Driving back from Williamsburg last weekend, my head was buzzing with all the things I learned at the 42nd Annual VIADA Convention, all the friends I made, and all the ideas I wanted to implement right away at the dealership I work at! From the beginning with the dinner held in honor of the Vendors on Thursday, to the end with Saturday’s round of golf and the Grand Banquet, My family and I had a great time.
I really got a lot of useful information from Chris Leedom and the two seminars I attended. I was especially intrigued by the way he was able to take a lot of little things we all probably already knew and tie them into one easy to understand (and execute) plan. The thing I really came away with is his opinion that in order for a salesperson to reach his or her maximum potential, it is necessary to provide them with 125+ leads or prospects every month. Mr. Leedom indicated this would be considered aggressive accounting for all leads including walk-ins and phone calls. I would also add e-mail contacts.
It is important to critique your various forms of advertising regularly. Having your advertising set you apart from the rest of the competition was listed as a ‘Must Do’ by Leedom and Associates. Also incorporating a slogan, jingle or some type of humor in all forms of advertising was suggested. It is equally as important to be sure that your website accurately depicts the same marketing approach you use in newspaper, radio, and television.
At this year’s convention we were proud to roll out a free thirty day trial of www.ShopAutosOnline.net for all VIADA members. This is a site we pay to have favorably listed at the top of many of the major Search Engines. If you go to Yahoo! And search for”Used car dealer in Virginia” you will see our site listed first. This drives hundreds of car buying prospects to our site every day. All this traffic is then directed to one of our affiliated dealer sites after a search for a used automobile is done. We are allowing all members to include their Inventory in our site free for thirty days so they can get a taste for the type and amount of traffic we can provide to their site.
Finally, it is just as important to include your web address in all other forms of advertising including your business cards and letterheads. Remember, the more traffic your website gets, the more e-mails, phone calls and walk-ins you get, and that only means more business!
I want to thank all who visited JTZ Enterprise’s booth at this year’s Expo. It was nice to be able to introduce my wife to many of our existing clients and we both enjoyed meeting a lot of other car dealers from all over the Commonwealth. Tiffany is from a family of car people and she had a good time not only representing JTZ Enterprise but also visiting some of the other Vendors’ booths.
Congratulations to Jimmy Davis for being elected President Elect! Two of my clients were running for the same position and I must say both people are considered invaluable to VIADA. Next year may be Tina Allman’s turn, but until then the contribution these two as well as all the other officers will always be appreciated.
On www.VIADA.org, there is a page for signing up new members that outlines some of the many benefits and services you have when you become a member of VIADA. My experience at this year’s convention showed me there was one benefit missing; camaraderie! I found myself meeting new friends and learning new things at every function held at the Convention. The only thing I would change next year is getting a new golf partner! I am still recovering from getting thrown from the cart by Tina! Congratulations go to Buddy Thorpe and Zackery Owens on the golf performance. I hope to see you next year!