In this week’s episode, Greg shares tips from speakers and experts from NADA in Las Vegas. We were incredibly busy at our booth this year (thanks to Greg’s popular workshop session), so he had to collect a few tips over Zoom. They’re still amazing though, so check them out!

Welcome back to another episode of Local Search Tuesdays. This week’s episode is always one of the most popular ones we do every year… It’s tips from experts at NADA!

Two weeks ago, the automotive industry headed out to Vegas for the annual NADA convention, and as always, I went around and collected tips from speakers and experts. Except this time, I totally sucked at my job. I presented a workshop on Thursday and Saturday, and it was a massive hit with dealers, so we were absolutely slammed at our booth the entire weekend. I had zero time to get away and do interviews.

I locked in 2 or 3 in the last thirty minutes of Friday night, but that was it. I came home freaking out cause I needed to come up with video content for two weeks, since the week after this was supposed to be the NADA mean tweet bit. Don’t worry, I did those over Zoom too, so check back next week for some really funny stuff.

So I scrambled and shot last week’s video about content, since this week’s wasn’t possible. But I didn’t want to skip out on what’s usually one of our top 5 most popular episodes, so I connected with some experts over Zoom and got a few more tips so we’d have enough for an episode. Dont’ worry, I did the mean Tweets over on Zoom too, so check back next week for some really funny stuff. I got some killer tips, and even a tip in rap form from Gary May to end the episode, so it still turned out awesome. Check it out:

So here’s my tip after you get out of this awesome amazing show where you’re seeing all these cool new products and strategies and technologies, when you get back to the store, well, in the next 90 days, make sure you go back to inspect the results and make sure you’re doing what you need to do to make the new product or partner successful.

All right. So hey, 2024 should be the age of the com… conversational commerce. And what I mean by that is, in the auto industry, you’re all transactional. Quit just saying things like, “When can he come in?” What do you know about the customer? Make it about them. If they went to camping this weekend, “Hey, I saw you went camping this weekend. Are you available sometime to come in? I’d love to show you the car.” You made it about the customer, that’s conversational commerce. Take that to the bank, baby.

There’s two things about AI that I want dealers to remember and s- think about when they’re using generative tools. Um, humanize your work. I’m seeing a lot of stuff out there on the channels, social posts, incentive posts, promotional posts that have been clearly written in AI, and I always tell people to take that work out of those engines and p- start humanizing it again. Put your own words around it, look at the copy, make sure that copy makes sense for your own audience. Don’t just let the engines drive it for you because you’ll end up just sounding and looking like everybody else. And it’s already happening. If you look at the feeds, you’re seeing a lot of the same emoji work and emoji counts and copy and long copy where you may not need long copy. So take your time with AI and always take the work out of those engines and get it back in front of human hands and human eyes and work it.

And one more thing with AI, with prompts, the more you put into a prompt, the more you’re gonna get back from that prompt. So really engineer your prompts, get that first response out of the engine, and then ask it more questions, push it to do more. Think about more things to ask it because the more context you put into it, you’re gonna get a lot more out and you’re gonna get stronger content from it. So again, humanize it but work it. Learn about prompt engineering and really dive in, because prompts that are 50 words or less are really weak. You should really almost be looking at prompts that are… start at 450 words. That’s my, my tip. Thanks, Greg.

One of the biggest issues we’re finding, especially with new customers where we haven’t seen their GA4 is we turn on the, um, the permissions and we look and they’ve got VDPs turned on as conversions. Uh, not only in Google Analytics 4, we’re also seeing that in Google Ads where agencies are turning on VDPs as conversions. One of the reasons is, they’re trying to optimize the campaigns for VDP users. There’s other ways to do that through Tag Manager. Do not mark VDPs as conversions. In Google Analytics 4 it will wreck your, your conversion metrics. You’ll have nearly 100% conversions from a lot of campaigns. And it also in hand wrecks your engagement rate, ’cause remember, engagement rate depends on conversation as one of the, one of the elements to trigger it. And so you’ll automatically wreck your engagement rate as well. So in Google Ads, uh, Google Analytics 4, make your agency or provider tell you what they have marked as conversions, and for sure a page view should not be marked. Our definition is anytime you’re in touch with a customer, you may or may not know their name, that includes phone calls, form fills, chat starts, digital retail leads, trade leads, and that’s our tip.

Take a c- a really close look at your fixed ops, consumer facing, consumer forward kind of appearance. Um the average age of a vehicle on the road today is 13, which is not to teach everybody about math, that means for every new car that’s sold, there’s a car that’s 25 years old out there. Um, so late ownership, repairs, um, how are you maximizing video NPI, what does your, um, what does your service specials look like on your website? A- a- and, and, and even like late ownership repair financing, these are all things that we should be thinking about right now because vehicles have never been older as long as we have tracked that kinda data. So make sure that cons- consumers feel really good when they come to your site or they interact with your fixed ops departments, and make sure that they have options on, uh, repair financing, and make sure that you’re maxim- maximizing every repair order through video NPI, and make sure that your specials are, um, ticked and tacked on your website.

Alright, so let’s get into this, this is really gonna be strong. CRM, customer relationship management, there’re so many different iterations of CRM, but I want you to think of it this way: a CRM is a communication hub with every single one of your employees, from sales, service, parts, F&I, accounting, everything, right, with every one of your past, your present and your future customers, AKA prospects. When you think of CRM that way, that it is the communication hub with every single prospect you’ve ever had, you ever will get, um, it, it is really important you pay attention to the CRM.

Dr. Covey says that… from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, the author, that you can tell what’s important with their s… with people’s spends, where they spend their time and where they spend their money. And I have to tell you, I, I really caution you all to start paying more attention to your CRM, especially when it has that much potential to affect your business.
Now, one thing that I want you to focus on really, really strongly is your processes, OK? Your processes and your CRM, also known as action plans or workflows or campaigns, depending which CRM that you use. If you think about this, what, what the CRM is supposed to magically do is tell every one of your employees in every of their positions what to do from the second they walk into the dealership to the second they leave. And if they don’t do it, it’s supposed to have a contingency. Well, I’m here to tell you, that’s not happening. Most people don’t know, um, what to do, when to do it, how to do it and why to do it, and that’s because the CRM processes have never been created the proper way.

I just presented to Toyota manufacturer yesterday for the Chicago region, and I just talked about this and shocked people. Give you one example: the internet lead process. The average buying cycle is post-90 days. That means if you get an internet lead on the first day of the month, let’s just say of February, on average, it’s not gonna close in February, March or April, it might close in May. Crazy, right? Or late April. The reality is this, if your CRM’s processes to handle internet leads are only three weeks, that means after three weeks of whatever amount of follow-up communications, you dead the lead. I saw yesterday with Toyota dealerships, it’s an internet brand, right, 43 days, cut it out, less than half of the potential. You are losing a tremendous amount of money. That’s just the gestation. Now let’s talk about the activities.

If all you’re doing is antiquated activities in the CRM that we’ve been doing for the last decade and a half like phone calls and emails, you’re in trouble. Do you know there’s CRMs out there like DriveCentric that has a content asset library for memes, gifs, it does video emails, video text messages? VinSolutions has integration to social media through LinkedIn, Facebook, et cetera. If you are not leveraging the resources from the CRM, I’m telling you, you’re gonna miss the boat.

Last and final piece of this CRM aspect is this: most people are not trained, folks. When I surveyed this entire region, 80% of them have never been trained other than the CRM company. And why is this bad? Because the CRM companies, they’re not evil, but they don’t train you on CRM. They only train you on product knowledge. Like Toyota manufacturer doesn’t mandate road to the sale training. Well, guess what? The CRM companies don’t provide strategic training, content training, uh, process training, they only teach buttonology. So don’t be misinformed. Spend time and spend money where it is extremely important, like your CRM.

All right, my tip is, don’t forget we’re here for you, so contact your support person and we’re here to help.

With inventory and aging going up and net sales and volume going down, a lotta marketing companies are making dealers look like clowns. And with the FTC regs about to hit and many dealers still doing the bait and switches, there’s gonna be a reckoning on all hands with attorneys making dealers look like bitches.

Pretty great stuff, right? That’s definitely all the time we’ve got left for this week’s episode, so you know what that means.
Put your hand on the screen right here:
We totally just high-fived ‘cause you learned something awesome. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you again next week for another episode of Local Search Tuesdays.