Jeff Hindla, Director of Marketing, Huntington Honda
June 2016 Autobytel Dealer of the Month
We'd like to congratulate Jeff Hindla, Director of Marketing, Huntington Honda, for being named Autobytel's Dealer of the Month for June 2016.
The Autobytel Dealer Awards Program honors exceptional dealers from a competitive field of thousands of automotive retailers who employ the highest standards in customer service, Internet automotive retail sales and lead management processes, and mobile and emerging technologies.
We recently spoke with Jeff about the importance of a fast response time, using a customer service approach when it comes to car sales, being direct, and giving customers the information they are looking for, and how these business tactics have helped this award-winning dealership and family business thrive!
Tell us about yourself and your store. What is your official title, what brands do you sell and what are your primary markets?
My name is Jeff Hindla. I am the Marketing Director for Huntington Honda, and I have been doing this now for almost 2 years. We sell new Honda vehicles and CPO out of Huntington Honda, and we have used inventory that is sold out of a separate store. We serve the community of Huntington, New York, and Long Island, Nassau and Suffolk counties, and Queens.
How long have you been an Autobytel dealer and what do you think are the primary benefits of being on the Autobytel program?
We have been with the Autobytel program for nearly one year. We find that Autobytel is a very good quality lead source, and it makes it much easier for us to get people into a car.
What do you think makes you so successful at meeting the needs of today's Internet consumers? Please share a few of your best practices in terms of managing Internet leads.
Some salespeople tend to focus on the sale of a car, but I focus on customer service and providing a good experience. By doing this and making it your focus, it provides tremendous value because the customer is more open to working with you. The key is to answer their questions and give them the information they are looking for. I don't always get the customer's information first because giving them information is the priority. Another thing that makes our dealership so successful is that we have a strong BDC. We know that leads needs to be handled based on customer's needs.
What are your thoughts about being named an Autobytel Dealer of the Month?
It is a great honor to even be considered, and we are grateful. The fact that we stand out is exciting. Autobytel is a reputable company, one that has been around for a long time, and we are thrilled to receive this recognition from such a trusted organization.
What are some tips or advice you would give other retailers when it comes to effectively managing Internet customers?
Response time is critical! You're not trying to sell a car, you're trying to get a person through the front doors. Don't take a sales approach, take the customer service approach. Give them the info they need, then work to get them to the store.
What are your general thoughts about the auto industry right now? How are sales? Any interesting things happening at your dealership or with your brands that you'd like to share?
Honda is in a good place right now! They are refreshing a lot of the lineup. It's a good time to be selling Hondas. Our dealership finished 9th in the nation for June in terms of Honda sales, and we are ranked 10th year to date. We are consistently ranked in the top ten.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself...what do you like to do in your free time? Any hobbies or interests of note?
I am 27 years old, and I have been working in the auto industry for two years. I love coming to work. It's always a great challenge, and I am passionate about what I do. In my free time, I like to hang out with friends and I love to go camping.
Each month, Autobytel's sales and dealer operations teams evaluate prospective candidates from a competitive field of thousands of automotive retailers in the Autobytel network, with a monthly finalist selected based on key online automotive best practices, including conversion rates, lead management processes, customer service principles, customer and brand retention analytics and Internet department practices, among others.