Something really cool happened to me on Monday. It was the first time in years that I received less than 100 emails at the start of a week. To get you up to speed, for years I have been copied on every internal update in our company, including every weekly ad update and every approved ad that we sent out. But a couple of weeks ago (I was out on a Monday with the birth of my new baby girl) I realized – 400 plus emails in a day just doesn’t make sense.
I explained a new protocol for emails to our company moving forward. Send what you want me to review and the questions you want me to answer. There are no words to describe how much more productive my Mondays are since implementing this new strategy.
The benefit being:
Three things stood out plain as day from the emails and conversations I was able to have on Monday.
1. Great dealers and operators still understand and believe in the purchase funnel. They know that regardless of what the latest NADA study says people still enter a process. It’s based on research, when to shop, when to buy, and finally what to buy. Buyers are people with behavioral patterns that date back to the beginning of time. This process is the purchase funnel.
2. Added value is as simple as a relentless negotiating media team going out to trusted vendors saying, “Our dealer needs help.” When a dealer says they need a great second half of the month, you can bet that all it takes is a simple email to me, and we are guns blazing to get everything that our media partners in a market have to offer. There is always a way for a station, vendor or provider to give added value to a client. It isn’t until your back is up against a wall that you ask for it, but when it works out it’s a beautiful thing.
3. Trying to make a decision is perhaps the one thing that I cannot tolerate about our business. Even in the age of webinars, conference calls, Skype, etc, my company still spends tens of thousands of dollars a month to see our clients in person. Not to play golf or go to sporting events (for the record there have been none of these all year) but to sit down and talk about ways to improve a client’s business. When someone says, “Let me think about it and get back to you”, it’s a sure sign that they don’t want their business to succeed as bad as I do. They are not willing to invest, based on real time data, as to how they should generate traffic. I will be the first to say if all our details are not complete, then a dealer should never make a decision. But wanting to stick their finger in the air to see which way the wind blows is not a play that I practice.
There have been days where Mondays and Monday nights were spent doing nothing but reviewing emails and discussions. It is a lot more productive to be able to spend your time working on something that will generate traffic rather than guessing which way the wind will blow.
John Paul Strong
John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 140 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.