I Dare You To Train Your Entire Dealership Before the Next Big Digital/Direct Mail Event!

Posted: January 10, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

i dare you

I got lucky the other day and caught a customer (car dealer) at the right time. He was in a good mood, had time to talk, and boy did he. We talked about how the industry has changed since we first did business back in 1994.  20 years is a long time to work with a customer, what an experience.

He said to me, “you remember the first time we met Todd? You wouldn’t leave me alone on the phone so I signed up to do a direct mailer with you and you flew out, held a meeting with my managers the day before the event, then you did another meeting for my salespeople Saturday morning, the day of the event.” I told him I absolutely remember it and remember it well.

But then he asked me another question that still has me thinking. He said, “Why don’t you and other companies fly out, meet, and train dealerships anymore?”

There are many reasons why, but a bigger question is who let it happen? Was it car dealers that grind and wanted a better price and the only way to cut the price was to cut the product/service such as travel/training? Was it direct mail marketing companies that advertised cheap prices and didn’t include travel/training because they were not from the automotive industry, but knew how to print? (I know of at least one big automotive direct mail company today that has a CEO that has never stepped on the black top, EVER. He wouldn’t know how to train dealership salespeople if you Forced him to)

No matter who it was, here we are. We have the most sophisticated and advanced bag of technology ever but no training for the dealership on how to handle the extra traffic. We have the ability to print four color with complex variable data process “on the fly” including images! We have the ability to append current vehicle values to each customers car, add 10% and show the total, for each piece. We have fonts that look like “handwriting” that can even include variable info as well. We have it all except WE DON’T HELP THE DEALERSHIP PREPARE FOR THE EVENT THE WAY WE USED TO.

Forget whose fault it is. If you are a Car Dealer/GM, here is some advice. If you want to sell 15-35 extra cars over one weekend with a Digital/Direct mail campaign, don’t let the price determine what/who you invest in. Evaluate what your dealership team is going to receive along with the campaign.

What good is getting 100-250 extra people on the lot if your team is not committed to really prepare and handle the traffic? That’s not to say you don’t know how to handle the people but there needs to be a solid plan designed and executed by strong leadership. There is an art to handling extra traffic and making sure every lead is handled correctly from the moment they park to transferring all personal belongings in their new car. It takes training, and lots of practice. (Hence, we had a lot of traffic but just didn’t sell any cars!)

On many websites today, I see pictures of the team. I see “Advertising/Marketing managers that look fresh out of college and never sold a car in their life. How do they sync with the sales manager and sales team? Do they sync? I don’t know…

The entire dealership needs to be unified. All salespeople, managers, F&I, Service (if their open on Saturdays), receptionist, greeters, and anyone else,  need to be on the same page with the right attitude. One “Johnny Raincloud” can spread like a wild fire and by the time prospects show up, your whole sales team is contaminated and you won’t even know about it. There has to be a process. A well planed, well thought out process, followed by all.

Not to brag at all but I have written, produced, and sold over 35,000 campaigns since 1988 (over 100 a month). Most dealerships do at most, one campaign a month,or even one a year. That is 12 a year or less compared to my thousands a year. So believe me, there are companies out there that can help you and your team prepare for the event.

Don’t just hire someone to print your mailer because you can get it .49 cents each. Hire a company to get you results. Results worth celebrating! Ask if training is included or can be included. Training training training. Repetition, practice, drill!

No matter how much technology, Social Media, and Internet we have, selling cars still comes down to the dealership, the test drive, and the salesperson. This is still and always will be a “relationship building business.” Its about people…

My time is up, you have been great. Good selling!

Todd Vowell

Digital Car LEads

Buy Mail Direct, Inc.

  1. Donnie Blanz says:

    Well said all the Mail outs and Balloons in the world don’t close deals !
    Well trained sales People and Prepared Support staff make events happen

  2. xcelmedia says:

    Hello friend.. thanks for this useful information.

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