Laura Madison added to the 2015 Dealer Talk Line-Up

I am super excited to announce that we have added one of my favourite car peeps to the 3rd annual Dealer Talk Conference.

Unfortunately my man Robert Wiesman had a conflict so we were faced with a hole in the speaking line up.   Hopefully we can get Robert up to the great white north in the future.

I don’t remember exactly when or where I discovered Laura Madison.   I’m thinking it was around 2013.

laura madison Toronto

Right away I could tell that she was bringing some new heat to the auto biz that very few had a real grasp on.

Personal Branding is something I’ve always bought into.  Once upon a time when I was working in the dealership,  I often wondered why the local realtors had billboards, websites, and flyers.

Why didn’t this happen in the car business?

Both professions are 100% commission and I know (from experience) that you can use some of these marketing/promotional expenses as a tax deduction.

I thought you were supposed to treat the car business as your own business.  That was always the pitch in the interview right?

DealerTalk is back at the Four Seasons May 8th, 2015

Without further ado, I’m so happy to announce that we are back at the gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto for the 3rd Annual DealerTalk Conference.

DealerTalk Four Seasons Toronto

This event is key for anyone in the car biz that wants to up their digital game and get some inspiration from some of North America’s best speakers.

Why I couldn’t resist the Four Seasons….. Again

  • One of the coolest main rooms in the city.  Every speaker I have talked to absolutely loves presenting on this stage
  • Big venue but feels intimate, perfect for 300 people
  • Unreal food
  • Lot’s of extra rooms to use for charge stations (phone), media, and of course mingling
  • Sweet cocktail area for the happy hour… or happy two hour :)

The only thing we had complaints about in the past, was the price of the Four Seasons rooms for our out-of-town guests.  This year we have set up a deal with a close by hotel that is going to provide us with a special DealerTalk rate.

Sign up for the Insider’s List to get updates on hotel specials

Since the event is on a Friday this year, why not stay for the whole weekend!  Maybe the Leaf’s will be in the playoffs.

Probably not.

I promise there will not be snow in May.

Why did you move it from March to May?

  • Less conference competition
  • Too close to March Break
  • No more competing with the annual Mining Conference in Toronto.  I’m being serious.  It was impossible to book hotel rooms in Toronto when 5000 miners from around the world flock to the big smoke
  • May is much nicer to make a weekend out of than March. Let’s be honest

I will be publishing multiple blog posts leading up to the event so keep checking back in.  I’ve also setup this Insider’s List for anyone that wants alerts or updates

Sign up for the Insider’s List

Anything different you want to see at this year’s DealerTalk Conference?

Chime in below in the comments.

A Dealer Geek Makeover: Time to Get Noticed!

Hey everyone, I just wanted to post a quick note about some exciting news about what’s going on here at

I’ve decided it’s time to give my website a full makeover so your experience while visiting my site will be much more enjoyable

Starting with the completion of this post, the makeover will begin!

For those of you who are geeky about WordPress, I’m switching from the Thesis framework to the Get Noticed! Theme.


If you’re not familiar with Get Noticed! it’s the theme that was originally developed by Michael Hyatt for use on his own website.

You may have also seen the theme in action over at DealerRefresh or on

What is ARK’ing And Why Is Mississauga Dealer Autodome Doing It???

Autodome’s “Random Kindness” program is all kinds of awesome.

After meeting up for lunch with Sach Raja from Autodome and hearing about his latest idea, I asked him if I could share the concept right here on The Dealer Geek.

Being the all around nice guy that Sach is, he said “of course”.

It’s rare that I get this excited about new marketing strategies from car dealers…..

So let’s get into it.

Sach and Chad from Autodome surprise random drivers with an ARK card

Sach and Chad from Autodome surprise random drivers with an ARK card

We’ve all heard the stories of receiving a free coffee at the Tim Horton’s drive thru from the random stranger in the vehicle in front of you.

It’s never happened to me personally, but my cousin worked at Timmie’s when she was a teenager and said it happened all the time. This gesture really took off after the movie Pay It Forward she explains.

As of last week, the crew @ Autodome decided to spread some random love throughout the Greater Toronto Area by surprising random strangers with one of their ARK packages.

I love this kinda stuff. Total grassroots.


What happens?

  • Autodome prints off a bunch of ARK cards with Autodome logo and explanation of what they are doing
  • Attach a Tim Horton’s gift card to the ARK card
  • Tapes on random car window.  Driver’s side preferred
  • Random dude walks up to his car and thinks WTF?
  • Random dude looks around to see if he/she is on camera? They aren’t , Sach and friends are long gone
  • Recipient sits down in driver’s seat and feels something that no free hot dog or inflatable gorilla can produce…..  hope

AMVIC Advertising Update APRIL 2014 – Alberta Dealer Webinar

AMVIC Advertising Update – April 2014 from Kijiji Autos on Vimeo.

Laura Lowe and Lynette MacLeod from the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council put together this great webinar to educate dealers on what they need to take into consideration when placing ads for their dealership.

Video Length – 30 minutes

Please contact AMVIC directly if you have any questions — AMVIC WEBSITE

2014 DealerTalk Recap – Long one!

I’ve just caught my breathe.  The event is over. 12 months of planning is complete.

And now it’s time to sit back and hear some feedback.

Conferences are a lot more work than they look like, let me tell you.  This blog post will highlight the day itself and a brief summary on the speakers.

Karbaum wins an Apple TV

Karbaum wins an Apple TV

**Disclaimer – This is a friggin long post.

After the inaugural DealerTalk conference last March I really thought it would be almost impossible to “one up” the event this time.

First off there was no Grant Cardone this year.

I received many tweets, emails, and phone calls saying we had to have Grant back.

“That’s the only reason we went” – was some of the common feedback from dealers.

Now I love me some Grant Cardone, but I really wanted to put a fresh line up in place and expose Canadian dealers to some fresh faces.  Grant Cardone 2015?? Who knows?

Last summer…….

Yes you heard me right.  The summer of 2013 is when I started hashing out what this year’s conference might look like.

Who would speak? How much would we charge? Where would we hold the event? These were the questions that filled the whiteboard.

At the time it seemed crazy to me that we were worrying about this 10 months prior to DealerTalk 2014 but it paid off in a big way.  Check out some video highlights below.

DealerTalk, March 4, 2014 from Kijiji Autos on Vimeo.

New Website please

One thing that we did agree on was that DealerTalk needed a new website.

If DealerTalk was going to be a brand that we would continue to build on for years to come, we needed step up our image, and fast.

The original DealerTalk site was functional. You landed on it. You signed up. Or you didn’t.  In the words of Forrest Gump, “that’s all I have to say about that”.

I’m happy with how the website turned out but I do want to add a blog/news component that will allow us to publish updates, video coverage, DealerTalk webinars, and other cool dealer stuff.

More to come on that…..

Location, Location, Location

We ended up using The Four Seasons last year by a complete fluke.

Were you aware of that??? The original DealerTalk was supposed to take place at the Sony Centre.   Hey, it was our first one and we were shooting for the stars.

Have you been to the Sony Centre?

Let’s just put it this way, there would probably be a few empty seats.  The Sony Centre is usually reserved for Jerry Seinfeld doing standup or Broadway shows.

Anyway, we were in a bind and the wonderful crew at FFAM (agency that helps put this show together) came up with a few spots.

Royal York? Nah too old.

Westin Harborfront?  Have you seen the traffic on Queens Quay (pronounced “Key”)? No thanks.

Best Western in Mississauga, come on this is DealerTalk!!

What about the new Four Seasons???

Scott (my boss and partner in crime on this conference) and I agreed this could be a good possibility.  I was concerned it wouldn’t be large enough to accommodate 250-300 guests, maybe I was still smoking the Sony Centre pipe, who knows.