Service and technology providers are coming to this year’s annual gathering hosted by the National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers armed with products that Ken Shilson insisted are brand new and can help operators of all sizes immediately.
Shilson highlighted more than a dozen different companies are ready to launch a new solution during the 19th annual National Conference. The NABD president explained why these technology companies are coming to the Wynn/Encore in Las Vegas on May 23 to 25 with new tools ready for deployment.
“The profitability in the auto business in general is being squeezed, not just in buy-here, pay-here but in all segments,” Shilson said. “They’re having to pay more to get a better vehicle because of the competition. The cost of funds is going up. The cost of compliance is going up. Those cost increases can’t be passed on to the consumer. The consumer can’t absorb them.
“Their overhead is going up and the only way to control it is to become more efficient and implement more technology,” he continued. “Technology is the only way that they can control their operating costs going forward without having to add more operating expense.”
Shilson acknowledged that BHPH dealers are primed and ready to take back market share this year. But he added that will take additional sales volume to make that happen.
“You don’t want to increase your overhead to do it,” Shilson said. “Technology is absolutely critical going forward if they want to be successful and make money.”
During the conference’s general session, NABD is orchestrating what it’s dubbed a Technology Showcase, featuring three different participants.
First, Manheim will be presenting one of its mobile auction units to show its capability.
“They can bring the auction to you and make it more accessible and convenient to the end customer. I think it will really be something where people will have a wow factor,” Shilson said.
Next, Magnum Contact will explain the capabilities of its online chat feature; a tool NABD already leveraged for its website.
“We were getting a lot of hits but we didn’t know what people were looking for. We put in the chat feature, and I would say it’s been singularly the best thing we’ve done,” Shilson said. “The chat function has singularly accounted for more leads and business than any other marketing idea we’ve ever had. And it will do the same thing for the buy-here, pay-here industry if they get it implemented on their websites.”
Furthermore, Podium will be describing its online reputation management offerings and showing how operators can enhance their standing and reduce the impact of negative reviews as potential buyers travel the Internet.
“You want to turn negative feedback around as quickly as you possibly can. If you just have negative feedback out there, people tend to gravitate to it and then they shut you off,” Shilson said. “Podium changes the dynamics. They are able to increase the feedback, which makes the number of negative comments much smaller and less relevant.
Besides the three firms included in the Technology Showcase, Shilson mentioned 10 other companies set to deploy new technology during NABD 2017, including:
—Auto Master Systems
Also, Shilson mentioned special individual social media training is set to be offered by Auto Search Technologies. He indicated attendees can sit down with company experts and ask questions specific about their dealership and its social media endeavors.
Shilson emphasized that there has never been more technology discussion and offerings on tap for the National Conference than there is this year.
“It’s not the same old technology. It’s not the same stuff you’ve seen before and it’s repackaged,” Shilson said. “There’s some really cutting edge things that we’re going to show for the first time ever in the history of buy-here, pay-here.
“It’s important that dealers understand this is not just the same old song and dance. They’re really going to see some new things that will help them,” he went on to say.
And as an added bonus, operators who haven’t already finalized their plans for NABD 2017 can do so through what Shilson said is the “Suite Deal Program.” By calling NABD, attendees can secure accommodations at the Encore for a $200 discount off of the regular price without resort fees while stilling getting conference registration at the same price as previous early bird discounts.
“This is your way to attend and stay in luxury at the same time,” Shilson said.
NABD can be reached by calling (832) 767-4759.