Every so often I see a show on TV that doesn’t just entertainment, but in fact inspires me to be a little bit better. Watching the story of “Chop” (rumored to be named either Joel or Josh Towbin) who runs a Dodge dealership that sells a total ass load of cars (claims 8000 sales a year!) is entertaining, that is for sure. Chop is a real character, a total crank, but a damn good one. He plays the semi-rap star business man to the Nth degree, and does it well. But it isn’t in the character per se that I find the good, but in the message.
First off, most of his sales staff are younger people. Chop claims to have started buying and selling mopeds when he was 14, and he seems to have a knack for finding younger people and giving them a chance to sell cars. That alone puts him ahead of many dealers, that want nothing but the long term professional closers with a long list of past clients and tons of experience. Chop actually prefers to have new sellers in his team, not worrying about killing off bad habits but rather teaching them how to sell and how to make it work.
… and make it work they do.
Basically, his sales people have some power, but that power centralizes down to the “sales tower” where a staff with computers and such actually crunch the numbers. Their sales technique is basically get the customer hooked onto a car (usually giving them a decent little test drive) and then sitting them down and saking the old “how much do you want to pay?” question. They run the numbers from what is on the car, and come up with a basic number, and then they work to split the difference and effectively raise the customers limit as high as possible. The sales tower people work the numbers apply the available financing deals and rebates into the process, and they go back and forth. It is a powerful process because it removes the pressure from the salesman because he isn’t really the one crunching numbers, so it isn’t his fault. It puts the salesman on the customer’s side, which is another powerful sales tool.
Each of the sales people is part of a team. Their team leaders can step in and help them out to make the deal happen. Sometimes these guys will push to up the value of a trade or try to figure out alternate routes for financing if there are issues, but again they are doing this on the customers side… another powerful tool, getting all these people on your side. What a system!
Finally there is the sales general manager and Chop himself… with enough people in the, sales get made. Towbin Dodge often sets goals to sell cars to over 25% of the customers in the door, a huge number.
Chop’s tools are motivation, wild sales promotions (including a huge rated Chopper Show Infomercial) a crazy cast of characters and wild antics (HIT THE GAS!). He inspires his sales staff to get out there and sell like mad, he tracks their action closely and VERY publically, and isn’t shy to tell people they are in the business of selling cars. They bring it to the front and center, the whole dealership, parking area, and everything are just one huge sales area. Some people may find it a little touch pushy, but they sure don’t let people get away.
Let me add this: Chop’s father is apparently the actual owner of the dealership, Chop grew up in an affluent family and certainly ain’t no gangsta… but he walks the walk and talks the talk that means he can talk to both young and old. He is totally 100% impeccably dressed, sharp and styled, and he knows exactly how to present himself. Regardless of his upbringing, regardless of his success, this guys hasn’t forgot the basics. When it comes to business, he has a simple rule “make a move”. DO SOMETHING.
At the end of the day, I write this mostly because the guy inspires me in some ways that I find interesting. I think it is just that everything they are doing is with a specific goal in mind. He has his eye on the ball ALL of the time, and they are paying attention not only to creating a fun and wild sales environment that the people like, not only working outlandish TV shows and personalities that come with it, but looking hard at the numbers and making moves based on them. It is the ultimate for me in having fun and making money without letting one or the other get in the way. Balancing those two things together Chop has create something that is bigger than the sum of the parts… impressive.
The King of Cars show runs Tuesdays on A&E (Click here for their king of cars site) or you can check out the Towbin Dodge site. Watching the informercial (click here to see the chopper show) will tell you more about this place…
I am sure that Chop will be impressed if he finds comments about his show on a porn site, but there ya go. (Chop, if you are reading this, drop me an email or hook me up… knock knock!).