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From: Jared Hamilton
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Bryan Armstrong

Bryan Armstrong e-Commerce Director

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Reflections of a Progressive Community

I would be hard pressed to describe the events of the day, but if I don’t take a moment now, this feeling of absolute euphoria I feel may escape me as tomorrow prepare to travel and return to the day to day operations of my Store.

You see, for the last two days I have been rubbing elbows and interacting with the most brilliant and innovative minds from a variety of Industries and I am literally “in the ether” (You know, that state of enamor that we all try to elicit from our clientele? )

As I listen to impassioned people sharing ideas on Culture shifts, Marketing trends and truly connecting with customers in ways heretofore undreamed of in the Automotive Vertical, I have hope: Hope for a better Culture, better Sales and more importantly, of erasing the stigma that so many of even our BEST customers have long held of an Industry I love.

It didn’t matter if ideas conflicted; all were presented, cases stated and the audience left to make their own determination. There was no “pitching” of Products or Services and Dealers and Vendors alike were discussing ideas based on their MERIT alone. Strategies were shared and opinions ran strong and passionate and I remembered again of why I love what I do.

The real time twitter feed became an open forum wherein audience participation abounded and Speakers were commented on and rated by their peers IN REAL TIME. Vendors that are at odds and fierce competitors “on the street” sat at the same table and discussed strengths and weaknesses of their Platforms IN FRONT OF DEALERS!!! We hear the term “crowd-sourcing” bantered about, but with the live feed, twitter and input from different camps I have now seen it in action and come away with a clearer picture of what I hope to aspire to and a knowledge that I am not alone in that dream.

A few years ago, some friends of mine, Joe Webb and Bill Playford of DealerKnows, stated to me in a personal conversation, that they wanted to be “The Justice League” of the Dealer world when it came to Vendor Solutions/Consultants. DrivingSales has for these three days created an army of evangelists that will take the things learned and relationships built and enabled the seeds of such a vision to be spread far and wide.

I know I will be looking back through the #DSES hash tag on Twitter and watching these sessions as they become available on DrivingSales TV to further clarify and define the course in the weeks and year to come until the next one.

Thank you Jared and your hard working Team at DrivingSales.com for continuing to push the bar and set a higher standard for learning and interacting at Automotive Conferences. It may be altruistic and naïve, but I hope to be able to carry this passion with me to sustain me till next year’s Event.

I will be implementing take-a-ways from here and giving feedback in this Community and would encourage all those in attendance now, observing from afar or directed to this post by some well-intentioned friend to do the same and make plans now to attend next year’s event. This is not an Automotive Conference in the Traditional definition of the word as much as it is a trek to the Holy Grail. Come and renew, rejuvenate, be enlightened and re-define our role in the Business world. If you don’t, in the words of Gary Vaynerchuck you’ll be “going out of business within 15 years, and if 15 years is all you need, then fine”.

Personally, I too want to leave behind a legacy and know that I left an imprint of good upon the world through selling cars. After all, being a "car guy" (or gal) is, in my estimation, an opportunity to serve others and thereby better myself.

Bryan Armstrong

@bryancarguy

Jim Bell
Great insights Bryan. It was an awesome day of what I was able to watch online. I am looking forward to today's sessions that will be live streamed. Wish I were there and able to take part first hand.
Bryan Armstrong
Jim, you are sorely missed and I think now you can see why I said that this event IS a "must attend". I KNOW I will see you and many more friends here next year. :)
Bill Playford
It was great to see you Bryan, and THANKS for making your participation felt. We were surrounded by many superheros these past three days, and I hope all who attended are walking away with that same "ether." I know I'm feeling it, too.

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