By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
Theory vs. practice is always a fun exercise. What happens when someone is bold enough to step out and break the mold to achieve their goals? Do you stop and learn, or do you simply stay in your comfort zone and take a pass?
The headline was “Tesla Drops Prices Again” and they beat their quarterly sales goal. Do you drop your prices to make your sales goals? We are not talking about summer specials, weekend paid programming, or sports packages. Tesla made flat-out price reductions to roll the dice on volume, confident in the product and the marketplace to drive volume for the second time this year.
Ever visited a Tesla store? You will be shown a price card. Every time I asked a question, they tapped a keyboard. No real selling, just facts. Let us do a deeper Tesla-style analysis.
Why drop prices when you have nearly two-thirds of the EV market? Is it because your competition is gaining on you? Because you will miss your quarterly projections and you don’t like losing? Because an incentive to buy is about to expire (government credit)? Because you are a world class disruptor? Because you know by lowering prices you will own the news cycle? Because there is still room for old school price wars to stimulate demand and distract the competition?
Survey says, all of the above. How about the opposite? What if Tesla’s strategy was like what most of the radio managers and sellers reading this article would do? The “urgency” trigger. “Buy today, because prices will go up on ______.” The radio/audio “urgency” pitch strategy is so predictable – seasonal, political window, a change in management policy, sell-out level. Heck, Teslas are on back order and they still dropped prices. WWED? What would Elon do? Probably fire us via Twitter. Back to earth and our highly competitive radio/audio world. Here are the takeaways.
— Know your competition. My current experience in one of America’s largest radio markets is price strategy IS driving volume and helping a great radio station make goals. The higher-rated competitor is standing still as the business shifts.
— You don’t have to be loud to be a disruptor. Sitting Bull won by knowing how to sell his idea. He organized, collaborated and was patient. He won by quietly disrupting then got loud when the timing was perfect.
— Do your homework. “Urgency” as a price lever has been around since the Mad Men ran Madison Avenue. Have you ever reviewed how your urgency plan can be maximized? Or is the strategy played out?
— Who Cares? If you lower rates today until New Year’s Eve, will the rate reduction create enough local market buzz to drive the volume to beat your goals? You can always raise rates once your foundation is comfortably in place. Oops! Did I just demonstrate real world grid card selling?
Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: Steve@Lapcomventures.com. Steve Lappa will be moderating the “Generating Revenue” panel at TALKERS 2023 on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University.