Gail & Rice

Lincoln: Annual Dealer Meetings

Lincoln Motor Company: Annual Dealer Meeting

The Challenge

Our team has helped Lincoln Motor Company host their annual dealer meeting since 2014. The meeting plays an essential role in the transformation and development of the luxury automotive brand, communicating the company’s plans to those on the frontlines of the sales experience. Luxury clients’ need for a warmer, more human and more personalized shopping, buying and ownership experience has inspired Lincoln to rethink every step of the automotive retail and service process. Our clients challenged us to create a meeting experience that would not only introduce – but demonstrate – the elevated, personalized client services dealers are expected to deliver.

The Idea

Our solution was to revisit the entire dealer meeting program by asking dealers for their input and customizing the experience to their preferences, in the same way that Lincoln studies and responds to the needs of its luxury automotive target customer. That began with a new online pre-event survey, designed to mine information about the topics dealers wanted to discuss and the type of experiences they find most valuable and enjoyable. 

What we learned is that, above all, the dealers wanted to know about product – especially future product. So, we redesigned the meeting structure, allowing dealers to learn about the new vehicles in the first general session. Dealers also indicated that executive presentations should be briefer and less scripted, so we challenged our clients to adopt a “TED Talk” mindset, removing the teleprompter tether and limiting the length of each presentation to 10-20 minutes.

The Result

Dealers found the new approach refreshing. In our post-event survey, they described the meeting as “awesome, perfect, top notch, fantastic, amazing” saying they were “blown away” and “loved it.” 98% agreed the meeting gave them a better understanding of the direction of the brand, 97% felt the breakout session format was an improvement over previous years and 93% felt the driving activities provided information and experiences they could use at their dealerships.