16 replies
Anyone here currently working with auto dealers?
#auto #dealerships
  • Profile picture of the author toddfromboston
    I do. I've already done a smartphone app for a local Mercedes repair shop and (unless all hell breaks loose) will be closing a used dealer on SMS early next week. I also have 3 used car dealers and one new car dealer that I am "in talks" with, meaning I've dropped by, spoke with someone and working to sit down with the decision makers. Two of them look promising the other two are questionable.

    I'd be glad to share some insight with you, so ask away and I'll help however I can. And hey, maybe you have some things that have worked for you, you could share.
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    Rock n Roll is BACK!

    Best piece of advice I've ever received... "Listen, just shut the F*#^ up and listen!" (Because there's always going to be people who have been doing what you do/ want to do for much longer. Shut up, listen to them and learn from them)
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    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      I know a guy who charges $35 per Vehicle to take "360 degree Photos" of vehicles on Car Lots....using a new program called "You Spin 360" (found at www.youspin.co)

      He goes to a Dealer Lot (New or Used)....chooses a vehicle sitting by itself.... gets out his smartphone and takes photos AROUND it (6 photos that are linked into ONE! It's amazing to see)...then... shows the GM or Sales Mgr his "360 degree" photo.

      When they close their mouths after seeing his "Demo"....they ask, "How Much"? When he tells them "$35 per Vehicle"...their response is, "When can you start?"

      I think he charges extra if HE uploads the photos to the Dealership Website.

      Anyway....he has a "route", visiting 8 Dealerships a day, 4 days a week. 32 Dealerships a week paying him $70 to $700 a week (depending on how many vehicles they get in)....to "take photos"!

      What a GREAT way to make money!

      That's ALL I know about this. You'll have to figure out how to do this yourself. I helped this guy make money a few yrs ago by showing him how to perform 3 services for Car Dealers;
      1) Remove Smelly Odors from Interiors
      2) Restore Black Plastic (door handles, mirrors and bumpers)
      3) Headlight Restoration

      Don Alm....entroopeneer
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    • Profile picture of the author xichabodx
      Originally Posted by toddfromboston View Post

      I do. I've already done a smartphone app for a local Mercedes repair shop and (unless all hell breaks loose) will be closing a used dealer on SMS early next week. I also have 3 used car dealers and one new car dealer that I am "in talks" with, meaning I've dropped by, spoke with someone and working to sit down with the decision makers. Two of them look promising the other two are questionable.

      I'd be glad to share some insight with you, so ask away and I'll help however I can. And hey, maybe you have some things that have worked for you, you could share.
      Hey Todd,

      What do you do to get the initial meeting?
      Call...email...walk in?

      How are you determining what to charge these dealers?
      Are you charging per lead...per keyword...a flat fee?
      What's your average fee?

      Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Todd Pedersen
    As I am sure ToddfromBoston knows, car dealerships can be very tricky to deal with. My brother has worked in the industry for 20 years. Until you see it on the dotted line, everything else is just words!

    Good Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author toddfromboston
    As I am sure ToddfromBoston knows, car dealerships can be very tricky to deal with.
    Oh how true. It is not an easy business at all from any angle. If you can speak with the decision maker and prove to him or her that what you have to offer can increase revenue while keeping costs down then they'll be willing to speak to you. But getting in front of them and even more importantly getting them to listen to you can be tough, especially if they are "old school," or its a busy dealer. My advice, get right to the point with them and be upfront about how what you have to offer can increase customer numbers and revenue. The other thing I've found (in my prospecting) is the closer you are to a big city, the better.

    I usually try to offer a dealer 3 main things.

    1)If I find them in a used car publication like "Auto Solutions" here's what I do. I set up a single website (one page) that is optimized for mobile viewing that contains pictures, a full description of the vehicle and a number to call. Next I designate a keyword for each car that uses the name of the dealer (for branding purposes) and the stock number. Here's how it works:
    Potential customer is looking in the magazine at a certain car. They text in (text "autolot4241A" to 54855), they receive a text with a link to the webpage. The dealer, in turn gets that customer's number entered into their database so they can follow up with them.

    2) SMS marketing to send customers coupons and special offers

    3) appointment reminders for the service department

    Of course, if they don't have a mobile website find them 3 or 4 mobile sites owned by their competitors and make the point that their competitors website is easier to read on a phone and that potential customers will only spend maybe 10 seconds on their non-optimized site

    Good luck

    @Don I like that idea of using YouSpin. I will look into that further.
    Signature
    Rock n Roll is BACK!

    Best piece of advice I've ever received... "Listen, just shut the F*#^ up and listen!" (Because there's always going to be people who have been doing what you do/ want to do for much longer. Shut up, listen to them and learn from them)
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  • Profile picture of the author tracourt
    I have been working with auto dealers for 20 years now after 10 years in Finance. I just got started in mobile marketing. Today I sold a dealership on the vehicle inventory listing texts. Here's my question, anybody found the best and least expensive way to put the Text XXXXX to 72727 for more info on this car" message?
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    Jay Traylor
    Houston, TX

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  • Profile picture of the author toddfromboston
    @tracourt - I think I get what you mean. Depends on how the vehicle is advertised. If its sitting on the lot they could; buy a bunch of those vinyl stickers you can write on, rearview mirror hangers, a simple piece of paper taped to the inside of a window, write on the rear glass with those special markers etc...
    If its in a print magazine, see my idea in the last post I made here about doing a mobile one page. 72727? Do you use Avid?

    @xichabodx - The first thing I do is some real quick research on the businesses I'm targeting. Typically I try and find the owner/ GM/ decision maker and make every attempt to speak to them. I've found most of my success from just walking into a business but it doesn't always work. I prefer to speak directly with someone face to face instead of cold calling, but I tend to mix it up from time to time. I'd like to find someone to do cold calling for me, that way I can hit the streets while they're calling.
    I have yet to see anything from sending out emails (isn't that why we're into mobile to begin with, because email isn't effective anymore?).

    Regarding price, I have a pricing sheet I go off of. A business needs keyword options for each campaign they want to run, so I only charge a one time set up fee and a monthly fee for X amount of messages with a certain set price for each message sent in excess (price includes monthly consulting and calender set up to determine when to push the message out). I give them as many keywords as they need. Mobile sites I charge anywhere from $150-$350 for setup and up to $35 a month for hosting. Smartphone apps are usually $1000-$1500 plus $39.95 a month for hosting. I tend to lead with the SMS and then offer a mobile site or app as an up sell, though I don't normally suggest an app for most businesses. I find it better to meet them with EXACTLY what they need, not what I want them to have to thicken my wallet. Honesty, if you will. It's really just about finding out what will bring them the highest ROI.

    I'm still pretty new here so I don't think I can send out PMs yet, so message me here or on Skype if you'd like and I'll send you a copy of my pricing sheet.

    (and sorry, I tend to be a bit long-winded, sometimes)
    Signature
    Rock n Roll is BACK!

    Best piece of advice I've ever received... "Listen, just shut the F*#^ up and listen!" (Because there's always going to be people who have been doing what you do/ want to do for much longer. Shut up, listen to them and learn from them)
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  • Profile picture of the author tracourt
    Yes, I signed up with Avid but after comparing their and Lime's interface, I think for self managed situations I will prefer to put them on Lime as the vehicle listing is so easy to do. Pretty foolproof. Avid's is like Unix vs Windows, in my opinion.
    I sold one account today for $199 month w/ 2000 messages. Took 5 minutes, but then again I have a relationship with them.
    I priced mirror hangars and they are not cheap .60 ea.
    I would really like to see your price sheet. Will pm you my email.
    Signature

    Jay Traylor
    Houston, TX

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    • Profile picture of the author tracourt
      Update on auto dealer business.
      Found mirror hangars for .08 each bought 1000, this week ordered 1000 blank window stickers. Some dealers prefer the mirror hangars but if the car is demo'd they get pulled down and dropped in the floorboard.
      I use Lime and they have a nice printable ad for each car with your keyword and a QR code also, print to blank window sticker and place on lower passenger side windshield.
      I have raised my price to $250 setup and $299 monthly up to sales of 150 per month, more vehicle turnover, I charge more. Am condisdering going to $399 monthly. I mail out the stickers or the yellow hang tags twice monthly.
      First weekend the first dealer got 3 leads and sold one of those on Tuesday. It works.
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      Jay Traylor
      Houston, TX

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  • Profile picture of the author tracourt
    I have a couple of beefs with Lime about their vehicle listing area. First of all, there is no way to set a default notification, you have to set it for every one of the vehicles even if you are putting in 200 and every lead notification goes to the same place.
    Secondly, they have a really decent ad that can be printed to window stickers. However they started a good thing but it must have gotten difficult and they just quit. It doesn't fill up but about 70% of a letter size page but worse than that is that it's not even centered. There are no scaling or fit to page options. The print dialog opens in an extremely small window you have to enlarge before printing. Not very well thought out.
    But the biggest mistake is that you have to 1)click generate 2) click print icon that opens the too small print dialog 3) resize the print window 4) select printer and finally 5) click print. They could have hit a homer with a quick print button next to the generate ad button. I know this sounds petty but when you are setting up a 100 to 200 car account, it really consumes a lot of time.
    Come on guys, make it a little more user friendly.
    Otherwise, I love it!
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    Jay Traylor
    Houston, TX

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    • Profile picture of the author fitzpatg
      I'd like to know what you guys think about Mark Austin's "Mobile4Cars" WSO here on the forum? Keeping in mind that it is more targeted to small/medium used car dealers as opposed to large new car dealerships.

      --Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author Galahad
    Hi midasman09,

    thanks for this great insight on this 360 thingy - it's unknown to the car dealers here in Germany (yuupyyy ;-)

    A question though: do you know if one needs the special app from them or can anyone see it on a webpage?

    Best
    Galahad
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  • Profile picture of the author Weedy92
    I own 3.. For mobile we do stickers on the cars, I have it setup with Wordpress to track phone #'s and car requests when we are closed.
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  • Profile picture of the author wislndixie
    Originally Posted by tracourt View Post

    Anyone here currently working with auto dealers?
    What I'm doing is setting up mobile landing pages for those car owners who are trying to sell their own cars. I'm using lime cellular and I just browse a couple of parking lots here in my city that a lot of owners park their cars and try to sell them. The big thing I offer is text message alerts. The owner knows exactly when someone has texted their number to get more information on the car, much like the dealerships. I also have it set up that the prospective customer can text a number and request that the owner call them to come show the car.

    I'm toying with the idea of creating a simple mobile directory with a link to each landing page I have listed. Not sure how I could promote the directory though to get buyers to search the directory.

    Any ideas?
    Thanks,
    Wisln
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    • Profile picture of the author hayestrio
      Originally Posted by wislndixie View Post

      What I'm doing is setting up mobile landing pages for those car owners who are trying to sell their own cars. I'm using lime cellular and I just browse a couple of parking lots here in my city that a lot of owners park their cars and try to sell them. The big thing I offer is text message alerts. The owner knows exactly when someone has texted their number to get more information on the car, much like the dealerships. I also have it set up that the prospective customer can text a number and request that the owner call them to come show the car.

      I'm toying with the idea of creating a simple mobile directory with a link to each landing page I have listed. Not sure how I could promote the directory though to get buyers to search the directory.

      Any ideas?
      Thanks,
      Wisln
      I've been thinking about doing something similar with private car sellers as well as owners selling their own houses. What kind of pricing are you charging them for the landing pages? I'm on Lime Cellular as well.
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      • Profile picture of the author wislndixie
        I'm charging a flat $45 per listing for as long as it takes to sell or when they want to remove it. This includes the landing page, keyword and the ad that can be printed from Limes vehicle listing.
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