Archive for September, 2011

We have seen them all plastered across every social outlet, marketing campaign, Digital Dealer, NADA, mailers and word of mouth; many Automotive Sales Trainers with all sorts of tactics, ideas, creativity, amazing closing techniques, to even creating a unique meet & greet.

I have had the chance to be part of trainings provided by Grant Cardone, DealerSynergy, AIT Technologies and many more trainers nationwide. Whatever I can get my hot little hands on I would jump for it. Then it dawned on me that there was something more about who the “Best” Automotive Sales Trainer is.


When working for the website technology company TK Carsites, 90% of all my demos & trainings conducted, many Owners, GMs, Sales Managers etc. asked how to create an effective team to be more productive and such. I always went back to an inspiration of an amazing manager, Tom Gordon, as an example in just about each & every one of those demos. It comes down to the team leader & management.

Here is an example of Tom Gordon. Yes I have had the honors of working directly with & managed by him when selling used cars at Williams Auto Max AKA The Pirate Ship. Yes those were some fun times!

The team was turning over 200+ cars each & every month, each & every day we were hungry for more.

How did we do that? What tools did we have? What driven us? We were experts at what we did & we thank him for developing our skills & providing the tools we needed to be successful.

Tom Gordon…. He is the one who has established a team of superior salesman with amazing techniques that have been following his lead since I have known them. Well over 7 years & trust me they were following him way before I had the pleasures to meet him when I asked to sell cars for him.

Tom has been trained from Jackie Cooper (early 80’s), Verde, Cardone, Stuker & many other amazing trainers in the nation of the Automotive Industry but what makes Tom unique & to create such an effective team?

He is a Hybrid Byproduct of this industry. Those were his exact words.

As the years passed by he has now taking on the management of Rightway Auto owned by Garber Auto Group. Their new location is in Traverse City, MI and getting ready to start making a large stamp in Northern Michigan with many more to come.  Keep in mind he does have his amazing sales team pumping out the cars for him too.

What do I mean by all this?

You can get top dollar training anywhere & everywhere you look however what it comes down to is taking in the knowledge and fully implementing it to yourself & your team. Why not share your education with your team when you can provide them with the tools for their success?

Remember they are the ones selling the cars for you!

You can’t just take the training, use it for a month then not follow through with it anymore. Yes things do change but keeping that rhythm of knowledge within their minds can help alleviate bad selling habits, keep them on track, enjoy the passion of selling & sharpen their techniques.

How many of you still role play with your team? Do you get out there to help shovel the snow off the cars with your team or even blow up balloons?

Just those simple tasks can help you motivate your team, encourage them because again YOU are the team leader & wouldn’t you like them to follow you throughout your career while at the same time you can provide them a successful career!

All views & opinions are soley based upon the author only. Jennifer Schrader


Just take a moment to kick back and think…… How much is too much? Do you really think that a consumer, an actual live consumer ready to purchase a car or just a loyal Fan wants to see the overloaded information you have posted and plastered all over social media?

COME ON… Do you really think it’s a good practice? NO IT IS NOT….. You are at their mercy and they have the power to “DISLIKE” you with one little click.

Take a moment to review the facts from the consumer’s point of view.

Fact 1: Information Overload. Have you posted more than 4 times a day? If so you are going to be on the chopping block of “DISLIKE”. Consumers don’t want to be overloaded with information that is not pertinent to them.  Why overload when you can be there but not be in their face the entire day while they are checking up on their newsfeed / friend activities.

Fact 2: All Cars? Let’s just say you post less than 4 times a day however is it all about cars, financing, buy today? Shoot why not grab out the 4 square & your oversized Sharpie marker and write out “TODAY ONLY”. Total turn off and trust me, if I am not a fan of it many more are behind me agreeing.

Fact 3: Personal Problems? I have enough of my own. I have noticed this especially with Friend Profile Pages being used for a business. You have some individual/ Internet Manager Etc. that is treating your Profile Page or Fan Page as an actual personal page. Adding updates similar to this one “Got hammered last night… Glad work is almost over”…. Me as a consumer would think “I just dropped $15k on a car there…. I will never go back now” or “DEFRIEND / DISLIKE”.

Fact 4: Bad Mood? Leave it home! Yes your mood on your status updates can be very effective in a good way and also a very, very bad way.  Leave it at home!  What you express online can be felt a long way to who is reading up on your updates / newsfeed. Very similar to talking on the phone, your voice is like an Opera Singer and emotions can be felt on the other end.  I have been very successful on the phone with clients as I know my voice can be effective to closing a deal or just perking them up.

Fact 5: Adding too much Sugar? What I mean by this are you constantly comparing your brand to another? Giving all pros about why they should buy from you and not the other guy? You better believe it that when you show other products / brands in comparison you are giving them the opportunity to check the other guy out. Surprised? Consumers are more apt to check out a product they have never heard of unless being told about it regardless of any negativity, comparisons etc.  Just hand them the fish while you are at it, no fishing pole needed.

I don’t want to keep rattling on about what consumers or how they approach things however if I get annoyed by some of the facts listed above you will expect them to get annoyed.  Take a moment and sit back (Take all the sales pitches, techniques, car dealer mumbo jumbo) out of your mind and think like a consumer.

When is too much…..too much?  

All opinions and views are based upon the author only. Jennifer Schrader

There are many ways you can define this within a dealership. Cost, approval, content, ideas, organizing and such but do you really involve yourself as an owner to get into the groove of your dealership marketing?

Are you an owner that hides in the office, punching numbers, avoiding the customers or just plain downright don’t get involved?

Yes you have management that may take care of it for you & placing their face in front of the public to create a buzz for your dealership however placing yourself as an owner can make a larger impact then you may realize.

Take this dealer for example; Ted Heater Jr at Get Car Smart out of Kansas City Missouri. This particular dealer takes it to the next level of involving himself in the marketing front of his dealership & staff. From levels of fully dressing up in a Pickle Suite & running around the dealership showroom floor to out in the parking lot to create a buzz for his dealership.  This level of marketing can create loyalty, buzz & surely downright creativity within the marketing of his dealership.

Why get yourself involved? Making yourself unique compared to the dealer down the road is one of the ways you can get in front of the public.  Creating a stir of public talk “Did you see that guy running around in the pickle suite?” “The owner has lost it again” but when they talk about you, they are talking about it in a good humorous manner!  Happy talk is business talk!

I would rather go to a dealership that has a sense of humor than one that doesn’t.  A shopping experience that is fun & exciting will spread like wildfire! Wouldn’t you want a picture standing next to an owner wearing a pickle suite & your new car? Keep in mind a customer purchasing a car can be emotional & scary at the same time.  Alleviating the tense feeling can be a bonus to ease them up during their purchase.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and have fun! Getting involved can help boost your staff up and get them more pumped about making a sale!

All opinions are based soley on the auther only Jennifer Schrader

Marketing Efforts… Who should you involve?

At this point in time, who do you have involved in your marketing efforts? General Manager, Marketing coordinator, Dealer Principal…. Staff?

Getting your staff involved into your marketing efforts can create a new view from the consumer’s standpoint and also provide very helpful & resourceful feedback.

I have seen sales events where the staff doesn’t even have a clue what is going on when the consumer asks them about it.  Then the staff looks uneducated, not prepared and having to run to the GM for the details is pretty embarrassing, wouldn’t you think?

Having your sales staff / sales team involved with your promotions & marketing efforts will not just be a plus for the dealership but also for the consumer to show that your staff is on top of it.

You would be surprised what creative feedback you can get from your team that you may have overlooked or even find one of your staff members being more creative than you thought. 

Think about it, you are all about sales, selling this and that but what you don’t see is what the consumer thinks… 

Here are some tips that can help your marketing efforts take a step forward:

Getting involved: Hold a monthly meeting for your entire staff to drill out some ideas, think of creative content, marketing directions & feedback. This can be a great help to further your marketing efforts.

Hand outs: Handing out any proofs for your marketing ad before being approved to your staff to take home and show their family or friends can bring positive feedback and changes that they may see or would like to see. (Who would have thought?)

Suggestion Box: Remember the old suggestion box? They still do exist! Having that availability can also help the team throw in some ideas or suggestions that can help take your marketing efforts to a new level.  Get their feedback for what they would like to see. This can also spark some ideas for you too.

Up To Date: Don’t throw out a promo and expect your team to know the details when you didn’t tell them in the first place.  And you wonder why they are coming to you asking “What is this all about?” This will prevent you taking time to answer their questions and more time to helping your team sell a car!

Getting your team involved with marketing efforts can be a fun way of showing them the importance they hold for selling your product to the public.  If not, then why are they selling for you in the first place?

All views & opinions presented in this article are solely of those of the author only. Jennifer Schrader