WoW! Soon after the article mentioned below hit the ole Internet the folks from Car Biz today contacted me to see if I wouldn't mind speaking with them for a segment on their daily CBTNews show. Needless to say I was floored and jumped at the chance to be interviewed by the site that regularly features such powerful people in the automotive industry, and huge personal inspirations, like Mark Tewart and Renee Stuart! I was pretty stoked to get on the line with Russel Brown who co-anchors the show I watch and recommend to my staff so enthusiastically and it went great, I felt honored that the things we are doing here at Raceway Ford have got the attention of others and are looked at as 'how to do it right'. I feel like I am tooting my own horn a bit much lately so I will try to taper it off however the interview is HERE of you'd like to check it out!
A few years back I began to focus my efforts in learning about and getting involved with the mysterious digital black magic that is Social Media and how I could help my dealership not only increase its online presence but actively engage with our customers in all the areas that THEY were spending time. To that end I have created and manage pages for our store in many different online areas such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest etc... and we have built quite a nice community of friends and followers online. Being knee deep in the efforts of our dealership it was easy for me to assume that many dealerships were doing much the same thing and yet, surprisingly most aren't! A writer for the website Edmunds.com contacted me recently because she had become aware of Raceway Fords level of online activity and was impressed enough to want to write an article about us! While speaking with Laura she shared with me how our store, while not exclusive to having a great presence online, is still somewhat unique and after an interview wrote a very nice piece about the things we are doing to keep us engaged with customers in many areas to share Ford knowledge, entertain and educate as much as we can. Its a great piece and can be read HERE. For me, the recognition that we are on the right path was pretty awesome!
Famous horses have been featured in works of art for since the dawn of time, in the days of old a prize stallion would be immortalized in oil and the canvas hung proudly above its owners mantle for all to admire. Today your prize pony can also be immortalized and hung for admiration with an original print from the ‘Automotive Michelangelo’ himself, Mr Danny Whitfield. For a limited time with the purchase of a new Ford Mustang from Raceway Ford in Riverside, CA, you will receive a framed print signed by the artist of your new car purchased for you by me, Mike theCarGuy! Imagine having your co-workers admiration of your new Mustang when they see it hanging on your office wall or your friends and family being able to see your prized stallion as it hangs prominently on a wall in your home! I have been a huge fan of Mr Whitfields work for a long time and two of his prints myself, I wanted to offer my customers the chance to own one of these amazing works of art as well... and owning a new Mustang wont be all that bad either! The remaining 2014 Mustangs are moving briskly so time is critical, if you have your sights on a new Pony the time is now, and when you buy your new car you will get one to hang on the wall too!
You can see more of the amazing automotive artistry of Danny Whitfield HERE:
Imagine you are house hunting and you walk through a perfect house with all the bedrooms you could even want and every amenity you could desire. At the end of the tour the realtor asks you what you think about the $4 million dollar asking price and you reply; “if you could get the payments under $1500 per month we are ready to move right in…”
Ridiculous, yes however that same scenario plays out every day on dealership lots across the country. One of the biggest causes of difficult negotiations and bad feeling about the car buying experience stems from the real lack of homework being done regarding monthly payments. There is no shortage of websites these days that will give out all kinds of advice on how to get the ‘best price’ when car shopping, some will even show you pricing right on their site however, most of them fail to mention that there is a connection between that great price and the monthly payment it takes to pay back the loan for that amount. When folks ask me what the best advice I have about car shopping is I always answer the same way, “know you own monthly budget and what the buys, then stay within that amount when you go out shopping.” Sounds simple right? Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work that way a lot of the time! Many times car shopping is done on impulse or, sometimes folks do their homework and know how much car they SHOULD be looking at and then get caught up in the excitement of new cars and try to buy more car than they can afford in the hopes that somehow the dealer will be able to ‘make it work’. The surest way to a long drawn out negotiation is to try to buy a vehicle that has a cost of more than the budget you have for yourself and think that ‘if the dealer REALLY wants to sell the car they will be able to make the math work’. I see it day in and day out, a customer will come in and pick out a car and sit down to work out the deal armed with all kinds of quotes from websites and other dealers. I agree to a price and then show the customer payment options and that’s when they freak! All the effort and time invested in getting a killer deal just to realize that the payments on that sweet price wont work….
To keep things basic I am just talking about a purchase here and yes, with enough down payment any monthly payment can be reached but for arguments sake let’s assume a no money down purchase just for a moment. Let’s say you like the new Fusion and pick one out that has an MSRP of $25995. It really doesn’t matter how much research you have done and how willing the dealer is to sell the car there is little hope of achieving a monthly payment of $350 per month without a whole lot of help! What often happens in a case like this is the customer gets frustrated and leaves, then pulls into another dealer ship with a better understanding of where his payment objective needs to be in order to get the car he wants and enters negotiations with a new target or, looks for a car that better fits his budget. Either way there is often a negative feeling about the first dealership and the car buying process in general.
There are many online calculators that will show auto financing payments and even without an exact idea of the rate you may qualify for its easy to get a general idea of a target payment will payback. For instance, to reach a target of $450 per month at 60 months the loan would payback somewhere between $18-27,000. Now keep in mind that might need to include tax, registration and any other fees that may be charged in your area. If you are looking for a car with a price in that range all should be good and negotiation may get you the deal you want however, if you had your sights on an SUV with an MSRP of say, $45,000 there is simply no amount of wheeling and dealing that will have you on the road and with a payment in that budget!
A lot has been made of the word transparency lately, especially regarding the car business. While I'm not saying customers don't want transparency it is my belief that many of us are looking at it from the wrong point of view. Many car folks hear transparency and instantly assume the customer wants to know what invoice is and attempt to use that as some type of negotiating leverage to force dealers into yet another race to the bottom of pricing. I think that consumers do want transparency however the transparency they are after is not about pricing at all but rather the process. I believe customers are willing to negotiate to a fair deal after seeing the value presented in the product but they would like a better understanding of whats going on. For instance the old 'let me go check with my manager' has been played out. Why go into a back office where the customer cant see you to get information? Why not have the sales desk out on the showroom floor where the customer can see the 'decision maker'? Hell, why not have the sales manager introduce himself at the beginning of the paper work process so they know who is going to be working on the numbers for them? With a more straight forward explanation of the process, transparency can be achieved and in a win/win for the customer and dealership. Just my thoughts as always, please let me know yours and until next time: Sell Something!
Recently my boss challenged me to follow thru on my rant about getting into better shape and signed me up to run a half-marathon relay with him, needless to say after sitting on the sales desk for many years I was not going to be able to get up and get into shape easily! I started by looking in the handy dandy ‘app store’ for an application that I could download that may help me put together a game plan for getting started in small and easy to accomplish steps. I was amazed at how many app’s were indeed available for beginning runners and downloaded one that looked like it would be easy for me to figure out. As we all know sometimes dealer life just gets in the way of outside life and a few weeks went by before I even realized I hadn’t been out to take the first steps to running a race… Imagine that, a fancy app with all kinds of potential that could give me all the stats and info I could ever want right at my fingertips however, because I hadn’t even opened up the application it was doing absolutely nothing for me! Sure enough once I got up early one morning, laced up my shoes and headed out the app came in handy and really helped me keep track of my progress and let me know what I needed to achieve in order to reach my goal of running the six miles of my leg in the relay.
What does this have to do with selling cars you ask? Everything. We have all heard the phrase, “there’s an app for that” at one time or another and when it comes to being a successful salesperson there’s an app for that too. Most CRM providers offer a mobile app that allows users to accumulate customer info, track process’s and maintain contact with their customer base, some better than others however the point is; just like my running app none of the CRM mobile solutions can do a single thing for you until they are opened! It’s not enough to say you simply want to sell more cars, you have to know what you need and how to get it to achieve greater results and with the help of a CRM you can. Take a hard look at your month, how many floor up, phone ups and eLeads have you taken? Look at your demo/write-up/close ratios and then it’s simple math to figure out how to increase your sales. Once you know how many you want to sell, work backwards to figure out how many write-ups it will take, how many demos it will take to achieve that and then how many customers you will need in order to take that many demos. Now, compare that to your last three months, can you get to where you want with your current average number of opportunities? Chances are, no. Where will you find the customers to fill the gap? Remember what I said just a few sentences ago, there’s an app for that! Look to your CRM, follow up with unsold customers, sold customers and keep on it until you think you can’t work your customers base anymore and then…. You guessed it, keep working it! Once you make a commitment to yourself that you won’t settle for anything less than your very best it’s amazing how many deals start presenting themselves to you but you can’t half ass it you need to seriously get into your CRM and make it work FOR you! Go on, get started, until you open up that app it aint gonna do a thing! Have a great week and ‘Sell Something’!
Recently I had the privilege of sitting in on an awesome discussion with the incredible Rebecca Chernek and Patrick Antrim of Careersinauto.com about Rebecca's awesome Finance Training and mastering menu sales. Rebecca is training todays leaders to become tomorrows legends and she is someone I follow closely and admire greatly! Whether you are working in the F&I Office or not its a great watch for all Car Pros!
I have been thinking a lot lately about how many way I find myself using the phrase 'Go Slow To Go Fast' around the dealership and was thinking it could be the subject of a discussion.
A few ways I use it:
In hiring new staff, by slowing down the training process to be more fully comprehensive and not simply focused on showing a new salesperson how to write up a customer we can go father toward fully maximizing their potential career in sales, ie value to themselves and the dealer.
When training new staff, skipping steps to try and 'get right to the sale' can actually make the process take longer and focus the customers attention on the wrong area.... the price. By going to fast the value may not be shown fully and the only way to make a deal is then by discounting...
When fact finding and investigating with a new customer, asking more questions than speaking can allows the customer to tell you, sometimes you even vaguely(!), how to sell them a car. By letting the customer speak it can help the closing process go faster and more smooth even though it may seem to take longer to get there...
In Contracts it can be frustrating to get all the to the end, when the customer has signed countless times and realize that the customers address doesnt show their apt #! Sure some of the forms you can hand write it on but not any of the DMV forms, now you look unprofessional by hand writing on a document AND its more time consuming to re-print forms!
There are many aspects to the phrase and it is one I find my self repeating numerous times daily!
My latest hang out with the always awesome Patrick Antrim, the Founder & CEO of CareersinAuto.com in which we talked about:
How to Start a Career in Auto Sales
What to Look for when Interviewing at Auto Dealerships
How to Ensure your Personal Success with Branding
How to Leverage your Network
Where to Discover Great Tips, Techniques, and Training
And Much Much More.
Its pretty cool to hear Patrick introduce me with the following:
"Mike Corerra is a "go to guy" and is seen as the expert in many areas. He's highly respected for his well-rounded knowledge of the auto industry, but best known for being the guy who leads, empowers and develops his people.
He has held positions as Internet Sales Director, Sales Manager, Social Media Manager,Fleet, Internet Sales, Sales Trainer, General Sales Manager for leading auto groups.
Mike has experience rebuilding an Internet Sales Department and Business Development Center
He has taken the lead on dealerships Social Media presence creating and maintaining a Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, Instagram and other social platforms to drive sales."
The always awesome folks at CareersInAuto.com asked me to 'Hangout' with their founder Patrick Antrim and talk about Positivity in Leadership. Hadnt had the chance to do a hangout so I jumped at the chance, as most know I do love to talk about the car biz! Went really great foir about 20 minutes until there was a power outage down at their offices in Temecula! We may just do this on a regular basis and are working out the details so stay tuned as we go big time folks! :)
Hey there, I'm Mike theCarGuy and here are some of my thoughts about cars, the car business and sales! Take a look around, maybe you will learn something or at the very least find your self smiling, and if you do... leave me a comment so I know I at least did something right! Thanks for stoppin by...
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Call or Text: (909) 213-5475
22421 Barton Rd Suite 523
Grand Terrace, CA 92313
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