Episode #118 – Joe Webb on Using Online Marketing To Increase Brick and Mortar Sales

by John McIntyre

Have you ever seen House Of Lies?

It’s a TV show featuring witty marketing consultant Marty Kaan and his razor sharp team that do whatever it takes to close big corporate deals.

Well Joe Webb is one person that could outmatch Marty any day with his marketing insights and skills.

First a marketing manager,

Then a car salesman,

..Joe now runs an automotive consultant agency focusing on online marketing to scale car dealerships.

If there is ANYONE who can blow you away with marketing know-how,

..it’s Joe Webb.

He got to where he is now with hard work.

Today Joe and his team maximise dealers’ online efforts through integrating updated technology and upgraded online and offline communication with customers.

Are you a marketing consultant or have an aspiration to be?

This episode is a MUST LISTEN.

Learn how Joe took his skills and segwayed them into a highly successful consulting company.

And listen for the golden step-by-step consulting insights and personal stories he sprinkles in throughout the entire episode.


In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • the secret behind the EAT formula that Google is always on the hunt for – Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (what every consumer wants regardless of product)
  • a genius technique Joe uses to land big-time auto dealer clients with ease (and the simple email technique that sells a lot of cars!)
  • the extreme importance behind connecting with each individual client (how to leverage email to be extra personal)
  • how to handle customers who don’t exactly know what they want or need (build value in these specific ways and you will earn yourself a lifetime customer)
  • why creating a level of accountability in your communication is a perfect way to maximize conversions from any current leads (before jumping in and changing the sales funnel at all)
  • the primary stats Joe focuses on when vetting potential clients

Email Marketing Podcast Episode 1


  • Dealer Knows – Sign up to his once per month interesting, educational and non-obtrusive newsletter that features videos Joe makes, his writings, and more.
  • Joe’s Funny Videos

Intro and outro backing music: Forever More by CREO


Raw transcript:

Download PDF transcript here.

John McIntyre: It’s John McIntyre here, the auto responder guy. I’m with Joe Webb. Now, Joe is a really interesting guy and someone who I actually just met recently through a mutual friend and what makes Joe interesting is not like the typical guest on this podcast on interviewing. He is actually a business consultant to what you might call real businesses or brick and mortar businesses at they’re not really on the Internet. Specifically is really working with car dealerships. I also consult a little bit outside. He has some dealers in the communications and brand messaging. How they connect anything to do with you know the end of the day like we talked about on here, how to get more clients, get more customers and grow the business. So, I thought I’d get John and find out what happens in the world of marketing and getting leads in converting those leads out there in the brick-and-mortar world, in the real world and so we have a chat about today. Joe! How are you doing man?

Joe Webb: Good! Thanks for having me.

John McIntyre: Good man, good to have you on the show. So, before we get into the beginning to the sort of nitty-gritty that people are you know these businesses during in the opening with, can you give the list a bit more of a background on who you are and what you’re up to?

Joe Webb: Sure absolutely, I originally was a marketing manager in the Chicago land area in the states and somehow parlayed that into working out how to automobile dealership and was pretty quickly from a sales, it pretty quickly from a sales perspective that they tagged me to be the internet guide to assist all online shoppers with their increase and I began selling more and more and more and more and more cars. I left one dealership and to go over another and grew them from about seven years from about 120 sales a month to about 450 sales a month and all of that my focus was on the marketing, online marketing and really the communication from the time a consumer calls in, emails in, chats in and how to best convert those clients into institutional investors and buyers. So, over the years I’ve sort of developed a reputation both with the manufacturers and in the automotive world I was writing for several publications, writing on blogs for different resource sites and speaking at the majority of the major conferences and automotive and sent weighed my success and you know mediocre notoriety into a consulting company about seven years ago. So, what we do is we assist primarily auto dealers with maximizing their online investments, utilizing the right technology, how to best communicate with customers, providing them templates, processes, job descriptions, pay plans scenarios’, a structure to how to best orchestrate their dealerships and their marketing inside in more progressive internet research landscape.

John McIntyre: Cool, cool, that was well done and you just told me that you couldn’t pitch?

Joe Webb: No, I can’t. I can say what I have done and you can say … can’t do.

John McIntyre: Okay, okay, well! I think what’s really cool is sounds like you didn’t start with really a map in the beginning; you know you can go early days when you’re just figuring it out. It sounds like you just testing stuff to see what worked and over time you figured out how to actually smooth out that process and increase sales with the communication in online marketing.

Joe Webb: Exactly, you know I always say that the smartest thing the owner of my auto dealership ever did was not know enough to look to see what I was doing. So, it allowed me to experiment and allowed me to fail and allowed me to try tactics to see sort of what are the best messaging is to elicit responses from customers to build value and most personally build trust in between an armor of retail sales professional and the consumer, because the truth is I don’t think everything’s customers don’t like to these sold cars. They like to buy cars. Nobody’s looking for a car sale person when they go online, they’re looking for an automotive retail professional and I think how you conduct yourself in multiple mediums as well as online is really going to help dictate whether or not you own the customer’s trust and inevitably earn the business.

John McIntyre: That’s a really interesting … you make the you know people like me, when I go online, whether I am looking for a car or even just another product, they’re not looking for a salesman. If they’re looking for someone to help them they’re looking for almost like a guidance counselor, someone to kind of sit down with them and really help them to find the best solution for them not just who is going to sell them that you know the thing with the most commission.

Joe Webb: Exactly, exactly and you know Google in a way it champions it because there’s some of the semantic relevance either placing on websites where everything Google is looking for is that the eat profile which is expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. You know eat (EAT) and the truth is every single consumer does truly want regardless of product just once to find that one quintessential expert that is going to allow, is not going to sell them anything and is not going to stand away and they might not even need to hand hold them, walk them through. They just need to sort of be upgrade to the customer to going from researching days to the buying days and how quickly can you get that customer or that consumer over the bridge providing them the answers, providing them the context and providing them the path in which to purchase the quickest.

John McIntyre: Right, right perfect. Okay, so can you talk to me a bit about when you sit down with a new client and you’re mapping out the strategy or figuring out what needs to happen? How do you get a process you follow or some questions that you ask?

Joe Webb: Oh! Absolutely, I mean inevitably I want to find out what they’re currently doing and what it is they feel that a broken? I mean the truth is thankfully I … usually go with into an organization and with a mystery shopper to an advance a mystery call in advance. I can go in an organization to see how they’re operating, see the technology they’re using, and immediately be able to sell them more vehicles just by putting in smarter messaging and the email templates training a process, sometimes just in putting in a process that people how to fire, the right triggers, the right schedules, to right actions and take away some of the guesswork, so very often a sales person will sit down and just say what do I do today or they will look at their client list and will say what should I email to these people and try to take the guesswork out of it and give them very specific consistent messaging you know autonomous to an entire dealer groups for instance, so if I reach out to dealer (A) and dealer (B) and dealer (C), whether all under the same group, I should not regardless of the salesperson be receiving as a consumer a different experience based on who I speak to . I should only be speaking to and how … getup. I can try to break … This is a better … work. Am I should have locked my door anyways? So, unless I think it inevitably allow the questions I asked on you know what they feel they’re missing the more, what is happening from the time a consumer calls you? How is it handled? Who handles it? What do they say? What do they send and what is the goal and lot of people say the same goal which is well we want them to send an appointment. We want them to get the customer in the showroom and those are the things that are really nice to be said, but if you don’t have any actionable strategy or specific tracks for specific messaging on what to say to reach that goal, then it’s all just bluff.

John McIntyre: Okay, so it sounds like you take it in a very strategic approach, you know looking at the big picture and then coming down from there and then figuring out what needs to happen. A lot of people when they get caught up as they hear about some of the strategies that are going online right now or more tactics actually. They come in and they just go just to write some emails and you know and create an email list and then stop lasting that out you know breaking some more customers or bringing some more clients and sounds like what you’re saying work, maybe all the time to gain a benefit if they step back for a second and look at the big picture of what’s going on with that messaging?

Joe Webb: Absolutely, I mean everything needs to be and you know it’s an interesting dichotomy. Everything needs to be very personalized and customized for each individual experience. So, a person that comes in from your website asking about one product versus comes in from maybe a third party generator, a different resource site asking about the different products should not give the exact same responses. They can be extremely similar when it comes to branding the organization, but you have to personalize and customize each individual experience and technology is only slowly catching up with the ability for people to do that. It cannot just be the same messaging every single time. You have to connect personal individual level with each client and it just takes a little extra thinking, takes little extra time. There’s the beauty of email: is that before you click send you’ve get to re-read it and you get to say and one thing that made me successful is I always say if I have… the customer, what I want right now and for the most part admittedly some customers don’t know what they want or what they need, so you can create very blanketed marketing messages that build value in the dealership or build value in the individual or build value in the process that you have in place at your store or build value in the product in which you sell, but regardless those can be four separate messaging which do you send at each individual point, some you can preload, some you can automate and have them automatically fire and the rest need to a list of contact with very focused pointed questions toward that individual customer.

John McIntyre: Okay, so instead of like instead of sitting down at the dealership and just saying you know looking at the website and saying where you should put a lead capture form here and start following the mark with six emails you come in and it’s like said it goes with that big picture of where are they failing right now, where’re the break points in that whole, the entire not just the marketing funnel, but the entire sales process.

Joe Webb: For us we have been able to sort of expand how we can assist dealers. Most … just create a little accountability, form a communication standpoint to make sure that from lead management wise everything is up to snuff. So, I never come and say spend more money on this that or the other I say let’s maximize sell more products based on how many leisure currently generating by improving your communication. In a step two is now let’s improve your online presence. There is probably something along the lines of 80 to 90 different website providers for auto dealers, likely more if you can … some local guys, but there are likely 15 to 20 primary website providers, at least 20 and each one has their own vision on this is what one of search engine result page look like. This is what a vehicle details page to look like. This is more a product display page looks like. This is what our home page should look like or your home page and sometimes it is the website provider that is dictating to each individual dealer. This is what we see works and it could be completely different than what one of the competitors believes and in the same time you’ve got the manufacture, the automaker who comes in and says if you want to have our franchise, if you want to be a General Motors dealer you have to use this one company and you have to have it looks sort of like this and the manufacturer then works with the website provider to dictate exactly what they allow the brand to look like even at the dealer level.

John McIntyre: That must be very frustrating working for working in a situation like that.

Joe Webb: Yes, because there is a lack of control, but I think it makes people weary about where the true intention is, an auto dealer should be trying to brand their individual dealership the brand name in many cases family names because second or third or fourth generation dealerships and regardless of the product they sell they shouldn’t be handcuff to look or sound or speak like many others around them. So, there is that belief system, at the same time the automakers and lot of the website providers, the big ones spend a lot of money analyzing data to determine what is the best call to action, what is the best vehicle details page and you know sometimes you have to rely on the experts to give you those answers and sometimes you need to really stand your ground and say no this is what I believe as a consumer you know I need migrate to the … like…

John McIntyre: Okay, so do you have any examples of how you, you know what you’ve done in the past with this stuff you know what are the lessons in that situation almost like a case study.

Joe Webb: I mean obviously I mean … case study where it’s interesting because there have been automotive internet sales trainers out in automotive for quite some time, now long before, I even got and do it and many of them are teaching and training … interesting enough most dealers are more cut on now as to some of the basics they should be doing when it comes to internet sales and online sales, so in regard to statics like it say, like I think last time we did it we usually show a 67% increase in online sales or internet sales I should say within the first year of working with an organization. We’ve been able to in three months time and one organization that was handling 2,000 leads both from online presence standpoint getting roughly $250,000 out of the budgets for the year just on leads and all these extras they were spending on and we doubled the closing ratio from 5 percent to 10 and a half percent within three months. So, I mean inevitably my goal you can’t guarantee cars sold because you know you just can’t say guarantee you know I cannot control the hygiene of your sales, so that the odd things that I can’t guarantee which is you know people will never hear back from more customers, more online customers than when they’re utilizing a dealer process or dealer templates, but I say that I am even handcuffed based on some of the CRM or customer relationship management technology that is still very difficult to embedded video emails and is still a monumental task to be able to text customers legally back and forth through a software. It is still difficult to even create HTML templates and help them fire and get through the customers … based on the technology that the dealership uses, so every single dealer rending on a boutique firm. I do not want to rule the industry or you know have calculus plans. We turned down the majority of people who reach out to us and we literally try to find a reasons not to take them, because we really look for them, like the private partnership buy in, you know desire to be progressive and willingness from a sales and structure to push the needle forward, but when you with that said we thankfully … client growth in some cases really conceivable growth, I think and get half of our customers are actively try, our dealer clients are actively trying now to purchase other properties and other franchises, because they’re on a real upward trajectory and as far as I’m concern you know the best thing I can do is be a trusted resource that’s it. I mean the hardest thing is to find somebody you trust. I don’t think a dollar from any vendors. I don’t have a single referral or reseller agreement in place. So, I can keep my integrity and always give the best answer every time and I’ll read my pocketbook. So, the best thing I can say is the clients that we bring on you know most of them have been with us for a long time and they keep us around every single month you know with simply an executive management call just because they trust me and they trust my team.

John McIntyre: Yeah, okay I want to get back to the like you mentioned couple of things there is 67% in number there with what you did with the I think was that the closing ratio or that was the additional clients?

Joe Webb: 67% increase in online and internet sales and all numbers and statistics vary and we have a own … competitor out there or appear but all call me competitor where he says hey we showed this dealership 200% growth, was easy to show 200% growth and that you got from zero where … zero and then you start tracking things and you show that 20 sales, you know so I don’t even go by the statistics. The primary thing that we look at is how many total leads you’re generating. More revenue leads you’re generating organically and are you showing better on the search engines. Number two would be how many appointments is your team setting or showing and how many of those appointments are buying and then for instance also an increase in reviews and testimonials individual assets and we know that we can increase your website visitors and increase your video previews for your vehicle details page views and we can increase the amount of lead you generating, the amount of appointments you’re setting, the amount of people that are showing for appointments. I mean there’s a huge difference sometimes will take on a mom-and-pop store that we really want to see grow and we think they have some great elements in place and then we can see really great results there that we are doing very little before and there’s some manual take on a really large organization of 18-20 stores and they already are operating at a very high level. We just want to push them over them ovr that … that they sort of reached in and leveled out and that’s what we do.

John McIntyre: Cool, okay, so one thing interested in finding out is when you talk about the increase whether 67, … being I was curious what like sort of brand messaging going to change look at like how do actually improve those conversion rates, but what are some of the specific things that you did in the situation like that created that increase.

Joe Webb: Most specifically process. I consider the process, so I go into the CRM or the customer relation management tools and I build out based on advance every single instance on when your team is going to contact. I consider both when they become a prospect you know pre-sale, post-sale, missed appointments, set appointment, shown appointments, lead where at least get ready to return as the loan originations and making every single instance in which you would need to communicate messaging or contact to customer. I go on it build that I am sign for the CRM. So, you know how do you communicate with your customers and how do you keep friend of mind awareness with them, how do you convert them from a shopper to a showroom client. You incorporate in the right brand messaging, calling at the right time, the right word, like phone scripts and what to say when you call them and then you make sure that all of your online branding and all of your specials is, anything special that you have always will communicated not just online through your staff and through your team, instead of speaking the same message.

John McIntyre: Okay, interesting, so it’s kind like when you go into a company looking at a process, looking at building out like a process for how they engage with a customer, so that when they do it, it’s happening on a very consistent basis if they messaging on a website is the same message during they going to get any emails. It’s the same messaging they’re going to get on the phone all the deals run across the board, so what’s available on the site, available in store, available on the phone that kind of thing.

Joe Webb: So, just for instance across multiple industries and I’m now working with the hot tub industry as well as another one of our clients friends is and inside the hot tub industry, I will say that the average response time to a customer submits an inquiry that we’ve been able to see from our workshops is about four days. So, four days from the time somebody shows interest in your product, you hear something back. The average amounts of people you know the average amount of calls you received are about 1, just over one on average. In automotive wasn’t that much better. I mean, I still think the average response time from those dealers is 4 hours and then so we know that the quicker you know if we can get a, you recall a Customer between 10 to 15 minutes your closing ratio is going to straight up double compared to four hour response time. So, those are few of the things that we try to get a speedy response, a higher-quality first response coming from your team. So… timing. We look at the effort what you give, how many ongoing outbound calls and email attempts or chat attempts or video attempts are you making to your clients to try to connect with them and engage with them and once you have them engage, are you sending those appointments? Are you scheduling appointments inside the software? Are you tracking the customer throughout the researching phase, because that’s what it takes to create this sort of the personalize paths to the purchase to continually win over every single customers. It’s all math, you know I know for instance that the average automotive sales person makes under five calls a day, sucks! But under five calls a day they make and yet I know that I can get some twenty five calls a day. They’re going to sell X amount more vehicles hands down. I just took on a dealership through a new client locally here, so before the three months ago their entire team collectively from as an organization was making four thousand outbound calls a one month. In one month putting in new process, now what happens two months they are making on average 6100 calls per month, so they’re making 2000 more calls and they’re selling an additional 30 units every single month just because of the extra calls. So, it comes down the average, the more call attempts, the more connections, the more connections with the right messaging, the more appointments and more sales and you know just making sure that you’re triggering the people to do their jobs, because people are going to … you know when they call customers, but you can coach them the right way.

John McIntyre: Right, right, I think it’s an interesting point here is that a lot of people that I spoken to because I travel a lot of in Thailand and the Philippines. There is very much I have seen if people who you know it’s almost like that the brazen rights goes that who can work at least at to the least work to get the most result the whole 8020 thing and that can be list as value in that at times, but something specially like calls, there’s no arguing the fact that the more calls you do the more sales you going to make. The more customers that you follow up within the faster you follow up with them which may require you to monitor your inbox. I have someone replying to emails constantly, because you do that the more you need that, the more  business going to get, but no one really that doesn’t scale in a way that some people like to talk about scale and so people think why I can’t wait? I am going to wait for a week or I’m going to ask … my email and things like that. This is where the money is.

Joe Webb: The true is the beauty about email and the beauty about picking … is just free. You know searching for customer on Face book or any other LinkedIn and trying to connect with them on the social networks, it’s free. It just takes doing and you know there are a lot of people who just feel like they will do the path of least resistance and I see it every story go to, nobody has a superstar’s, nobody and many times that people will just do the bare minimum expected of them, so I never wanted to be a consultant and I don’t want my team to waste their breaths when they would start training people. So, we do not actually a software technology and a team of people. We go in and we monitor what’s happening inside the CRM and we actually shoot both the individual laps as well as the managers really detailed notes you know based on a little different, we didn’t statistically graded criteria where we tell them everything they’re doing wrong when following up with lead. Everything they’re doing right or they still need to do to convert that lead and we send it to customer and we send to the dealer representative and the managers about seven days after leads arrival, just to say here is the level of effort that your team is giving into this one individual lead and it attaches to grade ABCD B+ C- and historical back into where we can start showing people essentially what level of effort would grade performance they’re giving their daily duties because as soon as we can bring the managers into the know if you will as to what their team should be doing and how to hold them accountable then many people start doing their jobs better. So, it’s not just putting the right process, it’s we also go in and make sure that the process is being followed.

John McIntyre: Okay, the cool thing there is that reminds me to … what gets measured gets managed. So, if you start tracking … stuff, if you start tracking how many calls you to do and how many emails you start measuring your success by measuring at least you’re impact to have … and the quality you work by how much output you actually producing  that happen to going to go up.

Joe Webb: Absolutely, there is a … Body, the famous American football coach who said practice doesn’t make you perfect, perfect practice makes perfect, so that’s why it’s not just about putting in the process, it’s putting in the process and making sure it is followed to a T and that type of consistency is what search winning you sales when you market share.

John McIntyre: Cool! I think its good note to end up. So, before we … talk, can you give you know if someone wants to get in touch with you, maybe work with you at least find out more about what you do, where’s the best place for them to do that?

Joe Webb: dealerknows.com which is dealerknows dot com. I do a lot of writing. I also known for sort of creating comedic car sales videos or videos about car sales, so if you go on to delearknows.com about halfway down the page, there is a little box be putting your email address and you can subscribe to our free newsletter where once a month you get every single writing that I do post in a non-intrusive once a month email. So, write on dealarknows.com and you can learn everything about me but at least you know keep up to date on some industry formation they want to do.

John McIntyre: Cool! I signed up. I want to see one of these funny videos that you make.

Joe Webb: I have got entire section: this is funny videos. I am not genius so I apologies now, but absolutely I would say lot of my ideas come from those.

John McIntyre: Awesome, I just found the page, you need to go dealearknows.com, and then you go to videos. There are actually the funny videos. Awesome Joe! Alright man, great to have you on the show man. I will have links to this site and the funny videos thing on the show note at the mic-method.com, cool.

Joe Webb: Awesome! Keep in touch.

Leave a Comment