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Ralph Paglia Interview by Dealix Part 1

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  1. 1. Effective Online Automotive Sales: Interview with Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet December 2006 Effective Online Automotive Sales VOLUME 5 ISSUE 12HOME Interview with Ralph Paglia of Courtesy ChevroletThe Intelligent Approach to Challenges Big and Small CONTENTS Interview with Ralph The Dealix Dealer Newsletter recently sat Paglia of Courtesy down with Ralph Paglia, CRM/e-business Chevroletdirector at Courtesy Chevrolet, consistentlyone of the top Chevrolet dealers in the Third Party Autocountry. A well-known expert in online Sites: the Trustedautomotive sales, Ralph shared so many Source for Online Carbest practices with us that we decided to Buyerspublish his advice over the course of two Want to Sell Moreissues. In this first installment, Ralph talks Cars More Efficiently? about adapting to market trends and Ask Gilbert: Getting competing with the imports. Buy-In from the GM What Drives DealerDealix Dealer Newsletter (DDN): Satisfaction?Thanks for taking the time to share someof your experience in online auto sales with our readers, Ralph. According The Annual Badto a recent survey by Cobalt and RL Polk, 56% of new car leads wound up Leads Listas sales; but only 8% of these sales took place at the dealership where the Metro Areas with the lead was first submitted. On top of this, 34% of these buyers wound up Fastest Close Timeswith a different model - and frequently a used car. In your opinion, why is of Q3 2006 this happening? What can dealers do to make that original sale? Internet Training and Industry Reminders Ralph Paglia (RP): At Courtesy Chevrolet, we handle over 5,000 leads permonth, and we get those leads from a wide variety of resources - so we are Previously in theuniquely positioned to spot trends in the nature of these leads. What weve Dealix Dealerseen is an evolving landscape of lead generating business models and Newsletterstrategies that have contributed to the Fickle Prospect syndrome. View a Movie to See How Dealix Can HelpMy explanation of why so many leads wind up elsewhere is simple. Over You Sell More Cars the past 10 years, shopping online for a car has become mainstream, andso many customers are submitting multiple leads to multiple dealers simply SUBSCRIBEbecause its so easy to do. If a single customer submits five leads to fivedifferent dealers representing five different brands, then 80% of thosedealerships will experience a perceived failure to close the sale. However,we still need to keep in mind that with Internet leads, the cost per sale isgenerally lower than with traditional advertising. Where before, we couldassume that car buyers were viewing many different ads and differentbrands in newspaper ads, with Internet leads we can actually measurethat behavior. Consumers love choice. On the other hand, seeing new car leads ending up as used car sales is,0,w (1 of 3) [6/19/2007 6:44:35 PM]
  2. 2. Effective Online Automotive Sales: Interview with Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Subscribe to the Dealixnothing new. Its just that the explosion of Internet leads is making it much Dealer Newsletter. more visible. Those of us who grew up selling cars have long known the Enter your email value of switching a new car buyer to a used car. Switch to get rich! we address in the box used to say - referring to the greater gross potential on the sale of used below and we'll add you to the list:vehicles. Now lets look at the question of lead defection to competing products. Thenumber of cars sold each year in the US has been holding steady at around17 million. With lead volume increasing at the same time, its inevitable AddRemovethat the rate at which dealers lose leads to other brands will increase.SubmitDont think my point is that dealers should be comfortable with high lossrates. But you have to look at the causes behind these rates and figure outwhere you can have an impact. For example, at Courtesy Chevrolet weverecently modified our lead management processes to acknowledge thereality that most leads wind up buying a different car from the one theyinitially said they wanted. Were now following up with a second round ofprice quotes for certified pre-owned vehicles - quotes selected based on theleads original inquiry and any information collected by the Internet salesspecialist. DDN: Given the huge array of choices buyers are presented with online, itseasy to understand a certain amount of fickleness. But one thing wevelearned in our research is that a dealers ability to connect with onlinebuyers exerts a powerful influence over where and what they wind upbuying. As a very successful dealer, youve no doubt developed some reallyeffective ways to make this connection. This is probably all the more true,since youre doing very well selling a domestic brand at a time whendomestics are a tougher sell. What advice would you give to domesticdealers who are struggling to improve their Internet business? RP: At the risk of giving away the secret sauce, Ill tell you that one of themost effective ways for domestic dealers to increase sales is toaggressively pursue buyers who are considering Asian brands andcompeting domestic brands. We take great pride in convincing Toyota andNissan buyers to consider a Chevy. We use search engine marketing totarget customers shopping for competing brands. We bid for keywordsrelated to these brands, and we place our ads on sites devoted to thesebrands. Targeted campaigns of this kind can push Corolla buyers toconsider a Cobalt, Sequoia buyers to consider a Tahoe, and so on. Something else we do that makes an enormous difference is using atriage lead management process. Instead of making random or round-robin assignments, we assign leads to a specific Internet sales specialistbased on the leads characteristics and that sales specialists historicalstrengths. Then we have a customer service representative in our BDCcontact every unsold lead 72 hours after it comes in, in an attempt to getthe customer to visit the dealership. Then, a third person follows up threedays later, if there is still no appointment registered in our CRM system.Multiple interactions early in the process ensure that we win our fair shareof deals with buyers who are deeper in the sales funnel. Involving,0,w (2 of 3) [6/19/2007 6:44:35 PM]
  3. 3. Effective Online Automotive Sales: Interview with Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevroletadditional people in those interactions serves as a safety net that keepsleads from slipping through the cracks. Dealers have to stay focused on a basic fact thats part of everything we doat Courtesy Chevrolet: anytime you can replace randomness with a processthats geared to a desired outcome, you have a greater opportunity tooptimize sales results.Well continue our conversation with Ralph Paglia next month. [PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION]Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Copyright 2006 Dealix Corporation. All rightsDealer Newsletter reserved. The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below.,0,w (3 of 3) [6/19/2007 6:44:35 PM]
  4. 4. Dealix Corporation : Auto Dealers : Become a Member Dealer Home Products & Services Auto Dealers Become a Member Dealer Become a Dealix Member Dealer.See how our lead process works.Why should auto dealers use the Internet tosell more cars? (PDF)What our customers say:We introduce thousands of serious vehicle buyers to our dealers every day.Find out how many quality leads are available in your sales territory, and how we can 2007 #1 to the Wards e-Dealer 100 help you expand your advertising opportunities. Please fill out this form and a Dealixand Platinum Award winner in Auto regional sales manager will give you a call.Dealer Monthlys Dealers Choice Or call us directly at (800) 213 - 0439.Awards2006 Highest in Overall Dealer Satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates; the #1 lead provider to the Your Name:* Provider to Wards e-Dealer 100 and Auto Dealer Monthlys Top 100 Internet Your Title: Retailers; and the #1 New Car Lead * Provider in AutoDealer Monthlys Dealers Choice Dealership Name:*Dealership2005 - Highest in Overall Dealer *Address: Satisfaction among Primary New Independent ServicesCity:* [View Results] - J.D. Power and Associates State: -- Please Select -- *2005 #1 Provider to Wards e-Dealer Zip:* 100 and Auto Dealer Monthlys Top 100 Internet RetailersTelephone:*ext. 2003 - Highest in Business Fax:Generation, Lead Quality, and Lead QuantityEmail: * - J.D. Power and Associates Notes: Is this the first time you have heard ofYes No Dealix - Home ofInvoiceDealers? Are you interested in:New Car Leads Used Car Leads Both Submit (1 of 2) [6/19/2007 6:44:42 PM]
  5. 5. Dealix Corporation : Auto Dealers : Become a Member DealerTop Home Products & Services About Dealix Contact Information Dealix Dealer Newsletter2007 The Cobalt Group.All Rights Reserved.Copyright & Disclaimers New Car Buying Service Automotive Affiliate Programs Used Cars (2 of 2) [6/19/2007 6:44:42 PM]
  6. 6. Effective Online Automotive Sales December 2006Effective Online Automotive Sales VOLUME 5 ISSUE 12 NEWSInterview with Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet The Intelligent Approach to Challenges Big and SmallThe Dealix Dealer Newsletter recently sat down with Ralph Paglia, CRM/e-business director at Courtesy Chevrolet, consistently one of the top Chevrolet dealers in the country. A well-known expert in online automotive sales, Ralph shared so many best pr

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