Congratulations Braeger Auto Group, our April Dealerships of the Month!

Congratulations Braeger Auto Group, our April Dealerships of the Month!

Every month, MAXDigital recognizes and celebrates a dealership that demonstrates exceptional performance through our “Dealership-of-the-Month” program. Through the team’s hard work and effort, MAXDigital is honoring Braeger Auto Group with our April Dealership-of-the-Month! MAXDigital is celebrating Braeger Auto Group for their sales-team’s dedication to MAX Digital Showroom to help them build value and hold more gross. March was a record breaking month at Braeger Chevy with 215 new and used vehicles sold and 190 vehicles sold at Braeger Ford. Willy Burazin alone sold 37 cars in March at the Chevy dealership, beating his own record.

Braeger Auto Group is a two store group in the southern Wisconsin area, which is proving to be one of the fastest growing dealerships in the area. Braeger Auto Group is also very active in their community and have a strong commitment to their local community by participating in many great local organizations. We are excited about Braeger Auto Group’s amazing growth, dedication to their customer’s needs, and reduction in vehicle discounts.

Congratulations to Braeger Auto Group from the entire MAXDigital Team!

MAXDigital Names Mike Cavanaugh as Head of Strategic Partnerships

CHICAGO — April 20, 2018 — MAXDigital, a premium end-to-end software provider for automotive dealers, announced today that Mike Cavanaugh will be the company’s new Head of Strategic Partnerships. Cavanaugh will be responsible for building strategic partnerships with OEMs and other vendors serving the automotive industry.

Cavanaugh has more than two decades of automotive experience that began by working with his father at a dealership in Detroit on weekends and after school. He spent eight years as a trainer, territory manager and director of sales at Credit Acceptance, an auto finance company providing automotive loans and other related products to dealers. Cavanaugh last served as Chief Operating Officer at CARite, a national network of car dealers and one of MAXDigital’s current customers. Under his leadership, CARite grew from nine to 25 stores and into one of the top brands serving consumers with credit challenges.

“I have worked with Mike for years and built a great relationship with him while he was at CARite,” said Brad Kruse, MAXDigital Senior Vice President, Business Development & Head of Revenue. “Our entire team is thrilled that he will help MAXDigital expand our strategic partnerships and continue our trajectory as a preferred digital retailing platform in the industry.”

Cavanaugh also served in the Marine Corps and completed two tours of duty in Iraq. He is a graduate and MBA recipient from Northwood University in Michigan, which offers a curriculum specifically tailored to careers in the automotive industry.

“This is a dream job for me. I have been passionate about helping the automotive industry evolve and grow, and working with dealers to tackle some of the toughest industry challenges. That commitment to the industry is what I have admired most about MAXDigital,” said Cavanaugh. “While at CARite, the MAXDigital team and their product offering really stood out among the other sea of vendors in automotive.”

For more information visit www.maxdigital.com.

About MAXDigital

MAXDigital provides cloud-based software and mobile applications to the automotive industry. As the industry’s premium end-to-end software solution for automotive dealers, MAXDigital empowers thousands of dealerships across the U.S. to manage inventory, increase gross profits and sell more cars through digital retailing. Founded in 2011, the MAXDigital suite of products includes FirstLook, an inventory management platform, MAX Ad®, a best-in-class content generation and distribution system, MAX for Website®, a vehicle value and content creator for dealer websites, MAX Digital Showroom®, a real-time sales tool for desktop and mobile that builds trust and transparency with customers, and MAX Path to Purchase™, an innovative software that removes hassle for customers and provides a streamlined car shopping process. For more information visit MAXDigital.com.

 

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What is a Dealership Appraisal Tool and How Can It Help You?

What is a Dealership Appraisal Tool and How Can It Help You?

In the modern auto sales environment, proper pricing can be the key to profitability for your dealership. Making sure your cars are appraised correctly at every stage of the sales process can give you a significant competitive edge. For quick and accurate pricing, more dealerships are turning to advanced dealership appraisal tools.

What Are Dealership Appraisal Tools?

As the name implies, a dealership appraisal tool is software that appraises vehicles for acquisition, sale, or trade-in.

The appraisal tool included with the MAXDigital Inventory Management software pulls the market data for a vehicle and provides your team with a competitive price almost instantly. Although this function sounds simple, it can pay off big for your dealership.

How Dealership Appraisal Tools Can Help Your Dealership

Pay the Right Price for Your Cars

You’ll have a difficult time making a significant profit selling your cars if you overpay for them yourself. The detailed market data used by appraisal tools helps you make sure that you’re getting the best wholesale price on your vehicles.

Don’t Pay More Than You Need to for a Trade In

A good appraisal tool gives you significant authority during trade-in negotiations. You aren’t just giving them their price, but demonstrating the value of their vehicle.

Free Up Your Sales Team

Without a quality dealership appraisal tool, your sales team has to spend hours doing market research to reach a fair price on your vehicles. The appraisal tool speeds this process up considerably, giving your sales team more time to sell cars.

MAXDigital’s Inventory Management Software Goes Far Beyond Appraisal

Our Inventory Management Software is a lot more than an appraisal tool. It also compares your store’s sales history with aggregate trends to determine which vehicles will sell in your dealership. It also helps you price your inventory to maximize profit.

To see how MAX can help your dealership firsthand, schedule a consultation of our software tools. You can also call us at (888) 841-0884 with your questions.

Research Shows Dealers Looking to Change Sales Processes to Combat Turnover, Boost Profits & Improve Customer Satisfaction

CHICAGO — March 22, 2018 — MAXDigital, a premium end-to-end software provider for automotive dealers, released new dealer research on the subject of turnover and sales processes. In conjunction with Erickson Research, MAXDigital surveyed nearly 400 dealers across the United States in January 2018.

Key findings from the research include:

  • Turnover remains a problem for dealers. Nearly 80 percent of dealers in the study said turnover is an issue affecting their business, with 23 percent saying it’s a major issue.
  • Poor training and hiring processes contribute to turnover. According to dealers in the survey, inadequate or lack of training, and ineffective hiring processes were the biggest factors leading to turnover. Seven in 10 dealers said their salespeople have told them they don’t have enough training or information.
  • Hiring (good) salespeople is hard. Nine out of 10 in the survey said hiring good salespeople is difficult.
  • Dealers hire people with no experience. Seventy-six percent of dealers said they’ve hired people without automotive experience. And, 62 percent said they’ve hired people without sales experience of any kind.
  • High commission compensation still widespread. Ninety percent of dealers surveyed use high commission compensation, with 42 percent offering no fixed salary at all.
  • Dealers are looking to change their sales process.
    • Four in 10 dealers said they’re considering changes to their sales process in the next 12 months.
    • Moving to a more consultative sales process was the top change considered, followed by adding technology. Seventy percent of dealers in the study believe technology makes salespeople more successful and builds trust and confidence with customers.
    • The top drivers for a new sales process are higher close rates and increased customer satisfaction index (CSI) scores. Employee turnover is also a driving factor with more than 50 percent saying a change in sales process would help retain staff.
  • Many dealers are looking to adopt a low/no haggle pricing strategy. Four out of 10 in the survey said they are looking to adopt a low/no haggle pricing strategy.

“This study shows how dealers are re-examining their sales processes in order to align with the way customers want to buy,” said MAXDigital CEO Steve Fitzgerald. “Adopting a process that provides a streamlined car shopping experience will help dealers increase sales and profits and improve employee satisfaction and retention.”

Fitzgerald continued, “When salespeople are trained and equipped with product information, they’re more confident and able to do their job well. They’ll feel good and be more likely to stay long term.”

Nearly 400 U.S. dealers completed the survey in January 2018. Six 30-minute phone interviews were also conducted in February 2018. Respondents included General Managers, Dealer Principals, Used Car Managers, Owners, and Internet Managers.

Access the full report findings, including an infographic, here: www.maxdigital.com/turnover.

About MAXDigital
MAXDigital provides cloud-based software and mobile applications to the automotive industry. As the industry’s premium end-to-end software solution for automotive dealers, MAXDigital empowers thousands of dealerships across the U.S. to manage inventory, increase gross profits and sell more cars through digital retailing. Founded in 2001 with the FIRSTLOOK inventory management product, the MAXDigital suite of products includes the innovative MAX Ad®, a content generation and distribution system, MAX for Website®, a vehicle value and content creator for dealer websites, MAX Digital Showroom®, a real-time inventory and pricing tool for desktop and mobile that builds trust and transparency with customers, and MAX Path to Purchase™, an innovative software that removes hassle for customers and provides a streamlined car shopping process. For more information visit MAXDigital.com.

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MAXDigital Releases Innovative Software Platform to Embrace Customers’ Natural Path to Purchase

CHICAGO — March 22, 2018 — MAXDigital, a premium end-to-end software provider for automotive dealers, announced today a first-of-its-kind sales solution, MAX Path to Purchase™. This innovative software removes hassle for customers and provides a streamlined car shopping process, resulting in more sales and higher profits. The new platform will help managers reduce sales staff turnover, keep sales teams within a customer-focused framework, and reduce haggling.

Many dealerships are looking for ways to adapt their sales processes to meet the needs of the customer. According to a January 2018 Dealership Process and Turnover Survey conducted by MAXDigital, 41 percent of participants said they are considering changes to their sales process in the next 12 months. The top drivers behind a sales process change found were the potential for higher close rates, increased customer satisfaction (CSI), and reduced sales team turnover.

“The results of our survey show that dealers are changing business processes to better align with the way consumers want to shop for cars,” said Steve Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Officer, MAXDigital. “With MAX Path to Purchase, we are in sync with what dealers are thinking about to remain competitive.”

Fitzgerald continued, “MAX Path to Purchase results in increased sales efficiency while also providing a shopping experience that customers have come to expect in the internet era. With this new solution, dealerships will be equipped to retain more front-end gross, obtain higher CSIs, and reduce sales staff turnover by increasing employee success.”

MAXDigital is providing product demos of MAX Path to Purchase at NADA Show 2018 in Las Vegas March 22-25 at booth #4138C.

For more information, visit https://maxdigital.com/max-path-to-purchase-sales-system.

About MAXDigital
MAXDigital provides cloud-based software and mobile applications to the automotive industry. As the industry’s premium end-to-end software solution for automotive dealers, MAXDigital empowers thousands of dealerships across the U.S. to manage inventory, increase gross profits and sell more cars through digital retailing. Founded in 2001 with the FIRSTLOOK inventory management product, the MAXDigital suite of products includes the innovative MAX Ad®, a content generation and distribution system, MAX for Website®, a vehicle value and content creator for dealer websites, MAX Digital Showroom®, a real-time inventory and pricing tool for desktop and mobile that builds trust and transparency with customers, and MAX Path to Purchase™, an innovative software that removes hassle for customers and provides a streamlined car shopping process. For more information visit MAXDigital.com.

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MAXDigital Is Proud to Give a Sneak Peak of MAX Path to Purchase

MAXDigital Is Proud to Give a Sneak Peak of MAX Path to Purchase

Online shopping and the growth of the accessibility of information have fundamentally transformed the way consumers want to buy goods. With all these changes, many auto dealerships are struggling to keep up and meet the changing expectations of customers.

To help dealerships keep up with modern sales trend, MAXDigital is pleased to introduce MAX Path to Purchase, a first-of-its-kind sales solution to help you align the way you sell with the way customers want to buy.

Introducing MAX Path to Purchase

What Modern Consumers Want When Purchasing Products

Today’s shoppers have become accustomed to a streamlined buying experience. When shopping for nearly any product, they’re looking for:

 

  • Simplicity – With most online purchases, customers want a clear, predictable process.
  • Transparency Modern consumers are used to having easy access to detailed and accurate product and pricing information.
  • Speed – People don’t want to spend hours buying one product.

 

By the time most consumers drive off the lot in their car, they’ve spent up to five hours browsing lots, negotiating, and waiting. This current car-buying process is incompatible with the way customers expect to buy goods. If traditional dealerships want to stay relevant, something needs to change.

Dealerships are taking note of this. According to a January 2018 Dealership Process and Turnover Survey conducted by MAXDigital, 41 percent of dealerships are considering changes to the way they sell in the next 12 months.

How MAX Path to Purchase Helps You Simplify the Buying Process

MAX Path to Purchase lets dealerships rebuild your sales strategy to meet the needs of modern consumers and shave hours off the car-buying process. It offers customers a technology-aided way to find and buy the vehicle they want.

Using modern sales enhancement tools reduces haggling, making the sale easier for your customers and helping your sales team maintain your profit margin.

With this simple and transparent new process, you can also expect a higher CSI score.

Other Benefits of MAX Path to Purchase

Another issue facing dealerships is the number of salespeople leaving the industry. With 74% annual salesperson turnover rate, investing in a new salesperson seems like a riskier prospect every year. One of the most prevalent reasons people leave their sales roles is a lack of training.

MAX Path to Purchase helps you keep your sales team on board and successful by providing a simple and easy-to-follow process in which to train and retrain your sales staff.

Where Can You Learn More About MAX’s Latest Product?

MAXDigital is providing a sneak preview of MAX Path to Purchase at NADA 2018. If you aren’t attending this year, make sure to keep up with MAXDigital for more information.

How to Arm Your BDC Team So They Can Set More Appointments

How to Arm Your BDC Team So They Can Set More Appointments

Your BDC team is often the first point of contact the customer has with your dealership. And as the saying goes, you never get a second chance at a first impression. So ask yourself, what impressions are your BDC teams giving off?

The mission of the BDC team is to set appointments for each inquiry that comes in, whether by phone or email. The key to being successful is equipping your team with all the information they need in order to build quality, value—and most of all, excitement—about the car (and your dealership).

Thanks to the internet, buyers are more informed than ever. Ninety percent of consumers research cars online before visiting a dealership, and they conduct an average of 14 hours researching vehicles before they buy. On the flip side, it is very rare that your BDC team will be experts on all of the cars and their respective features, especially off-brand vehicles. They may also be working at an offsite location and be managing 10, 20 or 30 dealership locations at once.

By pairing up a well-informed consumer with a BDC rep who isn’t knowledgeable on the vehicle, the results can be disastrous. To level the playing field, dealerships need to give BDC teams the tools and technology to turn them into “instant experts” on every car in their inventory, both in-brand and off-brand.

To win more appointments, make sure your BDC teams can answer the following 5 questions, proactively and with ease:
1. Is this car right for me?
2. Am I buying a lemon?
3. Why is this car better than others I’ve seen?
4. Is this a fair price?
5. Why should I buy from this dealership?

Remember: customers want facts. They don’t want to be sold to; rather, they want to be educated. They want product experts, not salespeople.

With technology like the MAX Digital Showroom, BDC teams can quickly and easily pull up each vehicle and educate the customer on what they might not already know about the car, such as:

  • The vehicle’s OEM packages and the value of those packages
  • J.D. Power Crash Test Ratings
  • Carfax Vehicle History Report
  • Kelly Blue Book Pricing and market average
  • Warranty information

“MAXDigital has been a game changer for our BDC team which is offsite and manages 30 stores,” said one General Manager. “It gives the phone reps a ton of confidence to have the car product information readily available to them.”

If the customer wants to think about it or talk it over with family and friends, MAX Digital Showroom allows BDC reps to send the information directly to the customer via e-mail or text, creating transparency, while also capturing their contact information.

A technology-enabled, repeatable process allows BDC teams to answer the customer’s questions intelligently, and overall build that excitement to get them in the door. It creates BDC teams who are instant experts on every car on your lot, and customers who see the value of their next vehicle.

5 Ways Dealerships Can Reach the Decision Maker: Women

5 Ways Dealerships Can Reach the Decision Maker: Women

By Anne Fleming, President & CEO, Women-Drivers.com

Female buyers made up an estimated $445 billion of new car sales in 2017 alone. With women now buying 4.5 out of every 10 vehicles, the average dealership is selling 819 total new and used vehicles annually to this audience. The data doesn’t lie: women are making extraordinary differences in terms of gross margin dollars and sales achieved at car dealerships.

How can your dealership increase business with female buyers and referrals? One way is by leveraging new ideas in advertising and messaging.

Even in 2018, most dealer’s advertisements’ fail to speak directly to the female audience. There is an overemphasis on both gender neutrality and price point. This is because advertisements are focusing less on what she wants and more on what a dealership thinks she wants. Like price cuts. Does price matter? Yes, but only to the extent that it buys her more of what she wants: a positive pre- and post-sale experience.

One Size No Longer Fits All
Diversification isn’t just good for investment portfolios. It’s good for the car business. Consider this: University of California at Davis researchers found that women influence 85 percent of all car buying purchases. Advertising directly to women makes good financial sense.

Cast a Wider Net
Lawyers. Doctors. Financial Managers. Per the U.S. Dept. of Labor, women fill a wide range of professional roles. In addition, 38 percent—or more than one-third of them—are earning more than their male partners. It follows, then, that their overall purchase experience would reflect upon those achievements. Dealer ad campaigns can be more effective when they account for the diverse professional choices and delivers messages to this audience.

Use Your ‘Aha’ to Connect with Women
What’s your dealer’s DNA message and ‘aha message‘ that women will remember? Is it really through ads and campaigns such as:

  • Get the Best Price Here at Our Dealership
  • We Match Any Competitor’s Price
  • Drive Here for the Best Results

For the most part, these gender-neutral, bland, catch-all statements don’t share what your compelling aha is, nor are they appealing to women.

Connect Dealership’s Message to Your OEMs
From Facebook to Pandora, zero in on your female audience and age group. Dedicate dollars to advance your market space by running monthly campaigns to reach a captive audience with sponsoring ads on mobile apps to women and family-oriented interests.

Be a Destination Dealer: Time to Progress
Understanding that female buyers are looking for a connection will help you and your creative team. Expand your message to be relationship-based with tangible value-adds. Think “What’s in it for her?” It’s not enough to have a female spokesperson or pitch woman.

1. Women use dealer reviews 50% more than men, and reviews influence women three times more than price, according to ReviewTracker. In addition to your current ads and promotions, include statistics about your reputation and reviews and show any Dealer of the Year awards.
2. Connect visually by including images of women and families’ car shopping at your dealership throughout your print and online marketing campaigns and website.
3. Communicate long-term service and maintenance care with a WiFi-enabled waiting lounge equipped with refreshments and desk stations for computer work. Loaner cars are the top concierge item requested by women, so if your dealership provides loaner cars, be sure to include this in your advertising. Other services that often appeal to women buyers include:

  • Free car washes
  • Free oil changes
  • Free state inspections
  • No-hassle return policy
  • Non-commissioned sales advisors

4. Develop relationships with guests and shoppers before they walk through the door through social media and informative articles designed to to engage and build trust.
5. Host educational seminars and advertise them via social media/newsletters.

Applying any one of these strategies can instantly position a savvy dealership as an authority and a trusted advisor. Dealerships that don’t begin targeting advertisements to the female decision maker are losing out on her lifetime value, which is estimated at $517,000. That’s a big miss!

 

Anne Fleming is the President of Women-Drivers.com, the leading review company amplifying women’s cutting edge experiences at Certified Trusted Dealers. The company helps dealers by providing solutions that foster trust, engagement and sales. For more information visit www.women-drivers.com or Twitter @Womendrivers.

Congratulations Ted Stevens Group, our March Dealerships of the Month!

Congratulations Ted Stevens Group, our March Dealerships of the Month!

Every month, MAXDigital recognizes and celebrates a dealership that demonstrates exceptional performance through our “Dealership-of-the-Month” program. Through the team’s hard work and effort, MAXDigital is honoring Ted Stevens Group with our March Dealership-of-the-Month! MAXDigital is celebrating Ted Stevens Group for always being willing to test new product innovations and for remaining true to their family-owned values. Ted Stevens Group also uses the MAXDigital Platform on almost every transaction to build trust and confidence with their customers. We are excited about Ted Stevens Group’s amazing growth, dedication to their customer’s needs, and reduction in vehicle discounts.

Ted Stevens Group is a highly rated, family run dealership group with 5 locations within the central California area. The group has opened multiple franchises over the years to better serve their customers and give their customers the inventory they desire. Ted Stevens Group is also very active within their community, working with and supporting many local organizations like the First Tee Program, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and Hinds Hospice just to name a few. Congratulations to Ted Stevens Group from the entire MAXDigital Team!

Why Automotive Merchandising is More Important Than Ever

Why Automotive Merchandising is More Important Than Ever

The information era has transformed the way people buy products, and the auto industry isn’t immune to this revolution. Modern consumers have instant access to the prices and inventory of every nearby dealership. In this highly competitive market, improving your automotive merchandising strategy is the key to standing out and staying relevant.

Why Automotive Merchandising is More Important Than Ever

The Growth of “Showrooming”

“Showrooming” is a term used to describe when customers shop prices on their smart devices while in your showroom. They’ll test drive a vehicle at your dealership just to buy it cheaper from another dealer.

Trying to undercut every competitor is a losing strategy because there will always be someone who can lower their prices to beat yours. Dropping your prices too much will also destroy your profit margins.

When they showroom, shoppers aren’t really looking for the lowest prices — they’re looking for the best value. You can win these customers by using your merchandising strategy to highlight the value in your vehicles.

Your online ads, VDPs, and on-floor sales strategy should be built around price justification. Highlight features, packages, and other aspects of the car that show that it deliver the greatest value for the price, even if other similar models are priced lower.

Changing Shopping Trends

The days of consumers going to their nearest dealership to find their next vehicle is long gone. Now most consumers do extensive online research to find the best dealership, and they’re willing to travel some distance for a great deal. Often, they’ve already decided which vehicle they’re going to buy before they step foot on your lot.

With older customers slowly aging out of the market and more people who grew up with information technology starting to buy their first cars, this trend will only increase.

Effective digital automotive merchandising is necessary if you want your dealership to stand out of the crowd.

But what should auto merchandising look like in the modern era? With most customers making their decisions online, you want to make sure your online merchandising gives them the information they’re looking for. This info should include:

  • Vehicle history
  • OEM Information
  • Reviews
  • Awards

How Automotive Marketing Tools Can Help You Improve Your Merchandising Strategy

Developing a marketing strategy that will help your dealership stand out isn’t easy. Ideally, any plan will have ways to reach customers at each stage of the car buying process. This includes taking actions like:

  • Getting detailed ads to the right website
  • Including important vehicle information in your online content
  • Having attractively designed content
  • Preparing your sales team for market changes

You can take a lot of the work and tedium out of the process by using MAXDigital’s suite of automotive marketing tools. We offer tools that help you optimize your online content, create relevant ads, and arm your sales staff with the vehicle information they need to make sales.

To see how our automotive marketing tools can help your dealership, sign up for a live demo of MAXDigital’s software platform.