Linda Ly, Internet Director, Norm Reeves Honda Superstore
August 2014 Autobytel Dealer of the Month
We'd like to congratulate Linda Ly, Internet Director at Norm Reeves Honda Superstore in Cerritos, California, for being named Autobytel's Dealer of the Month for August 2014.
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.
We recently spoke with Linda about how teamwork, rapid response times, and 90-day follow up have become integral parts of her dealership's sales process, which has enabled Norm Reeves Honda Superstore to become the largest Honda dealership in the world.
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 Linda Ly and I'm the Internet Director for Norm Reeves Honda Superstore in Cerritos, California. We are a single brand, new and pre-owned Honda store servicing customers locally in Orange County and Los Angeles, as well as customers as far south as San Diego and as far north as Bakersfield. We are the world's largest Honda dealership with significant inventory and we see a lot of business from surrounding market areas because many of our competitors have much more limited inventories than we do.
How long have you been an Autobytel dealer and what do you think are the primary benefits of being on the Autobytel program?
Norm Reeves Honda first became an Autobytel dealer way back in 1998. Autobytel is a trusted consumer site and has been a part of the auto industry for so long. People trust the brand and we get a lot of positive feedback when it comes to Autobytel.com. The leads we receive are filtered and great quality and we have good results with them.
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.
Mainly, I would say teamwork is very important. Our Internet managers are happy to assist each other in taking care of our guests, and my co-director, Greg Iverson, has been a critical part of our success. We also excel at marketing and good phone skills here. You can't just be an Internet savvy person. You have to be experienced at sales and you have to have a good process in place. At Norm Reeves Honda, we have implemented a 90-day follow up process. Our Internet managers follow up with leads for a 90-day period of time and we hold our Internet managers accountable for those leads across 90 days. Response times are also very important. Every lead we get during our work day is contacted within 30 minutes.
What are your thoughts about being named an Autobytel Dealer of the Month?
I'm very excited. This is a great accomplishment when you consider the number of Autobytel dealers, and it's even more rewarding to know we're excelling and doing things right. It is wonderful to have our hard work recognized by Autobytel. A lot of our customers come to our website, but many visit third party websites like Autobytel for information and reviews, which ultimately helps us.
What are some tips or advice you would give other retailers when it comes to effectively managing Internet customers?
What has made us so successful at our dealership is that we follow our process. We get in touch with the customer very quickly and we earn their trust from the first conversation. Quick timeframes and fast response times are very important. When you make people feel comfortable from the very beginning, they will want to do business with you.
What are your general thoughts about the auto industry right now? How are sales? Any interesting things happening at Norm Reeves Honda or with the brand that you'd like to share?
We're growing. Our Internet department right now is the number one Internet department in the world. We broke our 2013 record last month (415 units with 18 Internet managers). Sales are doing very well and I feel like they're going to keep on improving for the near future. There are a lot of positive things happening for us in terms of inventory/supply. Everything is looking good and moving forward in a positive direction.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself...what do you like to do in your free time? Any hobbies or interests of note?
My personal hobby is baking. I enjoy spending time with my daughters who are ages 19 and 11 and we spend time together baking pies, cookies, and cakes. They are very precious to me, and time is precious too, so every day I'm not working, I want to be with them.
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.