Test drives beat walk-arounds
|News Editor James B. Treece oversees Automotive News' coverage of auto retailing.|
NEW ORLEANS -- A few booths at NADA are hopping. Others are nearly empty. The majority have a good number of representatives of that company speaking with a smaller number of dealers and dealership managers who have stopped by.
What makes certain exhibits stand out?
The exhibition floor has a large number of booths devoted to computer services, whether DMS, CRM or any of the other initials that help (or befuddle) dealers.
After walking around the floor, I decided that an exhibitor that wanted to pack in the crowds needed two chairs and a computer screen -- repeated by up to forty times.
Dealers don't want a presentation of a vendor's software products. Having one large screen with five chairs in front of it -- one for the vendor's representative who presents the product while four dealers watch passively -- doesn't cut it anymore.
Dealers want to control the keyboard themselves. A vendor representative may be explaining the product, but the dealer wants to be hands-on. What does it really look like and how does it work -- whether for the dealership or in the hands of the consumer?
Don't tell me about the product in a walk-around. Let me take it for a test drive myself.
You can reach James B. Treece at firstname.lastname@example.org.