The fourth annual DrivingSales Executive Summit includes dealer-selected presentations on modern ways to sell vehicles.  

The event is Oct. 21-23 at the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas. WardsAuto is a sponsor.

The DrivingSales Executive Summit is described as 100% dealer-driven and designed for the industry’s most advanced dealer principals and executives.

The summit’s vendor-neutral policy means there is no vendor influence on presentation selection. Dealers decide the agenda, not the vendor sponsors.

This translates into the highest level of learning for the dealer attendees compared with some events where workshops essentially are glorified sales pitches, says DrivingSales CEO and founder Jared Hamilton.

Last year’s summit was standing room only. This year’s event allows for an expanded number of registrants.

To register, go to http://drivingsalesexecutivesummit.com/registration/

Enter WARDS12 in the special promotional code box for a $100 discount.

The summit includes presentations by representatives of some of the nation’s most successful dealerships.

Among them: Eric Giroux (Briggs Auto), Shaun Weissman (Rallye Auto Group), Courtney Cole (Hare Chevrolet), Greg Coleman (Oxmoor Auto Group), Joe Stroffolino (Causeway Family of Dealerships), Chris Costner (Southern Volkswagen of Greenbrier) and Tracy Myers (Frank Myers Auto Maxx).

Breakout sessions include profit-building topics such as business-development center best practices, website analytics, used-car certification, reputation management, Generation Y and social media and mobile marketing.

The summit’s dealer advisory board picked the breakout presentations from a competitive list of 100 applicants.

“Our advisory board really had their work cut out for them, but ultimately they selected the hot-button topics that they felt resonated most with the issues today’s dealerships are facing,” Hamilton says.

“Our speakers and topics are selected by those who know best what dealers need to hear: their peers,” he says.

Keynote speakers include Billy Beane, featured in “Moneyball,” an Academy Award-nominated film.

Beane is renowned for his management methodology of identifying undervalued assets to create and sustain a competitive advantage. He is considered one of the most progressive and talented baseball executives.

“Billy had an American dream and implemented a winning, albeit unorthodox, strategy to the game of baseball, which has inspired not only his colleagues, but executives in various industries around the country,” Hamilton says.

“His message will resonate with the progressive dealers at our conference because they are always the first to embrace the innovative strategies that move our industry forward.”

Also on the bill is Florian Zettelmeyer, a Northwestern University marketing professor and author of a study on the impact of the Internet on automotive retailing.

His work addresses how behavior is affected by information consumers possess about businesses and vice versa.

Zettelmeyer’s keynote will examine how “big data” is changing marketing practices across the board. He will discuss the positive impact this can have on automotive retailing.

Organizations know much about customers, from what, when and where they are searching on the Internet to their mobile search behavior and their likes and dislikes, Hamilton says.

“All this data can be a blessing or a curse, drowning an organization, if not appropriately used, or sinking a retailer if ignored,” he says.

Other speakers are search-engine optimization specialist Rand Fishkin, mobile-experience expert Luke Wroblewski and leadership trainer Jim Dance.

Also slated is an exclusive presentation from Facebook and Google. The session will take a deep dive into how dealers can leverage digital advertising and social media to strengthen their brands, drive opportunities and build lasting customer loyalty.

“These presentations will cut to the heart of what dealers need to know to maximize their digital opportunities with today’s customers,” Hamilton says.

sfinlay@wardsauto.com