Every week I send out an email newsletter to a bunch of other small business owners and this week’s article has brought me a big reaction. I thought I’d share it with you. If you like it or have a viewpoint …or if you’d like to see more just let me know:
More Lessons from the Dumb Car Industry…
Last week we talked about the cheapest car on earth the Tata Nino and why being cheap isn’t a good business strategy and this week we’re going to stay on a similar theme exploring more reasons why the car industry is on its knees and the lessons we can all learn.
Yesterday it was announced that Rick Wagoner, chief executive of General Motors, was ordered to step down by US President Barack Obama and that he will leave immediately. This comes on the back of GM and fellow auto maker Chrysler having already received $17.4 billion in bail outs and now both are back asking for more. In GM’s case $16.7 billion more. Incredible.
Obama has apparently told both manufacturers that their turnaround plans are unrealistic and he wants to see the car industry “much more lean, mean and competitive than it currently is”.
Well Obama if you really want to understand why these companies are failing you need do no more than spend an hour in front of your TV. I was feeling unwell yesterday so I spent most of the day in bed watching the golf at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill club. Naturally every so often the action was interrupted as we went to a commercial break and it was during the commercial breaks that I really began to understand where the car giants have got it so horribly wrong.
Let me give you an idea; in their ads Ford focused on 0% financing over 72 months for “well qualified” applicants, Chrysler/Jeep gave us “employee pricing”, Acura gave us “what happens in a collision and why our cars are so strong” and then we had the local dealers with their cringe worthy kids enticing us with “See ya in a Kia”, “The other dealers won’t but we will” not to mention the earth shattering slogans “great choices, great service” and “the way car buying should be”.
Brilliant. Makes you want to rush out and buy a vehicle now doesn’t it?
Why is it that the whole industry is so pathetically dumb? Why is it that the people who create this garbage think this is what the driving public wants?
I don’t know about you but when I’m considering getting a new car I want to have an experience. I rarely go into a car showroom any more simply because I know full well how they are going to try to sell me and while I appreciate that they have a system, it’s just out of date with the real world and it doesn’t deliver what I need.
I don’t want to be a prospect or an “UP” as they call us. . I want to be treated as if I’m special and I want to be treated like a human being who might just want to buy a car based on how it makes me feel. I want to see ad campaigns that appeal to the heart and that engage my senses. Currently none of the car makers deliver that with their crummy ads and that’s “a” if not “the” major reason they are in trouble today.
Instead of asking themselves “How can we make it easier, simpler and more fun to do business with us?” these morons want even more public money to go about repeating the same mistakes they have already made.
The real point though is how does anyone win when they’re playing the same game? If everybody is selling the same thing, what’s the tie breaker?
Of all the car commercials I saw yesterday, Lexus came the closest to making me feel I might want to learn more about driving their vehicle. It was a clumsy advert which showed the viewer how a car was built and while it contained the somewhat nauseating slogan “reinventing the car” it at least gave me an idea of what it might feel like to be sitting behind the wheel.
There are real lessons in this for all of us and applying them to our businesses is what we must consider. If you can make a customer feel, smell, taste, see and touch what you have to sell then you can make a connection. And this is the real point…I don’t care about 0% financing, employee discounts, what’s going to happen to me in a crash (I ask you…is this realy the way to sell a car…based on how it’s going to make me feel in a crash!), or about “great choices, great service” until I can imagine myself driving the vehicle, i.e., connected to it.
Oh how I yearn for the days when cars were sold by touching the human emotions. Ads like “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this Rolls Royce comes from the electric clock” that was created in the 60’s by the Ogilvy & Mather agency. This is the stuff that makes you feel, smell, taste and imagine what it would be like to drive such a vehicle and that’s ultimately what makes people decide to make a purchase.
So, how are you applying this to your business? Are you playing the same game as everyone else in your industry or are you going to be different and make real connections with your customers? The choice is yours but remember, in small business the Government doesn’t bail you out.
Until next week
About Nigel Worrall:
Nigel Worrall is President / CEO of Florida Leisure Vacation Homes. He is also a Past President of Central Florida Property Manager’s Association, now called Central Florida Vacation Rental Manager’s Association, a National Real Estate Investment Coach with Real Mentor, and the President / CEO of Property Management Mastery, LLC., the leading coaching institute for vacation rental managers. Nigel has also served as President of Sunset Lakes HOA and is the current President of Cumbrian Lakes HOA. He can be contacted by email : email@example.com
Orlando Golf: Just in case we’d forgotten just how good Tiger Woods is, he again reminded us of what the game had missed during his 8 month layoff for knee surgery. A magnificent putt at the 18th green on the 72nd hole won the championship for Woods yet again.
It was a repeat performance from 2008 when he rolled in a 25 foot putt but this year it was just 16 feet that wrecked the hopes of overnight leader Sean O’Hair. O’Hair was 5 shots clear of Woods at the start of the day but after pulling the deficit back to 3 shots in the first 3 holes things rocked back and forth until Woods finally caught his man. An error at the 16th when O’Hair put his ball in the water saw Woods go 1 up but then it was Woods turn to turn villain as he promptly bogeyed the 17th. All square going up the last then…but then Tiger turned on his magic and rolled in that putt.
So that’s 6 victories for Tiger at Arnold Palmer’s Invitational at Bay Hill. An amazing performance and yet another reason why you have to visit Orlando if you love golf. Orlando is pretty much the home of golf thesedays and when you get performances like this in two consecutive years from Woods, you begin to understand that this is the place to play and to practise.
Brilliant stuff again Tiger…the Masters is rolling around soon. Can’t wait.
Space Shuttle Discovery certainly made itself known as it flew through clouds to land safely at Cape Canaveral this afternoon. There I was watching on TV from the comfort of my hammock and although I was expecting the sonic boom, it certainly startled me a little as it was one of the loudest I’ve heard in a long time.
It reminded me of around 15 years ago, shortly after buying my first home in Florida, I was lying in bed and heard the house shake. “Typical” thought I, “I’ve only gone and bought a house in an earthquake zone”. Fortunately it turned out to be a shuttle coming in to land but it was of those moments I certainly remembered.
The shuttle has been on a 13 day mission to take the last piece of the space station’s backbone, a $300 million girder containing the fourth and final set of the solar wing panels. Returning with the shuttle on this trip was Sandra Magnus who has spent the best part of four months at the space station carrying out her duties as a flight engineer.
So, that’s the first of five planned shuttle missions for 2009. Can’t wait to see the next missions…click here for my blog on the launch of Discovery on 15 March and click here for details of my trip to Kennedy Space Center.
According to many people 60 million folks got it wrong at the last election but tonight a vote that really mattered almost showed America up again.
Yes, I’m talking about the votes cast in this weeks American Idol. 36 million votes cast and they somehow managed to place Matt Giraud in the bottom two. I’m bewildered. For me, his performance was one of the top two last night but it seems his face doesn’t fit and we’re going to lose one of the best talents in years unless something dramatic happens.
His version of “Let’s Get It On” was simply amazing and for America to vote it so low utterly mystifies me. Fortunately the judges didn’t need to exercise their “save” vote as the ever popular Michael Sarver was sent packing with his version of “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” ringing in his ears.
To me, it was an utter travesty that Matt Giraud found himself in this position as two other contestants literally butchered their songs. Megan Joy did an awful “For Once in My Life” and while I like her looks this didn’t deserve a “your safe”. The other performance I didn’t like was Scott MacIntyre but it seems he can do no wrong and he’s here for a while yet.
Performances of note, other than Matt, were Adam Lambert’s wonderful rendition of Smokey Robinson’s “The Tracks of My Tears” and I really enjoyed Allison Iraheta’s version of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”.
So…we move onto another week. Heaven help the country if they come up with another voting performance like this. And who was it that said that Florida couldn’t count?
Am I wrong…let me know…just add your comments below.
Testing Manta Video
ORLANDO – SeaWorld Orlando tested the state’s first flying coaster.
Engineers at the theme park tested the new roller coaster, Manta, Thursday.
Manta is expected to give thrill seekers the feeling that they are hanging underneath what appears to be a giant manta ray.
Manta is set to open to the public May 22.
Yesterday we had another reminder of how precious life is. Natasha Richardson, aged 45, passed away after suffering injuries during a skiing trip. Natasha was the daughter of actress Vanessa Redgrave and director, Tony Richardson.
She made her screen debut at the age of four in her father’s movie “The Charge of the Light Brigade” which also featured her mother and her uncle Colin Redgrave. Her career then revolved around the theatre and relatively minor roles in UK television such as “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”.
In 1990 she appeared in “A Handmaid’s Tale” with Faye Dunnaway and Robert Duvall and then in 1994 she starred with Jodie Foster in “Nell” where she found herself working with Liam Neeson again and they duly fell in love and married the same year.
In 1998 she won a “Tony” for her performance of Sally Bowles in the New York stage musical “Cabaret”. More recently she appeared in another New York production as Blanche Dubois in “A Streetcar Called Desire” in 2005 and then in January of this year she starred with her mother in a benefit concert of the Stephen Sondheim musical “A Little Night Music”.
Natasha leaves behind her two young sons Michael, 13 and Daniel, 12.
I don’t know about you but the latest series of the Celebrity Apprentice is starting to grate on me. This week’s episode saw the two teams tasked with selling wedding dresses and boy, did the girls whip the boys asses. And, I’m very glad they did.
- Brande Roderick was a great team leader on Celebrity Apprentice
The ladies sold over $100K worth of merchandise while the men managed $60K but if Dennis Rodman could have been bothered then it may have been closer. Frankly, however, I fail to see what the point of Dennis Rodman is. Why does he even walk on this earth or breathe? To me he’s just a washed up old basketball player living on past glories and displaying an incredible arrogance to not only his teammates and to Donald Trump but also to the rest of humanity.
Trump should have fired him this week along with the guy he did fire, comic(?) Tom Green but he bottled it and only Tom was sent packing. Did Trump bottle it? Well, let’s just say he’s no fool and he knows full well that Rodman is the only “star” in the men’s team and currently he’s making great TV for the Celebrity Apprentice by getting people to react like I’m doing in this blog.
Firing Rodman was the right thing to do for the men’s team but it wasn’t the right thing to do for TV. As long as we understand that we now understand what the Apprentice is about. And on that note, it’s become increasingly obvious that it’s not about how well the team can do the task but about who they know and how much they can extract from their wallet.
- Gene Simmons and Nigel Worrall
This season is disappointing… I enjoyed last year but that’s because the series had people like Gene Simmons in it. A person who knows business and a person who could outsell all of these candidates on marketing ability alone…let alone donations.
- George Ross and Nigel Worrall
On another note, last nights episode was much better now that George Ross was restored to his proper place on Trump’s right hand. He wasn’t taking any B.S. and he saw right through the scam Rodman tried to pull off. He’s a nice guy is George and he sure knows how to tell it like it is!
So…we move to next week…the ladies are 3-0…and with Rodman still in the men’s team, it’s gonna be 4-0 before we know it. Will Trump bottle it then? Let me know what you think.
Space Shuttle Discovery over Cumbrian Lakes
Last night was yet again one of those occassions where it’s great to be alive and living in Florida. We got to see a terrific launch as Space Shuttle Discovery set off to the International Space Station. This time Discovery had on board the final set of solar arrays which are needed to complete the station’s complement of electricity generating solar panels which will help the station support the expanded crew of six people later this year.
For those of you interested in a great day out, Kennedy Space Center is a terrific place to go. Last May I wrote a blog that you might like to see again by clicking here and I also created a pictorial of Kennedy Space Center of some of the things you can expect to see when you are there. Click here for more details.
I was reading an article by Jaclyn Smith called “The Blessings of Home” in Guideposts magazine and why Jaclyn says there’s no place she would rather be. In the article she talked how her home feels, how she enjoys being surrounded by things that mean something to her and how her home is always open to those she cares about.
She talks about being surrounded by her dogs, her books, antiques, photos of the family and surprisingly, how being thrifty has been a way of life. She then tells us more about how she got into home decor and how she turns her home into a sanctuary. It’s a good article and you can read it at by clicking here.
The article set me thinking about how we can better make vacation homes a sanctuary for our guests and how we can embrace some of the things Jaclyn says makes her home so special. The one thing we have already done to help is by allowing our guests to bring their pets with them. No longer does a member of the family have to be left behind. Pets are so important to so many people and they complete a family. That’s why we now allow pets to stay in some of our vacation homes.
Another thing I observed was Jaclyn’s comments about the importance of books, pictures and other possessions that make the home seem like a sanctuary. Books are a key component of a relaxing vacation. Personally I enjoy nothing more than a nice day beside the swimming pool with a glass or two of something nice and a good book. Many of our vacation homes have small libraries and this is something we encourage our homeowners to grow so that our guests can also enjoy lying by the pool to read.
Pictures are also important to us. We love to visit the vacation home and take pictures of families enjoying themselves when they are happy to let us do so as this helps us create a memory for each member of the family by then sending the photo’s to them. We also enjoy receiving our guests stories and pictures as they enter our competition “Friends Don’t Let Friends Stay in Hotels“. This is the competition where guests can win a free vacation by submitting their vacation story to us and going into our annual prize draw.
As jaclyn says homes are important and we believe that when people go on vacation they want to feel as if they are staying in a home away from home. We work hard to find those touches that make a vacation home a sanctuary after a day out at one of Orlando’s theme parks but it’s always nice to learn from other folks, especially when they come in the shape of someone who has been so successful.
Incidentally, Jaclyn’s TV show “Shear Genius” is about to enter it’s third season the network announced this week. I have to say this is great news for Jaclyn fans and it never ceases to amaze me how fantastic she looks for someone now in her 64th year. To me, she looks even better now than she did in 1981. What do you think?
Last night was results night on American Idol and it threw up something of a surprise when Jasmine Murray and Megan Corkrey were invited down to center stage. In my opinion both of them deserved to go through to next week but it wasn’t to be as Murray was sent home as the judges refused to “save” her.
- Megan Corkrey looks delighted at surviving the cut at last nights’s Idol.
The “save’ is this years new rule and the judges can only use it just once in the season. Apparently they introduced it after seeing some shocking eliminations in the past with people like Chris Daughtry and Michael Johns (last year) exiting the show rather too early for some tastes.
Last nights results were based on the efforts of the remaining 13 performers to do their version of a Michael Jackson song. Some were good, only was was really good and the rest were pretty mediocre but my pick for the worst two of the night were Anoop Desai and Jorge Nunez. Both of these two deserved to be evicted from the show so it was no surprise when both were called down to center stage and made to wait for their fate.
Earlier in the evening we’d been forced to endure the “music’ of Kanye West but this time Ryan Seacrest called upon Kelly Clarkson to sing her new hit “My Life Would Suck Without You”. We then returned to the decision…was it to be Anoop or was it to be Jorge?
Frankly, I didn’t care which as I knew my life would be better without having to watch either of them again but it was Jorge who was asked to sing again while the judges decided whether to save him.
- Simon Cowell gives the thumbs down to Jorge Nunez
Fortunately Simon Cowell gave a resounding “No” and Jorge was done. I like Simon. He keeps it simple and he’s not afraid of telling people what he really thinks.
So overall the right decisions were made if one boy and one girl had to go but I’d far rather the show kept Jasmine Murray than Anoop Desai. The other thing to note about the new forumla is that we now only get to know who the two people with the lowest votes were. Even though Megan and Anoop were called to the stage, it’s really not clear if they actually were the third and fourth lowest in the voting.
So, what do you think? Do you like the new system? Were the right people sent home? Who’s your favorite?