Ready, Set, Text…Engage the Way Car Buyers Prefer

20 Nov
Pechstein, Scott

Scott Pechstein Autobytel, Inc

Guest Blog Post from:
Scott Pechstein, @autobytel

Technology has changed the way people communicate with each other. Over the decades, communication channels have evolved from the Pony Express, to the postal system, to fax machines and email capabilities. Today, there are myriad ways for people to communicate with each other, including social media.

The most significant communication evolution is mobile, and one-to-one texting leads the way in prevalence. Numerous studies compare the frequency of text messages sent and received versus the number of inbound and outbound phone calls. The younger population represents a staggering 21:1 ratio of text messages to phone calls, yet the 55+ population represents a sizeable 3:1 text-to-call ratio. The bottom line? Consumers of all ages prefer texting.

A key factor contributing to the growth of texting is the growth in smartphone ownership, and the automotive industry is realizing its benefits, with an average 63% of smartphone owners using their device while on a dealership lot. When it comes to lead generation, text leads are arguably more convenient and unobtrusive than traditional web-based leads. Texting offers immediate, convenient, and interactive two-way conversation, while enabling consumers at a competitor’s lot to text you with questions as they “showroom” other stores.

Capitalizing on the popularity of mobile usage and in particular, texting, is a business priority for dealers today. However, texting in a non-compliant manner without proper programs in place that integrate with your CRM tool to store dialogue and manage opt-ins and opt-outs is risky. Hefty fines tied to new TCPA guidelines make it critical for dealers to implement proper techniques that ensure compliance and keep text leads within a CRM environment – not on a salesman’s personal cell phone device.

Texting – the right way – is the best way to engage today’s car buyers. It’s proving to be an excellent communications tool for service customers too.

Learn more at Scott Pechstein NADA Workshop:

Text and Engage with Today’s Changing Consumers

1/22/2015 12:15pm – 1:30pm   3011W
1/23/2015 10:30am – 11:45am  3024W

Need a Hotel Room at the NADA Convention?

14 Nov

Attendee registration for the 2015 NADA Convention & Expo in San Francisco next January is up 16 percent compared to a year ago. As a result, hotel availability in NADA’s block of discounted rooms from Thursday, Jan. 22, to Sunday, Jan. 25, is “extremely” limited.

If you’re still planning to attend the convention and need to book a hotel room, here are a couple of options:

  • After completing registration at, enter your arrival and departure dates during the hotel selection process. If a room is available, book it. If no rooms are available, click here for another booking option.
  • Make a partial reservation. Hotel rooms for Saturday are currently sold out citywide through NADA’s booking agent, but Thursday and Friday may still be available. Separate reservations for Saturday can be booked directly by checking various hotel websites for availability.
  • Call the Housing and Registration Service Center at (800) 974-3084 for assistance at a later date because room availability can often change from cancellations.

The NADA convention will be held at the Moscone Center. Keynote speakers include former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and NADA Chairman Forrest McConnell on Friday, Jan. 23; Jay Leno and NADA Vice Chairman Bill Fox on Saturday, Jan. 24; and inspirational speaker Beck Weathers on Sunday, Jan. 25. Click here for the speaker bios.

Dealers can also meet face-to-face with manufacturer executives at franchise meetings, attend workshops and network with industry colleagues. For more information, visit

NADA/ATD Convention ‘myNADAplanner’ Now Available

31 Oct

The planning, scheduling and networking tool, myNADAplanner, is now available to dealers and their managers attending the 2015 NADA Convention and Expo. The free online system is designed to help attendees maxplannerlogowebimize their time and avoid scheduling conflicts.

Attendees can use myNADAplanner to schedule workshops, franchise meetings and other events, and connect with exhibitors to locate new products and services.

In early December, the NADA convention mobile app will be available, which works seamlessly with myNADAplanner. The app, available for users of iPhone, iPad and Android devices, will allow attendees to create a schedule, download workshop presentations and handouts, view speaker bios, navigate the convention center and shop the expo floor.

Attendees can access myNADAplanner with the badge ID received in their registration and housing confirmation or by calling (800) 974-3084. Click here to log on to myNADAplanner.

The 2015 NADA convention runs Jan. 22-25 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. For more information and to register, visit

Experient is the Official Booking Agent for NADA Convention Hotels

17 Oct

Attendees anOfficial-Housing-Seald exhibitors planning to attend the 2015 NADA Convention & Expo in San Francisco have reported receiving solicitations for hotel reservations from individuals and companies claiming to be affiliated with NADA. Experient is the exclusive agent for hotel reservations at the NADA convention. No other company or individual has been authorized by NADA to make hotel reservations. Experient does not send emails or make phone calls offering to make hotel reservations. Please be extremely cautious of individuals or companies calling or emailing you with hotel reservation offers.

Only Experient offers attendees the best combination of low rates, guaranteed registrations without extra or undisclosed fees and the best selection of hotels. Hotels in San Francisco are filling up quickly. Only 300 rooms remain available in NADA’s hotel block. To register, visit and reserve your hotel room today. Don’t miss this opportunity to reserve a hotel room with a discounted rate. See you in San Francisco!

Futurist Speaker Thomas Frey to Address 2015 ATD Convention & Expo

19 Sep

Thomas Frey, executive director and senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute, will provide keynote remarks at the 2015 American Truck Dealers (ATD) Convention & Expo in San Francisco. Frey is Google’s top-rated futurist speaker and author of the book, “Communicating with the Future.”
Before launching the DaVinci Institute, he spent 15 years at IBM as an engineer and designer where he received 270 awards, more than any other IBM engineer. His futurist topics have captivated people ranging from government officials to executives in Fortune 500 companies, such as NASA, IBM, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, Capital One, Visa, Ford Motor Co. and National Association of Federal Credit Unions.

The ATD convention will be held from Thursday, Jan. 22, to Sunday, Jan. 25. ATD Chairman Eric Jorgensen, president and CEO of JX Enterprises Inc., will deliver keynote remarks during the general session on Friday, Jan. 23. New for 2015 is a networking general session on Saturday, Jan. 24. Truck dealers will also have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their manufacturer executives at 11 make meetings and shop the expo floor in the ATD Zone.

The ATD convention runs concurrently with the NADA Convention & Expo at the Moscone Center. ATD members are encouraged to attend any of the NADA workshops and general/speaker sessions. For more information or to register, visit

All ATD activities are exclusively for ATD attendees, unless otherwise noted.

Commentary: Engage in New Opportunities

22 Aug

By Forrest McConnell, III / NADA chairman

Rising car sales are leading the economic recovery. Dealers are hiring. And for the first time since the Great Recession, new-car dealerships across the country now employ more than 1 million people.1354Keynotesinglesforrest

The forecast this year calls for sales of about 16.4 million new cars and light trucks. Next year, the forecast is even brighter with sales of nearly 16.8 million new vehicles.

Now is the perfect time to Engage in your future.

Looking ahead to 2015, the NADA Convention & Expo in San Francisco next January offers dealers and their managers as well as the entire auto industry a premiere forum to exchange ideas and learn new ways to improve business operations.

And even if you’ve been to the NADA convention in the past, there’s always something new to learn. If you’ve never been to the convention before, what are you waiting for?

The 24 dealer-manufacturer franchise meetings, 59 new workshop topics and 126 workshop sessions and numerous networking events are second-to-none. They’ll make you and your dealerships leaner, smarter and ready to tackle the challenges for 2015 and beyond.

Engage in new technology and social media. New to the workshop program in 2015 are the Super Sessions on Thursday, Jan. 22, which includes a panel of successful NADA NextGen dealers who will share their insight on how emerging technologies are reshaping auto retailing, as well as a presentation on best practices to win digital buyers; and on Sunday, Jan. 25, the Technology Town Halls feature Q&A sessions with key executive staff from eBay, Google and others on how they can help dealers sell more cars.

We’ve also expanded the Expo, which will include nearly 500 companies exhibiting in more than 600,000 square feet at the Moscone Center.

The keynote speakers are former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Jay Leno and inspirational speaker Beck Weathers, as well as NADA Vice Chairman Bill Fox and me. The speaker bios are available here.

The four-day event, dubbed the “Automotive Industry Event of the Year,” runs Thursday, Jan. 22, to Sunday, Jan. 25, at the Moscone Center.

Online registration is open. Dealers and their managers should make their reservations as soon as possible. Hotels rooms are filling up quickly. Attendee registration is at its highest pace since 2007. Fourteen hotels have already sold out.

Join us in San Francisco, and Engage in new opportunities.

We look forward to seeing you there!

McConnell is a Honda/Acura dealer in Montgomery, Ala.

Read more:

Who Attends the NADA/ATD Convention & Expo?

12 Aug

The NADA and ATD Convention’s aren’t just for dealer principles, many positions from the dealership attend each year. Take a look at our demographic from the 2014 Convention:




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