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Automotive CRM

Sales Manager Superstitions

Back in 1998, while I was selling cars at a small Chevrolet dealership in Georgia, we had a daily ritual known as a lot party. This “party” consisted of completely rearranging the lot by moving different types of vehicles to the front line to draw the attention of potential customers. After the cars were moved and lined up precisely, the process of blowing up exactly 99 red balloons began. I’m not really sure why the number had to be exactly 99, other than the fact that our sales manager was a big fan of the 80’s song, “99 Red Balloons,” by the band Nena. Once the balloons were ready, the salespeople gathered 10 to 15 each and began attaching them to the cars on the lot. I don’t know if this garnered any additional business, but my manager insisted this routine be done every day.

The car business, like baseball, is full of these type superstitions. Read More

Failing to remember to bring leftovers for lunch, I ventured out in search of my favorite food — fried chicken. I have two very popular and nationally known fast food restaurants I frequent to fill my craving. Recently, the experiences I had at each restaurant were vastly different. Such a night and day difference in fact, that it led me to ponder upon why that was the case.

My first visit was to — let’s call it Chicken House 1. Chicken House 1 typically has excellent food (ok, maybe not healthy food, but really tasty food). As I enter their parking lot, I immediately notice there are a good number of cars in the drive-thru line already ahead of me– probably 5 or so. I debated on leaving and going to some other restaurant but decided against it as I was already there and was close to the office. Big mistake! Immediately after filing into the drive-thru line, several other cars pull in behind me. I am now completely stuck in line and can’t back out of my error. We sat, and sat, and sat for at least 20 minutes, with no progress in sight.

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Midyear CRM and Sales Checklist

While a favorable credit climate, strong economy, and low unemployment add to the bounty the automotive industry has experienced in the last five years, we often overlook the very basic, simple, yet valuable activities. Not only do these activities provide an instant form of success, but they also escalate today’s customer relationships into long-term relationships that carry through from sales to the service lane and back to sales again.

So as we close out the first half of the year, we decided it was time to do an activities check.  We asked three Regional Sales Directors at ELEAD1ONE for their midyear reminders that every franchised and independent dealership should enact every single day.

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Before watching the 2014 Super Bowl, I saw a video of the Seattle Seahawks. I became an instant fan of Head Coach Pete Carroll.

What really moved me was the sign above their door each player taps on his way to the field.  It says, “I’m IN”.  I could really see Coach Carroll’s passion for his team and the game.  I started thinking about the importance of a motto for my team, my family and even myself.  I quickly grabbed a flashcard and sharpie and wrote the words, “I’m in!” taped next to my front door.  My kids laughed and hugged me and thought it was “cute.”

I started watching all of the interviews with the players and coaches to gain more insight into who they were as a team.   The words, “I’m IN” resonated deeply with me.  They made me reevaluate what my commitments are in life and helped me realize it’s never too late to recommit to anything I wanted.  It was time for a change.

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