Long known as mainly an industry for men, women are making more and more advances in the auto industry. Auto Dealer Monthly just announced their 2012 Sales Professional of the Year, and it was awarded to Tiffany Kruzer of Ganley Honda in North Olmsted, Ohio. She was one of only two female Sales Professionals of the Month in 2012 in Auto Dealer Monthly.
In addition, the Urban Wheels awards', "the official multicultural event of the North American International Auto Show," honorees this year were all women, recognized for their innovation and leadership in the auto industry.
Women still only make up about 21% of motor vehicle manufacturing workers with about 58% of them in office or clerical positions, while, as of 2010, only 13% of salespeople at dealerships were female, and less than 3% of dealership owners were women. There have been surveys done that show women are often the ones making auto buying decisions for U.S. families. Maybe they would like to see more female faces at dealerships.
Tiffany Kruzer, the Sales Professional of the Year, says her goal is to own a dealership someday. We wish her luck in that goal!
According to the DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report, white is the most popular car color worldwide for the second year in a row. And silver has dropped down to third place. Here's DuPont's list:
1. White/White Pearl – 23 percent
2. Black/Black Effect – 21 percent
3. Silver – 18 percent
4. Gray – 14 percent
5. Red – 8 percent
6. Blue – 6 percent
7. Brown/Beige – 6 percent
8. Green – 1 percent
9. Yellow/Gold – 1 percent
10. Others – 2 percent
Look at that list. Are we boring or what? White, black, silver, gray . . . and then finally some real color. RED. BLUE.
I think I'm going to make it my goal to buy and encourage the purchase of orange vehicles in the coming years. Bright orange. Or maybe purple. Let's get some bold colors on this list! Who's with me?
How often do you think Santa buys a new sleigh? And when he does, is it used or new?
Many people struggle with the decision of whether to buy a new or used car. Some just want to get the newest thing and enjoy that new car smell, but others find, especially with used cars not more than a few years old, that they can get a better deal by purchasing a quality used car. When buying used, though, there is often the concern that the car was not properly maintained, which can lead to headaches and costs down the road.
I think it comes down to two main things: personal choice and finances.
Many of us cannot afford to buy brand new vehicles, so going with a reputable dealer of pre-owned vehicles is the way to go. Buying used can also offer more options, including a higher end vehicle that would not be affordable in a new model.
Others buy a new car every few years. And others buy a new car and drive it for many years. I don't think the divide on new vs. used is likely to change - just be sure you shop around for a car that meets your needs and fits your price range either way.
So, what do you think Santa would do? Buy new or used?
Articles about the used vs. new issue:
Pre-owned cars: Tried and tested, or used and abused?
Advantages of New and Used Cars
The age old (or maybe not so old) question.
Small businesses often struggle to be found in internet searches. For those of us in the automobile industry, there is more than one way that potential customers can search. Car and automobile are interchangeable, so do we need to make sure both words are on our web pages and advertisements in order to be found?
Recently, a Search Engineer from Google answered this question in a video. He says they have a "synonym team" whose job it is to make sure Google knows recognizes similar terms, like car and automobile, as the same. But, he still advises that you try to use both terms in order to get better traffic to your site.
Also, Google is not the only search engine, and we do not know which engine our prospective customers are using, so it does seem that varying the terms used is a good idea.
Editorial on video: http://www.brafton.com/news/are-car-and-automobile-the-same-to-google
Follow up, follow up, and follow up has been the mantra of Managers and Owners since the horse and buggy years. The though being if you follow up you will sell more cars. Follow up alone will not close more deals, it is only one piece of the puzzle. Relationship building in conjunction with smart follow up is what will increase your closing percentage. Greet and listen to the customer and find his needs and interests as you follow the steps of the sales process. The information that you gather in the first couple minutes will increase your odds of winning the deal. Knowledge is king and the use of technology to record data will give you an edge when you reach for the sale.
Dealers overthink the basics and forget about the sales relationship between a sales person and the potential customer. The concern is more about the steps of the sale than the sale. Steps of the sale and structure are important in the process but building a common ground with the customer will close more deals than just following a restrictive sales process.
Dealers should think of today’s Smartphone, IPod, IPad and the new way to communicate and empower the sales person, it would be a novel idea. I ran a sales floor for over 35 years and empowering does work. All that it needs to work well is a team effort with a strong champion, simple technology and structure. Sales persons will embrace technology and see the benefits of data management as they sell more cars. Empowered sales people do not give away the store; they increase profitability by keeping strong business relations with their customers. Empowerment helps retain sales people, which in turn help retain your customer base. It is a WIN, WIN for all.
AutoRaptor approaches the idea of a CRM with a different philosophy than its competitors. Our mission is to provide a SALES SOLUTION that can easily be adapted and used by any user with tech skills or not.Why complicate the follow up process with multiple screens and restrictions to the natural sales flow. Without the initial sale the rest does not matter, whether it is fresh leads or your customer base why make it difficult for the end user to follow up.
Many dealers and managers want a system that will control the sales process without human involvement. If a sales person fails in the process they want the system to send a flag that they can react too. I believe that managers need to be pro active in the sales process and correct bad behavior as it happens. With AutoRaptor Managers see real time data entries by their sales persons. It is more effective than alerts of bad behavior. When a sales person enters data to an up sheet, the Manager can see and react to help make a deal. I have seen dealers with other systems make sales persons print an up sheet so they can treat the digital world as their old paper world. The present and future is digital, leave paper in the past and stop the back and forth between the sales person and the customer. Everyone knows that the biggest complaint by the consumers is the back and forth. It is not needed in today’s world, change your though process and you will be surprised how many more cars you can sell.
As Dealers and Managers you need to take charge and a condition of employment for your sales staffs is use the system you’re committed to. Listen to what I hear from some dealers.
*If my sales persons like it I will buy it.
*I do not want to force my Manager to change they way he works.
*We do not sell enough cars to warrant the expense.
*Why change I am making money.
There is more but I think you get the idea, lack of commitment and responsibility by the Dealer for any process or system means failure. AutoRaptor does make it simple and yet powerful as you enter the digital world. Make the move forward and succeed.
All comments welcome
Last night at dinner a good friend related a customer service story that just happened. It had been snowing so he and his wife chose to stay home and just watch the local team play ball on TV. Drinks, popcorn warm clothes and they were ready. Clicked the remote and nothing, the television turns on but no picture or sound. Well like all of us we think it is something we are doing, so he repeated the process. Guess what the same results. Okay so he then decided to call customer service for his dish satellite service and see if they can help. A pleasant representative answers the phone and listens to his problem; she asks if it is snowing? Yes he replies, does that manner is his response. She then explains that snow on the dish will inhibit the signal and told him to go clean the snow off.
My friend lives in a three-story condo, the dish is on the roof and he is in good heath at the age of 79. What would you do? He asked for a supervisor that explained they could install a heater for the dish or they could send a technician out but would have to charge for the service. The other choice is wait for warm weather.
Everyone at dinner laughed at the absurdity of the story. How would you handle this customer service scenario?
America is changing; India, China and the rest of the world are buying up the latest automotive technology from what was the dominant player in the world, the USA. What caused American run companies to lose their way? “Arrogance” To survive they took government bailouts and in that process had to sell off assets. That in essence, transfers current American technology to countries all over the globe with nothing in return except possible survival. A new GM now would compete against foreign companies who have GM technologies plus whatever they can purchase from other sources. GM purchased Saab years ago and never succeeded in building a strong brand. So now they give up and sell the technology that they paid and nurtured to a Chinese company. You can’t make this up, Hummer technology to China; Land Rover technology to India and the list just keeps going on.
The Midwest and Northeast have empty factories that produced American cars and trucks that are now malls, condos and many that are just empty. The worlds manufactures have built plants in the South and are making it work effectively. Only one American Company, Ford who has a chance to survive because they pawned the companies assets and saw the future in smart products and services. Arrogance at GM and Chrysler stopped them from making any real changes to their structure or the way they see the world. Think what China will able to accomplish in the next five, ten years. The world market shares that they could potential grab, when will China build cars in the USA? Just think of that thought for a moment.
We need to run our business better than anyone, develop new methods, technologies that are ahead of the competition. American must think as Americans, innovating, educated, out of the box or we will be the country that is left behind. Imagine not having the best technologies, transferring technologies would not be an issue.