Dealer Authority prides itself on cultivating meaningful relationships with all of our clients. Being a boutique agency gives us the opportunity to work one-on-one with our dealers and provide them with a concierge level of service with our digital solutions. In this latest blog series, we wanted to take a look at the various roles that make a dealership function on a daily basis and we decided to start with a role that typically engages with our staff every day – the Internet Director.
When looking at the list of Internet Directors that Dealer Authority works with, Amanda Wiczalkowski, with Performance Toyota Volvo, stood out to our Account Manager, Jill Ambrose. “Working with Amanda as a dealership liaison has been a true pleasure! I look forward to monthly calls with her because we have candid conversations about the car business, trends in the market, and strategies her dealerships are testing. I admire her moxie and expertise and I always leave our conversations gaining so many useful tidbits of information.”, Jill commented. After a statement like that, I was ready and willing to schedule a call with Amanda.
Once Amanda and I got on our call, I instantly saw what Jill was talking about. On the other side of the phone, in Sinking Springs, Pennsylvania, there was a confident, friendly person that truly enjoys her work and was excited to share with us about her role.
Amanda, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. To get started, fill us in on how your started in your career with Performance Toyota Volvo – what led you to a career in automotive?
The opportunity really just landed in front of me at the right time. I was looking for a job after graduating college and a friend told me about the opportunity with the dealership. When I found out that there was an awesome salary and growth potential within the dealership I was sold. From my first interview with Performance Toyota Volvo, I knew that they had a team that I wanted to be part of – and one that I could grow with.
That is so refreshing to hear! I think it truly speaks to a business’ internal culture when from the moment you have an interview, you know you are home. Can you share a little bit more about Performance? What sets your dealership apart from your competitors?
There is a sense of transparency between the staff that I think our customers also take note of. We aren’t trying to keep anything from you, we just want to sell you a car that will best suit your needs. We have fun at the dealership! And it makes coming to work everyday a pleasure. We are also very engaged with our local community and through the reviews that we receive and our social media presence. Our dealership’s positive culture shines through our digital presence and on the showroom floor – and that’s what sets us apart.
Let’s talk a little bit more about advertising and social media. Part of your role as the Internet Director is not only to manage a team of BDC reps, help the sales team meet monthly goals, but also to make sure that your dealership is on the cutting edge of digital advertising. How do you keep up with constantly changing digital trends?
There is always room for improvement so I try to always make sure that I am researching what’s new. A big part of that is networking with other dealerships and following by example. If we see something our competitor is doing, maybe it is something we need to consider? Or maybe they did something we need to avoid? Being aware of what is going on in our local market is a big part of it.
How do you think social media advertising affects your monthly goals?
I think it has a huge affect on our goals and overall traffic. What people see greatly influences their future purchases. Targeting, retargeting, and brand awareness really helps keep our sales funnel full. The more our followers see our posts and ads, the more the wheels start turning and it’s our name that needs to stand out. That’s where my team comes in. We make sure that we are providing excellent service, answering the questions that leads have, and especially if they are coming from our social media advertising. The more you see it, the more you think about it, the more likely to act on it. Think about this – digital consumers spend nearly 2.5 hours on social networks and social messaging every day and 69% of adults use at least one social media site. Why wouldn’t we market to our customers on a platform they use daily?
Absolutely! Of course we always sing social media advertising praises and I think it is important for dealers to choose the advertising avenues that are going to provide their business the best return on investment.
Let’s talk a little about being an Internet Director role itself. You truly rose through the ranks within Performance’s Internet Sales Department. What advice would you give to Internet Sales Consultants who are looking to turn the position into a career?
Take initiative! Through self-education, training, and always asking questions you can keep pushing yourself and you will see your goals grow larger and larger.
What challenges do an internet managers face in their day-to-day?
It’s a balancing act. There are various programs, social media and messaging platforms, staff, and the overall department to keep track of. Our team currently consists of 7 people. We are a truly interactive group that works together to get the job done. There have been times when the team wasn’t perfect, but we were always able to get things back on track by facing confrontation and correcting it head on. Some conformity is required to work together but at the end of the day we all just go with the flow.
So now that we know a little bit about the day-to-day and sometimes struggles – what is your favorite thing about your job?
I don’t think I can say there is just one favorite thing but overall, knowing the things that my department does to help customers and the dealership a whole is probably my favorite thing.
What are the top 3 bits of advice you would give to someone who is considering a career in the automotive industry?
- GO FOR IT!
- The experience you gain can transfer into various aspects of the automotive world. There is so much to learn: people skills, sales, networking, finance, service, marketing, parts, etc.
- Don’t be discouraged when things get tough. It’s a rollercoaster but an extremely rewarding one!
Even though Amanda and I only spoke for 30 or 45 minutes, I walked away from this conversation with a better understanding of the inner workings of the dealership and a greater respect for Internet Manager and Directors, that wear many hats, but at the end of the day help the dealership thrive.
Do you have a staff member or manager that you believe truly shines in their role? Nominate them by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be featuring multiple roles within the dealership throughout the summer and would love to talk to someone from your team.