Gonna make you think I am crazy!

Bruce Petitt
What would you say, if I told you, that I am now working for a Dealer, that has been in business since 1926. This store averages 100-115 sales per month new and used. This dealer does not advertise (besides the radio spots and local coaches show that the spots promote) and this dealer has absolutely no web presence. They do manage to close 5-6 autotrader leads per month, the majority of the 100-115 sales per month are repeats and referrals. When I met this dealer, I knew I had to have this job. As a internet director, bdc manager, bdc operator or internet sales person, I could only imagine that unless i fall off the face of the earth, I am soon to be a rock star. The dealership had no CRM, no logging of sales calls, about 40% of used cars and less of new cars with photo's. That has all changed. Service runs 1200-1400 RO's per month on average! So, I just got a CRM in place with a Equity mining tool for service. I have my photo's online up to about 89% and 69% right now, and will have them at 96% or as close to 100% as possible in a week or so. I have autotrader and cars.com, a lead capture program on my website, a secondary site in place, just finished stacking the inventory on the lot. So my question is, with the correct processes in place, wouldn't I have been crazy to pass on a gold mine like this?
Lauren Moses
Bruce, Sounds like you really have hit the jackpot. Especially if they are really giving you free reign as to where to spend money for vendors, online presence, advertising, etc. I would just caution you to be careful and not get a big head. (not saying that you have you by any means). If you start walking around acting like if you hadn't shown up then none of it would have been done then you may start to ruffle feathers. But, on the positive side it does sound like you have really made some great strides to turning an already great dealership into an amazing one. Have you thought about promotional items for the sales staff? Stickers, pens, note pads, etc? For a pretty low cost you can probably get them all set up with some great "Thank You" gifts that not only go a long way with customers but can also help promote the sales staff even more. Also, if your state allows don't forget about referrals. Broadcast referral fees if a current customer refers a new one. I know quite a few that do it now for ever new referral they give out $100 after the same customer refers 5 they give them an additional $300 or $500. Just some things to think about, But keep up the great work!
Bruce Petitt
No free reign. Took me 30 days to convince them of the need for the CRM. It is the most amazing thing I have ever seen, and while you keep in mind they operate currently without a CRM, that means hand written paper deals, think about this one. There is no sales desk. It is a true old fashioned, sit with the guy you sit with, and work the deal. No Vauto's here, old fashioned little bitty black books and grey books. There is no TO and I am amazed to see that almost every deal that gets a seat, buys! The closing ratio is incredible here. I am mindful of all you mentioned, and given that they have never spent a dime on anything I would ask for, not mention paying someone like me to sit and play (you know everyone thinks that is what internet folk do is play)! They do a get a done of traffic on the web site, but at the end of the day, no one had any idea if any leads were generated, if anything bought from any of that activity. The sales guys have never heard of a phone ninja and think that scripts are for the movies only. My point is, if I can do what I have always done, I think I have found my retirement home. I dont beat my chest, no need, just pay me. I spent 30 days chompin at the bit to get going, and it will take 30 days or more for the CRM company to get the data loaded and ready to go. It should hopefully be a December to remember here!
Lauren Moses
Sounds amazing. Lord knows I've been chomping at the bit since the first week I started at my dealership (which was this March). Hopefully with the buy in of a new salesman I can start getting some major changes done. Totally understand the "Playing" all day.
Megan Barto
Million Dollar Question for your Goldmine - which CRM did you go with? Also - how do the salespeople & managers feel about you? (Rather - the IDEA of you?) Just curious.. BUT YES - I'd be ALL IN, too!! :-)
Kemick Larson
I would love that opportunity as well, but with one exception. With more volume and newer processes, go the "old way of doing things" A lot of time the reason why people are returning to that dealership is because they don't want to go through the "new way to buy a car" and want to have that small time feel; like they are a part of the family and matter where you work! Be careful what you are convincing the owners to do and what changes you are making to their current processes. Personally. CRM. Online Presence. Buy leads from good sources. (if they will let you buy any) and keep the small time feel. If you can balance it and make sure you are involving everyone around you on what you are doing and have the whole dealership bought in to new opportunity with the small time feel, I have a feeling you will be very successful. Be careful not to tread into the Danger Zone! Good luck and hopefully you stick around and update us on your implementation of different ideas!

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