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The first thing I noticed this year at NADA was the difference in tone when it came to dealers and their attitudes. Two years ago when I attended in New Orleans the attitude and overall feel was completely different. At that time dealers were just looking for ways to becomes more efficient and survive the storm.
Few were willing to look at lead generation or anything that involved expanding their business, but instead were looking at ways to maximize what they already had. This led to a large demand for the lending aspect of our company, but a tepid approach when it came to looking at lead generation.
This year you saw the difference in attitude and intent with all of the dealers that were at the show from the first bell on that Saturday. Those that have survived the past few years have learned to be more lean and efficient and make the most of what the market offers. They are now looking to expand their book of business and attack the customers who are not walking onto their lot.
Lenders are stepping up to the plate and actually looking to add dealers in 2011. This means to increase market share, dealers will have to find new ways to reach customers outside of their traditional forms of advertisement. Our ability to eliminate duplication among all the different verticals of lead generation that a dealer may utilize puts us in a unique position to offer non-brand-specific customers that the dealership is not seeing currently.
We're looking forward to helping our dealer partners find car buyers that no other provider (new/used/finance/brand specific/inventory based) can supply. 2011 is going to be a great year for selling cars.
Brian Matthews is an account executive for Carloan.com. He has been helping dealers with their sales and marketing processes since 2007. You can reach Brian at 804-521-8569, via email at bmatthewsATcarloan.com and follow Brian on Twitter at @BrianCarloan.