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Larry Bruce

Larry Bruce Founder / President / CEO

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are-you-kidding-me-300x300Wednesday I caught a Tweet from Alex Snyder on CRM “Why hasn’t CRM sold more cars”. I was glad to see someone writing about something other than Social Media and I even email that to Alex. All the hype and I am not using that term in a bad way here, just as a description for the industries obsession with Social Media. Whit all the Social Media hype it was refreshing to see an article on something other than social media. This was an excellent post and made some great points about what is required to make CRM systems and processes work in a dealership. I commented in this post that I was happy to see a post on something other than the Social Media hype and I got a couple of snide, but thought provoking comments from some guys who clearly had not thought their positions all the way through.   Comment one (The names have been left out to protect the not so innocent :)) “Larry, What this post has to do with Social Media I have no idea so why anyone would anyone bring it up? Personal agendas always get in the way.” Comment two “Social Media is an entirely other topic, and it is not “hype” that can be ignored. It’s not 1984, and marketing a dealership or selling cars in the same way will lead to disaster.” I started out just making a comment how refreshing it was to see something other than social media then as I answered comment two it started to become more clear to me how TOTALLY WRONG AND WAY OFF BASE THESE TWO GUYS ARE! In 1984 when I started selling cars the first thing my sales manger asked me to do was compile a friends and family list this was the basis for what we called then “My book of business” – Now, hell Facebook will do this for you connecting you with people you friends and family you don't even remember. Your CRM system will quickly and easily allow you to categorize and reference them with a few mouse clicks. I spent my days pacing up and down the “Point” looking to beat the rest of the sales guys to the ups, cold calling from the white pages and following up on “UP’s” from past “Point” engagements – now I can pull customers from my dealerships database and follow-up on them via phone and email. When I do engage them I can ask them if they would like to become a Fan of the dealership on Facebook to get updates on service specials, special fan pricing and updates on good vehicle buys and if they do then I can just post good information in ONE place to talk to hundreds if not thousands of customers!   I used the Clint McGee GO (Get Organized) System. There were Green cards for UP’s, Yellow Cards for Referrals and Pink Cards for Sold Customers. I would follow up with each based on the color but also based on Birthdays, Anniversaries and Spouses and Children’s Birthdays with cards and letters. What would I have given to be able to send an e-card and now even better than that post a Happy Birthday on their Facebook wall for all their friends to see, I would have killed for that! Instead of spending countless hours cold calling on the telephone, what I wouldn’t have given to sit in front of a computer and update my Facebook customers the great things going on at the dealership and be able to help them with question there where others might have the same questions and can learn from others questions. To be able to Tweet when a great trade came in to a group of possibly interested customers that asked to be notified! Now for 3 things that were very hard to do in 1984 that CRM and Social Media have made a snap and have tremendous value for customers and salespeople. 1. I always tried to help my customers with a ride to wherever they needed to go if they were dropping of their vehicle in service – now I would post my ride schedule on my Facebook page and ask customers to go there to notify me if they are going to need a ride or use of my demo. My god this would show the value of doing business with me and allow me to be of so much more service to my customers. 2. I would have posted several videos of basic vehicle operations, setting the clock, using the Bluetooth feature ect. So that my customers would have a video reference for basic operations. 3. I would email e-cards to my UP’s and Internet leads to be different from all the other salespeople they have talked to I would also search Facebook to see if anyone in my network knows them and ask for some referral help. My god the more you go through this the more you realize that CRM IS Social Media, come on, you guys on Dealerrefresh that think these thing aren’t related you could not be more wrong. I also recall a blogger on DrivingSales making the comment about someone calling in SocialCRM “That makes me want to barf”… Please wake up, there will be a convergence of CRM and Social Media far before marketing will make any kina mark there. CRM and Social Media…totally separate topics! Have you lost your mind? Everything I have discussed here we did in 1984 just nowhere near as efficient as it can be done now, but clearly not a disaster. Hope this helps, Larry Bruce (@pcmguy) www.pcmguy.com

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