There is a big misconception in the car business.  I call it the Las Vegas pipe dream.  Dealers from around the country fly back and forth to Las Vegas or other resort like areas for conventions and other meetings searching for the answer to their problems.  “Why am I not selling more cars on the Internet?”  Las Vegas is not the answer.   Of course, a trip to Las Vegas on the dealerships dime does sound appealing and you may get some good advice from people in the car business.  It will never be an answer to what is best for YOUR dealership.  Here is a list of reasons why bringing in a personal Internet Training Consultant is cheaper, more focused and more efficient than flying your General Manager to Las Vegas.

  • Las Vegas is Expensive Paying your General Manager to fly to Vegas is expensive.  Not only are the flight, food, taxi, hotel, and other incidentals costly, you are taking your GM out of the office for 3 to 4 days. 
  • Las Vegas Isn’t Focused on YOUR business-These conventions and meetings in Las Vegasfor Car Dealers invite a speaker.  These speaker share very valuable information that is very important, but they speak to the masses.  It is very general and very vague.  A professionalInternet Training Consultant is hired to look at YOUR business.
  • Las Vegas Isn’t Efficient to YOUR needs- A professional Internet Training Consultant will take a look at YOUR online presence, come up with an evaluation report, present YOUR issues and work with your team to fix them. 

I know some us need a vacation in Las Vegas, but if you need a vacation take a vacation.  Do yourself a favor and hire an Internet Training Consultant to train your Internet Department.  Once they have come in and re-focused your Internet Department and you’re making more money selling cars online, take a vacation in Las Vegas and go crazy.  The car business and Las Vegas have a history, but let us not mesh the two ideas together when they don’t work to better our car dealerships.   

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Comment by Chad Breuer on October 2, 2012 at 11:39am

Jeff, I thought this post was "share-worthy".  If blogs were not meant to be shared they wouldn't put the share buttons on the bottom of each blog post.  I think this is a discussion for everyone I can reach out to in the car business.  Thank you again for your thoughts and have a great day!

Comment by Jeff Simonton on October 2, 2012 at 9:01am

Should a person post the same response in multiple forums? I say, when the same article appears, why not?

As the marketing/tech chaperon for a number of conference trips with managers from various departments, I have to say that the group experience is priceless. A consultant would be much more cost-effective if a dealer already had middle manager buy-in and knew what they wanted. Without buy-in, the consultant will most likely be viewed as a vendor wasting their time and money. In many cases the big conference take-away is, “I didn’t know what I didn’t know.” It’s a lot easier to pitch digital elements of a budget when you can start with, “Remember that presentation we saw about…”
When I knew we needed a pricing tool, the best way to get one implemented was to have the used car manager comfortable with using it. On the floor at the digital dealer conference (in Dallas, at the time) I dragged the USM from AAX to FirstLook and to vAuto to let him pick. To move from sessions about pricing to vendors who offer the tools was great. In reality, whatever pricing tool is the consultant’s favorite, or my favorite, or the owners favorite is not really relevant. Get the buy-in and let the user have some input. They’re all different, and the end user is the most important opinion.
A Kain Automotive study (as I saw it presented at a conference) pointed to the significance of manager buy-in rather than owner buy-in, and I’ve found that to be true. Exposing department managers to a group of their peers at a digital conference is very useful. The result is a slew of implementation questions and a much more cooperative relationship back at the dealership. I think the best plan is to hire a consultant who can meet the team at the end of the conference, assign prep tasks to attendees and then show up a week later at the dealership to implement change that everyone believes in.

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