What the top 20 percent of most profitable motorcoach companies have in common is this: They’ve created a sales-driven culture. Sales training is the key to replicating this success.
What that means is they focus on achieving certain revenue every day, whether they’re in a time that’s busy or slow, says Jim McCann, a consultant with Spader Business Management.
McCann will help sponsor and lead the first ever Bus & Motorcoach Industry Sales Summit – powered by UMA, scheduled for May 29 and 30 at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. The summit will focus on must-have sales components and strategies. It also will use the real-world success examples of businesses like the Mall of America, the largest retail mall in the United States and one that has remained thriving as malls and major department stores nationwide have gone out of business.
Preparing for the unexpected
Economic shifts can hit any industry, and sales is one way to keep businesses recession-proofed, says Stacy Tetschner, United Motorcoach Association president and CEO.
“It’s important to know what is changing, what is staying the same and how fellow operators and sales people are addressing these challenges,” says Tetschner, who came up with the concept of the Industry Sales Summit as a new offering to members.
“It is easy to fall into a trap of always doing what you’ve always done, but the day it quits working, you can get caught flat-footed. An Industry Sales Summit lets us explore and identify those changes, trends and challenges so we can give UMA members a step up so they are prepared for economic shifts. At UMA we want to be the premier resource for industry education that will help promote and preserve the industry and our members’ businesses. This is one more tool we are developing to ensure success for our members.”
The Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau, one of several event sponsors, will showcase the mall—and region—for attendees, hosting lunch at the on-site Hard Rock Cafe and offering content on how salespeople can use resources of partners such as their local chamber or visitors bureau to increase sales. Other sessions will focus on what today’s buyers are looking for and how they’re selecting what they buy; how technology is changing the sales process and related tools to take advantage of that; and how the type of crowdsourcing done by companies like Rally—another sponsor—can provide new revenue opportunities that can be incorporated into the business plan. A final topic being addressed is the ways of taking advantage of a coach’s safety features as a selling point.
The summit will include a mix of keynote and training sessions, panel discussions and facilitated round-tables that let large and small fleet operators connect in their own respective spaces. Networking, as always, will be key as attendees expand their networks, create new sales opportunities and learn from one another, Tetschner said.
Learning from selling pros
Up to 50 attendees will be invited to tour the Mall of America’s Enhanced Service Portal, launched in 2013, to see how the mall uses its social media command center to increase sales and improve safety. The mall encourages guests (there are 40 million visitors annually) to reach out with questions over social media and text messages. Parking and store location questions are common in a mall with 520 stores, 50 restaurants and a full-sized amusement park. Team members subsequently use texting, email and various social media channels to answer questions, track posted conversations and keep an eye on trends. Mall officials will also showcase opportunities for mall tours and events.
Gladys Gillis, UMA board chair, says she is excited about this extension of UMA’s successful Safety Summit, held annually in Washington, D.C.
“This creates another opportunity for a deeper level of education for our member organizations,” she said. “We now have regional town halls, safety and training summits and now a new industry Sales Summit. It’s really an exciting package of services for our members.”
Shandra Martinez contributed to this story.
Bus & Motorcoach Industry Sales Summit—Powered by UMA—at a glance
- What: A sales summit for sales professionals and owners of bus and motorcoach companies to identify trends and challenges for the industry, develop sales strategies and gain additional motivation for sales professionals.
- Where: Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota (a 10-minute complimentary shuttle ride from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport); Radisson Blu will offer a special block rate for attendees.
- When: May 29-30, 2019
- Register: www.uma.org/events/uma-sales