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Our referral/bird dog process is stale. Got any cool ideas?

SeanWoodruff

Getting Refreshed
May 14, 2011
63
17
0
First Name
Sean
I'd really love to completely revamp our referral process. Like 99% of dealerships, we tell customers: "Hey thanks for your business! And remember, anybody you send in that says you sent them and buys a car gets you $100!! Here are some business cards!"

But you know what? People don't give a s***. We're a big dealer and we rarely cut bird dog checks. It's just not motivating enough. Anybody have any cool ideas? What does your dealership do?
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,993
1,515
113
First Name
Joe
I'd really love to completely revamp our referral process. Like 99% of dealerships, we tell customers: "Hey thanks for your business! And remember, anybody you send in that says you sent them and buys a car gets you $100!! Here are some business cards!"

But you know what? People don't give a s***. We're a big dealer and we rarely cut bird dog checks. It's just not motivating enough. Anybody have any cool ideas? What does your dealership do?

"only a shitty restaurant would have to bird-dog its customers for referrals. If you want referrals, stop being shitty".

--Jerry Thibeau (paraphrased ;-)
 
Reactions: 3 people

Manny Luna

Refresher
Apr 10, 2011
140
20
0
First Name
Manny
The Dealership has one of the best retention rate's in the industry!
Buy a car with payments 450 a month and all I have to do is refer customers to the dealer and in turn they will cut me a check for my monthly payment!
Where do I sign!

Joe, your comment really surprises me, especially in your situation...

DealerOn Car Dealer Customers Win Dataium Website Performance Awards



DealerOn, the premier car dealer website company, announces that two of their automotive dealer website customers have been awarded Dataium Website Performance Awards for April 2013. Dataium uses various performance metrics collected from participating dealership websites to recognize auto dealerships and their website providers for their online performance. Ron Carter Hyundai was awarded the Auto Shopper Intensity (ASI) Award and Antwerpen Hyundai Catonsville received the Best Performance: Leads per Auto Shopper Award.
The ASI Award is Dataium’s proprietary index used to measure auto shopper engagement, enthusiasm, and intensity by tracking the lead to visitor, returning visitors, lead to auto shopper, lead to search, and visitor to auto shopper ratios.Ron Carter Hyundai was given this award for April, showing that they were ranked in the top ten/five in each of the measured categories.
 
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joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,993
1,515
113
First Name
Joe
Joe, your comment really surprises me, especially in your situation...
Manny, You're new at this, you've got a lot of learning ahead of you.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,993
1,515
113
First Name
Joe
I'd really love to completely revamp our referral process. Like 99% of dealerships, we tell customers: "Hey thanks for your business! And remember, anybody you send in that says you sent them and buys a car gets you $100!! Here are some business cards!"

But you know what? People don't give a s***. We're a big dealer and we rarely cut bird dog checks. It's just not motivating enough. Anybody have any cool ideas? What does your dealership do?

Sean,
you're right on the money. Coast to coast, EVERY dealer offers a bird dog deal of one form or another and they all fall short. Here's why.

Only a tiny fraction of customers are driven by COMMISSIONS. Customers are 100% more likely to refer someone if they've had an TRUELY AWESOME experience. This empowers them to speak from the heart. In other words, if your store is cutting just a few bird dogs checks, then, your store is simply average.

There are very very few genuinely different car buying experiences. I love to track these brave souls that dare build a dealership that is truly different. 5 years ago, I wrote a DR article on this: The winds of change are among us, enter in…the Game Changers.

Since then, a few other amazing players are:
The AMAZING Subaru of Wichita (aka ride home happy)
Carvana, (home of the million dollar photo booth)
One Price Stores (they're popping up all around)

Since it's damn near impossible to change your store by yourself ;-), if you want more referrals, one idea is to train your sales force to "work" facebook. The model is simple, copy this guy: Bill Delia of Sun Auto 1,400 followers and LOOK at the AMAZING engagement. Every post he makes has 4-6 comments. He's fun and entertaining (like all sales people are), but he WORKS FB.

Deliveries from the last 4 days:
bill2.jpg
His FB circle keeps growing...
Bill1.jpg
and growing...
Bill3.jpg
and growing...
bill4.jpg

Everyone knows I think FB for dealerships has low ROI, but not for sales reps. When it's done right, FB is the ULTIMATE referral machine.

HTH
Joe
 
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Reactions: 1 person

danoneil

Sr. Refresher
Apr 16, 2009
558
32
28
First Name
Dan
Joe says "Since it's damn near impossible to change your store by yourself ;-), if you want more referrals, one idea is to train your sales force to "work" facebook. The model is simple, copy this guy: Bill Delia of Sun Auto 1,400 followers and LOOK at the AMAZING engagement. Every post he makes has 4-6 comments. He's fun and entertaining (like all sales people are), but he WORKS FB. "


I really love this suggestion and agree. The biggest problem is getting your employees to "buy in" to the viral nature of social media.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,993
1,515
113
First Name
Joe
I really love this suggestion and agree. The biggest problem is getting your employees to "buy in" to the viral nature of social media.
Sales peeps are shark-smart. They'll eat where the fish are. If no other sharks are there, then, there must be nothing to eat there. Once they see some other shark eating there, they'll jump on!

Create one or two FB heros and the others will follow.

HTH
Joe
p.s. be sure managers buy-in. Some whiney sharks will go to the GSM and tattle tale on the FB sharks so they can drag them down to their level.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,993
1,515
113
First Name
Joe
here are very very few genuinely different car buying experiences. I love to track these brave souls that dare build a dealership that is truly different. 5 years ago, I wrote a DR article on this: The winds of change are among us, enter in…the Game Changers.

Since then, a few other amazing players are:
The AMAZING Subaru of Wichita (aka ride home happy)
Carvana, (home of the million dollar photo booth)
One Price Stores (they're popping up all around)
For the records, from Daniel's post, The AMAZING Subaru of Wichita hit national news http://forum.dealerrefresh.com/f21/1-aaron-wirtz-indisputable-ingenuity-3898.html#post33601

If I were a SEO (who didn't have a 1990's flash site ;-), I'd RUN to Google and do a before and after position analysis to see if all this national press (and it's social buzz and links) will make a material impact to it's rankings.

A great study!
 

yagoparamo

Sr. Refresher
Dec 30, 2009
1,901
493
113
First Name
Yago
"only a shitty restaurant would have to bird-dog its customers for referrals. If you want referrals, stop being shitty".

--Jerry Thibeau (paraphrased ;-)
I love that quote because for years I have never paid referral fees to another vendor, I'm fine that someone upfront sells our products (meaning they don't hide they get paid) but for referrals I have always said to recommend us if you think we are worthy of recommending.
 
Reactions: 1 person