Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
I have been asked this question many times by many salespeople and managers and my answer has always been the same. Why should your dealer pay for you if you aren't willing to invest in yourself? Granted, your partnership with your dealer places your training as part of his area of responsibility but that doesn't mean that you have no benefit from learning as much as you can regardless of who pays for it.
No worries, I am not going to defend the dealer who doesn't see the wisdom of investing in training his staff beyond using the material provided by his OEM or limiting his obligation to provide support services only during business hours when his staff is willing to offer free overtime to improve themselves. Frankly, until AutoCon 2012 came along the answer to who should pay for an event like it was limited to common sense issues that members of ADM already know so I have no need to repeat them here.
The unique answer provided by AutoCon can be found in their following offer:
■FREE Registration for all Dealer Principals; you attend as our guest.
■All meals and receptions are included with your FREE registration.
There are many new added value features and benefits included in AutoCon that justify the investment to attend - regardless of who writes the check. However, the fact that they are wiling to write a check of their own by absorbing the cost to have the dealer principals attend proves their worth and confidence in the value of their event.
The biggest complaint that I have addressed after most offsite events is that the salespeople and managers that went returned to their dealership with the answers for world peace - or at least how to sell more cars and service - only to be shot down by a dealer who didn't get it. After all, it is hard to absorb all of the information and best practices shared at events like AutoCon by attendees who invested twelve hours a day listening and learning from some of the greatest minds in the auto industry so how can a dealer with a stack of bills and the weight of everyday decisions in front of him be expected to understand.
Obviously, the solution is to have the dealer attend AutoCon 2012 so he can share in the visions provided by the speakers and session hosts along with their piers who realized the value of attending. My suggestion as to how to convince your dealer to pay for you to go to AutoCon 2012 is for you to offer to pay for him if he pays for you! After he finds out that AutoCon is actually writing the check for him to attend he should be impressed by your ability to close him with someone elses money and realize that you are a good investment.
If that doesn't work, well - maybe you should look for a dealer who gets it! If that doesn't work, maybe it is time for you to accept that you are in your own business and investing in yourslef by attending events like AutoCon is what it takes to become a professional in the highly competitive world pf the retail auto industry.
Either way - see you in Vegas at AutoCon 2012!