Greetings from Canada.  It's a little cooler, quieter and definitely more pleasant.  OK, that's it for the differences.  Automotive-wise, it's about the same.  While the eCommerce element is behind the US a number of years as far as impact and influence, many issues we face are not any different.

Responses, email protocol, follow up, using CRM faces the same hurdles as in the states.  Customer service from the major players is no better.  What is timely and of great importance is getting ahead of the customers online rather than reactive.  Having been at during the 'heydays' of the automotive Internet and hearing pleased customers provides hope that we can do it right in the Great White North.

No matter where you are, the qualifications for success are the same: contact, quality, effort, consistency, understanding and persistence.  Oh, almost forgot a critical one: listening.  Starting from scratch with a dealer that doesn't have 147 templates in already in their system is also a breath of fresh air (not too mention that 146 of them are filled with 'I want', 'I need', 'I found', "I think' and on).  Text marketing seems to be gaining traction and that's exciting as well considering that's more acceptable outside of the US.

It was great to talk with an owner/GM that when he asked me how to staff his next Internet member, he understood what was needed and he was already nodding before I finished (I'm sure his search will start tomorrow).  He also indicated that his best floor sales person could not work the Internet correctly, which is not common to hear.

Leads are down some (or flat hopefully), the financial strains are pinching us, there is less-than-happy news all over the media and your queue is still full of customers that will buy a car…somewhere.  Are they going to buy from you or your competition?

Best practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results