#IS20G9 – Phoenix, Arizona – September 14, 2016

Day 3

Enter – Day 3. I have attended many events, conferences, and educational seminars over the years. Often the last day is the day people are sleeping in, sneaking out, flying home, etc. That did not happen at the Internet Sales 20 Group (#IS20G). Everyone was up an live ready to learn and take in whatever was in store for this final day.

As we start off the first presenter today is Stephane Ferri with AutoTrader. He carried with him a strong message – Make changes while times are good. The car business in the last 10 years has endured radical change and dealers need to do the same – NOW! Stephane spoke on automotive trends and changes to the environment, ride sharing, and other things that will change and shape the auto industry to come. This guy is a visionary!

The next speaker in the lineup was from Google, Rishiraj Chowdhury. Are you kidding me right now? GOOGLE! Like THE Google, not a Google partner, not a Google wannabe, it’s real people from GOOGLE. This guy knows search and what is coming on the horizon. Rishi again talked about the importance of video, and not just videos of cars. Video and mobile are the winning combination! Video results are appearing in 70% of the top 100 search results. If you are using video, ideally that video should be housed on your website – or – (shameless plug) YouTube. He mentioned that today’s car buyers are technically savvy, YOU must be too! He also confirmed that regardless of where the consumer is at, they are visiting less than 2 dealerships live and in person.

CarGurus was a presenter on “Maximizing Sales to Digital Shoppers” and Martha Blue, the Senior VP of Business Development did an excellent job of explaining what online car shoppers are looking for. She confirmed with data what we in the car business believe to be true, a high percentage of car buyers are shopping online, they spend 15 or more hours doing research, so they know the car better than the sales staff, and the store visit happens at the end with purchases being made very quickly once a shopper hits the car lot live. Either way you look at it 50% of shoppers want to see the price online, which means the other 50% want additional information. That’s right it NOT always about just pricing folks.

The next session was by Peter Martin and he talked about harnessing the power of video testimonials. The message was again echoed, JUST DO IT, start now, what are you waiting for? Short, sweet and to the point.

Before heading to lunch the Sean and the #IS20G team had assembled another great group of individuals for an HR/Recruiting Panel. I was fortunate to be able to participate on this panel with some really amazing individuals. On this one, Sean primarily opened up the floor to questions on hiring, training and retaining. There were many questions on pay-plans, especially for Toni Anne who fielded many, “So how do you pay your BDC,” questions.

After lunch on day 3, the #IS20G was still rocking! Just like an early Saturday morning Super Sale, people were all still energized, taking notes and participating in their learning experience. Sean V. Bradley again took the reins and lit up the room with about a 45 minute Synergy Session! This was just a perfectly timed, high energy break to get everyone in check and keep each person focused and in present time. He impacted us all with, “WHY SHOULD _____ BUY FROM YOU?” Many people got put on the spot here, on why specific classes, groups or people should buy from their stores! It’s not as easy a question as it sounds! Can you answer it right now? For example, why should military veterans buy from you? GO!!!

As we moved to the tail end of the day, more information was provided on Mobile by Liquidus and Paid Search (SEM) by Client Command. All of these subjects were masterfully presented by vendor experts and, for me, one of the things that was great is that this was not done in a way to pitch their product they just gave out good information and a lot of the items discussed really reinforced what had been presented throughout the event.

Before closing Day 3, the last panel for Internet Sales/Phone Sales/BDC was called to the front to wrap the day altogether with real life people from dealerships, I was humbled to be able to participate in this panel as well. There were questions on process, scripting, responses, response times, all of the juice that goes into running an automotive call center (BDC) and internet departments. One of the things I really enjoy about sitting on a panel like this is the fact that you don’t just sit up front and have everyone assume you are an expert. Sean puts some tough questions up and is both willing and capable of sharing his opinion, this is truly a situation where iron sharpens iron. To me it was very informative and a lot of fun to participate. (Thanks Sean!)

Impression and Recap (click to  read the intro)

Day 1 (click to read the day 1 recap)

Day 2 (click to read the day 2 recap)