Saturday, September 19, 2020

It was a full agenda for the United Motorcoach Association’s (UMA’s) weekly Town Hall on August 13. The association holds these member meetings via Zoom each Thursday at 2PM ET.

There wasn’t much to report on the legislative front as both the House and Senate broke for another recess and left the Hill without coming to an agreement on the stimulus/COVID relief package. The fate of an additional round of PPP funding, both the House’s and Senate’s CERTS Act (H.R.7642 and S.4150, respectively), and the RESTART Act (H.R.4321) are still up in the air, although there is strong support for RESTART and more cosponsors are being added to both CERTS. UMA COO Ken Presley once again encouraged members to reach out to their elected officials to support the legislation, although he advised against contacting those who have already signed on to show their support. A full list of bill cosponsors can be found here: H.R.7642 and S.4150.

UMA

Presley once again applauded the efforts of members, industry friends, and supporters as more than 83,000 letters had been sent to Congress since the beginning of the pandemic requesting aid for the industry.

Sales Coach Jim Pancero was the guest speaker for this week’s Town Hall. His presentation was dedicated to helping operators find better ways to reach customers and to rethink how they sell as the sales paradigm has once again shifted—an occurrence he notes happens at least once a decade. He recommends stabilizing your company for at least the next 12 months—it’s going to be a slow road back—and identifying the ways that you can remain proactive instead of reactive (or worse, waiting for it to pass over and return to “normal”) in attracting customers. Now is not the time to sit idly by and let sales come to you. The full presentation can be seen here.

Earlier in the week, the association also held the third installment of its Virtual Summit, this time an eight-week checkup focusing on restart. Joe Calhoon, a featured speaker from the first Summit, led a panel of operators from all across the country to share ideas they have implemented and lessons (and tips!) they have learned along the way. The ideas ranged from keeping their best employees engaged as the shutdown lingers to understanding air exchange rates in buses (customers are asking…or will be!) to digital marketing to the best ways to contact legislators and get a response.

Calhoon also shared his advice for staying the course, as pandemic fatigue can sap even the most optimistic operators. He advised the more than 90 participants to keep it simple and to think like they are starting from scratch. Now is the time to really examine the core values of your company. A key takeaway: Think outside the box in everything because travel expectations have changed dramatically in the past six months.

The final leg of the Virtual Summit is scheduled for September 9. The next Town Hall will be held on August 20.

Visit uma.org for more information.

[08.18.20]