Modernizing Dealership Sales Processes

Key Points:

  • Post visit notes must go into the CRM
  • These notes will help nurture your relationship, cultivate future sales opportunities and improve CSI
  • Notes should include what you found out during the visit (i.e. other vehicles you showed, changes in hot buttons/deal breakers, career, family, recreational activities, hobbies, etc.)
  • These notes will help you personalize your follow ups, secure your relationship and improve sales numbers

Academy Students


It’s time to revisit your phone call and voicemail sales processes! You will want to focus on distinguishing yourself from competition and using relevant words, statements and questions to better meet customer desires.

90% of dealerships are using the exact same phone script for incoming sales calls.

80% of dealerships are leaving the exact same follow up voicemails for internet leads.

Source: *e-Dealer Solutions (Polled 2000 dealership personnel between 2015-2017)

Increase Appointments That Show in Your Dealership

e-Dealer Solutions In Dealership Training Workshops

Your dealership staff must increase showroom traffic by increasing prospecting phone calls every day! These must be quality phone calls! You will learn strategies for converting all types of calls like: internet leads, incoming sales calls, equity, conquest, lease retention, be-backs, orphans and more.
Here are some areas we cover:

  • How to approach sales calls, voicemails, videos, emails and texts with customer service focus
  • Learn 5 Steps to effective phone calls
  • Know how to gain leadership of phone calls
  • Identify relevant 2018 leading questions
  • Understand your brand experience and promote on phone call
  • Learn professional appointment setting techniques
  • Identify 15 actions to improve appointments that show on time
  • Increase appointments set and shows to meet benchmarks

e-Dealer Solutions

Reduce Turnover

Listening to recorded sales calls can be a grind – we get it! If you have a process that is understood then it’s easier to listen to calls, measure and gauge performance. Every process needs a team exercise to ensure process is understood and a process checklist.

We promote a simple process to teach process.

  1. Teach
  2. Demonstrate
  3. Apply

Teach a simple process first. For example, we suggest sectioning out your phone call into steps – we have 5 steps:

  1. Introduction
  2. Sell Value in You and Car Buying Experience
  3. Review Vehicle
  4. Tie Second Person to Appointment
  5. Set Appointment

Just use one section for your first meeting!

Be sure your audience understands the goals, benefits and actions they are expected to take. Provide examples of each action so your point is driven further into audience understanding.

Use an activity to enjoy this experience of learning with your team and to help clarify expectations. When your team shows you that they in fact understand the lesson, you did your job!

Now, allow them time to implement – OK, not too much time! Like two hours and it’s time to inspect. Your checklist should highlight the actions you expect and provide space for your hand-written feedback.

If you follow simple rules of thumb like explain “what” and “why” you will be coaching effectively. Your team needs to know what you liked/disliked and why.

We recommend 10-minute training sessions… not burn-out sessions that can last 1-2 hours!

Listening to your recorded phone calls should be easier now! You will see progress when you coach with a checklist!

Dealership Disruption

The “Buy it now” button is growing in popularity on Dealership websites and is super relevant for what buyers want from dealerships and the sales process.

We believe the “buy it now” button will grow heavily indicating the importance to streamline the sales process for the consumer. The sales processes must adapt to highlight the ease of viewing a vehicle, receiving a demonstration of the latest technology and safety features, driving a vehicle and purchasing a vehicle. Once the dealership culture shifts to high level customer service verbiage and actions the consumer will begin to trust the process and people more. We believe that offering more custom services (off site test drives/deliveries/72-hour buy-back/buy it now/selecting finance options and accessories as well as processing the deal online or through an app) that promote customer service and professionalism will attract more satisfied customers and hopefully in time continue to turn the reputation of the auto industry into a more trusted establishment.

Increase Appointments That Show in Your Dealership

Key Points:

  • Customer interactions must be documented in CRM
  • Managers must document information acquired about every customer
  • Maintain personalized relationships with CRM notes
  • Customize the sales experience
  • Use CRM notes for sold and unsold customers
  • Collect information and document in CRM during these times:
  • Manager appointment conformation phone call
  • Manager greets the prospect face-to-face
  • Manager takes a T.O.

e-Dealer Solutions In Dealership Training Workshops

  • Sets realistic daily goals so numbers rise and stay consistent
  • Increases dealership team understanding of how to handle phone calls
  • Helps identify solid processes
  • Offers structure to phone calls, voicemails, emails, texts and videos
  • Increases set appointments
  • Increases on time appointments
  • Streamlines the sales process
  • Increases CSI and positive online reviews

e-Dealer Solutions

Reduce Turnover

New hires and existing sales teams need to know how to handle internet opportunities and phone calls. Sometimes, managers and team leaders aren’t always knowledgeable on the latest strategies to increase phone/internet conversions. Here are some tips from our online sales training modules. Please share with your team.

Customer driven obstacles tend to form early on phone calls and email only relationships. To reduce this from happening, try remodeling your current phone call approach.

Action 1. Right away state you are “in charge of customer experiences” and your intention is to make sure they have a professional and time efficient experience. You will be helping to achieve this.

Action 2: Use closed-ended (and relevant) questions to steer the conversation.

These small changes will ensure you are managing the call and not the other way around.

As a manager, sharing sales tips relevant to sales teams roles on a daily and weekly basis will help your team stay in the know and give them new ideas to implement so you can expect greater results from your follow ups!

Online Sales Training

We help salespeople understand how to set appointments and get them to show on time. We believe in helping people succeed and our resources will help any new hire on board effectively with the tools to succeed.


“Dealers cannot profitably create and keep customers without a talented and dedicated workforce.”

  • Only 33% of salespeople make the three-year tenure mark.
  • 67% is salesperson turnover

Source: * National Automobile Dealers Association, 2016 Workforce Study

Experience-Based Selling Tips

We now know that 70% of customers purchase something different than they originally intended to. We find this to be legit with walk-ins, internet leads and incoming sales calls. Knowing this, we suggest two things:

  1. Avoid boxing customer into one vehicle option.
  2. Seek to identify hot buttons, deal breakers and flexibility during your conversation.

By taking these two actions you will prevent lost opportunity because the customer was primarily interested in a vehicle you do not have and now you can avoid saying, “No, I don’t have that car but can I help you with some other options?”

Take Action

Here are some aspects to address as you maintain relevancy in your dealership sales processes.

  • Personal video walk around content- pre sales process
  • Identify specific texts to use in pre-sales process
  • Process for customer that is on-site and waiting – (i.e. salesperson is pulling second vehicle)
  • Identify informative videos on vehicle lineup (video library) for tablet use with customer
  • Modernize early manager introduction that uses CRM notes from appointment setter

Dealership Disruption

The “Buy it Now” button is growing in popularity on Dealership websites and is super relevant for what buyers want from dealerships and the sales process.

We believe the “buy it now” button will grow heavily indicating the importance to streamline the sales process for the consumer. The sales processes must adapt to highlight the ease of viewing a vehicle, receiving a demonstration of the latest technology and safety features, driving a vehicle and purchasing a vehicle. Once the dealership culture shifts to high level customer service verbiage and actions the consumer will begin to trust the process and people more. We believe that offering more custom services (off site test drives/deliveries/72-hour buy-back/buy it now/selecting finance options and accessories as well as processing the deal online or through an app) that promote customer service and professionalism will attract more satisfied customers and hopefully in time continue to turn the reputation of the auto industry into a more trusted establishment.

Companies We Are Diggin’ On Right Now

SnapChat. Why? Because of the filters! Wouldn’t it be great if we had filters for all of our pictures and videos? OK so here’s some reasons we love Snap for the sales process:

  1. You can get your very own filter with your dealership name to use on your pics
  2. You can take pics/shoot videos and layer your dealership filter on the pic/vid
  3. You can personalize pics/vid’s with your BitMoji so customers who are still getting to know you can see a softer, more human side to you….OK and fun side! LOL
  4. You can add so much life to your pics/vid’s by using the stickers to emphasize your love for the vehicles (or show off how awesome you are!)
  5. Save to your camera roll and text/email these amaze pics/vid’s to your next customer

Update Your Introduction and Increase the Bottom Line

Tips from Our Experts

Using video to engage customers

Tip #1 – Introduction video

Putting a face to the voice is a great way to stand out from your competition and to also make a great first impression.

Tip #2 – Create a database of videos

Creating informational videos to send to customers is a way to be proactive with supplying answers that customers have. If you can supply a video that answers a customer’s question(s), you can decrease the odds they will go searching elsewhere for the answer and gives them a reason to contact you. Video examples: Features and options, safety equipment, vehicle walk-around, dealership amenities, etc.

Tip #3 – Show the hustle through video

When setting an appointment, we want to inform the customer of the hustle we are going to do prior to their arrival. A great way to add to this is to send a video to the customer showing the vehicle is pulled out of inventory, cleaned, gassed and parked out front running with the a/c or heat on as promised.

Reduce Turnover

Spending one on one time with staff allows you to not only coach them, but to also find out where their frame of mind is. This is a great opportunity to encourage and improve on your staff members abilities.
Here are some tips:

  1. Have your sales team create a hot sheet of customers and review this sheet with them. Perform calls, emails and text with them so they can see you in action; then coach them on how to handle each customer. (Use phone call evaluation worksheet)
  2. Take time to review the road to the sale. Each week you can focus on one step to coach on (example: vehicle walk-around, qualify, negotiation, etc.)
  3. Set monthly performance goals and evaluations. This will aide in helping your staff to set goals and help them to achieve these goals each month. Tie this together with evaluating their performance from the previous month.

Training Solutions

You spend money trying to increase your opportunities but you must give your sales team the education and direction to sustain a long term business that can reach new heights. Training is about changing behaviors. Convert educated, car buying prospects into your dealership to buy a car.
We offer three types of training solutions:

Apps We Are Diggin’ On Right Now

We love the Quik app created by GoPro. It is a quick video editing app that turns a basic video or grouping of photos into a cinematic video. This app really takes your everyday video to the next level with automatic edits along with music. Customers are being engaged, they are responding and more importantly they are turning into appointments that show. This is a great free app that is available on both iPhone and android devices.

Customer Service Based Appointments

Tip #1 – Showcase high-level customer service actions

We have seen dealership use flat screens in the showroom that display the customer’s name and appointment time. We also like when the receptionist has a list of customers names at the front desk so that the customer can see we expected them upon arrival. When low number of daily appointments, it is easy to have sales teams write the customers names down on their notepads so they can let the customer know everyone was talking about them in your morning meeting!

Tip #2 – Use “Reserved For ______” tags in vehicle

We like to see a heavy card stock with a customer’s name in a nice looking font. We like Papyrus or Noteworthy or go modern and use Futura. Increase the font size to 64-80. Print. Tent. Apply.

Tip #3 – Prepare a vehicle

This is a nice touch to a face-to-face first impression. Pull it. Gas it. Inspect it. Be ready to show it.

Tip #4 – Use appointment folder

Any paperwork, reviews, vehicle information, etc. put into a folder showcases effort and professionalism.

Reduce Turnover

Training begins on first day on the job.
Some clients have shared with us some techniques to increase efficiency with new hires. The idea is to prepare new hires and arm with training tools prior to start date.

Here are some tips:

  1. GM pairs up new hire with an established salesperson via email prior to day one on the job. The email introduces one another.
  2. The next step, is for the established salesperson to call/text the new hire and set up a “meet and greet.” The salesperson then shows the new hire all the departments and gets the opportunity to meet some new people they will soon work with.
  3. The GM also meets with the new hire to review 3 year career path that includes training path and goals.
  4. Online training access is given with goals to complete. Training manuals and tools are provided so the new hire can study up and be ready to begin training on day one on the job.

Online Sales Training

We help salespeople understand how to set appointments and get them to show on time. We believe in helping people succeed and our resources will help any new hire on board effectively with the tools to succeed.


Top 9 emotions when purchasing a vehicle:

  1. Excited
  2. Apprehensive
  3. Relaxed
  4. Confident
  5. Nervous
  6. Overwhelmed
  7. Intimidated
  8. Frustrated
  9. Confused

Top 6 reasons for purchasing from this dealership

  1. Sales Associate/Customer Service
  2. Best price/deal
  3. Dealership reputation
  4. Best model/color
  5. Hours of service/Location
  6. Best financing

Top 6 Reasons for purchasing from this salesperson

  1. Trusting
  2. Respectful
  3. Knowledgeable
  4. Likeable
  5. Understanding
  6. Price and/or value of vehicle

2015 U.S. Women’s Car Dealership Report

Experience-Based Selling Tips

Use a tablet to access the customer record in your CRM upon customer arrival. A brief 60-90 seconds to verify the notes either you or an appointment setter collected will make sure you are on the same page with this buyer. Continue to use your tablet to tackle notes during the visit so all details are stored in a safe place to use in future contacts.

Take Action

Here are some aspects to address as you maintain relevancy in your dealership sales processes.

  • Identify personal video walk around, pre-sales process
  • Identify text, pre-sales process
  • Process for customer waiting around in dealership (pulling second vehicle, salesperson waiting for manager at desk, etc.)
  • Create video library with informative videos to use during sales process (For your tablet)

Dealership Disruption

Have you thought about how many customers are intimidated when pulling up to your dealership? Is it because there are multiple people standing around all staring at them as they pull in? Have you tried a professional up system with an app that allows salespeople to be outside watching the lot instead of everyone outside waiting and killing time? Just think how many prospecting calls could be made if everyone was using the app and could see where they are in rotation? It’s a win for everyone.

Companies We Are Diggin’ On Right Now

We are really into CoVideo. The joy our Trainers feel when they enter the client site and see the cameras up on everyone’s computer. So we are loving this product because it is easy to use, you can see how many times someone has viewed your masterpiece and you can replace email follow ups with videos! Sending a more customized and personal video increases open rates and responses that lead to more on-time appointments!

Increase Appointment Shows By Calling All Set Appointments

Tips from Our Experts

Tip #1 – Call and Confirm Set Appointments Everyday

We suggest calling set appointments at least 24 hours in advance. This will not be necessary for appointments set on same day.

Tip #2 – Update Titles (If you must use one)

Try using different titles that are accurate and feel helpful or experience based. We like using “Team Leader”.

Tip #3 – State Value in Meeting

If you plan to prepare a vehicle, paperwork, schedule other people to be involved, and so forth, alert customer of these actions.

Reduce Turnover

Teach managers to train and coach.

Did you know that according to Forbes Insights, 74% of sales managers say coaching is a sales manager’s most important role? What is your dealership doing to help managers be great trainers and coaches?

Here are some tips:

1. Review daily schedule and identify times in the day that can be dedicated to helping salespeople perform better.

*If time is your complaint on why this task is difficult, assess your day and downsize meetings, as well as time spent checking/responding to emails.

2. Handle “Inbox” after your “To Do List” is achieved.

What would happen if you responded to emails later in the day versus first thing in the morning? Sometimes, more tasks are accumulated before the current ones are tackled thus distracting from important responsibilities like coaching your team.


“17 out of 4002 people prefer the current car buying process, and the rest want significant changes.”

“Two thirds (66 percent) of consumers say that they would be much more likely to buy from a dealership that offers their preferred experience.”

“73 percent report that they are willing to drive farther for a great salesperson, versus 65 percent who are willing to drive to get the lowest price.”

Car Buyer Of The Future 2015 Study

Take Action

Here are some aspects to address as you maintain relevancy in your dealership sales processes.

  • Phone call word tracks and questions in systematic order
  • Phone call process map
  • Provide phone call worksheet/script
  • Highlight examples of how to sell value in you and the buying experience
  • Thank you email template for successful phone call – appointment set and not set

Experience-Based Selling Tips

Conversational Word-Tracks Should Include:

“Timely visit”
“Coordinate schedules”
“My Responsibility is…”
“Prior to visit”
“Update teammates”
“I am Documenting now”
“I’m circling, underlining, and highlighting this right now…”
“I’m saving our conversation now”
“I would like to recap what I heard from you…”

Dealership Disruption

Have you updated your pay plans? Would you ever implement 42-hour work weeks? What about behavior driven incentives instead of sales number driven? Check out some pay plans we have seen dealerships using lately.


Companies We Are Diggin’ On Right Now

We are totally loving DealerRater right now because it is a trusted consumer site that promotes salespeople that understand customer experience. For those people who go the extra mile to help people achieve their new vehicle, this site gives credit where credit is due!

Here’s some helpful tips:

  1. Ask for the review and if it’s OK to follow up on attaining the review.
  2. Allow the customer to go home and write a review that is authentic and deserving.
  3. Take the customers picture in the app. alongside their new car to use on the review – this will make your reviews stand out more.
  4. Text the customer through the app. their new picture.

Online Sales Training

We help salespeople understand how to set appointments and get them to show on time. We believe in helping people succeed and our resources will help any new hire on board effectively with the tools to succeed.

Explore the Online Training System “Selling Cars Through Conversations”


Read more about our online training at:


Webinar to Show How to Convert Leads to Sales

Guest Post from Jennifer Suzuki, Founder of e-Dealer Solutions

As founder of automotive sales training firm e-Dealer Solutions, I spend a lot of time talking with auto dealers about their business challenges. One hot-button topic that arises all the time is the difficulty of identifying, nurturing, and closing quality leads. Dealers struggle to keep up with all the different ways leads appear on their radar screens, whether via the phone, email, website, walk-in traffic, or some other contact approach. For that reason, I’m excited to participate in an August 23 webinar with Ed Brooks of, “Convert Leads to Sales.”

At noon CST on August 23, I’ll join Ed Brooks, a senior representative who knows the auto industry inside and out, to share with dealers practical solutions for converting quality leads to enduring customer relationships. We will draw upon the recently published Guide to Converting Leads to Sales in the Digital Era, which I co-authored. The guide provides practical advice to creating an ongoing system for turning quality leads into sales.

Our webinar will help you understand how to nurture each type of lead. Phone leads, for instance, need to be treated differently than internet and walk-in leads. When nurturing a phone lead, sales people need to make the phone call’s focus about selling the experience you and your dealership will provide — not on selling a vehicle. The real focus on phone calls must be what the dealership representative along with the team will do for the customer in order to meet the customer’s expectations.

As we discuss in our guide, by shifting the focus from vehicle details and availability to overall experience, your dealership representative will convert more calls to appointments. You can do so by asking the right question and making the right statements. For instance, mentioning, “I’ll block off 45 minutes prior to our appointment time to make sure I have the keys and the vehicle is rinsed, gassed, and ready to show you” is a great way to plant the idea that your dealership is going to give your customer the red-carpet treatment when they’re on the lot. That way, you focus the conversation on getting the customer to appear on the lot by uplifting the customer, not the vehicle.

Those are just some of the tips Ed and I will cover, and phone leads are but one kind of lead we’ll discuss. After attending the webinar, you’ll walk away knowing:

  • How to identify the most common types of leads.
  • How to engage and nurture each lead type to close more sales.
  • Tips to take ownership of lead management.

Make sure you register for the webinar, and download a copy The Guide to Converting Leads to Sales in the Digital Era, too. Ed and I look forward to talking with you at noon CST Wednesday, August 23!

Boost consumer confidence in you so they want to meet you!

There are many customers that are not in front of you and don’t have a whole lot of information to determine the type of person you are and how easy you are to do business with. Your communications and actions will help customers get to know you, like you and feel good about setting a meeting that they will show up for. We suggest making it process to send a recap email along with your appointment confirmation. This can happen in an email, or if you are so inclined send the same content you would in an email in a video message. Either way, you will increase the confidence from the customer in you and your abilities to help them during their research and purchase phases.

When you recap your conversation that should include some “needs assessment” questions and data collection, you will show the customer you are a professional who values their time and is a solid listener.

It looks like this, “I took notes on our phone call today and want to be sure I heard you correctly. Please take a moment to read, make corrections and email me back so I know we are on the same page and I didn’t miss anything important to you. You said you have a growing family and need more space, your Civic must retire, you are open to small SUV’s but want something with a warranty. You mentioned color was not important to you but no red. You prefer leather and something with rear-back up camera and Bluetooth.”

Carry on now and include your appointment information along with address. You want to make sure they know where you are located as people get confused when shopping dealerships. We suggest you include any legwork you intend to do prior to this appointment. After all, you want appointments that show on time. So, state your “hustle”, what you will be doing to prepare.

It looks like this, “This email confirms our meeting time at 5:15pm on July 20, 2017. Please GPS this address: 1212 Customer Experience Highway, Denver, CO 80210. I will block off 30 minutes prior to pull a vehicle and have it ready to show you. I will also have keys ready for a couple more options that I believe are good matches for you.”

These actions will improve your appointment shows and help you attain more deals!

Your CRM notes will help you showcase a better buying experience!

You just spoke to a customer on the phone and it either led to an appointment or it did not – either way, you need to document all details of the conversation. It’s important to take notes during every phone call as you are engaging the customer so that you can recall every detail and use in future communications. You will encourage and establish trust with every detail done you take and you can use to help expedite every customer visit. By documenting detailed notes, you can share with your team so everyone knows the customer information that has already been collected so a more personalized early manager introduction can take place. Customers will appreciate excellent communications in your dealership when you and others recite information collected during previous contacts. When you make the efforts to recall the customer notes in conversation, you will send a powerful impression that you are focused on a worthwhile buying experience. Customer experience will certainly become a main reason to buy from you when you exercise these actions.

When we call live customers in dealerships, we use a worksheet to take notes on. This way, the notes will get plugged into CRM, you can maintain a solid flow on the call and acquire customer needs assessment. Email Danielle Barrett at and request the worksheet we use in dealerships.

We encourage dealership personnel to categorize notes in a summary area in CRM to ensure the data continuously collected is sorted into categories and easy to find. Here’s what it looks like:

Now you can personalize and customize your contacts by referencing these CRM notes! Your follow up phone calls, voicemails, texts, video follow ups and in person meetings will be far superior when you incorporate CRM notes!

Don’t forget, post sale, you will want to hit that CRM back up and document all the new information you collected during the customer visit so you can stay connected in a more personalized manner! Just think, you are about to blow people’s minds in two years when you maintain follow up and still remember details on this customer because of your excellent note taking! Sales really means customer driven experiences and this is how you do it!

Leave Voicemail Messages that Get Call Backs

You can increase call backs on your very next voicemail! If you approach voicemail messages with an open-mind and have the will to try something new, you will increase your call backs. While your attitude and energy level cannot be taught your verbiage is equally as important. Bring your “A-Game” on every voicemail even if it requires popping out of your chair, planting a smile on your face and fluctuating your voice and tone. Customers need enough information to put you together and decide that you are a person they WANT to call back! 

We all know that phone calls drive appointments versus emails so, the goal is to increase call backs from your messages so you can talk to more customers and set more appointments!  We highly recommend putting in those ear buds and listening to a few of your voicemails. How do you sound? Did you focus on selling you and your appointment process? Did you sell your character as a professional who cares? Why not try these angles versus sounding like a cheap car commercial. Hopefully, your dealership has a call tracking system in place that records all calls and voicemails in the customer record, so evaluating voicemails is easy and time-efficient.  

It’s important to recognize what the voicemail intention is. You want your message to be compelling enough so that it encourages a person to call you back! Ask yourself a couple questions as you define the goals and verbiage for these messages. Will a person buy a car from your voicemail? Will “great news”, “incentives and rebates have changed”, “just want to touch base/follow up/check-in” actually increase call-backs? Oddly, when we mystery shop in masses, most messages focus on a vehicle and include these popular word tracks.

Try using these steps to create some new messages:

1. Differentiate yourself and identify purpose for call

It sounds like this, “This is and today I’m making a customer service call.” Or, “This is and I’m in charge of taking care of customer experiences at . It’s important to me that you receive excellent customer service from us here at so I will be taking care of you.”

2. Use details from last contact

It sounds like this, “I left you a voicemail yesterday and promised a call back today, so I wanted to come through on that promise”

3. Explain your next step

It sounds like this, “I’m sorry I’ve missed you again and realize its summertime and the days get busy. I will go ahead and reschedule this call back to you for . Feel free to call or text me at

When we mystery shop dealerships in masses, we look at all the data and often see many similarities amongst dealership representatives and the messages they leave. For one, leaving messages that sound like every other dealership message does not help you separate yourself from competition. When you focus on a vehicle and elements surrounding a vehicle purchase, including wanting them to come in for a test drive, its aggressive and off-putting. Try selling you and the experience you provide!

Send an Email After Your Phone Call and Solidify your Value and Appointment

In our more recent experiences with mystery shopping, we have found that you don’t have to do a whole lot to really differentiate yourself from your competition. It seems many dealerships are still using automatic email replies that appear generic and not really personal. If you take a little extra time to add a personal touch, especially in your subject line, your email will stand above the crowded space. Customers will appreciate the time you take when you use information you acquired during previous contacts and communications, and you will also increase responses back by taking this action.

We suggest every person communicating with customers write a recap email after every phone contact. When you recap conversation, you will let the customer in on your character; who they are working with! See, people really don’t know who you are until they meet you in person but so many contacts today are non-present. Your words matter and so do your actions. Send a recap email to clarify you heard the prospect clearly and to engage in communications that create equal playing levels between the sales member and the customer. When the customer is requested to respond back with approval, you will create this outcome.

You may start off this email like this:

“I want to say thank you for spending time with me on the phone today. It’s important to me that I understand all of your search criteria so we can make the best use of your time. Please reply back so that I know you approve of what I noted during our conversation.

You said you are open to Nissans and Hondas but prefer vehicles that are under 75k miles and it must be 4-door with back-up camera.”

It’s also important to express what you intend to do prior to getting together. We like to call this “the hustle.” Explain to the customer exactly what actions you plan to take creating more commitment to you and the meeting. It might sound something like this:

“I will block off an hour prior to our set meeting time so I can locate the right vehicle, have it gassed, cleaned and ready to show you.”

Lastly, include your complete contact information including dealership address. You definitely want to do everything you can to ensure this person can reach you and knows where to find you!

By putting a little strategy and effort into this follow up email, your customers will know they have finally met a person who can provide high level customer service, is friendly and professional and respects their time- all important characteristics necessary for making deals!

These actions will increase your appointment show ratios!

The objective is to remind customers of your contact information, your value, and your professional approach, so you can sell more cars! 

It’s one thing to set appointments and it’s another to get appointments to show up on time. We suggest spending an extra 2-3 minutes (on an average 2-minute phone call) on a quality phone call that drives emotions to like you, trust you, believe in you, feel confident in you and respects your time. That’s a lot to achieve during a sales call and the exciting part is that we prove it every week on live phone calls in dealerships! You CAN do this!  

We suggest re-assessing your current phone call script and write in new process that will help update it to always be relevant, while improving the odds to both sales sides favor. Our process insists you email a recap of your conversation after every sales call. Why? Because it distinguishes you amongst your competition, it improves your credibility and trust with customer and it showcases high level customer service that drives appointments to show. If you promise to email it within a timeframe and deliver, you will improve trust and credibility even more!

It sounds like this, “Thank you for giving me your search criteria, I have notated all that you said and I will recap this information and email it to you [within 1 hour] so you can review and let me know that I heard you correctly.”

We also suggest that you text the store address and your contact information to customers after every phone call. When you text the customer, you increase the likelihood of a showed appointment. You also want to be sure they remember you and know how to locate you en route to see their new car! 😉

Don’t be afraid to shoot a quick and personal video of you in your text. When you text a video it humanizes the experience, puts a face with a name and makes the meeting a lot more real and personal.

Lastly, inform the customer that you will be setting one-hour aside to prepare for their arrival. Remember, you want everything just right for them to avoid wait times. Just let customers know your process so expectations are understood and drive more showed appointments!

We typically say something like this, “I have you on the calendar for 3:15pm so I’m setting a task now for myself to begin prepping at 2:15pm.”

There are so many techniques you can use to improve appointments that show and we hope you can easily integrate some of these too!

Remember this, you seek above average appointment show rates so your actions must also be above average. Most dealerships spend at least $250 per incoming sales call so make it count!

Promote Trade Process to Increase Appointments that Show on Time

Our company listens to dealerships recorded phone calls and we conduct mystery shops in almost 100 dealerships per month. We have found that over 50% of phone calls involve a discussion about the customers trade. As we assess the outcomes of these phone calls we recognize that initiating conversation about this topic can damage the outcome and steer a productive conversation into a dark hole. There are many trade value sites out there that offer ranges and values, but often times the customer is left desiring a better number and sometimes feeling “low-balled.” You will receive internet leads that only have a trade listed and they want a value. When the customer picks up the phone they want a value, and lucky you, they have 52 pics to email you. Or, they are far away from the dealership and need you to put a number on it before they make the drive out to you. But, they won’t hold you to it 😉 Many situations can arise so you must be prepared to offset so you can reduce obstacles and improve outcomes to more showed appointments.

The more a person emphasizes the trade by asking questions about the vehicle, the more the customer is directed to ask for a value.

We suggest swapping out the trade focus to tying a second person to the appointment. Remember, you are a facilitator to ensuring a great customer visit. Stay in the zone. We find high success rates by stating what you will do for them to achieve an offer for their vehicle – the trade. When you invite the second person into the equation you will place more emphasis on what your intentions are – set an appointment that shows on time. You can explain to the customer that you want to save them time and will “calendar invite” the buyer so it’s firm on the schedule. Using up-to-date terms will inform the customer that you are professional and appreciate their time which in return they will value your time even more!

Are Financing Questions Necessary?

Think about your goals when it comes to phone calls.  You want more showroom traffic, right?

Our company listens to 1000’s of dealership phone calls and has identified that too many salespeople and BDC representatives ask how the customer plans on purchasing their vehicle – cash, lease or finance. We also find that many also push for a credit application when signs of credit issues appear. Once salespeople see a 450 they tend to disqualify this person as a buyer and it essentially, craps them out. Identifying financial terms is not productive in increasing showroom appointments; it actually prevents opportunities. Credit concerns, paying cash or financing has no bearing on setting appointments.  You want people in the dealership even if they need to sort out how they will fund this transaction.

We suggest you avoid this type of conduct on your phone calls.  It can rub people the wrong way.  In todays’ competitive marketplace you want your team representing a solid brand that features high level customer service.

Try assessing your phone calls and identify where the modifications can be made to avoid finance questions.  Now,  train on it and inspect what you expect.

If You Don’t Have All Contact Information, How Will You Follow Up Effectively?

Did you know that most incoming calls lead to no appointment? The numbers are staggering and raise a red flag for modified processes that ensure you get these numbers up! It’s not just asking for the appointment that is the problem, but also asking for contact information such as first and last name, cell # and an email address. It can be awkward to outright ask for this information without a structured plan to create comfortable situations to ask and for it to make sense to the customer. Dealerships need contact information to add customers into the CRM to count for sourcing and for getting people in the door. When you do not ask for contact information we minimize appointment results, accurate reporting and carry on with faulty processes, preventing growth. When these areas become focal points, you will improve appointments, and appointments that show leading to sales.

Old school methods often are not relevant to the customer and the customer experience we are trying to improve. It can sound pushy or make the customer uneasy and not want to give up personal information. When you identify areas in which dealership teams know when and how to ask for contact information, you are helping these people achieve results.

Here are some helpful tips to help your team focus on obtaining contact information on every phone call:

Ask for the first name right after presenting your introduction in a non-threatening manner and by positioning yourself as a non-threat. So, you probably want to avoid, “Sales, how can I help you?”

Try something like this, “Thank you for calling ABC Motors, this is <Your Name> and who do I have the pleasure of speaking with?”

Bam! First name down.

After you have led the phone call and taken the time to lay out exactly what your customer service intentions are…start identifying vehicle flexibility- hot buttons and deal breakers.

Once the customer has given you some information you want to move into obtaining the other three pieces of contact information.

Try, making the customer aware that you want to save their record so this information is not lost. Tell the customer what you are doing and walk them through what it’s going to take to save the record. “I’m tabbing over to last name, please spell that for me.”

Last name down.

Try, “The number you are calling me on, is this your cell?”

And “I would like to make sure I heard you correctly today by sending you a recap of our call. Please verify the information so that we can pick up where we have left off and nothing is lost. I’m tabbing to the email address, go ahead and spell that for me.”

The point is, you can try new approaches versus old-school techniques like, “Let me get your name and number, and call you back.”

Remember, you need time to increase trust and confidence from the customer. It may take a little extra effort, but it will pay off. Always remember that car salespeople rank in the sixth percentage of occupations that we trust- nurses tend to rank highest. Understand why this is and what you can do about it.

Increase Your Appointments By Avoiding This Statement, “No, we don’t have that car but can I help you with something else?”

Sales teams will benefit from a coaching session that focuses on these two situations:
1) You don’t have the car
2) Customer gets boxed in to a vehicle they end up not buying.

These two situations are important to isolate because often times the sales process is outdated and deters appointments from being set. At present, sales teams tell us that their online inventory is rarely 100% accurate.  In fact, many say it is +/- 30%.  Sometimes the inventory includes many vehicles that are wholesale pieces, still in “get ready” or will never hit the lot for sale.  If any of these situations are relevant in your store, understand that your sales team may be quick to tell customers by phone/email/text that the vehicle they are interested in has been sold. When this happens, opportunities are lost because customers rarely say, “Sure, you can hep me with another vehicle I was interested in!” Instead, they are off the call and onto a new one with your competitor. We can file that away now under, “lost opportunity.” Let’s also keep in mind that 70-80% of customers come in on a specific vehicle they emailed or called you about but switch vehicles during their visit. If this is true in your store, its time to rethink your phone strategies to be more current with the times.

We are not talking about customer opportunities that are lay downs right now. We are talking about the situations in which you do not have the car, or the possibility that the customer will switch vehicles during their dealership visit. You want to increase conversions, so updating your sales process will help you tip the scale for a more favorable outcome.

Try incorporating verbiage into your phone call that identifies flexibility from the customer.  When you achieve flexibility, you do not have to say you do not have the vehicle. When you reduce this situation, you will be able to make more appointments and sell more vehicles! This weeks training video focuses on changing up how you ask questions so that you do not box customer into one car and one car only!  You want to find out what search criteria they are using during their vehicle search so you can prompt for more vehicle options!

State Relevant Value On Your Sales Calls

It’s quite interesting in our weekly dealership training visits, we notice that the majority of sales calls are focused mainly on selling vehicles. We know what you’re thinking, “Duh, we sell cars, that’s what we want to do, sell more cars!!!” This is the end goal, for sure! But wait, will you actually sell cars on these phone calls? We say this because conversations tend to be primarily on boxing customers into one car, and by the way a vehicle they typically do not buy, as many switch on the lot. This conversation often times leads to a price quote or even an OTD. Or, statements such as, “that vehicle has been sold, can I help you with something else?” and well, we know how this ends. No deal. We must consider that this situation is one we can hone in on and reduce without lying, which can lead to an increase in appointments. We should also be mindful of the fact that dealership inventory is not always accurate, often times you may have more options than what is showing online.  All we are saying is that based on all of these aspects, phone strategies need a big adjustment to produce better results.

Don’t get us wrong, we will give customers prices. We just know that when you give OTD’s the chance of closing them becomes slim.  Therefore, we always need to be mindful of the environment, the strategies and weighing odds, to produce effective phone call processes and outcomes.

We believe the focal point of sales calls is to increase the confidence in the consumer, reassure with value that you are in fact the cream of the crop and prove that it makes total sense to come in and see you. This person may easily go ahead and set an appointment with you, but if they do not show, what good was that phone call? We do believe that a renewed strategy on the phones, while lengthening just a few more minutes, will surprise you with increased shows. Customers must be given enough information to like you, trust you, feel confident in you and respect your time…when you know you have achieved this, it’s time to set the appointment.

Departmental Action Plan

Departmental Action Plan


Student Name:  Rene Campos

Class:  N316

Student Number: 36

Academy Week: Variable II


Current situation or challenge you want to address based on the Jennifer Suzuki Outline: (must be quantifiable)

Nissan of Bakersfield’s current challenge is performance below expectation in sold percentage of internet leads. Combined with under 20% appointment setting of total leads and well below 50% of appointments shown, based on the current national statistics of sold units at 8-12% and appointments set above 20% and appointments shown above 50%, we feel that there is great opportunity to increase retail sales to create additional gross profit for the sales department.  We feel the current challenge stems from a lack of proper training on incoming and outbound phone skills by the internet and BDC department.


Overall Objective and Specific Desired Results:

Nissan of Bakersfield overall objective is to improve the internet sales personnel and BDC agents phone skills utilizing resources such as professional phone trainer Jennifer Suzuki.  To build a team of long term, highly skilled and, confident employees that learn to maintain a high level of income sufficient to make a long-term career at Nissan of Bakersfield.  Improve our appointment setting of internet leads to 30% and shows to 80%. And retail sales above 12%.  Track the matrix of information to be utilized to improve store profitability.


Describe your action plan in detail (be specific and include before and after measurements)

  1. Meet with the Internet Manager and review number of staff needed to meet targeted goal. Assign several 6 internet sales personnel to the internet team. Set 3 on shift “A” and 3 on shift “B” to cover store hours. Assign 2 BDC agents to also have opposite shifts.  Set a specific process to handle incoming leads and incoming/outbound phone calls. Leads clock to be stopped immediately or within 15 minutes and to be responded with a genuine email within 30 minutes.  All incoming calls to be responded to the first time with no calls bouncing back to operator.  If so have a system in place to acquire contact information with cell number and email.  Once all processes are in place, use resources available such as Jennifer Suzuki’s training video’s or make commitment to acquire her to do in store training for all Internet and BDC agents. Understanding the process is important, but correct training will be crucial to our success. Set a standard by utilizing the TDA (Teach, Demonstrate and Apply method) to create complete buy in.  Train on the 3 aspects to convey when communicating. 1) Trust- earn customers trust. 2) Time-Savings –Explain the time savings and the customer experience you offer. 3) Respect – Develop respect during the sales process.
  2.  Set a focus on the outbound call process by learning how to improve our greeting with a goal of generating more appointments and sales. Teach the staff how to actively manage the call from the beginning, avoid price and availability questions and establish ourselves as a helpful representative instead just another car sales person. Continue with 5 additional steps of training. 1) Confirm who you are speaking with, from the very beginning. 2) Identify who you are and use a title or an affiliate. 3) Identify who you are calling. 4) Confirm vehicle of interest. 5) Transition with one-answer response questions.
  3.  Measure where we are and where we would like to be and set a timeline for increments of improvement. The matrix of information that will be required to monitor improvements are the following: Total monthly internet leads count, total appointments set, total appointments shown, and total sold numbers for the given month.


Timeline: Describe specific short term and long term checkpoints to monitor progress

Short Term:  Establish teams, integrate processes, set a training schedule and utilize resources such as Jennifer Suzuki professional trainer. Meet with entire staff to set expectations. Provide clear and descriptive instructions.  Set a schedule to meet with Mandy, my internet manager, once per week to review progress and provide a financial support plan to include additional personnel, paid for lead providers, digital marketing resources such as, Car Guru’s, Craigslist, etc.  Assist to create a culture change to include state of the art customer service, highly trained long term staff, and a profit center that performs at a consistent and growing level.

Long Term:  Review results and the end of the quarter June 2017.  Establish a quarterly training refresher with Jennifer Suzuki via video or in house. Review pay structures and bonus plans both monitorial and non-monitorial to make sure we reward the top performers in the department to create motivation. Grow the department from within allowing employees to gain opportunity and create a career minded department.


Meeting with Stakeholders (dealership personnel)

Meet with Owner and utilize the current matrix of information to show where the opportunities are and present the plan in detail as to what these decisions can do for the Nissan of Bakersfield profit plan.

Meet with entire department to include Internet Manager, Internet sales team and BDC agents.  Explain in full detail a written process and policy that will generate growth at a steady rate.  Explain the investment of training that the company will offer for the employees to achieve at a high level. Ultimately get everyone to buy-in at the start of this action plan.


Describe what behavior change is needed to support desired goal. Address required coaching, training and/or consequences (PINO, Gain, Pain). Include timelines / Accountability / Monitoring process


Who: GM Rene Campos and Internet Director Mandy Sierra as well as New Car Sales Managers Jose Ramirez and Brandon Reed to all be present in meetings and training for added support and consistency.

What: Establish processes, policies, and training. Assign complete 6-person internet sales team and 2 person BDC team and schedules.

By When: May 1st 2017

How:  Meet 1st meeting April 24th, 2017 and a follow up meeting April 28th, 2017 to prepare for implementation.


Dealer agreement:

Prepared by: General Manager Rene Campos


Approved by Owner: Jeff Haddad ,  April 14, 2017


This Is How To Convert More Sales Calls

There’s always an “ah-hah” moment when we present to GM’s and Sales Teams on alternative approaches to handling sales calls. What we tend to see in common, at least 90% of the time, is that all dealership inbound phone call strategy is nearly identical to one another.  Alarmingly, most dealerships follow a very similar approach to sales calls making most salespeople sound very much alike. Why is this relevant you might be thinking? Your greeting is your first impression and sets the stage for how this phone call will go down. Do you want to sound like a traditional car dealership? If not, stay with me.

You are well aware of who today’s buyer is – highly researched, and carries reservations about car dealerships. Many buyers just want to obtain information from you. Here lies the problem. The customer is highly researched and hesitant to carry on with a car salesperson and they want a price. The salesperson knows that if they give the customer an OTD price, payments, etc. it is highly unlikely they will come in and purchase. So, the big dilemma starts with the greeting. I recommend trying something other than, “How can I help you?” This greeting puts you in car salesman mode and allows the customer to lead the call and ask for information.

When you try new ways of getting to the result you aim for you can meet your goals and then some. When you give something new a try, stay with it and give it a really good try even if it doesn’t happen right away. Be prepared to fail and pick yourself back up, dust yourself off and try again!

Try a new greeting this week and see what happens! Right now, I’m using the following greeting:
-“Thank you holding, this is Jennifer and who do I have the pleasure of speaking with?” *Name
-“Nice to meet you and thank you for the call today. So that I can best direct your call, are you calling for Service, Parts or Sales?”  *Sales
-Are you researching both new and pre-owned vehicles?”  *New or Used

What other bands are you considering?

I’m following a phone call introduction strategy that looks like this:
1.Name swap
3.Closed-ended questions

I find that this type of a greeting gets leadership of the phone call and allows the dealership representative an opportunity to showcase professional character and customer service. Ultimately, you are able to carve out opportunity to present value in working with you and your team. You will be able to distinguish yourself amongst competition and earn the right to ask for contact information without being pushy.

A lot to think about and there are many ways to get to where you want to be. Just recognize that making changes to your sales process is not easy. It takes commitment and dedication. When you practice and just put yourself out there, you will find that your success will grow and grow.

Your sales process is not just about walk-ins. Most sales opportunities today are driven by the phone! -By Jennifer Suzuki. President of e-Dealer Solutions

Training on updated sales processes has become my obsession.  There is a lot of outdated process and word tracks still being used in the dealerships that I was trained on ages ago.
Ask yourself, “Is our sales process working?  Is the sales process relevant to todays buyer?

Today the biggest areas to assess are:

– Phone call guides
– Voicemails
– Texts
– Videos
– Emails
– Chats

Having a long-term follow up plan for every type of opportunity you are given will help onboard long-lasting sales professionals and set expectations for existing staff.

Let’s face it, you need a process for all of these opportunities:

– Phone Up
– Internet Lead
– Orphan
– Mailer
– Equity
– Conquest
– Lease Retention
– Referral
– Service Appointment
– Bought With High Interest rate, 12-30 months ago = swap
– Unsold Showroom Traffic
– Declined Credit – 6-12+ months ago
– Did Not Have The Vehicle
– Lost Leads
– Sent OTD – No Response
– Non Responder

Each one of these categories needs a call guide, voicemail, text and email guides for all long-term follow up checkpoints (i.e. Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Five – 12 months).  Additionally, incorporating video into the sales process will also require you to organize a video library for sales teams to use in emails and texts (i.e. Dealership, Manufacturer and Sales Team YouTube Channel).  When you have all of the selling tools to provide your sales team, it is then that they can grow in their successes with you.

So, now that you have complied all of these tools, you can update your on boarding training manual.  This will also help set expectations.  You can also refer to this during the interview stage so your prospective new hire understands the scope of work.  Managers now have sales processes to manage, coach and train on.  All salespeople and BDC must know exactly how to get the most from every opportunity and today the sales process is a series of phone calls, voicemails, texts, emails and video follow ups.

-Jennifer Suzuki, President of e-Dealer Solutions

Meet Two Progressive Dealerships on the Rise

Watching dealerships grow at a rapid pace and accomplish sales goals beyond expectations is happening!  I wanted to take a moment to honor two dealerships that I have been privileged to work with over the last few years, Groove Subaru and Don Mealey’s Sport Mazda. Both leaders in these two stores share a lot in common not knowing each other. Both Robert Farnett, GM at Groove Subaru and Jay Mealey, GM at Don Mealey’s Sport Mazda see ahead of the curve.  They take risks.  They seek innovative and new products.  They think and act by one simple word, “change.”  It has been exciting to know these two guys leading and embracing change in the industry.

You will see technology being used in all aspects of the sales process in both stores.  You will see managers coaching, training and leading by example.  Two aspects I believe hold dealerships back from achieving the numbers they seek.  I love that Robert is always spending time with employees to set goals, assess progress and support growth in each person.  He invests in people and focuses on developing people to grow into new positions that offer higher incomes.  I love that Jay has incorporated so much technology in the sales process.  There are iPads on every customer station, waiting areas and even displays customers cars on the lifts in service on a flatscreen in the service waiting area.  Everyone knows where they stand as another flatscreen displays all salespeople’s numbers in real time.  This sends a message of transparency without saying a word about this being a company goal.  I enjoyed watching his managers get on the phones and take sales calls as well as make outbound calls to internet leads on my last visit after I had just taught new techniques to drive more dealership traffic!  To me, these are the actions that inspire people to want to work at these dealerships.

Learn More About Jay Mealey!


Jay Mealey
General Manager/ Owner
Don Mealey’s Sport Mazda



Jay like’s to state that “He gets it” and the impact of the Internet Auto Buying Revolution is both significant and exciting. “Customers don’t necessary need us anymore, we need them. Our most important job is to assist them as they use the latest technology to shop for their new or pre owned vehicle, don’t get in the way and PROVIDE a Valuable Service! Be the EXPERT, DON’T be a Salesman! Jay constantly challenges his 50 plus employees working at Sport Mazda to “Get It” with him and provide exceptional service in step with Today’s Customer Needs

Learn more about Robert Farnett!




Robert Farnett
General Manager
Groove Subaru





Robert Farnett, General Manager at Groove Subaru, entered into the automotive industry in July of 1995. Over the course of his professional career, Robert has served in a wide array of positions, working as a Salesperson, Service Advisor, Finance Manager, General Sales Manager, and New Car Manager, among other leadership roles.

Robert is originally from Iowa. He moved to Colorado in July of 2000 after being recruited to join the staff at one of Denver’s larger car dealerships. Following in his father’s footsteps, Robert chose to apply himself in the car business because, as he says, “it’s in my blood.” Aside from possessing an innate understanding of the finer details of customer service, Robert enjoys having the opportunity to use his excellent people skills on a daily basis.
Truly passionate about his job at Groove Subaru, Robert is proud to manage a team of loyal, outstanding performers, men and women who are dedicated to maintaining Groove Auto’s outstanding reputation.

In his spare time, Robert can usually be found exploring Colorado’s great outdoors with his family. His wife Nicole, who he married in 2004, is a Colorado native. The proud father of two children, Zachary and Alexis, Robert currently resides in Castle Rock.

Women General Managers Leading Change

Over the past two weeks, I have had the pleasure to spend time with these two ladies in their dealerships. I couldn’t wait to share their backgrounds with our readers as they both have inspired me to start the engine and get going in my own business! I am so motivated watching these two women lead change based initiatives in the ever-changing and complex world of automotive sales.

At this time, I am so excited to be part of growth in dealerships that have embraced changing the old sales process to one that includes customer service based selling, leveraging technology in all aspects of the sale – pre and post sale.

Kristy not only has a big Chevy store to run but she also has an off-site BDC that sets appointments for multiple dealerships in various states. They use Skype all day with those stores managers and salespeople to ensure timely information is delivered to the customer.

I love the new “up” system that prevents 20 salespeople on the lot staring down customers as they arrive on the lot. Allison uses “NextUp” to manage the lot so only three people are on the lot and the first person that approaches the customer will actually not be the one assisting this customer. The second man/women on the sidelines will be asked to come over and meet the customer. This prevents that high-pressure feel. Allison’s salespeople will be seen accessing their CRM app on their phone to log contacts on the lot and make calls when lot traffic is low. You will see her BDC taking pictures and videos with “CoVideo” throughout the prospecting process to improve relationships and really impress future customers!

Kristy had a goal in 2016 to move 100% to digital from traditional marketing, which paid off because the company has seen increased sales of 42% in New Car Unit Sales CYTD and up 87% in New Car front & back gross CYTD! These decisions are risky ones and without risk I am reminded, the reward can be small or none at all.

Since joining the Kuhn organization in October 2015, Allison and her team have broken each monthly New Car sales record. They also set a new record for the most new cars sold in one month, and for the total vehicles retailed in one month in the 25 year history of the dealership!!

If you get the chance, you will not be disappointed to meet both of these ladies, they are down to earth and ever so nice (unless you are a customer asking for way too much, then you might just get an ear full! LOL). These ladies mean business! You can see both Kristy Elliot and Allison Musante at the upcoming Digital Dealer in April!!


Kristy Elliott

Executive Manager
Sunshine Chevrolet/Sunstar Autos


Learn more about Kristy Elliott!





Allison Musante

General Manager

Kuhn Honda


Learn more about Allison Musante!

Learn More About Allison Musante

Allison Musante

General Manager

Kuhn Honda











Allison Musante is the General Manager of Kuhn Honda located in Tampa, Florida and has been working in the automotive industry since 2002. Since joining the Kuhn organization in October 2015, Allison and her team have broken each monthly New Car sales record. They also set a new record for the most new cars sold in one month, and for the total vehicles retailed in one month in the 25 year history of the dealership. Prior to Kuhn, Allison was the General Manager of Smithtown Acura in St. James, NY where she was honored with several awards.  She was recently honored as one of the 2016 nominees for Top 40 under 40 from Automotive News.  Allison shares her success as an active member of automotive groups and committees to include NADA’s Next Generation of Leadership Club and NADA’s 2017 legislative affairs committee where she is actively involved in political engagement and automotive related grassroots movements on capitol hill. Allison is also a graduate of the NADA’s Dealer Academy Class 197 where she served as the Vice President of the class.

Allison was a featured panel speaker at the 2016 Automotive Leadership Roundtable, where the number #1 dealers and leading industry professionals come together to share their stories of success. Allison spoke on behalf of the Woman’s Automotive Association International (WAAI) at the 2016 NY International Auto Show, where she discussed the dynamic of recruiting women to pursue a lifelong career in the automotive industry. She most recently appeared as a guest on David Villa’s Auto Dealer Live podcast where she discussed Desking for Dollars. She is also one of the featured panelists for the Keynote Dealer Panel at the upcoming Digital Dealer Conference in April.

Learn More About Kristy Elliott


Kristy Elliott

Executive Manager- Sunshine Chevrolet/Sunstar Autos











Kristy Elliott joined her family’s automotive business in 2014 after an almost twenty-year career in nonprofit higher education and healthcare marketing and development. She is currently the Executive Manager of both Sunshine Chevrolet in Arden, NC and SunStar Network (a BDC Company). Her family also owns Don Elliott Autoworld and Don Elliott Ford in Texas. Kristy is a graduate of Baylor University and NADA Dealer Academy.  Kristy oversees daily operations of their Global BDC for 5 dealerships, handles their websites and digital marketing while maintaining a position on the Customer Advisory Board for Outsell. Her goal in 2016 was to move 100% to digital from traditional marketing. This paid off because the company has seen increased sales op 42% in New Car Unit Sales CYTD and up 87% in New Car front & back gross CYTD. Most recently, she has participated in Digital Dealer Workshops and is speaking at the upcoming Digital Dealer Conference in April focusing on digital marketing initiatives.

Leave Voicemail Messages That Get Phone Calls Back

There is nothing more dated then leaving the following voicemail, “Hi, this is ____ and I’m just (following up/ touching base/ checking in) to see if you are still in the market for a vehicle. Call me back at ###!” You have limited time to give them a real reason to call you back!
When leaving voicemail messages, remember these tips:
1. Approach from a customer service perspective
2. Use details from last follow up
3. Let them know you will be calling back again
Learn more in this video!

Set some goals this week!
• Actually speak to 6 people per day during an 8 hour shift 
• Take 1 hour to talk to those 6 people-averaging 10 minutes per conversation
• Take 2 hours of your day to leave 54 voicemails.
Join Jennifer Suzuki at the CADA Innovative Dealer Summit this April for her special workshop, “Is Your Sales Process Kicking It Old School?”
In addition, our president, Jennifer Suzuki, will present “Millennials and Car Buying” at the 2017 DrivingSales Presidents Club April 9-10! Do not miss these great events!

Send An Email After Your Phone Call And Solidify Your Value And Appointment

In this video learn why it is paramount to send a recap email after EVERY phone conversation! Remember to include these 3 things in that recap email:
-Recap Points
-State Expectations
-Your Contact Information

It is our birthday! This January, e-Dealer Solutions celebrated 15 years in the business. Thanks to all of you that have supported us throughout the years!
Thinking about having our online training program in your dealership?! Listen to this recommendation from Ashley, a dealership manager that uses our online training program with her sales team.

Did you know:
90% of consumers find custom content useful and 78% believe organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them (Source: Inbound Writer)
65% of businesses consider phone calls their highest quality lead source. (Source: BIA/Kelsey & ConStat Commerce Monitor)
More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, and spend over 4 billion combined hours watching videos. (Source: YouTube)
April will be an eventful month for us at e-Dealer Solutions! Our president, Jennifer Suzuki, will be presenting at both CADA Innovative Dealer Summit in Denver, CO as well as at DrivingSales Presidents Club in New York, NY! Do not miss these great events! Register now!

Send an Email After Your Phone Call And Solidify Your Value and Appointment

It is paramount to send a recap email after every phone conversation. In doing so, you let the customer know you are an active listener, you show care and concern for them and you gain respect. Increase your value by presenting a professional image of yourself and the dealership!
In 2016, millennials accounted for 60% of all new dealership hires and thus, the majority of the dealership workforce. This generation has different motivations than previous generations. e-Dealer Solutions can help! Use our proven methods to motivate your millennial employees by using our online training program. Schedule a demo for your sales team today!

Dealers Managers Trainers

Looking for ways to reduce turnover and offer rewarding career training that improves sales!? Your solution is here!
Our program will not only help you onboard new hires, set up consistent and career-support training, and offer courses for attacking skill sets for a smart start to 2017 sales initiatives, but provides those courses in only 5 minutes! Email us today and we will set you up with the first three modules as well as the downloads. Our easy-to-use, on-demand training will help your team increase their appointment shows instantly! Call us today!

How Can You Strengthen Appointment Show Ratios

Go a little bit further when scheduling an appointment to increase your shows. Remind the customer of your contact information, your value, and professional approach. In doing so, the prospect will see you as a respectable professional and solidify the appointment. Watch this short video for examples!
In just under a decade, millennials will make up 75% of our workforce. With that in mind, how will you motivate and lead your intergenerational workforce?

Let e-Dealer Solutions help you motive your ENTIRE team! Contact us now for more information!

Promote Trade Process To Increase Appointments That Show on time

Focusing on the trade could cause unnecessary obstacles. Increase the value of the appointment by telling the prospect that you will arrange to have a buyer onsite at a specific time. Explaining the trade appraisal program properly more people will show on time. Learn more now!
Let e-Dealer Solutions motive your intergenerational workforce! In 2016, there are four generations amidst our workforce today. In addition, millennials are driven by time off versus money. Call us today to schedule a demo for you and your sales team!

Are Finance Questions Necessary

Handle the finance aspect in a strategic and thoughtful manner! Avoid finance questions altogether! Increase your appointments set by avoiding these obstacles.
Wondering why you aren’t booking more appointments? First off, the more finance questions you ask, the more obstacles you create which results in fewer appointments. Here is a tip, when you are on the phone, do not be the car sales person, play the role of an appointment facilitator. Learn more and get our online training program in your dealership today by calling 1-800-625-1590!

Obtain Contact Information On Every Phone Call

Get contact information in a non-invasive and non-threatening manner! Learn a few techniques in this 60-second video! Get a first name, last name, cell, and email so you can follow up and effectively set more appointments!

e-Dealer Solutions uses proven methods that will help you reduce turnover. According to “The Cost of Millennial Retention Study”, the median tenure dropped from 3.8 years in 2011 to 2.4 years in 2015. In addition, 87% of companies report that it costs between $15,000 and $25,000 to replace each employee they lose. e-Dealer solutions uses proven methods that will help you reduce turnover. Help your entire team learn how to convert phone calls and internet leads into showroom appointments as well as keep your top-sellers engaged with our proven program. Call us at 1-800-625-1590 to learn more about our online training for your entire sales team!

Obtain Vehicle Options For Flexibility

Learn how to effectively ask questions to increase vehicle options. This allows you more flexibility! Watch this quick video for some great examples on how to keep your options open so you are not locked in to just on vehicle. In doing so, you will be able to suggest multiple options and increase sales!

Millennial employees want to make an immediate impact and hit the ground running. By 2020, millennials will account for half of our workforce and in 2025, that number will increase to 75%! On average, it costs companies between $15,000 to $25,000 to replace each millennial employee they lose*. e-Dealer Solutions provides training that will not only help millennials, but also your entire sales team! Increase appointment show ratios and reduce turnover in your dealership with our proven methods! Give us a call today 1-800-625-1590.

State Relevant Value On Your Sales Calls

This week, let’s focus on making each appointment meaningful and respected so that your appointments actually show on time! Present yourself and the dealership experience early on to the prospect by telling them what you will do, who they will meet, and what you will do to prepare in advance for the appointment. Learn more now!
Did you know that the NADA 2016 Dealer Workforce Study reported that millennials accounted for 60% of all new hires in 2015 and the turnover rate among this generation was 52%!? That means only 8% of millennials hired, stay on! e-Dealer Solutions implements proven methods in our training program that will help your entire team, including millennials. Let us help your sales team convert more phone calls and internet leads to showroom opportunities. Not only will you sell more cars, but you will also reduce turnover in your dealership! Call us today for a free demo, 800.625.1590

Get Control With Your Greeting On Incoming Calls

During the next 10 weeks, you will have the exclusive opportunity to receive weekly sales tips taken straight from her online training program. Every week, our newsletter will consist of one 60-second video that is packed with FREE tips that will improve the number of appointments you book. Our goal is to help YOU get more customers in the door so you can sell more cars!
Let’s start by getting control of your greeting on incoming calls. You need to gain control from the very beginning in order to avoid the price and availability obstacle questions. Try swapping out open ended questions with closed ended questions. For example, say “Who am I speaking with?”, instead of “How can I help you?” Learn how to lead the conversation now and get our proven online training program in your dealership today! Contact us now and get a FREE demo of our training program!

In other news, Jennifer Suzuki, president of e-Dealer Solutions will be at the Driving Sales Summit, October 23-26 in Las Vegas! Register Now!
Do not forget to like us on social media for more free tips!

Jennifer Suzuki, Northwood Florida Campus to Receive Outstanding Alumni Award


Jennifer Suzuki (1998) – Outstanding Alumni Leadership Award

After graduating from Northwood University in 1998, Jennifer Suzuki recognized the demand for detailed curriculum to assist automotive dealerships with internet marketing while employed at a company which offered web-based marketing resources to car dealers and manufacturers. Capitalizing on the necessity, she founded e-Dealer Solutions, Incorporated in January, 2002.


An award-winning training company, E-Dealer Solutions focuses on improving the communication processes of automotive salespeople as well as fine-tuning the operating processes of dealerships. It accomplishes this by teaching others its 21st century process of mastering the creation of more prospects in the business, and then converting them to profit producing sales, thus improving closing ratios.


Suzuki’s collective 18 years-experience encompasses a wide gamut of valuable industry know-how which includes sales training, the installation of Dealership Management Systems, converting internet leads, managing an internet sales division comprised of 28 dealerships, and more.


In addition to her proprietary training materials and educational content, Suzuki is a sought out seminar facilitator thanks to her reputation for delivering significant success in increasing the bottom line.


“We provide a modern approach to automotive sales training by focusing on increasing internet appointments that show on time, as today’s consumer has completed extensive internet research and prefers to contact the dealership through email or by phone versus the traditional method of visiting the dealership in person,” said Suzuki.


Suzuki is utilizing her entrepreneurial success to touch those beyond the automotive industry. As a recent SCORE Entrepreneur of the Year Awardee and National Business Woman Finalist, she has educated and inspired many. “There is nothing more rewarding than being contacted by a student or client elaborating on their financial success because of the encouragement I’ve lent and the systems, processes and business models that I’ve developed,” she said.


The Outstanding Alumni Leadership Award is given to an alumni whose Northwood degree has impacted their current success in their business and community and supports Northwood and the Northwood Idea.

Dealer’s Edge Webinar With Jennifer Suzuki: 21st Century Process for Closing More Sales – For Sales & Internet Managers!

You will learn:
-The proper staffing levels for your dealership sales departments
-Phone call structuring tips for all sales people
-How sales people can create ‘added value’
-A process for managers to wring more value from the add-on features of call tracking and CRM systems
-Plus 10 more Key Tips for dealership Sales and Internet managers

After you master the creation of more ‘ups’ – now guide your team to improved closing ratios!

Recently Jennifer Suzuki presented a smash hit Webinar on how to move prospects from email, to the phone and ultimately to a face-to-face appointment in the showroom. You learned how to create more qualified ‘ups’!

Now learn Jennifer’s 21st century process for improving your ability to convert that ‘up’ into a profit-producing sale. As Sales and Internet managers, you spend a lot of time and money creating those closing opportunities for your sales staff. Now learn Jennifer’s process to help transition your sales people to new levels of performance.

Original Air Date: October 25, 2012

Click Here To View Webinar


Going Pro in 2013: Personal & Professional Strategies toBuild a Healthy Income – November 29, 2012

DealerOn Webinar with Jennifer Suzuki, e-Dealer Solutions

With the goal of profitability in mind, this fast-paced 1 hour webinar is perfect for all Sales Consultants and BDC Representatives and will highlight:
* Goal Setting – learn how to map out consistent 20+ cars a month
* Time Management – take away a model that will help you focus and plan ahead
* CRM Organization – learn precise ways to save at least 1.5 hours in a workday so you can make more calls
* Training Tools – incorporate 3 key aspects to increase a strong mindset and lasting career
* Social Image – learn ways to grow your own leads and close more prospects

You owe it to yourself to see how you can make more money in 2013!

Click Link Here


5 Manager Strategies Guaranteed to Boost Sales TODAY!

DealerOn Webinar With Jennifer Suzuki, e-Dealer Solutions – July 26, 2012

With the goal of profitability in mind, this fast-paced 1 hour webinar will highlight:

• Take away items to instantly improve sales team’s performance and processes.
• Benchmarks in your processes to more effectively manage a 21st century sales team
• Easy-to-implement actions for sales training, one-on-one coaching and daily management.



Jennifer Suzuki, Keynote Speaker @ SCORE Business Conference

I had the privilege of speaking to a crowd of 500 local business owners on  utilizing a resource of talented business owners as mentors.  Entrepreneurship is not for everyone and presents many challenges when attempting to take your skill sets and prior work experience to a business you create.  You may be really good at what you know:  your product or service.  However, you may need assistance or an expert opinion to further develop skills you may not be so knowledgeable about or even good at!  SCORE has helped me develop a successful company that grows every year.  We have tripled our revenues, tripled our employees and tripled the amount of companies we utilize to further enhance our products and services.  SCORE not only helped me but helps our local business who in turn contribute with taxes paid into cities, states and our nations growth.  The volunteers that make up SCORE are high level CEO’s, business owners, achievers and people who dedicate their time to help people like me succeed.

Social Media in Car Dealerships – Getting Started

Socail NetworksWhen a business decides to dive in, there are many challenges to tackle such as:  public relations, legal, compliance, customer service, retention, reputation, brand identity, authenticity and transparency.  With so many vast and wide areas to consider, corporations today must have processes and dedicated people in place with set protocols and courses of action.  At the same time, the people you select to manage the feedback and communications in posts, blogs, forums, and so forth must have common sense and the ability to make sound judgement calls on the fly.  There is a lot at stake for a brand when it comes to social media and lets face it, your responses can be held against you in a court of law.

With all of these key factors, lets take this environment to the dealership level.  How does a dealership without a dedicated professional that handles social media communications avoid a lawsuit, a tarnished reputation, a disgruntled customer, and even a lost sale?  This is a real challenge, isn’t it?

At best, most dealerships do not have a concrete, on paper, social media strategy.  I would suggest this is the first approach you take.  Determining protocols for customer questions, comments, complaints are all important to respond to in a timely manner.  A timely manner is one business day; expect this number to decrease in time.  Who will handle product and availability questions?  Who will handle service complaints?  Who will handle positive feedback about sales managers and salespeople?  Who will handle sales department complaints?  Lots of questions to figure out.  When you dedicate personnel to these areas, you begin to formulate a game plan.  Without this, there is doubt and uncertainty equating to lack of responses and diminished reputation.

Best case scenario, dealerships hire a full-time, social media professional.  This position  will become one of the hottest and most needed positions in the dealership.  It’s already at that point and progressive dealers are already getting a jumpstart on their competition.  You must ask yourself, how important is our multi-million dollar brand, our brand management, reputation and community perception?

There are so many social media sites that you must know about, be a part of and use on a daily basis.  So where do you start?  In my opinion, salespeople must build their identity, credibility and reputation on sites like:,, and  Yes, I understand your concerns Mr. Dealer!  But, you can’t control everything and all content!  You must have company guidelines and standards for how these sources are used with your customers.  You have to recognize that people want to buy from people.  These people are communicating on these sites.  Know your customer.

The dealership should be heavily involved in a company blog (,,,,,,,, places…just to name a few.
Generation Y is on the rise and is one of the most important buyer segments to understand and market to.  This group of buyers is huge!  They choose non-traditional (seemingly traditional already) means to communicate and their expectations when buying a car are vastly different than we have experienced in the past.  They may not be as interested in buying a car as we would like them to be now but we must nurture for the short and long haul.  Their preferred method to communicate might include, texting vs. talking on the phone.  They might like chat better than email.  We have to start communicating in more effective ways!

Start your social media strategy with a hard copy, on paper, game plan.  Get connected.  Get your dealership rules in place.  Be ready for the next level, there is soooo much more!

Appearing on panel April 5 at NY International Auto Show

I will join an impressive group of speakers on April 5, 2012 at the NY International Auto Show sponsored bMercedes-Benz USA, Greater New York Auto Show, and Northwood University.  Collectively, we will address social media questions about participating, branding, Facebook and other social outlets, CGM, integrating social media into your business, and many business strategies.  The monies raised will fund educational scholorships through the Women’s Automotive Association International (  To register and learn more about the event go to


Moderator: Ian G. Beavis, Nielsen Global Automotive

Melissa Newell, Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC

Jennifer Suzuki, e-Dealer Solutions

Lemore Hecht, The Hertz Corporation

Lisa Coffey, LinkedIn

Kim Kyaw, Jaguar Land Rover North America

Hedy Popson, Productions Plus/ The Talent Shop