Many times people ask me why IM@CS is not a training company, even though plenty of people call what we do by the "T" word. The response every single person receives, for the last five years - and emphatically - is that people despise being trained. People, more successful ones for sure, love learning. In short, we've never had a staff member at a client that ever deserved such a low pat of the attention span.
Education, however, is what people and businesses that want to succeed tune into. There are plenty of trainers to choke 17,000 new car franchises to death, and then some. There are so very few educators, especially in the digital space. That aren't beholden to vendors they recommend (read: if you take a fee from a client and a commission from a vendor, that's called a conflict of interest). That don't work at a store 40 hours a week (read: that's an employee, not a consultant). That learn from outside the industry (read: recirculating existing data, quotes, white papers and results from others is simply an affront).
Education, for the few that want it, is the only thing that moves our industry forward. "Getting back to the basics" and "blocking and tackling", while called for and part of daily operation especially when things drop through the cracks, is needed. However, you can't increase results from eCommerce, increase your SEO footprint, establish social media signals, improve your email lead response rate or conquest a new market or brand by "doing what has always worked".
This week brought a great opportunity to share what might be considered as more "digitally savvy" dealerships and vendors in a conversation with an industry colleague. He happens to be someone that I respect, having OEM, portal and agency experience including outside automotive. He asked, among other items, what we're most proud of that we were able to do with a now, more-successful client. My response was that he should ask them, not me...
You see, training is something you do everywhere for everybody that "needs it". Education is something that you provide with varying degrees of success, seeing the results later through your clients and only for those that absolutely want or will kill for it.
One thing I've always been passionate about in providing services to different business over the past twenty plus years is watching their growth. By providing turnkey services or an enterprise-wide platform, as needed as those services are, the baseline is so muted. That doesn't get me or the team of people I get to work with up in the morning. What does is making a difference through education and then supporting the education. Anyone call sell or buy a widget. And many will tell you their widget is better or drives better results. Bulls**t. The people using the widget to their best capability win. Remember who people buy cars from? The least educated one, right?
So what's the difference between training and education? Education is one letter longer. And likely the only thing keeping your dealership back from excellence...
Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results