Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Fresh perspective

By Bill Playford on Aug 14, 2011

How often is it that your non-automotive friends want to do something related to your automotive career? Besides helping take a few layers of rubber off a new Camaro SS, probably not

Colored lenses that often. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when some of my non-automotive friends enthusiastically asked me about going to the Driving Sales Executive Summit. That’s right: the same folks that silently plead for me to shut up about the car business actually want to attend a conference for the car business.

Despite the fact that this will read like a commercial, it’s not intended to. The fact of the matter is that I support any retail automotive event that seeks to help dealer personnel become better at what they do. While some events cover the basics, and others seek to introduce new solutions, DSES always offers a glimpse of the future. Moreover, it seems to take into account the consumers’ angle. Since I’m pushing a decade in the car business, and my experience is 99.9% digital, I don’t like being stuck in the echo-chamber. It’s one of the few automotive conferences that get me excited (and oddly enough, doesn’t have a military theme).

What makes it exciting? Two words: thought leaders. While other conferences take pride in featuring automotive legends, DSES consistently features up-and-comers from the business community at large. Although some may call it highbrow, it’s a place where you might get social media advice from someone with 900,000 followers versus someone with 900 followers. You might get business advice from leading business school faculty versus someone who inherited a turnkey operation. You might get technology advice from those who work in Silicon Valley versus those…who are, um…really good sales people. It offers the perspective of business professionals speaking about automotive versus automotive professionals speaking about business.

As you start to plan the fall conference season, and you are forced to pick & choose, evaluate what you need to get better at. Do you need to get a broad spectrum of basic concepts? Do you need solutions that can be implemented today? Do you need to evaluate new tools? Do you need to learn more about changing consumer habits? Do yourself a favor, and evaluate the speakers and their content before you decide which conference to choose from. Better yet, ask your non-retail-automotive friends (I know you have a few) who would they rather see. After all, you are not selling cars to car salespeople: You're selling cars to real people.

Post script: I have to give a shout-out to the folks at the OTHER conference for cajoling Erik Qualman into being the keynote speaker. Since you are probably like me, and will be attending both conferences, you'll get to see Gary Vaynerchuk, Aaron Strout, Jason Falls, and Erik Qualman speak (along with the usual suspects) in the same week! Who needs SXSW?!

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Bill Playford's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Dealerbaby Announces Newest Customer – Blevins Brothers

    Dealerbaby Announces Newest Customer - Blevins Brothers Blevins Brothers Launch Their First Native Mobile App  Saratoga Springs, NY: Dealerbaby (www.dealerbaby.com), a custom mobile app platform for auto dealerships, is proud to announce that Blevins Brothers, an auto group in Ogdensburg, NY has launched their first native mobile app via the Dealerbaby mobile platform.  “Dealerbaby allows us to connect with our customers like never before.  It puts our store literally in the palm of their hands, anywhere, anytime,” said Marc Blevins, Sales Manager at Blevins Bros. Blevins Brothers, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership, serving Gouverneur, Canton, Watertown, Potsdam and Fort Drum, NY, has been a family run business since 1983. Last year, Blevins Brothers, began looking for a new way to reach current and potential customers. After a thorough review of options, Blevins Brothers, choose to invest in mobile for the following reasons: reach, loyalty, and the future of car bu...Read post

  • DrivingSales Announces Innovation Cup and Dealer Best Idea Award Winners for 2014

     New Car IQ from Pearl Technology wins 2014 Innovation Cup Award and “YouTube Postal Service” from Robert Karbaum E-Commerce Manager, Weins Canada Inc./Don Valley North Lexus, wins the 2014 Dealer Best Idea Award; presented at 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit     Salt Lake City, Utah – October 20, 2014 – DrivingSales today announced the winners of the 2014 DrivingSales Innovation Cup and Dealer Best Idea Awards. “New Car IQ” from Pearl Technology won The Innovation Cup Award for the most innovative dealership solution of the year. Robert Karbaum, E-Commerce Manager, Weins Canada Inc./Don Valley North Lexus took the Dealer Best Idea Award for “YouTube Postal Service.” This is the second year in a row Karbaum has won the award. The awards were presented in Las Vegas on October 14th at the sold-out DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES). Over 1,000 dealers and industry professionals attended the three-day event, which concluded on Tuesday.   “It always gives me g...Read post

  • Auto/Mate Integrates DMS with etfile Document Management System, Streamlining Auto Dealer Workflow

    ALBANY, N.Y. – October 20th, 2014 – Auto/Mate Dealership Systems (http://www.automate.com) announced today the integration of its dealership management system (DMS) with etfile's electronic document management solution. Auto dealerships using the etfile document imaging, filing & retrieval system can now receive deals from F&I and Repair Orders (RO's) from service, via real-time delivery from Auto/Mate's DMS. The integration also allows dealers to identify all documents that were not scanned on a given day.   "Auto dealers can create hundreds of documents on a daily basis, and if they're using an electronic filing system the ability to retrieve documents out of their DMS in a timely manner is critical to increasing efficiencies," said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems.   "Partnering with Auto/Mate will allow hundreds of dealerships to take advantage of the benefits associated with our document management system, which include saving tho...Read post

  • The Importance of Driving Sales' Exclusive and Community Blog Sections

    If there's one thing that gets me riled up, it's the types and degrees of education in the automotive industry. The car business has always taken care of me, so I try to always take care of the car business. On many of the blogs and networks in our industry, there are sections for exclusive content and separate sections for "community posts" or syndicated content. Both serve an important role and I publish profusely in both. Here's why: Community Content is General There was a time when I didn't agree with posting the same article to multiple places. It seemed obtuse from a search perspective and annoying from a dealer perspective to see the same content republished over and over again on a wide variety of sites. A friend and someone who manages one of the sites changed my opinion on this. He pointed out that content of general interest to the majority of dealers are better served when a post is published in multiple places. While the vendors seem to be on all of the networks, he p...Read post

  • Autosoft Hosts Free System Utilization Training Events for FLEX DMS Customers

    Autosoft, Inc., introduced two new, free training programs to improve customers’ system utilization this summer, and achieved tremendous results. Summer Driving School, a live, weekly webinar series, and Boot Camp, an in-person, hands-on training event hosted at Autosoft’s corporate headquarters in September, were well attended and highly rated by those who participated. More than 1,700 auto dealers and staff attended Summer Driving School, a series of live webinars hosted by Autosoft every week in June, July and August. Each webinar was presented by a software support expert and provided instruction on common dealership processes, including month-end accounting procedures, bank reconciliation, service-to-payroll integration, daily operating controls, franchise financial statements and other frequently performed processes. The series was recorded and is archived on Autosoft’s website for customer access, and more than 800 additional customers have tuned-in to date.Read post

  • Pro Golfer Hunter Mahan Signs Endorsement Deal With Autosoft, Inc.

    PGA TOUR star Hunter Mahan and Autosoft, Inc., a leading software provider to automotive retailers, are proud to announce a new partnership to kick off the 2014/2015 season. This is Autosoft’s first sponsorship of a professional athlete and allows the company to feature Mahan’s name, likeness and image in all marketing and advertising. Mahan will display Autosoft’s logo on his left collar and make an in-person appearance at the NADA Convention and Expo (www.nada.org) in January, 2015 in San Francisco, California. “Autosoft is very proud to team up with such an accomplished athlete as Hunter. He shares our values, and will appeal to our customers with his winning drive, passion for cars, and accomplished golf career” says Bryce Veon, Autosoft’s president and CEO. Hunter Mahan is one of the elite players on the PGA TOUR, amassing six career victories and finishing the 2014 season sixth in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. “I’m excited to have Autosoft as a partner because we share the same winning spirit and commitment to being the best in our respective fields. I’ll also be closer to an industry that I love. One of my passions has always been cars and I look forward to being part of a team that serves dealers.” Read post

  • Was it me or is the DSES getting bigger and better?

    This was my first year attending DSES as a vendor (Autosoft DMS) and now I am even more impressed with the size and the scope of the show. Not only are there more vendors but now that I am on the vendor side, I am in complete awe of the caliber of dealership personnel that attended. Everyone I met was a sharp, cutting edge, progressive individual who was representing a dealership that wanted to take it's performance to the next level. Read post

  • Data Security Starts At Home

    As security breaches and data theft become more commonplace, businesses will encounter increasing regulatory and consumer pressure to protect that data. I’ve written numerous articles on the importance of data security in dealerships, especially when dealers share that sensitive customer information with their vendor partners.   According to a recent article in Entrepreneur, however, Forrester Research found that “36 percent of data breaches resulted from employee errors.” Even more disturbing is that, according to the government IT Network, MeriTalk, that number is even larger. MeriTalk found that “49 percent of compromises occur when workers bypass security measures…” With sensitive customer data floating around dealerships in CRMs, DMSs, credit applications in deal jackets and many other places, it’s quite apparent that consumer information is readily available to employees who may wish to do your business harm. Add to that the increased risk when employees share ...Read post