Chicago—August 24, 2006—Cars.com announced today its new series of free monthly webinars, dealeradvantage LIVE. Building on advice offered in its dealer newsletter, dealeradvantage, each session will offer tips and techniques to help dealerships get the most out of their online advertising investment. Each one-hour session will be packed with advice from Cars.com's expert training team and the most successful online dealers in the industry. The first event--Picture More Sales: Using Photos to Drive Quality Online Traffic--will be held at noon ET on Sept. 15.
"Car buyers increasingly look to the Web--and to independent sites like Cars.com--to make informed decisions about their next vehicle," said Ralph Ebersole, Cars.com training director. "As dealers invest in Internet advertising to reach this growing market, we want to provide an online forum for them to learn how to drive more traffic to their showrooms and close more sales."
Dealeradvantage LIVE will be held on the second Friday of each month for the remainder of 2006. From a look behind the scenes of the new car lead business to tips on how online display advertising can drive more eyeballs and more sales, the 2006 series offers dealers a variety of topics to explore. Scheduled webinars include:
Sept. 15, noon ET: Picture More Sales: Using Photos to Drive Quality Online Traffic
The more you tell, the more you sell--and we all know a picture is worth a thousand words. This session offers tips and techniques to help dealers use photographs to better merchandise their inventory to stand out and drive quality traffic.
Oct. 13, noon ET: Managing Leads Part 1: What's Behind Your Online Leads?
Understanding the sources for new car leads--and the customer behind them--allows dealers to respond more effectively and to close more sales. This session discusses the new car lead business and reviews the sales approaches and processes that work best with new car buyers.
Nov. 10, noon ET: Managing Leads Part 2: Strategies for Improving Close Rates
Whether a dealer has been getting new car leads for years or just a few weeks, more can be done to close more sales--but what? This session explores several strategies, including better defining the area from which leads are purchased and "smoothing" lead delivery for even flow throughout the month.
Dec. 8, noon ET: Your Online Gorilla--Putting Dynamic Display Advertising to Work
When it comes to the automotive section in the local newspaper, a half-page display ad makes classified liners work even harder. On the lot, a giant inflatable gorilla catches the eye of car shoppers driving by, but what can dealers do to catch the attention of online car shoppers? This session offers advice on how to effectively complement Internet listings with dynamic and targeted display ads.
"These events offer dealers a snapshot look at issues affecting their stores on a daily basis," Ebersole said. "Industry experts and dealers will play a key role in directing the calls, using real-world examples to illustrate successful strategies and techniques. We take an objective look at how dealers use Internet advertising to build brand awareness for their dealerships, differentiate themselves from the competition and win more business."
To register for individual sessions or the entire series, dealers can go to dealeradvantage, where they can also learn more about the each webinar. Dealers do not have to be Cars.com customers to attend, but they must download free WebEx software to participate. Cars.com also offers a comprehensive dealer training program that includes in-market and Web-based training workshops and weekly training calls. Additional resources are available through the MyDealerCenter customer portal and the free dealeradvantage monthly e-newsletter, as well as Cars.com's more than 500 sales professionals and national technical support staff. Cars.com presents training seminars without charge to interested dealerships, regardless of whether they are Cars.com customers. Information on upcoming programs is available by clicking on the "Training" link.
Partnered with more than 200 leading metro newspapers, television stations and their websites, Cars.com is the most comprehensive destination for those looking to buy or sell a new or used car. The site lists more than 1.8 million vehicles from 12,000 dealer customers, classified advertisers and private parties to offer consumers the best selection of new and used cars online, as well as the content, tools and advice to support their shopping experience. Recently selected by Forbes.com as a Best of the Web site for car shopping, Cars.com combines powerful inventory search tools and new-car configuration with pricing information, photo galleries, buying guides, side-by-side comparison tools, original editorial content and reviews to help millions of car shoppers connect with sellers each month.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).