Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 31

with zero-percent financing. Since I
have been on the board I have seen
0% programs, large rebates to even
buy a car and get a computer. Back
then, we weren't updating cars as
often. To sell a product that ran
its course you had to throw a lot of
money at it.
Today, the product is a lot more
advanced. I would say it's a lot
better looking, a lot safer, and has
better gas mileage. The market is
much more product-driven. There
are fewer poor quality products.
Manufacturers are building more
value into their vehicles. You are
seeing a lot better looking vehicles,
with way more advancements for
better prices. Yes, the incentives
are still out there but it is more of
a "pull industry" from the consumer side versus a "push" from
the manufacturer. We are in an
environment that is an all-time high
in sales. I think every manufacturer
wants to hang onto these records,
so we still do the zero-percent. But
I think they also realize the name of
the game to win in this market is to
have the best product out there.

IF YOU COULD ONLY USE
ONE MARKETING TOOL,
WHICH TOOL WOULD THAT
BE AND WHY?

For me, the best marketing tool
is word of mouth. Our greatest
success has come from our previous
customers. We try to promote our
family atmosphere and way we do
business. We don't advertise crazy
incentives. We don't advertise low
prices. Our commercials are our
customer testimonials. People who
have bought from us for fifteen
years, second-generation families.
Our customers say the same thing:
the experience is like dealing with
family, and that's how I want it to
be.

DO YOU WORK WITH
THIRD-PARTY LEAD
PROVIDERS?

We use cars.com. It does send
us some business but it's not our

best lead generator. Again, word of
mouth is probably our number one
source of leads. Our own website
would be the second best followed
by Ford's lead sources. I think the
third-party vendor approach might
be thinning out a little bit. One of
the cool things about CATA is we're
one of the few such organizations
that houses its own dealer members' inventory. The DriveChicago.
com portal is a full-service lead generator. We have over 400 members
and we have all their used and new
car inventory on that site. The site
generates a ton of traffic, especially
during the Auto Show. We provide
leads - free of charge - to all of our
members. It's very unique and one
of the many benefits provided to
our dealer organization.

COULD YOU TALK ABOUT
THE VARIOUS CHARITIES
OR NON-PROFITS YOUR
DEALERSHIP SUPPORTS?

Sure. One of the most enjoyable
parts of being a dealer is building
relationships and being part of a
wonderful community. There are
so many organizations we're a part
of. The local schools. We're there to
raise money for whatever a school
needs: a new roof, new laptops, air
conditioning system.
There are families always in need
who reach out to us. We help out
by donating money, gift cards, oil
changes, tires or whatever suits
their event.
We do an event at our local high
school every year. It is the "Drive
One for Your School Event." We
bring most of our employees and
about 15 vehicles to the local high
school. The school helps us coordinate to have as many families available to test drive cars. For every car
they test drive they earn $20 up to
$6,000. We have been doing this
for over five years and have never
donated less than the six-grand
cap. It is a great event sponsored by
Ford.
I'm going to tie it back to the

CATA, which worked with the USO
on a Barbeque for the Troops campaign. Last summer, the program
celebrated its fifth consecutive year.
How the barbeque for the troops
works is that CATA dealer members
on one given Saturday in July all
fire up their grills, cook food, and
donate the food to anybody who
comes in. Those people, in turn,
give us fifty cents, a dollar, ten
dollars or whatever they can afford.
All that money we raise goes to the
USO to help our troops overseas.
The first year we rallied 50 dealers
who raised $37,000. Last year, we
had over one hundred dealers. The
overall number we've raised since
the beginning is over half-a-million
dollars. That's pretty awesome.
Here at the store, we do a Fall
Savings Event. We have a petting
zoo for the kids. We give away
pumpkins, food and beverages. It's
just to bring the community in, do
something nice, get to meet us and
see us in a different light than they
might normally see us.
Probably my single favorite event,
because I'm a Christmas nut, is pictures with Santa. So, Santa Claus is
here. The kids get to meet him and
get a gift. We have donuts and coffee, reindeer, sleigh rides and even
a Grinch. Last year we had over 200
children come by to get their picture
taken. If that doesn't get you in the
Christmas spirit I don't know what
will.
I am sure like every other dealer
out there we sponsor golf outings
for the local chamber, we run food
drives, donate to the boy scouts and
put the coin jar out to help a family
in need.

PLEASE TELL US MORE
ABOUT YOUR VOLUNTEER
EFFORTS ON BEHALF OF
THE JUVENILE DIABETES
RESEARCH FOUNDATION
(JDRF).

When I was lucky enough to get
elected to the Ford Advertising

D I G I TA L D E A L E R . C O M

Continued on pg. 32
JANUARY 2018

31


http://www.cars.com http://www.DIGITALDEALER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Digital Dealer - January 2018

Digital Dealer - January 2018
Contents
The Art of Handling Mistakes
Motion and Commotion – The Buy/Sell Market Intensifies
You Don’t Have to Be Blood to Be Family in the Dealership
Shifting From Crisis to Opportunity
Warning! Your Customers Know More Than Your Salespeople. But Not for Long.
Advertising Your Tech-Spertise!
From the Show Director
Drawing the Curtain Back
Digital Dealer Workshops Chicago
Cover story
Interview with the 2018 Chairman of the Chicago Auto Show
Ready… Fire!...Then Aim
Turning Cash Buyers into Auto
Need a Tech – Keep a Tech or Other Staffer?
The New Car Buyers’ Clinic: A Case Study in How to Royally Mess It up!
The Pros and Cons of Building a Dealership Facebook Page
Is Your Dealership's Advertising Stuck in the '60s?
4 Ways to Sell More Cars in 2018
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - CT1
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - CT2
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Digital Dealer - January 2018
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Cover2
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 1
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Contents
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 3
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - The Art of Handling Mistakes
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 5
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 6
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Motion and Commotion – The Buy/Sell Market Intensifies
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 8
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 9
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 10
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 11
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - You Don’t Have to Be Blood to Be Family in the Dealership
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 13
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 14
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Shifting From Crisis to Opportunity
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 16
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 17
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Warning! Your Customers Know More Than Your Salespeople. But Not for Long.
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 19
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Advertising Your Tech-Spertise!
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 21
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - From the Show Director
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 23
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 24
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Drawing the Curtain Back
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 26
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Digital Dealer Workshops Chicago
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Interview with the 2018 Chairman of the Chicago Auto Show
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 29
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 30
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 31
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 32
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 33
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Ready… Fire!...Then Aim
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 35
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Turning Cash Buyers into Auto
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 37
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Need a Tech – Keep a Tech or Other Staffer?
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 39
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 40
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - The New Car Buyers’ Clinic: A Case Study in How to Royally Mess It up!
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 42
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - The Pros and Cons of Building a Dealership Facebook Page
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 44
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Is Your Dealership's Advertising Stuck in the '60s?
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 46
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 47
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 4 Ways to Sell More Cars in 2018
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Cover3
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Cover4
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