Working On Your Dealership and Not Just In It Quiet Reflections
Quiet Reflections • It is 2008 • Please set aside any biases • Just reflect with an open mind… • Here is why: "We can't solve the problems of today by using the same thinking we used when we created them.“ -- Albert Einstein • So, what if…?
What if? • Of In-Market Car–Buying Consumers: • 1 out of 10 use TV and Radio • 2 out of 10 use a Newspaper • 9 out of 10 use the Internet • 2 out of 10 would BUY a car online if the capability existed • The above data are from a 2006 NADA survey and a 2007 CapGemini Survey • These are not projections… they are the current state • Conclusions: • The impact of the Internet is getting stronger • The old ways of profitably operating a dealership are dying
But the Internet is no panacea… • For many, ROIis negative • Effort vs. return is frustrating • Why? • The sales funnel narrows too sharply: • 2000 website visitors (100.0%) • 40 leads per month (2.0%)… ouch • 10 appointments (0.5%)… that’s bad too • 4 sales (0.2%)… why bother? • Often poor grosses too • Lots of work, extra expense, management doesn’t understand it, new technologies, poor returns • Frustrating, unprofitable
However, what is the choice? • Encyclopedia salesmen hate Wikipedia • And CNET hates Google • And newspapers hate Craigslist • And music labels hate Napster • And used bookstores hate Amazon • And so do independent bookstores • And courier services hate fax machines • And monks hate Gutenberg • Apparently, technology doesn't care who you hate. Seth Godin Maiden voyage of Virgin Galactic 2. Commercial space flight. Breakthrough technology. Future of travel?
The Internet Sales Funnel Awareness Interest Decision Sale Online nothing is really new, except the dealer is no longer in control
It is not about you… • Do you sound like this to your customers? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3qltEtl7H8
What if you had to? • 9 in 10 car buying consumers use the Internet… • That does NOT mean they use yours • How do you spend your advertising $$$ to ensure they can find you? • Do you have a website which gives them what they want when they do find you? Do you know? Have you asked? • 1 in 5 would buy online if the capability existed. • Does your website convert well into quality selling opportunities? • Where do you see yourself on this curve? • Warning: Consumers are on the right side
You control the shape of your funnel • Biggest Issues Most Dealers Have Today • Funnel Width at the top: • How often are you visible? • How compelling is your message? • Funnel Efficiency: • How rapidly does it taper in? • More importantly: • Where? • Why? • Do you know where your online funnel strengths and weaknesses are?
Hopefully you are not… • Primarily spending on your facility believing that location + frills alone will bring consumers in • Spending disproportionately to what is profitable on TV, radio, newspaper and print • Operating the way you always have hoping things come back or because you don’t know what to do on the Internet Sounding like a scary troll to your consumers Cutting expenses until sales return Making claims no one cares about
Hopefully you are… • Seeing your business as your consumers see it • Studying your Online funnel weaknesses • Exploring alternatives to address them • What needs to change most: • You have to meet your consumers where they are • Increasingly, they will not come in to your dealership if they do not want to • Especially if others give them what they want • Your success will increasingly come by getting efficient at making them want to
What is most important? • Dominate: • Your local search market • Market your online brand • Useful to the consumer • What is your online brand? • Call or email versus SHOP and BUY? • Supporting: • people • processes • technology • reporting, support, accountability
Fix the mistakes of the past • Past online mistakes: • Driving traffic is nice, but does little to add to your bottom line. • In your showroom, you don’t let consumers come into your dealership, look around then leave without someone attempting to strike up a conversation • “Give me your contact information (lead)” is not a conversation • Just like in your showroom, design your website so consumers want to do what you want them to do: • Ai-Dealer’s shopping cart for cars really feels like the right mix of self-serve control that consumers want while still creating the opportunity to sell cars that we as dealers need -- John Meadows, Director of eCommerce, Huffines Auto Group, TX
Fixing the Too Leaky Funnel • Revamp your website to give consumers what they want, so that you get what you want • Uncluttered design • Keep its content focused on them • Shopping cart for vehicles, F&I • Online confirmed service scheduling • Shopping cart for parts and accessories • Stop proposing marriage on the first date • Get them to identify themselves and make some gross profit… it is about trust
Nothing hard about any of it,Just takes action and commitment. The greatest danger for most of us is not that we reach to high and fail, but that we reach too low and succeed. -- Michelangelo Is your online showroom and experience as nice as your offline one?