How many of you have flown in the last 11 years or so? Did your family go with you to the gate? That's because of the last recession and the events of 9/11. You'll never travel the way you did before.
Changes happen all the time, anyway. Recessions tend to speed them up, more.
This recession has changed the way you buy a house. There are no more no money down loans. It's changed where you're going to buy a house. Our housing market is in the pits. It's changed the way you're going to buy a car. Say you won big at the casino and you wanted to go out and buy your dream car, that car you always wanted. You're going to buy a brand new Pontiac. No. A Mercury? No. How about a Hummer? None of them are made any more. Why? People did not want their cars. The recession just sped along their decline.
If you wanted to buy a Lexus or a Mercedes or a BMW or a Bugatti, you could do it. Don't tell me no one has money. Don't tell me no one is spending money. People will buy and people will spend money where they see a value in place.
The value may be the ease of working with you. People will drive out of their way to come out to your place, they will drive past others who are cheaper, if you will make their lives easier.
Albertson's is closing a lot of stores. Trader Joe's is building a lot of stores. So are Whole Foods. And Whole Foods is not cheap. But they market local, organic, and green, and that's what people are looking for.
You and I need to be good at catching a wave.
Whatever your customers are buying is what you need to sell. Customers don't buy what you sell. They buy what they buy.
Amazon is Kindle-ing the book business out of business. The book is identical on a Kindle to what you could get in printed form. Book publishers are not in the book business. They are in the paper and binding business.
If you turned on the radio in 1969 and you heard "Hey Jude" and you wanted to get that song, you would go to a record store. You could buy that song on the record album or you could buy a single. It would have that song on one side and a bonus song on the other side. In 1979, if you heard that song, you would go to the record store. You couldn't buy a single any more. You could buy that song on an album, or on a cassette, or on something called an 8 track. In 1989, you would go to a record store but you wouldn't buy an album. You could buy a CD in the store or buy a CD by mail order. In 1999, you could buy the CD or use this illegal thing called Napster and get the song for free. There was a computer company who would sell you the song but why would you buy it when you could get it for free? In 2009, the Beatles remastered the songs and you could hear the songs the way they were originally done in the studio. You could buy it for $1.99 from iTunes and play it on any device. From 1969 to 2009, the song remained the same. The delivery device changed.
If I were you, I would get out of the petroleum marketing business. There is too much competition. I would get into the "what people want" business and sell it to them.
The economy isn't down. It's different. Leaders are different. Losers are down. If you don't walk out of Reno, Nevada different, you're going to be out of business in the next few years.
Convenience is based on where they are, not where you are.
I'm not a motivational speaker. I can't motivate you. You can motivate you. You can't motivate your sales people. They have to motivate themselves. And if they're already motivated, why are you holding them back and making them go to a stupid meeting?
Don't tell people to turn their phones off during a presentation. Tell them to keep their phones on and Tweet me. Have your audience work for you for awhile.
Loyalty doesn't matter squat. Frequency matters. I was loyal to the Atlanta Thrashers but I never showed up at a game or bought a ticket. I am a frequent buyer of the Atlanta Falcons and they know how to market to me. Frequency rocks. Loyalty don't mean squat.
There is a difference between value and features. Features don't matter squat. Features are information. Information piles up. People are scanners on the internet, not readers.
Let people discover the value and benefits, not the features. Your business card ought to have your features on the front and value on the back. Your name, title, contact information is on the front. On the back, I have the 7 points I'm speaking on today in very tiny type because it's a card.
People's favorite radio station is WIIFM — What's In It For Me?
How many of you bundle your auto insurance and home insurance? A lot. Because they offer you a deal and you think you're saving money. They're still making money.
Find things you can bundle. What can we do to bundle what we do and increase value to our customers? People will buy where they see a value and they will pay more for it.
It's not about price because if you're competing on price you will lose every time. Someone will always be able to find a way to do what you do and deliver it cheaper.
They can beat me on price but they cannot beat me on value.
I want you to be upset with the way you do business and I want you to be motivated to do it better.
If you listen when your phone rings and you find out what they're asking you, they'll tell you what business they're in. Listen to your loyal frequent customers. Why should you listen to them? Because they're still talking to you. If they're still calling you, they still like you. They're your loyal, frequent fan base and they're telling you what business you should be in.
What is the iPad/iPhone/iPod in your room? What is changing your business so much that you won't be able to do business the way you're doing it today?
People want to do business now and apps are Kindle-ing business. Technology is changing everything. There is an entire generation who has never seen a rotary dial phone, never heard of a television where you have to walk up and change the channel. The kids who started their senior year in high school this year thought luggage always had wheels on it. The day is going to come when a smart phone is going to be called a dumb phone because they're so slow.
YouTube is killing television. It's killing reruns. It's DVRs and On-Demand. Blockbuster was killed by Netflix and Redbox. Blockbuster made money by renting videos to people who just wanted to go to their local strip mall and get a movie. Netflix said you don't have to go to the store. You can just go to your mailbox. Then Netflix Kindled itself — it found a way to deliver movies to people too lazy to get out of bed.
People like doing business with local. We like friendly. We like neighborhood. Because they're like us.
If you want to find more customers, find more people who are like the customers you already have. Why? Because they like you. What do they like about you? Ask them. Go home and ask them. What do we do that you like? What affects you the most? Why do you like us? What do we do that no one else does for you? What are we not doing that you wish we would do for you? Only ask this last question to your top frequent loyal people. Don't ask everybody. You only want that information from the people who spend the most money with you.
With more money comes more authority. If you give them responsibility without authority, you still have to check on everything they do. Give them authority and let them handle something that they're better than you at doing. I'm still the one in charge but you handle this situation.
We get too busy hiring people and giving them responsibility and not authority. I think the biggest problem today is we're hiring people who are sixes and trying to make them do a ten job.
I didn't say go home and fire people. Half the problem with leadership is we don't know how to pick a 10 out of a crowd. And we don't know how to turn a 2 into an 8.
What could you do right now in your company to add more value to what you're delivering to people?
Barnes & Noble is Kindle-ing libraries. They offer an experience. You can go to Barnes & Noble and read a book and drink coffee in a comfy chair. You can read something and it's more current than what you can find in the library.
If you want to lead in your industry, get out of it. Do something that no one else does. Get better by doing stuff no other company is doing.
Get closer to the people who matter to you the most. Develop loyal people into frequent people.
My opening line in cold calls: "Can you help me, please?" The answer is yes. You're starting with a yes. "Could you connect me with the person who handles meeting planning?" If they try to screen you, you say, "I have a question that I think only they can answer." What do you do for people? I help leaders who need to reinvent themselves in changing economies.
Work on your elevator speech.
When someone asks for my card, I say, I can't find one. Let me have your card and I'll contact you. Why? Because I'm not going to wait for my phone to ring. I want their phone to ring.
If you do what you've always done, you'll get less than you've always gotten. It's the law of diminishing returns.
How do people feel "punished" for doing business with us? Then write these two words underneath: fix it! If you can't fix it, make it easier. Sell your clients on the idea that working with you is easy. The application process is easy. The sales process is easy. Getting products is easy.
What/where are your dinosaurs? It could be processes. It could be people. What are you holding onto that is costing you more money, time, or effort than it is making you? Are you doing business in a 4G world with a rotary phone? Once you identify it, fix it, get rid of it, or update it.
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