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It’s an honor this week to present Eric Miltsch, IT and web director for Auction Direct USA, with a brand new iPhone 3G.  Eric’s winning strategy - “Drive Traffic, Lead Conversion and Units Sold; Guest Engagement,” strikes at the heart of what so many of us are trying to achieve every day.  Relevant, proven, tactical – Eric’s Strategy is right in the wheelhouse of what DrivingSales Strategies are all about, so it’s no wonder it got such an overwhelming response from our members.

In addition to being the IT and web director at AuctionDirect, Eric is an active member and blogger on DrivingSales.  He brings a unique perspective to reaching consumers online using many forms of social media, including networking platforms, which he blogs about in his company blog - WhyBuyUsedCars.com, in addition to his Eric Miltsch Blog on DrivingSales.com.

This week I caught up with Eric in between his super busy schedule at the store to notify him of his win and to learn more about where all his great ideas come from. Jared Hamilton (JH): Thanks again for your contributions in our latest Strategies contest, Eric.  Tell us a little about yourself.

Eric Miltsch (EM): I'm originally from Rochester, NY and still live here with my wife Susan and two sons Parker and Cooper. I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with a marketing communications degree with an emphasis on the technical side. The tech aspect always intrigued me; I was a retail stockbroker and a trader concentrating mostly on tech stocks for nearly 10 years. Understanding the technology and how it impacted a business was a must. Eventually, the opportunity to work with a close friend presented itself and we began helping companies create their online presence. Website development, online marketing and even technology consulting - whatever the client needed to improve their business. 

JH: Tell us a little bit about what you do at AuctionDirect and how long you've been with them.

EM: I was fortunate enough to get involved with Auction Direct USA over two years ago when they approached me to help with their first website redesign. After a couple of months the new website was launched and at the same time the perfect relationships were also created. At the time, Auction Direct USA needed assistance with other elements within their online and IT worlds and I was happy to help offer them the solutions. This eventually led to me become their IT | Web Director. (And also led me to no longer sleeping as I knew it.)

I watch over our IT network and everything we're doing online; I've enjoyed every moment here - especially seeing everything develop from the beginning. I get to do what I love every single day and continue building our business. 

JH: What interested you in what we're doing on DrivingSales.com and how long have you been a member?

EM: It was when you and I spoke on the phone earlier in the year; you were nearing the launch of DrivingSales. I knew this would be a great destination spot for the industry. An extra push to participate came from Paul Rushing as well. There is so much information yet to be shared about our changing industry, the tools being used and the experiences people have had with them. I'm always looking to learn, and share that knowledge with other industry professionals. DrivingSales is a great spot for that now.

JH: We are now past 1,300 thousand members – it’s amazing. What are your favorite tools and what are some of the benefits you've seen?  And, how do you think the network is benefiting others in our industry?

EM: The ability to connect and interact with the other members is a key element; providing Web 2.0 functionality to the people within the industry is a perfect way to demonstrate its power first hand. I'm a huge advocate of the power of social media with regards to its ability to build a community, develop a brand and provide a conversion solution. DrivingSales.com has the ability to do all of these on so many levels if the users embrace the tools being made available to them.

JH: What do you think is most important to help dealerships in the current economic environment?

EM: I'm a firm believer the dealership needs to have its online strategy communicated from the top down to every level. I'm very lucky in that our CEO and COO are huge proponents of leveraging the strength of the Internet.

JH: What do you think are the most important benefits of social networking, and what are your thoughts about social media in general?

EM: Dealers need to shift their strategies as online shoppers continuously change their shopping and buying habits. Social media strategies enable dealerships to expand their online footprint and help provide their guests the information they are truly looking for while online. Retailers need to react to their consumers’ desires; the automobile industry is no different.

JH: Tell us a bit about what AuctionDirect offers.

EM: Auction Direct USA Used Vehicle Superstores provide its guests with the most unique automotive shopping experience possible. Our model operates on a customer driven philosophy, which understands consumers deserve a better shopping experience - in the showroom and online by providing the lowest prices and the best selection of quality used vehicles. Every Auction Direct USA Certified Vehicle is marked with the lowest in market "Buy it Now" price on the window. Customers appreciate the no-negotiation atmosphere and truly enjoy their car buying experience. The entire online experience was created with that in mind as well: Engaging, innovative and useful.

JH: Thanks so much for being an active member and blogger on DrivingSales, Eric. Pleasure talking to you. EM: Likewise!

Eric can be reached at Auction Direct USA by phone at (585) 742 - 8000 or via email at emiltsch@auctiondirectusa.com

And be sure to check out AutionDirectUSA.com, WhyBuyUsedCars.com, or follow AuctionDirect on Twitter

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