What Have You Done For You Lately? (Ooh ooh ooh yeah…)

You're back but your bags (and head) may still be packed from your Las Vegas departure. The whirlwind of powerpoints, data, applications, widgets, speakers, vendors and pitches that opened October 12 with Digital Dealer and ran through DrivingSales Executive Summit at Encore, came to a close mid-day last Friday with the departure of over 1,000 from JD Power's Annual OEM and Ad Agency shindig called Internet Roundtable at Red Rock Resort (where more upfront talks than Internet dealings happen, but let's digress).

So your notebook, FlipCam, voice recorder and brain are packed with thoughts, visions, ideas and goals around everything you heard. But the "back to normal" is so gratifying that you may have not done a cotton-picking-thing since switching off the neon and turning on the flourecents. And besides, it was kind of touching to see that 88-day old unit turn 100 now that you're back (ooops!).

So if you're stuck with not knowing where to start, you didn't leave with goals. If you've got three or four places you want to start at, you may not know what your greatest weaknesses or opportunities are. And if you didn't gather enough information on how to get started and the first steps to take from that high-ranking speaker, call them for a freebie. And you may just want to "x" off that session or conference next year because the value didn't get delivered.

So, what have you done for you lately? (Sorry Janet, it's not about you). It's time to crank that Internet machine thing to the next level, right?! Do yourself a favor and start looking everywhere else but automotive and get your bearings. Why? Because there are Facebook pages selling more Snuggies than your website sells in service. There are blogs feeding more contacts to start-up S-E-O, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E companies than you get leads from $199-a-month leases. And we have ourselves (and many vendors) to blame.

Start Thursday with a goal to add one task from your volume of Notes 'de Las Vegas and start it. Not Friday, not next week. October 28. Haven't secured your Google Places/Maps location? Do that or learn about it. Haven't secured your Foursquare venue? Have 60 domains you registered a bunch of years ago and one is perfect for a blog? Start it and who cares what it says as long as it says something about what your store is passionate about regarding your customers and the products you sell. But what have you done for you lately?

"Good thing I cook or else we'd starve to death…" How appropriate is that today? Automotive retailers must thank their customers for coming in year after year and driving off in new and pre-owned cars with little more than a smile. It was about the badge, the new product, the incentives and the advertisements. Now it's about you. Matter of fact it always was but the industry lucked out for more than a decade. So what have you done for you lately?

Yes there's half-cooked information all over. Yes, there's "experts" who haven fallen into something that, for obvious reasons, they can't quite explain in an hour on stage. Yes, there's going to be more consolidation in the indsutry which means your ____________ company may become part of another company you're not doing (or don't want to do) business with. But what have you done for you lately?

There are many really good, and some extremely good, tools and providers out there to settle for what someone in your Twenty Group has or what your read in an ad or study. Last week it was amazing to watch the Innovation Cup at the DrivingSales Executive Summit. The "let's never settle for me-too" juices were really flowing there. Put easily, if something can't be verified by a neurtal third party, don't necessarily run away, rather gain more information before making a decision. Chances are you're right that it wasn't a good choice in the first place.

Today you have to be prepared to do something for yourself and stick with it. Even though it's so easy to quit and go back to what you knew. It's also more costly than ever. If you invested the time and money to be around that much addictive behavior for a week or two in Las Vegas, everything you brought back deserves to come to life in your store. That is if you can find your notes among the free schwag of flying monkeys, free model cars, light-up bounding balls, mints, pens, flash drives, logo hats, t-shirts, notepads, shopping bags and fliers for products that are pay-for-it-now-cuase-it's-almost-to-market-so-you-can-be-first (wink, wink).

So what have you done for you lately? Come on, we've got to …….uh, wait….come on…..wait for it…..wait for it……you know you want it…..SELL MORE CARS!

Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

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