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The answer is – it should!  But honestly, when was the last time you checked to see what your website was saying to your viewers?  We constantly add and add and change and add things to our websites and before long we know exactly what’s on it, but we have no idea how it looks to others.  I find it incredibly difficult to step back from my own “masterpiece” sometimes because I feel like it’s such a part of me that I would hate for anything to happen to any piece of it.

As I go through my dealers’ websites a majority of them look amazing (probably because we host them) but then there are the ones that I click to go on their main page and I’m already stressed out.  Be concise and direct with what you are want your viewers to see.  I want to know exactly where to go for anything I am looking for within the first 3-4 seconds.  If I have to search, then I get frustrated and will go back to my Google search and see what comes up next.  That’s website suicide!

Don’t be overly artistic with your website.  Fluff is not always a good thing.  Viewers want structure and conformity – they are expecting to find information the same way they find it on other websites.  You have no idea how many times I have been on a website and could not find the phone number or the hours of operation.  It makes me feel like I’m the dumb one.  There is nothing more frustrating than not knowing how to navigate a page.

Now for the contrasting question – Is it saying enough?  This is where it is important to make sure you are practicing good search engine optimization.  Keywords through out your website will help search engines know what you are advertising and hopefully get you as high on the list as possible.  Consider listing each vehicle as new/pre-owned, make/model/style, the surrounding cities, having a dynamic URL and the list goes on and on.

All of our websites are not only designed with the search engines in mind but more importantly are designed for the best user experience possible. Our goal is to incorporate logical website navigation centered on getting shoppers directly to the information they are looking for in as few clicks as possible. We want to ensure that every page on our sites is quick to load which will help reduce the amount of “bounces” our dealer’s sites receive.

Please call us if you would like more information on how we can help you and your dealership maximize your online potential!  We would love to help you! www.liquidmotors.com

 

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As I was thinking about my blog this month and what to write about I was flipping through a popular industry magazine hoping to find inspiration.  As I went from page to page I was trying to think what a dealer would want to hear about or learn.  I started to notice titles of articles:  “QR Codes you must have them”, “Your Facebook is not working”, “Website evaluation today”. As I started to look over some of these I realized that they are really not educational articles teaching industry best practices they were more trying to convince me that what I am doing now or the company I am using now is not what I should be doing. As I thought about that I started to notice that the articles were tied to specific products or promotions particular companies are pushing.  Now before I continue let me say myself or Liquid Motors is not completely innocent of this if you even consider it an issue but what it really got me thinking about is the best way to choose a vendor and why dealers stay with certain vendors for long periods of time.

To determine how to best choose a vendor I thought it would make sense to talk with and look into why our very own dealers and auto groups have stayed with us for such an extended period of time and here are the main areas of feedback I received:

 

  1. The      support I receive is top notch and the fact that you offer 24/7 support      really tells me Liquid Motors is a partner in my efforts to be successful.
  2. I got      as good or better solutions when I moved to Liquid Motors and the fact      that I would consolidate to just 1 or 2 vendors versus the 5 or 6 I had      before saves me money every month.
  3. As the      GM I don’t have time to look into my Internet department everyday but the      reports I get automatically emailed to me gives me a quick snap shot and      allows me to identify issues early on.       The end of the month detailed report from my Liquid Motors account      manager gives me a great overview also.       I don’t get this with other vendors I have.
  4. Most      vendors tell us how their solutions will make us better, Liquid Motors      works with us to provide the solutions we feel we need for long term      success.  Sharing strategic plans      with a vendor who can understand our vision and then provide solutions to      allow us to achieve that vision is invaluable.

 

As I heard these comments it became very clear what dealers and auto groups should look for when selecting a vendor:

 

  1. Support–      Does this vendor offer the level of support that I need?
  2. Cost– Can I save money with this      vendor or does the solution truly validate the expense or additional      expense?
  3. Partnership– Is this vendor going      to care about my success or failures?
  4. Solution– Am I able to make      feature request to enhance the solution so that my specific goal/plan can      be achieved or will I be placed in a “cookie cutter” type solution?

 

These items may be easy to assume you can do this with your current vendors but understanding that many companies white label other company’s solutions or use other companies platforms to power their solution make it virtually impossible for them to customized items for your particular dealership or auto group.

 

I hope this helps when you start your search for your next vendor and as always thank you for following us on facebook, twitter and our blog.

 

Technology is ever changing and staying up with the times is more important than ever.  Dealers are starting to use what may have been thought of as unimaginable technology 10 years ago that is becoming part of our culture.  We are demanding faster service, more accurate information and something to grab our interest at all times.  How will we ever keep up?

 

It’s amazing to go into dealerships now and see what technology is being used.  You may be one of 300 customers that visit a dealer in that particular day, but your service advisor who greets you knows your name and probably already knows what you are there for.  The service advisor may not even have a pen and paper anymore, but rather an iPad or tablet of some sort.  Your tire measurements have already been checked for pressure, tread depth and premature edge wear with a Vin Tech system you rolled over on your way into the service drive.  Or if you are returning your borrowed loan car there is already someone in your vehicle bringing it to the drive with no call ahead notice due to an RFID tag.  It’s just amazing the steps dealers are taking not to get one step ahead, but stay up with the times.

 

As expensive as all of these products are there is such a benefit to using them.  You are saving cost on supplies, being eco-friendly and most importantly improving your business through pure efficiency!  Why wouldn’t you want to be staying in the game?

 

If you’re a dealer that is looking to move forward, do some research or visit conventions that will demonstrate products to increase your business.  Not every product or vendor will be your perfect match but it’s good to know what’s out there and test some products.  I would hate for you to be left behind.

To say that Smart phones have changed the way consumers shop is completely FALSE.

 

Smart phones have completely revolutionized the way consumers shop. They are everywhere buyers go. Whether at home, in their car, plane, store, coffee shop, beach, mountain top…you name it people simply do not leave home without these “mobile computing devises”.

 

According to Google 66% of all smart phone users access the Internet on their smart phone at least once a day and 57% perform some sort of search.

 

So with that said it is even more important than ever that your dealership is optimized for this ever growing community of “mobile shoppers”. Just like it is important that the desktop version of your dealer’s website is easy to navigate and quick to load, the mobile version of your website is no different.

 

In fact according to a Compuware study on “What Users Want fromMobile” in 2011, 71% of users expected a mobile site to load as fast as a desktop site. In this same study 57% of the respondents said that they would NOT recommend a business with a bad mobile site!!

 

23% of these adults have cursed their phone when a site doesn’t work.

 

My recommendation is that you visit the following website and take the test for yourself. It is completely FREE and I feel it will be a true eye opener for many:

 

http://www.howtogomo.com/en/d/test-your-site/#gomo-meter

 

For questions about how Liquid Motors can help your potential and current customers “not curse at your website” give us a call. We would be more than happy to help.

During my flight to Nashville this past weekend I was able to do some good people watching.  One of my favorite things is to see what other passengers are reading.  Is it something I’ve read?  Is it something that may interest me?  Whatever it is, I like to make a simple statement regarding the book.  My whole purpose is to see if I can excite the passenger about what they are about to read, as well as, see what I can get out of our little chit-chat (hopefully a good recommendation).

We do the same thing in sales, don’t we?  We create conversation to provoke excitement.  This is what makes a good sales person, great.  They know how to influence someone’s emotional strings with a genuine interest.  This is where the personal relationship is formed.  We aren’t necessarily trying to sell anything at this point, but who knows what may come of the conversation.

At every stage in my life, no matter my age, I have grown the most by watching and trying to mimic the best!  What I recommend for those looking to move to the next step in their career is to find someone they have a high regard for and use them as their own personal guru.  By pushing your pride to the side and going after what you want, then you are going to get something out of it.  That’s what sales is, right?  Find someone in your field that can push you to the next level or even find a writer that will challenge you professionally.  Whatever you do, just don’t be stagnant in your career no matter what level you are at.

So it may not technically be summer yet, but I know a lot of us are feeling like it’s already here.  Kids are getting out of school.  The 6am sun is our new alarm clock.  Jeans are becoming intolerable to wear.  This is the usual standard every year at this time.

 

Let’s make a change starting this summer – a new annual routine rather.  Mark it on your calendar to have a professional look over your vehicle(s) for precautionary measures, i.e. tires, battery, brakes, belts.  I know every person has had it ingrained in their head to “Check Your Oil” – at least my Dad said that every time I stopped by the house.  Yes, oil is obviously important for your car to run, but one of my biggest concerns is to make sure your vehicle will stop.  Stay with me…

 

My background is from the Fixed Ops side of a very well known local dealership.  Who knew my first job out of college would be selling oil changes?  Honestly, the job ended up being life saving not only for me but also my customers.  I know that sounds a little dramatic, but it’s true.  For instance, you know when you’re driving down the highway and about every few miles you’ll see pieces of tire rubber off to the side off the road?  If you think about how often you see those pieces of rubber and the amount of vehicles having the same tire trouble, it’s not a coincidence.  There is no pile of nails strategically placed causing the blow outs.  A majority is due to the neglect of tire wear.  Very few people know or will admit that their tires will need to be changed.  Yes, it is expensive and uncontrollably the prices continue to go up.  Most people will need to budget for a purchase like this.  This leads to another good reason to get the car checked out – it gives you a better time line of when tires and other car maintenance items would be needed giving you the time to budget accordingly.  The worst thing that could happen is to have a blown out tire causing danger to you, passengers or other vehicles on the road.  Plus, think about the inconvenience it will put on your plans waiting for a tow truck or having to change the tire yourself in the summer heat.

 

Let’s be preventative and not wait for the worst to happen!  Now that I hopefully have your attention, I will say what I’ve always wanted to ingrain in my customer’s head as a new catchphrase – “Check Your Tires” – plain and simple!  Have someone inspect them going into every season.  The summer sun can be extreme on your vehicle!

 

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