Archive for October, 2011

Have you taken the time to monitor who actually is on top of your content for your website? What I mean is the actual images/ banners that are placed on your website for weekly & monthly advertising / marketing.

Many website vendors nationwide provide the ability now for the dealer / client to control the uploading of the images as to what it was in the past.  Having this ability gives you the option to be creative and helps keep your consumer informed on a daily basis.

I would say, I am confident in saying this figure, 80% of dealers will not upload images weekly let alone monthly. You have the ability; why not take advantage of it? Most of the responses are “I am not creative, I don’t know where to start, I have a hard enough time trying to turn the computer on & such”. Don’t worry; you are focused on selling, closing deals and running a productive team within your dealership.

Here are a few tips to help you take advantage of being creative with your website.

Hiring External or Internal: There are many graphic designers around now since we have went digital. It may be more costly having an internal graphic artist however there are freelance graphic artist / designers that charge just for the job. Having fresh & enticing banners / advertisements can help your online audience be more engaged and informed of your promotions & offerings. Why keep the gate up?

Software: There are cheap & free programs out there that can help you if you want to challenge yourself and be creative the way you want to.  There is a program I have used which is very, very inexpensive and it is called SnagIt. You can go to and it will even offer you a Free Trial! Very easy to use and fun! Or you can go all out and grab up Adobe Photoshop which I have moved over too and it is a bit more complicated but there are many guides & tutorials online that can help you with creating an effective banner or advertisement for your website.

Be on top of it! That is the tricky part. Keeping consistent with adding different promotions / advertisements weekly or monthly on your website is very effective.  Your Branding / Franchise offers specials each month don’t they? Why not keep your online consumers informed? Be different from the other guy down the street. If you are looking the same each and every day, month in and month out; your competition has their advantage of you already!

Engage with your team: Getting your team involved at meetings and asking for ideas or suggestions is a big help. They will feel they are being involved with marketing for your dealership which will then boost their confidence & they will know what is going on all around.  I see it too many times when the team has no clue of the promotion or advertisement that is being currently ran. Keep them informed & involved. You would be surprised as one of your team members may have those creative skills with graphic design!

Be Creative! It is not hard when you refuse to be creative.  Just think of the items that capture your attention or TV commercials that pop out at you. The human mind is more attracted to, I will say this, Cheesy or Corky advertisements.  They grab our attention more than the corporate look and feel.  Reaching out to those clients in a fun, entertaining, happy way will create more engagement and involvement with your online audience. Just try it, you will be surprised on their reaction.

Images? Where? Google Images provides a large variety of images however to have them be royalty free you can get high quality images for very little money (which you can use repeatedly) at I have been using this company for over 2 years & get many of my images as they are a lot let expensive to buy credits there than any other I have come across. 

I hope this information helps with taking advantage of the flexibility you have on your website advertising.  If your website vendor doesn’t provide the ability to change images or banners, you may want to have a little chat with them since you are the ones selling to your audience.

All views & opinions are solely based by the author Jennifer Schrader (231) 360-0730


In the office & coffee in hand you hop on to Facebook ready to let everyone know what you are doing right at that moment or most important of all the “Mood” you are in. Facebook has evolved to reaching out and connecting with long lost family, friends, co-workers and opportunities. What Facebook has done also is create a window of mood changes that can affect not just your surrounding FB Friends but also create an outline of who you actually are.

Trust me; I have removed many individuals from my profile due to negative moods. I am a very happy individual that enjoys laughter, fun facts & most important of all, knowing that my connections are happy FB friends.

Out of my entire fun groove of FB family & friends; there has to be that particular group that has nothing good to say, always complaining, gripping about something or just downright not happy at all.

What you post can be very effective to either create a positive or negative impact. Yes, I understand that Mondays do make an impact of unpleasant vibes & post. There is just something about that darn Monday but I surely don’t let it put me down or get in my way.

Just take a moment to think of the negative vibe that you can give off by posting “MONDAY SUCKS”….! Now take in mind the saying “MONDAY RULES & LET’S KNOCK IT DOWN”…  Just the difference you can make with those positive words can help productivity throughout the day to others that are reading your post.  

Posting fun facts, crazy events of your day (spilling coffee, breaking your zipper on your pants, exploding ink pen, etc.) can help give your fellow FB follower a good chuckle for the day and surely get them to engage with you and your post.

Posting negative thoughts, events and such can cause your fellow FB followers to move away from you and before you know it you are removed from their friend list.

Being a positive impact can help not just yourself but also to your entire audience. 

With team performances, creating a negative mood can diminish your team’s expectations & cause a high rate of turnover. Being a positive mood builder can help build a stronger team, low turnover & most important more sales. Why throw the thorn out there for them to step on?

A negative mood can last longer and be spread faster. A positive mood is catchy but takes a bit of time to rub off on the negative. 

Would you want to be in a slump all day and spread your bad mood or would you like to be standing on the top and being a positive impact regardless if it’s to turn a profit or not?

All views & opinions are solely based by the author Jennifer Schrader. (231) 360-0730

With positive results from being on both sides of the fence when it comes to Vendor / Client relationships I am most confident I found the right answer for hiring right.

How many times, as a client, have you called your vendor for an unresolved issue, strategy, etc; and you receive a rep that has no idea on how to really grasp your reasoning of needs?

Does your service reps as a vendor really understand what goes on within a dealership operations, car sales, internal accounting to the Service bay, body shop and internal dealership customer service?

I bet the high chances of 90% they don’t even have the slightest clue!

This large percentage is the result of not “Hiring Smart”. Your candidates that come to work for you as a vendor service provider may know the ins’ & outs’ of the software you are able to provide and so forth; however not having a clue of actually putting their feet in the dealers shoes is another.

What is it that you need to look for when looking for that supreme candidate for hiring smart for long term success?

It’s all ready difficult when you post an ad for employment from your company let alone all the incoming resumes, request, interviews, returned phone calls, references and so forth. Why add another task to your pile when hiring? It’s simple. Here are a few tips & tricks to really take into account when hiring the right person, team or even just revamping your current employees.

Tip #1: Past employment in a dealership environment. Having a taste of internal workings of a dealership regardless if it is car sales, desk manager, receptionist or anything related within the dealership setting, this can be a benefit for your services provided to them.  Understanding the ins’ and outs’ of incoming customers to car sales is a bonus to your new team member as they can fully relate to their everyday workings.

Tip #2: Field Trip! Getting your team out in the real world to see what is happening. You remember the field trips in school & the great experience it was to venture into something new for a day! Connect with your clients and simply ask them “Can I bring my team to you?”…! Trust me it would be very hard for them to say no.  Taking your team on a tour throughout their dealership, asking managers how their department works, what they do, what they expect and so forth; this can be a long term retention rate for a more solid client & for your team to relate to the inner workings.

Tip #3: SPEAK ENGLISH….!  What I mean by that is speaking non technical. Getting too warped in the world of technology we tend to start talking like a robot. You are dealing with dealerships! Not technical gurus, no offense. These boys & gals are focused on selling cars, turning metal and making a deal. Speaking to them in plain English can help improve your relationship with your client & give a better understanding to help them open up for additional services and so forth.

Tip #4: Don’t take anything for granted.  Let’s say you are chatting away on the phone & you find yourself doing all the talking.  Did you take the customer / client for granted they know everything you said? I highly doubt that they even caught the beginning of the conversation.  Getting them to react to your conversation tells you that they understand what you are talking about.

All apologies I just got off track!

Tip #5: Interview & what to look for.  You are one step closer to finding the right team member. Keep in mind you can tell a lot about a person by the way to they talk, walk, speak, dress etc.  Pay attention to those certain things as they can tell so much.  Do they appear desperate? Are they too relaxed? Most important of all “Do they make you laugh”? Having a sense of humor can help create an amazing retention rate with your client.  Having a fun voice can also break down a lot of walls when speaking with clients. 

Remember “Your voice is like an Opera Singer….!”

Do you have any tips that you would like to share with me and the social world on what to look for when Hiring Smart?

All views & opinions are solely based by the author Jennifer Schrader.

Having the opportunity to be on both sides of the fence as a dealer to the actual vendor, I    have heard many pitches, demos, product enhancements to help our (their) dealership progress & more.

Is it just business or vendor client relationships? I have been told several times to not get emotionally involved with a client or vendor. As a firm believer in productive results, someone to rely on & being there when needed, getting emotionally involved is a very strong relationship that is hard to break.

During trainings I would ask, to break the ice, what do they enjoy the most besides work? Like family life, kids etc.  You would be surprised how much of a positive response you will receive as it shows the client, dealership or vendor you are interested in what they do on their off time; it’s not just about selling, it’s about caring.  

There are several clients that have followed me regardless of where I go in the automotive business that can call me up on a weekend, including Sundays, to chat & ask for advice. Do I charge them for that? Absolutely not! The thrill of them reaching out to me makes it well worth it. It’s not worth selling a product, purchasing a product  or running away after signing the dotted line, but for a lifetime relationship within the professional world of sales.

Being successful in yourself and not just warped with “BUY BUY BUY NOW BUY FROM ME” attitude is going to be a overall failure because it is all about you.

What about your client or vendor? They are living human beings and can be very emotional with the buying process as it is claimed to be an emotional process.  Why not be a part of that process for them (you) to have a successful sale & a client for life regardless of where you end up in the near future.

Taking the time to go out of your job responsibilities to help solve a technical issue, billing issue, SEO advice and such, then having to tell them; “Call this number they will help you with your issue”.  Just doing these simple things will have your client rely on you as you are capable of doing wonders for them. 

Why push it off and be just an operator on the phone (That is what I call them). 

What are your thoughts?  Do you just have them sign the dotted line and say see you when you are ready to resign? Or do you keep in contact with them regardless if it is about business or not?

You will be surprised of the results you receive. Keep in mind they are the ones that make your paycheck!

All thoughts & opinions are based solely by the author Jennifer Schrader.