Over the last four years when attending the Digital Dealer Conference & Expo I was there as an exhibitor, tied to a booth talking with visitors, and occasional walks around the expo hall. Aside from a few keynote addresses I was never able to hit the speaker sessions.
This time around at DD19 however I was there as an Allied Industry guest and was able to attend more than half a dozen sessions which, really, wasn’t even enough. There were at least a dozen other sessions I would have loved to attend if I could have.
Get Your MIND FREAK on!
The session which had the most impact on me personally was Jonathan Dawson’s Get Your MIND FREAK On: “Where Did the Objections Go?” Psychology of Sales & Becoming a Proactive Professional.
This was Jonathan’s second time speaking at Digital Dealer. He is a natural speaker. Jon was energetic and entertaining, performing multiple demonstrations that not only got the audience engaged but also backed up his points. I highly recommend him as a speaker.
What Jon accomplished in his session was that he demonstrated how his techniques can be applied at the dealership level when approaching prospective auto shoppers on the phone and on the lot. Jon introduced the three principles of his “Sellchology” formula:
- Pattern Interrupt
By interrupting the patterns of thought with prospective customers and introducing new ideas and emotions you can be proactive by better anticipating and addressing their concerns, then work on creating an environment where the prospective customer willingly allows you to do your job.
He also provided subtle language usage ideas to influence and impact prospective customers, five steps to becoming proactive, and how to create a path of least resistance.
I gained a lot of great insight from Jonathan’s session that I will be able to apply for the rest of my life. Thank you Jonathan!
“Digital Dealer 19 was an incredible event for anyone looking to expand their professional network and to elevate their professional skills and marketplace effectiveness. I strongly encourage dealerships to participate intentionally in the growth of their business by positioning themselves at the cutting edge of our industry. Attending a Digital Dealer Conference is one of the most effective ways hey can do that!” –Jonathan Dawson, Sellchology
A Tale of Two Car Buyers
Unlike most other sessions led by vendors where the speaker is talking down to the audience, Justin and Ben were humble and unassuming, almost to a fault. I don’t think they realized how authentic their session was compared with others.
In their session the two had orchestrated a presentation that effectively walked the audience down the paths of two completely different real-world auto shopper experiences. One where everything went perfectly and one where everything went wrong.
Bouncing back and forth between the two experiences, from initial customer inquiry to dealer follow-up to showroom visit, test drive, sign, and drive, the ideal customer experience was rich with personalized videos and effective use of web, email, phone, and text communications whereas the negative experience was devoid of responsiveness, continuity, and friendliness let alone a personalized brand experience.
Despite demonstrating customer experiences at two ends of the same spectrum, both were believable because both were real. One customer experience was derived from a customer at the dealership where they both work and had designed the sales process, the other as a result of a mystery shop they performed on another dealer.
Justin’s and Ben’s presentation was clear and concise, reflecting a concrete roadmap of the ideal auto shopping experience dealers today should feel obligated to provide customers.
Venue, Attendance, Sponsors, and the After Hours Party
The Conference & Expo this fall was held at Paris Las Vegas whereas normally the event was held at The Mirage. I was glad for this because it provided a welcome change of scenery, atmosphere, and food.
The conference halls were always buzzing between sessions and the expo hall seemed busier than in events past, although I spent significantly less time in the expo hall at DD19 than I had at prior events. In fact, I was only able to converse with about a dozen booths.
“I have found the Digital Dealer puts on a great conference, and it brings an array of people and opportunities within the auto industry under one umbrella. Digital Dealer has had amazing support for us as a vendor, and has been very successful for our startup company to help us grow and expand our application within the automotive industry.” –Bryan Harmon, CEO DreamWare, Inc. / “Carlister.co“
No Badge Holders???
There were no badge holders at DD19, just a plastic sleeve, which disappointed me because I had become accustomed to stashing my business cards in there plus the ones I collect. The badgeholder is also a terrific sponsor opportunity that either Autobytel or Flick Fusion have had in the recent past. Hopefully these will return in the Spring.
After Hours Party
One thing new which I thought was genius was the After Hours Party with multiple sponsors. This is a much smarter way to go than having sponsor parties that compete with one another for attendance, plus it surely creates more revenue for Digital Dealer.
The After Hours Party was held Tuesday night at Drais, a double-decker nightclub in The Cromwell with balcony views overlooking the pool at the center and a large stage at the head, all overlooking The Strip with Paris’ Eiffel Tower, Aria, the Cosmopolitan, the Bellagio, and Caesar’s Palace in the backdrop.
There were 15 sponsor cabanas surrounding the pool with LotLinx (and one other) on the balconies. Good times for all.
During the After Hours Party I was able to network with several awesome folks and make new friends, plus I did my first video cameo with the amazing Criss Castle of Car News Network!!! Curious to see how that turned out!?!?
Normally I would have attended Joe and Shaun’s Karaokethon but the After Hours Party got the best of me and I had to call it a night. I am sure it was a blast like it always is and I regret not having made this exciting ritual event.
Digital Dealer on the Rise
As suggested in my April 2015 post about Digital Dealer having redefined and revitalized itself in Tampa, DD19 did not hold back. Rich with attendance, content and curriculum, sponsors and exhibitors, Digital Dealer has much to offer and continues to be one of the top automotive retail events.
Here’s to #AutoMarketing!!
Producer and Host of the AutoConverse Future Mobility & Connectivity Podcast, Ryan began working in the automotive industry in 2001, establishing his roots in online vehicle merchandising before expanding into digital marketing and now multi media for Automotive B2B. You can connect with Ryan on LinkedIn.