NADA 2013 is done and what an incredible show it was.
This year's theme was clearly evident: Education and data driven decisions. If you happened to miss it this year, here's a different perspective, from the DrivingSales University booth (our 1st one!) looking out on the rest of the event.
As soon as the doors opened we were greeted by dealers looking for help improving performance and understanding exactly what's going on within the vendor world. I truly enjoy hearing from dealers, especially those that may not be familair with DrivingSales University, our website or even our staff - this ultimately validates the problem facing today's dealers.
Another excellent indicator of the strength of our open exchange of objective information was the sheer number of dealers who went out of their way to visit the DrivingSales University booth to inquire about specific vendor solutions and even regarding which NADA workshops would be the most beneficial for their specific needs.
In my opinion, the last 24-36 months have been filled with vendors providing new products to dealerships - one after another. Each of these products had good intentions; all of them are desgined to help dealers in the long run. Unfortunately, dealerships have been stockpiling these products like overpriced used cars. Eventually dealers realize they have all of this sizzle, no steak anywhere in sight and simply don't know what they got themselves into.
So, what's the missing element? Proper structure, process and marketing. Dealers see the light once the concept of tight processes and proper strucure is introduced and explained. Think of DSU as the glue that helps keep your staff stuck to the concepts behind the vendor's products. This glue helps eliminate emotional decisions and sets the stage for logical, data driven decisions to be made.
While in our booth, some of the most frequently mentioned items I heard from dealers were:
- The lack of a long term lead management process (120 days minimum!)
- Long response times (some dealers said their times were between 10-24 hours!)
- Poor lead response quality
- Lack of website analytics reporting - including proper website conversion tracking
- The inability to manage vendor relationships - they simply don't understand what the vendors are doing, or should be doing for their stores
If you went to NADA looking for new DMS, CRM and website solutions, unfortunately none of those can singulary provide the magic solutions you need. Today's successful dealerships thrive because of their strict adherence to the structure, process and marketing surrounding their operations.
Feel free to contact Ron Henson for even more information about how the DrivingSales University team can evaluate your current proccess and improve your store's performance.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hello, visit our amazing team and continue to support DrivingSales University - we appreciate it!
How was your NADA 2013 experience?