Customers are becoming numb to our sales promotions.
It seems like every dealer has a fear of missing out if they don’t run a daily sales promotion. I refer to this as “promo FOMO.”
With almost every dealership newsletter and Facebook page, the same promo cycle seemingly spins on repeat because retailers don’t want to be left out in the cold: No Financing. Low-Interest Financing. Cash for Clunkers. No Games/No Gimmicks. Red Tag Sales.
Inevitably, the supporting copy screams “ACT NOW!” because time is running out. But when that deadline arrives, the offer is miraculously extended with a new deadline (but “this time we really mean it!”). Obviously no one is buying it.
I think we need to stop reusing the same old efforts to engage our buying public. We do bands, barbeques, beer and babes. Shampoo, rinse, repeat. One disturbing issue is that far too many marketing people appear to come up with “ideas” by simply scanning other dealers’ websites and copying them.
The most successful people I know — both in and out of the power sports industry — don’t follow others; they forge their own path. When someone asks me, “Mark, what are other dealers doing?” I know I have one level of performer. When someone comes to me and says, “Mark, I have an idea and I’d love to get your take on it,” I know I’m dealing with an entirely different level of creativity.
I think the key is to identify, create, develop and then communicate your uniqueness.
Stew Leonard’s chain of six grocery supermarkets in Connecticut and New York took an intriguing approach. They were flying in fresh salmon every other day, so their customers could enjoy the freshest fish possible. They even went the extra step to package and wrap the high-quality salmon so customers could “grab and go.”
They had no idea why until they asked. “Why aren’t you buying the salmon?” store managers asked a group of customers. “It’s not fresh,” came the reply.
“Sure it is,” replied the managers, who even showed them the air bills to prove it.”
Customers wanted to buy fresh salmon that was displayed beautifully over clean beds of crushed ice. So that’s what Stew Leonard’s did. And customers bought it.
Perhaps, rather than looking to see what other dealers are doing and copying them, you could identify potential new riders and find out what might actually convince them to buy.
Then, maybe you’ll be the one who approaches me and says, “Mark, I have an idea and I’d like your take on it.“