The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode · 5 months ago

The Secret To Growing Business w/ Laurie Halter

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

People want to buy from people. 

You are the secret sauce for the business. You are unique and provide wisdom and experience that can help shape the most delightful experience. 

The secret to growing in business is to not have clients but to have people you consider friends. People that you can enjoy a long-term relationship with. 

As you navigate each day, consider what actions you can take that will help you build deeper, more meaningful friendships in business. 

FlexDealer 

You've tried so many different things with your marketing but the dots never align. Your current agency sends you a fancy report but you have no clue what it means...

That's why more dealers are choosing to partner with FlexDealer. They're the creative marketing people behind some of the auto industry's most envied brands.

"Flex takes an approach unlike others I've ever experienced, and I can honestly say that I trust you guys. It's a strange and wonderful feeling! Being on a team with them and knowing they are in my corner jacks up my confidence and ups the fun factor of the car business. I'm so grateful! - Aaron Lange, Lange and Fetter Motors 

Find your best opportunities to grow with FlexDealer's free, immediate website audit. Visit www.flexdealer.com/website-audit

Hey, before we hop into this episode,let's talk about why your website and digital presence isn't working now. Iknow what you're thinking, Michael, we talk all about the web sites all thetime. You talk about the websites, the websites, a hammer, yada yada yada, weget it. But for real though, it's shocking to me how much guesswork stilltakes place and how its having a detrimental effect on whatopportunities you are able to leverage now over the last decade, especiallyfor the O. G. D. P. Beers. You know, I've poured my soul into assembling ateam that cares deeply about the progress of the retail auto industrythat believes in my mission to enrich and empower dealers to perpetually grownow. I'm making my amazing marketing team accessible to the dealer playbookcommunity so that you can start to thrive rather than merely survive.Right now, we're providing a just for you free website diagnostic that willshow you exactly what you need to do in a priority sequence so that you canfinally get the answers you need claim...

...yours by visiting Triple W. Dot flexdealer dot com forward slash website audit. That's triple W. Dot flex dealerdot com forward slash website dash audit. Mhm mm. You bring up something that is reallythe secret to business, right? Like growing profitable business, you couldhave the best pricing, the worst pricing, the most mediocre pricing themost mediocre inventory. You sooner or later need to understand people arecoming for you. Yes. People don't want to buy from people. Yes, I'll actuallytell you this great story that really...

...plays into this idea. Um So I startedmy I jumped out and started my agency in 2000 and three. And really for thefirst six months, I mean I was very lucky had some clients that came righton board quickly but for the first six months, you know my husband was workingand keeping us afloat. I had gone from a really nice salary to almost nothingmonthly. And I started on a lot of boards because I really believe again,even in my early twenties, I really believed in giving back and I reallybelieve that I was here to do that. So I was on a lot of boards and I rememberthere was about this week time I've been I was 6 to 8 months in and I wasthinking man, I don't know, maybe I should just go back to the workforce,maybe this isn't gonna work out. Um maybe I shouldn't have jumped into myown agency. And about that time I got a phone call, Greg Rodrick, he and arestill great friends. Um He was on the board with me at the time, it was thecystic fibrosis board. I didn't know that Greg's wife had cystic fibrosisand that's why he was a member of the...

...board and he gave me my first monthlyretainer that helped create and build the rest of my business and we're stillfriends. But that came from me being on the board of the cystic FibrosisFoundation. So this is what we're talking about. He didn't even know whatI did. He's like, I don't know what you do, I just appreciate that you'regiving back and I'd like to give back to you in some way. So, like, that'sthe clearest example I can think of of this man basically saved my agency. Iwould have gone back to a company and he did it because we were on a boardtogether and he liked that I was volunteering my time. You know, I have this vision of one day when all of the, when all ofthis is said and done and I'm like, you know what Sarah was just going to be,wherever the heck he wants to be. You know, because I think we all kind ofwant to get to, you know, I'm still gonna be working, but like maybe it'son my favorite beach somewhere. Maybe it's from a boat in the middle of thecaribbean, right? I got to tell you...

...everything that you're saying to mereally resonates because I've seen the truthfulness of my life. So the visionI have is one day all of us, Lori's family, Michael's family,whoever else we got to build relationships with. We're just chillingon a beach somewhere, sipping our favorite mockery toes, right, laughingand talking about how amazing was that, and just reminiscing and talking aboutanything short of that. So that whether that happens or not, I don't know, butwhether it's a client partner, a friend, an acquaintance, like I just have thisvision of like that sunny day, the sun's just going down, there's music inthe background and we love or something like that. I'll be there, you know whatI mean? And we're all just like, that was just amazing. Right? Well, and whatyou're really talking about here is building friendships. Again, it's like,it would be great to feel like you don't really have any clients. You havefriends. And I believe me, I know I get...

...to pick the people I work with them, Iget to pick the people I don't work with. And you know, there havedefinitely been times where I've had really profitable relationships thatI've stepped away from because I just feel like it's not a match on apersonal level, but I want to work with my friends. I don't want anyone to feellike clients, I want them to feel like my buddies. And so as a result rightnow, my entire client base, our friends. Yeah. It's it's lasting. I thinkthere's this misnomer in business that you can't work with friends, right? Orfamily or things of that nature. But you can you can, if you communicateclearly and you set expectations and you make yourself clear. But also, ifyou let them know that you in an undying fashion have their back. Yes.Well, and I can't tell you how many times a project has ended or I'veworked with a client in one company.

And for whatever reason, you know,they've either grown big enough that they brought it in their pr in house orfor whatever reason that the project has ended. But we've kept thatrelationship because what's important is the relationship and then havingthem, they'll go to a new company and bring me in and say, oh, I just havealways remembered that like we have continued to be friends and that'simportant to me. So I'd like to bring you into this new opportunity. So it'sit's this nice. It's again, again, it kind of goes back to abundance. Theidea of abundance. Like if you really see people as people and build thoserelationships, the abundance will come because you're doing it from the rightplace. This ties into what we talk a lot about today, where people aregetting their panties in a twist over the rooms and the car Vonna this tiesinto the y by. That's the why by is that I don't, hey, like I don't sellcars. I make friends. Yes. Can you imagine if people had that idea on thelot? That would be incredible. If you...

...want to, if you went to work every daythinking I'm not going to focus on selling cars, I'm going to focus onmaking friends today, your, your whole sales process, your profits, everythingwould sword take a couple of months, but it would completely change the waythose people sell, the snowball effect would be staggering. And I mean, we seeit, there's the frank trinity's the Ali rita's, the police cap parts, the, Imean, there's so many, you know, um um the glen lundy's of the world, likethere's so many in this industry who have proven that that is the case andso successful and they're always turning into more like it's rollinginto more opportunity consistently. But like, I just think, you know, if youcan get beyond that and also the paradigm shift, I think I'd love yourthoughts on this, The paradigm shift, which is just because you gotemployment at the dealership doesn't mean you are done applying for the job,like every new customer you are. So if...

...you're standing out there and like nooffense to the smokers, like I'm not judging you, but if you're standing outthere and you look like, you know, shoulders are shrugged and you've got asick and your fingers and you smell like smoke and you're not verywelcoming looking and you're scowling, right, you're you're going to lose thejob. This is a matter of did I get the job, or did I not get the job? It hasnothing to do with selling a car? Absolutely. This is the energy again,right? What kind of energy are you putting out? What kind of perceptionare people having of you based on that, that whole scenario And chances arepretty good, you're not going to sell that car and think of like trends. LikeI remember growing up, my father used to say, look clean shaven men. Like theperception is your more welcoming or more inviting. The trend kind ofchanged where beards became a little bit more acceptable, especially like,and if your well groomed and you keep it and all these sorts of things. SoI've got a beard, I look like franklin,...

...the turtle without it. That's adifferent story. Um, but side note, I did this app, this Snapchat filterwhere it takes your beard off, it makes you clean shaven. How did look, itlooks like franklin, the turtle franklin. I for those that can't see. Isnuck up behind my wife and I like she was sitting in the chair and I snuck upbehind her like this just so she could see the phone in front of her and thenmy, you know me in the background without the beard and she says if Iturn around and that beard is gone, I wouldn't be so bad. Anyway, that's sidenote. But but here's where I'm going with this. You know what trend has notchanged in over 100 years. The fact that if you smell like cigarette smokeand don't look happy and smell bad people do not want to be around you.Yes, that's very true. Like and that's not a judgment. I mean it is kind of ajudgment thing, but they reserve the...

...right as human beings with nostrils tomake that judgment. And so you have to consider all of these things whetherlike whether you smoke or not like this is not an anti smoking campaign, I'mjust using that as one clear example, um that you gotta pick your spot and ifyour spot is out front of the dealership in a huddle, that is scary.That brings back all sorts of memories, bad memories about high school andtrying to make you absolutely yes, like the closed circle and how scared we allwere to get, trying to get into the closed circle. Yeah, click or whateverthey call it, right, I'm Michel Cirillo and you've beenlistening to the dealer Playbook podcast. If you haven't yet, pleaseclick the subscribe button wherever you're listening right now, leave arating or review and share it with a colleague. If you're ready to make bigchanges in your life and career and...

...want to connect with positive,nurturing automotive professionals join my exclusive DPB pro community onfacebook, that's where we share information, ideas and content thatisn't shared anywhere else. I can't wait to meet you there. Thanks forlistening.

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