The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode ยท 1 year ago

Chris Gronkowski: How to Grow Your Business in a Saturated Market

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Former NFL Athlete, Chris Gronkowski, knows a thing or two about competition. Having played for the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts, his wisdom about going "all in" has direct application to business. 

After his NFL career, Chris founded a promotional product company that would be well suited for dealerships! ICE Shaker produces kitchen-grade, stainless steel insulated bottles that are fully customized to meet business needs. He pitched the company on Shark Tank and now shares the parallels between professional sports and starting a company from scratch - both in highly competitive arenas.

4:13 - What are the most common misconceptions people have around NFL players?

9:20 - Did NFL training help to set you up to be more successful in business?

12:04 - Do you find there is a difference in how you have to coach in a professional or athletic setting?

15:16 - What led you in developing IceShaker and enter into such a competitive market?

18:01 - What is your process to turn a business idea into reality?

27:16 - Is ego the enemy in business?

30:45 - How did you go about building your website?

For complete show notes and resources visit: https://www.thedealerplaybook.com/chris-gronkowsi 

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Hey, before we hop into this episode, let's talk about why your website and digital presence isn't working. Now I know what you're thinking, Michael. We talk all about the Web sites all the time. You talk about the websites, the websites, a hammer yada, yada, yada. We get it. But for real, though, it's shocking to me how much guesswork still takes place and how its having a detrimental effect on what opportunities you are able to leverage now. Over the last decade, especially for the O. G. D P beers, you know, I've poured my soul into assembling a team that cares deeply about the progress of the retail auto industry that believes in my mission to enrich and empower dealers to perpetually grow. Now I'm making my amazing marketing team accessible to the dealer playbook community so that you can start to thrive rather than merely survive. Right now, we're providing a just for you free website diagnostic that will show you exactly what you need to do in a priority sequence so that you can finally get the answers you need. Claim yours by visiting triple W dot flex dealer dot com forward slash website audit that's triple W dot flex dealer dot com forward slash website Dash audit. Mhm Hey, gang, Welcome to this episode of the Dealer Playbook, a podcast that explores what it takes to create a thriving career right here in the retail auto industry. I'm your host, Michael Cirillo, excited to talk to you about how to stand out and grow in a highly competitive market? None better to join me than former NFL athlete Chris Gronkowski. There's no question that the retail automotive industry is a highly competitive landscape from the dealership next door to increasing demands of customers. There are many factors working against your dealership, but that doesn't mean standing out is impossible. That doesn't mean that growing your dealership business is a pipe dream. It just means that while everyone keeps doing the same old stuff, you have to do what it takes to stand up and stand out in order to create your own playing field. There are many great examples of that in our industry, from Josh Cummins over at Dan Cummins, Chevrolet Glenn Lunde, Alex Floor is Ali. Read a frank Trinity. I mean, who else we got? We got the founders of the women in Colorado. Motive Network carry Patrice, Erica and Amanda. Now our guest today knows a thing or two about competitive landscapes. Former NFL athlete turned entrepreneur Chris Gronkowski, his brother, by the way, just won the Super Bowl. Chris played for the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts and now has I hit promotional product company called Ice Shaker, which what they do is they create kitchen grade stainless steel insulated bottles kind of like swell bottles, but way, way better and more of a variety. And they do this for dealerships who want to offer amazing quality...

...promotional products to their customers. Now we've all seen the cheap stuff sitting in those showcases that just keep collecting dust. I shaker products. Look, they this is not sponsored nothing. I just think it's a really cool product, and I love mine. And so that's why I'm just throwing that in there for you to be able to offer better promotional products to your customers. So I thought it would be really cool to pick Chris's brain about the parallels between professional sports and what, if any, he has found applicable to starting and growing his business. This was a super fun conversation, and I hope you enjoy it. Okay? I know a lot of people are. They see what they see on TV. They see the dudes out on the field. They see the steam coming out of their mouths behind the helmet. It's cold. It's game day and they go, Man, I wish I could make that guy's money. Is my question to you is I mean, especially being one of what, five Gronkowski brothers? Yes, sir. Middle of five. I mean, like you. You grew up in an NFL breeding farm, what it seems like from the outside. But what are the common? What do you think? The most common misconception people have watching from the outside to a pro athlete where they because they fantasize about it. What's the misconception? Where are they not connecting the dots? And there's so many things you definitely hit on one of them. Um, his start off man definitely weren't. I guess not a football breeding zone, man. We didn't play football until high school and really started. Just because my older brother Dan, was a beast man. He was, like, 66 to 40 in high school, and, uh, it was the coolest thing ever to see him play quarterback. So that's why I played. But, man, misconception kind of what you just said. You know, I wish I was making his money. Uh, I made a post at tiktok that went super viral because I listed how much money I made. My rookie year is just starting fullback for the Cowboys. And, you know, I made $305,000 that year. Um, I played in almost 400 snaps, and, you know, at the end of the day, I kind of broke it down to your agent fees, union fees and taxes that I had to pay. And, you know, at the end of the day, I made, like, 100 50 k. And, uh, the one thing that really stood out to people to was like, Why do you pay six figures and tax? I'm like, What do you mean? While I pay six figures attacks? You think I wanted to pay that? I mean, people pay. I don't know what it is, man. People think that NFL players are like celebrities Just don't pay tax, which is just crazy to me. But we all do I think everyone does the only way anyone that's rich can hide it. Or kind of, I guess push it along is through, you know, losses or different means in their business. But, yeah, we we pay a ton of tax. And the other thing that I think people, um huge misconception is that it's just a game. This one drives me crazy, man, because it was, like, the most stressful three years of my life. I woke up, I wouldn't even say wake up, man. I never really slept. I was probably averaging, like, five hours a week. Uh, every time I went to the...

...dentist, they're like, What are you doing? I'm like, What do you mean, what am I doing? They're like, Well, your teeth are all grinded down, like you need to wear a mouth guard at night because I was just so stressed out because every single day was, you know, you're thinking about the play before the play the next day and for me, I could get cut at anytime. You know, people think you have these massive salaries that are guaranteed, uh, as a rookie undrafted rookie, I was never guaranteed anything. If I wasn't on the roster on Wednesday. I wasn't getting paid. It was funny, too. Is even if you are drafted player after you get that initial signing bonus, there's nothing else guaranteeing to keep you there. You know, going into my third year, I was actually, uh, came out with my brother Rob. He was an all pro about Italian his second year. Uh, we're going into our third year, We're making the same money, you know, we would have had the same salary, but he renegotiated, which almost never happens. And, um, you know, signed this big deal, which also another misconception that whole deal was back ended. So, uh, you know, it might have been 60 million, but, you know, really, only 19 was guaranteed. And what they do is they back in the last couple of years with the big money. And then if you're not performing, they just let you go, and they don't know you anything. So, yeah, I was going in my third year guy like Jimmy Graham was with us as well. Um, you know me and have made the same amount of money our third year. So $540,000 my third year in the NFL, and that just keeps going up every year. So the minimums go up every year, and it just makes it more and more competitive. So you just have to keep getting better and better or you're gone. And then we talk about how the car business is a shark tank and what you're explaining to me. I'm like, Whoa, geez, I don't know if I don't know if I have. I have what it takes to even think about that. Not to mention I'm like 5 ft 7.5, so I'll be running through guys legs. There's there's guys that size to have one, uh, on my wall right here. Darren Sproles and I actually have a torn Pec because of him. Tackle them out of kickoff coverage, was running full, speed your clothes on him and ended up having Peck surgery a couple of days a couple of weeks later because of that. So, um, I guess size size helps, but there are some guys that are just very talented, but yeah, man, NFL. I mean, it gave me everything I needed. I can't sit here and say I won't do it over. I'll do it over all day. Every day. I would let my kids play. I hope they get to that level. Uh, so it was definitely a blessing. It set me up for the rest of my life. It taught me so many lessons. So I can't sit here and say it was all bad. I'm just saying that it's definitely not as easy as people think it is, right? And and the the fluff of, like, man, if I could just be a pro athlete and then listening to you talk, I was listening to a podcast. Um, and Blake Griffin was the the guest, and he was given. He was basically outlining what every day looked like during the season. And it was like my bowels quivered. I was like, Now, no, I ain't doing that because it's nonstop. No sleep, constant stress, have to perform,...

...have to show up, have to work through it, grinding the teeth like you're talking about eating, you know, eating twigs and protein and exercising 74 times a day. And I just thought Whoa, this is the part of it that nobody ever sees. Do you think you know to your point about I would go back and do it every day. Is that did that set you up for starting your business and doing what you're doing now with ice shaker? Oh, absolutely, man. I pulled so many lessons out of it that, you know, it just got me ready. To be an entrepreneur is pretty much the same thing. But now I was running my own team instead of being a part of a team. But, you know, the long days, the grind. I mean, everything's on you If you perform, if you do the work, you have success. And, man, the number one thing that you really learn and in that I did a terrible job with was just really building that culture and team atmosphere. Um, I think I just was so competitive. And when you start your own business, it's kind of like your baby, right? And you don't want to give up any of it. So you try to do everything from marketing to sourcing product as your emails. Uh, and I did it all, uh, you know, setting out product. I was engraving it, and, uh, you just stopped us from growing at the end of the day, and I just wasn't good at delegating because I just didn't think anyone else could do it as good as me. And once my kids came along, um, things slowed down really quick. I couldn't work 8200 hours anymore a week, and I had to figure things out, and that's when I really saw the picture. I'm like, man, you know, teams win championships because of every player in the team, you know, doing their own job and doing it the right way. And when you look at a football team, it's the head coach and then you've got your assistance and you have the players and everyone's got to play and everyone's got to do their job and do their part. And I finally saw that that vision and started doing that with the business, and I was I was ashamed that it took me so long. But that's really what took us to that next level. Yeah, I think in my journey as an entrepreneur, everything you're saying resonates. I'm thinking it brought me right back to starting my business. We've been going about 20 years now, just shy of. But I think about those moments where I was the designer, the marketer, the salesperson, the tech support person, the manager this that and how frightening it was to they get to a point where I had I knew I had to bring people on the team to alleviate some of this and how bad I was. Like I went through this phase of I'm the boss, the Tran our relationship as you do the job. I sign your paycheck. End of transaction. And I realized how awful like I turned through. I went through People turn over like crazy because and I would sit here I go. Like I said to my wife, like What is going on? How come these you can't find good help anymore? So I want to ask you this in correspondence to You Obviously made it to the NFL because you already had proved yourself to a degree. Right. In business, people are coming with so many different varying levels...

...of experience. Skill set, aptitude. Do you find there's a difference between how you have to coach in a business setting versus, say, a professional athletic situation? Yeah, for sure, because I mean The thing I see with sports is that everyone has the same goal, the same mission. You know you're there to win a game, right? In business. It's not like that at all. You know, people are there to make a paycheck, and a lot of times it's to do it in the easiest fashion possible, right? So, yeah, I mean, that was That was big. I had to find ways to keep people responsible and also, uh, you'll motivate them. And that was hard. So I hate being the guy. That's just, you know, the dick that's sitting there like Hey, man, like you sucked and like doing performance reports and all that stuff like That's just not what I wanted to do. Uh, so I found ways to put everyone's bonuses and and put everyone together as a team. So at the end of the day, hey, if you want to take off for a week or two, we or whatever you want to do, if you don't if you don't want to work hard this month, whatever it is, that's fine. But you know your bonuses dependent on it, and so is everyone else is on the team as well. So, hey, if you don't want to show up, I'm not the one that's gonna be yelling at you. It's going to be everyone else on the team that you're screwing over. So, uh, once I put that structure in place, it was like, the greatest day of my life. And it really brought entrepreneurship just back in the light that I enjoyed because I just hate being that guy. That's just, you know, constantly yelling at people. Yeah, man, you know what my vain ambition was and asking that question because, um, you know, we've had so many different people business, titans, celebrity, you know, I've never had a professional athlete on my show yet. And everybody in the business world I mean, here's the go to even back when I remember as a teenager working at somewhere like best buy or or something. What do they do to pump up the team? They show you that last scene in Rudy and everybody? Yeah, And businesses like sports and you think of sports team would be. And now I've got a pro athletes sitting in front of me being like No, no, no, no, it's It's a lot different running a business, it playing on a sports team, completely different culture. I mean, in the locker room, you don't have to tell people that you're trying to win a game. I mean, everyone is there for that reason where it's just so much harder in business to build that same culture. Yeah, and you're playing an infinite game, right? Like you're your game Doesn't end At the end of the day, you're coming up back and picking up the same game tomorrow. Yeah, and you always wanted to get better to Yeah, championship. It's always it's always ongoing. It's the never ending championship. This would be like, uh, the last dance on Netflix if it never ended. Yeah, that's awesome. Is so a lot of people struggle because they get into very competitive niches and...

...they go and there's a lot of business experts. I go, Oh, man, that that market is already saturated. What? What? What led you to getting into developing ice shaker as a business? And, you know, releasing the products that you're you're releasing and what we could argue is a very competitive saturated market. Yeah, man, um, I was very ignorant I think it's a good thing for entrepreneurs to just not know what you're getting into, because if you knew how hard it would be you once started, you know, you would just say, Hey, you know, if I know it's gonna take me five years to grow this to a point where I'm finally making money or whatever it is, then they're probably not gonna do it. So, um, Man, I was young, uh, I had a lot of pride and I saw it as really just at that time, it really was something no one else was really doing. Um, I wanted it for myself. I created the product for myself, and I was super passionate about being in the health and fitness space. So I was at the gym and my plastic bottle, the same plastic bottle that have been around for 20 years, which just it was sweating everywhere I took a sip, it smelled awful. And really, the game plan at that time was just go home and get an insulated bottle that I could actually mix stuff with. And I figured I'd jump on Amazon and find one, and there was just nothing out there. It was like the simplest idea that no one had done yet. And I'm sitting there like No, no way. And there was a ton of like the technology was there. There's a ton of insulated bottles out there, but you know, they all have these little tiny holes. Had to use a funnel to fill it. There's nothing to break up the powders. And it was just something I wanted for myself that I can use all day, every day. Like I didn't want the bottle just for the gym. I wanted to bring it to work, bring it to the gym, sit on the couch and use it to bring it on the airplane. Bring it by the pool. I just wanted one bottle, man, because that's how I am just simple. I don't mind five bottles in the sink. I don't want to have to run the dishwasher all day. Just give me one bottle I could use all day. I'll put everything in it. I don't care, you know. And that was the goal, man. It started just as a product. I wanted for myself. Dang that you see. Now you got me. This is how you sell, by the way you sense the passion dpb gang. It's like, Man, I saw a need. That's not to suggest there weren't problems that he had to solve along the way. But he found a need and he went for it. And so I want to ask you because my wife is huge into fitness. I don't know if you've heard of this new craze. It's high fitness. It's like an aerobic type Dancy. I can't even I don't even I can't do it justice. My wife was trying to get me to do it, and I'm like It will have to be weekend at Bernie's because I'll be the dead guy dancing the movie music before you see me doing any of these moves. But she's huge into this, and she's always looking for the best thing. So I know I definitely got to show her the product, but you have this idea. You identify a need. A lot of people, I think, struggle with that next step. I mean, we're hearing it on clubhouse. People are coming to the stage to ask their questions and it's so I just don't know what my next step should be. I don't know how. I...

...don't know. What? I don't know. Who? I don't know. So you go. Okay? Identify a need. What's the next step? How do you break through? How does how does Chris Gronkowski breakthrough to that next step in identifying how to get this thing made or patented or developed or prototype? Like, what's your process? Yeah, man, that's the hardest step by far, because you don't know what to do. And you most people don't have the money to do it either. Uh, I was super lucky. My wife started a business when I was still playing in the NFL. And, um, I went into that for my first five years after I left. So, uh, she was sourcing product. It was a personalization company, and she was already sourcing product. We built it out. The one thing that I didn't really learn from it was really how to build a brand. I mean, this this company exploded on its own. Um, I ended up making more money my first year out of the NFL, and I was playing with my wife's company, and it was all because we we found products that had really high margin, and then we did a really good job of just turning them fast. So at that time, the personalization market was like, you know, a week or two weeks to get anything. So we came in and just said, Hey, let's let's source our own product cause everyone's using the same stuff. Let's make it ours. Let's put our brand on it And then let's turn it same day. If someone orders a gift for Father's Day, let's send it to them the same day they order it. Let's see if we can do that. And we started to and it just organically exploded because no one's ever seen anything like that. It's kind of the Amazon effect before Amazon really became the two day shipping master. You know, this was 2012 and we were on Etsy, and it just just exploded. So I did have a decent amount of knowledge of sourcing product and getting product made because of my wife's business. And then we used our same suppliers, uh, to start making us prototypes for this bottle. Uh, so at that point, still, you think it's simple. I pretty much took a bottle. Um, that was already made, and I put a second layer on it, and then we vacuum insulated it, and then we put a sugar top on it, and it sounds pretty easy, but it was like 20 prototypes later. The hardest part was the fact that, you know, you're trying to seal a metal cup, and when you try to steal a metal cup, it leaks a lot. And as I read online, there was other metal bottles out there, but they weren't insulated. And the biggest issue with them was, you know, they won't keep your drink cold that actually, like, freeze your hand when you put ice in it. But the other biggest issue was, um, you know, that they would leak, so I just with the Shaker bottle like this thing cannot leak. There's one thing that I hate about a shaker bottles my leak. So we tried every seal inside out. Seals like everything. You possibly test the hardness of the seal, the type of of rubber we're using. And it's like 20 prototypes later, we finally thought we had this amazing product, and, uh, I ordered 10,000 of them. I ended up storing them in my house in this room that I mean right now, I had to bring every box up which weighed about ยฃ70 and carry them up the stairs. And we got him up here, and I tested bottles like crazy, right? Like I've been shaking bottles for throwing them down the stairs. Yeah, I swear. Like these massive four ups I've been shaking bottles for, probably like, three...

...months. And if they leak or not and we're like, yeah, we finally got it. So I bring them up here. I opened up like the first five bottles, and I test them. They're perfect. And the six bottle I take out and fill water, I hold it upside down, and the whole thing just started dripping on the floor. I'm like, no freaking way. So, uh, ended up testing like 100 that night, and I realized that every other bottle leaked. Uh, the pop tops were made in in, like, two parts. So, like they made two at a time. And for whatever reason, that the one wasn't ceiling. And, uh, out of all the prototypes we got, this was never a problem. So to start the business. Um, I had to then reorder or get them to pay for another 10,000 lids the ship to me and I had to go through each and every bottle and replace the lids. Uh, man. And when you talk about passion, you know, if if I didn't have the passion for the product and the idea, it was as simple as just selling them out and getting out of it, man, because it was a nightmare. And, um, I just loved it, though, you know, I just love the fact that I could go to the gym and pretend I'm working. And it was the greatest thing ever to me. So I just kept pushing through it and just kept trying to find ways to get the product out there and make it better. Yeah. Now, for those watching, you've probably seen me looking away. Maybe even Chris's wondering. Why is he looking away from the screen right now? This is awful Podcast etiquette. It's because I just bought 2 26 ounce flex bundles website. You can keep looking away that. Yeah, man, that's my jam right now. 26 ounce. Yes, sir. Holy gee, that is the That is the cup to end all bottles right there, man. Holy. And you got. Now, here's the real question. What color do you think I bought, man? There's too many. I don't even know at this point anymore. I don't even know half the colors. You know where my brain is going, though, Chris, on this, I want to see a 26 ounce flex. So I am a proud F 1. 50 owner. Me too. Me too. All right. Hey, there you go. Um, I would love to see this, that if I walked into my dealership because, you know, they all sell stuff like this. I would love to see this 26 ounce flex bottle on the shelf instead of that cheap, weird looking one that they always have their like. We We got to figure out something, Chris, where we get we get ice shakers to start replacing some of these weird Ali Ali Express purchased tumblers that they I'm with you, man. And, um, you know, it's funny. We do, we do sell to a decent amount of car dealerships, and it's funny because, you know, they go and get like, super cheap stuff right? And everyone kind of shied away. And we've had this problem since day one because plastic shaker bottles are free, right? And, um, you know, and it's it's kind of tough to pay for something that's a lot more expensive, but you're paying for quality, and you're also paying for brand that people post about They love our story. It's the only cup you're gonna give away for free, where people are going to go on instagram and take a picture and tagged the hell out...

...of it and be like, I can't believe my dealership gave me this cup because there's a cool story. I saw it on Shark Tank. I love the Wachowski brothers, whatever it is to get excited about it, and that's just free branding. They bring it everywhere they go, they're gonna bring on the airplane, they're gonna use it at the gym, they're gonna use it at work, and people are actually gonna see it instead of using something like I see some of the dealerships uh, give out a pen. I'm like, Come on, man, you're giving me a pen. No one's ever gonna see this pen ever again. I know It's a nice pen, but come on, man, it's not helping you with marketing. That's insane to So So you You sat down and you consciously made the decision of this is part of my marketing budget. I know. Yeah, great. It's an expense. But we know that we will have free advertising like lifetime value free advertising by the people that we give these things to, because they're going to be so excited about it. Absolutely. We do this a ton with, like sponsoring events and stuff to where, when you try almost never to use, uh, we're actually to pay for events. We always try to use product instead and were able to personalize each and every bottle. It's pretty cool, because with my wife's personalization business, I did that for five years. So I know how to turn product. I know how to turn it fast with custom logo, so we use that to our advantage. It's grown the company tremendously because we can hit every single industry by offering this this personalization, and it could be anything from a logo to, you know, we'll be used as trophies. Uh, no employee gifts, really anything you could think of we can do and put it on a bottle. So it's been a pretty cool thing to see that we need to get some dpb, everything. Skinny mini steel tumbler. We gotta get some of these stem less wine tumblers. How did you I'm seeing, like the, uh, the smile style bottles. I don't know that they can really take that. The credit for that design, But but did you What was the flagship like? Did you start with just one? Because I feel like sometimes people are like, I got this idea. I'm going to go wide as quickly as I possibly can. How did that play out for you? Yeah, So we had one bottle, one colour when we aired on Shark Tank and it was the 26 South Shaker bottle, and that's really that's the flagship product. That's what separates us. That's what patented. Uh, you know, it has to twist an agitator that will break up powders who also strain. Um, you know the ice out so you can you know, you could party with the two and four shots if you want to, but that is that is us. Like that is when you think about ice shake or you think about the Shaker bottle, Um, that was what we started with. And then just just by listening to our customers and and seeing who our customers were, we then branch out from there. So we realized really quickly that it was mostly females buying the product even though it was a male product and they were buying for their husbands, kids, grandkids. So we came in right away with the line of the skinny tumblers geared more towards females, and we noticed right away that our customers just kept buying them. And then it was a thing where, instead of buying one, they were buying one for the husband, kids or grandkids, but also buying for themselves as well. So it was all just...

We grew the line of the products by listening to our customers. Man, I love that it. It's such a foundational thing that I've noticed as a pattern amongst successful entrepreneurs. We paid attention to our customers. There's, you know, how many people I'm sure you see it to where they're like, No, but this was meant for the male audience, and they get pissed that you know women are buying this thing. Dude, Shut up. Take the money. Like take the freaking money. We saw this recently to we were running an ad campaign for one of our clients. We have an agency, Um, and you go. I said, Well, who is the ideal client? And he's telling me this that and the next thing. And we went simply into his Facebook data to see who was following his page. And 90% of the engagement was from a female audience. Wow. And I said, Bro, you gotta run an ad. We gotta shift the creative. We got to pump this thing out and she just traffic tons and tons of traffic and sales for pennies on the dollar. It was insane. It was insane just by simply paying attention. And I think people do you think people's ego gets in the way, like, is ego the enemy here? So I mean, I did the same thing. So when I created the product, we went, and when we started running ads were running it towards a guy that was my age that went to the gym, and it didn't do that well and really, um, that's exactly how I actually found out. My demographics was, you know, we ran a bunch of ads and then back then, uh, Facebook told you everything so you could take all your sales, your emails. You can put it back into Facebook, and it would tell you who your audience was. It would break it down to what car they drove, how much money they made, How many kids were in their household education levels, all that. So all that's now banned, you know, you can't see that anymore. But back then, that was when I first started the business. That was gold, man, because I didn't know. And it was definitely ego that I thought like, Hey, only males are gonna be using this that are my age that are Jack. They go to the gym trying to get swole and, uh, you know, find out really quickly that that wasn't the case. And, uh, you know, we we quickly switched it and, um, you know, open up targeting to everyone at that point and just said, Hey, let's figure out who are actual audiences. And even though that data is not as readily available on Facebook now, you can still find it by really looking at your your staff, Not, I guess it's not. It doesn't pull it all into stats anymore, but you can look at delivery and see who's being delivered to and how they're reacting to it. So we still use that. It's not as efficient as Facebook used to be, but it's definitely a great source of information. Still, what was the step? Because I love your I love your checkout process. And I mean a lot of this is a conversation that car dealers have all the time there, you know? How do we improve our website experience? Um, you know, and we're constantly looking at AECOM. But traditionally we always look at the Amazons and stuff like that of the world, which, if you ask me, I'm going to go to Amazon for the fact that they have inventory and I can get it tomorrow, You know? Yep. But their website, uh, you know, I don't...

...know, You know, it's but I look at your website. It's clean. It's simple. You're you're not telling me 87,000 things about the product yet you're you're able to build desire around it very quickly. Uh, and then you go to you Just a quick check out. And I noticed when I go to add to cart, you've got this very strategic. You may also like these. Oh, yeah, but then you've also like, I mean, if we're being honest, you know, 114 bucks is in my cart right now. I'm not going to think twice about it, But you've added in this afterpay concept, like the ability for people to finance this thing it says or for interest free installments of 28 74. Did you guys go into building your website with this concept? Did you? How did you go about this? Did you know that these were things you needed to do? Was there somebody you brought in to help you understand that? What? What was the philosophy around this? The way you're getting people to move essentially through an Upsell process rate at checkout? Yeah, it's, um this website has been built by myself, man. Uh, and it went through a lot of phases and actually was on a call yesterday for a couple hours on how we're going to completely redo it, Um and then make it better, but that's definitely staying. Uh, that part of the site is staying, and, uh, there's a man. It's it's like a website is It's crazy because you can do heat map and you can do all kinds of different things to try to predict the flow and drive customers certain directions. But there's so much that you want them to know. But overloading it is hard. So, um, man, it's really for me. We brought in professionals to test it in a B tests, all kind of landing pages. And at the end of the day, sometimes simplicity works better, uh, so letting them get through, But then also just kind of briefly letting them know there's a couple other products has has done really well for us. So, uh, man, you get a B tests all day and you'll get a different result for everything, and it drives you insane. But yeah, man, this the site you're looking at is pretty much all built by myself, which is insane. And, um, it can definitely be better. Um, and we're going through that process with an actual developer because I just I feel like it needs to be super, super clean and throughout the whole process. You just want to you want to hit as many up sales as you possibly can, so we'll work through that. Speed is always a huge issue, and when you build your own site and you have no clue what you're doing, speed becomes a problem because you just keep adding apps after apps after apps. So I'm excited to redo. It will be about a three month build out, but I have to come back on and show you why I did all the things that I did because it's a pretty, uh, pretty cool process now that I have the information and I know what to do. And it's now just finding a developer that can put it all in seamlessly without any glitches, I might know a developer, uh, that would...

...be cool, man to do a screen share and just walk through your E com model and just like, see why you chose to make decisions because you're right, it's It's this balancing act where as a business owner, that's pushing inventory. I want to sell everything I have, or at least give them the opportunity to see it right when they're ready to pull out their wallet. But then there's the other side of it where you say, Well, if I did do that, then they might not buy the actual product. They added to their cards. So that's super interesting stuff, man. NFL or turned serial entrepreneur slash leader slash culture builder. This was such a fun conversation, man. I definitely I would love to have a conversation with you again in the future about all of this stuff. And just where the company's going and everything you've discovered because it's so valuable. I think sometimes you know when we're when we're in the weeds. It's very easy to kind of put the blinders on and not see what's happening out there and get perspectives from so many different. Um, you know, verticals. But this one is particularly interesting to me just because of how saturated it is. But how effectively you've been able to, you know, carve out your slice and build something here is really tremendous. Yeah, man, it's been fun. It's It's a grind, man, for sure, but I think we have a really cool model. Uh, we work with a lot of really cool partners, and it's all about speed, um, efficiency and having a great product. You know, that's really what it comes down to. Our biggest separator is the fact that you can hit us up today and say, Hey, I want my logo on the bottle and today's Tuesday and I could get it to you by Friday. No problem for an event and people just that kind of service, that kind of ease where you're just literally sending over your logo within an hour. I'm sending back proofs. You're just saying, Hey, I want you know, 25 of these and boom, I'm sending you an email where you can pay with credit card and then you're getting it three days later. People just react to that and I appreciate it. And that's really what the business model with my wife's business has been as well and realized that works. Um, and that's something that organically spreads to and people really appreciate. How scalable is this? Because we talked about dealerships and by the way, dpb gang, you gotta be checking this out if you're seeing what I'm seeing. There's a huge opportunity here for branding for a product that Hey, you want my magnet? No, I don't want your fricking magnet. You want a bottle that I'm gonna use literally all day, every day? Yes, I do. Right. But how scalable is this for the personal brand? The I call him Automotive Preneurs. The car sales professional Who's put himself out there? Is he Do they have the opportunity to hit up ice shaker and say I want something with my personal brand on it? Or is that is this more of an enterprise solution? No, we we do it for everyone. So, um, I don't know if you ever if you check out my social every once in a while when it's kind of a down month, I'll get on there, I'll do a whole video of like, Hey, this is the whole process. This is me making a three D image like a laser on a bottle. Hit me up. Send me your logo. Uh, no. M o Q s, let's do it. So, uh, yeah, I did...

...that leading up to, uh you know, November, we had a huge crew in there were just cranking, man, and we're slammed, but everyone was loving it and, you know, bonus season was coming up. So, like, All right, let's let's keep it going. So, uh, yeah, man, I We have everyone from, you know, some people just make their own logos as personal trainers and, you know, they hit them, they shoot them over. And we love doing just 11 It's not the greatest for us. We don't make a lot of money, but people get super excited about it, and they show everyone so it always leads some more. And yeah, with I'm always willing to do it. There he is, man. Chris Gronkowski playing the long game. Thanks so much for joining me on the dealer playbook. Podcast. Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me. I'm Michel Cirillo, and you've been listening to the dealer playbook podcast. If you haven't yet, please click the subscribe button wherever you're listening. Right now, leave a rating or review and share it with a colleague. If you're ready to make big changes in your life and career and want to connect with positive, nurturing automotive professionals, join my exclusive dpb pro community on Facebook. That's where we share information, ideas and content that isn't shared anywhere else. I can't wait to meet you there. Thanks for listening. Mhm.

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