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This is officially the beginning of the end for many. December 27, 2011. There will be a moment over the next handful of years in which you'll reflect back to this post (or others like it) and say "Oh, crap." Or it may be the longer rendition which usually sounds something like "Why did I allow myself to get in my way over and over again? Why did I shut down and refuse to change, giving garbage excuses?"
As time went on from December 27, 2011 Acute Death by Delusional Digital Defiance, we'll call it ADDDD for short, you invested more and more in the comfort zone, allowing vendors to do with you money and brand what they wanted, essentially squandering opportunities while you were convinced you were actually doing something. Your business was actually disappearing at the same time everything looked the same from your vantage point behind the desk or golf cart steering wheel.
And who could blame you? You read the ads in the trades and took advice from your 20 Group and absorbed the Powerpoint presentations. You wrote the checks. You took the training, however often that someone actually showed up and you attended the conferences. It never dawned on you that everything you relied so heavily on was the white elephant in the room. You took the easy way out instead of asking the tough questions and not believing the hype. Simply put, you allowed yourself to fail.
Why did this happen? You didn't take the road less traveled when the paths diverged in the woods. As far as you knew, you believed it wasn't supposed to be about "hard work" anymore: you're senior management or, better yet, a business owner. Add to that the whole "Internet thing" was just too difficult to understand and should be handled by young kids and "people who text a lot and surf the web."
So wind it down now so you don't experience the slow, deliberate march of self-induced death. Ignore the articles from Joe Webb prodding the salespeople that you mistreat (http://bit.ly/rVN66B) and from HubSpot on Harvard Business Review about Google changes (http://bit.ly/ub6iOH) that your website company will not talk about, or some trends to capitalize on (http://bit.ly/rU9VAt) and what's going on with mobile (http://bit.ly/smRSOt) from Search Engine Watch. You're been reading all of these...right?
Nope..."too busy running a business." More like "too ignorant to run a business."
So while you idly wait for the inevitable why don't you ask:
Your website company why:
Your CRM company why:
Your social media company why:
Waiting? You've been told your entire life that good things come to those who wait. Well, we're here to set the record straight. Only the leaders thrive. You can wing it today, sure. There will be "those" that still make it with no true effort. However, it is a false existence and leads to ADDDD.
The grim reaper is coming and his sickle has your business' name on it. Are you waiting? Still? Well.....Goodbye!
Thanks to @HarryHaber and @BryanCarGuy for a little insight on the list of dealer pain points... you're great friends and car guys!
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