I’ve been in some type of sales for as long as I can remember…auto sales full-time for the past 27. My dad had me hustling flea markets and auction houses with him by the time I was in 5th grade. He would buy a van full of stuff and he paid me for everything I sold. I realized right away that if I kept a positive attitude and provided massive value to the customer that I would win a lot more than I would lose. And my dad always said that losing was ok…I just had to win more. So at 47 years young, I still have a passion for serving others and providing them with so much value that they would never even consider my competition. And even though I can make most customers happy most of the time…even if they don’t buy from me…there are always those that are a challenge. If you’ve never dealt with the public, you’ll probably never understand how difficult it is to keep a smile on your face when they come in with a chip on their shoulder and strap an imaginary bullseye on your forehead. It’s not the way it should be, but that’s on them. I don’t allow their negativity to bring me down and I certainly don’t allow it to define who I am as a sales professional. Instead, I remind myself of the literally thousands of people my Team Members and I have served. It makes me smile and gives me affirmation that the service we’re providing is about so much more than the car business. It’s about the people business. The cars we sell are interchangeable but there is only one of me and me is all I know to be.
So I invited him into a private office where we sat down. While sharing his concern, he paused often and then would say insert words like “darn” and “heck”. It was obvious, even slightly humorous, that he was wanting to use curse words instead. After a few moments, he finally said: “I’m sorry for the stuttering but I’m really angry and I’m wanting to cuss but I know that you’re a Christian man…so I won’t.” I was caught off guard but was pleasantly surprised. Having worked with the public since 15 years old, there have many times that a customer has shown me extreme disrespect. However, this gentlemen decided to take the high road. Good for him. The respect he showed me was given right back to him. Once the conversation ended, two adults shook hands and left the office with their dignity intact. That’s the way it should always be.
As Jackie Robinson once said: “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”
Tracy Myers being presented Community Service Award by Marty Coates
This years winner of the CIADA Community Service Award is an active dealer in all of the communities he serves. Tracy Myers, owner of Frank Myers Auto Maxx in Winston-Salem, NC, has been a leader a giver in the community, always giving back when he could and never asking for anything in return.
In 2011, many say he outdid himself when he had the vision to take his passion for sports entertainment (also known as pro wrestling) and use it to raise money to help provide toys and Bibles to less fortunate children during Christmas. He created the WrestleCade fundraising event which partnered with The Christmas Toy Drive to benefit The Salvation Army.
What began as a one time/one off fundraising event is now entering its sixth year and is one of the largest annual 3-day events of its kind in the world! Last year alone, an estimated 6,000 wrestling fans from as far away as Norway and Austria attended the event, and dramatically boosted the local economy with tourism dollars. When asked why he chose to partner with The Christmas Toy Drive to benefit The Salvation Army, Myers replied: “As a father, it was an easy decision for me. Last year alone, 6,506 children in the greater Winston-Salem area received 55,690 toys from the Salvation Army and the lives of more than 8,500 families were significantly impacted. To be a part of an organization that helps change so many lives at such a young age is special.”
This is just one of the many ways Tracy is involved and gives back to his church and his community.
CIADA is proud to announce the 2017 Community Service Award Winner: Tracy E. Myers, CMD owner of Frank Myers Auto Maxx in Winston-Salem, NC.
The CIADA Community Service Award is sponsored by Waymaker Learning Corporation. CIADA Strived to encourage its members to be active in the communities they serve. An active community benefits when businesses give back, and our businesses benefit from a prosperous community.
Author’s Note:I originally wrote and published the following post as a tribute to my father in June of 2010. It was so well received that I have reposted it every Father’s Day weekend since then. This year, I decided to update it. Enjoy and “Happy Father’s Day!” – Tracy Myers
At least once a day, someone comes up to me and asks, “So…how’s your Uncle?” Of course, they’re not asking about my REAL Uncle. They’re asking about the man that I’ve been referring to as “Uncle Frank” on television commercials over the past 20 years. That man is my father, Frank Myers.
For the record, my father is alive and well. He’s doing what he loves doing most; being an entrepreneur. I’ve truly never met anyone that liked the “thrill of conquering” a business model quite like my father does. He’ll come up with a concept for a new business, brings it to life and makes it successful more times than not. Then he gets bored and moves on to the next challenge.
For those of you that don’t know my “story”, I’d like to share it with you. Not because it’s that special but rather the misconceptions that revolve around it. Lots of folks assume that since my unofficial title is PHD (Papa Had a Dealership) and that I would have had an easy time getting into the used car business. Indeed, my father had big plans in store for me. Only they meant working 60 hour weeks in the detail shop!
I was 15 years old when I first started working in my father’s detail shop and I hated it. It was brutally hot during the Summer months, bone achingly cold during the Winter ones and didn’t pay nearly enough. I decided early on that this was NOT the career path that I wanted to follow. So after graduating high school, I chose to go to college instead of going to work for my dad. So I would have some spending cash, I got a job as a salesperson at a local Toyota dealership. The schedule was brutal: I attended classes from 8am until 1pm and sold cars from 3pm until midnight. I loved selling cars so much. School? Not so much. So I decided to quit school after a few months and become a full-time car salesman. I did it without telling my parents. For some odd reason, my 20 year old brain didn’t think they would find out and I was pretty sure that my dad would have killed me if he knew that I was working for another car dealership other than his own. Of course, he DID know but never mentioned it. I give him props for allowing me the time and space to find my own way without stepping in. A couple of years later, I announced to him that I was coming home and would like to work for him at the dealership. He sounded happy and said he had a spot for me. So I turned in my notice at the Toyota store, headed home and showed up to work in a shirt and tie. My dad looked at me and told me I was a little overdressed. I was confused. Overdressed to sell cars? No way. The problem was I wasn’t going to be selling cars. I was going back to work in the detail shop.
I stayed there for almost two years and I worked my way up the ladder through every aspect of the used motor vehicle industry. In 2006, at the age of 34, I bought the family car dealership and sold almost 1,400 vehicles in my first year.
Fast forward to 2016 and I still love this business as much as I did the day I sold my first car. My Team is the best and they make me look much more talented than I actually am. The dealership has posted a 144% increase since 2008, has been named one of the fastest growing privately owned small businesses in America by INC magazine for 4 consecutive years (read about it HERE) and was named the #1 small business in NC by Business Leader Magazine (read about it HERE). A few years back, we were even fortunate enough to have had a documentary made about us. “Car Men” aired nationally on the Biography channel, won several Telly awards and was even nominated for an Emmy! You can watch it HERE.
My dad is still my biggest supporter as well as my biggest critic. Regardless of our differences, there is one thing we can both agree on that took us way too long to realize. If we put God and family before the dealership, then the dealership will always prosper with a lot of sweat equity and prayer.
Happy Father’s Day to the best dad in the world and the best “car guy” that I’ve ever met…Uncle Frank!
PS: The photo above is of me (on the left) and my dad (on the right) in 1994 the day after I had sold my first car at the dealership. This is one of my favorite pictures of me and my dad.
As I travel the country and consult auto dealers, they seem to fall into 2 camps regarding the use of social media as an effective marketing tool. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to discuss the differences in those camps as well as share some examples of businesses who are doing it right as well as some who are doing it dreadfully wrong.
No ROI In Social Media
The largest category of dealers I speak to fall into the category that I’ll affectionately label No ROI In Social Media. Their words, not mine. They don’t all dislike it. In fact, some use it a lot in their personal lives. However, they feel that it is a waste of their employees time where their business is concerned. Why? Easy answer. They don’t see it producing an ROI, or Return On Investment.
YES To Social Media
Of course, the remainder of the dealers I work with fall into the category that I’ll label as YES To Social Media. In short, they believe in the power of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the rest. However, it’s alarming to me that most aren’t sure how they know it’s working. Even fewer actually have a social media strategy. When I ask them about their social media process, they generally stare at me with a strange look on their face.
You’re Doing It Wrong
If your dealership isn’t seeing results by using social media, then you’re doing it wrong. The good news is that success leaves clues and there are many businesses outside of our industry successfully using effective social media strategies to both grow as well as show a return on their investment. We’ll examine some of those as well as some of those who are failing miserably.
Which Camp Are You In?
So…which camp does your dealership fall in? Are you ready to learn the right way? Are you willing to invest the time it takes? Stay tuned for part 2. Coming soon.
Who Is Tracy Myers?
For more info about the author of this series, Tracy Myers, please visit him at TracyMyers.com
In part one of Strong Customer Relationships, I introduced the six vital pillars that support strong customer relationships. I also discussed pillar #1: Making The Right First Impression (read about it HERE).
In part two, I discussed pillar #2: Being Easy To Do Business With (read about it HERE).
In part three, I discussed pillar #3: Remembering Your Customer Has A Choice (read about it HERE).
In part four, I discussed pillar #4: Making Life Better For Your Customers (read about it HERE).
Each of these pillars have an important role to play and the stronger each of them are, the better your overall relationships will be. Today, let’s talk about pillar #5: Exceeding Expectations
Pillar #5: Exceeding Expectations
One of the best ways to build deeper relationships with customers is to give them more than they expect.
The key to doing that is managing expectations by under-promising and over-delivering.
As a customer, you’ve probably experienced this in both ways – expectations being exceeded or dashed.
For example, I buy supplies regularly from the same computer company. I’m always told that my order will arrive in 10 to 14 days.
Every single one of my orders with them has arrived in 5 to 7 days – half the time that I was told.
Even though it happens every time, I think “Wow, what great service.” They have managed my expectations and then exceeded them.
They under-promised and over-delivered.
You’ve probably seen it happen in restaurants. You’re told the wait will be 30 minutes, and you’re seated in 15 minutes. You’re very pleased. Your expectations have been managed.
But when it works the other way – when you are told 15 minutes and have to wait half an hour – you are not going back there again.
In my dealership, when customers want to finance a vehicle and put $1500 down, I tell them that we can often get customers approved with as little as $1000 down.
But plenty of people drive home after putting no money down. When that happens, I’ve beaten what I’ve told them to expect and created a raving fan of my dealership who will immediately go out and tell all their friends.
Managing expectations is crucial to being able to exceed them.
This can even work when there are problems. You just need to manage the customer expectations and deliver something better than you promised.
Fortunately, poor customer service seems to be so common these days that it can be easy to make customers happy in this way.
– Stay Tuned For Strong Customer Relationships/Part Six. Coming Soon.