Robin Hill, a sales executive at Hendrick Lexus of Charlotte (NC) recalls how she felt when modern smartphones came out about 15 years ago. She wasn’t an early adopter.
“My daughters practically had to pry my flip phone from my hand,” she says. In retrospect, “I’m so glad they did.”
That’s because Hill (pictured below, left) now believes in the power of technology, its usefulness as well as “the resourcefulness of smartphones.” It took some effort to reach that comfort zone.
“Before, I would clench up with new technology,” she says during a presentation at Auto Intel Summit, an online conference put on by Cherokee Media. “I didn’t think it was dangerous or anything like that. I was just uncomfortable with it. After all, I’m pushing 60.”
Her conference presentation is called “One Byte at a Time,” referring to digital bytes and the overall need to embrace innovation.
She says the presentation title stems from “a strange question someone once asked me: How do you eat an elephant?” The answer: One bite at a time.
“I understood what that meant: Don’t let something overwhelm you,” she says.
Hill now regularly uses technology, including social media, her smartphone and more, in her sales job at Hendrick Lexus of Charlotte. It is part of the 94-store Hendrick Automotive Group, No.6 on the WardsAuto Megadealer 100.
Hill recalls how digital auto retailing gained traction last year during the height of the COVID pandemic. “As a culture, we have a thirst – a need – for buying and selling. During the pandemic, technology really saved us.”
She cites the influence of online reviews. Her dealership ranks as the No.1 Lexus store in its number of positive online reviews, according to Reputation.com.
Modern vehicles are loaded with technology, including advanced driver-assist systems that many buyers aren’t readily familiar with.
Accordingly, Hendrick Lexus of Charlotte employs tech-savvy young people to give customers tutorials about the technology in their newly purchased vehicles.
Taking delivery of a new vehicle is a big deal. “So, my clients have the option of us shooting a video of them driving away in their new car.” The clip is emailed to them. “It’s a lot of fun,” says Hill.
When not selling vehicles, Hill is a motivational speaker. She’s also authored books on seeking success.
“Use technology to advance and profit,” she advises.” Be confident in what you do and know. Take a few minutes a few times a week to learn something new about technology. Look into what you can do to advance yourself and profit from it.”
Steve Finlay is a retired WardsAuto senior editor. He can be reached at [email protected].