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Client: Automobile Manufacturer
Client Industry: Automotive
Type of Event: National Dealer Meeting

Many dealers in the "Client" dealer network had become demoralized and disaffected. They were losing money on the "Client" brand and were dramatically reducing their investment plans in their "Client" business. Dealers were beginning to sell their "Client" franchises and dealerships because their "Client" business was collapsing.

For months, "Client" automobiles had been attacked in the media for having a defect labeled "unintended acceleration" where the car would, according to drivers and witnesses, suddenly and unexpectedly accelerate from a stop and drive into people and property. Many injuries, some deaths and bizarre property damages were occurring as "Client"s, as their owners claimed, were driving through owners' garages, into living rooms, across front lawns, jumping sidewalks, leaping into intersections, etc.

"Client" management in Germany refused to comment, saying only that "their engineers were examining the complaints." Many "Client" owners demanded refunds and were afraid to drive their cars. "Client"s were banned from public garages and some neighborhoods. Sales were spiraling downward.

"Client" of America leadership urgently scheduled a national dealer meeting to be held within a few weeks hoping to regenerate dealer commitment to the brand.

Four MPP pre-meeting pulse tele-focus groups and a 29-question survey were employed to surface and define the dealers' attitudes, perceptions, confidence and commitment levers and investment intentions along with their needs, concerns, preferences and suggestions for the upcoming meeting.

The research discovered that the dealers frustrations and disappointments were not centered on the "Client" automobiles, which they believed were well-designed and high quality, but instead on the lack of proactive, aggressive leadership behavior from the senior management team of "Client" of America, whom they viewed as subservient to the parent company in Germany and unable to independently act in America on behalf of the American "Client" business.

The challenge of the meeting, as the MPP pre-event research uncovered, was to regenerate the dealers' confidence in the strength and determination of "Client" of America's leadership in America to act aggressively in the days ahead in the marketplace and in the media to confront and overcome their problems.

The dealer meeting was carefully crafted to assure that every minute of the agenda, every item of information presented, and every gesture of the management team was designed to instill confidence among the dealers. The one-day MPP-driven meeting, achieved its recommended objectives and delivered dramatic ROE (Return on Event) results for "Client" of America.

Meeting Return On Event (ROE):
A MPP post-event 44-question dealer survey found that the meeting had transformed the disaffected, frustrated dealer network into one that was rededicated and motivated to support the brand.

Dealers said they intended to increase their inventory investment by 108%. And very significantly, pre-meeting, 31% of the dealers intended to invest less in inventory in the coming year. Post-meeting, six months later, not one dealer had reduced inventory investment. For the "Client" factory, these two post-meeting shifts represented tens of millions of dollars in auto sales they would not have had if it wasn't for the meeting's impact.

Post-meeting, 99% of the dealers stated positive shifts in their attitudes and perceptions with overall investment intentions in the brand up 82%.

Client: Corporate Credit Card and
Travel Management Company
Client Industry: Corporate Credit Card and
Travel Management
Event: National Sales Meeting

Need for the MPP: The sales force of this leading corporate credit card/business travel company was experiencing its toughest year ever. A war; continuing recession; an aggressive, effective attack by a major competitor plus a protracted, 6-month internal reorganization combined to produce a battle-weary, exhausted, reactive, defensive sales organization whose confidence and morale had been driven to an all-time low.

MPP focus groups and a pre-event survey identified the need for a meeting that was close-up and personal, with leaders talking about the real world challenges facing the division and working to create new bonds within people in the organization.

Research found that the sales force did not want another upbeat "dog and pony" show like past years' sales meetings. Their world had changed, and they wanted a meeting that would acknowledge their new reality and prepare them to succeed.

"Taking Charge" was the theme, and serious business was the focus for several days. No skits, no songs, no stage sets. Just straight talk and listening, working together honestly in small groups, sharing ideas, building new beliefs, skills and renewed confidence.

Post-Meeting Return On Event (ROE):
Pre-meeting, 74% perceived the company as reactive and being swept along by events. Post-meeting, negative views were reversed with almost two-thirds of the sales force viewing the company as flexible and proactive for a total shift from negative to positive of 201%.

90% were satisfied that their management was committed to an aggressive, proactive, customer-responsive approach in the coming year.

From pre-meeting to post-meeting there was a 71% increase in those who were very confident in meeting or exceeding their objectives...a total shift from negative to positive of 136%.

Confidence that the company would effective respond to card competition went from 50% pre-meeting to 82% post-meeting .. a total shift from negative to positive of 136%.

The number of those who were very confident that senior management was truly committed to new quality initiatives increased by 122%.

The number of those who were very confident the organization was moving in the right direction increased by 340%.

Pre-meeting, only 44% were satisfied with morale. Post-meeting, 79% were satisfied with morale .. a total shift from negative to positive of 150%.

Pre-meeting, 46% were satisfied with marketing's performance in understanding prospect's and customer's needs. Post-meeting, 80% were satisfied .. a total shift from negative to positive of 162%.

86% were satisfied that their quality of services provided them competitive advantage.

84% felt they were well prepared for selling with the tools to meet the competition head on.

93% were satisfied with the relevance of the executive presentations.

89% said the meeting was effective in increasing their ability to compete.

88% said the meeting increased their belief that the organization will be more customer focused.

88% said the meeting was effective in providing a highly motivational experience.

The prior year's meeting had received the highest ratings in the company's history. 74% rated this year's general sessions as being better with an additional 19% rating this year's just as excellent.

MPP Services employed:

  1. Executive interview summaries
  2. Tele-focus group summaries
  3. Pre-meeting survey data and analysis report
  4. Meeting design recommendations
  5. Speaker consultations
  6. Pre- and post-meeting ROE survey data and analysis and benchmarking of attitudes and perceptions

The client committed to the MPP for the next year's national sales conference.

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