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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Jasen Rice

Jasen Rice Owner, Dealer Management

Exclusive Blog Posts

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Dealerships should always try to stay ahead of the guy down the street. Thinking "out side the box" to gain market share. And there is a lot of talk about the next big thing that they want to do, video, video search engine marketing, blogs, SEM, SEO..... But through a lot research and process building at dealerships across the nation, I think the first big hurdle would be to make sure you have a strong process and process management in place before going for the "next big thing". Build the foundation first, make sure it is solid, then frame, dry wall, paint..... but  alot of times we try to go right to the painting first (because that is what everyone else is doing) in hopes it would bring a solid foundation that has been lacking from the beginning. I started doing Internet sales in 1997 and all we really could do then was to focus on building and managing a process. We had 3rd party leads fighting for our business, but other then that, all we had to focus on was our process. Now there are so many other things that have to be managed to have a successful Internet department, or better yet, a better dealership, that we lose focus on what will get us to the next level. I have seen, and been apart of the dealerships retreat from the Internet in the late 90's and the hesitancy of dealerships trying to get back into the Internet in the early 2000's. This retreat and hesitancy was brought on by the lack of process management and spending money on leads that didn't produce sales because of it. I know that there are good and bad lead providers, but a big percentage of the dealerships failure had to do with how the lead was handled.  Going for the "next big thing" is what you should strive to do if it makes sense, but I would challange you first to make sure you have your website in order, a lead management tool in place with a process that contacts the customer for at least 60 days, closing at least 10% of your leads and doing 25-40% of your dealerships business. You must also have effective marketing and pricing on your used vehicles (asking too much for a car with bad discription and bad photos is not going to give you a good ROI on Autotrader, cars.com,....so don't worry about videos until that is handled). Lets move back in time, focus on what will get the customers to feel obligated to do business with you, and put the blinders on until you have reached your tipping point.  

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