Industry News & Trends

AAISP 2007 – Did you go?

So the 2nd AAISP was last week and I was unable to attend. I heard it was a lot better then last year. They apparently were coining it as Internet Sales 2.0 – The Age of the Customer, though I’m not sure they ever explained what they meant by that.

I personally have been back in forth with my opinion on the AAISP. I think the intentions were good in the beginning but then came too much shift in management, lack of support (at one time they were selling shares of their stock?) and the website still lacks.

I think they need to stick with the conference no matter what happens. I know for myself, just having the opportunity to converse with other Internet Sales Managers, bounce ideas off one another and surrounding yourself around others that “get it” can be more rewarding then the conference itself and somehow regenerates your drive to succeed.

So..did I miss anything this year?

  • What session did you learn the most from?
  • What was the single most important thing that you walked away with?
  • Was it worth it and will you attend next year?

I’d love to hear from some other ISM’s that attended. Share you thoughts!

Did Priority Toyota attend?

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
I didn't attend last year, however, I thought it was a great conference in general. I am from Columbus, OH (6 hours from Nashville) and I was amazed to find that there were only 2 other dealers from my state in attendance!! As much as dealers bitch about the lack of business around our market, it is pitiful to see that no one found value in a conference like this.

You nailed it with the importance of talking around with other people in the industry that "get it". The most important information that i took came from a conversation with Ralph Paglia (of Courtesy Chevrolet - PHX, AZ) over beers when the workshops had ended. Ralph is about 5 years ahead of my market in Columbus. His aggressive tactics have allowed his ISD to post 4,000+ sales in 2006. That's Strong.

Other than that, there were 4 or 5 strong workshops that i picked up a lot of great info from. Sean Bradley (Dealer synergies) had a killer sales training (objections/rebuttals) workshop. And, Ralph Paglia had 2 different workshops that were amazing.

On the other side, There were 5 or 6 SEM strategy meetings that became completely redundant. Overall a great meeting with double the attendance from last year....

I have been a dealership CFO and GM. Was big in CRM back in my day (1995-2000) as a featured speaker, author and leader as dealership SME on implementing (kind of like Ralph at the show, but on CRM).

I was at the show as a sponsor, vendor and even took in a couple of the talks after the exhibiting ended.

The learning in the sessions was excellent. Mirror Ryan's comments on Dealer Synergy and Ralph's Guerilla Marketing.

Engagement of attendees at show was excellent too. People were definitely there to learn what's new in the world of Internet selling, no one I found held back on sharing secrets as to what is working and what is not.

I really haven't seen this level of interest in retail auto for quite some time... since CRM was really catching on back in 99-01. Definitely this is the next big thing (dealers figuring out how to turn the Internet into a profitable sales channel and competitive differentiator).

As someone who spent my own money to not only go, but exhibit... I will be back at the next one... the organizers tell me perhaps as soon as October.

Attendee engagement + interest in what is going on + desire to learn exceeded the NADA convention by a country mile.

Great show!
The 2nd Annual AAISP Conference was phenomenal. It is the one place where “WE” Internet Car Peeps can kibbutz and really find out what is going on in the e-side of the car biz.

If you missed it this year, make sure you don’t miss it next year.

I had to miss the first year due to some scheduling issues, but was able to make it this year. Overall I thought things went well. The class schedule didn't leave me feeling like I had missed anything too important, and it was nice having the vendors in their own section. The accommodations in the hotel were decent as well.

Only things I would like to see different for future conferences:

1. If a conference is in a major city, find a place that is closer to the downtown area.
2. Provide more for the advanced dealers. I think someone mentioned earlier that a few of the classes were redundant. Much of what I heard, I have heard many times before. I was hoping for a little more.

I would attend again though.
  • T
    Tim Jennings
  • April 27, 2007

Your right what was up with selling shares and the web site! I attend both and spoke this year as a one-man-internet department. All and all I think being able to network with peers makes it worth the time and money, I heard a rumor there was a little talk of a dealer 20 style start up. That would be a great addition to be able to sit down with 10 –20 people in similar situations and bounce idea’s around. The first year the lunch tables were set with topics for discussions, I thought that worked well for a hour with a mouth full of food, you cant get much in. Ill go every year to try to stay on top of things.