Keynote: Preparing for Success in the Changing Landscape
This is a Keynote that I gave recently for the OHPBA Spring Conference, it’s the same as the one I gave in Nashville for HPB Expo and in Seattle for NWHPBA recently. I’m relentless that most hearth company’s are wasting thousands of dollars each year because of poor marketing, ineffective sales practices and bad leadership. It may sound harsh, but it’s the truth- whether you are a manufacturer or a retailer. Think about it…
Manufacturers and retailers are (generally) not using effective tracking methods to find out if their marketing spends even effective. Not only that, they are often spending a lot of money on things that just don’t work due to the change in customer behavior. (I.E. TV is REALLY expensive and consumer behavior is not on commercials anymore now that we have DVR, On Demand and smartphones that occupy our attention while commercials are on.)
Not only that, but people are generally just confusing customers with what they say in both their marketing and sales. We are so quick to use insider information like “ZC Fireplace”, “Insert”, “BTU” or “Direct Vent Technology”- customer’s don’t know what that stuff is and they don’t care. Now, I’m not saying that we need to forget all of our technical info, that couldn’t be further from the truth. What I am saying is that we have to take those technical pieces and frame them in a way that makes sense to the customer and solves the problem that they have.
In this keynote, I reference the fact that most companies have no formal sales process and are operating in the Wild West- they have no control over the customer experience. This means that, often, leaders are micro managers who are constantly frustrated or burnt out because they have no system in place to help customers with a consistent experience regardless of who they talk to.
Lastly, I get into what it takes to lead a team well. We have to invest in our people because they are all that we have. There are ways to care for them and show them how much we value what they bring to the table- this will inspire them to go to the wall for us. If we aren’t practicing this we will never grow loyalty and it isn’t any wonder that our businesses are a revolving door for employees. Take the time to invest, it’s worth it.
It is possible to grow a wildly successful business with a small (but effective) marketing budget. You can train your sales team to be ninjas despite more competition than ever. You can also invest in your team members to grow them into the image of your company and turn them into an army of brand ambassadors. It takes some intentional thought and focus, but you can do it.
Do you have any pushback from the video or have you seen success from some of the things that I am talking about? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
Some of the materials reference in this video are from http://www.storybrand.com (they have an incredible marketing workshop that you and your team should check out).