Archive for September, 2013


The psychology of selling is alive and well. No need to advertise or send out mail consisting of gimmicks, cash give-a-ways, BIG rebates, low interest rates, and vacations, every month! 

Change it up. A different message ALWAYS gets a different customer… 

Simple is more power than you might imagine. Ever really look at or notice the home page of the most powerful website on earth? Check it out: It doesn’t get any simpler than that, does it?

So, if you really want to pack the showroom with car buyers, invest in a nice Holiday Greeting Card and just invite your customers in with a simple “thank you for the business and here is a Thanksgiving Turkey for you and your family, our way of saying thanks”.

That is it pretty much it (we don’t give away all our secrets). Then, let the show begin.

In past years, dealers get up to 12% return (not 1%, not 2%, but 12%)


“The Longer You…

Posted: September 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

“The Longer You Stay Out Of Your Comfort Zone Each Day, The More Your Income Will Increase!”

Congratulations, you landed that new job selling the latest and greatest Internet Widget to car dealers nationwide! The only challenge is you don’t have any automotive phone call eyesbackground. No problem, it is clear that the Internet has brought in a lot of  automotive marketers with no automotive knowledge. There is nothing wrong with calling on car dealers with no automotive experience. If you have heart, the right attitude, and proper training, you can do anything.

Here Are 3 Steps to Get You Started:

1) Have a Plan: Car dealers are busy. They actually own five businesses within one dealership (New and used car sales, F&I, Service Department, Parts Department, Body Shop). In fact, some would argue in today’s digital world, its more than five. But do your home work. If you are working from a CRM (Sales Force, Act, Goldmine, etc), don’t call your territory from random. Pick a town or area and work it. With the Internet today, you can literately fly into each area without leaving your chair. (In fact, merge your Sales Force Data with Call of Duty and let it rip!) But seriously, practice and role play as well, before you start work. Its like stretching out before a run. Get all the cob webs out, be fresh, feel good. Have a plan…

2) Know Who to Ask For: If you call the receptionist with no contact name, she will chew you up and spit you out. She is the gate keeper and she is not afraid to slam that gate shut. She can also be your best friend and ally. Don’t be rude. She is fielding and taking on hundreds of calls every day. (If your CRM does not have a field built for “receptionist name”, get one. You need it.)  Anyway, the bigger dealerships with multiple stores have an owner you will never talk to. Move to the GM. You probably won’t be working with the GM either but the GM will tell you who to ask for. (Yes you might be able to find out without talking to the GM but try this approach: “Your boss the GM told me to call you”) The small to midsize dealerships usually have a “hands on dealer/owner” that is most likely heavily involved in day to day operations so don’t be afraid to start at the top.

3) Be Respectful: Always start your conversation with who you are and your company. Don’t EVER go right into your pitch. Make sure you are NOT interrupting something important first.  Don’t ever ever ever ask a dealer “how they are doing”! Never! Don’t do it… If you did, you never know, they might just tell you!

Oh and don’t forget:

  • Leave voice mail if they know you, don’t if they don’t know you.
  • If you don’t know your product or service well, don’t call dealerships until you do.
  • Leave messages all you want, the dealer is NOT going to call you back, get used to it.
  • Most dealers hate cold calls so try warm. Send a real letter not email, then follow up.
  • Persistence wears out resistance.
  • There is a professional persistence and an unprofessional persistence.
  • Two hours actual talk time a day, is impressive. Three hours is a home run!
  • Put a little mirror in front of your computer, smile.
  • Have some pros in your office? Sneak over, Listen, learn, take notes!

The longer you stay out of your “comfort zone” each day, the more your income will go up!

“We tried Direct Mail, it just doesn’t work around here”…

Don’t be mislead, direct mail works great when executed correctly.  This is prime time for automotive direct mail marketing. With Model-year-end clearances, Model intros, Turkeys, Holidays, this is the busiest time of the year. So in the next 60-90 days, you want to capture as many leads as you can (rest assured, your competition will be). After these leads are captured, you nurture them to beautiful fully grown “car buyers”!

3 Steps To Selling At Least 20 Units Off a 10,000 Piece Mailer

1) Fine Tune Expectations and Mind Set!stop

Stop looking at Direct Mail marketing as a “quick fix”. We live in a microwave society but patience is critical. Many mailers today are not even an event (they are a lead generator). We are conditioned to think results from a weekend mailer are 10,000 Pieces, 100 ups, and sold 21 cars. Think and prepare for more of a long term approach.  

2) Prepare

When you prepare for the direct mail event, make sure you have that “Capture” mentality. Use all the tools you currently possess before, during, and after the mailer. Today’s are you readyautomotive CRM platforms are incredible (i.e. DealerSocket, Smart Phones, Tablets, VinSolutions, ELead, Etc.). USE THEM!

If you do a 10,000 piece high traffic mailer and get 150 ups, make sure your staff understands the importance of inputting all leads into your CRM and start the drip marketing process that all these CRM’s have built in. If anything, it is an insurance policy to cover your direct mail investment. You will enjoy a very impressive ROI that increases every week, not dwindle! Besides, if you are going to invest money to bring consumers on your lot (AND feed them PLUS offer a FREE GIFT), you deserve to get (or ask for) their email, trade-in info, phone number, etc.!

3) Investment

Shop experience and reputation, not just price. Don’t let price determine what mailer you do. (If you saved $750 on paper, but sold 6 units instead of 11, you didn’t save anything, you lost money).

There is never a shortage of cheap mailers (back of automotive news .29 cents). Cheap mailers produce cheap results and usually leave a dealer thinking “direct mail doesn’t investment2work around here”.

But if you’re going to invest in the most powerful tool available (direct mail marketing), go with someone that has been around 25 plus years. Odds are pretty good they have a formula that works and works well.

Too many people with no automotive digital/direct mail marketing experience are calling on dealers with no real strategy or understanding of the business. All they need is training, but don’t be the “volunteer”…

Todd Vowell here and as the humble originator of the automotive turkey direct mail event 19 years ago, here are some different ideas to help keep your mailer “fresh” and new for this year:

Tip #2:  Hand out frozen turkeys for this years Thanksgiving direct mail event! Don’t use a certificate, check, or Visa card. Buy a cheap freezer for the dealership. (Don’t have a freezer? Pick up a cheap one or rent one) Keep it for ice cream in the summer…

When “Be Backs” have a frozen bird, they will go home, won’t drive around, shop and buy from the competition!

Does it work? Dealerships last year had over 500 ups off 5,000 Pieces! 

Direct mail marketing is up 23% this year for a reason. It is still the most effective tool to physically drive traffic to your dealership (not just a website). After 27 years and over 350 million pieces of automotive direct mail, here are a few tips to double, even triple your investment.

3 Tips To Sell More Cars & Earn More Revenue From Your Direct Mail Investment:

1) Prepare The Backbone!   backbone

Your salespeople are the backbone to any direct mail event. Negativity is contagious but so is positivity. Go to your “top dog” and tell them you need their positive attitude all week. Then have at least one meeting (preferably on the day of your event) and go over a game plan. Your salespeople with their excitement and commitment level will determine the outcome over everything else.

2) Know Who You Are Investing In!I dont know

Dealers invest on average $4,000 to $10,000 on a direct mail event. Make sure you know not just what your buying but who? How long have they been in the business? Ever been in the car business? Are they being motivated by a commission check when figuring out how much mail to do? Are they picking zip codes or feathering? Are they mailing Standard rate or First class? (Too many ad agencies are now trying to sell direct mail and think cheaper is better. This is so dangerous!) Don’t “buy it”…

3) Technology Saves Money!technology

There have been some incredible advancements in technology both for data and printing. Having the ability to print on the fly using complex variable data can save you so much money.

When done correctly, you can literally reduce your mailing by half and keep the “cars delivered” the same. To much emphasis is being put on the “per piece price”. Dealers MUST look at the TOTAL ROI and not just the “per piece price”! If your investment for 5,000 pieces was $5,000 and the return is $51,500, who cares if the “per piece price” was a dollar?