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Dealer Marketing: Embracing the Future Facebook Ecosystem of Today

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The title may have seemed confusing. If we’re going to take a dive into a future ecosystem, how can it also be available today ? The answer is simple: adoption rate. The capabilities outlined in this article are available right now; however, many dealers are not embracing them and continue to advertise on Facebook as they always have. You have an opportunity to do today what all of your competitors will — or at least should — be doing in the future. Here’s what we’ve been so accustomed to do … Create a carousel ad. Send the consumer to the website. Retarget those who don’t engage. The second step is problematic. It’s important that we break the cycle of thinking that all traffic must go to the website. With a 3-5% opt-in rate of Apple users deciding to share their data with Facebook and its applications and losing 85% of website-based conversion data because of this and other privacy constraints, continuing to advertise on Facebook as we always have is already outdated thinking.  Facebook has products that allow advertisers to embrace a completely native ecosystem.  Here’s a question: If a consumer is choosing to be on Facebook, why would we remove them from that place of comfort and take them to a website? Here’s a second question: Isn’t our role as advertisers to meet where consumers want to engage with us and offer a seamless experience?  So here’s how we do that. A Breakdown of the On-Facebook Ecosystem Branding — Top-of-the-Funnel Let’s first caveat this part of the ecosystem. Branding lives outside of the 30-day cycle, and you don’t want to hold these ads accountable to metrics beyond reach, impressions, and frequency. While these will create clicks and drive traffic to your online properties — mostly your website — these ads are intended to keep your dealership top-of-mind as consumers who aren’t quite in-market spend their time on the Facebook platform and its network partners. Your branding ads should communicate your differentiators, value propositions, and culture. They should also communicate facets of your business that are evergreen, such as your ability to purchase consumer cars or the loyalty programs and free estimates that your fixed operations may offer. Such as with Douglas Volkswagen, who’s inviting local potential shoppers to come experience the “Douglas Difference,” which has been nurtured for nearly 70 years. Or you may want the local community to know that you’ll buy their vehicle — whether or not they bought one from your dealership. Regardless of the ad’s message, you want to make sure that the page they land on when they click the call-to-action — in these cases, “Learn More” — is directly aligned with the content of the advertisement.  AIAs and Service Ads — Middle-of-the-Funnel As you continually hold a presence with branding ads, you’ll want to capture those local shoppers who are in-market.  Side Note — We recommend that you don’t rely solely on Facebook targeting as you can add layers of depth and precision to this with a partner like IHS/Polk, who can provide an accurate number of households based on parameters you set — and this data isn’t affected by privacy updates or website data-loss as it’s based on actual sales and credit reporting data, not on online signals like pixels. The ability to create hyper-local, highly targeted audiences will make creating ad sets and ad copy easier as you’ll have a clear understanding to whom you’re delivering those ads. Automotive Inventory Ads (AIAs) are a carousel of vehicles that are relevant to the targeted audience, except these offer advertisers the capability to keep consumers on Facebook for a streamlined experience. The carousel ad gets delivered to the audience to browse the relevant vehicles that are available for purchase at your dealership. When they click a vehicle that interests them, a VDP-like page near instantaneously appears. It has all of the information that your traditional VDP contains, it has deep links to your dealership’s website and onsite VDP for dealers who need a little comfort in making this transition — and most importantly, it has different actions to actually capture a lead, including click-to-call, directions request, and chat. This method keeps consumers within the Facebook ecosystem, so we don’t lose any conversion data. Facebook collects the information on how consumers are behaving, what different attributes and facets of the VDP are most effective, and other pieces that can better inform them and us on what works. The more data that we can feed Facebook, the more accurately they can update this content and assist us as advertisers to make more strategic decisions. Here are the results when we looked at all campaigns that took consumers to the dealership website (non-AIA) compared to campaigns that kept consumers on Facebook (AIA). Significantly more content viewed, significantly lower costs, and significantly more actual leads from Facebook — people chatting, calling, and requesting directions from the on-Facebook VDPs.  I wrote that this is also applicable to service. It’s true: we currently use IHS/Polk ownership data to layer onto native Facebook targeting to create a more accurate picture of the audiences to whom our ads will be the most relevant, breaking these ads out into the big four — brakes, batteries, tires, oil changes — and general service ads. At this moment, we do not have the mechanisms in place to keep consumers on Facebook and embrace the new ecosystem; however, our Social Media Director wanted to be deliberate in getting the sales portion fine-tuned before diving into fixed operations. What I can say at this moment is that there are more sophisticated schedulers that can integrate with your dealership’s internal systems to create the same experience in service as we have in sales. Now not every customer in-market or near-market will become an immediate lead. Just like as with website visitors in the past, the consumers who click on one of your ads will be placed into a retargeting pool. This is where our strategic approach to the Facebook ecosystem has evolved the most. Retargeting Lead Generation Ads — Bottom-of-the-Funnel This is where I may lose you because you’ve done lead generation ads before on Facebook. I’m going to challenge that pushback. The approach is where we, as advertisers, went wrong in leveraging lead generation objectives on Facebook. We cast a wide net and hit people with ads who had potentially never engaged with any of our content — and we expected them to simply opt in to sharing their information. That’s unproductive. It yields spammy leads. It wastes your time and your budget. It was a shiny “instant lead retrieval” object that had foregone deliberate strategy.  The correct philosophy is to understand that consumers who have demonstrated intent and interest in our inventory and services — with our middle-of-funnel ads — are more likely to see a lead generation ad as relevant to their interests and, thus, is much more likely to be a qualified lead.  So using lead generation as your measured and deliberate retargeting campaign will work in your favor because the element of intent or interest is at play. They’ve clicked through one of your middle-of-funnel ads and browsed the VDP but didn’t contact the dealership via Messenger within the last 30 days.   That, however, isn’t the only parameter (intent/interest) that makes an effective lead generation retargeting campaign. It’s also important to still task the consumer to take an action without putting an undue burden on them. We want to pose a question that gauges the urgency of their purchase intent. So when the consumer has engaged the lead generation ad, their name and email is automatically populated — but to ensure that a click isn’t merely accidental, the consumer has to actively select an option from a dropdown menu.  When they have done that and done any necessary changes to email, name, or even add their phone number, they are opted into terms and conditions that they have to accept, and then are given a notification that they will be contacted — that information all gets routed to your CRM so that you can track it from form submission to the sale of the vehicle. Our team uses LeadsBridge for this capability. So you’ve ensured that the consumer has chosen to engage with the lead generation ad and has taken actual actions to share their information, which demonstrates several layers of intent.  It’s all a matter of keeping things simple and structured. When our team put this into a beta test, it generated an average of 83 qualified leads per month at a cost of around $8 per lead .  The On-Facebook Ecosystem Facebook has adapted in the face of privacy constraints and the eventual deprecation of the third-party cookie. It’s important that we embrace the future Facebook ecosystem of today because this is the environment in which we will all compete. By understanding how consumers want to engage with us, as well as the fact that platforms like Facebook and Google are creating ecosystems that keep consumers within their own properties, we will be better equipped to produce content that better resonates with them. If you have any further questions regarding this evolution or the different tactics presented in this article, please feel free to reach out to me, Dane Saville, at dane@reunionmarketing.com.
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How To Create More Efficiency In Your Advertising Strategy

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While a showroom may be full of shoppers and potential leads, dealers shouldn’t cast their advertising to the side. The market for consumers is ever evolving in not only issues but in competition. It is pertinent for dealers to grasp as well as implement several key advertising strategies to continue a successful business. Whether it's shifting advertising spending to help with inventory instead of customer acquisition or figuring out what merchandise is no longer in demand, these advertising strategies are affected heavily by the financial practices of a company. Dealers need to be conscious of their spending if they wish to successfully implement advertising strategies, especially as digital advertising prices continue to increase. How To Combat Price Volatility    Advertisements are one of the most effective ways to reach consumers in the current trend of high media exposure. The demand is high and the cost of ads across retail-focused channels is expensive. Recent evidence supports these claims as reports show a spending increase of 60% on paid search, 41% on paid social channels, 34% on the average cost-per-click (CPC), and 41% on CPM prices for paid social.  Such inflation, measured from last year to the second quarter of 2021, has happened over a short period. Often unaware of such statistics, dealers continue to obliviously spend the routine amount on advertising instead of efficiently eliminating wasteful spending.  More commonplace than expected hundreds if not thousands of dealers across the country deal with the lack of knowledge and the unsuspecting trap of advertisement cost. Reducing Wasteful Media Expenditures    To be a profitable dealership, it is key to reduce advertising waste. Currently, it is estimated that around $13.4 billion on digital advertising will be spent by the automotive industry. Out of approximately 13.4 billion, 40% of digital advertising will be ineffective due to the wrong strategy, bad data, or both. The solution is to leverage advanced advertising data and marketing technology from leading providers such as PureCars. Dealers can take full advantage by distinguishing the best vehicle to aggressively market, the best target audience to cater toward and the best media channels to reach that target audience. With tactics such as these, dealers can focus on the goal of optimizing the lowest cost per sale and RO, instead of vanity metrics such as cost per click and impression volume. Similar to true e-commerce retailers, dealers can market with attention to target cost per sale as well as available inventory. If there is inventory available and the cost per sale targets are accurate, marketing budgets are unlimited! Overall, dealers are at an advantage if they can successfully create a predictable cost per sale, demand, conversion path and inventory to sell! Making The Right Marketing Decisions     Dealers can leverage advanced data and marketing technology to help them make the most suitable marketing decisions when it comes to selling or servicing new and used cars. Moreover, it can be used to properly identify and acquire properly used vehicle opportunities. In either case, however the technology is used, dealers have the resource to maximize profits. Dealers can also utilize this technology to determine if a new vehicle in inventory needs more or less marketing attention as well as the most appropriate media mix models. The proper identification or adjustment of something as simple as a media mix can open a dealer up to millions of dollars in efficiency and profitability. Now, more progressive dealers are thinking creatively of new ways to source used cars at a premium in auctions or by buying directly from consumers in their vicinity. Both approaches have become an attractive way to build customer relationships and outpace competitors’ vehicle acquisition in a sustainable way. Leveraging Data for Better Payments & Offers Dealers, along with their lender and manufacturer partners all need to be seamlessly tied together in a comprehensive system necessary to build, offer and transact. They’re now leveraging solutions from companies like Market Scan that mines, analyzes, and manages the billions of combinations and iterations of all lender and manufacturer programs available in the marketplace and finds truly superior, scientifically perfect solutions for all stakeholders: consumers, dealers, lenders, and manufacturers.  Furthermore, today’s best and most comprehensive solutions enhance the consumer experience and the showroom process by electronically presenting all payment and purchase options to customers with full compliance and transparency – on any computer, tablet, or mobile device – at any/all points along the consumer’s shopping journey. As a result, the process can dramatically shorten transaction times, raise dealership efficiencies and margins, and elevate customer satisfaction as a result of a more streamlined process. The market for consumers will always evolve. To stay current, successful dealers are leveraging a more scientific approach with the help of marking technologies to better align their strategies to retailers who have mastered digital advertising and payment solutions. 
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Emotional Intelligence: A Good Dealership Habit To Pick Up

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“The purpose of habit is to remove that action from self-negotiation. You no longer expend energy deciding whether to do it. You just do it.” - Kevin Kelly, '68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice' You may have never thought of it this way, but problems at dealerships usually walk through your office door on two (2) legs: Either with customers or with employees. It’s always best to tackle these two-legged issues promptly, as otherwise, they can quickly escalate to regulatory challenges or, worse yet, lawsuits. I’ve seen it happen again and again. There are two main ways to confront problems as the dealer principle: You can personally manage the issue itself, or  You can manage the problems through well-trained employees who are empowered to fix them Your operations will be smoother for you if you choose to embrace your employees’ ability to handle the day-to-day concerns.   One of the most powerful tools you can teach your employees to deploy is effective and strategic emotional intelligence, i.e. the ability to understand, use, and manage emotions through communicating in a positive way. Your managers should understand this skill so they can effectively convey even difficult information to your customers.   The best way to change the communication style within your team is for you, as the leader, to model the use of your own emotional intelligence, whenever possible.  Here’s an example from last week. I was at a dealership group that wants to empower its managers to resolve customer problems through improved emotional intelligence. Together, the owners and I dug in with an action plan and dedicated a day to one-on-one sessions with all key stakeholders. We trained and practiced to ensure the managers understood the concepts and opportunities and could employ emotional intelligence tools effectively.   In this intimate training, we focused on a top-tier issue:  How to De-Escalate Customer Problems and Build Trust (To prevent problems at a dealership, this is step one and is the most important training for employees.) During one memorable session, with just the three of us in the room, one of the managers seemed particularly fidgety, wouldn’t make eye contact with me, despite being only three feet in front of me. He looked at his watch, then looked at the floor, and then looked at his watch again...then, stared at the floor.  Clearly, something was bothering him. (Let’s call him “Anthony.”) Me: Anthony, you look like something’s bothering you. Are you okay? Anthony: Yea, it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it. Me: You look uncomfortable. (When you label the emotion of what someone is feeling, it is disarming.) Anthony: Naw. Sorry, let’s continue. Me: Anthony, I can tell something’s wrong. Please let me what it is so I can help you. Anthony: I apologize (looks at his watch)… let’s keep going. Me: Do you need to be somewhere else? Is that why you keep looking at your watch? Anthony: It’s not about work. Don’t worry about it. Me: Where do you need to be? Anthony, I fix problems; it’s what I do! So please tell me what’s up so I can help. It turns out Anthony had an appointment at the post office to have his passport interview. I asked how long he had been waiting for the meeting (knowing everything is still backed up because of COVID) and he indicated he waited about six (6) to seven (7) weeks for the meeting.  I asked the other manager in the room if Anthony could go to his appointment and I could train him later. And, that’s exactly what ended up happening.  There I was, training about using emotional intelligence, and in that moment, I needed to deploy the very same tool, so Anthony could learn about emotional intelligence! Yes, Anthony should have told his boss about the appointment weeks in advance, days in advance, and the morning of his appointment so we (all) could have avoided the herky-jerky start-stop. When someone is feeling boxed in, they quite often don’t think clearly, as Anthony displayed. (I’m certain he had pressures at home and was told, “you’d better not miss this appointment.” At least, his face indicated that conversation had taken place.)  So the moral of the story is: Use emotional intelligence when managing your employees and deploy these tactics to resolve customer and employee problems. Train on specifics and remind everyone to recognize the emotions at play under all situations. Then, you won’t have to remind yourself of this. Happily, it will be habit. You will just do it!
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No Third-Party Cookie Data? How Dealers Can Leverage Marketing

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Third-party cookies have slowly phased out of the internet for years with stricter privacy regulations taking effect in Europe and several different states in the U.S. including California. This can also be seen with major web browsers (Firefox, Chrome and Safari) and significant-tech companies (Apple, Google) also making changes to the way they operate search functionality and target marketing products for business customers.    As a result, dealers and their advertising partners are now emphasizing how critical it is for auto retailers to utilize information from their own systems about customers to promote themselves since this industry can no longer track consumer information and trends across different automobile websites. This is not limited to just one dealer as thousands of retailers are all facing a similar situation.   Dealers Must Now Rely on First-Party Data   The end of use of cookies results in the challenges of increased difficulty targeting customers and the threat of fewer personalized ads. However, a solution for dealerships is to work with their marketing partners to identify new strategies to build and access their own first-party customer data for target marketing purposes.   Many dealership marketing executives believe   that eliminating third-party data collection makes customizing marketing more difficult and retargeting campaigns more vulnerable moving forward.   With this major shift now taking place, retailers and their agency partners must see that the first-party data willingly shared by customers gives dealerships a trove of data about their own customers, such as email, home addresses, phone numbers and even shopping intent or vehicle preferences.    This disruption to legacy marketing practices was initially thought to break the connectivity dealerships had with consumers so dealers must evaluate whether their marketing providers are equipped to build campaigns using first-party data.   Social Media Marketing Just Became Even More Important   Marketers said another solution is that dealerships can reach customers through social media platforms like Facebook to track their users’ activity.   The fear among dealers is that a high price tag and the length of time shoppers spend deciding upon a vehicle purchase (typically 3-5 years) would see car sales more negatively affected than other e-commerce-driven products that leverage first-party data practices.    These dealers fear that marketing strategies in the automotive industry cannot reach the same broad audience compared to marketing efforts of household goods, which is why having good insight into first-party customer data is critical.   Using Marketing Technology To Get More Personal   Savvy automotive marketing consultants instead say that with the growing need for first-party data, dealerships can offer something of value (like personalized discounts or loyalty programs) in return for consumers agreeing to share personal information, which can also address customers’ privacy concerns and provide transparency about how the data is used.   What’s more, dealerships can work with social media companies and host vehicle detail pages with the social platform. With Facebook, the site can identify when someone views any automobile content or engages with an ad. Utilizing this data, dealerships and their marketing providers can build an audience and retarget consumers.    These social-specific strategies are being driven by companies such as PureCars, which has taken the last few years to help dealers build custom marketing programs that not only drive traffic to the web, but also help in creating more conversion efficiency during the pre-qualification stage.   Facebook can’t share or sell to other social media platforms but they can use the data to make more informed advertising decisions on their platform.   Facebook executives said the company is working to build privacy-enhancing technologies to help minimize the amount of personal information it processes, while still allowing to show relevant ads and measure ad effectiveness.   Dealers who have not relied solely on third-party data say they aren’t very concerned about the shift since their stores have always used more first-party data from customers in advertising. The data includes information on visitors to the stores’ websites and customer data from the customer relationship management system.    This data not only helps with the initial target marketing, but can also help dealers, lenders and OEM partners construct unique and personalized offers and payments in a more scientifically accurate way, such as the payments data now built by companies like Market Scan and utilized online and in the showroom to create a more seamless, consistent shopping experience for customers.   The world keeps changing for dealers, and that includes the way in which they leverage data to market toward their customers. By focusing on web, social and other marketing technology, dealers will find new ways to collect more targeted data from their customers so that they can build promotions and offers that appeal to them even more than what they had with third-party data.  
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5 Keys to Get More Customer Referrals

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We all know that referrals represent our greatest opportunity for peak profits and predicable growth. As Mark Zuckerberg has acknowledged, “People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.”  There is no other business strategy that can provide the compounding results that can be realized through executing the right referral strategy. It’s simple math. With only half of your customers providing just a single referral every two years, your business doubles every three years.  Unfortunately for most teams, their strategy is simply to ‘ask for a referral.’ This too often leads to an awkward experience with many people avoiding the exchange altogether. There is a better way! With the right referral strategy customers actively share your message and support your business. If you are ready to get more referrals now, ask yourself these five questions: 1. Are my customers capable of referring business? In order to be capable of referring business, your customers must remember you, remember what you can do, and remember why people choose you.  Our customers might know how we’ve helped them and why they said yes, but that doesn’t mean they know all the ways in which we can help. We cannot expect our customers to remember us and how we can help each time an opportunity arises unless we’re in regular communication creating engagement, sharing successes, and continually providing value. Thankfully this can be accomplished with minimal effort leveraging old tools in a new way. You already possess the contact methods and the mediums. The next step is to marry automation with personalization to maximize each interaction and compound your results. Professionals who get more referrals now, execute a next level strategy that ensures they stay top-of-mind, they stay connected, and they stay relevant. 2. Are my customers compelled to refer business? Customers that are compelled to refer business are all motivated by one or more of the following three factors. First, these customers genuinely like us. When you align and connect with your customers on a personal level they not only gladly say yes, but they gladly tell others why they said yes as well. Second, these customers enjoyed a remarkable experience. They did not just have their expectations met; they had an experience worthy of a remark. What is unique and memorable about what you do and how you do it? For some it is a special gift, for others it is a special gesture, for some it is a special service, and for others, it is as simple as a special greeting and goodbye. Third, these customers genuinely want to help. These customers might want to help you because they want to see you succeed, they might want to help the people they are referring because they want to save them from an alternative and potentially bad experience, or they might want to help themselves because of an incentive or rewards program that you have in place. Professionals who get more referrals now, execute a next-level strategy that compels and drives their customers to openly share their experience. 3. Do my customers know I want them to refer business? When conducting a next-level referral workshop, I often ask the class to think of a business they recently worked with where the representative met their expectations, where their experience was positive, and where their needs were met. Then I ask the individuals to raise their hands if they have referred business to that company and representative. To no surprise, very few, if any hands go up. The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate that doing a good job does not equal referrals.  When it comes to getting more referrals now, good is never good enough! We have to ask for referrals, and then we have to continue to ask. This is accomplished by having purposeful conversations at the time of sale, after the honeymoon period, and around key dates on the calendar. A cornerstone of these conversations is the personal referral story crafted in the workshop. Each persons’ referral story is unique to them, but every story helps customers emotionally connect, conceptualize the value, and convict themselves to refer business.  Professionals who get more referrals now, execute a next-level strategy that creates an environment where customers know that referrals are wanted, important, and beneficial to all. 4. Is it easy for my customers to share? One thing is for certain, if we make it awkward and difficult for our customers to refer business to us, we can expect little to no referrals. Technology plays a role. With that said, there is a lot that can be done with your existing technology, without having to invest in anything new. Aside from technology, there are three things you can do to make sure it is easy for your customers to share your message and refer business.  First, ask at the right time. Whether it is at the time of sale, or at a later date, there is a best time to ask. At the time of sale, it is not when you are signing agreements, or when you are saying your good-byes. When you follow up with your customers at a later date, it’s not on their birthdays, or when the new programs and incentives come out. The best times to ask are times where we can have a real purposeful conversation that strengthens our connection and compels our customers to act. Second, always put your customer first. One of the reasons why so many people feel awkward when asking for a referral is because they shift the focus from their customer to themselves. It doesn’t have to be this way. The focus should remain on the customer the entire time. After all, there is much that our customers stand to gain from referring business. Lastly, ask for the right number. One. Just one! One at a time. Too many people ask their customers to identify multiple people who might be interested. In this situation, the focus shifted away from the customer long ago. If a customer wants to refer more than one person to you at one time, great, but I recommend only asking for one. Invest your energy into that one, and it will turn into three more. Professionals who get more referrals now, execute a next-level strategy that makes it easy for customers to engage and refer business. 5. Do I share? The final question to ask yourself is: who am I referring business to? There must be people with whom you’ve conducted business that are worthy of a referral. Think about all of the people you’ve worked with over the past year both personally and professionally. What if all of those people were capable of referring business to you, were compelled to share their experience, and knew exactly how the act of referring business benefited everyone involved? One thing is for certain, when you refer business to these people, they will seek to refer business to you. Maybe not right away, but eventually the Law of Reciprocity will kick in. When you invest in the success of others, more people will want to see you succeed as well. Prioritize your efforts and begin referring business today. We all know that referrals represent our greatest opportunity for peak profits and predictable growth. Unfortunately, for most teams, their strategy is simply to ‘ask for a referral.’ Too often this leads to an awkward experience, with many people avoiding the exchange altogether. There is a better way. It all starts with answering the five questions above and executing a next-level referral strategy. If you want to build greater influence in your market and double your business every three years, focus on getting more referrals now! If you believe in the power of referrals as much as I do, reach out and share your experience. It would be my pleasure to connect.
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How Dealers Should Handle COVID (Co-author Kristina Vaquera)

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Another article about COVID-19?  Ugh! Snap! And oh, my! Employers everywhere are tired with having to handle this additional burden to running their business. But, now, more than ever, it’s important to mitigate your risk by being consistent and current in how you handle COVID. Don’t let your guard down now.    In this article, we will limit our discussion to the federal perspective on COVID as each state may have its own rules or requirements.  FACT: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says you can mandate employee vaccinations for employees physically entering the workplace based on business necessity subject to reasonable accommodation requirements. In essence, if it is a threat to the safety and well-being of employees and customers, you can require vaccinates. Very few jobs at the dealership may be completed by being isolated by plexiglass or office walls. Most require daily face-to-face customer contact that cannot be eliminated. FACT: If vaccines are required, employees may claim two (2) accommodations: Because of their sincerely held religious beliefs (i.e., Title VII of the Civil Rights Act), or Because of their disability (i.e. the Americans with Disabilities Act) If an employee asserts an accommodation request, call your employment lawyer for more specifics on how to handle the situation. Each case is different based on the facts. FACT:  To protect your employees and customers, ensure you have the latest signage from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and your state safety and health departments. For example, current CDC guidance has different masking requirements depending on whether you are in a low or medium to high-risk transmission area. Click here for more information. FACT:  As the employer, you are still required to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizing stations. Outbreaks at the dealership? If you are having frequent positive COVID situations at the store, you may need to revisit your policies and their efficacy. If you make changes, document what you are doing. Are you required to keep a log of positive cases, or report to your state? Make sure you are doing so if required. If OSHA, or any agency, visits you, they want to know what you are doing to protect everyone. Be diligent here.  FACT:  If you sell fleet vehicles to the government, or have a federal contract, then you may be a federal contractor. If so, you must follow federal COVID mandates required by Executive Order. You may also be subject to mandatory vaccine requirements if you have 100 or more employees.  FACT:  On September 9th, President Biden signed an Executive Order requiring employees of contractors doing business with the federal government to be vaccinated which builds off a previously issued Executive Order from July. President Biden also mandated that OSHA is developing a rule requiring all businesses with more than 100 employees to ensure their employees are fully vaccinated or require workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. This mandate also requires employers to provide paid time off for the time it takes workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination. It is unknown if employers will have to pay for the cost of testing and/or the time associated with testing.   This situation continues to evolve. Don’t “take on” risk by being lackadaisical when it comes to COVID. Author's note: The above article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.