AutoJournal November 2016
The November issue of AutoJournal is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Editor in chief of AutoJournal, Jack Kazmierski.
Got a Neck Brace?
I recently had the opportunity to hear Ryan Estis, author of “Adapt & Thrive: How Sales Leaders Can Prepare to Win in a 2020 World,” speak at a business conference in Los Angeles.
He spoke about the constantly changing landscape of the business world, and made a statement that almost gave me whiplash: The amount of change that will take place in the next four years will exceed what we have seen in the last 50!
Although a bold statement, it’s not impossible to believe. Our world in general is changing at an alarming rate, and those of us trying to keep up on the business end can attest to how quickly the status quo becomes passe, and how frantically we’re all trying to keep up with technology and consumer expectations.
Do the math
Assuming Estis is onto something, and I don’t doubt he is, let’s do the math. Fifty years back would take us to 1966, while four years forward takes us to 2020. So he’s saying that the changes we saw from 1966 (before mankind went to the moon and before we invented the personal computer) will pale in comparison to what we’ll see between now and 2020 (only four short years from now).
How are any of us supposed to keep up with that kind of change at that kind of break-neck speed? Estis offered the following advice:
1. Initiate Continuous Reinvention. In other words, don’t rest on your laurels thinking that what has worked until now will continue to work as the world changes. It won’t! Estis quoted John Kotter who said, “Great companies execute and disrupt at the same time. Often, they disrupt themselves.” So it’s up to you to figure out whether your current business model needs a bit of tweaking, before someone else does, improves on what you’re doing, and leaves you in the dust.
2. Brand the Customer Experience. Estis explained that customer experience is the primary basis for competition today and will be even more so in the future. So if the experience your customers are getting at your dealership isn’t at the level where they want to run home to tell their friends and family about it, it’s time to raise the bar and starting “wowing” your customers.
3. Prepare to Win. In other words, put together a plan that will take you down the right path.
4. Take Action Now. The most important word here is “Now!” Figure out what’s going to set you apart from the competition, what’s going to wow your customers, and start putting those ideas into place now.
Let me be the first to admit that the pace of change can be intimidating. Just when you figure out what’s working and what’s not, someone moves the target. But whether we like it or not, change is here to stay. Well, at least that’s one constant we can all rely on.