Have I ever told you the one about when I told my boss (and owner of the dealership) I was leaving to pursue my own business?
I wanted to leave on a good note; sadly, that didn’t happen. You will not believe what he said.
If you haven’t read Confessions of a Former Car Salesman Part 1 find out what Linda, my customer, asked me that changed my life.
Photo By Beth Lewis Photography
Linda is where my story starts.
Now that you know how my life was changed by Linda’s question and how I became Your Car Buying Advocate, here’s the rest of my story.
I woke up excited to get to work because it was the first day of stepping into my new business. I would break the news to the owner of the dealership that I would be leaving to pursue my dream. I had spent almost five years performing at a very high level as a car salesman. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the owner. He is one of the hardest working men I have ever met…there every single day, rarely taking a day off, six days a week, open to close.
He had always treated me with respect and that was the main reason I stayed there as long as I did.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to me if he wasn’t happy I would choose to leave. I was consistently one of his top performers. And that’s certainly not something he’d like to watch walk out the door. Car sales takes a certain personality to be successful and God has blessed me with a gift. But, I didn’t expect this.
So there I was sitting in front of him telling him I had an idea to start a business. I didn’t tell him my exact business plan yet and I didn’t even know all of the details yet myself. I had an idea and a drive to change the car buying experience for my customers. I knew I had the knowledge to help people save money, stress and their most valuable asset, time.
I told him my plans…
- I planned to work as an advocate for my clients.
- I was going to be paid by my clients and would never take any compensation from any dealership.
- Most people hated the traditional car buying experience.
- I was going to create a car buying experience where people didn’t even have to step foot inside a dealership.
- I wanted to bring him free opportunities to earn client business.
- I wanted to give people a haggle free car buying experience.
- I would give the market what they want.
There are some haggle free car buying opportunities out there already. But… what most people don’t realize is that they come at a cost.
His response was less than enthused. Let me explain something very important first.
Here was my plan.
I would basically do the same thing I did every day as a car salesman. I would help people find vehicles and help dealerships sell vehicles.
My business model is not that complicated.
A typical car salesman is a match maker. They are trying to sell both sides. They have to come up with something that works for the dealership and something that works for the customer. Now, the difference between me and a traditional car salesman is how I get paid.
You see, that’s where the problem lies for me.
In my job, I felt the conflict.
Guess where the other conflict is?
These supposed haggle free car buying services out there that are “free” for the consumer. But who do you think pays these sites? I am referring to these car buying research sites that sell your email address to dealerships leaving you bombarded with phone calls and emails. I can assure you, dealerships hope you do your research on these sites. If a dealership shows you what a particular website says this car is worth, don’t use that information as gospel.
Be aware, the FREE- for-the-consumer-no-haggle-car-buying-services and websites are loved by the dealerships. Dealerships and these sites/services have a relationship and are nothing more than marketing tools for the dealerships. That’s the real truth!
No surprise, the traditional car salesman wants to sell a vehicle for the most amount of money he/she can. The more you pay, the more they get paid. It makes them difficult to trust. When was the last time a car salesman told you to go check out a different vehicle at a different dealership because the deals are better? Duh… Never!
You are not the only one they serve. And, listen… this isn’t to dog on car salesmen. They need to make a living too. They need to provide for their families too. I know that more than anyone.
What about these supposed no haggle dealerships? Of course they don’t want to haggle. In my experience, you pay more for conveniences in life. Buying a car at a no haggle dealership is no different.
You do need to haggle to get the best overall deal, however.
Here’s my point.
Expert car buyers know how to haggle. They spend a lot of time getting their deals. And it ain’t easy.
You have an area of expertise. Maybe you’re an expert in the kitchen, a chef, a gardener, maybe you perform heart surgery or are skilled at wood working. My expertise is negotiating car deals.
The difference between an awesome car deal and the average car deal is likely thousands of dollars and many hours of research, phone calls and emails. Somebody has got to do it.
Do you want to?
Are you an expert?
So what did my former boss say when I told him my business idea?
He said he would not work with me. He even suggested I might be breaking the law.
I was shocked. And to be honest, disappointed. I was looking forward to keeping our relationship. The only difference would be that my clients would pay me first and I would bring him prospective business.
I thought I would have his blessing.
It seemed to me like a no brainer for him. The cost in advertising and marketing to get someone to call his dealership or visit his location is not small. I never would have thought a dealership would refuse to work with anyone.
And yet, he and many other dealerships refused to work with me at first. Then, after perfecting my strategy and approach, they started to play ball more and more. However, the fact that I had to come up with a strategy to get dealerships to work with me as a consumer advocate is mind boggling. To this day, my former boss refuses to work with me.
I’ll let you in on the secret to getting dealerships to play along. I will tell you if we decide to work together. You’ll understand why it is a secret.
Why did dealerships refuse to work with me?
Well, you would have to ask them.
There is no law against helping someone negotiate with dealerships. Everyone is entitled to representation.
I never take a commission from dealerships and am not paid based on the sale price of the vehicle.
I am no different than a father helping his daughter buy a car.
My strategy and process helps clients in all 50 states and provides a real haggle/hassle free car buying experience.
My clients know that paying money can actually save them money. My clients realize their time is better spent doing what they are experts at and paying me to do what I am an expert at…. Breaking the strategic processes the auto industry has set for the car buying experience.
Like my story? Like what I am doing? Follow us on Facebook or Instagram. Let the dealerships know you want a different experience!
Do you want to know how THE story ends? Read John 3:16.
Mike is a former high-performing car salesman turned car-buying consumer advocate. Now he spends his days breaking the rules the auto industry has set for the consumer buying process. He’s got a love for God, a love for his wife, and a love for his two boys Elijah & Israel. When he and his wife Corrie are not changing diapers, they like to frequent Lake Erie, try new restaurants, travel and serve in their church.