to maximize your R.O.I. (return on investment).

Taking the time to properly assess your Pre-owned inventory to “find” the correct mix of vehicles for your market is imperative to your success!

You have to assess what are the quickest and best moving makes and models in your area.

Make sure to stock your own “brand” of pre-owned vehicles. Whatever the manufacturers sign says on your building, make sure you have the correct mix of Pre-owned vehicles that were great selling vehicles when you sold them “New”! For example, customers will naturally gravitate to a Chevrolet store to look at and find Pre-Owned Chevrolet’s! Make sure you have the right mix on the lot!

You have to assess market conditions. What are the best Makes, Models and model year vehicles to stock? If there is a lack of New models, do you stock 1 and 2 year old vehicles to fill the void? What if New models are plentiful? Do you stock 3 year old models and older to maximize and balance your inventory options?

You have to assess seasonal conditions. Is your dealership in a northern climate? Have you stocked enough 4 wheel drive vehicles going into a winter season? Is your dealership in a southern climate? Have you stocked enough vehicles for the “snowbirds” arrival? Whatever the season, you need to be prepared and look ahead to seasonal conditions that give you an opportunity to maximize sales.

You have to assess economic conditions. Are gasoline prices going up? If gas prices are up, you need to stock additional “high gas mileage” vehicles. What is the median income of people in your area? If the median income is lower than average, do you stock less expensive pre-owned vehicles? You need to know the economic demographics of your area!

You have to assess availability conditions. Is there a shortage of available new models? Is there going to be a large amount of a certain model that is going to flood the market because there was a great lease deal on it 3 years earlier? Either a lack of or a plentiful supply of a certain model can change dramatically what the vehicles value may be worth! It is important that you research this and know it going forward. If there is going to be a lack of a certain model, you can “step up” on an appraisal of this vehicle. If there are going to be a huge influx of a certain model that is “coming off lease”, you may want to be a tad more conservative in it’s appraisal.

You NEED to have a Pre-owned “perfect inventory” map and guideline to correctly stock your Pre-owned department.

Do you have the correct tools and information to help you in this assessment? Or….are you just “winging it”??

The utilization of the correct tools to help you in this assessment is imperative to your success!

Maximize your opportunity in your Pre-owned department by assessing exactly what your inventory mix should look like!

Constantly monitoring your Pre-owned inventory mix will ensure you are getting your highest R.O.I.!!!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Go ahead….Embrace FAILURE!

Baseball is America’s game. It provides thrills, strategy, suspense, heroics and athleticism all in one.

As of the writing of this article, (September 22, 2011) the batting average for ALL Major League players stand at .255.

That translates into 255 hits for every 1000 at bats.

The player that has the highest batting average is Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox. Mr. Gonzalez is currently hitting .340, or 340 hits for every 1000 at bats.

Adrian Gonzalez is also among the top ten highest paid players in ALL of Major League Baseball with an annual salary of $21 million dollars per season!

So the very best hitter in ALL of Major League Baseball…..FAILS 66% of the time!

Mr. Gonzalez gets paid $21 million dollars a season to fail 66% of the time! The rest of the players in Major League Baseball also make millions failing at an even higher rate!

If the average player hits .255, the average failure rate is 74.5%!!

I find it rather astonishing that these same figures translate directly into closing percentages on an automotive showroom floor!

Failure is part of the game whether you are playing baseball or closing deals on the showroom floor.

In order to succeed in either, you have to embrace failure!

Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently!

When Adrian Gonzalez does NOT get a hit, do you think he sulks and whines about it??

NO!!!!

What Mr. Gonzalez does is analyze what just happened at that at bat.

  • He studies video of how the pitcher pitches to him and how he reacts
  • He studies his swing to see if there were flaws
  • He reads charts of what pitches the pitcher throws at certain times
  • He confers with coaches and mentors to help him get better
  • He doesn’t allow himself to get angry or upset
  • He practices, drills and rehearses relentlessly in an effort to get better

Mr. Gonzalez fully understands that he cannot get a hit every time he goes up to bat. He also understands he must embrace the failure and learn from it so the next time he goes to bat he does so with better knowledge and the correct attitude!

So now I ask the sales professionals in the room…..what is your batting average (closing percentage)???

Are you capable of raising your batting average to the highest in the dealership??

What will you do to raise your batting average???

Will you:

  • Study your own product knowledge?
  • Study the competitions product to know what they offer as compared to yours?
  • Practice rapport building?
  • Practice the steps on the road to the sale?
  • Practice overcoming the objection you have a hard time overcoming?
  • Know what your batting average is with all customers, i.e. first time customers, be-back customers, referral customers and repeat customers?
  • Practice your presentation skills?
  • Practice your demonstration drive route and conversation?
  • Choose to have the correct attitude every single day?
  • Not allow yourself to get down on yourself, angry or upset?
  • Allow YOUR coaches to help you get better?
  • Practice, drill and rehearse every single day without fail and no exceptions??

As you can see….failure is part of the game…..EMBRACE IT!

Learn from the failures and know that they are surely going to come!

They say you don’t drown by falling in the water…..you drown by STAYING in the water!

 

Don’t wait to get started on raising your batting average!

Only YOU can control your own outcome. Don’t wait for anyone to help you or get you started.

START YOURSELF…..NOW!!!!!

Only YOU know what your strengths and shortcomings are!

Attack your shortcomings like Adrian Gonzalez attacks the baseball!

You will see your batting average rise and your income soar!!!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 22, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Are you utilizing video of your happy customers?

Are you trying to decide what your Social Media process should look like?

Are you trying to decide where to begin and what to do?

One of the easiest and most effective ways to use social media to enhance your dealership’s presence is to utilize video of your happy customers either taking delivery of their New or Pre-Owned vehicle, or video of their experience in your service department!

You first have to understand, social media is like a family BBQ. At the family BBQ, everyone gathers around and talks about what is going on in their lives. Everyone trades stories of the positive things in their lives and the negative things. At the family BBQ, a positive or negative story about a retail experience, could persuade you to either give that business an opportunity or stay away from that business!

Wouldn’t you want your happy customers to persuade their friends and family to give your dealership an opportunity to earn their business??

When your happy customers are taking delivery of their New or Pre-Owned vehicle or getting their vehicle out of your Service Department, get the entire family together in a well lit environment. Have them gather around the vehicle. Whether they are inside or outside the vehicle, it makes no difference. As long as they are smiling and having a good time, the video will be positive.

Keep the video short! No more than 60 seconds! No one wants to watch a long drawn out video!

Don’t make the video seem scripted or planned. Make your video appear as casual and fun as possible! Most people want to do business with a place that is both professional and fun!

Make sure you introduce the family and the dealership at the very beginning of the video.

Example: “Here we have the Smith family taking delivery of their new (model) here at ABC Motors!”

Then ask the family just ONE question for the video. This will ensure you keep it to 60 seconds or less in length.

Questions such as:

  • Tell us about your Sales experience!
  • What do you like best about your New/Pre-Owned vehicle?
  • What is the first thing you will do with your New/Pre-Owned vehicle?
  • Where is the first place you will go with your New/Pre-Owned vehicle?
  • How did you enjoy your Service experience today?
  • If you could tell your family and friends just one thing about (ABC Motors), what would it be?

Explain to the customer you are then going to upload the video to the Dealerships Facebook page, your Dealerships YouTube channel and on your Dealership website. That way they can share the video on their Facebook page or e-mail the link from YouTube to their friends.

Make sure you give them a reason to do this video for the Dealership. After all, there should be something they receive in return for their endorsement of your Dealership. In return for the video, you may want to give them a free oil change or a discount for any further service or accessory purchase.

You want to make sure you have their permission to use the video in writing to protect yourself and the Dealership. Have your attorney construct a simply worded “release form” for your customer to sign.

Once you start building a series of videos, you can use them in your Social Media marketing and networking plans. You will have a video “why buy here” book.

Once a month, showcase a particularly great video on your Dealerships website, Facebook page or YouTube channel. Make sure you contact that customer whose video you are showcasing and thank them again for their business. I would encourage you to once again offer your customer an additional discount or service for allowing them to “feature” them on your sites!

An attitude of gratitude will go a long way! And everyone likes receiving gifts!!

Utilizing video, to start your Social Media presence and process, is both easy and fun to do. There is nothing more convincing to a perspective client of your Dealership than seeing happy and contented customers doing business at your store! The more videos you have, the better!

Make sure you have a way of continuously playing these videos in your showroom or your Service waiting area. It will be a reassurance to your customer or perspective customer that your Dealership is an awesome place to do business!

Start utilizing video of your happy customers to use in your Social Media presence!

There is no better testimonial you can receive! A video with smiling faces and satisfied customers that tells a story of a happy and pleasant experience at your Dealership is Social Media GOLD!!

This article appears in the publication, “Social Dealership Magazine”

http://socialdealershipmagazine.com/the-social-dealership/october-2011-issue/

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Your customer appraising their own trade via KBB!

Kelly Blue Book, the self proclaimed “The Trusted Resource” is used by consumers every day!

According to KBB’s own site stats, “Over 13+ million visits generate more than 35 million pricing reports every month”

THAT is a lot of visits!

Have you ever had a customer come into the dealership with information from KBB in regards to their trade-in that might not be accurate?

Did the customer choose the wrong model, the wrong equipment or the incorrect condition for their trade?

What if you let the customer appraise their own vehicle using KBB with your assistance?

What better way for your management team to build rapport and trust with your customer, than to let the customer be a part of the trade appraisal?

Your Salesperson, Sales Manager and your Pre-Owned Manager can all be a part of this process!

Instead of doing a “silent walk-around” of the trade, get your customer involved in the process!

After all, if the customer appraises their own vehicle, it would be difficult for them to disagree with the results!

Here is the process that I have used thousands of times to perfection.

  • Utilizing a clip board, have blank copies of KBB’s “Quick Condition Quiz” (examples shown in this blog) attached
  • Escort your customer to their trade-in vehicle
  • Ask the customer for assistance by handing them the clipboard to fill out the “Quick Condition Quiz”
  • Do a full and complete “walk around” of the trade with the customer
  • Get the customer interactive by checking all of the equipment on the trade.
  • Check all lights, (headlights, tail lights, flashers, back up lights…etc)
  • Check tire tread depth and pressure
  • Check all interior equipment, i.e., power windows, power locks, audio equipment, navigation, DVD….etc…..
  • Check all exterior body panels
  • Check all interior seats and carpeting for stains or wear
  • Invite the customer to go on the “operational drive” of their trade to make sure the vehicle performs correctly

Utilizing this process allows you to ask the customer questions about their vehicle. You can ask the customer about all of the service records of the vehicle and when was the last time they had the vehicle serviced and what was performed at that service.

Upon the customer filling out the KBB “Quick Condition Quiz”, invite your customer to input the information themselves into KBB.com

NOW….let KBB determine what “condition” the vehicle is in!!

Here is where the customer proceeds to fill out exactly what was checked off on the sheets on the clipboard. There are four sections to go through. Exterior, Interior, Mechanical and Miscellaneous.

Now you have let KBB determine the condition of the customers trade-in!

By utilizing the “Quick Condition Quiz”, the dealership AND the customer have a trustworthy and transparent way of determining the value of the trade-in.

The Dealership can then use the “KBB” value less any reconditioning costs that you and the customer have reviewed in the walk around of the trade-in, i.e., tires, brakes, body work, services and detailing.

Letting your customer appraise their own trade builds instant rapport and trust so that you have a better chance of closing the deal!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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What is the “Level of Expectation”?? (Part 4 of 4) – Service Drive

In (Part 1) of this blog, we talked about the experience you receive when you go to a restaurant for lunch.

In (Part 2) of this blog, we talked about the “Level of Expectation” process in your Sales Department.

In (Part 3) of this blog, we talked about the “Level of Expectation” process in your F&I/Business Manager’s Department.

Now….lets talk about setting the “Level of Expectation” in your Dealership’s Service Drive.

The “Level of Expectation” allows you to guide your customer through a series of steps that are clearly outlined for their understanding and review.

Your customer will know exactly WHAT will happen, WHAT ORDER it will happen in, HOW LONG it will take and the information they will RECEIVE to make an intelligent purchasing decision in a TIMELY fashion!!

Today’s customers demand a process that is both professional and transparent!

Today’s customers also want the process to go as quickly as possible!

Service Drive processes vary from dealership to dealership throughout the country.

Let’s outline an example of a Service Driveprocess and how to set the “Level of Expectation for your customer and employees!

EXAMPLE:

The customer enters your Service Drive/Lane.

Upon the initial greeting of the customer, your Service Adviser begins to explain what will transpire from this point going forward.

  • Collecting data on both the vehicle and the customer – 5-10 minutes
  • A thorough Multi-point inspection of the vehicle in the Service Drive/Lane – 5-10 minutes
  • A complete understanding and listening of what the customers vehicles Service concerns may be – 5-15 minutes
  • Service Advisor updating all customer records in the computer – 5-10 minutes
  • Service Advisor relaying to customer an approximate amount of time to service the vehicle – 5 minutes

This initial process can take anywhere from 25-50 minutes.

The Service Adviser then must set the “Level of Expectation” for when the service is completed on the customer’s vehicle.

  • A review of all services performed on vehicle and their appropriate charges (active delivery) – 5-10 minutes
  • A review on what items may need repair on the customers next service visit – 5-10 minutes
  • The setting of the customer’s next scheduled service appointment – 5 minutes
  • Customers payment for services – 5 minutes
  • The escorting of the customer to their vehicle and thanking them for their business – 5 minutes

This part of the process can take anywhere from 25-35 minutes to complete.

DON’T let your customer get frustrated and upset by “thinking” that the process is taking too long!

Remember, the customer has no idea of what the process is or how long it takes unless YOU tell them. And isn’t a calmer customer more easy to speak with than an upset and frustrated customer??

Will you have point of sale material around your Service Driveto aide your team in conveying yourDealerships Service Drive processes to the customer?

  • Banners
  • Table toppers
  • Posters
  • Video explanations on Service Advisors computers
  • Video explanations on your Dealership website

By providing a “Level of Expectation” in your Service Drive, it will do two things.

  • It will give the customer a clear and professional expectation of what will transpire on their visit and how long it will take.
  • Your Service Advisor will clearly, professionally and consistently give the same exact presentation and process to all of the customers.

By setting the “Level of Expectation”, your Dealership will quickly become proficient, consistent and professional!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 15, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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What is the “Level of Expectation”?? (Part 3 of 4) – F&I/Business Manager

In (Part 1) of this blog, we talked about the experience you receive when you go to a restaurant for lunch.

In (Part 2) of this blog, we talked about the “Level of Expectation” process in your Sales Department.

Now….lets talk about setting the “Level of Expectation” in your Dealership’s F&I/Business Manager Process.

The “Level of Expectation” allows you to guide your customer through a series of steps that are clearly outlined for their understanding and review.

Your customer will know exactly WHAT will happen, WHAT ORDER it will happen in, HOW LONG it will take and the information they will RECEIVE to make an intelligent purchasing decision in a TIMELY fashion!!

Today’s customers demand a process that is both professional and transparent!

Today’s customers also want the process to go as quickly as possible!

F&I/Business Manager processes vary from dealership to dealership throughout the country.

Let’s outline an example of an F&I/Business Manager process and how to set the “Level of Expectation for your customer and employees!

EXAMPLE:

Upon completion with the selling of the vehicle with all of the appropriate purchase and sales agreements signed, your F&I/Business Manager comes out onto the showroom floor to execute a “pre-interview” with the customer.

The pre-interview allows the F&I/Business Manager to get acquainted with the customer.

However, the customer has very little idea of what will happen going forward. Let’s give the customer that information!

The F&I/Business Manager, during the pre-interview, begins to set the level of expectation of what will happen from this point forward.

  • Loading computer with customers personal data – 10 minutes
  • Dealership and customer reviewing Motor Vehicle/Title Paperwork – 5-10 minutes
  • Dealership and customer reviewing optional products – 5-15 minutes
  • Dealership and customer reviewing Finance/Lease documents and contracts –  15-25 minutes

The F&I/Business Manager can then relate to the customer what is going to transpire at how long it should take, (35-60 minutes to go through all the steps completely)

DON’T let your customer get frustrated and upset by “thinking” that the process is taking too long!

Remember, the customer has no idea of what the process is or how long it takes unless YOU tell them. And isn’t a calmer customer more easy to speak with than an upset and frustrated customer??

Will you have point of sale material around your showroom to aide your team in conveying your Dealerships F&I/Business Manager processes to the customer?

  • Banners
  • Table toppers
  • Posters
  • Video explanations on Salespersons computers
  • Video explanations on F&I/Business Mangers computers
  • Video explanations on your Dealership website

By providing a “Level of Expectation” in your F&I/Business Manager’s office it will do two things.

  • It will give the customer a clear and professional expectation of what will transpire on their visit and how long it will take.
  • Your F&I/Business Manager will clearly, professionally and consistently give the same exact presentation and process to all of the customers.

By setting the “Level of Expectation”, your Dealership will quickly become proficient, consistent and professional!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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What is the “Level of Expectation”?? (Part 2 of 4) – Sales

In (part 1) of this blog, we talked about the experience you receive when you go to a restaurant for lunch.

Now….lets talk about setting the “Level of Expectation” in your Dealership’s showroom.

Today’s customers demand a process that is both professional and transparent!

Today’s customers also want the process to go as quickly as possible!

The “Level of Expectation” allows you to guide your customer through a series of steps that are clearly outlined for their understanding and review.

Your customer will know exactly WHAT will happen, WHAT ORDER it will happen in, HOW LONG it will take and the information they will RECEIVE to make an intelligent purchasing decision in a TIMELY fashion!!

Isn’t it easier to work with your customer if they go through YOUR process?

Isn’t one of the biggest obstacles in selling a vehicle, when the customer does not follow your process?? The customer wants to follow their own process thus causing confusion with your Salesperson, customer and Sales Management?

If you want your Salesperson and the Dealership to control the process, we had better tell the customer WHAT the process is!!

By telling the customer the steps in the process and how long each step will take, you will build instant rapport in getting directly to the wants and needs of the customer!

Since each and every Dealership has their own unique process in the Sales Department, wouldn’t it make sense to give your customers a level of expectation and comfort by telling them what your process looks like?

  • What are all the steps in the process??
  • What is the timeline for each one of these steps?
  • What information the customer can expect to receive in each one of the steps?

It all comes down to efficiencies and consistencies!!

Your customers visit to your Dealership should be efficient and consistent to ensure that each and every one of your customers has a “WOW” experience!

Let me outline an example, “Level of Expectation” for your Dealership and then we can discuss this further.

(Please insert your own process into the example)

Scenario: A customer walks into your showroom. The Salesperson greets them and immediately begins to explain how YOUR Dealership professionally does business!

The Salesperson then reviews your Dealership’s process with the customer.

  • Review of Dealership’s process – 5 minutes
  • Determining what type of vehicle you want and why – 10-15 minutes
  • Assessment of trade in vehicle – 10-15 minutes
  • Demonstration of features on preferred vehicle – 10-15 minutes
  • Demonstration drive of preferred vehicle – 10-15 minutes
  • Presentation of purchase figures – 10-20 minutes

The Salesperson can then relate to the customer what is going to transpire at how long it should take, (55-85 minutes to go through all the steps completely)

DON’T let your customer get frustrated and upset by “thinking” that the process is taking too long!

Remember, the customer has no idea of what the process is or how long it takes unless YOU tell them. And isn’t a calmer customer more easy to speak with than an upset and frustrated customer??

Will you have point of sale material around your showroom to aide you team in conveying your Dealerships Sales processes to the customer?

  • Banners
  • Table toppers
  • Posters
  • Video explanations on Salespersons computers
  • Video explanations on your Dealership website

By providing a “Level of Expectation” in your showroom it will do two things.

  • It will give the customer a clear and professional expectation of what will transpire on their visit and how long it will take.
  • Your Salesperson will clearly, professionally and consistently give the same exact presentation and process to all of the customers.

By setting the “Level of Expectation”, your Dealership will quickly become proficient, consistent and professional!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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What is the “Level of Expectation”?? (Part 1 of 4)

We have all had the experience of going out to a restaurant for lunch.

The process is nearly the same in every restaurant.

  • First we are greeted at the door
  • We are then guided to an open table
  • We are then given a menu to choose from different options
  • We are asked if we would like anything to drink while we look at the menu
  • When the drinks arrive at the table, we are asked if we have any questions about the menu
  • We are then told about any “special” that the restaurant has on that day
  • We then place our order for lunch
  • We wait approximately 10-20 minutes for lunch to arrive
  • Before the food arrives, we are asked if we would like more to drink
  • The server then arrives with our lunch
  • The server asks if we have everything we need and asks if the food is prepared correctly
  • When we finish our lunch, we are asked if we would like a dessert or the bill
  • We then either choose a dessert or get the bill
  • The server then picks up our payment for the bill
  • The server then returns with the appropriate change or Credit/Debit slip
  • We leave a tip for the server
  • We exit the restaurant receiving a “thank you” for our business

This entire process happens pretty much the same EVERY SINGLE TIME we go to lunch! It does not need to be written down or explained. We probably don’t even think about the process much.

BUT…..what if the process was all of a sudden different?? The process was out of the “normal” order?

  • What if the server asked if you wanted dessert first?
  • What if you never got anything to drink?
  • What if you never received a menu of items to choose from?
  • What if you had to stand to eat?
  • What if you had to wait 2 hours before you got your food?
  • What if you received food you didn’t want and no one cared?
  • What if after not receiving a menu, you were charged an incredibly high price for your food without knowing about it?

As you can see, if the process was changed, we would become confused, upset, angry or all three!

This leads me into the processes you have in your dealership for the Sales experience, the F&I experience and yourService Driveexperience.

Now we know that different dealerships have different processes around the Country. Each individual dealership has its own series of processes and procedures. BUT….whatever process and procedure that you have, is it done every time, every day, without fail with no exceptions by all employees??

And since processes and procedures vary in every dealership, how does the customer know what to expect if we don’t tell them what will transpire??

By setting the “Level of Expectation” for both your customers and your employees, it assures that everyone will understand EXACTLY what will happen and in the order it will happen!! It gives both the customer and the employee an understanding of each and every step in the process.

In parts 2, 3, and 4 of this blog, we will review the steps to setting the “Level of Expectation” in your Sales process, your F&I/Business Manager process and your Service Drive process.

The restaurant experience is all the same no matter where you go in the Country. HOWEVER….the same cannot be said of what happens in Dealerships around the Country. Every Dealership has different and unique processes.

With each Dealership having these different processes, we have confused, upset and angered our customers. They do not get the same experience in every Dealership they walk into.

I am NOT saying we should ALL have the same processes implemented the same exact way.

BUT…..what if we made the customer comfortable by telling them exactly what was going to happen and how long it was going to take at YOUR Dealership?

I believe it would give the customer a total sense of comfort AND provide the perfect playbook for your employees to work with every day, every time, without fail with no exceptions.

Stay tuned for parts 2, 3, and 4 of this blog!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Are you just training them OR are you developing a culture?

There is an enormous difference between training the people in your organization and actually developing a culture within your organization!

Training simply formulates the process from A to Z. But if ALL employees don’t understand the entire picture, you are doomed for failure!

While building a culture…..well…that takes a lot of time and effort from ALL of the people within your company! From the President on down, EVERYONE must be included in this journey!

Instead of just training your people on the processes, you have to begin formulating the culture in which your company will live and breathe!

Here are some thought starters on where to begin;

  • Does your company have a crystal clear vision on where it is going? AND….do ALL of the employees thoroughly understand it?
  • Do the leaders within the Company work in harmony toward that vision?
  • Is there open and honest communication between EVERYONE as to successes and failures?
  • Do ALL employees thoroughly understand their role and what is required of them in the Company?
  • Does your Company have an “attitude of gratitude” toward your customers?
  • Does you Company have an “attitude of gratitude” toward your employees?
  • Do ALL employees understand how other departments actually work and what the other departments “roles” are?
  • Do you provide constant feedback and metrics on how well your company is performing?
  • Are you providing positive motivation and inspiration every single minute of the day?
  • Are you developing your employees to see that they must take an active part in developing themselves?
  • Are your leaders actually on the front lines setting the pace or are they emanating orders from the “ivory tower”??
  • Are your employees publicly praised for their successes and privately counseled on their failures?

You can simply teach anyone a process.

You can train them all you want.

You can train them every day.

BUT…until you develop a “true culture” within your organization, you will fall directly on your face.

The old saying goes…..”Either you are part of the problem or part of the solution”….

By building a solid culture within your organization, you are destined for great things!!!

More customers will want to do business with you and you will have a steady stream of great people wanting to come to work in your environment!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 7, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Knock yourself Unconscious!!

When we all first started our careers in the automotive business, we began to learn the basics of our jobs.

We all learned different skills such as, greetings, fact finding, product knowledge, the steps to a sale, word tracks, phone skills, prospecting and networking skills, closing skills, follow up skills and so on.

We all got better by practicing, drilling and rehearsing each and every day, without fail and no exceptions! This is what makes us the professionals that we are today.

When someone new comes into our business, I always try and break down the “4 steps of learning” to help them better understand what is ahead of them. By understanding HOW a human being learns a new skill, a person that is trying to understand all of the ingredients it takes to be proficient in their new job, can break it down a bit easier.

The traditional view is that learning a skill is divided into four stages. The four stages are;

Unconscious Incompetence

Conscious Incompetence

Conscious Competence

Unconscious Competence

First there is unconscious incompetence. Not only do you not know how to do something, but you don’t know you don’t know. Never having driven a car for example, you have no idea what it is like. So you start to learn. You very soon discover your limitations. You have some lessons and consciously attend to all the instruments, steer, coordinate the clutch, and watch the road. It demands all your attention, you are not yet competent, and you keep on the back streets.

Next is the stage of conscious incompetence when you grind the gears, over-steer and give cyclist heart attacks. Although this stage is uncomfortable, (especially for cyclist), it is the stage when you learn the most.

This leads you to the stage of conscious competence. You can drive the car, but it takes all your concentration. You have learned the skill, but have not yet mastered it.

Lastly, and the goal of the endeavor, is unconscious competence. All of those little patterns that you learned so painstakingly blend together into one smooth unit of behavior. Then you can listen to the radio, enjoy the scenery and hold a conversation at the same time as driving. Your conscious mind sets the outcome and leaves it to your unconscious mind to carry it out.

These are the 4 steps of learning a new skill.

In order to become a true professional, we ALL must go through these 4 steps.

That is why I encourage you to “knock yourself unconscious”!!!

Practice, drill, rehearse and knock yourself unconscious every day!!!!

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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“From 1 customer to 10,000 customers in 60 seconds or less!”

Networking and prospecting. It’s something that is a lost art in the Automobile business today.

Back in the 1980’s, when I began my career in the automobile business, I used a “tickler file”. A “tickler file” was a series of 5X7 index cards that I used to keep track of my customers. I separated them using three different files. One file was sorted January through December. The second file was sorted by the number of days in the month, 1-31. The last file was sorted alphabetically, in case I needed to look up a certain customer quickly. It took a lot of time and effort to set up and sort these cards on a daily basis. I made my follow up phone calls based on these cards and I also mailed flyers out to these customers on a regular basis. It kept me in contact with my entire database of customers and allowed me to prospect new business. I spent several hours a day sorting, searching, calling and mailing these customers in an effort to generate additional business from the people that I had already done business with.

With the advancement of computers in the 1990’s, the computer generated “CRM” was born. These Customer Relationship Management tools were and are great for doing the daily tasks of sorting, calling and mailing current opportunities along with keeping in touch with your database of “sold” customers. In today’s automotive climate, one would be lost without a “CRM” tool.

The problem with the “Tickler file” of old and the “CRM” tool of the present, was and IS utilization of the information to network and prospect to perspective new customers. The Dealership relies on the Salespeople, Sales Managers and BDC’s to contact, call, mail, e-mail and text on a regular basis to generate more business. And while it is imperative that you do all of that activity, how can you market and advertise to all of your client’s relatives and friends? Sure, your client can talk about the great service or sales experience that they had at your dealership at a family and friends gathering. Your client can tell all of the people they work with about their great experience. But how can you impact ALL of their friends and family with a positive and lasting message??

What’s the answer? Social media!

Now let’s talk about one person’s, “circle of influence”. Your “circle of influence” is all of the people you speak with and interact with on a regular basis. Your “circle of influence” can be your family, your friends, your co-workers or even someone you do business with on a regular basis. You “influence” ALL of these people by relaying your experiences, good or bad, on what transpired in your life.

Let’s say you had a great meal and great service at the new restaurant that opened in town. The food was fantastic and the service was unbelievable! You would then tell all of the people in your “circle”, thus “influencing” them in a positive way that they should go to this restaurant. What if the opposite type of experience happened? You had a terrible meal and the service was lousy. You again would tell everyone about your experience in a negative way.

The size of an individuals “circle of influence” can be wide ranging. It can range from a small circle of 50 or so individuals to well into the 1000’s of people that one interacts with on a regular basis. It all depends on the size of someone’s family, the amount of friends they have or the size of the Company they work for.

For the sake of this article and “easy math’, lets use a total of 100 people that an individual has in their circle of influence. (How many “friends” do you have in your Facebook account?). If each individual has 100 people in their “circle of influence’ and each of those 100 people had 100 people in their “circle of influence” you have the ability to touch 10,000 people, (100 x 100 = 10,000) consistently.

By using Social Media to market and advertise, you can go from one customer to 10,000 in an instant!

The power is YOURS to engage these people!

This article is from my contribution to the publication, “The Social Dealership”

Here is a link to the article in the publication:

http://socialdealershipmagazine.com/the-social-dealership/september-2011-issue/

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Customer retention starts at….hello….

When you begin to speak about customer retention…..when does it all begin???

Customer retention…. starts….. at hello……

From the very first time we greet a customer… whether it is in the service drive…..on the lot…..or on the showroom floor……customer retention starts at….hello…

You have to first put yourself in the customer’s shoes….

When the customer walks into your store for the first time……they are most likely a bit confused and have a bit of uncertainty about what is going to take place….

In simple terms…..the customer walks into the store…. a little scared…..

If they walk into the service drive….they are not sure… exactly what is wrong with their vehicle…..and….they certainly want to pay a fair price for the service…

They don’t want to be sold services they really don’t need…..and…. they are unsure if they actually need them….

If they walk into the showroom…..they are scared that they might not get what they want for their trade….

They might be scared of paying too much for the vehicle they are going to purchase…

They might be scared they are making too high a payment or have too high an interest rate…..

Our first task….is to make them feel comfortable…..this is where customer retention starts…..with the initial greeting and handling of the customers wants and needs….

If the customer feels comfortable from the onset of the visit….sees that we are genuinely concerned about them…….and listen to what they are saying…we have laid the groundwork into not only making a sale….but retaining this customer for life…..

Let’s face it….the automobile industry doesn’t have the best public perception out there….

Some customers come in with a bit of a chip on their shoulders….

Some come in and are scared to death to listen to any presentation we give them…..fearing that they will be misguided or even worse…taken advantage of…

How do we break this perception???

It all starts with…..hello……

It starts with asking the customer questions about their visit to the store….and what they hope to accomplish….

Asking the questions with a concerned and sincere tone……

And after we ask the question….and the customer gives us an answer….we clarify what that means to the customer…

Let me give you a quick example….

Let’s say a customer comes into the showroom looking for a vehicle…

One of the questions we ask is this….

What is the one feature… you are looking for… in purchasing a vehicle???

The customer replies…..I am looking for a “SAFE” vehicle….

Thinking that we know what the customer means by “SAFE” vehicle…we go into a fantastic walk around on the safety features of the vehicle…

Safety belts….air bags…crumple zones….crash test statistics…..just an unbelievable great job on showing the safety features of the vehicle….

But…the customer isn’t listening…

The customer seems inattentive and bored…

Why???

Maybe we didn’t ask…when you say you want a “SAFE” vehicle….what do you mean??

Then the customer answers…..I want a vehicle that retains its value more than my last vehicle…

In other words…the customer wants a “SAFE” investment…

We can never assume what a customer means….we always need to clarify what the customers answer is to better serve them…

THIS….is the beginning of customer retention….

Customer retention??

It starts….with hello…..

To see a video of this blog, please go to the following link:

Jim Kristoff video – Customer retention starts with “hello”

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 


 
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Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Are you ready for a BDC that does it ALL?? (Part 2 of 2)

In the first part of this article, we talked about the concept of an all encompassing BDC to handle all of the Departments in your dealership.

The real question is…does your BDC actually DEVELOP BUSINESS??

Does your BDC assist and compliment each of your departments in the store?

Does your BDC help capture videos of happy customers either taking delivery of their New or Pre-Owned vehicle or having a fantastic Service Department experience?

Now, let’s see how the BDC would be responsible for handling each department. These points are just thought starters. There are MANY more areas of the dealership that your BDC can help you retain and develop business!

Sales Department incoming leads – Have the BDC handle ALL incoming Sales phone calls and incoming internet leads. The majority of your customers are already going to Truecar.com, Edmunds.com, and KellyBlueBook.com for their pricing information. Embrace the customer by reaffirming that your pricing is within those guidelines. Have the BDC concentrate more on setting the appointment rather than selling the vehicle. When the customer is contacting you they are looking for a reason to either BUY from you or cross you off their list. Give them a solid reason to buy from you!

Sales follow-up – The BDC should be making both the “non-sold” follow-up and the “sold” follow-up phone calls to make sure that the customer has had a pleasant experience. The “non-sold” call should be made by the BDC to see if the customer had a good experience with both the Sales representative and the Manager that were involved in the deal. If either the Sales representative or the Manager has handled the customer incorrectly, you have the chance to overcome the bad experience and make it a positive one.

A customer is more likely to tell a “Customer Service Representative” calling or texting from the store about their experience. The customer is also more likely to tell a “Customer Service Representative” What the “real” objection was to the sale,…. i.e.: price, payment, trade, selection, experience……etc…. Use the information to inspect, improve and council your team on the positives and negatives.

The “Sold” follow-up phone call again reaffirms a customer’s experience. It gives the Dealership another chance to say “thank you” for the business. The “Sold” phone call can also set the stage for additional calls and e-mails or texts in regards to any Service and Sales specials, discounts and incentives the Dealership wants to market.

Sales CSI – A customer is more likely to inform the “Customer Service Representative” about a potential bad experience. Make sure you are proactive in addressing any concerns a customer may have. Their displeasure can become viral in a matter of minutes on Google, DealerRater, Yelp or any of the other on-line sites. Protect your on-line reputation!

Service Department – The Service Department handled by the BDC is an absolute must in order to retain your customer! The majority of phone calls that come into your Service Department are to set an appointment for servicing of the customers vehicle. If your Service Advisor is doing the correct job of communicating with the customer that already has a vehicle in the shop, there shouldn’t be any phone calls that come into the BDC, by the customer, to ask if their vehicle is ready for pickup. The BDC simply needs to be trained a little about “shop loading” and standard services pricing. Your Service Departments standard pricing of services such as; oil changes, tire rotations, alignments…etc…are easy for the BDC to give. STOP the phones from ringing in yourService Drive! Have your Service Advisors pay attention to the customers they have in front of them!

Service Follow-up/CSI – How do we know if the customer is satisfied with the service(s) that were just performed on their vehicle? If you track “come backs”, hopefully, the customer WILL come back. Sometimes you only get one shot at servicing a customer’s vehicle. But what if the problem was NOT resolved? What if the Technician left the car dirty inside? What if the Technician moved the seat, didn’t return the seat to the customer’s position, and changed the radio station to a channel that upset the customer? If you are the Dealer, General Manager or Service Manager, how can you correct these things if you don’t “inspect what you expect?” If you don’t have a process in place to make sure you retain your customers in Service, you will lose them to your competition.

Parts Department – Have you ever listened to a Parts Counter person answer a phone call from a customer? Most Parts Counter people are used to dealing with either the technicians in the shop or a wholesale account. Sadly, most have never been trained on how to deal with the customer that calls into the store. Your BDC should be handling the calls that come in from the customers wanting to talk with the Parts Department. Wholesale account phone calls should be transferred directly into the Parts Department. Customers usually want an OEM accessories price or simple parts pricing on items such as headlights or brake pads. Your BDC can be trained in how to look up these parts prices and then do something your Parts counter people don’t! Your BDC can quote them on the complete job with labor performed by your Factory Certified trained technicians and set an appointment to do the service! How many times have you listened to your Parts Department quote a price to your customer and never ask for the business? The customer usually takes the price and just shops it around. Shouldn’t you quote them the price for the part, and then quote them what it would cost to install the part and then try to set an appointment for the job?? Your customers are NOT backyard mechanics. They are not about to tackle anything more than simple items. Shouldn’t you be advising them that anything beyond a simple item needs to be professionally handled by your Factory Trained Technicians?

Marketing and Data-mining – Your BDC needs to develop a comprehensive process to continually market and data-mine your customer database! Your BDC needs to make sure that every time they have a customer interaction, they receive permission from the customer to send further Sales and Service specials or incentives. Marketing via social networks, direct mail, phone calling or texting needs to be a constant in order to keep your store on the top of your customer’s minds. Make sure you know and document the customer’s “preferred method of contact”!!! If they ONLY want an e-mail….don‘t call them! If they prefer a text message….send them the information via text! Make sure your BDC is CONSTANTLY updating the customer’s profile. Reaffirming phone numbers, e-mail addresses, home addresses and any other pertinent information you need. Make sure that you make marketing to your customers something that the customer has “opted-in” for!

Constant data-mining must be performed by your BDC also. There are several data-mining pieces of software that are awesome! If you don’t have a vendor that provides you with a good piece of software to perform this task, you will not be successful with data-mining. Calling ALL customers that have a certain year, make and model of car to see if they want to trade it in is NOT data-mining! It will frustrate both your BDC and customers alike. Go get a good data-mining tool! It is well worth the investment!

In summary, the words “customer service” seems to be an oxymoron these days.

A well trained BDC will be your “first impression” when a customer contacts your dealership. And we all know you get one chance at a first impression! Be the store that all your customers will tell all their friends and family about. Be the store that stands out in a crowd of mediocre competitors! If you’re NOT retaining the customers you fought so hard to get….it will be much MORE expensive getting new customers!


About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff

 


 
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Posted by on August 22, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Are you ready for a BDC that does it ALL?? (Part 1of 2)

Does your BDC actually retain and develop business??

Are you ready for a BDC that does it ALL??

A BDC that actually Retains and Develops business for the store?

Are you ready for a BDC that goes well beyond simply handling incoming sales phone calls and sales internet leads?

Are you ready for a BDC that handles EVERYTHING in the store?

Are you ready for a BDC that handles ALL incoming Sales, Service, Parts and Body Shop calls, e-mails and texts?

Are you ready for a BDC that handles ALL outgoing Marketing efforts, Retention efforts, Customer Satisfaction efforts and Data mining?

Has this ever happened to you….??

You call a business to get a question answered.

Do you have to press “1” for this and “2” for that and so on…??

How irritated are YOU when you have to hit the prompt number…. only to wait again for yet another prompt…. to define your question to then go to another prompt…..UGH!!!!

Do you then just press “0” and beg for a live body to speak with??

Are you completely irritated before you even begin to speak with someone?

And by the time you do get to speak with someone, are you receptive to what they have to say??

In today’s “instant gratification, no patience” world, how long would YOU put up with not getting your questions answered?

What has happened to providing a “real” customer interaction with someone at the business that can handle any and all questions a customer may have?? And I am speaking of handling ALL questions….Sales, Service, Parts, Body Shop….etc…..

I am proposing that you do away with just having a phone receptionist and have your BDC handle ALL incoming inquiries.

If you have the phone receptionist “transfer” the call to that particular department, what happens when everyone is busy and they can’t take the customers call?

Does it bounce back to the receptionist? Do you then take a message?

Does the customer leave a “voicemail” for someone to answer in the specific department?

How long does it take for someone in that particular department to get “back with” the customer?? AND…most of all….don’t we want the people that are in their respective departments to handle the customers that are live and in front of them??

If the concept sounds expensive to implement, take a look at how many customer retention leaks you have going on at your Dealership now, and how much money you are throwing down the drain!!!

How many customers will you frustrate, not sell to, not retain and then lose to your competition?

How many of those frustrated and angry customers will tell everyone they know about their bad experience?

Will these unhappy customers give you bad reviews on DealerRater, Yelp, Google or any of the social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Google +?

Unhappiness can go viral…..QUICKLY!!

STOP spending the majority of your marketing and advertising dollars in “traditional” marketing and advertising! What good will it do you if you advertise and market them into your dealership and then spend NO money or take NO action in trying to RETAIN them??

Think about it, if you were able to retain a VERY LARGE percentage of customers you have done business with, how many LOYAL customers would you have?

Take a look at your Service absorption percentage. Why are some Dealerships OVER 100% Service absorption? Wouldn’t it be nice to have ALL the bills paid before you sell your first New or Used vehicle?

The simple truth is….you can make this concept a reality……

You CAN be the Dealership that everyone wants to do business with!!

Make your business look like this:

Most towns have one…A legendary local business… that consistently attracts people from miles around…

It’s a place that the locals proudly bring visiting relatives and friends to….

The place that’s always jumping with turbocharged workers and lines of delighted customers…

Even while nearby competitors are struggling just to stay in business…

It is a highly successful business…where it is difficult to get a job there…all the employees are thoroughly trained…and all the employees wear a smile…and share a laugh…

Does this describe your organization??

In part 2 of this article, we will get into the specifics of what the BDC will do to retain and develop business for each department in the dealership!

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff

 


 
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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Retain them….or lose them….

Let’s review some Customer Retention….facts…

These statistics are directly from NADA, the National Automobile Dealers Association…

Ninety percent… and I repeat…

Ninety percent of a dealership’s advertising budget… is spent attempting to acquire a NEW or Pre-Owned vehicle customer.

While the remaining 10 percent of the budget… is spent in the Service and Parts Departments.

Considering that the average dealership spends $384,000 per year…on advertising

 

This means that the average dealership only spends $38,400/year on retaining its customers.

 

That statistic is disturbing.

The easiest and least expensive customer to sell to… is the one that has already bought from you.

The auto industry… is working too hard and spending too much money… constantly trying to acquire new customers…

And while acquiring new customers is VERY important…

They already have thousands in their database… that are theirs to keep once they develop the right retention plan.

Now…the average new vehicle customer…according to NADA… is keeping their vehicle approximately 40 months before trading it in…

AND…Regular service customers are 17 times more likely to buy their next vehicle from their servicing dealership…

 

17 times more likely!!

 

Not twice as likely…or 5 times more likely…17 times more likely!!!

 

Did you also realize that 30% of YOUR customers…have a friend or family member that will purchase a vehicle in the next year?

Wouldn’t you like to have an opportunity to sell a vehicle to those people??

Very few dealerships track their marketing & retention efforts.

Most cannot tell… with a definitive answer… what is working and what is not.

More often then not, they do the same thing year after year.

That fits my favorite definition of insanity — “Doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result.”

So …what measurement instrument are you using…to track customer retention??

If you have to stop and think about it…you probably are not tracking it very well…

Is the Service and Parts Departments using specific operations codes to track your marketing efforts??

You can be very specific with these operation codes to help you track what is working and what is not…

Are you offering any special incentives to your customers to remain loyal??

You don’t need to give away anything to keep your customers loyal…

All it requires… is a little attention… and a little consideration…isn’t that what we all want??

There are countless ways to retain your customers…but you need to manage and measure these ways…

No program is good or bad …until it is measured…

Investing in retention… it’s an investment in the future… and cannot be underestimated.

So if you haven’t already… I strongly encourage you to take retention seriously.

Adopt a program to help you achieve results… and measure and track how the program you choose… works for you.

If not, you’re losing money to your competition.

 

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff

 


 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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How low will you go? – Minimum acceptable standards

Does your organization have minimum acceptable standards…for your salespeople and Managers??

Standards… that are the very least amount that is acceptable…and still retain your job?

Now…every good organization has goals and aspirations…

And every good organization… has the statistics on what the benchmark numbers are and what the average numbers are…

But do they have minimum standards…that all employees must adhere to??

Let me give you a couple of examples…

Let’s say you have a Salesperson selling new and pre-owned vehicles…

Nationwide…the average amount of vehicles sold per salesperson ranges from 8 to 10 vehicles per month…

You have given this salesperson all of the training…motivation…and inspiration… you can possibly give them…

But they cannot sell more than 4 vehicles per month??

Why do organizations keep them…if they cannot perform their jobs??

Or what about a service advisor…after all…they are salespeople too…

What if they can’t meet the minimum standards of hours per repair order…or dollars per repair order…

What are the minimum amount of “upsales” that are required over a month’s period of time??

How about your management team??

What are their minimums???

Total sales??

Average gross per sale??

A percentage of increase in business??

And is there minimum acceptable Customer Satisfaction numbers…required for continued employment??

This is why an organization needs to develop…minimum acceptable standards…within the frame of their pay plans…

The minimum standards perform a couple of tasks…

Number one…it clearly states to the person…what the minimum standards are…to remain in your organization…

Number two…with the standards in place…and a constant review of the employee…there will be no surprises when we have to eventually let this person go…

Number three…the standards will not discriminate…between race…religion…or gender…it is simply the minimum amount that is acceptable over a certain period of time…

It plays no favorites… is completely black and white…and easy to understand…

The minimum standards… should be just that…the minimum that is required to remain in your organization…

It provides… just the right amount of pressure to perform…

And are clear and easy to understand…

It is very important to share all of the pertinent numbers with your people…

So that they have an understanding of how the organization has set the minimum standards…to where they are…

The employee needs to see what the industry average numbers are…and what the best of the best are able to do…the benchmark numbers…

Only by sharing and explaining…what your minimum standards are…and how the organization derived those numbers…

Can the employee then know… what the responsibilities…and requirements… of the job are…

These minimums must be reviewed on an ongoing basis…to make sure that they are fair …and timely….

Minimum acceptable Standards…isn’t it time you had them???

To see a video of this blog, please go to the following link:

Jim Kristoff Video – Minimum acceptable standards


About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff

 


 
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Posted by on August 16, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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How do you Develop Leaders?

How do you develop leaders in your business??

First of all, I think it is important to get EVERYONE to understand….that they are ALL leaders.

This is a tough concept for some people. Maybe they feel like the average employee out there, just doing what they are told and moving forward in life…..

But the fact is…..we are ALL leaders!!

Whether we lead an organization….. or a team of people…… or our families…..and most importantly….we lead ourselves….

We lead ourselves out of bed every morning with the responsibilities of the world in front of us.

We need to provide for ourselves….. before we can provide for our families and then provide for our careers…

There is a survey of people acrossAmericaout there that was performed by the Harr group……

Now in this survey, thousands of people felt that they worked very hard at their jobs, but they worried about their effectiveness…..

The survey revealed this……

Only 14% are accomplishing as much as they believe they could…….14%…….do you think the employees believe they can do more???  Of course….

Only 17% could prepare a plan for the day….17%……….now that leaves 83% with NO plan…..YIKES!!

And rewards of working…. are low……… only 50% feel satisfied and fulfilled with their work…..

So what does this tell us???

There is a clear void to be filled in the leadership gap….

Make no mistake about it……people want to lead and be led……

People want to feel significance in their lives……

So how do you develop this leader inside that we all crave to be???

Well…..leadership development occurs over time….

It is not a one shot program…..

There are no instant 3 day courses that will transform someone into a leader….

It is an every day…..non…stop……journey through personal development…

Let me give you a simple equation….

Knowledge   =   confidence….

When you feel confident with what you do…… and do it to your greatest potential….it is very fulfilling…

Giving a person simple leadership tools such as….

Goal setting…

Having a daily plan……

Practice….drill…and rehearse….

Being process driven….

Holding yourself and others accountable…

Doing everything legally….ethically ….and morally correct…

Setting aside 15 minutes a day to further their own skill set….whether that be motivational…..inspirational….factual…or educational………

The point is….you don’t ever get a “buy in” from people…..as a matter of fact…I dislike the term….no one “buys in”….you have to SELL them…

You have to sell them on the facts that the only way to get ahead in life and feel fulfilled is to lead yourself to a higher level….

You need to give them all the tools…. The resources….and most of all….you need someone there to mentor them on a daily basis…

That is the job of the head person in charge…you lead from the top….

And if you lead from the top…..the rest falls into place….

To see a video of this blog, please go to the following link:

Jim Kristoff Website – How do you Develop Leaders?

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Great Leaders know it is ALL about the people!

Great leaders understand more than anything that it is ALL about the people…..

The people… are the driving force of any organization…..

Don’t believe it???

Go ahead and hire some bad ones and let me know how that works out…..

Seriously though….great leaders understand that they need to build professional relationships with each and every one of the employees….

Now…..I’m not talking about “best friends” kind of relationships….

I am talking about building a professional relationship with each person.

Great leaders find out exactly what motivates each individual…..

Every single person in this world has a different “map” of how they are put together……

People are raised in different parts of the Country….with different parents….who by the way have their own maps….

People are raised in different religions….

in different cultures….

With different friends….

Have different interests….

and most importantly…..

all have different driving forces of why they get up out of bed every morning..

Great leaders have interaction with the people…… every day…..great leaders find out what makes that individual…”tick”

Great leaders understand that by building rapport in a professional relationship…..that leader can then leverage that employee by giving them the proper feedback in a way that will be most receptive to that employee…

Think about it….

Some people love the recognition…

Some people love the challenge …

Some people like the certainty that goes with a particular project….

Some people just want to feel that… they “belong”

Some people want to continually grow….

You see….different motives… and different emotions…. drives all of us in what we do.

While figuring all of this out may seem to be a little difficult to do…..I know one thing…

If you ask a person exactly what they are thinking and how they are feeling….they will tell you…

But you first have to build a culture of honesty…..respect and integrity with that individual….

If you set the expectations clearly….and high enough….

Provide the employee with ALL of the tools and training that is necessary to perform the task….

And THEN…..give straight forward and honest feedback…..you will earn that individuals respect and trust….

As a leader….it is your job to mentor and train the leaders of tomorrow….

It starts by understanding the employee….understanding what their own individual driving motive is…

And then nurture it and watch it grow….

Your organization will be a better place and you as a leader will be fulfilled…..

To see a video of this blog, please go to the following link:

Jim Kristoff.com – Great Leaders know it is ALL about the people

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

 You can follow me on:

 My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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The Pain of Discipline or the Pain of Regret

There are two pains you will feel in your life…

The pain of discipline

Or the pain of regret

The pain of discipline…requires us…to do all the right things…

To discipline ourselves… to get out of bed every morning with a positive attitude…

To discipline ourselves… to tell our family that we love them everyday before we leave for work…

To discipline ourselves…to expand our knowledge of ourselves and the world a little more everyday…

To discipline ourselves… to doing everything…legally…ethically and morally correct…

To discipline ourselves to go to work each day…and complete every task we have…

To discipline ourselves…to be better leaders…

To discipline ourselves…to eat the right foods everyday…

To discipline ourselves…to exercise and stay fit…

To discipline ourselves…with time management…so that we maximize our day…

To discipline ourselves…to practice…drill…and rehearse our hobbies…

To discipline ourselves…to spend time with our family and friends…

To discipline ourselves…to never react out of anger…

To discipline ourselves…to help another in their hour of need…

To discipline ourselves…to just simply…stop and smell the flowers…

For if we do not feel the small pain of all of these disciplines…we will feel the larger pain…of regret…

The regret…of having a terrible attitude when we get up…

The regret…of not telling our family we love them everyday…for no one knows when ones time is up…and they are gone forever…

The regret…of not gaining any knowledge of what is happening with ourselves and the world…for then…we will be lost…

The regret…of illegal…unethical…or immoral…conduct…that could play on our minds…or worse yet…land us in jail…

The regret…of going to work each day…and just going through the motions…never advancing our careers of feeling fulfilled….

The regret…of not being a better leader…for we are all leaders…even if we simply lead just ourselves…

The regret…of eating the wrong foods everyday…thus getting obese…and succumbing to major health problems…

The regret…of not getting out and exercising…a good long walk can do you good…

The regret…of not managing all the time in a day…thus never completing all the things we would like to get done…

The regret…of not practicing or rehearsing what we do for fun…when its game time…you won’t have any game…

The regret…of not spending enough time with family and friends…for life is just a short journey…

The regret…of what we might say or do…if we react to a situation in anger…

The regret…of knowing someone needed our help…and we ignored them…

The regret…of not taking the time to smell the flowers…for if it is all work and no fun…it will make our lives extremely boring…

You see…the pain of discipline is far less painful…than the pain of regret…

For it isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad.

Rather… it is the regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow.

Regret and fear are twin thieves that will rob us of today…

Have the discipline to lead your life…the way you want to lead it…

For as you get older…without that discipline…the regrets start to pile up…

To see a video of this blog, go to the following link:

Jim Kristoff.com video – The Pain of Discipline or the Pain of Regret

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

 

You can follow me on:

 

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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Why is Customer Retention Important???

Customer retention…. It’s the single most important item…. that any Dealership can concentrate on….

Let me start with an NADA statistic

NADA did a survey…. And it showed that customers that service their vehicle… at the dealership…. are 17 times more likely to purchase another vehicle from you.

17 TIMES more likely!!!

Not twice as likely….

Not 5 times more likely….

Not even 10 times more likely…

Seven…teen times more likely…

If this statistic doesn’t get your attention…..NOTHING will…

THIS….is how important Customer retention is…..

A dealership will spend thousands and thousands of dollars attracting new business through advertising and marketing….

But what is getting spent on retaining the customers that you already have???

Lets face it…..customers will always return to a place that they feel comfortable doing business with and charges them a fair price.

Just like the old comedy show….Cheers…they all want to go where everybody knows their name….

Let me give you a correlation….

If you go into a restaurant and have bad service and bad food…..you are not likely to go back…

If you have good service and just fair food…..you might go back…

BUT….if you have great service and a great meal……you will definitely go back and tell all of your friends and relatives about the experience….

In turn….your friends and relatives will go to that restaurant…. based on your recommendation….

Wouldn’t you want the same thing to happen at the dealership???

Well…..it can happen!!!

There has to be a concentrated effort on staying in contact with the entire database of customers…

This contact needs to be timely and be of value to the customer…

You can’t just contact them for the purpose of selling them something…. You have to form a relationship with your customer….

You have to get every employee in the dealership to understand just how important customer retention is…

What it means for them in regards to expanding the business….. And expanding their own individual paycheck….

If you don’t have a customer retention process in your organization……you will not be able to grow your business at the rate in which you desire…

Have you measured your customer retention???

Do you know how many new customers you just sold a vehicle to…..come into your shop for service??

Do you know how many loyal service customers have come back and purchased another vehicle from you…or better yet…that loyal customer….. Telling a friend or family member about your store and they make a purchase from you….

Are you rewarding these loyal customers in some way???

If you are not rewarding these loyal customers…..they won’t be loyal for long….

Sometimes… just simply recognizing them for their loyalty is all that is needed…

You think customer retention is important???

The word important….. doesn’t do it justice….

The word essential….. is more fitting…

Customer retention is essential…… for the continued prosperity of your organization…

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

WordPress blogsite: https://jimkristoff.wordpress.com/

Blogspot blog: http://jimkristoff.blogspot.com/

DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 
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Posted by on July 1, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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