Save $15,000 a month. It’s really hard to do…

Let us have a conversation about Budgets. As a DealerNerd, I am simply a pure expense along with everything else I do. I’m a million-dollar department. I have no potential of providing a billable service to our dealer’s customers. From a Math (Nerd) standpoint, the dealer needs to make 10,000,000 to support my techno habits.

So where do you start? I started by taking the Accountant out to lunch. This person and position hold more power than any General Manager or Owner. They have the innate ability to make you seem too expensive. He also holds the keys to the complicated chart of Accounts. The Accountants ISAKMP Key. Tell them you are trying to save money and need to look at expenses. Many of them enjoy saving money.

Once you have some expense reports, convert them to a spreadsheet. More-then-likely you will receive this report on continuous paper. After three inches later, Sort Descending.

You will find that this is a complete waste of time. Cancel your $20,000-30,000 a month DMS and get DealerTrack.


#DD10 Prep.

My print preview using Mozilla says there are 40 pages of Industry Leading People Presenting at Digital Dealer. I would consider it as the Pow-wow of Showmen ready to levitate your specific need in the Hexagonal Grassland. Keep the faith if you cannot attend.

Search #DD10 on Hootsuite and follow DigitalDlrConf on twitter. This Facebook Group is boss http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_155648871132330. I would like to give Two Big Nerd Thumbs up to Susan and Arnold for taking the initiative.

We are the Social Media Journalists of the Auto Industry, let’s find out what is a hot and what is not. Do not fall for Marketing Company’s Marketing. Their job is to say they are the best. Test how vendors use their personal online reputation as a preview of their product. Post every thought you have of each vendor. Your social network will refine it.


Why do we CRM?

Has anyone really raised the question, “why do I need a CRM system?”. In the auto industry a salesperson strictly sells cars. Mangers use CRM to track sales peoples activity. In a smaller dealership there is no CRM or managers. So why should larger dealerships?

It’s very simple, managers are not hiring the right salespeople. In a small town, a sales person knows everything about everyone naturally. With that kind of connection, the road to the sale comes very easy.

This is an instance where technology falls short. No CRM can ever compete with a small town salesperson. Solution: www.recruitthewinners.com


Its over… iPad is the only choice.

I have completed the triple double geek. I just made a VoIP call that hunted down the service manager (calling their desk, cellphone, and home) while listening to the “Tron” Soundtrack via Napster and practicing my fruit ninja critical hits. Did I mention I was using a bluetooth headset?
This machine is awesome. I cannot contain myself. I have to get developers license for this machine. The sky is the limit. I hear ADP already has an API. I truly believe this machine can do everything.
Take my free advice, login to Ebay and get one. A used 16GB wifi only will do. The second version of iPad will release soon, so don’t spend more then $500. Computers, Laptops and Netbooks are a waste of money, unless you plan on sitting in a chair (not a great money maker).
This thing is going to free us much like the cellphone did.


Digital Dealer 9

Boy Vegas is fun. Could you imagine selling cars via social networking here? This place is alive with lights and wifi. My phone battery almost melted this week. It is a good thing I had my iPads to back me up.

I found much of the information repetitious to DD8. I saw a toned down sales pitch, but still much of the same sales pitch. I understand that in order to produce a great show you need money. Michael Roscoe, and his team, has created such an awesome following and a better show. Round tables are still key to the entire meeting. Off site round tables with karaoke and booze is best. FirstLookSolutions.com should provide booze at the Round tables next year. Again, thank you.

Piecing it all this together is difficult. Let us say you bought everything! Even from the Big Three DMS guys. After a 90 trial, who would you keep? That is where you should spend your money. Custom Web Designers are the greatest. They keep your site fresh, and it is created by talent. Canned sites are floppy and stale. Custom designers are also best because they can add your widgets (bells and whistles). Hire good people and you will get good results. Hire a corporation, and get corporation results.

Video Video Video. Auto Trader was re-tweeted the most saying “You Need Video.” But how? Video to me is a lot like blogging. I watch YouTube to laugh during my lunch hour. http://www.RappingHamsters.com is brilliant. I was shocked and amazed by the creativity. My wife and I love Swagger Wagon, and I can recite it. It is supposed to be fun. So make it fun. Don’t buy a flip camera! Buy a top of the line cellphone. The best cellphone can Text, Tweet, Blog, Facebook, YouTube and Call people using a High End SmartPhone. HD2, EVO, iP4 are my top picks.

Best Presentations: Tim Jennings, Josh Muller and ADP’s very own Jessica and Paula’s Rendition of “Don’t Stop Believing.” You two should remake “We are ADP.”
Make sure you check the #dd9 and Friend/Like/Follow everyone you meet. Who cares about their email address? Have a Safe Trip Home everyone.


Open Source Automotive Management System

Has anyone created or even dreamed up an Open source DMS? Has the big DMS Giants been keeping us back from achieve a dream? Truth be told, they have. The giants have this “Validation” strategy with the vehicle manufactures. You see, the Manufactures believe that dealerships data can corrupt their day to day operations. It’s like anti-virus for ordering a vehicle. RIDICULOUS!

If we could recreate a universal database, open the network without compromising security and re-do the interfaces. We could really have something. How hard is it to order 100 2x4s from Home Depot and have them deliver it to your house. Why is it so difficult to order 100 Ford Fiesta’s to our dealership? If the messages back and forth were XML, encrypted by SSL over the Internet.

What is first, the internet was already created and SSL is almost a system standard. What is left is XML. Who would like to help create the standards for DMS XML? Well, we have a problem with that statement, DMS is already taken by Document Management Systems. How about Dealer XML? What about the Manufactures? I came to AMS XML for Automotive Management System XML. Who is with me? If you are… http://code.google.com/p/firedms/


Irving Silver

James Zeigler posted another Dealer Magazine article on Facebook. I thought at first it was another advertisement for his “Super System,” but for some reason, I opened it and read it. It was an article about a man who qualifies as the best car salesperson ever. I would ask that anyone who read this post take a second to read James’s article and then visit Irving Silver’s website and look at all the content. You could learn a lot from it.

Dealer Magazine – June 2010

http://www.irvingsilver.com/


Apple Retail

This iPad thing is revolutionary. So of course, I want to get on the boat and make some money. I want to open an Apple Store. I went to Apple.com to see what the cost would be. OMG! No Franchising? Are you kidding? Apple owns every Apple Store? How do they do this? Apple completely controls the Apple Market. How do I spread the word of this super product?

Simple fact is, Apple controls the spread. I can become a reseller at 3% or an independent service repair. Even that doesn’t come with a profit margin. So I have given up the Dream of owning my piece of the Apple. I did find this cool little search widget.

Search

MacMall


The iPad Conversion

About a month ago I looked at an iPad for the first time. It looked like a plate that you would see at Benihanna with a button on it. The demonstration at Best Buy was, “Here it is, What do you think?” Quite possibly the worst salesman in Minnesota was presenting the “next best thing.” So I blogged about how dumb this thing was. If you wanted a book, go to the used book store and read.

I attended this year Digital Dealer in Orlando Florida. It was hot, literally. I sat in the workshops and tried not to concentrate on the hidden sales pitches. Waiting for a shred of real information pertaining to the improvement of our field, I suddenly realized the people sitting next to me had better information. I started working on the old style of social networking, so I swapped cards and said hello to everyone.

As I was traveling through the expo, I saw one of the best presenters at DD8 Tom Jennings. His presentation was pure information for the better. We shook hands and talked to in front of the Moore and Scary booth. Just then, they were doing a drawing for a free iPad. Tom much taller than me reached over put his and my card in the bucket. Long story short, I won.

Over the past two weeks, I have been testing the iPad. Email, Social Media and internet are all available on this machine, in a productive way. I could sell cars with this thing. I can reach hundreds of people in minutes. I can teach people how to do it.

My recommendation, Order your iPad May 7th with the 3G card in it NOW! You and your Customers will love it.

http://store.apple.com


Holy HD2 Batman

I took my wife Cellphone shopping this Sunday Afternoon. She is the hardest person to please. Phones are small, too big or just plain fails to suit her needs or provides what she wants. We walked to three different stores, child in a stroller in tow. AT&T had nothing exciting to offer, just the iPhone. Sprint had the Touch 2 which is cool. Verizon had the Motorola Droid, and informed me of the new Droid Incredible released on the 29th. T-Mobile blew me away with the HD2. This huge LCD is very impressive. I could see myself showing prospective customer pictures, videos and using it as a sales tool. If only there was an unlocked version to be able to use it worldwide without a contract. I found a link.

HTC Touch HD2 / T8585 / Leo 100 (Unlocked Quadband) Touchscreen Smartphone