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Ralph Paglia Interview by Dealix Part 2

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  1. 1. Effective Online Automotive Sales: Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 January 2007 Effective Online Auotmotive SalesVOLUME 6 ISSUE 1HOME Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2On Ad Budgets, Common Internet Sales Mistakes & More CONTENTS Interview with Were bridging 2006 and 2007 by Automotive Sales continuing our chat with Ralph Paglia, CRM/ Expert Paul Miller e-Business Director at Phoenixs CourtesyChevrolet. Courtesy is consistently one of Ralph Paglia ofthe top Chevrolet dealers in the country, Courtesy Chevroletand Ralphs immense success has made Interview Part 2him a nationally known expert in online The Future of Dealer automotive sales. In this second Websites installment, Ralph talks about advertising Ask Gilbert: Should Ibudgets, common Internet sales mistakes, Invest in a Spanishslurping, and the dealership of the future. Language Web Site? Start 2007 Sales inDealix Dealer Newsletter (DDN): Ralph, High Gear!I can imagine that smaller dealerships would do just about anything tohave the advertising budget you have at Courtesy. What advice would offer New Developments to help them make the most of their more limited means? for Third-party Sites The Top Ten for Q4 Ralph Paglia (RP): The most effective marketing strategies will usually 2006 scale up or down as budgets grow or shrink, and thats true of our Internet Training andapproach at Courtesy Chevrolet. The first thing we do is to buy every Industry Reminders available new car Internet lead that we can get from reputable leadproviders such as Dealix. Theres simply no better value than being able to Dealix Dealerengage with a hand-raiser for around $20. The next thing is to buy used Newsletter Best ofcar leads based on our inventory. The principle here is exactly the same. 2006 View a Movie to SeeAfter taking care of new car and used car leads, I would use any remaining How Dealix Can HelpInternet money to advertise the dealerships website. We place a lot of You Sell More Cars graphical ads on major automotive websites and get a lot of exposure anda lot of traffic. But search engine marketing gives dealers a lot of flexibility SUBSCRIBEin exactly how they advertise and how much they spend. The critical thingis to link your advertising directly into your inventory. DDN: In a recent story about you in Wards, you mentioned a growingpractice you called slurping. It seems that ISMs sometimes follow up withInternet customers to see why they didnt show up for an appointment, andthe customer will say, I did, and I bought a car. It turns out that floorsalespeople are stealing these prospects and making the sale. What do youdo to prevent this? RP: This has always been a problem, and its more of a political and http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726616.cfm?x=b11,0,w (1 of 3) [6/19/2007 6:49:20 PM]
  2. 2. Effective Online Automotive Sales: Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 Subscribe to the Dealixorganizational issue than a technical one. We address it in a number of Dealer Newsletter. ways. Our Internet sales specialists are trained to insist that the customer Enter your email call the ISSs cell phone when theyre a block or two away from the address in the box dealership. We also have two full-time CRM administrators who work at the below and we'll add you to the list:showroom reception desk. Theyre bonused based on how many customersthey greet and introduce to the appropriate sales rep, so they have astrong incentive to prevent slurping. Whats most effective is having our sales process tied closely to our CRMAddRemovesystem, which is set up to prevent salespeople from creating an entry thatSubmitmatches the name, telephone number, address, or email address for anexisting entry. Our salespeople cant work a deal without a customernumber, and they cant get a customer number for an Internet lead withoutexposing themselves as a thief. Ultimately, this problem wont go away until we develop the discipline toterminate employees who stoop to this. A lot of dealerships wind up givinga half deal to someone who gets caught skating, just to keep the peace.This is the worst possible response, because it rewards and encourages thepractice. I find it interesting that, with 30 people handling Internet sales,we almost never have a problem with the Internet salespeople skating eachother. They are remarkably good at splitting deals, getting the customer tothe right person, and even handling minor customer needs for theirteammates without asking for half a deal. DDN: Whats the most common mistake Internet sales professionals make,in your opinion? RP: Withholding information that the customer explicitly asks for or hasbeen promised in exchange for submitting a lead. Sometimes its laziness,but sometimes sales reps actually believe that the customer is more likelyto speak with them if they refuse to email specific answers. It never fails to amaze and delight me when I mystery-shop ourcompetitors and, in response to a specific, direct question, am told, Ill goover that with you on the phone. Most customers will not let you get veryfar with them if you play games and withhold information about pricing oranything else. If you provide all the information the customer requests, andmore, theyll see that you are taking their inquiry very seriously and thatyou genuinely want to give them great service. The customers yearning for attention and great service has not changed. Ifyou use email and phone calls to meet their needs and expectations, theywill come to the dealership to meet you in person. If youre fundamentallycommitted to this, even your missteps can turn out well. We resolve over70% of our lead-handling complaints with a sale. Every customer gets anemail with my name, direct phone number, and email address, asking ifthey are completely satisfied with how Courtesy Chevrolets ISS handledtheir inquiry. DDN: What about GMs? What should they avoid doing that couldundermine the success of their Internet sales efforts? http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726616.cfm?x=b11,0,w (2 of 3) [6/19/2007 6:49:20 PM]
  3. 3. Effective Online Automotive Sales: Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2RP: Lack of involvement or genuine commitment on the part of a GM canreally hurt. GMs need to understand the Internet sales process as well asthey understand the dealerships other processes. They also need to holdpeople accountable for their performance. That means they have to knowhow to pull reports from their CRM tools and measure the activities of theirstaff, so they can kick butt when Internet sales reps do what all salespeopletend to do - let their process execution deteriorate. The only good alternative is to have someone like me operate at adirectors level and do all this for them. Luckily, Courtesy Chevrolet doesnthave a general manager, so I get to keep my job! DDN: Ten years from now, what are things going to be like for a typicaldealership? RP: Sales originating from various types of digital inquiries will continue togrow and represent a larger and larger portion of dealerships total sales.Newspapers became worthless as a retail automotive marketing tool two orfour years ago, and more dealers will discover this fact every year. Overall, I believe the level of professionalism within the world ofautomotive sales will increase and managers will become savvier abouteverything that goes into the buyers decision-making process. If you wantto see what most dealers will be doing in five years, come to CourtesyChevrolet and visit our multiple Internet sales departments and our brandnew state-of-the-art business development center. We dont understandwhy its taking so long for other dealers to catch up, but when we see someof our local competition asleep at the wheel, we are thankful for it. [PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION]Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Copyright 2007 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. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726616.cfm?x=b11,0,w (3 of 3) [6/19/2007 6:49:20 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 Services City:*[View Results] - J.D. Power and Associates State: -- Please Select --*2005 #1 Provider to Wards e-DealerZip:*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 timeyou have heard of Yes NoDealix - Home of InvoiceDealers? Are you interested in:New Car Leads Used Car Leads Both Submithttp://dealix.com/Dealer/Contact.aspx?ckSRC=emailne

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