By the time you’re reading this, the NADA 2020 Expo will be over and the excitement you felt on the show floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center will be starting to fade. But how do you keep that initial enthusiasm from evaporating?
After visiting all those booths and talking to many vendors, you’re bound to have a ton of ideas that you’d like to implement in your dealership.
I know I always come back from NADA (this one was my 18th show!) with not only contacts for new customers for the magazine, but also ideas for how we can improve it and our website, newsletters, etc. I enjoy visiting with our AutoSuccess contributors, many of whom I talk to/email with regularly but only get to see this one time a year. It gives me a chance to express my thankfulness of their support for our brand and for the incredible content they provide our readers each month. I also then get to see firsthand what’s new with their businesses so we can best serve them via AutoSuccess’ many marketing opportunities.
One of the first things I like to do when I get back to Louisville is meet with my teams. I’ll go over the accounts with each of our reps, and I’ll meet with the editorial and design teams to discuss new ideas and promotions I’d like to implement.
I’d advise meeting with your managers shortly after you get back and get caught up. You don’t want to wait too long or you might forget some of the great ideas that were sparked at the show. Share with your teams and managers the information you picked up or discussed at booths and at the workshops and seminars.
Also remember to make the introductions you talked about at NADA to introduce other dealers/friends/colleagues to that vendor who would be perfect for their business. Did you stop by a booth and think how that company could help someone in your 20 Group? Send an email or make a call to provide that information and make that connection. Your 20 Group colleagues will appreciate you thinking of them and the company may want to offer you an incentive for your referral.
Send thank you notes. This might seem like it should be the vendors’ responsibility to do, but a simple email thanking those you met with will go a long way toward developing a congenial business relationship. No need to overthink it – “Hi Chris, It was great meeting you at NADA. Thank you for taking the time to discuss XX. I enjoyed our visit.” That vendor will remember that and look out for you when you need their service, maybe offering an upsell or discount to his or her new industry friend.
If you have some trade show follow-up tips that work for you, please send them my way. I’d love to hear from you. We’ll include them in the online version of this article.