Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 30

DDW & CATA | Feb. 13-14, 2018 | Chicago

Cover Story (Continued from pg. 29)
Whether it was cleaning cars, doing
homework with the salesman or
just hanging out with my dad, I just
loved it. The older I got, the more
involved I got in the store.
I'll never forget my junior year in
high school, my father got me out
of bed and said you're coming with
me. I asked where we were going?
He said to throw on a sport coat and
I'll tell you when we get there. That
day they had a big sale at the Ford
plant. Three or four dealers were
represented. He said, I'm going to
teach you how to sell cars today. I
had no idea what to do. We had to
take turns greeting the customers.
When it was my turn, I greeted a
very kind older couple. They were
interested in a new Ford Escort
Wagon. I showed them the special
Ford A Plan price and they asked if
I could get them a number for their
trade in. The manager gave me the
number for their trade and they felt
it was fair. Here came the hitch. The
husband told me he would buy the
car if I "threw in" an FM radio and a
pin stripe. So, what would a 17-yearold kid say? Of course, I would!
Well, you can't throw anything in
for a Ford employee. It's against all
Ford rules. The manager told me I
had to charge them for both items.
When I told the husband, he had
to pay for the radio and stripe, he
stood up and said he was leaving. At
that very moment a voice came over
the loud speaker in the parking lot:
"Congratulations, John Hennessy,
for selling his first car ever!" the
crowd stood up and clapped! I was
mortified because now I would have
to tell everyone I didn't sell the car.
The wife grabbed her husband and
made him buy the car. That couple
ended up buying many more Fords
over the years.
The next year, my senior year,
I started selling used cars. During
college, I'd come back during the
holidays. I fell in love with the business and have my father to thank
for it!
30

JANUARY 2018

I'D LIKE TO ASK YOU TO
TALK ABOUT THE BUSINESS
OF RUNNING A DEALERSHIP.
WHAT IS YOUR MANAGEMENT
PHILOSOPHY?

Every employee in our store is
completely empowered to make a
decision to help a customer. I don't
care what it is or how much it costs.
If it's in the name of helping a customer, you'll never get in trouble.
Most of the people who worked for
us started in their teens and stayed
long enough to retire in their 60s
or 70s. Here at River View Ford,
we have second-generation family
members. Many of their parents
worked with my family years ago.
Many of the employees have been
here for 25 to 30 years. Whatever
success the store has enjoyed, I will
tell you, is 100 percent because of
our employees.
My GM Jack Daniels is a second-generation employee. Jack
started working for us in college and
he understands my philosophy. Jim
Rodda, my service director, started
working for us when he was 18. He
lives in Dyer, Indiana, an hour and
a half away. Our customer satisfaction scores are one of the highest
in the region because of his work
ethic and care of our customers. He
answers customer calls on his cell
phone over the weekends, even on
Sunday. Tom Julian our sales manager, also drives from Indiana. He
has been with my organization over
20 years too. Jeannie Brown, our
finance director, and Gary Leathers, her assistant, have been with
us over 20 years also. Paul Firlit,
my comptroller, started with my
father over 30 years ago. Many of
my service technicians, such as Ron
Hyde and Greg Fox, have been here
since the store opened. It's because
of these employees (family) that our
customers love to come back and
buy more vehicles. They aren't dealing with strangers, they are working
with family.
In short, our success-and my

D I G I TA L D E A L E R . C O M

management style-is simply to empower the employees to do what's
right and take care of customers.

WHAT IS YOUR SERVICE
PHILOSOPHY?

This ties in with what I was just
talking about. One of the things I
always say is to show our customers the love. We take care of the
customer. We pick up and deliver
customers' cars where ever they
need us to go. We deliver locally
and out to places like, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. It costs us a
ton of money but it is well worth it.
Outside of our employees, it is one
of our biggest benefits we offer.

HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR
EMPLOYEES ARE
UP-TO-DATE ON PRODUCTS
AND PROCESSES?

There's a wonderful training program through Ford Motor Company. When you become a Ford dealer
employee, there are a series of tests
you have to pass every month. It
keeps you sharp and aware of the
latest and greatest advancements
in the marketplace. Our employees
also learn from me and my sales
and service management team. We
hold meetings weekly to review our
processes and procedures. We also
bring in outside trainers to assist
with sales and service techniques.
There is always someone available
to lend a helping hand if you need
it. It's part of our family atmosphere.

AS A MEMBER THE
CHICAGO FORD DEALERS
ADVERTISING FUND FOR
OVER A DECADE, WHAT, IN
YOUR OPINION, HAS BEEN
THE SINGLE GREATEST
ADVERTISING CHANGE IN
THE LAST TEN YEARS?

I'd go a little further back. The
biggest change happened September 11, 2001. General Motors
announced 0% for 60 months.
Since then the incentive game was
on! Today, I think it's a given that
people expect every car to come


http://www.DIGITALDEALER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Digital Dealer - January 2018

Digital Dealer - January 2018
Contents
The Art of Handling Mistakes
Motion and Commotion – The Buy/Sell Market Intensifies
You Don’t Have to Be Blood to Be Family in the Dealership
Shifting From Crisis to Opportunity
Warning! Your Customers Know More Than Your Salespeople. But Not for Long.
Advertising Your Tech-Spertise!
From the Show Director
Drawing the Curtain Back
Digital Dealer Workshops Chicago
Cover story
Interview with the 2018 Chairman of the Chicago Auto Show
Ready… Fire!...Then Aim
Turning Cash Buyers into Auto
Need a Tech – Keep a Tech or Other Staffer?
The New Car Buyers’ Clinic: A Case Study in How to Royally Mess It up!
The Pros and Cons of Building a Dealership Facebook Page
Is Your Dealership's Advertising Stuck in the '60s?
4 Ways to Sell More Cars in 2018
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - CT1
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - CT2
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Digital Dealer - January 2018
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Cover2
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 1
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Contents
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 3
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - The Art of Handling Mistakes
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 5
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 6
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Motion and Commotion – The Buy/Sell Market Intensifies
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 8
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 9
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 10
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 11
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - You Don’t Have to Be Blood to Be Family in the Dealership
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 13
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 14
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Shifting From Crisis to Opportunity
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 16
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 17
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Warning! Your Customers Know More Than Your Salespeople. But Not for Long.
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 19
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Advertising Your Tech-Spertise!
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 21
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - From the Show Director
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 23
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 24
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Drawing the Curtain Back
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 26
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Digital Dealer Workshops Chicago
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Interview with the 2018 Chairman of the Chicago Auto Show
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 29
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 30
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 31
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 32
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 33
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Ready… Fire!...Then Aim
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 35
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Turning Cash Buyers into Auto
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 37
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Need a Tech – Keep a Tech or Other Staffer?
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 39
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 40
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - The New Car Buyers’ Clinic: A Case Study in How to Royally Mess It up!
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 42
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - The Pros and Cons of Building a Dealership Facebook Page
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 44
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Is Your Dealership's Advertising Stuck in the '60s?
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 46
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 47
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - 4 Ways to Sell More Cars in 2018
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Cover3
Digital Dealer - January 2018 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/dd26showdirectory_042019
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201904
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201903
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201902
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201901
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201809
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201808
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201807
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201806
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201805
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201804
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201803
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201802
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201801
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201712
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/digitaldealer/201708
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com