Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Q: Is it changing? Has it Changed? A: It will continue to change!!!

The automotive sales environment is not just changing, it has changed and will continue to change.  Dealers, website providers, vendors and consultants who help dealers drive sales through traditional sales techniques are quickly realizing that consumers have unprecedented access to information. All sales organizations have to recognize that they must evaluate their ability to keep pace with consumer shifts.  The most recent shift that occurred is fueled by data transparency. Would you agree that If consumers have evolved there is really no sense in hiding or resisting to change yourself?

At cDemo, we see the changes in the online sales environment as an opportunity to shore up a fundamental core competency that will feed this new thirst for information consumers have developed.  Merchandising your products properly by producing and publishing thorough, accurate, transparent and engaging asset descriptions is the core competency that our great industry has overlooked in favor of traditional sales techniques.  In this new age of online advertising, transactional decisions are nearly complete before the customer even decides to make contact with your store.  In order to build trust and confidence in you as their choice of retailer, the information that you display in this space is crucial.  The quality of information will actually filter you out if done poorly or funnel customers in if done successfully.  My advice to accomplish the latter is to commit to building a process that allows for enough time and attention to be spent on properly merchandising your inventory.  6-8 minutes per vehicle is not enough of an investment to break down the online sales barriers of the "NEW" consumer. 

 "It's time to change our old habits and catch up to the online customer's expectations of transparent information." says Michael Christensen of Auto Canada, a publicly trade dealership group in Canada. 
A core philosophy of cDemo is to enable users of  Mobile Inspector to engage in a proven process to collect, manage and distribute information about assets that is easy to do.  Consistency of the collection process within the mobile app results in  high quality description pages that build confidence and trust in consumers that have been searching for products online. The goal of the entire platform is to create a community that is built on transparency.

At cDemo, we believe that communicating with online buyers with transparent information, quality photos and a "REAL" video walk around are the core components of a great online purchase experience for both the consumer and the dealer.  Informed consumers make decisions sooner than ever in the purchase process and are more likely to feel connected to a well merchandised product.  By engaging in a defined merchandising strategy upfront, dealers are able to publish a completely accurate reflection to the retail consumer of not only their product, but themselves as well. Having a goal to establish credibility at the front of the buying cycle will allow consumers to then gain trust in the dealer from the start.  Credibility and trust are choices that both parties feel are the ingredients to great deal.  Although the merchandising process may seem difficult and time consuming, the net effect is that it makes an online transaction very smooth and comfortable because of the transparency and trust that is built into the merchandising process.
Retailers are constantly battling price and marketing strategies by more tech savvy individuals and companies that understand the online search engine space in more detail. cDemo and its products allow for a platform that fosters accuracy and speed to market for dealers.  Gone are the days when dealers can be publishing vague details and enticing advertisements that leave room for misinterpretations and fodder for impulse contact as result of the "can't miss this deal" stimulus that traditional advertising was founded on.  The new consumer is swayed less and less by endorsements and complicated OAC or qualify to participate type offers. Securing online customers starts with full disclosure upfront, more data, more photos, better videos detailing the item and accurate contact information that creates action. 
A major concern has grown amongst the dealer community as of late to who controls the data and information surrounding vehicle sales and customer retention.  cDemo is very sensitive to this concern and believes that retailers should be in complete control of their destiny in this area of the business.  Sales information and customer information for long term retention purposes are the core components to healthy long term business plans.  The information that drives these two pieces of a profitable dealership should be guarded and thoroughly understood as to where this information is being published to and shared with.  The cDemo platform is setup to require the very basic information need to assist in the management of online inventory syndication and distribution.  It does not require or ask for personal information from customers or post-sales data.  Users can configure their DMS to streamline available units for sale with key information like the VIN, asking price, sales status, location, year, make, model, color and trim level, all information that is controlled based on the sensitivity of the user. The purpose of the DMS integration with the cDemo platform is save time when collecting data by having prepopulated fields and to make managing the data collect to flow in congruence to your internal systems.  
In spite of this consumer shift, we all can agree that sales transactions are still occurring. The automobile is just like every other industry out there and it is time to pay attention to the new touchpoints that the internet has created. I will sympathize to a certain degree with those individuals that are highly-trained professionals in the art of persuasion and sale techniques that feel threatened in this high touch industry.  Consumers are empowered by information; their thirst for information is the undamental trigger of this consumer shift. Gone are the days of relying on a salesperson to inform and persuade consumers.  It is increasingly more important for sales professionals to turn their attention to detail and delivery of great information at every touchpoint, followed up with great service.  High pressure tactics and misleading-leading strategies are obsolete in the new environment.  Even the new generation of buyers factor in more heavily to your success as they now feel entitled to use the power and comfort of clicking away, rather than walking or driving away from your store.  I say, Embrace this change, fuel the customer's thirst for transparency and information at every touchpoint and the end result will be more business because of it.  Consumer empowerment is here to stay and it starts earlier and ends later than most retailers care to accept.  The choice has to be made to execute better than every before, hopefully you are first. This consumer empowerment does not stop at the end of the sale.  

"Sometimes the easy and comfortable route ends up difficult and unsurvivable in the new way of selling...selling online that is." says Allen Chell, President and founder of cDemo 
and MOBILE INSPECTOR app availble on iTunes App Store
Is a merchandising strategy good for all dealers?  There will always be dealers that resist or avoid change. To those dealers that choose to excel at this core competency we applaud you for recognizing that capturing and publishing transparent, thorough and accurate details for all description pages is the most important step in your digital marketing strategy.  

written by Jay Radke – cDemo Director of Business Development can be reached by email jay@cdemo.com, on Twitter as @JayRadke or by phone at (780)977-5341

Monday, 28 November 2011

The car merchandising app strikes again

      Process is the key to online merchandising...Period.  The internet and all of its changes over the last five to ten years has and will continue to transform the way in which consumers and retailers communicate online with potential buyers.  This exciting transformation has resulted in a heightened awareness of fundamental strategies that will allow business transactions to occur based on the way in which your business merchandises the items you are advertising online.

Are the days of multiple competing listings sites that rely on volume of ads and web-traffic coming to an end?  Is the relevancy meter on?  What are the search engines really looking for ?

All great questions and I am sure that there are thousands of experts that have great answers to help you generate more leads and more sales with best SEO and SERP techniques.  My own opinion suggests that  no expert or consultant can really help generate more SALES, until you shore up the way in which you properly merchandise your inventory.  The car dealers are not alone...Real Estate agents, Powersports dealers, Motorcycle dealerships, RV Lots, Trailer Sales, Heavy Equipment companies and even department stores are overlooking the most fundamental core competency in the new online environment.

"Merchandising is the key.. get this right and your online advertising improves." says Dennis Galbraith, founder of www.revenueguru.com .

Consumers now have side-effects from search engines.
The more they use the likes of www.google.com or www.bing.com, the more the rely on the results. The more they rely on the results, the longer the search for answers.  The right answers get the clicks. Get the clicks..(guess what happens next) Your store gets the sale opportunity

Some thought starters:
- Research starts online 94% of the time for all purchase decisions. Why not hit the consumer during this phase of the sales funnel?

- Bounce rates from your site should be a red-flag that your content is not engaging. The higher the number the more important it is to fix this problem.  Merchandising is the key!

- Mobile phones and more so smartphones are not toys...they are tools in today's environment.  Investing in best of class smartphones instead of digital cameras, video cameras and gadgets can be offset by embracing the power of iPhones and Android Phones. Come on! If you think turning off or limiting the internet access really stops Smartphones in your store, here is a wake up call!

cDemo and the cornerstore app MOBILE Inspector is in the mix again for innovation.  Having the power in your handheld device to properly merchandise your automobile inventory is empowering. This year's 2011 Mashable Awards, Driving Sales Executive Summit, Automotive Website Awards.org and other conference/awards organizations have MOBILE INSPECTOR on their radar.


Driving Sales Executive Summit - Innovation Cup

Automotive Website Awards

written by Jay Radke – cDemo Director of Business Development can be reached by email jay@cdemo.com, on Twitter as @JayRadke or by phone at (780)977-5341
visit Jay's company website at www.cdemo.com
© Jay Radke 2011

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Understanding the Impact of Inventory Turn

"Speed to market results is the key to rapid inventory turns. “If your car isn’t online, it’s not for sale.” –  Bill Pearson, Owner of Finish Line Ford and prominently featured in Automotive News and Dale Pollak’s book, Velocity 2.0

It is quite refreshing to hear great speakers and industry experts like Dennis Galbraith, author of Sales Integration, talk about the evolution of inventory turn in the automotive industry.  Recently at the Seattle stop on the PCG Pitstop circuit, Dennis and I had the chance to discuss this topic in depth and it became very apparent that I needed to share some of my industry expertise when it comes to understanding the impact of Inventory turn.  Now I am sure, that most franchised dealerships and independent dealers are aware of the importance but have yet to really adopt a focus when it comes to the impact of turning vehicle inventory as fast and as many times as possible in a fiscal year.

Disclaimer - In my previous career I managed the wholesale remarketing department and new car acquisition team for a rental car fleet for 12 years. The fleet averaged 8500 units at all times, mainly comprised of current model year cars, 12 month old cars and used vehicles purchased through auctions. Within my duties, there was a steep responsibility of monitoring past values and forecasting future values of every vehicle running in the fleet, placed on my shoulders.  

So it comes to say that the most influential factor in every decision we made was based on - THE MATH!!   A direct responsibility of my acquisition team was to decided the level of equipment packages, color, delivery dates and optimal residual cycles for each and every car. On the back end, when it came time to sell off the fleet, each and every buy/sell decision was scrutinized with the MATH. A simple rule to follow was - Sell them before they drop!!!!

To explain this statement I will show the numbers of real Manheim Market Report data on 2011 Ford Fusion prices in Kansas City. If you were one of the fortunate dealers to have a strong focus on "Same day Online Merchandising", you would have avoided a seasonal market fluctuation that really hurts the bottom line. 

In the graphic below, you will see a drop in value of $1500 from August 23rd to Sept 14th (21 days).  Some industry statistics point out an average delay of nearly 12 days by dealers in getting the car to their website after the car has been purchased.  Quick math shows (if you use the Ford Fusion data below) most cars have dropped $856 during the same 12 day period. Obviously the August to September market drops are a little more dramatic than other times of the year, but none the less they are real and impactful. 

A more stable market in July (below) shows the same 2011 Ford Fusion values dropping $268 during the 12 day period of delay or $425 over 21 days.  Either way you look at it, the values are dropping every day, making "SAME DAY ONLINE MERCHANDISING" an absolutley must do. 


cDemo Mobile Solutions announced August 22nd, 2011 that their Mobile Inspector (Mi) App is available for an update from the Apple App store. It now includes video functionality. The vehicle data collector now can do everything related to the vehicles condition from one device. No more tedious data entry or re-keying, no more trying to read horrible hand writing and no more trying to remember the vehicles options. In addition to being able to capture standard data and photo points, you now have the option to capture short video clips and narration during the data collection process. Once the data collection process has been completed you can stitch the video clips into a virtual walk around which can then be uploaded directly from your iPhone to your YouTube account, your website and any other listing site you chose to display your inventory.  

With this type of tool in your digital merchandising strategy there are no excuses for a delay to the online market.  Avoid the painful losses in value by delaying the data capture process and enjoy a whole new way of merchandising your inventory. www.cdemo.com 

"When you’re selling cars this fast, you don’t have time for dirty data or multiple devices. The best and easiest vehicle demonstration process is cDemo, bar none."
       – Dennis Galbraith,
      author of Sales Integration

written by Jay Radke – cDemo Director of Business Development can be reached by email jay@cdemo.com, on Twitter as @JayRadke or by phone at (780)977-5341

© Jay Radke 2011

Monday, 22 August 2011

Mobile Inspector Video Functionality is Released

Mobile App upgrade from cDemo Mobile Solutions Ltd. - There is no more need for a video camera, digital camera and pen and paper to sell cars

The Mobile Inspector App can now capture the vehicles video points while they are doing the inspection directly off of their iPhone, iPad or iPod

August 22, 2011, @ 07:00 am
CALGARY, AB - cDemo Mobile Solutions announced today that their Mobile Inspector (Mi) App is available for an update from the Apple App store. It now includes video functionality. The vehicle data collector now can do everything related to the vehicles condition from one device. No more tedious data entry or re-keying, no more trying to read horrible hand writing and no more trying to remember the vehicles options. In addition to being able to capture standard data and photo points, you now have the option to capture short video clips and narration during the data collection process. Once the data collection process has been completed you can stitch the video clips into a virtual walk around which can then be uploaded directly from your iPhone to your YouTube account.

“We are very ecstatic about the release of the video functionality.” said Allan Chell, Founder and President of cDemo Mobile Solutions Inc. “The Biggest problem within the car industry in the online marketplace is incomplete, inaccurate vehicle data. Consumers expectations are that the vehicle they find online are described completely and accurately. With our technology, the Mi App forces the data collector to verify the features, options, equipment and condition. All the information that they capture is backed up by photos and they can now include video and narration to generate a virtual walk around.”

The Mobile Inspector App is available for free at the Apple App store and is available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod devices. Mobile Inspector makes online Automobile Re-Marketing and Listing …. Simple and Easy for Everyone!

“Regardless of experience or age, now anyone can quickly and easily follow step-by-step instructions to professionally document, photograph and video their vehicle. Dynamic Virtual Brochures (VB’s) are instantly generated and immediately available for distribution to your Facebook and YouTube accounts. You can also email the Virtual Brochure to a friend, dealer or link the VB’s URL to your online classified ad, turning a basic classified ad into rich content listing.” said Chell

“If you’re thinking of selling or trading-in you’re car, the Mobile Inspector makes this process incredibly easy! The entire cDemo Mobile Solutions team is sure that this upgrade sets the bar for the automotive industry now that it includes video capture. Mi is by far the easiest way to capture data and distribute the data to where you want it to be displayed”.


cDemo Mobile Solutions Inc. is a leader in Mobile App Inspection Technology. The technology platform has been developed for over 10 years which allows it be flexible with every user whether they are corporate or consumers.  The Mobile Inspector App is married to a back end dash board that allows you edit, manage and distribute the data that is collected. You can find more information at our website at www.cDemo.com.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Don’t Fall Behind the Online Shift Because It Is Already Here!

Don’t Fall Behind the Online Shift Because It Is Already Here!

Being an earlier adopter of Self-Inspect Technology, Sherwood Park Toyota sat down with cDemo to share their experience with cDemo’s rich content generating technology.

Coming home from NADA 2011 in San Francisco, CA, I finally had time to regroup and review my notes that began during last years NADA Convention in 2010 and continued on through various sales calls and other cDemo Mobile Inspector related initiatives. This file is full of the best ideas of conventions I attended, sales meetings notes, trials and errors and professional “must do’s”. I then started to think about a long time business partner, friend and industry leader, Art Angielski. 

Art is currently the managing dealer principle of Sherwood Park Toyota, in Alberta, Canada.  His portfolio and resume in the automobile industry is one that most aspire to achieve over a lifetime in the car market. What is most impressive is that Art has found a way to do it all before his 39th Birthday.  He started his automotive career while in college and moved up the corporate ladder with Pat Priestner and the Priestner Automotive group.  He is best known for being a true automotive enthusiast and he can be found taking the initial steps necessary to stay ahead of the competition while accepting the fact that our industry is forever changing. 

Art Angielski’s early adoption of cDemo’s Mobile Inspector Technology has enabled Art to succeed with an effective and consistent online sales strategy. Accepting the fact that the online shift of what consumers are demanding for quality and quantity information while searching online for vehicles has occurred has enabled him to stay ahead. The discipline approach of not fearing change allowed Art to see the value in being an early adopter of a rich content generating technology and it has paid off for his dealership.

Let’s take a look at part of an interview with Art: For this submission for PCG Digital Marketing Strategies,

Jay: “Art, Looking back at your dealership’s online marketing strategy a year ago, how far have you come in your efforts?”

Art: “Well funny you should ask me that. 12 months ago my online inventory was in a state of disillusionment. What I mean here is, we really weren’t even close to being strategic. The inventory we displayed at Sherwood Toyota was outdated, photos were often incorrect and the information was incomplete and scattered.  Don’t get me wrong we had great inventory, we just had no real clear plan or directive on how to be productive on the web.”

Jay: “What was your biggest hurdle to overcome?”

Art: (slight chuckle) “To sum it up the best I would have to say is this. I used to spend $400 every other month on a brand new digital camera. By the end of the month, the kid who took the photos was gone, my camera was gone and my photos were gone too.  And to top it off, my store was still behind in getting the vehicles to the web.”

Jay: “And now where do you think you would say you and your team are today?”

Art: “Now that we use cDemo and the Mobile Inspector App we have complete control of the data and that is key. Spending the time upfront to use the App to collect the information, options, condition and photos on every vehicle is part of our sales strategy. I could not imagine going back to the old way. The information is more powerful when we control it. My employees feel more confident, they are more productive and I am proud to say that our online inventory has turned from a logjam of excuses to a free flowing, live utility that is part of our day.”

Jay: “So what you are saying here is that old way was the challenge?”

Art: “Not quite.  It takes awhile for any dealership to see the shifts coming,  but once they happen you notice the changes immediately.  The tools we used were a digital camera, a pen and check-in sheet.  The challenge was we never seemed to be able to stay on top of our online strategy because the data and photos were very time consuming , then we had to match everything up, upload to our website, list to the 3rd party advertising sites and keep our staff up to date.  Bottom line… Sherwood Park Toyota is a busy place, we have a lot of moving parts, moving people and customers to take care of.  Our online strategy fell behind and it took a few conversations with you to really understand the power of your product.  Looking back at things, my dealership now spends less on using your solution than I do on Coffee for Sherwood Park Toyota. Coffee is complimentary, the transactional experience we now create using cDemo is priceless.”

Jay:  “What do you see as the benefits of our product you value the most, now that you use cDemo and Mobile Inspector?”

Art: “The first one is consistency, every time we use the Mobile Inspector App I know our information and photos are right. The way we communicate with online customers has changed and our team has everything they need to build trust into their online deals. 
The second is speed, Sherwood Park Toyota is no longer behind, we are right on top of our online inventory.  8 days to market is unacceptable in today’s market, cDemo makes it apparent to my staff we take the online space serious, therefore our speed to market is now an important measurement. 
And third and not to say this the most important, but profitability is on the upswing.  Since we started looking at ROIs on every expense, some obvious expenditures were cut from my store after we started using your product.  Used car profits are up  year over year for a number of reasons but the big driving force is we were able to reduce our per car sold expense in a number of areas. You know as well as I do, Profit is sum of income minus expenses. Increase your sales territory, reduce some unnecessary expenses, sell more cars and guess what? Profits go up.“

 Jay:  “Any thoughts on the future of your online initiative?”

Art: “I can’t tell all my secrets. Let me say this, the worldwide-web is not going away, facebook, twitter, Google and all the rest of the driving forces are going to continue to change and gain in strategic strength.  Why resist new products like yours?  If it is simple to use, has a good ROI and helps move Sherwood Park Toyota ahead of my competition, why wouldn’t I use it?  I can say this about the future, Sherwood Park won’t be going back to the old way.  I fixed my problem of looking for missing digital cameras at my store.   cDemo Mobile Inspector is here to stay.”

My conversation with Art reinforced some very important philosophies we live by everyday at cDemo. Hopefully these philosophies get added to your list after attending this year’s Automotive Marketing Boot Camp.
 -Movement in a new direction or adopting a cutting edge technology helps you   uncover new performance levels.
- Implementing change is the only to survive in the new era of web-based business.
-Old beliefs or out-dated habits are your competitor’s best friend. Make the choice to embrace change.
- Enjoy the journey you uncover along the way.

Feel free to contact Art or myself to hear more about the use of cDemo Mobile Inspector.

Art Angielski – GM/Dealer Principle of Sherwood Park Toyota can be reached by email aangielski@sptoyota.com or by phone at (780)410-2455
Jay Radke – cDemo Director of Business Development can be reached by email jay@cdemo.com, on Twitter as @JayRadke or by phone at (780)977-5341


Saturday, 30 July 2011

The 10 Rules of Triathlon Preparation apply to Successful Online Sales

My college roommate just completed his first-ever triathlon last week yesterday in Vancouver at the UBC Sprint Tri event, which is considered to be the kickoff to the triathlon season for British Columbia. Upon completion of the event, Jason felt that he was definitely undertrained and overconfident, because he had absolutely no idea what he was in for! While thrilled to have finished, he shared some tips and advice with me that I might use if I decided to tackle my first triathlon.  Being the automotive industry professional I am, I listened to his tips and began drawing correlations to the car industry and online sales.
Allow me to share some of the similarities and truths between Preparing for a Triathlon and best practices of Successful Online sales.
1.                    (Swiw, Bike, Run) Never register at the last minute for a triathlon you haven't specifically trained for because you think it will be fun.
Translation to Online sales =  (Generate, Manage, Distribute) Embark on your online sales strategy armed with the proper tools, training and knowledge base in your approach rather than with “Just got to be there with everyone else.”

2.                    (Swiw, Bike, Run) Don't let the event be your first open-water swimming experience.  Instead of practicing at the local in a pool, perhaps a better preparation would be to find a shallow lake, full of cold murky water on a windy day.  Jump and have a friend in a canoe ready to save you from hypothermia. See how ya do.
 Translation to Online sales =  (Generate, Manage, Distribute) Dedicating resources i.e. people, funding, iPhone app etc. to your online sales strategy comes with a firm understanding of the forum. 90% of all vehicle purchases begin on a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo.  Do some homework and drill down exercises before you spend the money, hiring people and losing patience without a true foundation. Understand the first step before you overdo it.

3.                    (Swiw, Bike, Run) Once you're finished the swim leg of the race, remember the media and sponsors are there snapping photos and videoing the event. Check to make sure you don't have any leftovers hanging off you like leaches or seaweed on your back as he captures your picture.
Translation to Online sales =  (Generate, Manage, Distribute) Great job, you are off and running and your online sales team is moving the needle in the results department. You made it past the WALK of Sit-Crawl-Stand-Walk-Run! well stop and do an audit of your efforts. Check the quality, consistency and the “Brand-image” of your information you are communicating to the online customer.

4.                    (Swiw, Bike, Run) Don't make changes to your bike at the last minute. Unless it's in need of repair, trust in your gear.
Translation to Online sales =  (Generate, Manage, Distribute) Making changes is an evolution, not windsock – make changes to the initiatives and channels that are NOT working first.  Take the time to step back and evaluate the tools you use, the 3rd Party sites with “Guaranteed Sales Results for $999/ month” and be sure to evaluate the ROI on every vendor. On the other side, look to improve on EVERY initiative, retain quality tools and reward the people/tools that ROI beyond your expectation.  Pillars to your online strategy need to be nourished, cherished and past down within your organization. Gary May of IM@CS

5.                    (Swiw, Bike, Run) The course is like a rear-view car mirror: the reality is larger and harder than it may appear in the course description. Prepare accordingly.
Translation to Online sales =  (Generate, Manage, Distribute) The online transactional space has changed from simply “Be online and they will buy from you” to “Be involved in the Distributive Web and customers will follow you!” Customers have changed, technology has changed and a new way to communicate is in hot demand. Look for guidance from industry experts that offer consulting programs, best practice workshops, conference directly related to your industry and other educational forums.  Check out www.onlinesaleschallenge.com , www.drivingsales.com or www.paschconsulting.com to see great examples of such. Educate yourself first, and then educate your team for best results.

6.                    (Swiw, Bike, Run) If you're in one of the last start waves, train to be in the lead half of your age group. It's a lonely endeavor when almost everyone has finished ahead of you and the volunteers are packing up to go home. 
Translation to Online sales =  (Generate, Manage, Distribute) Employ this mentality in your online sales strategy “We don’t have to be #1, but gosh darn it! We better not be happy with losing the race!” Monitor your online brand; try buying a car online from your dealership (might surprise you) and through a disciplined approach start rising in the ranks of the online space.  Focus on your best competitor and start training for the head to head match you want.  

7.                    (Swiw, Bike, Run) Speaking of volunteers, thank them profusely. They make the race not only possible, but also fun. The guy who prodded me from a walk to a slow run, then ran with me while giving me tips before heading back to encourage the next racer, was a total lifesaver. Ditto for the volunteers with spray hoses.
Translation to Online sales =  (Generate, Manage, Distribute) Engage yourself and your business in blogs, forums and online communities that share ideas and best practices.  Be respectful and thank the people that helped you understand the nuances of Social Media, SEO, SEM, microsites and other important strategies you pick up along the way.  The PCG Team lead by Brian Pasch are great examples of leaders that bring together the industry experts to educate, engage and collaborate with you and your team in Bootcamp/workshops.

8.                   (Swiw, Bike, Run) Set attainable goals. Mine were to finish, to not finish last, and to pass some younger people on the course. Check, check, and check. Yay! Next time I'll raise the bar a bit, but these were good goals for my first tri.
Translation to Online sales =  (Generate, Manage, Distribute) Establish a starting point after you evaluate your current online sale effort.  Having clearly defined steps to your progress is important. At cDemo, we believe the true start point is getting your data, photos, video captured accurately and consistent every time. Our mobile app for the iPhone, iPad, iPod (Android coming soon) allows you to get step Number #1 right. Check out www.cdemo.com, download the free app- Mobile Inspector from your iPhone, this might be the starting point you are looking for. Steps 2,3,4,5,6,7 and so on will become very clear.
9.                        (Swiw, Bike, Run) don’t beat yourself up because you aren't doing as well as expected (a typical problem amongst us perfectionists). As you plug along, remind yourself of the millions of people who are sitting comfortably on the couch with their potato chips thinking that people like you are totally crazy. Oh wait... on second thought, don't do that. You'll wish you were sitting there with them.
Translation to Online sales =  (Generate, Manage, Distribute) Now you are way past the WALK phase and you in the RUN phase of your online sale effort.  Remember your competition is engaged in the “old methods” of selling. Remind yourself that you are ahead of the competition just by making to this point. Stick with it, embrace it and if you can let the short-term pain (trial and errors) turn into ‘Successful Failures”.  Be sure to document progress and understand the initiatives you have invested in.  Find and align with the leaders in other areas of the country the ideas and strategies will keep you on track.  A great example of a conference that does a great job of aligning the industry greats and dealerships staff. http://www.pcgdigitalmarketing.com/pitstop/.  Put it on your calendar.

10.            (Swiw, Bike, Run) In all seriousness do remind yourself that you're accomplishing something that a very small percentage of the population has done, or ever will be able willing to do. It's a really good feeling.
Translation to Online sales =  (Generate, Manage, Distribute) the Internet has changed from email to instant chat to social media in a very short period of time.  The majority of businesses often are too busy or just unaware of the changes that occur in this environment. Therefore it is important to remember that your choice to embrace change and employ strategies that give you a competitive advantage in the online sales environment is great decision.  Enjoy the speed bumps, the failures, the successes and the unexpected homeruns you earned.  If Internet sales were easy, everyone would be successful…so enjoy your efforts.