The late Wayne Williams was passionate about sharing his industry knowledge and selling skills with independent tire dealers to help them attain success. In his final Counter Intelligence column, he stepped Modern Tire Dealer readers through the GPS method of selling to today’s tire buyer.
Customers are pretty smart; actually, they always have been. I’m picking up lately on an idea that’s floating around: Running a business was easier in the good old days, and advertising, in particular, is harder now (which it is) than it used to be.
I’m passionate about the vehicles I drive and so are millions of other vehicle owners. I’m not just passionate about my cars on the weekends, I’m passionate every day. I get a certain feeling when I walk toward my Camaro SS or Trailblazer SS. I’ve styled and tuned them to fit my likes and my driving style.
The competition is predictable. The needs of customers is understandable and predictable. But Wayne Williams says how your store or stores operate can't be predictable. That predictability must be re-strategized.
One out of 10 retail transactions takes place in a brick-and-mortar location. Wayne Williams says that means independent tire dealers need to redefine and refine their in-store experience.
I’m tired of talking about the internet, but I might be the only one. It’s a subject that tire dealers talk about all the time, and it doesn’t appear the internet is going out of business anytime soon. There aren’t any future plans to turn it off.
Time magazine included Ray Kroc in its Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century. You might say, “Wayne, what does that have to do with me?” Well, I’d like to peer into your tire store and McDonald’s through a branding perspective.
Because customers don’t understand tires, their perception of our representation is askew. In others words, they hear what we’re saying at the sales counter, but they often don’t understand.
We must never forget that we are retailers. Consumers have never demanded more from retailers than they do today. To win at retail today, you must deliver more, period.
Have you ever read something that just hit you like a ton of bricks because its truth and potential impact were immediately understood? When I run across material like this, I save it. When I refer to it later, I’m often amazed that the truth is more relevant now than when I first read it.