"Always Be Branding" ~ a mantra from the minds of Joe Webb and Bill Playford of DealerKnows Consulting
There is a famous line spewed melodically from the lips of Alec Baldwin in the genius sales film known as GlenGarry Glen Ross that most car folks can recite. “A B C – Always Be Closing!” This was the key message that Baldwin’s character challenged the sales team with before he gave them the ultimatum. If they were the best in sales, they win… “first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody wanna see second prize? … Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third place is you’re fired.”
This has become a mantra for thousands of sales managers across the country. “A-B-C. Always Be Closing.” They preach the goal that a sale should always be front and center in your mind during every interaction. Unfortunately, this no longer is the case. Much like the movie based on David Mamet’s awesome stage play, this mantra has gotten a little older too. While Baldwin himself has stayed relevant over the years, this catchy mantra has passed its prime. So with that, DealerKnows (with the help of a young Alec Baldwin) brings you a new, more enlightened mantra. A-B-B. Always Be Branding.
Imagine during your weekly rah-rah meeting, your manager presented you with a fistful of paper leads? You’d probably have to suppress laughter. The world has moved on. Finding all of the information you need to make a sensible purchase decision can be found right online. Your best leads come right from your own website, or better yet, are emailed from your previous clients. People have already made a decision to buy before they even contact you. It’s now up to you to not mess it up.
The sale is no longer only made in face-to-face meetings. Deals are not won and lost based on a handshake over a three-martini lunch. The customer isn’t making their decision based on an interaction in-store (though a great customer experience helps). No. The marketplace has shifted online and it is your branding that either influences shoppers toward you or a lack of online brand presence that will make you less relevant in their eyes.
An entire generation has grown up with brands that are not just trademarks, but interactive entities. Look no further than Red Bull. In just 25 years the company went from formulating an energy drink to owning five soccer teams, two Formula One racing teams, a record label, sponsor countless athletes, and recently spun-off a critically acclaimed marketing wing. They now sell 4.5 billion cans of Red Bull a year, nipping away at the heels of Coke and Pepsi.
A-B-B. Always Be Branding. In everything you do. In every marketing dollar spent, every entity online, every email cent, every handshake at a chamber of commerce luncheon… you no longer have to sell. You just have to brand yourself or be able to deliver a clear brand message. Make people want to BUY FROM YOU (your people, your company, your value proposition, your deliverables) based on your brand. You are what is important. Selling is now a step down the road. Branding comes first. If you don’t realize that A-B-B mantra IS the new Glengarry lead of this generation, prepare for Alec Baldwin to give you some new cutlery. Or your walking papers.