Author Archives: Gary May

What You Missed In Fort Lauderdale (Besides Perfect Weather and A Beach)

Once a year, top operators in the country converge upon Fort Lauderdale or New York for the Presidents Club hosted by DrivingSales. It’s essentially a Super 20 Group with ideas flowing from the (mostly) main sessions and (a few) breakouts/workshops. Owners, General Managers and operation types were greeted with a firehose of insights and forecasting from Cox’s Economist Charles Chesbrough, hitting on the most important topics including the disruptive factors circling the industry.

A one-day event needs to add significant direction and thought in order to affect executives to change immediately after and DSPC always delivers, since the first year in New York with Seth Godin. While the hot topics were expectedly inflation, vehicle supply, fixed operations and human capital. Digital crept in more than ever before (as it’s not a ‘digital conference’ as DSES is in the fall) with two fantastic ‘Beast Mode’ presentations by William Camastro (Gold Coast Cadillac) and Gray Scott (Cardinale Auto Group).

As all dealerships are digital operations these days, it’s imperative for operators to make the appropriate investments. While many digital essentials are usually missed by senior executives, this Presidents Club seemed to grab and shake more of the attendees. Proper investment in staff, recruiting and maintaining best practices also topped the ‘high impact’ list with everyone there and especially for the Dealer Advisory Board as most of our industry continues to grapple with their most important asset: their people.

This year’s Most Valuable Insight winner was Jasen Rice of Lotpop, who will present a keynote in October at the DrivingSales Executive Summit in Las Vegas. It was also announced that DSES will be partnering with Women In Automotive at The Bellagio -based event to focus on advancing Women in the industry including Mentorship that is a significant focus for WIA’s forward-thinking plans.

The closing panel of Jared Hamilton, Dean Evans and Terry Laughridge (Cars) left the room charged, informed and a bit perplexed regarding the near- and mid-range impacts of disruption, advertising realities and franchise opportunities. The hard-hitting keynote panel addressed some of the in-our-faces aspects of what is changing automotive retail.

2022 still has a lot to bear and leveraging opportunities is more critical than ever, DrivingSales Presidents Club was definitely spot on!


Best Practices: Professional Insights, Powerful Results

Don’t Look Now, You Changed In The Past Year!!

“Change”, the dreaded four-letter word of Automotive retail. Dealers, GMs, GSMs, Managers and (mostly) salespeople despise it, yet if nothing changed more than the entire business in the past one and a half to two years, everything did. So, congratufrickinlations, you learned how to change. Now, with all of the profit and other positive aspects of business, bury your collective heads again and ignore the fact that you made a significant set of changes – even though, while in reality, most dealers changed a little and some really changed a lot – and stop making more important changes today! STOP!!

To those still reading, it’s time to make more changes. Being as how we are likely in this vehicle/parts/microchip constraint era for 2-4+ more years, it’s still the best time to overturn every stone, every expense, every vendor, every product, every profit center, and find more opportunities. More gross. More net. More more!

Are you buying enough cars? Are you keeping your clients glued to your messaging, service offers, purchase opportunities and more? Are you analyzing your data? Are you making educated decisions? Or are you still using used car marketing cheese and lousy photography for your inventory? Are you still letting salespeople and BDRs contact less than 50% of your prospects, excusing their poor performance and allowing them to claim “the leads suck” or “we don’t have inventory”?!?!

Can we stay committed to effective, valuable change and accountability, or are we destined to repeat average in an age of upside? The average of all dealership Internet lead closing rate in 2000 was 8-11%. The average closing rate of all dealership Internet leads averages 9-12% in 2022. But we have AI!!! And we have  new tech!! And we have, and we have, and we have…lack of change.

The moral of the story is to embrace change. Embrace? Heck…make love to it!!!! Stop accepting “what we’ve always done” as your motto and start grabbing opportunity by the balls! Stop settling and start changing!

Your results depend on your willingness to change…


This post was inspired by visits to Ohio dealers this week. Thank you!


Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

The Best Time To Make The Hard Changes

Welcome to 2021 Version 2.0: 2022. More constraints, more shortage, more jockeying for position on Wall Street. Cut to the chase: it’s going to be quite a while before anything of ‘volume’ takes place in the industry aside from wagers. No crystal ball exists, however most of the OEM talking points and releases over the last year plus have proven dead wrong. And for fun, while that has been going on, our client guidance since October 2020 (vehicle acquisition marketing since October 2020, vehicle and part shortages and associated marketing since April 2021 as two examples) has been dead on.

So, what to do with record profits per customer, and ultimately, lower overhead? Make the Hard Changes! You’ve been considering flipping DMS or CRM providers, however you’ll wait until things actually get busier again? No McFly!!! It’s time to get real and how and when (OK, and why) to make those changes.

DMS is one of the most difficult changes to go through, so why not make that vendor swap in 2022? And remember, investigate ALL vendors because it’s such an important choice. There are offerings that are dealer-centric (rather than vendor-centric) that have years of experience and there are those that are new to the space without a proven track record. Do research, do research, do research. Not 20 Group chats, real research and investigate who the big operators in the entire industry use. You might be surprised and find partners you’ve never heard of! Yes, it’s a pain in the ass to change DMS providers, especially if you have a 10+ store group. It’s a bigger pain in the ass to have integrations that don’t work and reporting that isn’t what you want or technology and equipment that came out before the first car phone did.

Got the CRM switch itch? Make it happen! Again, do REAL research and realize the change and onboarding to comfort zone takes months, maybe upwards of a year. And there has NEVER been a better time to make the change! Concerned about “paying a lot” for software? Remember what you’ve been telling your customers for years: “You get what you pay for”, so stop screaming about saving $1,000 or $3,000 a month when you make that on one car’s back end profit alone today and get real about what MOVES your organization.

One thing that’s common across the majority of store and groups we speak with every week: those who have made the changes over the past year (or are doing them now) are happy with the moves, less those who made changes on recommendations and buzz…not reality.

It’s the best time in the history of the automotive industry to make meaningful change. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s time consuming. Yes, it requires the best of your human capital. Yes, it’s time to stop talking about it and start doing it.


Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

Stop, Drop and Do Nothing! (Or You Can Simply Roll With It)

You’re on fire! What do you do? For those of us who grew up as Baby Boomers and Gen X, you were taught in school how to stop, drop and roll. Right? Now, the battle cry is seemingly stand there and wait to see if you get burned. Profits are high enough (again)  to allow dealers to freeze, just as we did around 2005-2010 with the impending digital explosion.

What’s taken place in 2021, for the most part, is a conundrum of monumental proportion. And we thought 2020 had taken the cake! Record profits, record PVR, record low availability, record high wholesale values and more records breaking records. Pretty soon w’ll be staring at near-zero inventory on many lots and everyone screaming about incentives when new inventory finally makes it to dealerships.

Sure, do cut TV and radio along with paid search for models you won’r have and don’t have and skip some of the direct mail, unless it’s screaming “We Want Your Car!” (like everyone else is, by the way). Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Then wait longer and “save on expenses”, then scream when your website value/position/SEO drops along with your traffic, when stock does arrive you’ll expect everything to “be back to normal”.

How many times has it been said that when things are challenging, that’s when you double down? That’s truth. It doesn’t mean that we’re advising you spend incorrectly, however for dealerships not to take advantage of this time to improve variable and fixed operations (notice: operations, not expenses per se). Want to improve your service operations while inventory is tight and you’ve been making record profit per unit? Do that now, not in 3-6 months. Need to properly coaching and train your staff? Do it now, not when the phones are ringing off the hook.

Dealers do this to themselves over and over, not looking at history. Invest now in your digital operations (that means analytics, SEO, improvements in local citations and reputation management, overhaul your social media and more). Look at how to have more when the inventory does arrive and you start selling units for loses again because the consumer makes you (yeah, that’s another lie).

Or be one of the smart ones and stop, drop and roll yourself to a better business and stop looking for shiny objects and silver bullets. After thirteen plus years doing this, we’ve seen thousands of dealers get it wrong.  And a ew get it right…


Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

Don’t Blink. Don’t Think. Yet Don’t Wait…

Lessons come frequently, if you pay attention. Lessons are disguised as many different things. Were you paying attention? And to what? What you have control of or what someone else told you? Last year taught us plenty, and it taught us nothing at all. Your point of view will determine which side you’re on (if not both).

Many things in automotive could be easily categorized from what took place in the year that just (slowly) passed by, like ‘data’, however it is essential – if not mandatory – to take a deep look at what resulted in your year.  And, how your business got there…. Quite frankly, it was not one thing that had an effect on whether or not your business made it through well.

Let’s deal with the elephants in the room (yes, they’re still there): digital retailing, marketing co-op funds, operations (fixed and variable),and  inventory. There are some other, smaller elephants playing patty-cake in your facilities however those are the main ones.

Not on the list, the biggest factor in making lemonade out of 2020 was whether your business was able to pivot in a leaner and, dare we say, meaner environment. More than anything, your ability to pivot and have the entire dealership culture thrive was bigger than anything else driving results last year, as well as the foreseeable future. Staff counts got leaner, and so thinking had to change for the smartest operators.

Many had the dreaded inventory/availability item however seemed to make it through (relatively) unscathed depending on how you secured inventory in unconventional ways. Dealers that could open in what resembled mostly ‘typical’ operating hours over the bulk of the year had per-unit profits that resembled years gone by.

The buzz word (read: buzz kill) of the year, especially OEM-mandated programs, was digital retailing. In our experience, same-store sales completed by digital retailing , based on opportunities grew incrementally (at best) and provided some daylight as well as perspective into what is possible going forward. Listening to industry-wide data along with CRM-based results, showed that there was a ‘lift’ from these tools, however not the godsend promised by any stretch of the imagination. That said, the dominant driver of tool utilization shows that what consumers want to do is know how much to expect to pay per month for a truck, sport utility, crossover or car. As OEM bolt tools on their websites (and charge franchises for customer/transactions that predominantly end up as showroom visits), we are now looking at the data play IM@CS has been telling dealers about for nearly a decade.

Many operators experienced lift in used car operations and fixed/service operations, while some even had banner years for their parts operations. No matter what, the theme seems to be making it known that you offer full-service and customer service and customers showed up, called and wanted it shipped or you picked up and dropped off their cars for sales and/or service. Hold on for a moment….2012 called and wants their flexible business ideas back…guess we’ll have to take those “idea trophies” back.

2021 is going to present huge challenges and opportunities, you can determine your own path to success as long as you have dogged determination to not resort back to the 1975-2015 mindset. It’s easy to do when profits remain high and some semblance of inventory remains.

Are you genuinely vested in your marketing (focusing on equity mining in 2021 as a new strategy doesn’t qualify as ‘your marketing’), messaging and operations? Market driven factors aside, do you already see your February and March plans in place and starting to shape your reality?

Be ready for more shifts in local marketing, specifically search engine optimization and citations, paid search and measured conquest opportunities. Other than those, don’t think or blink too much. Because if you don’t drive your business, as in 2020, you’re simply focusing on keeping your hands and feet inside the ride at all times… Don’t wait!


Best Practices, Professional Insight, Powerful Results

It’s Time To Get NEAT or beat in 2020

Since 2007, IM@CS has earned a reputation for allowing dealers to take advantage of trends, opportunities and addressing what’s next. Well, nobody could have seen what has ended up being “what’s next” for 2020. At the same time, we are proud to have enabled hundreds of clients in their digital progressions, with our existing dealership base absolutely set up for the current crisis as they’ve become nimble operators.

While new technology is exciting and, quite frankly, enabling organizations on an increasing basis (if not thrusting them into a do-or-die mindset), automotive is an interesting niche and any one aspect of digital retailing or online sales with home delivery, consumer-first tools and the like will not make you successful. No, you need to understand the tools and their measurement, have the proper culture in today’s businesses environment and make everything about the customer, which we’ve been doing exclusively with our sales coaching and unique CRM skills mentorship for over twelve years.

NEAT (Nimble Engagement And Transaction) is a whole-store approach and mindset from any initial touch to in-store visits and beyond. NEAT focuses your dealership on the most important aspects of attracting, engaging, creating and keeping your customers. If 2020 has proven anything, the arguments around keeping the “traditional road to the sale” are in fact, dead and have been for years. Stop making your prospective clients jump through hoops, you won’t likely get them and you definitely won’t keep them.

Removing the many cumbersome aspects of automotive transactions, people and processes, as well as the mindset that kept those in play is the first step. Your next step? Contact IM@CS to arrange for an assessment meeting and determine your best course of action to enable results.

Best Practices: Professional Insights, Powerful Results

One Thing That Separates Us: Consulting 101

Most of the time, due to how we partner with businesses, we hear how different people experience us in the course of our work. One of the biggest differences is that consulting is not reselling or representing. Consulting, quite simply, is the truest form of advising a business for growth.


Most of our competition lives on reselling and representing products and services, many times up to 70% of their revenue exists from ensuring businesses sign up. IM@CS takes no reseller, representation or commission-based fees. You can count how many companies in the automotive space that consider themselves consultants work consulting agencies that shy away from the practice of taking such fees on your hands and feet. The other hundreds of so-called consultants in the space do.


The other side of consulting’s true definition is error mitigation. Nearly anyone can regurgitate Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and a host of well-regarded SEO, SEM and social media entities. Very few can actually look at measurement, validate and fix errors. Most of the time this simply is due to the fact that most consulting companies are not immersed in analytics and unbiased measurement.


How can you validate this yourself? When is the last time that you and your agency, consultant, vendor and/or BDC/sales trainers had a meeting with data that was not proprietory? The meeting actually took place in your Google Analytics, Google Search Console/Webmaster Tools, Google Trends, MOZ, SEMRush, SpyFu, Rank Ranger, GMB Insights, Facebook Insights and the like? Step 1: if you are not using those tools and relying on proprietary reporting, the first thing you can nearly guarantee is some level of data manipulation. Step 2: can anyone else besides said vendor validate the data? If you cannot validate nearly 100% of the data, start asking questions before you cancel so you don’t make the mistake again.


Consulting is not easy, reselling products is. Building businesses with buy-in, accountability (including vendors) and measurement is heavy lifting, coming in for a 3:00 to 4 hour meeting and throwing a report at people telling them that they are not doing the job they need to do is easy.


When you want to get serious about your business, start asking serious questions and making serious commitments. Until then, keep feeding the middle men and resellers of the automotive industry.


Admittedly, an easy buck is an easy buck. So if you find making a buck is easier in 2020 than it was 10 years ago or 20 years ago, don’t change a thing.


Otherwise, contact us or another reputable, proven consultant/consulting company (there’s just a few of us) and start making change happen in your business.

This Year Like Last Year: OEMs, Agencies, Middle Men, Invisible Measurement and the Almighty Dollar

As we boldly run headlong into 2020 with digital more and more prevalent, whether wanted or not, there are some aspects of our business that seem to be getting less clear and one factor driving decisions more than ever. Digital marketing still is without a legal guardian. The babysitter has been receiving the calls and all of the “supervision” hour are spent face-first in mobile devices, kind of like most salespeople at any given moment when customer less.

While the babysitter shouldn’t truly receive all of the blame, those handsomely-rewarded middle-people, even as some of the companies and faces change (with rumors of sone OEMs switching hands of the ill-prepared caretakers of digital marketing programs), are happily rewarding themselves through the data-play environment as the dealers they claim to serve lose control of their customers, websites, tools and CRM data. Yet, when decisions come down to dollars, they claim “my hands are tied”, “we’ve been forced to go with approved vendors” and “my colleagues say their program is working well (cough)” along with a half-dozen similar-sounding reasons (excuses) for not taking ownership of their digital eco-system.

This week we were invited in to an import dealer accountability call with both their (mostly silent on the call) OEM and the marketing company responsible for a large-deployment campaign. The results they are claiming for over 400 dealers in the program simply didn’t happen at this one store. One. Yes, one. “All of the dealers had success with the heavy-up campaign” and “you’re the only dealer out of over 400 asking the performance questions” rang over and over on the hour-plus call. A simple check of only Google Trends both in the dealer’s AOR/DMA (as well as nationally) show that the search lift was (interestingly) roughly the same for organic search that the marketing company is claiming that the campaign delivered (OK, a good percentage of it when pressed harder). Nearly the same year over year lift as shows organically that they’re claiming from paid video campaigns!

Now this article isn’t about the one specific example this week of performance overhype and, since the largest traffic segment wasn’t properly tracked by the marketing company (or on the “large” social media platform that the videos were campaigned through – yes you read that properly: no tracking) so all claims can be called into serious question, the near-intentional lack of transparency No, this is about the industry’s saturation of vendors doing the same exact thing(s) to thousands of dealers each month with the OEMs and/or the dealer body buying in. It’s about hundreds of agencies that claim to be digital (even better, digital-first) and mostly reselling products for commissions that may also be handcuffed on real reporting and accountability.

This week we also experienced a website company “not knowing” why (or how) Direct traffic hits from two AWS servers (from OR and VA) representing 5% of monthly users/3-4% of sessions were happening to two different websites both hosted by them (the dealerships do not pay for any third-party data companies or “targeting/conquest solutions”) with vastly different performance issues represented by the two cross-country AWS locations (the VA location providing 0:00 T.O.S, 1 page/visit. and 100% bounce rate visits while the OR location provided 6:00+ T.O.S., 6+ pages/visit (up to near 20 pages) and sub-30% bounce rate however still non-human behavior). The dealerships are in the Midwest.

Add to the above, the even-present chant of “co-op program, co-op program” and “I’ll lose spiff money if we choose a non-approved vendor”. In 2018, we participated in assisting a domestic dealer pocket ~$450,000 with quite a bit of “non-approved vendor” expense (~20% of it in reduction in duplicative or unnecessary expenses). The dealer committed to it, counted on us and a very few other partners for measurement, and attacked all of their marketing, website performance, changed up their sales meetings (sales people had to take over the largest part of each morning’s sales meeting with a new idea or concept related to selling or use of the CRM), pushed a higher level of accountability and drove results, even changing how and what they bought for their used cars and the way they marketed and sold those cars (nearly doubled turns). Not once did the dealer or GSM complain about how their OEM co-op funds may not be available to them for part or even all of their marketing expense. As a matter of fact, they bragged with other dealers to the opposite.

Because it penciled!!!!! Results, especially with time, eclipse programs if you know what you’re doing and are committed to it. Agencies seemingly never want to cut their fee or commissions, even when the dealer’s results diminish over time. Why? Nobody can explain that to us (or anyone else). Aren’t you representing the dealer? Apparently not. Reselling and commissions (including Google Ads fees) have become too lucrative to focus on the dealer more than the agency bottom line. Once-a-month calls on your website and paid search efforts? Why didn’t you notice on the 15th of the month that your Google campaign on a model that you didn’t have in stock was spending 30% of your budget? No eyeballs, no accountability and no results. Keep sending the checks silly…

By and large nothing is going to change in 2020. The buzz at NADA suggested something definitely different, however the past two weeks alone have showed us that it may only be for a few adventurous dealers that have had enough of the “more of the same for me” digital programs. There may be a little more at hand, though. Especially if we face unprecedented, new threats to business (we’ll take “Worldwide Illnesses” for $1,000 Alex!) that may cover everything from supply chain to new car availability and sales to finance, funding and floor plans, to used car availability and pricing. Those who truly have their eyes on the real measurements of their business, all aspects, will weather impending storms.

And to do so, you have to invest time, effort, resources and money, yes some or all of the money that your OEM won’t repay you, however the dividends from doing business right will ALWAYS pay you back more. The R.O.I. from calling bullshit on improper marketing investments is huge. The R.O.I. from a cancelled investment and re-appropriation of those funds to well-run digital marketing that is fully-tracked and generates new sales is huge. Did you cut $15,000+ per month from your budget and sell MORE cars (including a record December) for four plus months? We know two import stores that did n the Midwest and the West Coast.

If you can’t measure it, stop spending it. If you don’t have more prospects, contacts and sales (or at least tracking to sales) from it, stop spending it. Best practices are called that for a reason. And no bad investment has ever been called a best practice. So keep going co-op and digital program. Until someone else completely owns your customers because those babysitters, middlemen and resellers have your data and monthly dates with your OEMs and/or your competitors. We don’t and never will.

Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

You, Your Website And Your Sales Don’t Need To Participate In A Down Market

More often than not, pennies are saved by dealers, especially when things are perceived to be or becoming “tight”, while stepping over dollars in the effort to cut to a profit. First, you can’t do either and win. Second, down markets are bought into therefore they don’t need to be participated in.

It used to be that businesses looking to thrive took a combination of calculated risk and finger-in-the-wind chances to stay ahead plus create new opportunities. Now days, the largest emphasis is on making dealerships more of the same at lower investments (or net investments after co-op and incentivized funds), through digital programs, heavily copied traditional advertising, misguided conquest/target advertising and risky moves in completely unproven/unmeasured arenas.

Smart operators must make the commitment to invest their own time, learn new skills, understand and look for accountability in measurement and get to non-OEM, non-vendor events. In auditing websites, CRM, paid search, sales management and more, what is painfully consistent is the lack of inspection, understanding and forethought. Those are hallmarks of the path to failure. Investments must be made to combat the easy road.

Dealer 20 groups, dealer academy and online courses are limited parts of the equation to properly leading a business today. If you can acknowledge that business changes dramatically and constantly now (as you pan through your smartphone apps and social media posts while listening to a regional conference call), what are you doing to keep up with those changes yourself? Blind faith in duplicative vendors, custom reporting that isn’t accountable and that your OEM has your back? Hopefully not…

There is no such thing as a “down market” as there are ALWAYS winners. It takes time, effort, money and, quite frankly, an unbiased set of eyes watching the operations with you. if you are missing your unit objectives by 20, 30 or even 40+ units per month, are you measuring the right things and which vendors are misrepresenting what you are getting?

Step one is always tearing things apart until you understand what the fundamental issues are. A high percentage of the time, what is discovered is a combination of sales efforts and marketing with an emphasis on the latter. If you spent $5,000 for an event that supposedly drove customers and sales and, realistically, the 7,000 visits to your website were under 3 seconds, didn’t generate leads or phone calls, were from mostly desktop devices (unlike the majority of your real traffic) with the majority not landing on another page, such as inventory, your “successful” campaign was a fraud. Did you catch that or did you stoke the check?

The first thing that IM@CS does when assessing any partner is looking at the underlying data. One of the benefits of consulting that nearly everyone misses in a world of product reselling, friendly (commissioned) product referrals and people in nice suites regurgitating Google/Facebook/Instagram/Bing/marketing study speak is understanding “the why” along with the associated error mitigation. Our consulting not only moves a dealership forward with best practices, we also have a focus on “we’ve seen that fail before”. Our clients understand. Sure, they may not remember the exact path to find it, we hope they do over time, however they do end up understanding “why” it looks good on the surface however, ultimately, doesn’t work.

Down markets are built on foundations on mistaken identity, misgiven trust, reliance on misguided perception and blind faith in what the factory feeds everyone. Be your own market. Be your own momentum forward. Be your own growth. Be your conduit to the next level. Growing market share in the only way to measure when your competition is down. Take more, make more.

Be smart. Actually, be really smart, in the coming years and watch for opportunities with the right set of eyeballs watching with you.

Best Practices: Professional Insights, Powerful Results.

The Most Important Part Of Digital Success Is…Dealership Culture

Back from another on-boarding of a client and our minds are full. The questions, typical. The intrigue, typical. The honesty, better than expected. The roadmap, slightly different. The approach. always the same…Dealership Culture.

No matter how many dealerships we visit, the approach has to be the same. If you start with the culture, everything else can fall into place. Yes, can. There are no guarantees, however there are hurdles and roadblocks that are the same from store to store, coast to coast. Digital is the epicenter, and not because of Google statistics or what you heat at an industry conference.

While solutions have to be tailored to store, brand, market and setup, if you don’t have the mindset, communication, accountability and discussions around digital, you will never be successful as possible. That means talking points around dealership processes, achievements, competitors, opportunities, challenges and customers must be digitally-based. CRM is the center of all activity and sales meetings, not save-a-deals exclusively, as well as benchmarks. Showroom traffic is part of the discussion around website traffic. Equity mining and sales opportunities include what vehicles (and their owners) are coming in to the service drive on service appointments that are also put into CRM. And that takes place each morning after management confirms that day’s appointments (or they’re not confirmed, period).

How many reviews the store accrued for sales and service, along with who was most mentioned from both departments, has to be part of the weekly meetings. Appointment shows rates and how to improve them must be woven into the dealership fabric, without manipulation for pay plans or embarrassment. Calls must be reviewed daily by management and turned into one-on-one coaching sessions. And not opting customers in for texting via a white-listed CRM or third-party system, especially when accepting an appointment or, better yet, in the dealership is mind-blowing (and so is texting prospects/customers from the native texting app of a smartphone – it’s illegal, has been and will continue to be. Quit asking why and then defending your actions as if the explanation makes it okay).

Most dealerships are losing between 15 and 50 cars a month due to poor lead and phone management, yet the typical cry is for more traffic, leads and inventory/VDP gimmicks. Unsold showroom visits fall into drip marketing campaigns faster than most people can recite the store’s why buy or value proposition (if at all).

Digital is not a marketing methodology, that leads to buying the shiny object of the week/month/year. Digital is a mindset, a go-forward plan and a reality. We are not to say other marketing mindsets don’t work along with digital, this is a reminder that if you’re not thinking, strategizing and executing with a digital mindset and complete store operations, you are losing the game.

Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results