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I love what I do, but it is so f-ing stressful.

Jan 21, 2010
51
4
First Name
Hubert Cumberdale
Hopefully this is the right category to vent, but I feel after being on DR and DS for 2 years now, I feel I've embedded most, if not all, internet marketing tactics and strategies as outlined on these forums as well as the 2011 Digital Marketing Conference guide. I'm a college grad 25 year old one man internet department working for my father's used car dealership in an area of thousands of dealers. I'm not a car guy at all. I've successfully managed to pull this dealership out of the 100% radio advertising ideology and create an Internet presence. We're on so many networks, so many microsites, I created 480 pages worth of SEO content for our new website that i'm still waiting on Google to crawl. I handle the merchandising, color correcting photos in Lightroom and photoshop, make live video walkarounds, spam the shit out of classifieds and our wordpress blogs, pricing, email blast, reporting, and all the works! We went from a couple hundred hits a month to receiving almost 5000 visitors a month to our website. Competitors send their salesmen to work for us for a day & try to question how we do our internet advertising. In four years, look what i've done, i've done so much!

Out of the 60-100 cars we keep on our lot, we still average 30-45 sales per month since last year. This month is lower.

Whenever things are slow, my managers love to point fingers at everything: the ISM, low lead traffic, 'because we dont advertise on [insert low end vendor that runs a spanish mag or radio saying x dealer sells y cars a month from it', because we dont have good banks, because bla bla bla. Whenever numbers are up, no one seems to give a ^%*@.

The constant speculation of what ifs and remember whens and this dealer does this and thats always find a way to keep me down and feel absolutely no sense of accomplishment for what i've created. What the *@^% do I do wrong?

The day I came into the dealership in late 2007 was when they were selling 50-70 cars a month just from one lower-end radio station, like 4 or 5 from the internet. It's completely reversed now. I just constantly think, through a pricing strategy or creating micropages or upping our ATC budget or anything else for that matter can bring our numbers up to where we were. But it just doesn't happen.

Technically I'm only responsible for bringing the traffic, making the phones ring, etc. So its possibly the sales force, possibly our financing, maybe the product, etc. But I really don't feel it's what I do that's bringing in slow sales figures.

Add on managers with the 'ive been doing this for 32984 years' ego, dealership drama, me being somewhat underpaid, trying to get my father and management to acknowledge my efforts, and having DSL, i dont know how much longer of this I could take.

I love this business, I've met some amazing people and gotten the best help from vendors. It's so easy and fun to handle the merchandising of this dealership. My ATC rep tried to get me to work with their marketing team. My HomeNet rep told me I belong in a vendor rather than a dealership. TK Carsites asked me how I know ASP. All of them tell me 'All dealers run like that'. I think I just expect too much and beat myself down when the dealership doesnt deliver on my visions.

Any other internet comrades of my generation share a similar frustration?
 
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Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,959
1,701
Awards
1
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Alex
Until you can spread the good word into the daily processes (read: get on the CRM bus) you will continue to experience a lot of these frustrations. Combining your digital marketing tactics with traditional process changes the game.
 
Apr 28, 2009
1,176
366
First Name
Jerry
Eag,

So you don't get lambasted by others, please try and refrain from using F bombs, since this is a professional forum that is often visited by respectable woman who would probably find your posting offensive. I'm just saying!

Now on to more serious matters, how are the phone skills or your salespeople. You bring more traffic via the phone, but if your salespeople are not properly trained, all your efforts are wasted. Send me an e-mail and I'll mystery shop you when I have a free moment and put the results here for you to see. jerry at phone ninjas dot com
 

mattwatson81

Getting Refreshed
Apr 10, 2009
334
10
First Name
Matt
Have you tried looking at how you price your inventory? Maybe use a tool like vAuto, AAX, etc to make sure your vehicles are priced competitively? Maybe some changes there can help produce more leads.

Alex is right that a good CRM follow up process is important to ensure leads are being followed up with.
 

ddavis

Boss
Jun 28, 2011
1,493
495
First Name
Doug
Eag,

So you don't get lambasted by others, please try and refrain from using F bombs, since this is a professional forum that is often visited by respectable woman who would probably find your posting offensive. I'm just saying!
Jerry, I looked at eag818's profile ...first name is Ami
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,018
1,542
First Name
Joe
Eag,

Here are the facts.

Marketing is not sales and sales is not marketing.
You are in marketing, they are in sales.
The REAL question is what have the managers done with all the new biz you brought in.

Dont tell me, i already know.. they've made no changes what so ever.

you put out all this effort to create new leads... And the sales don't go up.

Why?

Because they suck.
Because they are lazy.
Because they need to be half as interested in making more sales as you do.

Marketing makes the phone ring.
Sales managers make the register ring.

Fat and happy sales reps and who have fat and happy managers work only until they fill their belly, then they coast until they get hungry, then they get hustling again.

Result?

You can work your ass off, sales stay the same.

note for your desk...
CAR SALES IS A TEAM SPORT.

you may be an all star, but if your team mates are happy with playing in the minor leagues, your on the wrong team.
Sorry, I know it's your dads place, but the facts are the facts.

Also, your ad costs per vehicle sold should be far less than with old media.

Lastly, the average dealer turns their inventory 6times per year. Look at your numbers. It all fits. You need MORE INVENTORY to sell more cars.

Summary: Its not you, Your old man has to WANT to sell more because selling cars is a team sport!
 
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joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,018
1,542
First Name
Joe
P.s. Tools and trainers don't do sh*t if the management at the top is happy with where they are. iMO, management should be trained first. Then they'll know how to work with their team to make more touch downs.
 
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ddavis

Boss
Jun 28, 2011
1,493
495
First Name
Doug
Because they suck.
Because they are lazy.
Because they need to be half as interested in making more sales as you do.

Joe, don't hold back ...speak your mind ...tell her what you really think.

A few years ago, I was in a meeting and a couple of the desk managers started blaming the Internet department for a marginal month. We had beat our best month by over twenty units. I was hot enough to weld with. They never blamed the Internet again.
 
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joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,018
1,542
First Name
Joe
Sorry for the rant. I've been down EAG's path. I work 60-70hours a week, since I started in 2007 site traffic is up and lead counts are up 500%, yet, sales are the same?

Marketings job is to create an up and hand it off to sales.

All the NEW technology out here is not just for marketing (SEO, Comments on all VDPs, better photos, more photos, vAuto, videos, social media, etc...)

Sales managers have many new tools to help them sell more cars. 2 years ago, while I was listening to recorded toll free calls, I saw the weakness in our telephone sales processes. I WAS JERRY THIBEAU's FIRST CUSTOMER :). We trained the staff. After Jerry was gone, we have only one store manager that holds our reps to Jerry's high standards.

CRM has all kinds of reports. I built a report for managers that shows how 50% of the email leads were going to 20% of the sales reps, and these reps had awful closing ratios. these eager beaver reps were burning thru leads looking for lay downs and dropping the ball. What happened with my observation? NOTHING... yet ;-)

After watching this cycle happen over and over, I realized the weak link is management. Training needs to start at the TOP and then it'll flow down. Next problem that managers have is USELESS CRM tools. How do they know where to start when they can't find the score board?

</rant>
 

ed.brooks

Boss
Jan 15, 2010
1,104
661
First Name
Ed
Have you tried looking at how you price your inventory? Maybe use a tool like vAuto, AAX, etc to make sure your vehicles are priced competitively? Maybe some changes there can help produce more leads.

Alex is right that a good CRM follow up process is important to ensure leads are being followed up with.
No sales pitch, no obligation. I'd be more than happy to run a free pricing analysis on your pre-owned inventory. If pricing is out-of-whack, you face a very uphill battle.
 
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