Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Update for CSA 7 Online

Hi, everyone!

I'm very pleased to announce that the new update for CSA 7 is up and running.  It includes a number of widgets such as a "To-Do List", a better appointment calendar, a car-anniversary widget, leases expiring in 7 days or less, birthdays today, etc.

If you are using anything but version 2.0.0 (on your main screen) with a build date of 4/26/09 then download it here.

Note that if you are using an earlier version of CSA (like CSA 2008, 2007, 4.0, etc.) then you will need to download and install the full program, not the patch, to use it.  Visit my website to do-so.

If you have any problems whatsoever, please let me know.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Car Sales Assistant on Twitter

You can now watch what I am working-on with the help of Twitter. See what I am adding to CSA as well as what bugs I am squashing.  Here is a link...


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

CSA7 Widgets Almost Done!

A lot of people are wondering what I have been working on in regards to CSA7--here is a screen shot of some of the widgets.  You can actually choose up to 6 widgets that show up on your main screen of CSA.

In the example above, there is (there are??? Never was too good at grammer!)...
  • A "To-Do" List: never forget to do anything again--whether it is to send out follow-up, meet a buddy for lunch, hit the bar, etc.  When you create an item, you rank it in importance from 1 through 5 (where 5 is the most important) and they show up in order of importance. Check the checkbox when the item is done and it will get deleted.
  • Random Sold Customer: I have a bad memory.  Sometimes I sell a car and don't remember the person's name a week later.  Sometimes I forget about customers.  Sometimes I will go through my records and say, "Wow--I haven't heard from that dude in a while.  Maybe I should call him.  Sometimes that helps me sell a car.  This widget picks a random sold customer and shows their picture (if you have one.)  Click the picture for a close-up or view their entire record.
  • Today's Birthdays: Bored?  Call everyone who has a birthday today and wish them a happy birthday!  I promise you will be about the only one who does that (at least as car salespeople go) and they will be very thankful (unless they are my mom who doesn't like to be reminded!)
  • Today's Leads: Everyone you have logged today.  Could be an internet lead, a phone up, an unsold prospect or a sold customer. If your manager comes by and says, "What have you done today?" then point to your Leads.  Hopefully, there will be one or more sold people so he can say, "Good job!"  Oops--I forgot we are in the car business.  It is against the rules to say that!!!
  • Money Made: How much have you made today?  What about this month?  What about this year?  How about your career (or at least since you started using CSA7?)  Now, if you choose, it will always be in front of you.  Nothing motivates you more than a big "goose egg" (a ZERO for all of you new to the car business).
  • A True Blue Appointment Book: I'll admit--my old one sucked.  Now you can see all of your appointments broken down by the time.  TIP: schedule appointments at the quarter-hour like 5:15 and they will show up more often than not.  Double click the text to pull up the customer who the appointment is for.
Not Shown: 
  • Want List: Everyone who is on your want list--you know--someone looking for a specific vehicle.  Got the new Camaros in yet?  (me neither!  Have 2 sold though)  When you get them, call the million and a half of the people who want a call when you get them!
  • 3 Month Averages: Your closing ratios and units sold, on average, calculated from the last 3 months.  3 months is the magical time span that shows how well you are accomplishing your career of a car salesperson.
Coming Soon:
  • Car Anniversary: Vehicles that you sold 1 year ago today
  • ??? (You tell me and if I use it, you get a free copy of CSA7 for yourself or a friend!!!)
By the way--I added the R buttons on the quick links and monthly progress.  It is a refresh button to immediately refresh the data.  It actually refreshes on its own every minute, or so, but heck--I'm also impatient!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Any Ideas for Widgets?

Right now I am adding some widgets to Car Sales Assistant 7 such as a "To-Do List", birthdays today, appointment book, etc.

Does anyone have any ideas on what they would like to see? If you come up with a good widget and if I use it (as long as I didn't come up with the idea first--I'll be honest!) then I will give you a free copy of CSA. If you have already purchased, give (sell???) it to a friend.

Thanks for your help in advance,

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Huge CSA7 Update Coming!

I have been working hard at adding some cool features to CSA7, the newest version of Car Sales Assistant.

By the way--there have been a lot of people calling CSA7 "CSA 2007."  It is not 2007... here are all of the versions I have done.

Car Salesperson's Assistant (sometimes called CSA or CSA1)
CSA 2.0
CSA 3.0
CSA 4.0
CSA 2007
CSA 2008
CSA 7 (the 7th Version of CSA)

The reason I have decided to call it CSA 7 instead of CSA 2009 is because I am going to keep adding stuff to it--maybe into 2010 and I don't want people to think it is outdated.

OK--Back to the major update coming--I am very excited about it.

Here are some of the new features.

I have added widgets.  What are widgets (at least in this program?)  They are little windows that have some useful info in them.  You, as the user, can choose what widgets to show including these ones (I will add more later)
  • Today's Birthdays: All of your customers and prospects who have a birthday today.
  • Today's Leads: All people (phone ups, internet leads, prospects and sold customers) that you have logged today.
  • Appointments: Your appointment book--it now breaks it down by the time so you can get a good graphical look at your appointments.  Click on appointment and it will show that customer for a closer look.
  • To-Do List: I had this in older versions and really missed it.  It will be back!  You can now rate the item on the to-do list by importance and if you don't get all of the stuff done, you can reschedule it automatically.
  • Random Customer Picture: I have recently added a digital picture frame to my desk and when it is slow (a lot lately unfortunately) I look at the frame and try to guess the customers name.  My memory is bad and this helps.  This feature will show a random picture of a customer and allow you to double click the picture to view the customers information form.
  • 3 Month Average: Your selling averages, money averages and closing ratios for the last 3 months.  Great for setting goals and watching progress.
  • Want List: I know that you can click the number next to "Want List" to view these but this will keep prospects who are looking for something particular right in front of you--great for all of you used-car salespeople and people like me who have a list of people who want to see the new Camaro.
  • Money Made: How much money have you made today?  What about this year?  What about your entire career (or at least since you started using this program?)  It is now right in front of you.  What about month-to-date, you say?  That's under the progress thingy on the left side of the screen, remember?
Once again, you can choose which widgets (if any) show up and where they are--you can have a total of 6 on the screen and change them at any time.  It will also update every five minutes to help make your life easier.

I will send out a mass email when this update is done as well as put that info on this blog.


Friday, April 10, 2009

How to Sell Cars to Service Customers

This is probably the biggest gold-mine in the dealership for car salespeople and one that is almost 100% of the time neglected--the service customer.

Did you know that people come to your service department who bought at another dealership?

Did you know that people come to your service department who bought off of a salesperson who is no longer at your dealership?

If you answered no to either of the above questions then wow!

OK--how would you like to sit around in the service department all day and talk to people and try to gain prospects for future sales?

Didn't think so--that would take too much time.

Here is a technique to have the prospects come to you.  I went to the office supply store and bought a small box--about 1 foot square.  I then went to the dollar store and bought some shiny paper to put around it so it would stand out.  I then put a slit in the top so cards could fit into it.  I put a sign on the side of it that said, "Enter to  Win Gas or Food Gift Cards" on the side.  I then printed up some post cards that had this on it.


Name: _________________
Address: _________________
Phone: __________________
Email: __________________
What Car are you Driving? __________________
Where did you buy it? __________________
How do you own it?  ()Lease     ()Finance        ()Own Outright
If a Lease, when is the lease up or expires? ________________
Who in your family is next in line for a car? _________________
What would they like next? ______________
When would they be in the market? ________________
May I contact you when we have great sales or promotions? ()Yes  ()No

Of course, the post card is much better formatted than the example above.  You know what else?  I had 30 people fill it out in 2 days.  Of course some have salespeople at my dealership (I am not a skater so I give the cards to the appropriate salesperson but hey--you do what you want!) but there are some great leads.  You know what else?  Someone will win the prize--especially if they are in the market for a car right now if you get my drift!

Try this out--it is a non-confrontational way to gain new prospects--you can even call each one of them and do a survey asking how their service experience went and ask them directly for prospects (Who in your family will be next in line for a car?)

Thanks and have a nice Easter!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Selling Cars Can be Thrilling!

Sometimes I hate my job. We all know the times--when it is slow and managers have nothing better to do than nit-pick, when it snows for all of you people in the snow belt (you know what I mean--brush the cars off, move them, plow and repeat the process the next day when it snows again) and when you are not selling any cars (in a rut.)

But there is a complete 180 when it comes to the times when you are a dead-on closing machine and people are buying left and right.

I had an experience today that absolutely thrilled me. I met a couple looking at the all new Chevy Traverse. I greeted them and saw that they guy was wearing a Michigan State sweatshirt--my sister went there and they are in the final-four and quite frankly I'm not a college basketball fan but it gave me something to talk about. We hit it off great and I did a quick demo and we drove the vehicle and I actually feel that I made some friends.

We came back to my desk and told them what their payment was at zero percent for 60 months and guess what--it was $120 higher than where they wanted to be!

A little back-story--they had gotten a hold of all of the low-ball ads in the paper (you must have a lease, join up and go to Iraq, be a member of a credit union in Zimbabwe and have been born in Rhode Island to qualify for all the rebates--I'm sure you know the type.) So, needless to say, they had a $350 payment in their head for a $30,000 vehicle.

Here is what I overcame to sell them a car.

  • "I want to think about it."
  • We are on a fixed income and can't afford over $350.
  • We have to rent our house first because we have two house payments.
  • Lets go home and study it.
  • A Buick salesperson just called me and told me that they got a huge shipment of Enclaves in and said they can get us to our payment.
  • We should buy from our hometown dealership (200 miles away) so we can service it there.
  • We need to shop your competitor to make sure we are getting the best price.
  • Let us have your card and we'll get back to you.
  • "Don't you have the ability to drop the price?" (They got an employee discount so NOPE I don't")
I over came all of these objections and they left in a new Traverse. When they left, the wife came up to me and thanked me for coming outside to greet them (most people wait until they come in at our place) and told me that if I wouldn't have greeted them, they would not have bought because they were just looking.

What a thrill! I took a couple of was there to honestly look and just gather information and they left in a vehicle--I made a full commission and they were very happy to pay $120 more than their newspaper-ad-misguided goal because I actually made some friends and built value in the vehicle. I cannot wait until tomorrow to try to do it again!

Have any good success stories? Please respond and share with the readers of this blog!