"You're In Charge" with Glenn Pasch
"You're In Charge" with Glenn Pasch

Episode 148 · 4 months ago

Marketing Strategies to Maximize Visibility for Your Business


Is your marketing invisible to your customer? 

Are you taking marketing for granted when inventory is low and demand is high?

What happens when things balance out but you are disconnected from your marketing strategy?

in this episode, these four powerhouse marketers share their thoughts on this topic and preview their upcoming panel discussion at the Digital Dealer conference in Las Vegas in October 2022.

April Simmons: CorporateInternet and Marketing Manager Horne Automotive

Laurie Halter: Owner Charisma Communications

Hannah Lifson: Marketing Manager Friendemic

Sarah Ciociola: Director Paid Media PCG Digital

They share their thoughts on how to connecting offline marketing to online presence to in-store and how the customer journey must be connected to the strategy your business or dealership is putting in place.

Don't miss this great conversation. 

Don't forget to subscribe, share and rate the show. 

Connect with the Guests: 

April Simmons: https://www.linkedin.com/in/april-simmons/

Hannah Lifson: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hannah-lifson/

Laurie Halter: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurie-halter-1255b6/

Sarah Ciociola: linkedin.com/in/sarahciociola/

About Glenn Pasch:

"Everyone finds themselves in charge at some point in their lives. Yet many of us lack the skills to generate consistent results. My goal is to help you learn the skills to adapt and grow in your personal and business life.”

Glenn Pasch is CEO of PCG Digital, a full service digital marketing agency that specializes in helping businesses create and deliver customers raving, recommending & returning for more. He is author of 2 books including "The Power of Connected Marketing" and has spoken and educated audiences throughout the US and internationally.

Thanks for making this a top 30 podcast in Personal Development space


Let’s Connect:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glennpasch/

Personal Website http://glennpasch.com/

Company website: https://pcgdigital.com/

With all of the changes going on in the automotive industry and business in general, especially with supply chain issues and and demand being high from the consumer and a lot of times inventory low, how do you adapt your marketing to make sure that just because your inventory is invisible, that your marketing doesn't go invisible as well, that you're playing the long game while you're dealing with some of these short term problem points? Well, I put that question to four powerhouse individuals on today's show. Lori Holter, she is the owner of charisma communications. Sarah C C Ola, she is the director of paid media at PCG DIGITAL, April Simmons, who is the Corporate Internet and Marketing Director for the Horn Automotive Group, as well as kind of Liftson, who is the marketing director for friendemic. All four of them are going to be on a panel at the upcoming digital dealer conference in October, but I wanted to talk to them before they get to that stage about what they're seeing in marketing from the dealer perspective, April to the vendor perspective, and also from a perspective of training, development process changes. There's so many different things that we talked about on this show. I can't wait for you to hear it. So let's dive into today's episode of you're in charge now what with these four powerhouse individuals? All right, so I am very excited. I have some phenomenal questions for you folks today. Um, now, let's just start right at the top, because in a digital dealer in this this October, you guys are going, all of you are going to be on a panel discussion, and I love the title of it saying just because your inventory is invisible, your advertising doesn't have to be Um. But around own that WHO and whoever wants to jump in first when you crafted that title? What are you seeing in terms of people cutting back on advertising or ignoring their advertising? Well, because of inventory? And and why are you so adamant about not stopping advertising no matter what? Well, I'll start. I think. I think the biggest issue that I see is that there's lack of strategy. Um dealers as a whole have always been so reactive, um in their advertising. They wait till the last minute. Oh, shoot, shoot, we need to sell cars this weekend. Let's throw a mailer act like last second. And so that reactive approach has now just doesn't work when you don't have inventory. You have to have you have to be much more proactive, but that means that you still need to advertise. You just need to have a different strategy. Um Potentially look at your branding strategy, getting a good foundation so that when things to change, you're in a better place to dominate Um in an organic standpoint. So I think there's a lot of things that deals should be doing now versus what we have been doing in the past. So that means don't just because, just because the cars aren't here, this is not the time to say Whoa stop everything, because when you need to be moving it'll be too late. So so to that point, then, when you said that, what popped into my head is, well, then, who's responsible for the strategy? Right, they may not have someone in the dealership, or maybe they do. A lot of times the marketing person is the lonely person in the dealership, meaning a lot of people don't understand what they do or what they're trying to accomplish. So so who owns this strategy? It's easy to say, well, you should have a new strategy. Who owns it? Well, I think speed of the later, speed of the troops. So it just first and foremost, the general manager should be saying hey, whether if they're not the expert or they don't have the time, they should determining...

...who that person is or who those people are. Typically it should be multiple people. You know, you want to bring somebody in from fixedops, who want to bring somebody in from sales, typically even somebody from finance. Get everybody involved and then have a group of people that are really working together to have a cohesive plan for the entire dealership. Okay, so Lorie to that point. A lot of times that all sounds good, but it's hard to get everyone to the table. Number two is a lot of times they'll say, well, if I'm not the expert, I'm just going to hire an expert and then let them do that. So for you, you know, it seems like what April saying is easy. Let's get and bring everyone in, but if they don't feel comfortable, you know, what should they be doing then to alleviate any of this disconnect between the departments or marketing concept Um and and their strategy? No, it's a great question because I think, especially as vendors, it's easy for us to say I mean April's dealer and she's just ahead of the curve and innovative. But the rest of us are vendors and it's easy to say don't stop, don't stop. But I think one of the things we're going to really hit on during this panel is something we call make the money matter, and so the way to get the people at a table. We're not saying don't pull back at all. That's just unrealistic. People should be probably pulling back right now on certain things, but we're saying come together as a team and be strategic about what is mattering the most. What intermarketing, PR branding, social media is bringing in the most return and can you reevaluate and redistribute dollars to that to really use this time when others are pulling back, to pull ahead and be that much, that much further when inventory comes back. So it's a more reallocation than it is stopping. Yeah, no, we're saying don't stop by any means, but definitely get your tea on the table train. I know April is a big, big advocate of training, correctly strategized together, but analyze what's working and put more money, redistribute and make sure that you're putting money where it's working right now. Okay, so, Sarah with that for for all disclosure, Sarah and I worked together, so that's uh, we want to keep that very above board. But so, so in this what are you seeing that's working right? And I like what you guys are uh, you know, talking about on the panel when you say make your money matter, and I absolutely agree, meaning the more efficient you can become, more targeted. And to April's point, I think a lot of times it is very reactive of just either do what we've always done or wait till the last minute and then panic. So what are you seeing that's working? Um, and especially around this idea of lack of inventory? How? How are the our customers Um the allocating resources? Yeah, so I think what's definitely working best right now for dealers is just that full funnel marketing strategy. And what happens when inventories low or people are pressuring? Like April said, we have to sell cars this weekend, dealers throw branding totally out the door. And what I like to tell our dealers is that, you know, you can't get leads and run lead generation advertising if you're not starting at the top. Of the funnel. There's no way you're ever going to get to the bottom of the funnel if you're not starting at the top. So consistently running branding campaigns, consistently running traffic campaigns and then always having an evergreen, dynamic campaign running, whether you're on the Google side, the social side, whatever social platform you're even using. Um, that always supersedes cutting the branding and cutting the middle of the funnel and going straight to the bottom of the funnel. Because then, dealers, you're asking, well, where our leads and I'm like, well, no, we're not gathering anybody to get to the bottom of the funnel to generate those leads for you, because we're missing all of these people who are still in the beginn in phases of buying a car, the consideration phase...

...of buying a car. They're not ready to buy a car right now, and you're missing the potential to capture all of these people and gather all of this data so and months from now you can retarget them and they can become needs, and your competition is doing that. So making sure too, that you're, you know, considering what your competition is doing, because if you're not ahead of your competition, then you're just always going to fall behind when I love that because that's like you're talking three to six months ahead of the funnel at that point, right, the folks that are just still kind of researching and so inventory very may very well be back on lots six months from now and you're just that much better off, you know, six months from now. So, Hannah, for you with your company, how are they? How does it fit into this whole ecosystem? Right, so, April, right front line, and I agree, very forward thinking. You know, Sarah is talking about the marketing aspect, but for your company, that's helping dealers. Where did where do you fit, and what's the impact that you're having in this retention because I think your yours is really your retention piece in in marketing, but a lot of people don't think about it that way. So talk a little bit about how yours can help in this idea of advertising to retain customers. Yeah, absolutely, Um, and I think for me it's not so much advertising as it is just marketing as a whole. And Sarah was mentioning that funnel where it's that three to six months where people are potentially even just making their decisions. Um, I think that's where a lot of my findings and insights are going to be shared on the panel. We're talking about, you know, the original form of advertising or the original form of marketing, which is just word of mouth. But what is that like? Sort of a digital perspective? It's all online reviews. It's how our consumer is talking about you. It's how are you building that brand, one to one, one at a time, as your consumers are trying to connect with you and form those relationships online. You know, through the pandemic, we, some of us, were ahead of the curve like April and had some some strategies in place, but a lot of dealers, even our clients, were sort of thrown into this saying how am I going to connect? How am I going to maintain that, you know, presence and be top of mind, state, top of mine. I'll tell you what it was through star reviews, specifically on Google. It was being able to connect one to one on video and, of course, as we all know, it was being able to post on social media happy customers. What do we actually have on inventory, giving them updates in real life and real time. Um. So that's some of the insights that all be sharing on the panel. That's great. So so then we're all going to come back to you April. From the dealer perspective, why are we so all or nothing, meaning running the one side of the boat, you know. So, for instance, you know reviews, for while they were very important and everybody was obsessed with them, and now they're sort of other there or we have to be reminded about it, or certain social media. Well, we're all going to run to this side of the boat. Or while now that we don't have inventory, we can't advertise inventory, or this idea of marketing who you are, regardless of the car. You know, from a branding perspective, who are you in the community doesn't seem to have that weight. So so talk about it. From your challenges, Um, getting that consistency or belief that all of it is necessary. And yes, like Laurie said, you might pull a lever here or there or dial it up or dial it down. But why? Why? Or why do we still consistently just, you know, everything or nothing? Really really easy answer to that. Um, most dealers don't. I believe in the philosophy of facts, not feelings. Right, and most dealers go off of feelings. So a lot of what dealers decide to do or not do has to do with what they feel something...

...is. So I feel like this meal or was really successful because I saw two people have it in their hand. I feel like this was a failure because I didn't physically see a lead name attached to a lead in my crm. I feel like right. So people make decisions based on feelings and what they think the outcome was, rather than looking at the facts and the data of what the outcomes are. So if you can have somebody, whether it's an internal person or a vendor, who is there genuinely just to help you through that process of being able to strategize based on fact, then you can get ahead of this. But where we make the majority of our mistakes is by going what our gut tells us rather than what we know to be true. So then to that point, then, what it seems like they're that that fact finding can be a little overwhelming for dealers. Well, you have multiple vendors coming at you with multiple reports and everyone's claiming there the reason why, that they're sixceed, that your success is there. You know, as we we always joke, if you know everybody says they sold those hundred cars and in theory I have ten people telling me they also I should sell a thousand cars, but I don't. So so how does for anyone on the panel? How can we, or how can the vendor side get better at that too, help people understand not all marketing one works every time. Um, there are moving you know, some marketing is designed to move people through the funnel. So it's helping and you also can't just put your finger on it and say, well, that's the only reason they came in was because they saw the head there and they're great and everyone else is horrible. So it's it's an interesting topic. So what? What? What do you guys think about? Tell you, the number one thing that has to stop is that this right. Like the vendors cannot say hey, I'm the only reason that that you're successful or not and stop. You know, the other thing I really won't allow is if you want to have your own view as a vendor in my google analytics, fine, but I'm not going to use that view. So I I highly, I highly suggest that you make sure that you're looking and showing reports to a dealer based on the dealer's view so that it's so true apples to apples comparison. And then, if you really want to be a dealer partner, then help educate the dealers. Sit Down with them and say hey, yeah, maybe this particular vendor has a high bounce rate, but maybe the goal of that campaign was to just get the clicks right. So it depends on what the goal of the campaign is. And if you're seeing a dealer having some struggles, you know, don't be afraid to to to educate them. And and that's you know, I've learned everything through vendors. When I first started, I just asked a lot of questions, I pulled everybody in, I went to to you know, conferences and things, but ultimately it was the vendors who helped and if vendors were more proactive about trying to help their dealer partners, I think we'd all be in a lot better shape. M that's a great that's a great point. So, Laura, you're a little different, I think. Yeah, that's just a statement. Then we can move on. No, I wanted to clarify because you're not you're not really uh dealer in the product. You're not dealer you're not selling or a service, so to speak, like an agency, so you actually are sometimes in that position to help orchestrate the madness for your clarients. So what what do you see? Or why? Why do you think so many vendors don't want to play Nice in the sandbox or help collaborate it still is that? Me, me, me, what you know. So you have a different perspective. I always say that's such a great question.

I don't think I've ever been asked that. Sub Bravo Um. But no, I think that happens a lot and I work with a lot of vendors um in the space, and so when I talked to them about helping the clients, is exactly what April is saying. Always strive to be an advocate of your clients or your dealers. So ask them what do they need information about? What are they looking to find out and like, instead of throwing a report that shows the best of what you're doing for them, what are they trying to understand? And the other thing I think that happens a lot with vendors. The reason, as you're saying, there's a bunch of chess beating and a lot of I think they're very afraid that, like if we're using one of April's examples, let's say there's a high bounce rate, they're afraid at the negative aspect of that. But if you can explain why it was a negative bounce rate or why it's it's okay that this was a negative bounce rate because it wasn't really the goal of that. The goal was overall exposure. What I found is most of my clients and most of their clients, for the dealers, are okay with that. They just need to know the why behind all of these numbers and what's going on. They're looking for you to partner with them and, like executive Aprile was saying, explain and educate them. So I think a lot of vendors just kind of give the reports that show the best, whereas if we're just a little more authentic, we're a little more truthful, I think that's going to go much further way with these guys. No, and I think that's great. And and and Sarah, I think that, you know, that's one of the hallmarks of what we try to accomplish. But you know, I think there are people who want to collaborate. I just think also some vendors were never asked to collaborate. So you know, no one's thought about it. So from so, Sarah, for you, for you, if where do you see when when we bring on clients or we're discussing or your meeting dealers out of conferences, because now you're on the you know, the speaking circuits, so to speak, and you're hearing some of their frustrations? What are some of the rustrations that they're having with their marketing partners? Uh, you know some of the things dealers are bringing up. Yeah, it goes right back to what Laurie and able just said about education. So when we bring on a dealer Um at PCG, I always emphasized to my team that we are an extension of their marketing team. We are not silo, we are one unit Um and really educating them on how we're going to measure success. So when we have a startup call, when we have strategy calls and on every reporting call, I say you have to tell them exactly how we're measuring success, because each campaign is measured in a very different way. So if we're just looking at clicks, we're going to fail. If we're just looking at leads, it looks like we're going to fail. If we're just looking at website traffic, it looks like we're failing because, like I mentioned before, we want to have a full funnel marketing strategy and every piece of that funnel is measured very differently. The other issue that I find when we talk to dealers, whether it's, you know, our dealers at PCG or when I'm traveling, is that dealers are married to Google analytics. You cannot measure your social media advertising. You cannot measure Um, you know, Tiktok, instagram, facebook. That does not transfer well into Google analytics. They are not Google products. You need to be measuring your social media advertising in the platforms that you're running them. Google analytics is a great measurement tool, but skilled marketers know that you have to use multiple measurement tools to really get the full picture and for the data to tell a full story, and I think that is something we are going to have to continue, as vendors and as marketers, to push to dealers. That's a that's a great point because I think I think they're without the education to what April had said earlier. Without that education, you're not going to. Everyone's going to look at through their own lens or the knowledge that they possess, and then at times you could look like you're failing when in reality you're winning. So so, Hannah, you have worked in a variety of organizations helping dealers and again, you've had a very...

...you have a good bond with dealers. You you you have an ability to just, you know, chat with them. They're very open with you. So when you hear, like said, when you you hear their frustrations about marketing, about other vendors, how how have you been able to help your dealer clients marry some of the products that you've done, because you've worked in a variety of how do you help them inner, you know, connect the products you're working with to their other partners? You become a bridge sometimes, and so I really want to understand how you do that or how you could help dealers who are listening be that bridge to two other vendor partners. Sure, I mean, I think first and foremost me always being on a marketing team, I can always relate to the dealer that's typically in that position there on the marketing I'm on the marketing side, so I'm never trying to sell you anything. If you meet me in the conference I'm not there to at you, but if you have questions I'm there to answer them. But I think the mentality that I've liked, in the stance that I've always liked to take is I didn't sell your car. My product didn't sell your car. You, as the dealer, sold the car. You Know Your Business better than anybody and it's none of my business to tell you how to run your business. Um, and that kind of mindset and that standpoint has always gone over really well with all of my clients and, quite honestly, most of my friends. Um, you know, April and I are are very close friends outside of work. Um, maybe because it's something I'm not telling or anything, but it's always that that mindset that I like to go in with to try to create that bridge. So it's kind of like going on a first date where if you let the other person just talk about them the entire time and you had a chance to say nothing there to say wow, this was a great date, and the other person would say, Oh my God, I'm never going to talk to that jerk again. And I think happens a lot in the vendor space they want to start out their slide deck with. Here's a little bit about company X Y and Z versus Hey, I took a look at your x y and z placement on Google, or xploy be in Google analysts. I did a little bit of research about you. Here's the pain points I'm seeing. What can I actually help you with, versus starting to talk about yourself? Um, and again, I've just found that approach to be really approachable. And it's not. It's it's that partnership being that you guys are all speaking to. It's that you know, teaching element that I know everyone on the call here is, is really an advocate of and definitely brings to the forefront of whatever company there behind or just life in general. Um. So that's sort of where I intermingle and if I can leave in a product and I do feel like my company can truly help them and I can see that pain point, where there is the bridge, let's go for it. I'll introduce you to someone who can truly and honestly pitch it and give you the best quality of work. But if I think that there's somebody else's space, I also don't mind passing you over to my friends, who are also a lot of vendors. Know what I like about that. And again I like to pull things out of the discussion so that people, you know, we slow down for a minute and really hone in on that. But what I really liked about that is that idea of putting them first, because I've seen so many times where, if April's the dealer in this panel, I'm going to tell her how wrong she is. Or sometimes I hear people on stage talking how, I don't want to use the word stupid, but man, dealers just aren't paying attention and it's the dealer's fault. And you know, look at this, I did this, you're screwing it up and I find that offensive. I find it really offensive, and I've mentioned it a couple of times at conferences where I say hey, Hey, this is not dealer bashing, because some people really do they I know what their intentions are, but they come across as dealer bashing. And that's what I really do like about your approach, Hannas. It's always about...

...serving you know, yeah, your product could be great, but if it's not, it's well, you could try this, but you could also try that. It's that idea of I'm here to help, because it's a very complex business. Everybody's business is very complex, and for have somebody from the outside telling you how to run your business, me telling Lorie how to run her business, you're a little bit I don't think you really should be telling me that. Um. So I really do like that approach and I agree with you everyone on this call. April, as as a dealer as well, you know that that idea of serving, serving the customer, serving the employees, doing what's best for everyone. So so, April, for you, what are you seeing right from dealers right now? Inventory is an issue. Um, yes, we want to keep marketing. I was talking with some salespeople the other day and there is that frustration of, you know, talking to customers and saying, well, we're pretty sold for the next three months and you can have something in, you know, a few months and maybe you can order or maybe you cant, or I just don't have anything to sell. What? What's what's going on on the front lines? How how are how are you guys keeping up spirits up, so to speak, and and really keeping that positive attitude when you don't know what the manufacturer is going to do tomorrow when inventory will release. You know, there's a lot of challenges. This is a this is a it hasn't eased up. Um. So so what's going on out in the front lines? Well, you have to think outside the box first and foremost. But you know, we have multiple dealers and so what I've what I've really watched, is kind of this oven flow happening where, you know, one dealer h have inventory one month, another dealer will hub to have inventory the next month, and so it's just it's, you know, highs and lows for each of these stores, but taking the opportunity to make sure when these lows happen, it is really important that we keep their head in the game. So I always have the analogy of sports when we start talking about training, because, you know, I think what's happening over the summer as we're getting ready to get into football. They don't just say hey, it's the off season, there's nothing going on, we're just gonna sit back and relax. No, this is the time that we make sure that we'll be ready when the game comes. So I think training is one of the best ways that you can ultimately spend your free time right now. If you don't have a car to sell and you don't have somebody in front of you, what are you doing to hone your skills all this time? This education I'm talking about now is the time. Now is the time to educate yourself. If you don't know all these data points, like Sarah said, you know, you need to know how to look at your social stats. You need to know how to look at your website stats. You need to look at your Google business profile stats, which are different than your website stats. You know some of that. Some of that data is how is before they get to your website, which you eng you need to look at that separately. All these different pitpoints. Well, now it's like the time to be doing education and you can make education fun. So we've done like fun spits, right just to say, Hey, you you don't have an opportunity to make money today selling a car, can I give you a, you know, a five spit for the person who can you know do this the best or do that the best? Or sometimes it's just you know who through a paper airplane the furthest today. Um, you know this kind of thing right. It's it's crazy, but it's it's keeping everybody engaged and doing something that is going to help benefit them, because the second you let people sit, then the negativity can seep in. Once the negativity seeps in, when it's time to play the game, you will fail. You will absolutely fail because you have this mindset that you're going to fail, that you will fail, and if you spend time just thinking that's what's going to happen, then that's what will happen. So I think just staying busy is the most important thing that everybody can do right now, Um, to make sure that they're they're good to go. But also I'm...

...taking this opportunity to say, Hey, can we can we finally take fixed hops and sales and be friends? Right? Can we kind of, you know, meet these two two spaces that have always been combative and say Hey, no, this is one circle, it's not two high circles disconnected, Um, that sort of thing. So I think now it's just a really good time to to build foundation. Where their talking marketing, which I wholly believe in. Um, build your foundation right now, but build your foundation in your culture, build your foundation in your training, build a nice solid foundation so that as a jury comes back, we're all ready to build and I think that's so smart, because the other theme I'm hearing majorly for this next year, and you guys probably are too, is retention. It's gonna matter for o e m CO OP dollars, it's gonna matter for cs I scores, it's gonna matter what you do, what the partnerships should get, what money you get back. So I think it's also a really, really great time to focus on how can we create that retention strategies as well well. So so let's talk about that, because I agree as April was talking. We've worked with our clients on, you know, getting inventory right and and and a lot of it is how aggressive does the dealer want to be to go out and get, you know, used inventory to add to their their pool? And we've worked on some strategies to you know, basically go fishing in service and not just who's there today, but going backwards and saying, well, who's been in our service drive for the last three months? And what if we just all called them up or looked at all the inventory and said, well, which cars do we want, and then call them up and say hey, would you sell it to us? You know, so to April's point is that we can't. Just just because we don't have tons of inventory doesn't mean we can't go get inventory. And more importantly to what April said, of which I loved, was this idea of this is the time to train or tell teach them phone skills. If people aren't walking in the door, well then, Hey, what are you doing to set your own appointments? What are we doing in service to build up and and and as idea of retention? So so, talk to me. All of you like retention. It's an again, it's an easy word. Everybody talks about it. We should retain. We got to retain. What are you seeing in terms of actual processes and things that people are doing to retain or to, you know, deliver great experience or even just from a marketing perspective, proactively going out to get the service customer back in finding out, asking them. I can't remember, I think it was Hannah who said, you know, asking them what's important, just like we asked what's important to the dealer. Are we spending time asking what's important to our customer? We could think it's important and they're thinking this is stupid, or vice versa. So talk to me about some retention strategies that you guys are using or seeing that are that are really generating some great results. Yeah, I mean, that's a great uh. I have a couple of different UM service clients and I'll tell you what. This is actually a truth. I tell you a personal story that I could have done much better. I went to my local dealership the other day. They said come in at eight thirty. I was there at eight thirty. They didn't even start having their service advisors come out till nine. So is there on time. I waited half an hour before anyone even came out to ask me about my car. The service advisors come out. They don't have enough now for the build up of the people that are there. They finally get to my car about nine fifteen. By this point I'm super ticked off because I was there on time. I've been waiting forty five minutes. They tell me it's gonna be at least an hour and a half, where over the phone they had told me forty five minutes. So I have a call at ten and I said, well, I have a call it ten. It sounds like you guys are gonna be done. And then the advisor got angry with me because I had scheduled to call it dead. It's a great example of a way not to retain a customer. But, you know, I think it's just shows there's just really simple things we can do as an industry. You know, trade or connect is one of my clients right now and they talk about phone skills, greeting someone the moment they come before you know, even if you can't get to them right away,...

...go tell them what's going on. transparency. This is how long it's gonna take. If it's gonna take a little longer, no one likes to hear that, but they'd rather hear that than six for the next half hour not knowing anything. So I mean some of the stuff I'm seeing is just really simple customer service that doc, to April's point, could be trained on during this time. Like let's tighten up those processes during this time in the service ride. And I think Bob from Tyler was telling me there's some really hard numbers for Co opt dollars. I think you have to have, um, got something like sixt retention the first year. April, let me know if I'm doing these numbers right. And then, like eighty five percent, or maybe it's to begin but six overall. So the dealers are really trying to hit some really hard, hard numbers. Retention isn't just this sort of you know, like you said, sweet word, like let's just make our customers happy. There's some hard numbers they actually need to hit to get coop dollars. But to your point is we we all from the marketing side here, or were products or whatever. We we can do everything, we can tell everybody how great it is, but if we're not delivering it in the day to day when someone gets there, then there is that disconnect of well, what someone on the phone said and what reality happens or how they greet or things like that. So, Sarah, what are we doing for some retention campaigns or even just testimonial campaigns, you know, for our clients? Um, I mean I think the first thing, even before you go and talk about campaigns, is the level of customer service that you give our dealers. Um, you know the importance of customer service. I feel like it's lost sometimes amongst the industry. Like Gon, you can relate to this. I've been working in the restaurant Industry for eleven years. And Customer Services the complete name of the game, and you just you realize who is skilled in customer service and who has been trained in customer service and who hasn't. and talking to people like people. You know. It's like it's one thing to talk to somebody like you're in a business, but you're also talking to people who have lives and who other things going on. So just being totally honest and relatable with them and then translating that into your marketing and saying, well, what's important to you? You know, what's what are your goals right now at the dealership, and how can we translate that, as part of your marketing team, into your different campaign strategies? Yeah, I see. I like that, because you're asking them what can you deliver? Like, what can you really deliver? And then I'll market it. Versus, let's come up with something fancy and then we're going to disappoint and I don't think we want to. So so Hannah from you, because you're you're company is so driven to that. Um. Have you seen touched on a little or have you seen a let's say that that reviews and testimonials or that it's sort of taken for granted now, or it doesn't seem to be as important to to dealerships or businesses. What? What? What? or Am I just missing completely? Um? I don't know if I'd say you're missing completely, but I definitely he would say it is on the opposite side of the scale. There's a huge uptick. Um, specifically because of the pandemic, the service department was holding up the dealership for a lot of different companies because people couldn't buy cars. There was an inventory, but guess what, they needed to make sure that their car could run, especially in its like Chicago, New York, where you guys are, San Francisco, when people didn't want to take public transit anymore. Number one important thing they needed was a reliable source of transportation to and from so they're going to get that car worked on. Um. So taking money and reallocating it from the sales side of the house to the back of the service Um, you know, the back of the house. We found that to be really successful. When I say reallocate the money, um and able can speak to this in in particular. It's actually something we did together. Was We did something as simple as just build out a google business profile for her service department and the course of two months she got over four hundred and six team five star reviews. Um, she...

...had an uptick of like, I don't know, April, what was it like, of New People coming in because they could find her. So not only was she gaining retention, but she was stealing competition from local people like pep boys, not even just other dealerships, um, but she was taking that market share from people who weren't optimizing and taking a page out of playbook of of Google and she. I mean we're talking like dollars, since it wasn't a huge investment. It was just a matter of what you guys were saying, taking the time to train, taking the time to learn a new skill, the time to look at something just a little bit differently and not forget about it. And because of that, I mean April, you can, you can share your numbers, but how well, at least at the Keia Service Department. Like it's it's insane. Even when I went to visit you in person, there was over like a three hour weight of cars coming in. Yeah, yeah, it's it's crazy. It's one of those things that, even before the pandemic, I knew that the Google business profile was was transitioning and starting to become, in my mind, number one for S C o. You know, everyone was still focused on the website Seo and and building out things within the site, but I realized very quickly that there were these other spots and not being one of the absolute biggest ones, that if you were not optimizing that, you are already missing the boat and you could not against the other companies that were the pet boys in such of the of the universe. But getting the buy in on stuff like that, because again it goes back to well, how does that sell me a car? How does that get a car in my service drive? People don't understand the foundation stuff that that actually does. Um, and even now, right, if we walked into the service drive and said, did you realize your Google business profile is probably what what accounted for this much of your uptick, they would be like, oh no, now, that's not possible. Right, they don't. They can't correlate those two things. But that's okay. You just have to push through and get it done and have somebody who you need, one person who believes. That's one person who believes, says yes, and then you just do it. But the thing that works really well with Hannah's company is that they create the consistency that's needed, because if you just build it, that's one thing, but if you if you just continue to put stuff into it day to day to day, that's where you get this going on right like otherwise you just go like this and then you plateau because Google starts to say, well, wait a minute, you know, you work cool for a second, but now you're not so cool because there's no consistency there. So that's what Hannah and that's what Hannah. What I liked about what she said as well was it's that idea of we don't forget about it, and that's what I was touching based on, or alluding to earlier, is we have a tendency of we go to a conference or Google is focusing on Google business profile and then everybody is focusing on that until the next big thing and now we're all focused on that, but we forgot about the reviews and we forgot about the profile. It seems like we have a tendency instead of like your analogy is stacking, it's we do one and then push it aside, and then we do want and we push it aside and we and we do them all well in the moment, but what we're not doing is adding to it where. No, this is part of our process now. We every ask everybody for a review and we use this technology it becomes but that goes back to the training and it goes back to what we're talking about. Is like, do you even have all of your processes documented so so we know what we're adding on and building on, or is it just, well, we'll do it if they remember or if someone in the meeting reminds you or, worse, you pay me and if you don't pay me or spiff me to do it, then I'm not really going to do it. YEA, yeah, that's a I do want to point one thing out...

...about retention that I'm really, really genuinely fearful of. I I still think, as we sit here today, that the number one problem with retention is as fear of dealers to hold people accountable right now, because it's so hard to get employees. It's really hard. So you know, if you don't have, like Sarah said, that customer service in your soul, if that's not who you are, then these people right now feel like Welsh. It doesn't matter. What do they do? Fire Me. So there's there's an attitude problem um due to the lack of accountability, of fear of people leaving, like I have heard more in the last six months. Will you give me this or I quit right now, you know, and it's just it's it's it's a it's a not a good feeling when that's happening. But even more so on the sales side that I'm really scared of is when inventory levels back out and and people have to actually sell, right you actually have to sell. The grass is greener. Mentality is gonna set in real quick and we're gonna see just a lot of movement. And so I and I don't think that, no matter how good your culture is right now, I don't know that we can fully stop that. I think all we can really do is prepare for it, because I think it's going to happen whether we want it to or not. Well, see, I'll push back a little on that, just because I think well, I will say yes, I will agree for the majority. I think really good operators don't aren't falling into that because they have they have a structure, they have training there. They said, I'll go down the street and find Sarah who works at hospitality and I'll train them and guess what, within two months they'll be so I'm not I don't need to be held hostage. But to your point, if I don't have that training, if I don't have that belief that I can take anybody and in three months teach them how to sell cars, two months, teach them how to sell cars, how to write service, how to do whatever work in the BBC, if you don't have that mentality of ill, I will train somebody, then you're right. Then you are held hostage and if, if people are falling into the well, if you don't give me this, then I'm going to quit. I'll be like, okay, go quit, like go somewhere else, because then you're starting to foster the wrong culture. You're fostering a culture of Um, you need me, yes, and that's a horrible place to be as a leader of a business. And I'll tell you, going back to the service example, when I got to talking about him, I said to him, I said, so, I'm actually in the automotive industry. I'm so interested, like what do you think it is that can help you with customer service? And that kind of thing. Any clickly, I don't get paid enough to handle this right now. I mean so you really you've got this is a true story. That happened to me. I wanted to write an article about it. Like, guys, this is real, this happened to me. What I want to do a dealership. So I think that is this permiated culture is happening right now, and so if you don't get to handle on it right now, it's gonna well. And to to April's point, everybody's making money right now, and so there are people depending on your pay plan, there are some people who are making, you know, the equivalent of what it used to take them fifteen, eighteen cars on eight cars. And so when all of a sudden those that compensation goes down or the ability to you know where you're gonna have to split deals or you're gonna have to work a little bit harder to generate that revenue. I personally think that that's going to be a problem. I think coming down the road, and this is where marketing comes in, is the fact of thinking two years down the road when all of a sudden, remember we haven't had a ton of new cars, so what happens four years from now? That means the newer used car markets going to diminish. So more t April points. You better be thinking about service, because people are going to have to hold onto their cars a little longer. That means you're gonna need texts who can work on older cars, because you know, we just don't have the new cars out there now that are going to come down,...

...let alone we only want to get down the rabbit hole of what people have had to pay for cars right now that all of a sudden three years from now, when they come back and go, Oh my God, I've loved my cars, lost all this equity, I'm underwater. There's a lot of things, but I keep hearing from all of you this idea of planning down the road. So let me just pivot, uh to to something else, seeing that you guys are going to be at a conference. There's always this in April. I'm really curious from a dealer perspective. Now you work in a company that really allows you to get out and participate. What is the hesitation of the dealer community? Why don't more people go to conferences, or why don't they send more people? Because if you think. You know, let's say for round numbers or fifteen thousand, franchise will just do franchise and there's probably four or five people in every single dealership that should be going out to these to get education. So hour we're talking about seventy thousand and we don't see that. You know. So so what's the hesitation? What? What? What's the either? What? What's the what's the obstacle that all of us who are, you know, having conferences need to address to get more people to show up? Um, I think it just really boils down to you're not making money for me when you're at a conference, and so I think that that's like you have to understand the investment that a conference actually is, which is okay, so you're not in the store selling cars for two or three days, but in that two or three days you're getting knowledge that could give me a ten percent lift every single month for who knows how long because of the knowledge that you bring back and understand the investment that a conference actually is. But I think that unfortunately, most dealers look at it as Oh, I'm just sending you on a vacation, or it's this old school mentality of not understanding that there's really a purpose to going in and being educated. But I think there's also the wrong people go a lot of times. So I think there's also the people that are sent to the conferences are not necessarily the person that should be there. There should be, you know, somebody a decision maker, and then somebody from both sides of the House and fixed offs and in sales, and all three of those people should be going and having a strategy on what they're gonna look at, what education they want to get out of it, where do they feel they're most lacking? Like anything else, you get out what you put in. And so early on, when I said I went to conferences and I learned, I didn't know anybody, I wasn't speaking, I wasn't talking to you all while I was there. I was taking the book and going through and saying where, where do I need to learn, what what I want to accomplish, and I had a schedule planned well in advance of here's what I'm gonna do while I'm there, and then I'm gonna ask questions. And so I think having a game plan and having people go and understanding it truly is an investment in education. To Increase Your Business. Is Worth the three days that these people are gone? Yeah, but you need to have in April, right, you need to have an April. You have to have someone who's got motivated. Well, I think that. But what you could do. It may not have to necessarily be the April. What we do at PCG is if Sarah wants to go to a conference, she comes to me and says I want to go to New York for this social media conference. I have no problem. But part of the deal is she comes back and teaches the company what she learned, what was good, what was bad. So I think dealers one. I always joke about that whole well, you're out of the store. I'm just like, well, what happens if I get the stomach flu and I'm out sick for three days? We don't. This is what we do exactly. But the point is that if you if you're going to send someone, and so again for the dealers listening, send people,...

...but demand that they come back and educate. UH, go through to April's point. Go through the list of all the classes and say what are we trying to accomplish? I hear dealers do that more when they're looking for products, like when they go to n a D A, they're going, I'm gonna go find I had a dealer last year. He was saying I'm going to find a car wash, and so he found looked at all the vendors and he made appointments with all of them. That was their mission. Or I'm getting a new CRM, you know. So it's that the idea of taking that same focus that you would have for looking for a new product, a new CRM, a new website provider or something, and then doing that for education as well. Now we're going to go figure out social media, but then also asking people who out of these six speakers should I see, because again, a dealer could go sit in April session, go sit in Sarah Session and go sit in Hannah section and all three of you are telling them completely different things and the poor person is coming out even more confused then when they in in. And so I think it's really guiding that and helping dealers out, and we all can do that. You know, I have people calling me up saying should I see this person? Should I not see this person, and like no, that's the one you need to go see, based on what you're trying to learn, what you're trying to accomplish. So, Um, well, what about all the other three? You've been at conferences enough. What are you hearing from? Uh? Why? Why? People don't go? I I got April vomiting into a basket because even if she has the flu, she's not going. Um, what are you guys hearing? You know, I'll tell you one thing. I hear a ton and it's not they're not wrong. Um, if you have a superstar, they're afraid to send him or her because they're afraid they'll be poached. So I hear that a lot. Like if you've got someone that's there, that's looking at all the less sessions, and we hear that a lot. Of speaking to right guys. I mean I've had people on on the PR side. So I've actually had companies say we don't want this person to be a speaker or we don't want them to be interviewed in this article because they're scared to death their best employees will be taken from them. And, like I said, they're not wrong like that. That happens. I mean just like an Erica tiffany wells, like a her meteoric rise. I mean, I think when you find someone who's really good at what they do and really passionate, it's scary for leaders to send them. But that is what's going to inspire those folks. So it's almost like if you don't send them, YOU'RE gonna lose them anyway. So just get on, you know, hold onto them while you can and yeah, they may move on because they're pretty incredible, but don't hoot them back because you're afraid that they're influential and charismatic and amazing. No, I think it's the education, and I think you know April said it, is that you have to have your your leadership has to have a desire to constantly get better. And so, you know, a lot of dealers have twenty groups, so they have circles of people that they can rely on. One of the other things that I've been, you know, watching over the years, at least at our conferences, are people, you know one Sarah, stepping up now and going out and speak and you know, uh, very excited for that. But more importantly, you see people who, like April in the dealership now building her own twenty group of people that she can rely on and call up and say what are you doing over there marketing? What are you doing in the deal my dealer wants me to do at every level. Right. So the fixed ops created and then even general sales managers or general managers are reaching out and connecting and building their own network of people or their own version of a twenty group. And you're not going to find that only sitting in your dealership or only going to a twenty group that like minded dealers. And you know it is that ability to branch out, to to surround yourself and connect with more people. I just I only think you're going to get better is if you really push on that and really try to dive in and be you know, getting back to your guys panel, to sit in front of you, listen to what you say and then Cann with you and ask questions. I mean, how valuable...

...is the information that you're going to share? But, more importantly, that that idea of Hey, you can call me any time. That's where I think a lot of that the people only look at. Well, it's a vacation or oh, you're you're not working hard. Well, get them to work hard, get them to come back and report. But sitting in front of four people like you. I mean the wealth of information you're going to get. You know, you, you, you should not be skipping this. So get tickets, come see them. Yeah, yeah, so. So, Al Right. So as we wrap up, Um, I always, always ask people a couple of questions that are off off the UH beaten path, so to speak, just to have some fun at the end. So, since we have four, I will ask you all the same question and then you can give me your versions of us. So I always like asking this question, and people have heard the podcast. No, I always like asking this one. So it's a part question. I'm fascinated mostly because my kids are this age now, but I'm fascinated at that fifteen, sixteen year old brain. So some of you are. The gap is a little closer. ME, the gap is way farther away, meaning if you're looking backwards from where you are now to your sixteen year old self, what's the trait that's consistent from then to now? That's the first part. Second Part is sixteen year old Hannah looking at Hannah today, what would she be most surprised about? So, for all of you, looking at your sixteen year old self, looking at you now, what would they go what? Never would have thought about that. So who wants to go first? I think can Sarah? Should we've been and I've been dominating the discuss. All Right, Sarah, sixteen year old Sarah. What's the what's the trait that's consistent with Sarah Today? I definitely think the trait that's most consistent is just wanting to succeed, Um, and wanting to build a career for myself. I've known I wanted to do that since I was even before I was sixteen, I didn't know what I wanted to do or how I was going to do it, and even sometimes I still think that because there's just so much longer to go for me. Um, but that would definitely be the most consistent. And then the second part of that question, what I would be most surprised of would probably be my confidence. Like if you were to tell sixteen year old me that I would speak in front of people and I'd be leading teams, and be like you are literally out of your mind, like there's absolutely no way, that's not who you are as a person. But I've just really grown in that direction, which I'm also super proud of. That's great, great and I love the fact that you use the word career versus job. So that also tells you where your brains at, Hannah. Thing. So the first thing that came to mind when you said what's the most consistent trait? Um. Everyone must call knows me professionally and personally, but even before you guys knew me in the automotive world, I've been hosting parties and making people drinks and catering to all family affairs at my house for as long as I can remember. If any of you guys know me, I love whining, I love dining. It's really fun and I'm so glad I still have the opportunity to do it professionally. So I've been doing that my entire life. I don't think I'll be stopping anytime soon. I love a good party. Um, the thing that I'm most surprised about is probably just like the digital component of my life. I always knew I wanted to be in marketing, but I even remember when I heard about what a first email campaign was versus I think I have two or three just in the background going out to twenty people. So I just didn't realize the scale at which it could grow. When I kind of got started post right post college, and how much could be right at my fingertips, like right now. We're all remote, Um. So I'm really surprised that how far it has come and...

...how much I've been able to pick up and just learn when this was absolutely not my degree. That's was absolutely not where I kind of thought my my career would be headed, at least this digitally far to the left. Great April, what about you? What's the consistent trait in your life? And then what? What? What? Would sixteen year old April be most stunned? Probably the most consistent thing is I've always worked really hard. I've always had a really strong work ethic. I get that from my dad, Um, and I've always made fun of myself like I have no I've never had an issue with kind of being that person. Um. I've always been a chameleon. I can talk to kind of anybody. Um. So that part has always been consistent. The thing that I would be most surprised about I knew in high school, I graduated early, that I was going to go into some sort of business, but I think I would be really surprised if I said, Hey, I be study twenty five years and automotive and where I would be at at this point. Um, I don't think I would have thought car sales and that sort of thing was was the path that I was going to go in business. Um, at sixteen. Great, all right, I love this question. It's so good. I actually have a fourteen and sixteen year old right now, so I'm very, very immersed in the teen brain right now. Um, sixty, let's see, I probably just have always loved connecting people, like I've always really, really loved having connections with people and that has not wavered through my decades of business. But the thing that you really surprising. I don't even know if you guys know this. I used to be really shy. So at fifteen and sixteen I was like super, Super Shy. I'm not very sure of yourself. So I think I would be shocked to see how extroverted I am today, like I feel like I can talk to anybody, feel comfortable in any group, I can handle myself in any situation and I think I never, never at sixteen, would have thought that. Well, those are fantastic. So I will I you know that. I see I hear a lot about that. You're either very shy. Now you're extroverted, but you know the work ethic. You know all of you have a hard work ethic. I mean you guys all work very, very hard. You really care about your uh, you know your friends, which is always really exciting the way you defend each other and support each other and you know, I think that's incredibly valuable and that just also means what you do to take care of your customers. so that's fantastic as well. So, before we go, tell me all of you. Can just roll through quick start with you, Sarah, then we'll go Hannah in April and Lorie. Where can listeners connect with you? Where can they find you on social media? Where can they connect with you? Because everyone who's listening, these are people that you should be connected with, both as people and professionals. So, Sarah, where can they find you? Yes, the best place to find me is on Linkedin. Everyone who um adds me on Linkedin's always like, every time I log onto linkedin I'm seeing your thing. So I like to post a lot of articles. You know, PCG likes to share a lot of our content. I'm always sharing and posting and going back to the education piece, just wanting to educate as much as possible. So linkedin is definitely the best spot. Great, Hannah. Yeah, absolutely. I'm not too hard to find on linkedin either. It's just in a listen. I've claimed the U R L Um. So please, do you connect with me? I'm there. If not every day, every ither day. I feel free to shoot me a message. I'll get back to you, as long as it doesn't look like spam. Oh, you mean they're spam on Linkedin? C Oh, my goodness. April the same thing. April Simmons on Linkedin. Best Place to find me collaborate. It's one of my favorite places to get education and ask questions of other people. Um, so that's April, Sun and Linkedin. Alright, great, I mean, I'm gonna round it out Linkedin as well. But I do have a question for you, Glenn. I know we're finishing up. What is your answer to the sixteen year old? Right during that too? That's been should have with Glenn's Oh, I would say along the lines of...

Uh April's work. I've been working since, you know, Twelve, eleven, you know, paper routes, lemonade stands, always hustled to make money. So I've always worked. Always had two jobs. When I went to actually only have one job, I was Whoa, I don't have to work two jobs anymore. This is pretty crazy. Um, I think the thing that would be most Um, I think probably owning a company, because I always worked behind the scenes for people. I still think I sort of do that now I've been forced to the front Um. But uh, I not owning it. I would always work for someone else and build things. That that was always uh that. But yeah, I think it will be that, not speaking, I mean the speaking part. I wanted to be an actor when I was little. I wanted to be on TV, but we didn't get that far yet. So yeah, so, yeah, but we'll do that. So all right. So everyone, make sure those of you that are going to digital dealer Wednesday, what is it? The Twelfth? Is that what yours? The date is our session. I think we're at you know. Okay, so go to digital dealer, go find their session. Make sure you're gonna attend. I'm going to be there as well, so come say hello to me as well. Uh, all of you who are listening, you know the drill. Make sure that you subscribe. Please share this out. There has to be someone in your network that will benefit from the discussion we just had today, so please make sure you share it out. Don't forget to rate the review, I mean the podcast, so we know how important that is. Is To get other people to hear about the podcast. We love that. We also really do appreciate the fact that you spend some time with us. There are millions of places for you to consume content, but the fact that you spend time with myself and these four powerhouse individuals, it's amazing. We appreciate it. We thank you so much and we'll look forward to seeing you on the next episode. Ladies, thank you so much. This was a lot of fun. Thank you, Sarah, for steamrolling me into this, because this was the most time. All Right, guys, thank you.

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