Automotive Digital Marketing

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Professional Mentoring: Why Do We Share Knowledge, Wisdom, Lessons Learned and Best Practices with other Automotive Professionals?

Here's a question for you... Why do so many automotive professionals share highly valuable information, knowledge, contacts, documents, spreadsheets, presentations of various types, videos, photos and actual performance measurements with online automotive communities such as the Kain Automotive Idea Exchange and the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Well, speaking on behalf of yours truly, it is a passion of mine to pass along the wisdom and knowledge provided to me by my experience and from being taught by others, including the last generation of automotive professionals who were so generous with their time and wisdom when I started selling cars at the age of 23. Yes, on February 13, 2009 I celebrated my 28th anniversary of earning a living in the car business! One of the qualities I have always believed to be a great benefit of being in the car business is that so many people who are experienced and well trained are willing to pass along and share their knowledge and skills with newly hired "green peas", seasoned "car guy" veterans, or anyone willing to listen... Of course, sometimes there are people who wish they wouldn't be so generous!

I believe that many of us willingly and avidly share highly specialized knowledge because of the benefits we each receive from the mentoring process. By sharing our knowledge, we each become better practitioners and we reinforce what we have seen work, making it less likely that we will somehow fail to execute on a consistent basis. In this post i am placing several images that show many of the benefits from being a mentor... Are you a mentor? If you have assisted a fellow Kain Automotive Idea Exchange or ADM Professional Community members with information, comments, responses or documents, then you certainly are a mentor of some sort, to a greater or lesser degree depending on the volume of your contributions... All too often when people think of the benefits of mentoring, they only look at what the "mentee" receives. In my opinion, when any of us get better at being a mentor, the benefits we receive from seeking to serve those people we agree to mentor far outweigh the investments we make in time and effort.

The message below is one of many I have been blessed to receive, but this one somehow struck a much more personal chord with me than most of the others I am fortunate enough to receive from time to time:

"Hi Ralph ~

Thanks so much for all your help with the information on BDC development. As of yesterday, I am the new Internet Director for the entire store; something long needed here. I used the job description you had posted and tweaked it to work within our dealership. I'm really excited about the growth that I know will come from this position, but more importantly I'm excited about working Monday - Friday again! Something I haven't done in years!! Being a single mom, it's been the incredible support from my wonderful children that allowed me the opportunity to establish myself in this industry and now they get to reap the rewards by having me home again on nights and weekends. It would certainly have been a lot more work for me if it hadn't been for your willingness to share your knowledge and your work. Again, thank you so much for all that you do to promote our industry. I will make sure we meet the next time I attend a Digital Dealer Conference. You Rock!!!


Shown below: Ralph Paglia's response to Sharon Davenport (after receiving the above message) -


Thank you SO MUCH for your message! You have given me the reward that I live for... Knowing that I have been able to help someone in the car business with less experience than me. Sort of a "pass it along" feeling that was taught to me by a boss I had in 1983. I was in my first job as a GM and it was a store in the middle of a shithole desert town that smelled like fertilizer year round and nobody living there spoke English. Tom Lesard would come out every two weeks, flying his own souped up twin engine plane and teach me how to read financial statements and manage cash flows... About 6 months in he said to me "now that you are qualified to be a GM, we have to pay you more money... He doubled my salary and percentage! I asked him once why did he help me so much and his reply was "some day you will have the chance to help people younger and newer in the car business than you... All I ask is that you pass along what I have given you to the next generation of people coming into this business..." A year later I was back in San Diego managing a high volume store that Tom Lesard put me in charge of, when he crashed his plane with my F&I Manager and her dad and brother in it... They all died. To this day I try to help good people getting into this business in memory and honoring Tom Lesard. And, he may be reading your message right now from somewhere else, because I know he would be smiling!"

Thank you for mentoring me, Tom...

Ralph Paglia

The chart below is something I found online that is an interesting perspective on the roles and obligations of a mentor and likewise, the obligations of the person who agrees to be mentored, the mentee... I find this useful whenever working with someone as a mentor, or being mentored myself and seeking to define what each of us can expect from the other.

The chart below shows some interesting conceptual and functional differences between "Collaboration" and "Mentoring"... I think that most of us do not object to someone else, or maybe even willing to mentor Automotive professionals working at other companies,.. However, most of us would probably reserve collaboration for our coworkers, clients, family, suppliers and customers...

The matrix below shows how to organize your mentoring process based on using either (or both) phone and email... The obvious missing column is the one needed for what we now refer to as "Online Communities", User Generated Content (UGC) sites or what many people refer to as "Web 2.0"... Basically, interacting with other professionals and mentoring them, or being mentored via professional sites like the Kain Automotive Idea Exchange and the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

If you would like to check out more on the subject of professional mentoring and how to get the most from it, whether being in the role of mentor or seeking a mentor for yourself, I have listed a few relevant online resources and provided links below:

"Model Mentors" an article by Carina Dennis

"Mentoring Mismatch" an article by Kendall Powell

The Peel Mentoring Network

Menttium: MAKE MENTORING WORK - improving professional performance through mentoring


About the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

The Automotive Digital Marketing (ADM) Professional Community website is built on a perpetually growing"Viral Expansion Loop" Networking Platform and serves Car Dealers, Dealership General Managers and their management teams, including Internet Sales Managers, BDC Managers, Marketing Managers, Sales Managers, Service Managers, Service Advisers, Parts Managers, Fixed Operations Directors and their teams. Launched at the beginning of January 2008, ADM has emerged as a valuable and proven resource for the entire spectrum of automotive marketing and Internet sales related professionals. Interactive Media and eCommerce Professionals at car companies (OEM) and tier 1 and 2 advertising agencies who want to see, hear and read what the best Digital and Interactive Marketing professionals in the automotive industry have to say about relevant and timely topics visit ADM on a regular basis or subscribe to the many RSS feeds available within the ADM community.

ADM is a great place for Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 automotive marketing and advertising practitioners, as well as Webmasters, dealer web site managers, automotive software developers and information technology solution designers to get new ideas and stay up to date on the challenges facing retail automotive Internet sales practitioners. ADM serves Automotive CRM and Lead Management suppliers, vendors, application developers and their affiliated sales professionals as an online exchange for strategy, tactics, best practices, files, resources and contacts that create powerful networking relationships within the auto industry.

Did you know there are now over 2,000 members on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
Have you reached out to connect with important ADM member contacts by asking them to be your Friend?

Did you know that there are over 4,000 photos listed on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
And, do you know that many of these images are actually charts and graphs of the latest marketing trends and research? Did you know that many of these photos are actual ads used by dealers that worked exceptionally well? There have been over 4,000 photos uploaded and made available for use by all ADM members.

Did you know that there are more than 650 videos on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
Have you seen how many of those videos are actual examples of marketing campaigns and business processes used successfully by some of the leading and most successful dealers in America?

Did you know that there are over 450 blog posts on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
When was the last time you posted a blog entry and let important ADM industry professionals know what you are up to? Have you checked ADM for the latest articles published by writers who walk the talk? Members have created more than 460 blog posts within their ADM provided websites that feature online file storage and personalized blog hosting at no cost to ADM members.

Did you know that there are over 400 forum topics on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
Have you checked the forum lately to see what your associates, clients and colleagues are saying?
Have you posted a forum discussion to see what other professionals have to say about the topic?

There have been over 400 discussions started and still active with ongoing comments and information being published daily within the ADM Forum.

Did you know that there are more than 25 professional groups on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
Have you joined any groups so that you can send messages to all other group members?

Did you know that there are Important Upcoming Automotive Digital Marketing Events listed on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community?
Have you posted what you or your organization considers to be important upcoming events on the ADM calendar so that other professionals will know about them, consider attending and register their intent? ADM members can create calendar events using the ADM site application that allows image and logos, links to registration pages, location maps that integrate with Google Maps, Outlook Calendar integration, invitation mailings using uploaded email lists, RSVP tracking and event management features and a whole lot more.

Did you know that there are more than 500 MP3 audio files on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you checked out what other automotive professionals are listening to?
Did you know that many of these MP3 files are automotive marketing and Internet sales best practice Podcasts, and examples of highly effective radio spots, along with powerful and engaging dealer website soundtracks?

If you are interested in visiting and perhaps joining the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community, go to:

> The ADM Professional Community is all about car dealers using the web to generate sales leads and Internet sales. Automotive Internet sales and digital marketing professionals working with Acura, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet, Chevy, Honda, Nissan, GMC, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln, Mercury, Mini, Jeep, Volvo, Saab, Hummer, Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, Saturn, Lexus, Porsche, Hyundai, Kia, Suzuki, Subaru, Volkswagen and other automotive franchises are ADM's most prolific members. Used car and automotive re-marketing professionals will find a treasure trove of data, files, best practices, strategies, tactics and great contacts within the industry available at ADM.

ADM is proud to serve as an online meeting place, networking tool and idea exchange for automotive dealership suppliers and advertising agencies who provide car dealer Internet sales and web marketing solutions, such as ADP Dealer Services, JW Thompson, Zimmerman, The Cobalt Group, The Reynolds and Reynolds Company, BZ Results, ADP Dynamic Websites, Automotive Websites, Dealerskins, Izmocars and Izmo CRM, TK CarSites, Autobase, DealerTrack, Arkona, Clickmotive, Xi Group, vinSolutions, Reynolds Web Solutions and other dealership technology suppliers and vendors.

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Tags: Ralph Paglia, automotive, best practices, car dealers, car guys, learning, mentee, mentor, mentoring, teaching, More…training


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Comment by Natasha Friis Saxberg on March 17, 2009 at 4:16am
Very inspiring article! When expressing your goals, you are closer to achieving them. Most of us just live our lives with out deciding what we really want. And this is what a mentorship is excellent for, making you think, decide and reflect while someone is listening - in most cases that is equivalent to achieving.

You can have formal and informal mentorship relations. The informal is when the mentor is not aware of their position. And we all have had them, some unconsciously.

As the founder of Mentory ( a free global mentorship community. My goal is making it possible for everyone to experience the gift of giving as a mentor and learning and achieving as a protégé.

We use mentors for different subjects formal, informal and sometimes unconsciously - often our teachers. Some may inspire us in our carrier, others in our dreams and finally strength us as individuals.

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