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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Chad Breuer

Chad Breuer Internet Director

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The Las Vegas Misconception

 

There is a big misconception in the car business.  I call it the Las Vegas pipe dream.  Dealers from around the country fly back and forth to Las Vegas or other resort like areas for conventions and other meetings searching for the answer to their problems.  “Why am I not selling more cars on the Internet?”  Las Vegas is not the answer.   Of course, a trip to Las Vegas on the dealerships dime does sound appealing and you may get some good advice from people in the car business.  It will never be an answer to what is best for YOUR dealership.  Here is a list of reasons why bringing in a personal Internet Training Consultant is cheaper, more focused and more efficient than flying your General Manager to Las Vegas.

  • Las Vegas is Expensive Paying your General Manager to fly to Vegas is expensive.  Not only are the flight, food, taxi, hotel, and other incidentals costly, you are taking your GM out of the office for 3 to 4 days. 
  • Las Vegas Isn’t Focused on YOUR business-These conventions and meetings in Las Vegas for Car Dealers invite a speaker.  These speaker share very valuable information that is very important, but they speak to the masses.  It is very general and very vague.  A professional Internet Training Consultant is hired to look at YOUR business.
  • Las Vegas Isn’t Efficient to YOUR needs- A professional Internet Training Consultant will take a look at YOUR online presence, come up with an evaluation report, present YOUR issues and work with your team to fix them. 

I know some us need a vacation in Las Vegas, but if you need a vacation take a vacation.  Do yourself a favor and hire an Internet Training Consultant to train your Internet Department.  Once they have come in and re-focused your Internet Department and you’re making more money selling cars online, take a vacation in Las Vegas and go crazy.  The car business and Las Vegas have a history, but let us not mesh the two ideas together when they don’t work to better our car dealerships.   

Rafi Hamid AutoExecutive
Chad, what you said make lot of sense and I do agree with you some what! So what you are saying is "KING IS NAKED". This is one of the things you really don't talk about in our industry (Vendor Side)! I know several dealers principles and General Managers especially in last few weeks who expressed exactly the same sentiments since there are so many different conferences springing up that it is truly a difficult task for them to decided which one is the right one to attend and they end up deciding to just stay put and don't even go or send their staff members. I have recently received calls from dealers who want in-house training for their dealerships just because of the same reason. By the way I do love to attend and speak at these conferences and would not talk negative but as an industry we may need to find a balance and right timing for these conferences. Chad, I know you are a very bright guy and I have personally seen you in action. Thank you for sharing your thought here at Driving Sales. Have a great day.
Eric Miltsch
Chad, Making the voyage to Vegas for the sake of being out "on the dealership's dime" is one thing, however, when the choice is made to go to an event which has clearly proven itself to provide the most cutting edge, actionable take-aways available, that's an entirely different thing. Las Vegas is actually very cheap. The cost of a 3 trip is less than 2k; you'll make more than that on your next deal most likely. And you'll make a whole lot more if you execute on any of the ideas that are shared. It's simply an investment that needs to be made. While Las Vegas may not be focused on your business, the event is. (And in this case, I'm obviously talking about DSES) We all had a hand in personally choosing the best keynotes available who will speak directly to your automotive business needs. I have yet to hear from anyone who said they weren't able to walk away learning something from these speakers. Keep in mind, I attended the 1st three DSES events as a dealer. Lastly, the trip is extremely efficient. The best keynotes, the best ideas shared via the Innovation Cup & Best Idea contests and the best breakout sessions selected by the dealer community present the most efficient method of learning available in the industry. Yes, I agree - an Internet training consultant should be part of your mix. Who knows, maybe someone will be introduced to their next training consultant at an event? Thanks for sharing your perspective Chad. And, if anyone needs help in choosing which Vegas event to attend, I wouldn't be doing what I do best by telling you to compare: http://automotiveconferenceintervention.com/ (Disclosure for those not aware: I'm the Director of Product Strategy for DrivingSales.com)
Chad Breuer
Thank you for your comment Eric. We all have our opinions. I have been to Vegas for Digital Dealer and I have been trained by an Internet Training Consultant. In my opinion consultation was, by far, the best use of resources.
Rafi Hamid AutoExecutive
Ops :) I forgot my disclosure, BTW I am one of the original board and founding member of the most exciting social network on he internet for the most progressive Dealers in the nation called Drivingslaes.com. and I do not disagree with Eric, It is all about your motivations and desired to gain during these conferences. I Have seen attendees who are totally focus and take home actionable items and also seen so many others who really come for fun. Like anything ells in life. If it is up to an individual attendee. DSES is one of the most progressive conferences in the industry and for that my hats off for Jared Hamilton. I am travelling overseas on a prior commitment and its it too bad and I am sorry that I could not attend or speak at this one. Hopefully I will at the next one. Thanks for your input Eric.
Jeff Simonton
As the marketing/tech chaperon for a number of conference trips with managers from various departments, I have to say that the group experience is priceless. A consultant would be much more cost-effective if a dealer already had middle manager buy-in and knew what they wanted. Without buy-in, the consultant will most likely be viewed as a vendor wasting their time and money. In many cases the big conference take-away is, “I didn’t know what I didn’t know.” It’s a lot easier to pitch digital elements of a budget when you can start with, “Remember that presentation we saw about…” When I knew we needed a pricing tool, the best way to get one implemented was to have the used car manager comfortable with using it. On the floor at the digital dealer conference (in Dallas, at the time) I dragged the USM from AAX to FirstLook and to vAuto to let him pick. To move from sessions about pricing to vendors who offer the tools was great. In reality, whatever pricing tool is the consultant’s favorite, or my favorite, or the owners favorite is not really relevant. Get the buy-in and let the user have some input. They’re all different, and the end user is the most important opinion. A Kain Automotive study (as I saw it presented at a conference) pointed to the significance of manager buy-in rather than owner buy-in, and I’ve found that to be true. Exposing department managers to a group of their peers at a digital conference is very useful. The result is a slew of implementation questions and a much more cooperative relationship back at the dealership. I think the best plan is to hire a consultant who can meet the team at the end of the conference, assign prep tasks to attendees and then show up a week later at the dealership to implement change that everyone believes in.

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