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Dealers have more "balls to keep in the air" than ever before. I'm not just talking about the changes that Google and Social Media have introduced. Regulatory, environmental, reinsurance, human resources, financing, mobile technology, and OEM franchise law is changing rapidly as well.
I have been blessed to work with small and large dealership organizations in my relatively short career in the automotive industry. Short when I compare it to the years of experience represented by ADM leaders such as Ralph Paglia, Ken Beam, Tom Gorham, James Ziegler, or Phil Zelinger.
When traveling around the country working with dealers, it is common for me to advise the dealers to send their team to educational conferences and advanced training sessions. The next big conference is the Automotive Boot Camp, hosted by First Class Educators. A number of ADM members will be presenting and attending Boot Camp this year along with two ADM Boot Camp Scholarship winners. I'll be there lending my hand at a few workshops; here is a list of all 48 workshops offered.
I encourage investments in education for one simple fact: Executives at dealerships need to have their team aware of the opportunities, tools, and strategies for modern day dealership operations. Dealer principals can no longer "pull" their teams into compliance. Dealerships need to share a common vision to achieve the outcomes they desire.
When I speak with larger dealer groups, defined as organizations with over 12 franchise stores, it is very common to see that their investment in dealership education is limited to a handful of employees. What I mean is that it is two or three people to represent the entire group.
When I ask executives at larger dealer groups why at least ONE employee from each store is not attending a conference, I get a number of interesting responses:
Will this arrogance be the breaking point for scaling successful dealership groups? No. However, it will limit the FULL potential of each store in a large dealership group.
This is the main point of this article. Limiting education will be the achilles heel of dealers.
There are some very bright individuals leading the charge at large dealer groups without question. However, these leaders still have to get EACH store to understand:
IF large dealer groups created a digital ambassador at each store, their work would actually be simplified. They would not be "pulling" their dealers to the digital party. To their surprise, the stores would start demanding more of the corporate team because each store would understand the opportunities in their local marketplace.
If I was managing over a group of 10,20, or 30 stores, I would know my limitations. I could not FORCE my stores to:
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing