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And so it begins…
All the hard work, all the logistics, all the planning – it all begins now. 400(ish) dealers and some of the brightest minds all in one room speak volumes for what the next few days will bring to us as dealers.
It’s always fun to see nametags and recognize people that I have never only ever met or talked with online. Walking into DSES is SO much fun, high fives, hugs, handshakes and the like “hey I know you’s” are always fun. One of the greatest take aways for coming to DSES is networking and getting to know and meet other fellow dealers. It’s nice to have folks you know and trust willing to help and bounce ideas off of.
DSES got kicked off with a phenomenal Sunday afternoon and evening with Jared Hamilton, Paul Potraz, JD Rucker, and Jason Falls taking the stage capped off by a nice wine a cheese reception.
One thing I heard virtually all the keynotes speak about was we as dealers need to now start focusing on the customer’s journey in shopping for a vehicle. We are not longer in a linear sales cycle and need to create an experience for the customer that is consistent and transparent.
Jared hit on this hard on the fact and that the holy grail of marketing is now more about the power of influence each piece of our marketing puzzle has. Good dealers do exist, but they just look like every other dealership out there.
Paul Potraz went on to talk about 2012 is the year of engagement. We must meet the customer where they are at and how they want to be communicated with. We must utilize all channels and forms of communication as 50% of adults will be “Smart” by Christmas this year.
JD challenged us to have a unified search/social/local/mobile hybrid way of communicating and to know Google with be changing the game as they start looking more heavily into social signals and relevancy while on a site. We as dealers MUST be relevant and take a hard look at how we are communicating.
Jason Falls finished up the afternoon with a no BS social allowed! I loved his style and way of communicating. He challenged us as dealers to not be a social media “purist” where all we do is social and never sell. Jason believes you can sell and gave us countless examples of how others have done it.
At the end of the day I looked up and had a ton of notes but one thing that threaded all of these keynotes together was engagement and communication. The dealers that will be successful in the coming months and years will be those that embrace and adapt to how we are communicating and engaging with our customers.
Day #1 is down and #2 just about to get started. Can’t wait for what today’s going to bring!