No word play here or another "bomb" out of Detroit (more on that latter though). Just one simple act: merging customers with cars.  It's the merger that happens every day and needs to happen more often.  The beauty about these kind of mergers, is they translate into more mergers.

High grossing mergers.  High CSI mergers.  High service rate mergers.  And that not-often-heard-of-these-days merger: the easily financed customer merger.  Instead of finding reasons not to sell, let's find some excuses to sell.  No guarantees that it is going to be easy right now.  But the same customers that could buy easily two years ago are likely in the same position, as long as they find a reason to buy from you.

We CAN find the customers, at least the ones that are not already sitting in your CRM begging to be sold.  The next customer is coming from online.  Period.  So, are your dollars online?  Are your impressions online?  Are your invitations online?  Is your best content online?  Is your staff online (every customer-facing staff member)?  Is your service available online?  Are your parts available online?  Is it easy to get in touch with you online?

So, before you place that beautiful full-age ad in this weekend's paper…how are your customers going to find it online?  Before another glowing testimonial gets placed on your wall of fame with the gold leaf frame…how will your customers see it online?  Before that mailing expense tied to your latest service special goes out…is it going online for free, too?

More and more dealers say that they're going online for their marketing strategy every day.  They're attending their brand's online marketing sessions and summits.  Dealers say that they know that more people than ever are going to the web to do nearly everything.  Why are you doing things the same way you used to?

To be politically correct, spend at least 20-30% of your budget online (most of you are spending closer to $0).  To be completely realistic, spend at least 50% of your budget online if not over 70%.  Online will affect your bottom line.  More than any medium you've ever used.

Sales staffs: start being completely accountable for what you do with your dealer's money.

Management: start being completely accountable for what you provide your sales staff.

Dealers: If you don't get it, ask for help.  If you kind of get it, don't give up.  If you get it, do more and get your competition while they're wide awake.