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October 15, 2020

Are you failing instead of sale(ing)?

Marketing can only take you so far—Identify the points of failure in your sales strategy that could be costing you sales

Picture it: you’re slumped at your desk, scrolling through last quarter’s sales numbers for the millionth time. The results are less than inspiring.

Enough is enough, you think as you jump to your feet. It’s time to kick my marketing strategy to the curb!

Not so fast, cowboy; ease on back into your saddle and think this over: maybe your marketing strategy isn’t the issue.

You see, marketing is a huge component of sales, but it isn’t the only component; there’s a lot of other pieces to the sales equation than just having a snazzy marketing strategy.

Think of it this way: your dealership is a lot like the cars that you sell. Just like a car is made up of parts, such as an engine, transmission, battery, alternator, and more, your dealership is the same way, composed of a marketing strategy, sales team, customer service, website, etc.

If one of your cars starts acting up, do you immediately throw away the engine even if it might be your transmission that’s the problem? Of course not! You always troubleshoot before coming to a final decision…do you see where I’m going with this?

When you start seeing your sales numbers plateau—or even decline—your marketing strategy could very well be the issue. However, you can’t be 100% sure until you do some digging, and making a decision without being certain can do more harm than good.

So, what’s your next move? How can you identify your dealership’s point of failure? Is it even possible?

Of course, it is, it just depends on how your dealership decides to approach the problem.

If you want to take a specified approach to finding your dealership’s point of failure, try breaking down one of your typical marketing campaigns—from ad all the way to final sale—in order to trace what worked and what flopped.

If when going through the steps of this campaign it seems that the first two phases—message (what’s said) and media (how it’s delivered)—produced little to nothing for you to follow-up on, your marketing strategy could be your point of failure. However, if after these steps your dealership is generating leads, getting positive traffic on its website, and your Google Analytics is showing improvement in your overall customer engagement, your marketing team probably isn’t your issue and it’s time to start considering other options.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How were the generated leads handled?
  • Who handled them? Is my BDC representative up to my dealership’s standards?
  • Is my team—from sales to IT—on the same page with what to do with each lead?

If not, a simple issue of miscommunication could be leading to a larger problem—bungled leads and missed opportunities.

If working your way through a marketing campaign for your point of failure seems too tedious, try looking at the issue from a broader approach by reviewing these areas:

Website Accessibility:

Let’s face it, we live in a digital world. Gone are the days of prospective customers waltzing through your door, pen and checkbook in hand. Instead, a customer’s interest is usually shown by his willingness to visit your website and fill out a lead. With this in mind, it’s your dealership’s responsibility to make sure this process is quick, simple, and efficient. If dealing with your site is the equivalent of pulling teeth, your point of failure could be your website accessibility.

Customer Service:

This just might be the heart and soul of your dealership, because it’s here that your customer gets a glimpse into how much you actually value them. Playing the blame-game when they call in with a problem? Sending them straight to hold and leaving them there for an hour? Sounding like you’d rather have a root canal than answer their questions? Not exactly the way to a customer’s heart…or his wallet. Allowing a bad day to impact your dealings with a potential client can have disastrous effects—like costing your dealership a sale and maybe even a lifelong customer. Make sure that your customer service is staying on par with your dealership’s high standards when dealing with clients, because if they’re letting the ball drop, they could be letting your sales numbers drop, as well.

Inventory:

Okay, let’s say a couple walks into your dealership. We all know the drill: they want a car. You sell cars. Should be a match made in heaven, right? Well, that all depends on if you actually have the car they want to buy. See, just having a lot full of cars isn’t enough to hook a customer and make a sale; it’s all about the quality of your inventory. If your inventory is unvaried and out of date, customers coming to your dealership looking for a thrill might start looking for the door instead. Make sure your dealership is offering an updated, wide variety of options for its customers—if not, your inventory might be your dealership’s point of failure.

Planning (Or Lack Of):

Waiting until the last minute to come up with your sales plan is like throwing a pitch with your eyes closed; yes, there’s a very small chance you’ll hit the strike zone, but there’s an even bigger chance you’ll clobber the batter. Establishing a strong strategy each sales quarter heightens your chances of reaching your goals for several reasons:

  1. When you take the time to lay out what you want to accomplish in advance, you’re more likely to see the picture from every angle, whereas it’s easy to miss something when making decisions during crunch time.
  2. Having a set plan ensures that everyone—from your sales to your finance department—is on the same page, leaving less room for error by miscommunication.
  3. Finally, having a comprehensive strategy helps to avoid pitfalls—big and small—that could potentially derail your quarterly goals, as you’re following a pre-established path instead of floundering around in the dark.

In short, Michael Jordan never stepped up to the free throw line unprepared. Tiger Woods never took a shot without taking that same shot 100 times during practice the day before. If your dealership is attempting to hit its sales numbers without a plan of how to do so, lack of planning could be your point of failure.  

While these are only a few general areas where your business might be falling short, your point of failure is unique to your dealership; however, so is your point of SUCCESS. At ACI, you won’t get lost in a pile of generic mumbo jumbo; we focus on your SPECIFIC objectives and goals and we’re willing to put in the time, research, and work to get your sales numbers moving in the right direction in 2021!

Questions about your point of failure? Interested in getting back on track? Have questions, comments, or input into what you’d like to read next?

Contact me at:

tom@advconcepts.com

October 7, 2020

Numbers don’t lie—But people might. How much money is your dealership wasting on its digital strategy?

6 Google Analytics features proven to show you the facts and show you the money in 2021

Do you hear that? That incessant knocking at your door? That phone that just keeps ringing? Money says it’s a salesman who wants something from you (I’ll give you a hint: it’s your checkbook).

He strolls into your office and dumps a load of statistics onto your desk; it all sounds good, but how can you tell the fact from the fluff? Let’s face it, if you’re still playing guessing games with your digital strategy, you could be doing this:

Enough is enough. It’s 2020, which means it’s time to stop taking everything at face value—especially if that face only sees you as a whopping commission. You deserve your facts from a reliable source.

Most have already heard of Google Analytics—most even have it up and running right now—but few understand what it truly offers. If this is you, we need to have a serious talk.

Google Analytics in a nutshell

Google Analytics is a web service that tracks and reports traffic on your website, keeping the books, so you don’t have to. This platform is fully automated (i.e. once you’ve added your tracking code, it immediately begins tracking, storing, and providing you with crucial statistics), constantly improving, and…there’s one more thing…

Oh, yeah, it’s free. Translation: it’s not after your money like that pesky salesman. You can trust it to give you the cold, hard facts without a hidden agenda. But how is it done?

In a nutshell, Google Analytics breaks up its data in three ways:

  1. Acquisition – find out how you get traffic to your website.
  2. Behavior – find out what people are actually doing on your website.
  3. Conversions – find out how visitors turn into customers on your website.

At this point you may be saying: yes, I KNOW about Google Analytics, but isn’t it overwhelming, confusing, beyond my reach? Not anymore, because today we’re breaking down the top 6 features of Google Analytics and how implementing them could up your sales game and save you money in 2021.

  1. Traffic Reporting

This feature tells you just how many people are visiting your site each day. On top of this, it gives you the ability to track various trends over any period of time. If you’re willing to dig a little deeper, you’ll be able to narrow down the exact source of your traffic, i.e. which channel brought in the highest number of views for your site. This knowledge is beneficial because it reveals if your current marketing strategy is actually initiating engagement between your site and your audience.

  • Bounce Rate

This feature reveals the percentage of site-goers who exited without interacting beyond a single-page—to put things plainly, they bailed. If your site has an abnormally high bounce rate, yet your dealership relies on viewers interacting beyond one-page visits, you might want to do some investigating. Before making any drastic changes, make sure you view the problem from various angles:

  • The Audience Overview report provides the overall bounce rate for your site.
  • The Channels report provides the bounce rate for each channel grouping.
  • The All Traffic report provides the bounce rate for each source/medium pair.
  • The All Pages report provides the bounce rate for individual pages.

You can even compare your company’s Bounce Rate to other industries within your field by going to the admin section, selecting Account Settings and then checking Benchmarking. If your company’s Bounce Rate is high compared to others in your realm of influence, your digital strategy could be focusing its attention on the wrong areas—and costing you valuable customers.

  • Goals

You can use this feature to measure how often visitors are completing a specific action on your site. In a nutshell, it reveals how well—or not so well—your site is fulfilling its target objectives. Implementing and reaching these goals is key to the success of your business; if, for some reason, your goals aren’t being met, it’s probably time to reevaluate your strategy. Maybe your customers need some incentive to keep scrolling—or maybe you need to kick your current digital strategy to the curb.  

  • Conversion Tracking

Any action that a person takes on your website—from making a purchase to signing up for an email list—is considered a conversion. Tracking these conversion points allows you to see when and where someone converted, the exact traffic source that referred them, and much more. Understanding your conversion data can take your company to the next level—giving you the tools to fine-tune your campaigns to bring in more customers.

  • Key Word Referrals

Ever wondered what a customer searched in order to stumble upon your website? Well, now you don’t have to. With this feature, you can see what people typed (key words) into a search engine when they found your site. This information has the power to drastically increase the power of your SEO strategy.

  • Audience Reports

The ultimate benefit of this feature is the ability to compare performances, habits, and tendencies across different audience segments and then conclude how to relate audience activity to your business goals. This information has the power to dictate which campaigns are viable for different audiences. It also reveals which audiences have a higher engagement rate and therefore deserve the highest level of attention.

While I’ve only hit on a few features that Google Analytics offers, the possibilities are ENDLESS. Stop flushing money down the toilet, because there’s only one thing standing between YOUR DEALERSHIP and a new and improved digital marketing strategy—start listening to the NUMBERS, not the SALES PITCH!

At ACI, we’re not interested in selling you shaky programs covered up by inflated reviews; we use Google Analytics every day to track exactly where your ad spend is going and our monthly reports are cut and dry about the traffic we’ve generated for your site. These analytics are monitored consistently, giving us the ability to adjust ad spend (at NO additional cost to you) so that we can produce the best possible results every. single. time.

Still a bit fuzzy on Google Analytics? Our experts on staff will walk you through the process of “translating” the information so you can get back to doing what you do best: SELLING CARS!

Contact me at:

tom@advconcepts.com