Category: 1. Lead Generation

Lead Generation Activities

Explore the latest innovations in Marketing and Technology for 2011

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (CES 2011) offers one of the best places to see and experience the coming trends for 2011. This huge show covers a wide range of technologies that can directly benefit anyone interested in leveraging the best and latest innovations in marketing and technology.

If you register before Sep-30-2010, you get in for free. If you register between Oct-1-2010 and Dec-31-2010, it will cost you $100 a ticket. If you wait until the show, and register on-site, the price goes up to $200 per person.

So, if you think you’re going CES 2011, register early!

You can get more information about the CES 2011 exhibitors and events at

Here are the important dates

Key Date Deadline For
Sep 30 Register by this date to guarantee free registration
Oct 1 Conference Program registration opens
Dec 6 Register by this date to guarantee receipt of your badge before CES
Dec 27 Conference Program cancellation deadline
Dec 31 Advance registration closes at 2p PST
Jan 5 On-site attendee registration opens at 12-Noon PST

Ignorance About Search Engine Optimatization = Letting Your Competition Win

Executive Summary

Marketing Perspective:Competitive forces will compel you to master the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). My recommendation, just keep things simple. Don’t outsmart yourself and waste time on trivial matters. Start by identifing which keywords you want to target and track how well you stack up against your competitors.

Technology Perspective: Use Google and type in your competitive keywords. Browse through the resulting list—also called the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). Once you get a feel for the competitive landscape, you’ll have a clear basis for allocating the appropriate resources to improve your site’s SERP ranking. Although you may need to leverage consultants to bootstrap your efforts, ultimately, you will want a permanent member your your team well-educated on the primary issues and techniques of SEO. Learn how to leverage a smart mix of Search Engine Marketing and organic search effectiveness for the best results.

Results Perspective:In a highly competitive field, you need to find a way to get to page one—preferably positions 1, 2 or 3. Those top spots clearly yield the biggest competitive advantage and will reward you with increased traffic volumes.

This Example Shows Competitive Ranked Results using Google
Test Date: June 30, 2010
Google Location: Los Angeles
Keywords Used: Mercedes Los Angeles
Ranked Entries: Franchised Mercedes-Benz Dealers Only

Page 1 Winners
1. Keyes European
2. Downtown LA Motors
3. Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills

Page 1 Runner-ups
4. Mercedes-Benz of Long Beach
5. Penske & Mercedes-Benz of West Covina
6. Calstar Motors
7. Mercedes-Benz of Valencia
8. Rusnak Arcadia

Page 2
9. Mercedes-Benz of South Bay
10. Mercedes-Benz of Encino
11. Mercedes-Benz of Santa Monica
12. Walters Mercedes-Benz

Page 3
13. Mercedes-Benz of Anaheim
14. Mercedes-Benz of Calabasas
15. House of Imports

Do You Know the Top Keywords in Your Marketplace?

Executive Summary

Marketing Perspective: To get the most from your online strategy, understand the top keywords in your marketplace.

Technology Perspective: Sign up for a Google AdWords account and learn how to use Google Insight.

Results Perspective: Learn what keywords are hot. Make sure your website maximizes the effective use of those keywords in page titles, ad copy, section headings and other strategic (SEO: Search Engine Optimization) web page elements.

How Does Email Fit into Your Online Marketing Strategy?

Executive Summary

Marketing Perspective: To get the most from your online strategy, make email marketing a priority.

Technology Perspective: Obtaining useful metrics and ensuring high deliverability rates are technology-driven issues.

Results Perspective: Real world experience has shown email broadcasts can make a dramatic improvement in sales—even in a down market.

In today’s tough and competitive marketplace, email continues to offer powerful benefits to improve your lead generation results. Make it the foundation of your online strategy. Finding the full potential of marketing your dealership online requires your recognition of the “right place” for email in your efforts.

Most importantly, stay focused on your list—that golden list of email addresses. Your open and conversion rates are fully dependent on three things:

  1. The quality of your email marketing list
  2. The quality of your marketing messages and design
  3. The deliverability of your email system

Golden lists don’t just happen. Make it your goal. Measure it. The most important lead generation metrics:

  • List size
  • Open rates
  • Click through rates on your call-to-action links
  • Phone calls generated from your call-to-action messsages

As you craft your design and messages, split your list into two randomly selected segments. Send one design to the first group. Send another design to the second group. Which worked best? Learn from that and then repeat the process on the next effort. These experiments can dramatically improve your results.

Lastly, don’t neglect deliverability. Watch your bounce rates and open rates. How are they trending? As these numbers go down, it may indicate technical issues related to your approach. Stay on top of best practices and legal requirements so your email messages are delivered to the inbox every time.

Set aside time to keep up with new advancements and best practices. Find out more about your customers’ expectations. Learn from others by observing how other savvy marketers navigate all of this.

Google Changes Local Business Center to Google Places

Executive Summary

Marketing Perspective.

Google Places provides you the ability to freely market your business. Highlights include:

  • Manage business information
  • Post coupons & live updates
  • See how you’re doing with a performance dashboard

Technology Perspective.

No technology to learn here. Just master your favorite Internet browser and follow their directions—making simple things simpler and complex things possible.

Results Perspective.

Take a look at these useful links:

Improve Your Lead Generation Results with Social Media

eMarketer published an article today that shows how small business can improve their lead generation with social media.

Marketing Perspective:

Developing a healthy online presence in the social media world has fast become as essential as your business website. Your social media effort should only take a few minutes per day—if done right and with discipline. And it can profoundly benefit your business.

Technology Perspective:

Focus first on the popular social sites, like:,,

Results Perspective:

The first milestone for a business is to achieve the threshold of 100 “real” followers. Typically a week of effort can get most business to this point. Data cited from other sources showed promising statistics where the active use of Twitter can improve lead generation by as much as 100%.

How to make Lease Portfolio Management phone calls (Outbound)


Marketing Perspective:  Direct Marketing success comes from permission—permission to communicate directly to the prospect. Getting permission and building rapport become central to the process. It’s labor intensive, but worth it—particularly in the case of working your portfolio of end-of-lease customers.

Technology Perspective: None of this works without a solid CRM loaded up with all your lease-term customers. This is truly a database driven process. You need to know who to call, when to call and a full accounting of any previous conversations, emails and other related notes.

Results Perspective:  Measuring effectiveness can present challenges. Traditional closing ratios don’t apply because of the long sales cycle. The best closing-ratio formula: sales-current-month / prospects-whose-term-ends-current-month.

Timing:  Starting from one year before the end of their lease term

Purpose:  Assist in getting customers coming out of their leases into a new vehicles

Key to Success

❒    Stay focused on the goal of getting them into a new car ASAP while maintaining the sense of customer service.
❒    Listen to what they say.  How they say it.  Even—in some cases—what they don’t say. Isolate obstacles and objections to the goal.

Step 1. Enthusiastic Greeting

Hello, this is •Your Name• calling from •Store Name•

I’m calling about •Your Model• Is this •Client Name•?

Do you have a minute, or shall I call back a bit later?

Goal:  Get permission to continue.

Step 2. First Call Introduction (Skip once you’ve made first real contact)

This is just a courtesy call regarding the upcoming end to your lease.  Many customers begin to have questions at this point and we just wanted to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.

•  Have you been satisfied with your vehicle?
•  Was this your first •Make/Model•?
•  How are you doing on your mileage?  Are you over or under?
•  Have you given any thought to replacing your •Your Model• sooner-than-later?

Goal:  Get a conversation rolling. Gather insights to identify selling opportunities.  You’re qualifying the lead.

Step 3. Promising to Get Back to Them

… Okay, here’s what I’m going to do.  I’ll give this information to •Whomever•. And he/she will get right back to you. How long will you be available at this number?  If we can’t call back to you before then, is there another number I should use? Okay. Bye.

Goal:  Create a sense of responsiveness and timeliness without making promises that you can’t keep.

Step 4. Assess the Call

❒    Do you feel they have the ability and desire to replace their vehicle in the near-term?  If “no” explain why.
❒    Is there any possibility of getting them out of their vehicle sooner-than-later?  If “no” explain why.
❒    What do we need to do to earn their business?
❒    What actions do I need to take now to give us the best chance of earning their business?

Goal:  Create a follow up strategy and a sales approach that best fits this customer’s needs.

3 Tips to Get More Marketing Results from Twitter

Don’t fall into a trap of thinking of Twitter as a new advertising channel. For Twitter to work, you must discover a different perspective. Measurable success will come from growing a database of prospective customers that freely chose to follow you. Once they start to follow you, you need them to remain active followers that want to receive your messages.

So don’t simply serve up a steady stream of advertising announcements. They will abandon you. Consider this approach:

  1. Follow local leaders in your Twittersphere
  2. Make friends.
  3. Demonstrate your contributions to your community

Follow local leaders in your Twittersphere

See what others in your community are saying, doing and tweeting about. This will give you valuable insights. See who’s popular and why. Seek out those who tweet that show strong credibility. Learn from them.

Make friends

Twitter’s appeal comes from its ability to enhance communication amongst friends and community. Shouting out “best sale ever” will alienate those most valuable to you. Get to know them. Take a long term view. That’s what friends are for.

Demonstrate your contributions to your community

Make your local community your first priority. Point out your charity efforts. Praise key employees. Highlight successful projects that have improved the local economy or important civic projects that your store has supported.


Social Media requires a whole new way of thinking. Twitter will not magically replace newspaper ad spots. Don’t treat it like advertising. You won’t find any traction with that approach.

In contrast, think “community.” Find or create local and virtual communities that people care about that also fit into the vision of your store. If you can’t put a voice to your vision, well, that’s a whole other issue.

Call me! I can help.

Stop wasting your advertising dollars. Start profiting from measurable and compelling results

How well do you identify with this quote, “50% of my advertising doesn’t work.  The problem is, I don’t know which 50%.“  Well get ready for some good news.  eMail Marketing is changing automotive retailing right now.  Forever.

Many technology fads have come-and-gone—like the DotComs, CRM vendors, BDC trainers, and Internet sales gurus.  But despite the efforts of many dealers looking for silver bullets in technology, few expenditures paid back as promised.

Yet quietly and largely unnoticed by most Dealer Principles, you’ll discover that eMail marketing has already produced dramatic results.  A few innovative dealers have already moved aggressively.

One stellar example is Beshoff MotorCars in San Jose, CA.  Citing just one recent experience, Dody Abshir, the Internet Sales Director, sent out a broadcast eMail to a small segment of their client base on a mid-month Friday night.  By Sunday night, they had sold 9 cars sourced directly back to that email.  By Wednesday the total had grown to 12 units—that’s incremental sales on top of the showroom and other lead providers.

At another dealer—Mercedes-Benz of Laguna Niguel—sent out a very simple email.  Basic.  No fancy video or gimmicks.  Just a plain, straightforward sales pitch to their client base on a quiet Thursday night.  The very next day, over 30 phone calls came in with callers stating, “I’m calling about the email I received…”  And, throughout the weekend, the phone kept ringing.  How much would you spend on radio or newspaper to pull over 30 phone calls in a day?

These examples illustrate the potential for true incremental sales.

If you’re not taking action now, then change your priorities today.  To help get you started, follow these simple steps:

  1. Identify your email coordinator.  You need someone with real world sales experience.  This person needs to fulfill 4 critical responsibilities:
    • Ensure that the email content makes a compelling offer—providing judgment to determine whether consumers will respond to the offers
    • Ensure that the offers meet legal standards–like lease terms, payment assumptions, stock numbers, etc.
    • Ensure that each email maintains consistency with your branding standards—like logos, pictures, colors, etc.
    • Ensure any pricing in your email offers does not conflict with your website specials, print ads, and other publications.
  2. Hire someone capable of merging quality content and compelling writing.  Don’t send out a hodgepodge of pictures and grammatical errors.  Keep your messages concise and maintain consistency with your store’s overall branding, other advertised pricing, pictures, colors, etc.
  3. Prepare your staff to measure results.  Train your sales managers to source every write up and every deal.  Evaluate results for 7 days following your broadcast.  Assess what went well, and what to improve.
  4. Repeat the cycle of constant improvement.

So get started. Don’t make excuses. Just make it work.