Luxury Coach & Transportation

July 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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2018 LCT TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT: SALES & MARKETING Solving Problems Is How You Sell LCT Technology Summit speaker Sam Mallikarjunan says it's not about being cheap; it's about being what people need when they need it. By Lexi Tucker, LCT associate editor M IAMI, Fla. — Come to any industry trade show and you'll likely hear the term "disruption" a few hundred times. It's an inescapable phenom- enon that happens to all companies at one point. It keeps innovation alive, but it's also what kills businesses that refuse to change along with the times and people's needs and desires. Sam Mallikarjunan , a marketing fellow at HubSpot and a Summit speaker, explained during his session, "How To Sur- vive e Future," how operators can stay relevant. Sobering Statistics For Businesses e average lifespan of a Fortune 500 company used to be 75 years, Mallikarjunan says. It has since declined to an average of 15 years. By 2020, that duration will have shrunk to about five years. e rate at which innovators pop up is stagger- ing, as this industry knows. "Unless you're fundamentally doing something not worth do- ing, if you're not trying to put yourself out of business, some- one else is. You can't just buy your industry's Uber — you have to be your indus- try's Uber," he said. Price Isn't The Only Factor For Mallikarjunan, price wasn't really the reason why he uses Uber. "My company pays for my transpor- tation no matter the cost, so it's not just be- cause it's cheap. It's not price; it's ease and con- venience," he said. Uber integrates with his Google calendar and tells him when he needs to order a ride to make it to his next meeting on time. It also integrates with his company's expense account. "Even if I'm in another country, I don't have to know where I am or where I'm going; translation issues become nonexistent." When companies are looking to disrupt, they want a product/ market fit. Start-ups are testing if they are creating value. During his presentation, Mallikarjunan showed this quote on the screen: "When what you are doing isn't working, you tend to do more of the same with greater intensity." at's not innovation; that's the stubbornness that got this industry into the hole it's in. He gave the example of a self-checkout line at a grocery store. "It turns out the 16-year-old kid who does it as a part- time job does it better than you and creates a better experi- ence — it's not going to save retail," he said. Discovering Problems, Providing Solutions People will only use your service if you fit their unique needs as consumers. Mallikarjunan thinks the Apple Store epitomizes this con- cept. "e employees at the Apple Store aren't going to push you to buy something. ey will help you discover your needs and match you with the best product." He also told the story of how Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, got a letter from investors when he first added the ability for customers to review products. Instead of completely dashing the concept when it was met with fear, he said, "We don't make money when we sell things; we make money when we help customers make purchase decisions." "Your job is to answer questions," Mallikarjunan said. "Answers help us make decisions. If you know I'm terrible at golf, don't try to sell me golf clubs. You'll only be successful selling something to me if it's something I truly need." When you do help a client make a decision, how are you measuring the word of mouth business that comes with a satisfied customer? e best way to do this is with surveys, also known as a net promoter score, that ask, "On a scale of zero to 10, how likely are you to recom- mend this compa- ny to others? "I give ev- ery company that sends me one of these surveys a zero out of 10 to see if they actually fol- low-up," he said. Do One Thing At A Time And Do It Well While the world seems to be going a mile a minute, you 46 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION JULY 2018

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