Coach Ken: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
We have been experiencing difficult economic and social times. Inflation, a pandemic, shortages, and even protests have gripped the nation and the world with uncertainty. Businesses and families have been “psychologically” impacted and have held back on new purchases and business expansion. The good news is in times like these some of the world’s greatest businesses have been created and prospered.
Publix Super Market: Twenty-two-year-old George Jenkins quit his job as manager of a Florida Piggly Wiggly and started his own grocery store next door. The store not only survived next door to its competitor, but eventually became the 1,000-store chain of today.
Hy-Vee: Hy-Vee began as a small general store in Iowa that offered what people really needed during tough times: low prices. That, and good service, helped grow the general store into a chain of some 225 supermarkets.
Yellow Book, USA: The Yellow Pages gave struggling consumers an efficient opportunity for comparison shopping. Instead of wasting gas or—more often—shoe leather, they could “let their fingers do the walking” in search of the best deals.
Standard Oil: Oil tycoon J. Paul Getty abided by a simple business formula: “Buy when everyone else is selling, and hold on until everyone else is buying.” His acquisition of oil companies during the “Great Depression” led to the largest petroleum company in America.
Ocean Spray: When the going gets tough, the tough get cooperative. Instead of seeing who could make the tastiest cranberry sauce when consumers were pinching pennies, three cranberry companies pooled their bogs and found success.
What are the lessons in tough times?
- Be innovative in your marketing. The first mistake most companies make during difficult times is to cut expenses, and that includes advertising and marketing. Fortunately, in today’s world we have low cost, effective alternatives. Many of our dealership clients have benefitted from “Internet marketing.” Notice I didn’t say “advertising.” Great marketing adds value. The articles we recommend in electronic newsletters give dealerships and businesses ideas and instructions on how to grow sales.
- The best way to promote your business is to promote your customers! Many companies are using YouTube to promote not only their own businesses, but also their customers and prospects. Typically, an outside commercial salesperson interviews his or her customer using video to help promote the customer’s business.
- Help your customers grow. Commercial businesses often grow through “Online Marketing Tools” and companies like Work Truck Solutions make this process easier to accomplish through maximum exposure nationwide. Their Internet marketing software gives you everything you need to maximize your marketing efforts. Go to www.worktrucksolutions.com and let them guide you through the process!
- Engage in outside sales training. Retail automotive sales have always been based on the prospect coming to the dealership. The typical dealership spends thousands of dollars a week getting the word out through television, radio, and the Internet. To be effective, commercial vehicle sales requires sales professionals to make outside sales calls and to join organizations, like trade associations, to grow sales. We’ve seen sales grow dramatically when the sales staff got actively involved in outside groups and associations like the Chamber of Commerce, their local home builders’ association, as well as organizations like Associated General Contractors.
- Get involved in event marketing. Most industry groups have monthly meetings and major events like trade shows that give great opportunities to market your organization. You can also sponsor marketing events for your customers.