How to Grow Your Automotive Software Company by 30% at the 2024 NADA Show
January 5, 2024
Attending the 2024 NADA Show is an exciting opportunity for automotive software companies to grow and network within the industry. Our company's first NADA ever resulted in a 30% overall increase in company growth back in 2020. We were one of the hottest first-time exhibitors on the show floor and have continued to be ever since at even more shows such as NIADA.
Here's a roadmap for other software companies aiming for a similar outcome. Let's get into some things we wished we knew going into our first show.
More Than Just a Sale
Trade shows are more than just revenue generators; they're powerful platforms for meaningful connections. They're your chance to meet face-to-face with customers, partners, and prospects, elevating your brand within the community.
Balancing the Books with Ambitious Goals
While the shows are designed to increase brand equity and customer loyalty it’s also a huge investment, especially for a startup. To be successful teams must ensure that they set measurable goals to track show performance.
Here is one of the biggest tips right here:
Most of the benefits and rewards of putting on a good show will occur after the show, not during it.
People have alot on their plate during the two or three-day fiasco, it’s more common for people especially for dealers to sign up for your offering after the show when they have more time to do their research and assess the different outcomes.
This means that you need to be well prepared to collect the most accurate information possible from interested parties at the show whether that's an iPad with a form filler on it or a badge scanner. It's going to be critical that your salespeople follow up with these prospects after the show and continue the conversation.
Set ambitious yet achievable goals for instance each salesperson at the booth should have X number of meaningful conversations a day. Or X number of sign-up forms for a giveaway.
Your Booth: The Stage for Success
The second most important tip/step in the entire expo/trade show process is the right booth location.
We cannot stress this enough, having the right location could dramatically affect results. It’s not make or break, you can still have a great show with an okay spot, but it makes it a whole lot easier when you are close to any main walkway or entrance. There’s no secret tip here it's really just being prompt about booking a space as soon as reservations open. Check out our location this year for 2024: booth 7445N
Your booth is more than a space; it's your brand's stage. Make every second count:
Avoid eating, drinking, or using cell phones in the booth.
Everyone should download the mobile app to have the schedule and agenda so everyone is on the same page and doesn't need to take up the project manager’s time on easy questions.
Be cautious to not “Huddle” up as team members at the booth, as much as it’s important to strengthen your relationship with your co-workers you want to remember that you are at this event to meet new people and create relationships. You don't want a potential customer walking by and thinking you're ignoring them. First impressions are key.
Always, always, always practice good judgment when out and about in the city outside your booth. As brand ambassadors, you represent the company not just yourself.
Training your sales team ahead of time:
Don't try and be anyone else than you normally are. Just because you are at a trade show doesn't mean you need to shape-shift into an infomercial. Be yourself, make people laugh, ask meaningful questions, and don't forget that you’re in Vegas! It’s supposed to be fun. Remember, these are car folks - they appreciate a good laugh and a personal touch.
Use humor and open-ended questions to pique interest.
It’s not a terrible idea to prepare some potential questions ahead of time for your salespeople to have in their back pockets if conversations run dry. A simple question like these can spark meaningful conversation.
What role do you play in the success of your dealership?
How many in-house buyers are currently at your store?
How does your dealership acquire inventory?
Prepare your team with varying levels of pitches
Salespeople need to have different levels of pitches prepared for the level of interest and time prospects have.
We’ve always preached that our team on the floor should have three different “elevator pitches” prepared
Short 30-second product/service overview.
And a 10+ minute presentation where you can get to know who you’re talking to.
People are worried they are going to be stuck in a 30-minute presentation, that’s why it’s good to start with the 30 seconds if that piques their interest, move into the 5-minute, if they are still there it’s fair to say they are interested in seeing what's under the hood.
For any of these training tips, a good practice is to evaluate these talking points and questions amongst the team and debrief after each day to see if there needs to be adjustments or audibles.
Here is an example of our rough pitch:
Big Problem/Pain Point: “Inventory Acquisition”
Solution: “A tool that lets you attack the private party easily, effectively, and efficiently”
Traction: “We are partnered with some of the largest dealers in the country”
Market Opportunity: “The private party market is massive and it won’t be going anywhere”
Competitive Edge: “No one out there does what we do”
Team: “Industry experts (former GM, UCM, Owner, etc.) As well as experts in tech, software, and best-in-class success team”
Tactics to Stand Out
Pre Marketing: Share some engaging eye-catching creative content about your presence at the show (Example)
NADA Specials: Offer unique deals like a free first month to draw attention.
Giveaways: Organize engaging giveaways, encouraging in-person sign-ups. (Example)
Don’t forget to register your team for badges and reserve essential equipment like badge scanners.
Make sure to put in orders for wireless or wired internet that is capable of running your applications.
Consider team housing options like Airbnb for team bonding and cost savings.
Create engaging video content for any monitor or TV display.
Setup/teardown Gear: Extension cords, splitters, TV mounts, installation tools, etc.
Growing your company at the NADA Show goes beyond showcasing your product. It's about creating experiences, building lasting relationships, and setting the right goals. Let's make this NADA Show a milestone for your automotive software company!
For more insights into automotive software innovation, head over to our blog.
If your interested in our $50,000 cash giveaway come see us this year in Vegas Feb 1-4! See you at the show!