With the recent releases of Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens as well as Rogue One, I’m reminded of the many similarities that take place on the big screen as well as in the business world. Including the battle between light & dark, good & evil.
Every business decision, especially marketing, certainly needs to be weighed carefully. That being said, I’ve never seen that decision making process – or the lack thereof -paralyze so many businesses as in the automotive industry.
It seems that the excitement of a new and great marketing product/campaign/strategy can be easily derailed by the “Jedi Mind Tricks” that auto dealers tend to pull on themselves.
Here are a few you may have encountered and what to do about them:
No matter what the reason, indecision is the worst decision. In Rogue One, the Rebels didn’t know if they would be able to find the blueprints that contained the way to destroy the Death Star, but they knew they couldn’t just sit around and wait for eminent-death. They went on the offensive and attacked. You have to be moving forward, making moves and that may include making changes. Specifically – in what, how & when you market to customers.
For years I’ve been very close with two Chevy dealers that are about 60 miles apart. “Dealer-A” is in a smaller market, but makes moves all the time. Constantly trying new and different things, carefully measuring the success and getting rid of what’s not producing the desired results. He’s running his market and literally can’t be touched.
“Dealer-B” is constantly thinking about it. They make 1 decision to every six or seven “Dealer-A” makes. They take so long to make a marketing decision, that they need each decision to be a Grand Slam to make up for the entire market share they lost while sitting around thinking about making that decision. They are in a larger market and struggle to hit their goals and gain customers. Constantly. Indecision keeps them stuck in this vicious cycle.
I promise you, making moves is one of the main differences between dealerships that are crushing it, and ones that aren’t.
“Successful people make their decisions quickly and change their minds slowly. Failures make their decisions slowly and change their minds quickly.” -Andy Andrews
I Love it! But I’m Also Worried It Won’t Work.
Luke Skywalker saw Jedi’s use the Force, he saw amazing things from Obi-Wan, Yoda and others but still didn’t believe it was real or for him. We see this all the time.
Recently, we had a long time client refer us to someone in his dealer 20 group. This new dealer loved the program and the results that his colleague was getting with us, but just wouldn’t pull the trigger because he was simultaneously worried that it may NOT work as well for him as it had for others. Our client then made him this offer:
“I am so confident that it will work for you, that I will pay for your campaign. You just have to cut me in on X percentage of the profit generated from it.”
His buddy still hesitated. Why? Because now he was concerned that the campaign would do so well that he would have to cut a huge check to the other dealer!
You can’t simultaneously believe it won’t work and also that it will work too well. No wonder you are in over-analysis paralysis. This stops the decision-making process and growth dead in its tracks.
Is This Salesperson/Company Full of B.S.?
Great question. The automotive industry can be a fast-paced, high-energy, go-go-go, never-done, always-behind-the-eight-ball, world. It has a lot of moving parts and many decisions to be made daily to keep numbers up, retention increasing and profitability high. It’s this environment, often coupled with much larger marketing budgets than other industries, that has drawn a lot of “Sith Lords” out from hiding to prey upon it and by extension, upon you.
Marketing companies that have given themselves over to the “Dark Side” still use the power of the Force. They know the lingo and how the industry works. They know just what to say to get your attention and your business. They also make empty promises. They know you will most likely be way too busy fighting along side the Rebellion – ie: busy with customers and planning next month – to see if they actually delivered what they promised.
But sometimes you need the Dark to recognize the Light.
Recognizing the Light Side from the Dark is becoming increasingly more difficult. They both use the power of the Force, (experience and know-how) they have similar weapons in their arsenals (products, lists, gifts, add-ons, call centers, etc.) they even wear the same clothes and use similar words.
Are they selling or consulting?
A salesperson wants you to buy their product. A consultant actually wants to listen to what you have to say, has interest in the specific challenges you face and the goals you are trying to accomplish.
You want to know why?
They actually care about solving your problem. #JediForTheWin
What’s your greatest need? Does their product meet up with that? At Pulse we always come from the consultant standpoint. We get everyone on the same page with a set goal and put an action plan in place. We also offer a performance guarantee, because we want to make sure that everyone is happy at the beginning and the end. This not only creates an easy decision with zero-risk up front, but a successful campaign and customer loyalty.
Around here, we set our clients up for success from the get go – so we can continue to build on a solid foundation – cause that’s the way of the Marketing Jedi.
A dealer I was speaking with recently told me that “Direct Mail companies are a dime a dozen…”
I agree. But so are Stormtroopers…..and like Stormtroopers, most of them aren’t very adept at what they do, don’t think out-of-the-box, and have terrible aim. Not a great combo when you are talking about something you are about to spend a portion of your marketing budget on.
So how do you know who to form an alliance with? How do you know if the company you are about to partner with has left a wake of destroyed planets behind them? Or worse, what if they destroy you?
As Master Yoda says: “You will know when you are calm, at peace, passive…”
Which brings me to the next Jedi Mind Trick:
Being Too “Busy” OR Too “Busy” to Call References.
What Yoda means is, you need to slow down and focus. When you slow down for a moment and become calm, you will realize that you do actually have time and it’s greatly beneficial to take just a few minutes to research who you are partnering with.
Here are some things to look for and when you find them, they should carry a lot of weight with you.
Length in industry. If a good company has been around for a while they should have testimonials. It’s 2017, you should now be looking for video testimonials to make it easy for you – especially if you wear so many helmets that you really are too busy to call another dealership to try to have someone tracked down like you are a damn Bounty-Hunter or something.
When the ambassador from a neighboring Star System sends you video testimonials embedded in a droid (like we have all over our website) you know you are working with a marketing Jedi.
As far as testimonials go, we’re not just talking about someone saying: “yes I like them” or “they’re great” or “they have the fastest Starship in the galaxy.”
I’m talking about a legit video testimonial with real results and honest opinions of why they like the company and what exactly it was they liked.
No one wants to be on video, so if someone is willing to do it AND goes into detail of why…this is a great sign.
Think about it. What would it take for you to jump in front of a video camera and record yourself saying great things about a Direct Mail company for the entire galaxy to see? Far more than one successful campaign, I bet. How many times in your career have you done it? Exactly. You wouldn’t do it unless you had some pretty strong and consistent results.
Video testimonials are legit. Hands down. Search your feelings; you know it to be true.
Bottom line: Put an end to the Jedi Mind Tricks you play on yourself and form an alliance with proven Jedi Masters. If we can get enough to follow suit, we can rid the galaxy of the Sith once and for all.
And as always, may the Force be with you.
If 20-30 additional units per month or $10 back in new service revenue for every $1 invested sounds good to you, take a quick moment to drop us your info below and we will show you exactly how we can do that for you, too.