Why you don’t have to be a car guy to sell cars

Posted On February 8, 2019

Can you run a successful car dealership if you’re not a car guy?

If you answered no, you might want to listen to Ty Bullard.

Bullard, our guest in a recent episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston,” runs Joe Bullard Automotive Group, a successful dealership of Acura, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Cadillac and Ford in Mobile. He is third-generation in the business, and he will be the first to tell you: He’s not a car guy.

“I can’t drive a stick-shift,” Bullard says. “We’re not car people. We’re people people. As soon as you can realize this business has nothing to do with cars, it has to do with people, the better you’ll be.”

More than price, more than selection, customer experience is what sets a dealership apart, Bullard says. And that experience doesn’t end with the sale.

“In our business, we’ve always heard: Your sales department sells the first car; your service department sells the rest,” Bullard says. “That is something that we have tried to live by.”

Aside from that emphasis on what he calls the “customer journey,” Bullard shares with us what he’s seeing in car-buying trends, why it’s important to develop leaders within your company before you think you need them, his thoughts about electric cars and selling cars in a digital world, the pressures of carrying on the family legacy and why those pressures haven’t stifled innovation and change.

“I think we’ve always had the philosophy: Play to win,” Bullard says. “My dad was that way and I at least try to be that way. … I always tell our folks: I love change. It fuels me.”

Join us for a full-throttle discussion on legacy companies and the car business.

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Automotive, Blog, What's Working with Cam Marston, Workplace