“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
That’s a famous line written by the immortal Peter Drucker, who probably had more impact on management theory in the last 50 years than anyone on the planet.
It’s a line that speakers love to use. I admit to even having said it more than a few times myself.
But there’s one problem with the line. It’s a whole lot easier to deliver it in front of an audience in a speech than it is to actually figure it out for a business. Saying it is easy. Figuring out how to do it is hard. Really hard.
There’s a futurist whose work I read. His name is Dan Burrus, and his most recent book, The Anticipatory Organization, is one of those books that really makes me think. Burrus advises folks not to sit with a crystal ball trying to guess what’s going to happen. Rather, he suggests taking things that will impact your business that you are very confident WILL happen and see if you can build a plan that works for those issues.
Here’s one example:
I think it’s a very safe bet to predict that our auto dealer business is going to erode more and more unless something changes. The new generation of dealers is being told that mass marketing isn’t the answer. So, there’s a massive shift in dollars from traditional media to digital, and it’s seldom our digital. The May sales numbers appear, yet again, to be great. But you wouldn’t know that from our revenue from dealers.
Would you agree with that prediction about dealer spending?
Is auto a big piece of your revenue?
Most of you just read this and answered yes to both questions. But those aren’t really the questions to answer. The real question to answer is are you going to try to do something about it? As the saying goes, “that’s where the rubber meets the road.”
Here’s where you can actually create your future. As leaders, we may not be able to do anything about the growing number of streams each month in your market. Or, how people will consume local news in 10 years. But we sure can do something about auto dealer revenue.
What might you do?
- Make sure top leaders are actively building deeper relationships at the Dealer level. Extend those relationships to COO and GM’s of individual stores, especially your larger spenders.
- Build a bridge, not for social reasons, but to get access.
- Use your access to deliver a 5-6 minute video presentation for the actual decision makers.
- That presentation should sell 1 idea: that TV + Digital—what we call Tradigital—is the killer combination. The “domination combination.”
- You need evidence. Success stories from other stations in your group, recorded on video, are huge. We are seeing them. Earlier this year, one of our team helped a Midwestern dealer move much of their third party lead money back to TV. The results? A 135% increase in sales.
- But here’s the multi-million dollar idea. There’s a growing body of evidence about the power of the TV/digital combo right in your market. It’s in the Google analytics your dealer uses. We’re collecting a lot of Google analytics from dealers that show that when a dealer is on TV with a great domination combination plan (and strong creative), the impact is seen on their web traffic immediately.
Two things to know, here. First is that a lead to a dealer’s website is their highest profit lead. Those leads close at a higher percentage and for more gross profit than leads that come in any other way. Those leads are way more profitable than any lead from the third party sites like cars.com or Autotrader. Dealers love leads to their own sites.
The second thing you should know is that this whole idea of last click attribution really makes Google look better than it actually is. Last click attribution conveniently forgets that something caused the prospect to go look up that dealer’s name in the first place. As Internet marketing guru, Jay Baer, says, “Nobody in history has ever gone to Google and said, ‘Hey Google. Surprise me!’” Something has to create demand. That’s why Jay Baer says you have to have a combination of traditional media driving the demand and digital getting that lead to the dealer’s website.
So, that’s our sales pitch. And it needs to be done formally – a video if possible. My suggestion is to be ready to have annual 2019 conversations with dealers by early fall, if not sooner.
7. But, candidly building a presentation is a useless exercise if we don’t take that message out to dealers. If the idea of building a video presentation is overwhelming to you, figure out another plan that delivers the same story. But don’t play ostrich.
At our company, we have a motto. We say to AE’s and managers that “training without action is entertainment.” Our seminars with AE’s are lots of fun to teach and lots of fun to attend. But the success of a training effort is what people do with it, not whether we had a good time.
Action is the power word. Winners take action. Winners look at challenges and ask, “What can we do about this?” Then they act. Action beats contemplation every single time.
We have a sales job to do with our dealers. And that is something we CAN do to create our future.
Have a GSM or GM meeting in your future? Why not have Jim Doyle or John Hannon speak to your meeting about how to turn your sales staff into a Sales FORCE? We promise powerful, thought-provoking content customized to your company’s needs. Contact Jim Doyle at email@example.com or call 941-926-SELL.