A few months back I attended Autocon 2012. There I learned a lot of new techniques and processes to help bring my dealership to the next level in automotive internet sales. But instead of running home and writing a review right away about the courses I attended and what they spoke about, I decided to wait about writing about what I heard and implement it instead.
So it has been over 2 1/2 months since I returned home from AutoCon 2012, and 2 1/2 months since I implemented what AutoCon taught me. I have increased my monthly sales out of my dept. by another 5-6 cars. I have changed my social media strategies and how my dept. responds to leads. Not to mention tightened the belt on my sales dept. with their follow-up processes and note taking. What AutoCon has taught me works and I would like to thank and recognize a few people I have met there.
First and foremost I would like to say that the convention was absolutely amazing. It was a very informative 4 days. It was more than I ever expected, I have been to so many so called training seminars before sponsored by big name vendors that always turn out to be some kind of sales pitch. This was not that type at all.
I met heads of major automotive marketing and consulting firms, trainers that teach it all and vendors that will sell you the moon, I even met the ALPHA DOG. I went to various seminars. I went to one hosted by perhaps the best motivational speaker I have ever met, Mr. Grant Cardone. By the way Grant I wear the motivational wrist bands proudly and remember that “Success is my Duty” and that “Champions Dominate and not to be a little bitch”, my kids and co-workers like that one the best. Hahaha.
I learned that the all mighty and powerful Google is ever evolving and will continue to remove my reviews even after they promise not to. And that the dealership is only as strong as its internet marketing. I learned that the BDC processes are what bring in customers for Stan “THE MAN” Sher, and Social Media is the wave of the future from Lon Safko. Ralph Paglia taught me where to go from here in “The Evolution of Digital Marketing”. Brian Pasch taught the facts of Google Analytics. And let’s not forget the King of Prospecting Mr. Fran Taylor.
But out of everyone I saw and heard in the course of my 4 days or continuous training one stood out above the rest, and that was “Simple Steps to Maximize Your SEO” by John Giamalvo of Edmunds.com. I met John the first day during signup and found out that like myself he is a fellow New Yorker and lives quiet close to me on Long Island. John is the Director of Dealer Strategy for Edmunds.com. He asked me if I would like to attend his class that he was holding on Friday afternoon. I told him I would be more then happy to. Over the next few days I learned it all from the some of the greatest minds in our field. Then Friday came and so did Johns class, to be truthful at first I wasn’t expecting much it was an SEO class being taught by a vendor. I figured it would be another pitch on why to use them. Truth be told it wasn’t. John in the course of 45-60mins hit it all.
Just like Grant Cardone wrote to me in his new book “HIT HARD AND HIT FAST” is exactly what John did he covered it all the good the bad and the ugly. It is a course that I believe should be watched and attended by all dealerships nationwide. I believe I took the most away from this one class then any others, They were all above and beyond anything I have seen before but this one stuck out to me the most.
I would also like to thank one group most of all. And that is TRUECAR. I was also one of there 12 scholarship winners and if it was not for them I would have never been able to attend AutoCon.
And Last but not least I want to acknowledge the amazing job that someone did to get the whole event to roll as smooth as it did. Carrie Hemphill and FCE really made sure that the whole event was top notch. She was the one who alerted me that I won my scholarship and also made sure that the event ran as it should. And to all my new friends I met and continue to network with all I can say is I will definitely see you next year at AutoCon 2013.
-Eric A. Nichols
Internet Sales Manager