An Online Automotive Congress in Kentucky

In the past few days, I’ve been visiting the 19th Friends and Client Workshop by David Kain in Lexington, Kentucky, United States. The gathering is a stark contrast to NADA in Las Vegas, especially in terms of content; it’s a much better concept! In a small hotel, 100 dealers gather for three days to attend presentations by the CEOs and founders of various online automotive companies!

You hear from the top players in the industry why they do the things they do, and why their information might be relevant to the dealers present.

You hear from the top players in the industry why they do the things they do, and why their information might be relevant to the dealers present. In the evenings, you can dine together at the many restaurants Lexington has to offer, without the crazy prices of Las Vegas. It’s a kind of boutique event, focusing on content and training, much like our own #DCDW Events.

First Day

On the first day, we had a so-called 20 Group Meeting, a gathering where 20 dealers from all over aim to improve each other by exchanging the best ideas. Since they are not competitors, the collaboration and chemistry among the dealers are incredibly good.

This time, the 20 Group Meeting was renamed to V20G. This meeting didn’t focus on sellers, but on vendors. Twenty suppliers in the online automotive industry, not competing with each other, but covering various topics throughout the day! Incredibly enjoyable, and perhaps an idea for us as well?

While much was retained, one sentence stood out to me. It was a sentence from one of the participants that can be interpreted in many ways. It can be about business, about life, about sales; it can often be applied.

“Are you laying on a nail?”

#DCDWeekupdate are you laying on a nail

In other words, if you’re lying on a nail, you might feel it, but it doesn’t hurt enough to do something about it. Just like water finds every crack, this is true as well. You know something hurts your business, like not calling for the second, third, or fourth time, and yet you don’t do it! Why not?

The presentation by Steve Roessler clearly indicated what’s important when it comes to lead follow-up. Namely, in the US, you make a connection in 46% of the cases if you call within a minute (that percentage is higher in the Netherlands!), 33% answer the phone if you call within two minutes, and if you call after five minutes, only 21% will pick up. If you attempt after 20 minutes, contact is possible with only 12% of the leads. The appointment ratio is also higher when you call faster, respectively 31%, 24%, 15%, and then only 6%. You know you should call faster, but do you?

But some still call too late..

I was recently at a premium German brand, and these statistics are known there as well! Thanks to the implementation of Calldrip in more than 500 dealer locations in the Benelux, we see the same results, at least if you want to measure them: “Are you laying on a nail?” So, are you using the right data to achieve the right outcomes?

That premium dealer I was at told me that premium customers have patience. They’re willing to wait 15 minutes, 1 hour, or even hours to be followed up, as long as they get the information they want. If you only measure this with the few leads you have and don’t measure it with all the connections you don’t have, then you’re not letting that ‘nail’ cause any pain.

#DCDWeekupdate paneldiscussion

AI in Automotive

You also see that AI is indispensable in today’s dealership! Not only for following up on leads you can’t reach, now also available through Walcu, but your entire database can now be approached correctly through AI. Okay, in the absence of any privacy rules in America, the possibilities are greater, but still, AI should be included in the plans!

For this reason, at the upcoming #DCDW Events, we’ll have a panel discussion with the first AI providers in online automotive in the Benelux! Namely Autochat, CarQall, Used Car Controller, and Calldrip Automation. Are you an employee of a dealership, car company, leasing company, or importer? Then registration is free via this link for Antwerp: and this one for Almere.

Why are the meetings also interesting for you? Because that nail might be causing pain. If you’re not open to new ideas, new perspectives, and perhaps new partners, then you’re maintaining the same mindset, where the pain of that nail is normal. Business-wise, you’ll continue to suffer because the results lag behind the potential that may exist! Meeting your budget is different from meeting your potential. The profit lies in the potential!

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Shareholder of Carmen Automotive BDC