Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
Ralph Paglia

Ralph Paglia Editor-in-Chief

Exclusive Blog Posts

Design: The Driving Factor Behind Showroom Sales

Design: The Driving Factor Behind Showroom Sales

Many factors go into creating a successful showroom. While often overlooked, design plays an essential role in the customer experience and overall success …

5 Reasons You Should Seek Out Consumer Generated Content

5 Reasons You Should Seek Out Consumer Generated Content

It may seem like a good idea to always be the one writing about your dealership, but in reality consumer-generated content is as important, if not more so,…

DealerRater Reviews now Available on Cars.com

DealerRater Reviews now Available on Cars.com

DealerRater pushed a press release today that they have pushed reviews to the Cars.com Platform. According to the press release, this is about three millio…

Why Should You Attend NADA 2017

Why Should You Attend NADA 2017

As you investigate the possibility of attending NADA in New Orleans this year, you might be questioning the benefits of attending. It’s possible that…

The Most Wonderful Time of Year for Luxury

The Most Wonderful Time of Year for Luxury

It’s that time of year again: lights line the houses, the air is brisk, and luxury manufacturers are trying to make sure their vehicles are the best …

AskPatty.com

Since this is my first blog posting to be published on DrivingSales.com, please let me introduce myself...

My name is Ralph Paglia and I joined the ADP Dealer Services Division, headquartered in Hoffman Estates, IL as their corporate  “Director – Digital Marketing” responsible for business development with OEM and National Accounts in April, 2007.  Prior to joining ADP, I was the Director of CRM and eBusiness Operations at Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix, AZ.  Courtesy Chevrolet’s Phoenix dealership is the largest total sales volume Chevrolet dealership in America… For the first 6 months after leaving Courtesy, I maintained an ongoing consulting relationship with Bill Gruwell, the owner of Courtesy Chevrolet and his sons Mark and Scott Gruwell.

I first became familiar with AskPatty.com while working for Courtesy Chevrolet in the Spring of 2006.  Since most of the people reading this blog posting have probably heard about AskPatty.com, I would like to have this posting reflect Courtesy Chevrolet’s experience with AskPatty.com while I was employed at Courtesy Chevrolet.  I would also like to comment on the lessons we learned and the ways we were able to get value from our participation in the AskPatty.com program.

AskPatty.com

When we initially signed up with Askpatty.com our motivation was to receive leads from women we anticipated would enquire about new and used vehicles through the AskPatty.com web site that was constructed for us at www.askpatty.com. Since we were the first dealer in a relatively large metropolitan area (Phoenix) to sign up for the program, we had several Internet Sales Specialists chomping at the bit to receive these leads.  Of course, we did not know then what we know today…

First of all, we were amazed that the people at AskPatty.com insisted that we train our staff and assign specific people to the AskPatty.com program.  We were initially put off by that whole approach as we were at that time a bunch of guys who thought “hey, we gives you da' money and you gives us da' car buyers… right?”. Well, we were initially mistaken as the program turns out to be a genuine and legitimate example of a group of people who mean what they say.  So, I went back to square one and hired a couple of women to be our AskPatty.com Internet Sales Specialists.  Now, I don’t have enough time in this posting to share all the stories around the women we hired and the trials and tribulations we went through as an organization that was traditionally dominated by testosterone fueled, mega-ego, high pressure car salesmen, but let it be known that for the first time in over 20 years of my automotive career, I turned to my wife for advice on what to do at work. 

My lovely bride happens to be a professor within the Women’s Studies program at Arizona State University (ASU), and is an accomplished feminist author… Her name is Dr. Elizabeth Archuleta.  Based on her guidance, I set up a separate area just off the showroom floor and then configured it with office cubicles and workstations for our AskPatty.com team of Internet Sales Specialists.  After taking the AskPatty.com required training, passing the tests, then setting up the “About Us” page at www.askpatty.com we were ready to get started… Katie, bar the doors!

What we soon learned is that AskPatty.com is not a third party lead provider, nor do they say that they are… What they are is an endorsement and certification provider.  Think of them as the Good Housekeeping seal of approval for a dealership that wants to serve the automotive needs of the female consumer.  Until we realized this value, we were under whelmed by the volume of leads we received directly from AskPatty.com, and we suspect that other dealers expecting them to be a lead source would discover the same thing.  Eventually, we figured it out… AskPatty.com is a franchise, a brand that we could use to market Courtesy Chevrolet as a “Female Friendly Dealership”.  But wait, there’s more…

Like many dealerships, we had traditionally not done a great job of hiring and retaining female sales professionals.  We discovered that the AskPatty.com program is a great way to attract, recruit, hire and train women sales professionals.  We did this within our Internet Sales Teams, but there is no reason why it would not work for the showroom sales teams as well.  And, to our delight we discovered that when we hire AskPatty.com Internet Sales Specialists, and then market this role using the internet, we started selling more cars to women car buyers than we had in the past.  Think about it, a whole new category of sales professionals selling new and used cars to customers who we previously missed because of the way we treated them… Sound like incremental business? 

Working with the truly exceptional management team at Courtesy Chevrolet, we were able to implement the use of AskPatty.com as a marketing campaign that was tied to a unique sales process executed by a dedicated team of women who truly believed in the concept of a female friendly car buying experience. Their passionate enthusiasm shows through to the customers.  Under Scott Gruwell’s leadership, the AskPatty.com Internet Sales Specialists helped us grow by over 30% during the second half of 2006 and going into 2007, becoming a key part of the store’s focus on maximizing sales volume through the use of niche marketing campaigns..  In 2006 Courtesy Chevrolet sold over 7,700 new Chevrolet cars and trucks, which was over 1,000 units ahead of the next closest Chevrolet dealer. Courtesy’s success in using the AskPatty.com franchise as part of their Digital Marketing strategy to grow sales worked exceptionally well for increasing used vehicle sales.  Courtesy’s total sales, not including wholesale, went over 11,000 vehicles in 2006.  Of those 11,000 sales, over 3,000 were used retail sales and over 4,000 of the 11,000+ total sales originated from Courtesy’s BDC and Internet Sales Teams, including our AskPatty.com female friendly sales professionals. 

The development of interactive marketing campaigns that make use of a dealership’s participation within the AskPatty.com female friendly car buying program combined with the implementation of multi-channel marketing strategies using a blend of new technologies and traditional media is a great way for dealers to capitalize on the AskPatty.com franchise.  Using the highly competitive and fast paced Phoenix market as a backdrop, we developed Digital Marketing practices around the AskPatty.com certification and branding that were successful and contributed to our overall success. Recognizing this, I was selected to receive the “Hardest Working Internet Sales Professional” award by the non-profit Association of Automotive Internet Sales Professionals (AAISP) for 2007.  

 

Ralph Paglia\
Director – Digital Marketing
ADP Dealer Services
Corporate Email: Ralph_Paglia@adp.com
Personal Email: RPaglia@GMail.com
Cell: (505) 301-6369

 


 

Jared Hamilton
I, along with many others in the industry, believe that those that learn both a combination of Dealership operations and Online marketing will springboard their careers into becoming the General Managers of the future. I believe it so much I gave an address at the AAISP convention exactly on that topic. Fot those not involved in web marketing, you can no longer ignore it if you want to continue to grow in this industry!
You are exactly correct Jared. Now a days the managers are so frightened about learning this new thing, they just decide to ignore it. Maybe it will go away. When the old dogs know it all - it's hard to let them in on reality. If they have to admit to this obvious, soon to come to a dealership near you event, they just might be found out to be worth a lot less than what they now get paid. Scares them to death. And it should, because they haven't learned anything in years. They sold a couple of hundred cars (maybe) 20 years ago and know it all (one year experience, 20 times over). If they don't want to come to an event, they are saying they place no value in it for them. Owners are so buffaloed by poor managers that they have no idea. Sorry, new sheriff in town. Sorry to say for them. When it comes to draw time, we draw at 2.4G w/ 9500 graphics, youtube channel they don't know about and personal PPC they don't know about, newsletter w/ deep links they don't know about, reputation they have no idea to maintain, SEO backend work, uploading to all sites from years of experience(now easier), utilizing free marketing avenues, milking vendors for more info and best practices (free stuff), Years of best website ideas, Digital communication, getting viral w/ bookmarking, social networking(Stan) that they don't even know they are a part of (did it for um), webinars that are always mine Cars.com-selling power-various marketing sites-Website Mag, SEO mag, Emails that look like chats, years of local events ie: AutoTader-Cars.com-KBB-Carfax-OEM, Made our own websites, able to justify pricing and trades by internet sites, have our own CD for be back, use publisher to build our own specials(free), built our own database for OUR use(vehicles, cust.), Optimize Craigslist power - as dealer and not, make a pdf from anything and attach, make our own coupon(digital), programming or inputting snippets. Oh well, you get the idea. Do you really think a manager wants to get into that gun fight. Which one can they do now? What trainer can do one now? Well probably less than you think. And the real unfortunate thing (hah you thought that was bad), the economy is going to expose them. Gonna happen. Microscopes are being bought as we speak(write). So I guess to answer David's question : Fear - Lazy
Mike Fitzpatrick
Wendell, It is interesting to see this post get stirred up after it's original publishing last summer. As much as things seem to change there is still a long way to go as far as management taking ownership of the list of tools and services you mentioned. There are other dangers that go somewhat unseen when management doesn't educate themselves to the technology that is available today. The ease at which a dealership can be taken advantage of by both vendors and employees posing to have all the answers. Over and over again I have seen dealerships hire an "Internet Manager" that talks a great game and in a very short amount of time be committed to vendors and services that don't fit their needs. Usually these "Internet Mangers" are around for 6 to 8 months produce 0 results and cost the dealership tens of thousands of dollars. Not to mention the greater damage of the fear that is now instilled that prevents the dealership from proceeding with any Internet Marketing at all. Even though the original post discusses the lack of middle management at the training, we all know that commitment (as well as the more popular saying) runs down hill. If middle management is going to get committed to technology and the Internet it needs to start at the top.
Very well said. I can't agree more.

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now