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Chris K Leslie

Chris K Leslie Marketing

Exclusive Blog Posts

4 Sales Lessons from Real Car Shoppers

4 Sales Lessons from Real Car Shoppers

I’ve worked with auto dealerships across the country and 99% of the time, when I ask what their primary goal is, the answer is increasing car sales. …

WEBINAR RECORDING - How To Generate More Qualified Leads in Q4

WEBINAR RECORDING - How To Generate More Qualified Leads in Q4

  Car shoppers have a lot of questions and dealerships need to be available to answer them quickly, concisely and at scale to maximize sales. 8…

This is How Reed-Lallier Chevy Sold More Used Cars – and How We Helped

This is How Reed-Lallier Chevy Sold More Used Cars – and How We Helped

Used or Certified? More often than not that seems to be the choice car buyers are making during this unsteady sales year. Consider: Edmunds expects new veh…

How Servicing Fleets Should Be Different

How Servicing Fleets Should Be Different

A large local construction company truck pulls into the service drive. The lone occupant hops out of the driver’s seat, already scrolling through…

Are You Ready For Monday? DSES Best Idea Contest, 2019!

Are You Ready For Monday? DSES Best Idea Contest, 2019!

One of my favorite events at the Driving Sales Executive Summit is the Best Idea Contest. Each year participants enter their respective ideas. For those wh…

Building Effective Vendor Relationships


There is a tendency for us automotive digital marketers to allow others the ability to dictate and demand our time. I’m not talking so much about our bosses or co-workers. I’m talking about our vendors and potential partners.

The phone rings all day, your inbox looks like a twitter stream. I get it. It sucks.

So, how are you ever going to get anything done if you’re just running to the next meeting our joining the next webex?

Well, its simple really. You need to create some breathing room.

It isn’t hard and not only are you going to feel more liberated. I’ve found that our current partners appreciate the productive meetings we have as well as the potential partners get a chance to have their voice heard.

I know many folks who just brush off these potential partners. But I would argue there is a lot we can learn from the people we haven’t talked to yet.

So what I do is this.

For our current partners and vendors I keep a standing monthly meeting. Typically the 2nd or 3rd friday of the month. I like Friday’s because it allows me time over the weekend to think about the things we’ve discussed and if it’s something I want to do I can start on it when I am back Monday.

I always ask our vendors the same 3 questions and ask them to have this prepared before arriving for our meeting.



Question 1 — What’s Working?

Ive noticed that a lot of times the things that are working get discussed way less than the things that are working. Not only is it a downer to only talk about the things that suck. It also sets the tone for the rest of the conversation. So if you start of by talking about the positives then the rest of your meeting can keep that up beat tone.



Question 2 — What’s Not Working?

I set the expectation clearly up front that if something isn’t working. Lets either decide that it just isn’t a good fit for our business or it needs some adjusting to get it back working to where we think it should be. Not all products are for everyone. I know many vendors hate talking about this but they know I do this our of respect for them and their product. Both I and they would rather drop a feature or something added vs. dropping the vendor all together.



Question 3 — What small thing can we tweak that will have a measurable impact?

If you aren’t turning the dials you aren’t engaged with the product. If you are going to pay for something you need to always test its boundaries. Otherwise everything you ever do with anyone is going to be nothing but mediocre. This also gives your rep the opportunity to bring you the newest thing they saw someone else doing that is easy ti implement. Doesn’t cost any money and when your boss asks you how things are going with X. You are able to show that you are actively involved in managing the product and making it better to suite your store.



These 3 simple questions really do help keep meetings short, concise and engaging on both ends. It’s a simple standard that i had to create for myself to keep my insanity and make sure that my meetings were staying productive.



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