Our team just completed a 2.5 day Internet Director/Manager Bootcamp in Las Vegas sponsored by NCM. As always, I learned as much as I taught and was impressed with the level of talent in the represented dealerships. What was particularly nice about this event was the fact that we had such a wide range of experience and that the attendees with a great deal of experience were so willing to share what works in their dealerships with those who were just starting out. I think if the industry is going to thrive at the level it can then we are going to have to help one another and this spirit of helping was clearly present at the Bootcamp. It is certainly present in the DrivingSales environment.
A nice byproduct of the Internet for dealerships is that it is a nice draw for bringing talented women into the workforce. There were nearly as many women as men in the Bootcamp sessions and this is impressive and will do more for helping the industry reach out to the marketplace as any technology or process available. As the father of two daughters and the little brother to 3 sisters I have learned firsthand how vital a woman's intellect, effort and guidance can be to any situation.
A missing ingredient in most dealership Internet Operations was raised again this week and that is "where are the mid-level managers in designing and developing dealership Internet Operations?" Time and again it was apparent that a large percentage of Sales managers (both new and used) as well as Finance managers, Parts and Service managers resist involvement with Internet sales and marketing. Seems like a huge benefit to them (more sales and profits) and obviously a big miss at the dealership. To continually see this talent missing from the development of online strategies is remarkable. My advice is for sales managers, finance managers, parts and service managers to have their job descriptions re-written to include their role in the overall Internet sales, service and marketing actions on the Internet.