How To Sell More Cars in the 4th Quarter

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Listen in on the How to Sell More Cars town hall as automobile dealers, managers, & salespeople chat about their marketing plans for the 4th quarter.

The Fight to the Finish. #HowToSellMoreCars in the 4th quarter. How are you going to dominate the last few months of 2022?

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How To Sell More Cars Town Hall Meeting

How To Sell More Cars in the 4th Quarter, 2022

recorded 10.5.22. Transcript below

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Unknown Speaker 0:07
How to Sell more Cars

Unknown Speaker 0:17
Welcome to the how to sell more cars to town hall, and I was having a conversation on another group that I'm doing the Nashville Association of Sales Professionals and we were talking about the most important days on the marketing calendar and my most important marketing calendars customers birthday zone chances don't make them feel like they are the center of the world like it is their special day with birthday cards for car dealers but one of one of my guests go to marketing agency here in Nashville. She said that September 30 was the most important marketing day of the year with just a couple days ago and her reasoning was, that's the day before the fourth quarter starts. 

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if you ain't ready by then you're already behind, 

so it needs needs to get going. So that's what I wanted to have the conversation about today. And honestly, I started doing all of this years ago, just so I can have interesting conversations with interesting people. So I appreciate y'all be at being here with me to talk about this but let's let's look at what's going on. Because I feel I'm working with dealers everywhere from this show, Saskatchewan, Miami, Florida every day but you know, everything is different for everybody everywhere and you start losing headlines. You can see that the headlines. US auto sales work to the demand is strong. Volkswagen sales up 12% Ford sales up 60% Toyota, according to different reports I told you it was General Motors up 24% With Chevrolet up 30% Tesla sales up 50% Tesla General Motors so more so more electric vehicles than they ever had before the boat so so return of those rivian on pace to boost their production so it looks for Maverick pickup so there's they're selling a bunch of those so you've got it looks like demand is strong inventory staying strong and everyone seems to be doing okay I read your read it before it was basically black people got to set out the same tours that they had they had last report from the last word. So demand is staying strong and inventories and strong manufacturers and selling cars as fast as they can make them which means the dealers are selling cars as fast as they can get them on the lot for the most part. Once you start digging in there. A little bit and you look at the affordability issues average payment now of over $700 average price of the new vehicle up 6% from last year and and then buried deep in the all the news. No that was the fact that they used car sales nationwide were down. So new use our sales are actually down.

Unknown Speaker 3:06
Prices and payments are up interest rates are up there's the afford affordability problem. So it's it's a little bit different everywhere and from my standpoint because I work with a lot of dealers everywhere from a marketing standpoint. I'm getting a lot of things and one thing I've noticed at least to me particularly that's what I want to see is if this is jives what you guys are seeing is I'm starting to see a lot of stuff that I haven't seen and maybe a couple of years people are coming out rumors I got I got dealers who I haven't done anything with in the last several years since since you know the COVID pandemics have started all of a sudden they're having they're having big sales and they need automotive radio and TV spots for car dealers.

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Unknown Speaker 3:46
I do a lot of work with a lot of dealers in Canada, so snowmobile as a big loud snowmobile and today so I did that for a dealer out there in the in the Mountain States, but I'm still doing a lot of work with dealers. I'm talking about the buyer on educating their their buyers about the new way cars are being bought now and kind of trying to try to lead people into doing what they want to do and using the ordering process. They do a lot of ads about how the border guards are still doing a lot of ads about about buying cars even though inventory seems to be saying Trump dealers dealers like that back because they could they could get their own cars and maybe make a little bit more money on that. So so that's what I've got going on. And Christmas and Christmas bar is where I talk all the time about building the personal relationship. And this is your big chance here over the over the fourth quarter to really submit that personal relationship with the individual salesperson and their customers and with the dealership and their customers by sending out Christmas cards at a dealer I had cut well direct a dealer who's inviting me back down to the store to a sales presentation who I haven't done a salesperson sales training presentation haven't been at their store in over a year and they're they're starting to think well okay now would announce how to Jack things back up a little bit. So it seems more like a normal situation than it has been. And one of the things that this particular unit told me is that he likes for his salespeople to send out Thanksgiving cards to send out Thanksgiving cards before the big Christmas dress but if you're sending out Christmas cards, be ready now so that you see that picture out early and therefore not early so it gets there around Thanksgiving or shortly after and sits on their refrigerator. For five or six weeks through the holidays. I took the same hat that I'm wearing. To get down to the beach. I'm a family vacation Christmas card we send out every year it's a picture of me my wife and my three daughters usually on the beach. So this year I get down to the Christmas hat and in our when one of our pictures that we took on the beach, but on the Christmas hat and everybody say jeans and we'll have we'll have that on the Christmas card in the next few weeks. Because it's time to get ready for that. So that's that's what I've got going on does that jibe with what you people are saying and I guess we'll get people waiting in the waiting room.

Unknown Speaker 6:09
It'll Jacobs Jason, welcome aboard the people that just led in I was running my mouth and didn't see IBM.

Unknown Speaker 6:15
So does that jive with what you guys are seeing? What's going on in Texas?

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Unknown Speaker 6:21
I'll tell you it's very, very accurate when you talk about the used car market being down at least here in 10 years and I've been with my store. I've never seen the numbers we put up last month you know by that obviously I mean how low it was.

Unknown Speaker 6:41
It was a throwaway month for sure. And we're struggling really bad in the US side right now you know cars like you said are doing well. We're getting more inventory I you know my my dealer to GMD and we're in a new inventory like we haven't gotten to yours. Just a truck loves couple maybe a week and that's that's working out well for them but knew that definitely bring them to suffering. Yeah, because the new cars that are coming in you're still selling them as fast as they get off the trucks. Yeah, exactly.

Unknown Speaker 7:14
Now that not everyone is though because I know some brands.

Unknown Speaker 7:18
One thing that is different now as I've just done for the first time is first time since in the pre pandemic. I started in the last couple of months doing big old radio TV ads that say save $10,000 on a brand new truck. I haven't I haven't used the same $10,000 line in a long, long time. So some folks are starting to discount or the what hasn't been a discount for a long time.

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Unknown Speaker 7:42
I'll tell you, our new our new Garside. We're not discounting we're they put out a few small rebates obviously the customer gets that. But it's slicker minus rebates for us and they're still moving. There's some other really good now, what we don't have anymore is market adjustments. We've gotten rid of that whole idea. So with the inventory coming up and having some competition now like you said some dealers are still discounting it but we're not. There was that $10,000 truck that was that was a ram he will say $10,000 on the ram they've always had they've always had the biggest the biggest jump box.

Unknown Speaker 8:15
But are there other dealers in the market still using the market adjustments at the end you got is that a selling point for you that we're not marketing?

Unknown Speaker 8:25
No, not so much. Pretty much everybody in my general area within a mile radius of our store has dropped that.

Unknown Speaker 8:33
Drop that practice off.

Unknown Speaker 8:35
Boy Yeah, what's what's happening in West Virginia?

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Unknown Speaker 8:40
Hey, are you still on new brother?

Unknown Speaker 8:47
Yeah, there we go.

Unknown Speaker 8:50
From my perspective, I've just been told that because we use an AI to scan the web for pricing. We make sure that our our prices remember the highest and lowest. So we can fly somewhere in the middle the radar and get more visibility, but everything's starting to adjust back a little bit to pretty COVID As far as trade values and so forth. So we're going to watch that however, I just I'm kind of curious with everything that just happened with the hurricane coming today. It's just very short lived and everything rises back up with hand replacement cars in the South. Right. Yeah, and I think that's gonna be one thing I haven't heard is I know some of the dealers they got hit pretty pretty hard down in Florida. But I haven't heard any any any major assessment of how many vehicles were destroyed in that so that's that's going to be well Liz, you're in Miami. Is that right?

Unknown Speaker 9:47
So can you would you mind popping on tell us what it looks like down there? What you're doing? There's a

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Unknown Speaker 9:54
hurricane hit in Fort Myers. We're like about three hours, four hours away. In our area. It didn't hit me. I mean, did it get like maybe an hour of no electricity Other than that, the it didn't affect us at all in Miami. Important in Fort Myers. It did it still is there still people without electricity and so forth. So the numbers of you know how much we how many vehicles are underwater and all that. I don't know. Yeah. Thank you. I do know there are some dealers out there. Do some dealers in Fort Myers that are still blows Adam Adam Thrasher just hopped in. So I don't know. I don't know if he can get to his camera. He can go ahead and because he I talked to him earlier today and he's in Orlando. Tell us about it. Tell us what Orlando is like right now.

Unknown Speaker 10:46
Anybody I don't have the camera but Orlando is looking pretty good. We're down to Disney for the week for fall break. And for for what you can see in this area.

Unknown Speaker 10:59
It looks okay.

Unknown Speaker 11:02
Well, yeah, he said he did. It's good to go. It's that they cleaned up get everything going and get the game started again ASAP.

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Unknown Speaker 11:11
I'm serious like St. Augustine and LM on the coastline that actually kind of seemed to have gotten the worst of it. Well and Dave Clayton, a buddy of mine, he's in your song. He's on always Island, South Carolina in Pawleys Island, South Carolina was going places got hit its level they took the dock away. So it's rough all over so I think Williams right that's going to affect not gonna affect that was going to increase the demand desert their cars that are going to be it's going to push that up. So it's interesting to see that what are you guys doing to keep the wheels on the bus to keep King rolling to keep the folks coming in Mark Easter just popped in. I don't need to say more. Mark what's going on in Missouri. How are you guys doing up there and how are you? How are you getting? Ready for for?

Unknown Speaker 11:59
Question. On all seriousness. It's been three dead days here this first of October.

Unknown Speaker 12:08
And we're will talk with our three managers. We don't say we don't have a plan.

Unknown Speaker 12:15
We've been we are strong on the internet. We're strong on our BDC are strong on our email blast everything else and it's just not working right now. So they're gonna be they're talking they I have our inventories. decently bad. We have 32 cars, you carry 150 new. We haven't been able to keep about 100 100 225 us at all times anyway, and they've been turning very well. Buying them off the street. I bought three already this month. So that's what I'm doing. Good talk to you. Is it good to see you brother. I wish we get back down to Nashville let's go into the forefront of chicken

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Unknown Speaker 12:59
baddest boy here always eat fried chicken you know that's that's all right. So mark you know the joke why why you can't take a you take back especially upstate to write

Unknown Speaker 13:12
your truth if you you always drive yet to take two or you know your fried chicken. So um, I'm not sure we got shot it That's Chuck Murali. I always like to hear from Chuck and tell us what that what everything is looking like in Louisville.

Unknown Speaker 13:33
We were up 12% on a new car side. Used Car side was a challenge but we actually beat last year.

Unknown Speaker 13:44
Vehicle acquisition is still the one thing that has been the opportunity that we face is just get acquiring vehicles and keeping up with the pace inventory. I was hoping to see in the in the headlines were Honda manded on that because it we were really down as far as deliveries but we still were able to pull out 4% over last year.

Unknown Speaker 14:13
But outside of pilots original lands and and passports. It really everything else came in pre sold. I think we're still carrying over 200 pre sold constantly.

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Unknown Speaker 14:29
Which that's just our life. And so, but acquiring vehicles is something that's very important in getting used cars higher than where it is right now. So what are you doing to get people in off the street to buy the cars to sell this device?

Unknown Speaker 14:50
We've never really as we've talked before carry. We never went with the market adjustment in fact an ex wife is with you. We're actually talking three years, four years from now, when these people start coming out into the market can't get out of the cars. They've been buried in an eight to five to $10,000 market adjustment, how we're going to deal with those people you know I mean, but before we strictly were MSRP was our protection package, which we've always had, like I said, and I tell people I've been there since 2001. And that package was here before so we've we've just taken care of the clients so I mean our CSI is up, our reviews are up.

Unknown Speaker 15:38
We just take care of the clients now in our Managing Partner. Mike as you know, he really never stopped marketing from COVID He never stopped marketing through the inventory situation.

Unknown Speaker 15:52
You know, we've we've always maintained a good presence on the TV, direct mail pieces through direct mail company that we've been with for many years.

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Unknown Speaker 16:05
You know, we he just he's just never stopped. I mean our key is is to constantly put our brand out there as you can see through social media that my social media team I require every day, every day, seven days a week to post that constantly post just to keep our name out there. So that's that's just really where we are. You know, and I do see you guys all the time and that's that's pretty consistent with the dealers that I work with that are having success, especially dealers that have had success over a long period of time is it's it's easy to be a winner when everybody's winning, but it takes it takes the right mentality to keep your foot in the gas when everything's slowing down. And the teams that are really winning. They've got they got their foot in the floor right now it's you know, it's like it's just like buying buying stocks, buying stock and Warren Buffett tells everyone you don't buy until there's blood in the streets and when everyone else is selling it's time to be buying and when everyone else is backing off their marketing this is the time to delay into it because you create such a bigger share, because your voice is the only voice they're hearing your voice is the only voice that matters.

Unknown Speaker 17:16
You're absolutely right. And, you know, I've been very fortunate to work with Mike as our as our owner and he just he won't allow it. He just won't allow this as he call it stinking thinking. He just will not allow it. It's you know, the It's whatever you put on that orange fairway is what you're going to do and if you got positive things in there then you're going to accomplish it. He just won't allow his positivity in a complicated keep your eyes on the prize and put one foot in front of the you know, you don't have to you don't have to change the world every time but you got to keep going when especially when they're trying to keep going. You're right.

Unknown Speaker 17:58
So think of drink. Well. One things I was going to mention is direct mail, especially for the service department. I mentioned the snowmobile dealer in Canada. One thing I do a lot of this time of year is we started talking about tire sales and winterizing vehicles and a lot of stuff that maybe is not on how to sell more cars and but one thing I say is Wait so make sure you sell them the next car is to be the person that they trust to sell them their last car and to service the car that you bought them so keep keep them coming in with tires and service and coupon coupons and whatever you're doing to market your your haros and keep your foot on the floor for that as well. Because I Baron thought Dan Baron you got anything you want to contribute today

Unknown Speaker 18:49
There we go. How you doing, sir? I'm good brother. How are you? Pretty good.

Unknown Speaker 18:56
I was just listening to you guys.

Unknown Speaker 19:00
I think that's all good advice. I mean, you know, social media is definitely an advantage to putting yourself out there in front of your customer and especially if you're being real, they will connect with you and kind of read for you and you know, like you said winterizing your vehicles, giving them little tidbits on what they can do to maintain their their vehicle currently look to you as a leader in the market. You know, when they already, you know, kind of trust you to help them figure things out.

Unknown Speaker 19:37
To me, and that's one of the things that I want to talk about is be of the effect making the decision to be a factor in their lives. And that's, you know, that's they believe with an action step for fourth quarter especially with like, we got as many or more salespeople that we do.

Unknown Speaker 19:54
Manager managers here today but make the decision for fourth quarter to to be to be a factor in anybody, even for the dealerships in general matters. If you want if you want the military to show up in your life, make sure you're showing up in the fourth quarter gives you lots of opportunities to be a factor in their life. Oh Adam Thrasher mentioning talking to customers in the service department about putting them into a new ride and and that I don't have a ton of ads on this quite honestly because with with market market values the way they are. The big headline is you know what, you are the luckiest human being on earth because that old beater you've been driving for the last however many years is probably now worth more than it's ever been before. It's probably worth more than paid for. It's probably it's probably more worth more than you owe. And yes, cars, our sales are up our prices are up but you've got a you've got a valuable asset. It's probably worth more than you think it is. So talking to those people in the service department, especially if they're face to face and some kind of deal they can get into it. That's an advertising point and it's in it's a sales point. And it's a valuable service to them because people just don't know You know, not everyone knows exactly what what's been going on and if our business like we do because we're talking about it every single day. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 21:14
But you also got CRMs now a lot of them will have the equity mining tool built into them so you can have an idea when they have their appointments about what to expect and who to approach. Oh, yeah, I mean, you've got all the technology, you know, they're gonna be there that always amaze me, too during jury COVID I am i We both started I was leasing a Mercedes from a Mercedes dealer here in town and and I don't drive much only had to take it in for service once a year, once a year whether you need or not. You got to take that thing in for her service and I have hadn't service back again. And I would take it in and it just amazed me that I pull up nursery and there was there was no one no one got to talk to me. You know, it was nice, they got it. Nick Saban knows the story. So Nick Saban always is joined so it's fancy it's all get out. But nobody ever nobody ever came over and said hey, remember just you know, made an effort to be in my mind.

Unknown Speaker 22:10
markeesha said the average vehicles around 13 years old now I have that's exactly what I did is I have been doing COVID After COVID started and I wasn't driving that much. I've turned it in at the end of that and just started driving an old beater that I bought for my daughter. I was in high school so my car is actually 20 years old. The part of the car I drive mostly on a regular basis is it's an it it's a 2021 Honda CRV, yeah, there's my abs as the technology is there, you know, people are going to be in there. I made the appointment ahead of time on their website.

Unknown Speaker 22:43
It's not a secret. You just got to get to get in there and get to it.

Unknown Speaker 22:51
All right. 650 seats. I promise everyone. We're going to keep these short. So we're gonna wrap this up in just couple minutes. Open it up. Does anybody else have anything they want to say? Introduce yourself to the group? Yeah. Kevin hatch here. How are you, Kevin? How you doing buddy? I'm doing good. Isn't something Grand Rapids is good new cars. We've got about 126 on our lot. So our inventory isn't coming in and said what do you sell again? GMC and Buick? Yeah. They have lofty goals for us. Of course. 150 is our goal this month for new GMC side and 50 for Buick. So let's pretty lofty goal considering the time with inventory up. We've been doing okay. My question is and this is anybody maybe Mr. Brandman In Texas there I'm wondering how are you guys handling the demand for the Denali ultimate with the super cruise that they've advertised forever and ever. And then four months ago, they took it off because it's so hard to get. So I'm just wondering how he's handling the demand for those orders.

Unknown Speaker 23:58
Anybody else sell GMC that's got it.

Unknown Speaker 24:01
You're still primarily in the drug business right? Can you make the car anymore so we have starting at the train level up to the Yukon Denalis and the that's the new one that Denali ultimate but they I'm wondering if there was a guy from Texas, I think it was a GM guy.

Unknown Speaker 24:23
Warren Clinton had any if he's still on if he knew how they're handling the demand since the supercruise isn't available yet and probably won't be until the third quarter of next year. But they've advertised so much on TV I'm just wondering how that's affecting given the orders or if people are canceling and for backing out. I've had to do that. I'm just wondering how that so if they if they put an order in if they're waiting on this to be built and things of that nature. What happens there is I'm gonna I've got some killer sales staff and managing across the street over new cars, and they're pretty well. I don't know that we've had maybe a handful of backups

Unknown Speaker 25:11
and basically these people are here. Here's the thing, man, I was small town north and our business that we serve about 100 mile radius from our store. And of course we get some from out of there but you know what I'm saying most of it does. And so we have really thrived. We've been open since 19 7080. We have really thrived on creating an atmosphere where most of our stuff is repeat referrals. These are people that we've dealt with before. These people know us, and they trust us. And so we haven't had a whole lot of pushback on that. Okay. We've been getting a little pushback, but I didn't know how it was across the board. And one more question for you, Terry is what as they decided to do with the all the millions of pointy ones and late in early 22 models that what happened to them.

Unknown Speaker 26:07
I know never really got an answer from GM. I've kind of poked around a little bit on Global Connect to see what's going on but they just trashed them all or what's going on with them. What do you mean the new vehicles that were manufactured? Yes. Well, no no that woke up this production was was dramatically decreased. So a lot of cars didn't get trucks didn't get made. And I know Adam posted in the chat bar for Ford specifically said Ford's taking out heated seats and heated steering wheels because they can't get those parts. They've got all these. They've got trucks sitting on lots that are that are produced ready to go as soon as you get one particular part they need for that. So they're just sitting there right now. In fact, I was working I worked on a blog for this for a dealer yesterday, because one of their things there that they're using as a sales tool. Is that so they and they sell boards as a matter of fact, so they sell these boards. And if there's a part that you get this specifically there we're talking about GPS, if you can't get the Ford GPS navigation system that they're waiting on. That will introduce you to the aftermarket. Thereafter markets got who they Father, we happen to sell a navigation system. Sometimes it's made by Ford, sometimes it's not. It's probably what cost about the same money, maybe a little less, and we can get you your vehicle. Now. If we order a different vehicle. We can get the navigation system on when he gets here. That way you can get the trucks in two months and eight months, right. We're doing that to a lot of bars or breakfasts, and they're giving them credit on the invoice, which is and then when as soon as we they notify us and we call the customer. We go to service we get to get ahold of the service department they say hey, those parts we can order now for such and such customer, let them know and then there'll be in two or three days they come in or retrofit heated seats, heated steering wheel ventilated seats, heated seats in the back. Some of those things aren't getting we're still selling the vehicle. That hasn't been a real big issue. But what I'm wondering altogether is are the 1000s and hundreds of 1000s of vehicles that in 21 they made and never sold or we never received because they just didn't get there just work on them over. Yeah, they just trashed them or I don't know I don't I don't have the production numbers. Anyway. Does that make sense? Assembly lines were closed. Simply lines were closed. There was no trucks rolling off that for a long period in 2010 2020. And especially in anything that came from overseas. The trucks just were not being made so there's no hundreds of 1000 trucks. They're just gone.

Unknown Speaker 28:49
Yeah, yeah, we've got lots here around Lansing and Flint from Grand Rapids to Fort Wayne, Indiana that have 3040 50,000 vehicles sitting waiting to be picked up for dispatch. And that's another program slow is getting people just drivers to get the trucks to it. Yeah, they're having a problem with bad numbers. So that's the big reason we're not getting a lot of fun and there's a lot of money that's sitting there waiting on parts. So if anybody's got an answer to that, I certainly don't. I'm about to head out who's got it's dinnertime and I got fried chicken waiting on me downstairs. So I'll go ahead I'll get some fried chicken Mark Mark and all excited jumped up.

Unknown Speaker 29:33
Alright, y'all got anything dad before we go?

Unknown Speaker 29:39
Yes, sir.

Unknown Speaker 29:40
Michael J. Smith, Indiana. What's going on brother?

Unknown Speaker 29:44
I was blown away

Unknown Speaker 29:48
from the plan and my understanding my punch wire

Terry Lancaster Automotive News

Who the %@#! is Terry Lancaster?

I help car dealers and salespeople sell more cars, make more money, get more reviews, more referrals, and more repeat business by building deeper, stronger, more authentic relationships. I’ve worked with thousands of dealer principals, managers, and salespeople providing proven strategies for making the cash register ring.

Over the years, I've helped thousands of dealers sell millions of cars by putting the right words in the right order to tell the right story. How can I help you tell yours?

My #1 best selling books BETTER! & How To Sell More Cars have received glowing reviews from around the world thanking me for the actionable, life-changing ideas they present.

I’ve been featured in Automotive News & Forbes, spoken at the NADA national convention and from the TedX stage, and came in second place at my Eighth Grade debate championship.

Winner Winner. Chicken Dinner!

In my personal life, I've survived Cancer... twice. I've had a gun held to my head and a knife held to my throat. I've been inside a building that was hit by a tornado, onboard one boat that sank and two planes that I was sure were about to crash. 

I lived through three teenage daughters and I've been married over 35 years... in a row!

When I'm not battling for truth, justice and the American Way, I spend most of my free time, like every other middle-aged, overweight, native southerner, at the ice rink playing hockey.

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