Guest Post: The Secret Behind a 1920’s Factory And How To Improve Your Dealership

1920s factory


I  apologize for sleeping on posting this awesome guest post by my man Mike Haeg.  He has taught me a tonne of great things when it comes to the importance of the phone in the dealership AND with my own sales team.- RT



Imagine a dingy factory in the outskirts of Chicago in 1922.

An ambitious manager has an idea for improving productivity: brighter lights! He thinks that a well-lit workspace will lead to fewer mistakes and better morale. The manager wants real data to prove the success of his new idea, so he installs a guy with a clipboard to monitor the workers on the day he cranks up the lights.

Productivity shot way up, and our manager is a hero. Better lighting produced better workers.

Or did it?

A skeptical professor asked if he could try something different. He came in and turned the lights down to the lowest setting. Now the factory was even darker than it had ever been. But the professor also made it a point to include the clipboard guy to observe the resulting behavior.

Guess what happened. Yep, productivity went up again. It turns out that the real hero was the person who was monitoring the results. When the workers knew they were being measured, they were better workers. It had nothing to do with the lighting.

This experiment took place in Hawthorne Works, a Western Electricity factory. The revelation became known as the Hawthorne Effect, which states that subjects improve or modify an aspect of behavior that is being experimentally measured in response to the awareness that the behavior is being studied.

My ToDo Lists Don’t Stand A Chance With Wunderlist

to do blog post


To say that I change productivity apps as often as I change my underwear wouldn’t be too far from the truth.

When I made the switch from a Blackberry to an IPhone in 2009, I realized that you can actually use your phone for much more than email and text.

Immediately I started spending countless hours in the App Store scouring for the next big thing that would eliminate a desk full of stickies.

After many attempts at simplifying my life and keeping my tasks under control I quickly reverted back to my old Blackberry trick.

Come on you’ve all done it….

Yes, that’s right.  You guessed it.

Email your todo list to yourself every night for the next day!!! 

From there it gets even better.  Print your To-Do list off and start scratching away.  Not only is this 3 step process time consuming, you just don’t look like you have things under control (in life).

I’ve been listening to a Podcast called Entrepreneur on Fire lately.  The show host asks each guest at the end of the episode what their secret weapon is, like an Evernote.

After listening to a few of these, I started to notice a common trend amongst these super smart and insanely productive people.

They are all using Wunderlist.

Screw it, I’m jumping on that bandwagon too!

What is Wunderlist?


Wunderlist syncs your todo lists among multiple platforms.  Basically it’s your “Git R Dun” tool (I promise I’ll never say that again).

Allows you to  update and edit lists on your Desktop, Smartphone, and Tablet.

It’s so clean and simple that you almost don’t know what you are supposed to do when you first start using it.

This is right off the website.

wunderlist overview


How I use Wunderlist


Unless a task is something that is important and has to get done, it won’t show up in my Wunderlist.  I’m still using Outlook to manage my calendar.

I don’t use if for every email and phone message I need to respond to, I’d like to think that my memory is still semi functional.

Personal Branding Interview W/ Robert Wiesman “The Showroom Executive”

robert wiesman dealer geek


It shouldn’t come as any surprise that I am “all in” when it comes to building a Personal Brand as a sales professional.

Lately it seems there is finally a branding movement in the Automotive Retail world among retails sales guys and gals.

The days of pressing your nose up against the showroom window and waiting for a “lay down” to pay your rent are over.

If you are a 100% commission salesperson you are pretty much self-employed. Why wouldn’t you invest in, umm, I don’t know, how about YOU!

A new generation of sales pros are entering the retail automotive space and they’re “Drinking The Veterans Milkshake” (don’t know what that means? Watch THIS VIDEO).

Creating blogs, shooting videos, being active on Social Media, and turning your phone into a weapon is what separates the new kids on the block from the lot lizards of the past. We know that the Internet is the most important source for car buyers.

The question is “Are you there to answer their questions?”.

This Personal Branding movement is not smoke and mirrors I promise.

Heck this little blog your are reading right now has over 2500 Unique Monthly viewers and has allowed me to create relationships with Automotive Professionals all over the world.

But…. it’s hard frigging work.

Okay… back to the post.

One of my favorite things to do when talking through city streets of Toronto, is to listen to Podcasts.  I have around 20 that I subscribe to and think I have band with for a few more.

Automotive Success puts out a pretty good weekly 10 minute segment, that interviews sales pros and vendors from around America.

I had heard a few episodes with Robert Wiesman, and he really caught my attention.

Maybe it’s his enthusiasm, or his “cool guy” voice that won me over. Either way, this cat stood out from the hundreds of interviews I’ve sat through over the past couple of years.

Check out an episode with Robert HERE

Canadian Digital Dealer Conference 4 – Interview w/ Brent Wees

Brent Wees to MC the CDDC4

Brent Wees to Host CDDC4

The T.A.D.A. is back this fall with the popular Canadian Digital Dealer Roadshow to take place in September.  CDDC4 will kick off in Ottawa on the 17th and Toronto gets the closing act the next day (September 18th).

I have personally attended two Canadian Digital Dealers and both have been well worth the price of attendance.

Amir Amirrezvani is the speaker I am really looking forward to seeing.  “How to turn your website into a Lead Monster”  is still one of the most popular blog posts here on The Dealer Geek (actual title was Optimize Your Online Presence).  His segment on Website Conversion and Optimization should keep the notepads busy.

My good friend Brent Wees, Client Service Director at Glovebox is going to be hosting the event.  Brent is no stranger to the conference circut in the U.S.A. and Canada and knows how to work the crowd.  Looking forward someone worthwhile to follow on Twitter?  You can’t go wrong with this guy – Brent Wees Twitter Profile.

I asked Brent if he would sit down for a few questions right here on The Dealer Geek at which he said “ya buddy”.

Interview: “What Can We Expect At The Canadian Digital Dealer Conference #4?”


First off Brent, how did you get involved with the Canadian Digital Dealer Events?

We have always a great relationship with the TADA and in 2011 we were approached by Todd Bourgon to help their team visualize the first Canadian Digital Dealer Conference. Todd knew that my partner Barry Hillier and I were attending a lot of conferences south of the border and had also run our share of dealer events for the Ontario Toyota Dealers Association.

Todd also knew that we were working closely with Mississauga Toyota to develop a full digital marketing strategy and asked me to present that case study at the first conference. It was an absolute thrill to be presenting to over 400 dealers at the Canadian International Autoshow. What a venue for the first show!

Real Proof That The Internet Is The Most Important Source For Car Buyers

Car buyers are spending less time online shopping for a car than they did 2 years ago according to a study conducted by and Polk.

The original study was conducted in 2011 and stated that new car shoppers were spending 19 hours shopping for a car vs 13.75 hours this year.

So what does this mean?

Is the Internet not all it’s cracked up to be?  The answer is quite the opposite.


I’m going to highlight some of my findings from the study that confirm a lot of the things I’ve been talking about to dealers across Canada (this study is based on U.S. data but I can’t imagine Canadians shop any different).

Quotes and Charts in this post have been pulled directly from the 2013 Automotive Buyer Influence Study.

Less is More

new buyers vs used buyers shopping time_study
 “According to the 2013 Study, New Buyers spend 10 out of 13.75 hours (73%) shopping online, and Used Car Buyers spend 11.75 hours online out of 15.25 hours (77%). (decrease from 2011)

So why are we spending less time online during the car shopping process?

My guess is that websites have become more efficient over the last 2 years, which has made it easier for car buyers to find the information they are looking for.

Consumers are spending 10-12 hours online scouring through:

  • 3rd Party Sites such as Kijiji and Trader
  • Review sites like DealerRater and Yelp
  • OEM Sites (Ford, GM, Honda)
  • Individual Dealership Websites

Don’t forget Mobile.  All of those Ipads, Iphones, and Androids that we are so addicted to have made it extremely easy to get online and consume all of the above content.  This would play apart in the decrease on time spent online.

In summary….

The Internet is huge and it’s basically the sole resource for buying a new or used car in 2013. 

Internet is THEE Place to Be (just in case you were still skeptical)

internet most used_study“In this 2013 update, internet usage increased significantly, with three-quarters of buyers indicating they used the Internet in their car-shopping process – up from 71% in 2011.”

Okay this is getting serious now! It’s official the Internet is not a fad.

It amazes me that not all car dealers are aligning their online advertising spend according to what is actually happening out there in the real world.

most influencial source leading to dealer _study

With stats and data like this, how can dealers spend MORE on traditional media (print, radio, T.V.) than the Internet?

#DealerTalk Webinar: Content and Conversion Landing Pages

DealerTalk Webinar SeriesLanding Pages?



You are doing all of this right?

I know, I know,  it sounds super complicated and only possible for all those Marketing Gurus right?.


After watching this Webinar with Nicholas and Kevin (Convertus) I’m confident that dealers can take some of these best practices and implement them at the dealership immediately.

Please find some of the tools Kevin and Nicholas use daily below.


Watch The Recorded Video


Some Resources Mentioned:

1) Unbounce – Build Landing Pages

2) SeoMOZ – Analytics super site

3) Seachengineland – Ummmmm.  Search Engine stuff