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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Dave Erickson

Dave Erickson Internet Sales Director

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I'm going to try to write this in 10 minutes as I still have to shower and get to work as I have a customer who will be waiting for me when the doors open. The deal is set, car is cleaned, etc.. so I'll be all wrapped up by 11 and by then maybe I'll be playing some basketball in the service drive.

There are a lot of things I do each month and one of them is collect pricing from all my competitors. What I do here in Los Angeles might be overkill if you're in Elmira and also what I do is probably more geared for a person in a similar position as me where I have no resources, no help, no assistant, and to be honest no one to even talk to except for customers. I'm a firm believer that the entire store should be internet but have yet to convince any GSM to make the move yet which makes me question my own sales skills but that's another topic on another day. I have 8 minutes left right now.

To me Different Lead Sources equal different competitors, prices, and templates.

About two times per month I survey the market place on multiple levels and track this. Basically what I'm collect and tracking helps me to better position myself to be as competitive as possible.

Price: Collecting price quotes is easy but I think most people collect pricing towards the start of the month to see "where everyone is at" and I think all they are doing is collecting price. I like to mix it up and I'm more interested in what dealers are doing towards the end of the month to be honest with you (and if I get super price competitive I do this towards  the front half of the month to strengthen my pipeline for the end rather than try to drop my pants in reactionary desperation at the end).

Lead Sources: I'm also trying to estimate the budgets of my competitors on a lead source by lead source basis and have a total awareness of who I competing against on all 3rd party leads.

Competitors: I'm also fully aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the people I'm competing against on a individual basis. I know who is willing to give a lease quote and who insists people come into the store, what they may "exclude", how they attempt to win over deals etc.. and I try my best to pre-counter all of this in my templates, phone calls, and followups.

Templates: My templates and pricing strategy isn't the same for every lead source. Once you have a complete real time and historical summary of your marketplace it's pretty easy to see what you have to do.

Okay, my time is up. My coffee is finished. I better not be late. The customer is from Santa Barbara. If you're familiar with the geography of the area that is in no way close to me but every week I have a few extra gravy deals from Santa Barbara. Why so far away? Because I know who I'm competing against (and who I'm not competing against) if you lived there and received your quotes from the same sources as these folks you'd be driving down too.

Jared Hamilton
Im impressed with how your mystery shop process. Do you have some type of tracking spreadsheet to compare the results month over month? It would be interesting to see the patterns. You remind me of the movie "The Last Samurai" ...how all the great warriors studied their enemies so they knew what they were up against. I think we should rename you "Samuri Dave" for effectively studying your competition and for writing a good post in 10 minutes or less! ha! BTW: Did you close the deal?
Dave Erickson
Lol, that's a awesome name! Yep, I track it all on a spreadsheet with some info more often and others less often. The most interesting report I ever did was track yelp ratings on an ongoing basis and then compare that to new car sales volume in the district. You'd be surprised at how volume compares more with Yelp reviews than the price the dealers quote out. Yep, deal totally closed. Always. Customer was really happy. The last new car he bought was 18 years ago!

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