The genius General Manager there at the time suggested I lose $3-400k so that I could "get them hooked like a drug dealer would."
Translation "Lose your ass so my conversion rates stay up then get the F outta here" (I met some really great people there whom I remain friends with today but that guy was a real donkey).
Ran there for a few weeks with similar results. I sold a few but not enough to keep the dogs off. The pressure was on and I had to make moves... fast!
I tried Manheim Georgia, Manheim Atlanta, I went to Auto Nation Auto Auction in Atlanta, Manheim Nashville, America's Auto Auction in Greer South Carolina, and the Carolina Auto Auction in Anderson, SC.
Similar results at all. (Floors were all set at avg black book incl adds...nice stuff at the time was bringing off the left side).
Same story… really great people at the sales… I liked all of them and consider many friends to this day. I was just trying something a little too crazy.
I started to recognize some very distinct patterns during this time. Number one is people in the South are incredibly kind and gracious, which would turn out to be a critical component.
Along the way, at all these stops, (when I probably should have had my head in my hands weeping about what a dummy I was). I would talk to the dealers...get to know them, in the cafeterias, lanes, and even while on the block.
They were all happy to talk and tell me what I was doing wrong. It would have been impolite to do otherwise
So I started to survey them. Asked them this question:
These are all nice vehicles, nicest at the sale... what's stopping you?
And here are the top 3 answers:
- Rust - Even though they were looking straight at them, could see touch smell, and even taste them, they were dead sure they were all rusty...or that the rust was coming.. because they were in Canada for a few months. (Inculcation is a real thing)
- Voided warranties
👉 Bonus answer - Profit block. This one they didn't talk about but it was obvious. You all know what I mean. Same reason identical units go for thousands more in a bank lane as opposed to a dealer lane.
I decided that I couldn't deal with #1 If they were so deeply programmed in that fear It would be a waste to even try to convince them otherwise.
# 3 was easy. I had all the Titles in my briefcase. They could see, smell, feel and taste them too
My focus went to #2 --The voided warranties. In keeping with my survey approach, I decided to ask everyone I could, what warranty company they all trusted in the South. From these discussions, I found a warranty company that had local acceptance.
I went back to my hotel, flipped open my MacBook, and started scouring Linkedin for a rep at that company. Found one and sent him a message.
That started a whirlwind of activity that lasted over a year. A few different Admin companies and a handful of multi-billion dollar Insurance Companies eventually led to a meeting with my current partners. We met at a Private Airfield in Detroit-(Pentastar Aviation which was originally the Chrysler Corp Private Airfield–Kind of ironic) where a deal was made and Can-Am Dealer Services was born.
Can-Am Dealer Services' flagship product is one most of you dealers have at least heard of by now, Can-Am Warranty.
That was born out of having my ass handed to me over and over again in the Southeast.
We've heard a similar story a million times,
In every problem, there's an opportunity.
The level of creative thinking that caused the problem, is the only proof you need that you can solve the problem.
If you need to make moves, build up your problem-solving skills. Anyone can point out a problem… but a survivor goes out and does something about it.
Here is one story you'll never hear: a story of a successful person, where everything was perfect. ❌❌❌
So, if you're a survivor… you're an entrepreneur…
You just don't know it yet.
The fact that you’re here tells me you’re one heck of a survivor. So I’m inviting you to click the link below to join a community of other Gladiators.