As we get ready to attend the 9th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas, I wanted to talk about a hidden learning opportunity.
Over the past weeks, I’ve seen plenty of blog posts and articles from people with advice on how to get ready for and efficiently attend the conference. All of these articles offered great advice such mapping out your sessions and bringing proper supplies. I agree with all of them.
One thing I haven’t heard, however, is one of the most beneficial things I used to take advantage of at the conferences and that is the ability to check out all the new technology and services available within our industry that could help me sell more cars.
I was an internet director working for large automotive groups for a long time. I was constantly bombarded – as I’m sure you are – by calls from vendors. Some days it seemed like I appeared on every vendors “to-do” list and, at times, I just stopped taking their calls. We’re all busy and we’re all focused on selling cars. Nobody wants to be “sold” something when you’d rather be doing the selling.
One of the most attractive things for me, at the conference, was the opportunity to visit with all the vendors in the exhibit hall if only to check out what solutions and technology are available. Whether you are in the market for a new solution or not, the knowledge of what’s out there is invaluable because the one thing in our business that is constant is change.
When your dealer principal, GM, GSM or whomever comes to you with a problem and asks you to fix it, would you rather know what solutions exist and be able to make some suggestions RIGHT THEN, or have to start hunting from scratch. I guarantee you it will waste more of your time hunting for a new vendor for whatever your needs are if you don’t already know what’s out there.
This also gives you the opportunity to ask other DEALERS about their vendors. Every vendor is going to tell you that their product rocks, that they are the best at it, and that they will help you sell a ton more cars than you already are (if you use it properly, of course). So how do you weed out the good companies from the GREAT companies? How do you find the “diamonds in the rough”, so to speak?
Look, we all know that post-conference sales pitches, phone calls, and e-mails only INCREASE – as they should. You can’t blame the vendors. Say you sold Fords and you went to an auto show. At that auto show everyone was educated on the benefits of driving a Ford Explorer. Everyone left with some level of knowledge that maybe I should be driving a Ford Explorer. Now, say the conference decided to give you a list of all of those people who were interested in a Ford Explorer. Would you call them? If you are any type of salesperson you would.
Just like you get irritated when you call someone that you got an internet lead on because they’re irritated that you called them, so do the vendors. If you took the time to educate yourself about the technology products and services that are available WHILE YOU”RE AT THE CONFERENCE, you would be able to tell the vendors when they call you post-conference that you took the opportunity to check out their service already.
I’m not saying you have to spend your time watching everybody’s demo. Just set aside a block of time to make a quick trip around the exhibit hall to check out what new services and technology products are being offered by companies – both new and old.
I guarantee you’ll discover something that you didn’t know existed.
You have all the notable vendors within our industry in the same place at the same time. Use that to your advantage. Learning what is available to help you sell more cars is just as important as learning new techniques and processes to do that via the seminars. The vendors are an intrinsic part of what makes the Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition POSSIBLE. They’re at the conference because they want the opportunity to meet you and talk to you.
Be the go-to-guy (or gal) at your dealership with the solutions and you’ll make yourself that much more invaluable.
…and pick up some free swag and enter their contests for prizes while you’re at it. We all like free stuff and they like to give it out.
Here is the list of vendors that helped make the 9th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition possible.
I hope to meet everyone at the show.