Gain Traction

Neal Maier and Mike Edge

The Gain Traction podcast features top automotive entrepreneurs and experts and shares their inspiring stories. read less
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Secrets of Exceptional Service With Cristol Duke and Heather Langdon of Gerald's Tires & Brakes
Hace 5 días
Secrets of Exceptional Service With Cristol Duke and Heather Langdon of Gerald's Tires & Brakes
Heather Langdon is a Customer Service Representative at Gerald's Tires & Brakes. Heather's journey into the tire business began when she applied for a position at Gerald’s to help her husband buy a motor for his trucking company, soon becoming an integral part of the customer service team. Born and raised in Charleston, Heather brings a deep understanding of her community's needs and values, striving to provide not just customer service, but an exceptional experience for every guest.  Cristol Duke is a Customer Service Representative at Gerald's Tires & Brakes. Having traded the tranquility of cornfields for the vibrant energy of Charleston over two decades ago, Cristol brings warmth and empathy to her role every day. She understands the importance of creating a welcoming atmosphere, especially when customers arrive with concerns or frustrations, and is committed to seeing beyond problems to provide genuine care and support. In this episode… Anyone who takes a job doing customer service quickly learns it can be challenging. How can tire and auto repair shops ensure that customers are treated well without draining the enthusiasm of their team members? At Gerald's Tires & Brakes, customer service isn't just a job — it's a philosophy deeply ingrained in the company's culture. Cristol Duke and Heather Langdon understand the pivotal role they play as the faces of the company, recognizing that customers often arrive with frustrations and concerns, not directed at them personally, but at the situations they face. By putting themselves in the customers' shoes, they aim to smooth over issues and extend a warm welcome to everyone who walks through the door. On this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge chats with Cristol and Heather about the art of customer service. They delve into the importance of empathy, highlighting how understanding customers' frustrations can turn negative experiences into positive ones. The conversation also touches on the unique morning ritual of cheering for arriving customers and the team's commitment to going above and beyond with small gestures. They also discuss integrating active listening to enhance the customer experience. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Cristol Duke describes frontline staff as the source of customers’ initial impressionsHeather Langdon emphasizes to new hires that guests need to feel valuable and importantHow distributing roses and providing entertainment for kids can enhance the customer experienceHeather discusses her involvement in various aspects of operations at Gerald's, from training to schedulingCristol says her role extends beyond customer service to include tasks like shop maintenance and coordinationHow Heather’s “kill them with kindness” philosophy acts as guiding principle for handling difficult situations"The importance of actively listening to customers Why personal connections contribute to job satisfaction and loyalty Resources mentioned in this episode: Gerald’s Tires & BrakesGerald’s Tires & Brakes on FacebookClay Watts on LinkedInMike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Generational Wisdom and Customer Focus With Clint and Clay Watts of Gerald's Tires & Brakes
21-02-2024
Generational Wisdom and Customer Focus With Clint and Clay Watts of Gerald's Tires & Brakes
Clint and Clay Watts are the third-generation owners of Gerald's Tires & Brakes in Charleston, South Carolina. Their grandfather, fondly known as "Big Daddy," instilled in them the ethos of hard work and adaptability. From their humble beginnings transforming old gas stations into tire stores to evolving with the market's demands, Clint and Clay exemplify a commitment to learning and improving. Their dedication to customer service, ingrained from a young age through teachings of good morals and influential figures like Zig Ziglar, reflects their business philosophy: they're in the customer service business, they just happen to fix cars. In this episode… Every tire and auto repair shop prides itself on something — oftentimes, it’s a dedication to serving the customer. What are some ways a shop can make it clear to its customers that their patronage is important? For Clint and Clay Watts of Gerald's Tires & Brakes, an unwavering commitment to customer service permeates every aspect of their family business. Drawing from the wisdom passed down by their grandfather and influential figures like Zig Ziglar, they have cultivated a philosophy that extends beyond mere transactions, emphasizing genuine care and respect for each customer. From small gestures like placing roses in customers' cars to engaging in meaningful conversations, the Watts family's dedication to service shines through in every interaction. These thoughtful touches, combined with a culture of trust and honesty, ensure that every customer at Gerald’s Tires & Brakes feels valued and appreciated. On this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge welcomes Clint and Clay to discuss their multi-generational journey in the tire business. They explore marketing insights received from their grandfather, the evolution of their business, and their commitment to understanding and meeting customer needs through meaningful conversations and honest advice. The brothers emphasize the importance of hard work, continuous learning, and prioritizing customer service. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Clint and Clay Watts talk about how they were born into the tire businessThe lessons of hard work, resilience, and perseverance that they learned from their grandfatherWhy recognizing your own limitations and seeking outside expertise is importantClint and Clay emphasize the significance of continuous learning, regardless of ageHow prioritizing customer education and providing tailored solutions demonstrates concern for clients' well-beingThe small gestures that exemplify a dedication to customer service at Gerald’s Tires & BrakesOutdoor activities Clint and Clay enjoy for bonding and relaxation Resources mentioned in this episode: Gerald’s Tires & BrakesZig ZiglarBeggs Tire & Wheel Mike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Exceptional Tires, Equal Treatment With Charles Vickery of Beggs Tire & Wheel
14-02-2024
Exceptional Tires, Equal Treatment With Charles Vickery of Beggs Tire & Wheel
Charles Vickery brings over a decade of tire expertise to his role as  Store Manager at Beggs Tire & Wheel. Hailing from Prineville, Oregon, his journey in the tire industry began in the small town where the choices were clear-cut: either work at a mill or dive into the world of tires. Inspired by the legacy of Les Schwab, Charles started as a tire tech at Beggs in 2010. He quickly showcased his unwavering commitment to the job and has since climbed the ranks to his current role.  In this episode… Consumers typically have plenty of options when tire shopping, from the store down the street to a multitude of websites at their fingertips. In a world where online comparisons and price competition are prevalent, what can a store manager do to set a location apart from the rest?  According to Charles Vickery, his team at Beggs Tire & Wheel is focused on providing top-notch customer service, evident in its 4.9-star rating from over 3,200 reviews. Beggs Tire takes pride in treating every customer with equal respect, and Charles prioritizes the importance of creating a positive experience for everyone who walks through the front door, whether they have $1 or a million dollars. The team goes beyond mere transactions, ensuring that customers understand the value they receive when purchasing tires. Charles is committed to educating the younger generation on the long-term value of their purchases. To be able to thrive in the ever-evolving business landscape, he emphasizes the importance of adapting to changing customer preferences.  On this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge welcomes Charles to discuss the intricacies of customer service in the tire industry. Charles emphasizes the importance of providing quality service and fostering a positive customer experience. They explore the challenges of explaining value in a market driven by online comparisons and the evolving preferences of a new generation. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Charles Vickery explains his interest in joining the tire industryWhy customers trust Charles for tire recommendations without price-checkingHow Charles climbed from a tire tech to store managerWhat are Charles’ favorite tires to sell and why?The importance of return on investment while offering road hazard programsCharles reveals his love for hunting big game in the mountainsWords of wisdom: know your product and your customer, prioritize their needs over personal interests Resources mentioned in this episode: Beggs Tire & Wheel Prineville, OregonLes SchwabDanny Smith on LinkedIn Same Day Auto Repair and Tire Pros Mike Edge on LinkedIn Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Work Experience Must Be Rewarding and Fun: Danny Smith of Same Day Auto Repair
31-01-2024
Work Experience Must Be Rewarding and Fun: Danny Smith of Same Day Auto Repair
Danny Smith is the CEO of Same Day Auto Repair. With a background in the auto industry that spans over 28 years, Danny's career began in high school, working for Chevrolet and steadily advancing through various roles. Despite his family not being in the industry, Danny's strong work ethic and determination led him to master different aspects of the business, leading to the bold decision to venture into entrepreneurship. Today, as the head of his own shop, Danny navigates the complexities of tax laws, insurance liabilities, and business management. In this episode… Can a commitment to creating an extraordinary workplace culture lead to waiting lists of job applicants? Can a workplace philosophy that keeps employees thriving positively impact customer service as well? According to Danny Smith, prioritizing the well-being of his team directly influences the quality of customer service at Same Day Auto Repair. The ingredients of a top-notch culture include Christmas parties featuring unique themes and substantial bonuses. By creating an environment where employees feel valued and motivated, Danny says it instills a dedication that translates into a superior customer experience. On this episode of Gain Traction, Danny engages in a dynamic conversation with host Mike Edge. They delve into Danny's rich history in the auto industry and explore his transition from hands-on car repairs to managing a successful business. He discusses the unique philosophy that sets his shop apart, with a focus on customer service, employee well-being, and the pursuit of consistent growth goals. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Danny Smith talks about the evolution of his career, from hands-on car repairs to business managementThe significance Danny places on creating a positive workplace environment and cultureHow work atmosphere can positively affect customer serviceHow Christmas parties with substantial bonuses can enhance team performanceWhy Danny works not just for money but for the satisfaction of helping customersHow the point system at Same Day Auto Repair is intricately tied to employee training and performance bonuses Resources mentioned in this episode: Danny Smith on LinkedIn Same Day Auto RepairMike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Shaping Pros Through Innovative Training With Scott Blair of T.R.A.C.K. Auto Training and Network
24-01-2024
Shaping Pros Through Innovative Training With Scott Blair of T.R.A.C.K. Auto Training and Network
Scott Blair is the creator, host, and an instructor at T.R.A.C.K. Auto Training and Network. He is also Managing Partner of 2U Tire of Alabama and Co-founder of 2U Mobile Solutions. His automotive journey began in 1993, diving into the industry with American Racing Custom Wheels. In the late ‘90s, Scott developed and patented the Wheel Fit, a specialized aluminum jig for measuring custom wheels. He prides himself as someone who is always learning as he continues to shape his diverse career in the automotive world. In this episode… As more and more automotive employers look to address their onboarding needs, can they be confident that new employees can receive thorough training in a relatively short amount of time? Fortunately, Scott Blair says, training programs in the automotive industry have made significant advancements over the past two decades.  Scott's approach combines adaptability, bite-sized content, and real-world applicability, enabling seasoned technicians to experience substantial knowledge gains within 15 minutes. His program starts with a prerequisite class of seven videos, branching into specialized paths for technicians and salespeople. The content caters to both the front and back of the house, and aligns with the demand for immediate and accessible learning.  In this episode of Gain Traction, co-hosts Mike Edge and Matt Peters delve into the challenges of auto industry training with Scott. They explore the evolution of training programs and the urgent need for tailored content which addresses both technical aspects and sales. Scott shares valuable perspectives on adapting training methods to novices’ needs and availability, ultimately ensuring consumer confidence in aspiring automotive professionals. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Scott Blair recalls his entry into the automotive industry, working with American Racing Custom WheelsThe significance of training to ensure consumer confidence through quality serviceScott elaborates on the development and patenting of the Wheel FitHow a lack of industry standards and budget constraints contribute to the hiring of inexperienced personnelScott shares T.R.A.C.K. Auto Training's four distinct stages of training programsWhy Scott’s interactive training program is uniquely beneficial for aspiring auto pros Resources mentioned in this episode: Scott Blair on LinkedIn T.R.A.C.K. Auto Training and Network The Wheel Fit  Mike Edge on LinkedInMatt Peters on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Tires, Tears, and Triumphs: A 25-Year Odyssey With Jeff Mullersman of ATTURO Tires
17-01-2024
Tires, Tears, and Triumphs: A 25-Year Odyssey With Jeff Mullersman of ATTURO Tires
Jeff Mullersman is the Midwest Sales Director at ATTURO Tires, with 25 years of experience in the tire industry. Jeff’s automotive career is full of twists and turns, beginning with getting ripped off sweeping a go-kart parking lot. Undeterred, Jeff became a driver for Progressive Custom Wheels before moving on to sales, eventually running his own location in Omaha, Nebraska. When the company went under in 2000, he became a sales manager for Zisser Tire in St. Louis for several years during its gradual decline. Jeff briefly went into restaurateuring before returning to the automotive industry, where he found his home at ATTURO Tires. In this episode… Navigating the professional world is no easy feat, and Jeff Mullersman's journey through the tire industry, filled with highs and lows, offers a wealth of lessons. From celebrating milestones to learning from setbacks, his story is a testament to the importance of resilience and adaptability. As Jeff shares insights from his role at ATTURO Tires, one compelling revelation stands out: the power of humor in navigating professional challenges. Jeff's ability to blend humor with professionalism adds a unique dimension to his approach, providing a valuable lesson for those looking to make an impact in their careers. Through anecdotes and experiences, the episode explores how a lighthearted perspective can be a strategic asset in fostering relationships and overcoming hurdles in the dynamic landscape of sales. On this episode of Gain Traction, Jeff chats with host Mike Edge about the power of humor in sales. Jeff's unique approach has propelled his career and inspired many of those navigating the complexities of the tire business. His candid reflections provide not only practical advice for those in sales, but also valuable insights for professionals across various fields, emphasizing the significance of authenticity and relationship-building in achieving long-term success. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Jeff Mullersman shares his journey from sweeping parking lots to steering sales strategiesHow managing a restaurant helped Jeff excel in tire salesWhy honesty, empathy, and relationship-building are invaluable in the tire industryJeff offers a relatable perspective on navigating diverse career landscapesSecrets of successful sales strategies and client relationship managementThe valuable blend of humor and professionalism in unexpected workplace situationsJeff talks about bridging the gap between his personal and professional life Resources mentioned in this episode: Jeff Mullersman on LinkedInATTURO TiresHunt Demarest on LinkedIn Mike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Realities of the Tire Business With Hunt Demarest of Paar, Melis & Associates
03-01-2024
Realities of the Tire Business With Hunt Demarest of Paar, Melis & Associates
Hunt Demarest is Senior Accountant at Paar, Melis & Associates, an accounting and tax firm specializing in automotive repair shops. Hunt is a seasoned CPA with a passion for optimizing team management and development, empowering shop owners with financial insights that drive greater success for their businesses. Armed with an economics degree from Penn State and an accreditation in business valuation, Hunt shares his wealth of knowledge as host of the podcast Business by the Numbers, where he provides valuable insights into the world of finance and accounting. Leveraging his expertise, Hunt authored the book Wrenches to Write Off's, guiding shop owners through the intricacies of tax season preparation and execution. In this episode… In the fast-paced world of auto services, understanding the nuanced differences between tire shops and traditional repair establishments is not just a matter of industry insight — it's a key to financial success. The commonly-drawn parallels between the two often overlook significant differences.  According to Hunt Demarest of Paar, Melis & Associates, tire shops are often compared to traditional auto repair shops without accounting for the significant variations in their revenue streams and profit margins. He explains that understanding the fundamental distinction between the two is crucial for realistic financial expectations. While a classical repair shop might achieve a 20% net income target, tire shops face a more challenging goal due to lower profit margins on tire sales. Hunt argues that a rule of thumb is that it may take about double the sales for a tire shop to achieve the same net income as a traditional repair shop.  On this episode of Gain Traction, Hunt and host Mike Edge unravel the intricacies of the automotive industry. Hunt's unconventional journey from an engineering major to an accountant sets the stage for a dynamic conversation. They explore the challenges of running an auto repair business, emphasizing the crucial role tires can play. Hunt's expertise shines as he provides practical insights into setting realistic financial targets and highlights the significance of analyzing gross profit in dollars per hour. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Hunt Demarest shares what he learned when he was a snack bar employeeWhy experience working with the general public can be valuableWhat attracted Hunt to become an accountant?How Hunt’s accounting expertise can benefit auto shopsValuable business advice and observations from Hunt on multiple facets of tire and auto repair The best movie Hunt has seen in the past yearWhy you shouldn’t hire your brother-in-law as your accountant Resources mentioned in this episode: Hunt Demarest on LinkedInPaar, Melis & AssociatesTodd Hayes on LinkedInJoe Adams on LinkedInGlenn Piccolo on LinkedInAdams AutomotiveAutoShop Answers Mike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
How To Create a $6m Store With a Great Winning Culture With Todd Hayes, Joe Adams and Glenn Piccolo
20-12-2023
How To Create a $6m Store With a Great Winning Culture With Todd Hayes, Joe Adams and Glenn Piccolo
Todd Hayes is the Chief Operating Officer of Adams Automotive and Co-founder of Auto Shop Answers. At age 26 Todd founded a company, successfully growing it into a chain of stores that he later sold to a venture capital group. Having been perfecting business models since 1986, Todd's expertise led him to coalesce with partners including Perry Adams, Joe Adams, and Glenn Piccolo. Together, they transformed a $3 million-a-year store into a thriving flagship store with a $30 million market value, achieving an average revenue of $1 million per month. Joe Adams is the Regional Operations Supervisor at Adams Automotive and Co-founder of Auto Shop Answers. Despite growing up with a disinterest in the family's automotive business, Joe's journey took a transformative turn when mentor Todd Hayes introduced him to the intricacies under the hood. Graduating from college during the challenging times of the pandemic, Joe not only found his passion for the industry but, under Todd's guidance, went on to launch multiple Adams Automotive locations and co-founded Auto Shop Answers, showcasing his dedication to shaping the future of the automotive world. Glenn Piccolo, Managing Partner at Adams Automotive and Co-founder of Auto Shop Answers, began his journey in the automotive industry over two decades ago. Starting as a mystery shopper at the age of 18, Glenn quickly impressed industry leaders and transitioned to management, where he gained a wealth of experience. Glenn's career evolved through various companies, including playing a pivotal role in the expansion of Louetta Automotive, eventually leading him to join forces with Todd Hayes at Adams Automotive, where he continues to contribute to a winning culture and a thriving, dynamic environment. In this episode… How do you increase the value of your business? Start by building a great culture that both employees and customers can appreciate. According to Todd Hayes, Joe Adams, and Glenn Piccolo from Adams Automotive and Auto Shop Answers, building a great workplace culture involves several key elements. First and foremost, they emphasize the importance of having a unique and efficient business model. They advocate for creating a workplace that is not only financially rewarding but also provides a premium service that justifies higher charges. They consider employees to be their most valuable asset. By offering unlimited hours for technicians, maintaining a visually-impressive facility, and fostering a culture of professionalism and customer service, they make their employees "untouchable." On this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge chats with Todd, Joe and Glenn about building a culture that positively impacts the value of a business. They say investing in recruitment, training, and continuous support for the team ensures loyalty and long-term commitment, and the business’ value depends upon employee success and satisfaction. Their willingness to stay open seven days a week, achieving record sales during weekends, reflects a dedication to serving customers through a thriving workplace culture. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Todd Hayes details the idea behind Auto Shop AnswersWhy Todd doesn’t believe there’s a shortage of automotive techniciansGlenn Piccolo explains the incredible lack of staff turnover at Adams AutomotiveJoe Adams reveals why employees don’t want to leave the companyAdams Automotive team members are called “Professional Business Athletes” and Todd shares the origin of the termTodd discusses his brand’s best customer demographic and the importance of catering to themJoe emphasizes Auto Shop Answers’ focus on trainingHow Adams Automotive continuously prioritizes personalized customer service Resources mentioned in this episode: Todd Hayes on LinkedInJoe Adams on LinkedInGlenn Piccolo on LinkedIn Auto Shop Answers Adams Automotive Keegan Wentz on LinkedInMcMahon’s Best-One TireMike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
A Personal Support System for Independent Auto Shops With George Kingman of Advanced Shop Leadership
06-12-2023
A Personal Support System for Independent Auto Shops With George Kingman of Advanced Shop Leadership
George Kingman is Founder and CEO of both Advanced Shop Leadership and BlueSky Tire and Auto Service, a burgeoning chain of stores with five locations in under five years. After beginning his journey in the tire and automotive industry as a teenage tire tech, George took a 17-year hiatus where he managed two businesses and held a senior analyst role focused on enhancing operational processes for one of America's largest banks. His passion for the automotive industry eventually drew him back, leading to a successful run in various roles from stores and districts to corporate positions. After briefly overseeing the original 20 Group, George established ASL with a mission to enhance the quality of life for independent tire and automotive service retailers, emphasizing efficient operations, teammate satisfaction, and financial growth. In this episode… In an era where independent automotive businesses are easily overlooked, one person has realized the need for a more personal and passionate approach to serving independent automotive businesses — and has acted. George Kingman founded Automotive Shop Leadership out of a desire to provide a continuously-evolving support system for independent automotive professionals, catering to their unique needs. ASL offers a variety of services including bookkeeping and workshops for store managers, entry-level individuals, and experienced leaders. Its focus is on fostering growth, leadership, and a positive culture within each group. George says ASL’s success lies in the sense of community it fosters, where members become like family, sharing their experiences and understanding the challenges of the automotive industry. On this episode of Gain Traction, George joins Mike Edge for a conversation about recognizing gaps and common weaknesses for independent businesses in the tire and auto repair industry and creating a service that addresses those. He talks about the areas where consultation and assistance are most often needed, and how his company can help. George also discusses his other business, BlueSky Tire & Auto Service, and shares its origin story. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Why it was urgent for George Kingman to start working at a tire store as a teenagerWhy George is not a believer in implementing a standard system across multiple independent storesGeorge explains why he prefers working in the tire and auto repair industry over bankingBlueSky Tire & Auto Service’s origin storyWhere George first conceived the idea for Advanced Shop LeadershipThe multiple areas of focus and coaching provided by ASLWhy bookkeeping is often an area in which tire and auto shops need coaching Resources mentioned in this episode: George Kingman on LinkedInAdvanced Shop LeadershipBlueSky Tire & Auto ServiceBridgestone TireMike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Optimizing Performance by Committing to Staff Development With Charles Mesones of Cook’s Tire & Service
29-11-2023
Optimizing Performance by Committing to Staff Development With Charles Mesones of Cook’s Tire & Service
Charles Mesones, Partner at Cook's Tire & Service, has been a dedicated professional in the tire and auto repair Industry for over 25 years, following in the footsteps of his father who managed a competing company during the 1980s. Charles' journey began as a teenager, working under his father's guidance, where he learned valuable life and business lessons. Today, Charles proudly continues the family tradition, with his eldest son excelling as a service advisor and his middle son voluntarily contributing on weekends, embodying the family's passion for the industry. In this episode… How do you get the best out of your employees? What type of culture breeds a hardworking staff that prioritizes excellent service? According to Charles Mesones of Cook’s Tire & Service, his goal is to create an environment where employees feel they are part of something meaningful — not just earning a paycheck. While he places a high value on stability, Charles prioritizes development and growth even more. He advocates for continual self-improvement, encouraging his team to become better versions of themselves through small, consistent wins and learning from failures. He stresses the importance of humility in leadership, acknowledging mistakes and correcting them, thus fostering a culture of growth and respect within the business. On this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge welcomes Charles for a conversation about an effective approach to staff and culture development. Charles talks about how two of his sons are making their way in the auto industry, why he prioritizes affording his team members with beneficial career experience over employee retention, and the value of difficult conversations between leadership and individual contributors. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Charles Mesones describes the culture at Cook’s Tire and ServiceHow Charles ensures that everyone who works for his company grows and developsWhy difficult conversations with employees shouldn’t be avoided by leadershipTurning points and accomplishments Charles is most proud of from his time with Cook’sHow a former employee went from facing homelessness to managing a group of competing storesWhy Charles has read Atomic Habits by James Clear numerous times Resources mentioned in this episode: Cook’s Tire & ServiceAtomic Habits by James Clear Mike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Using Technology To Establish Customer Trust With Keegan Wentz, President of McMahon Tech Center
22-11-2023
Using Technology To Establish Customer Trust With Keegan Wentz, President of McMahon Tech Center
Keegan Wentz is the President of McMahon's Automotive Technology Center, a family-owned service and repair shop based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His vision and dedication have transformed the company into a pioneering institution for automotive technician training and career development. Under his leadership, McMahon’s has implemented a comprehensive training program that not only imparts technical skills but also focuses on professionalism and ethics. An ASE Master Tech with a rich background in training others in Original Equipment technology, Keegan has significantly enhanced the service quality and customer experience at McMahon's. His commitment to staying abreast of emerging vehicle technologies, including electric vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems, positions McMahon’s at the forefront of the industry. In this episode… When a customer brings a vehicle to your shop for repair, do they automatically believe you’ll figure out the problem? How do you establish that trust between customers and repair technicians? According to Keegan Wentz from McMahon’s Best-One Tire and Auto Care, a Digital Vehicle Inspection serves as a transparency tool, bridging the knowledge gap between the workshop and the people in the waiting area. A DVI is akin to a vehicle's report card, detailing its condition with supportive photos and videos, enabling customers to see exactly what the technicians see. Using DVIs, Keegan points to McMahon's emphasis on openness, using it to document, recommend, and transmit vehicle information to customers via email or text. Keegan notes that it’s part of a broader commitment to professionalism in the automotive industry, aiming to combat its negative reputation by fostering trust and transparency, one customer at a time. On this episode of Gain Traction, Keegan joins Mike Edge to discuss the importance of establishing trust between the repair technicians and customers — and utilizing technology to build that trust. Keegan reveals his method for maintaining a lean and efficient operation while recognizing deficiencies in his team’s process and fixing or improving them. He talks about the value of technological advancements in tire and auto repair and goals for his company moving forward. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Keegan Wentz shares how he got started in the automotive industry When Keegan became interested in technologyPutting McMahon’s Best-One Tire and Auto Care at the forefront of technological advancements in auto repairThe methodology Keegan uses for implementing and maintaining a lean, efficient operationHow deficiencies are recognized and improved at McMahon’sKeegan’s goals for McMahon’s moving forward Resources mentioned in this episode: Keegan Wentz on LinkedInMcMahon's Best-One TireDon Detore on LinkedInKim McMahon on LinkedInKaizenThe 5S methodAutoflowMike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Camaraderie and Passion on Full Display at the 2023 SEMA Trade Show With Mike Edge of Tread Partners
10-11-2023
Camaraderie and Passion on Full Display at the 2023 SEMA Trade Show With Mike Edge of Tread Partners
Don Detore is the Editor of Tire Business, an industry trade magazine published by Crain Communications, and has over 35 years of journalism experience. Geoff Doster is the President of Linglong Tires, spearheading the brand’s North American growth initiatives. George Kingman is the Founder of Advanced Shop Leadership, a group of consultants focused on improving financials, team culture, training, customer experience, and operational excellence. Greg Draper is in charge of purchasing at Dunlap & Kyle Tire Company, a tire distribution company who sells to wholesalers and resellers. Jordan Swerdloff is the Founder of ADV.1 Wheels, and Chief Of Design and Partner at 4PLAY Wheels, making industry leading wheels specifically for trucks. Melanie White is the CEO of Hellwig Products, a part of her family for four generations, and is the SEMA Chairman-elect. Michael Mathis is the President of Atturo Tire, a niche brand of private-label tires for the SUV, crossover and 4x4 market. Robert “Sonny” McDonald is Sr. National Training Manager at Toyo Tires, where he has worked for more than 20 years. He previously served as an aircraft maintenance specialist in the US Air Force. Troy Coughlin Jr. is the Vice President of JEGS High Performance. He is a retired drag racer and three-time champion of the Pro Mod class. Wade Kawasaki is Executive Chairman of The Wheel Group and has started and built multiple aftermarket companies. In this episode… The Specialty Equipment Market Association hosts an annual exposition event. The 2023 SEMA Trade Show was the pinnacle event in the automotive aftermarket industry, drawing thousands of key buyers and decision-makers who were eager to engage with exhibitors.  Participants value the SEMA Trade Show for the unparalleled networking opportunities it provides, facilitating business expansion within a vibrant community. The chairman-elect, Melanie White, highlights the show's growth and SEMA's crucial role in advocating for automotive rights, such as the right to work on one's own vehicle, which resonates deeply with small business owners. SEMA not only represents the largest assembly of small businesses worldwide but also a bulwark protecting the interests of the automotive community. On this special episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge attends the annual SEMA Trade Show in Las Vegas, where he speaks with ten participants who discuss the value of the trade show, their appreciation for SEMA as an association, and the focus of their respective automotive businesses. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Don Detore talks about what the SEMA trade show means to the Tire Business publicationWhat makes SEMA valuable to 26-year industry veteran Geoff Doster?George Kingman describes clients’ improved work-life balance after receiving coaching from Advanced Shop LeadershipWhy coming to the trade show is important for Greg Draper to thrive in his role as a purchasing managerJordan Swerdloff reacts to winning the 2023 New Product of the Year award in the wheel categoryMelanie White shares how her great grandfather founded Hellwig Products in 1946The SEMA trade show is the biggest gathering of small business owners and executives in the worldThe brand-new tire Michael Mathis and Atturo Tires introduced at SEMARobert “Sonny” McDonald discusses how SEMA promotes the aftermarketTroy Coughlin Jr. discusses the types of products available at JEGS.comWade Kawasaki describes the crowd and overall vibe at the SEMA trade show Resources mentioned in this episode: Don Detore on LinkedInTire BusinessGeoff Doster on LinkedInLinglong TireGeorge Kingman on LinkedInAdvanced Shop LeadershipGreg Draper on LinkedInDunlap & Kyle on FacebookJordan Swerdloff on LinkedInADV.1Melanie White on LinkedInHellwig ProductsMichael Mathis on LinkedInAtturo TiresRobert “Sonny” McDonald on LinkedInToyo TiresJEGS High PerformanceWade Kawasaki on LinkedInThe Wheel GroupSEMA 2023 RecapSEMA 2024Mike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Recognizing the Good and Fixing the Bad With Randy O’Connor of Dealer to Dealer Development Group
08-11-2023
Recognizing the Good and Fixing the Bad With Randy O’Connor of Dealer to Dealer Development Group
Randy O'Connor is the Owner of Dealer to Dealer (D2D) Development Group, which offers financial and operational consulting for the independent tire and auto service market in North America. The company's primary offering is a business growth strategy rooted in peer-to-peer networks, specifically the 20 Group format. Randy's strength lies in strategic analysis and process improvement. Drawing from varied roles across diverse industries, he's distinguished himself as an adept operator, crafting long-term solutions for sustained positive outcomes. In this episode… Tire and auto repair shops seem to face increasing difficulty in the way they set up their employee pay structure. As a result, it becomes challenging to explain why an entry-level employee is being paid a certain amount when he or she can drive for Amazon at a higher rate. Does this problem have an easy solution? According to Randy O’Connor, from Dealer to Dealer Development Group, the situation has been complicated. If you can't explain a pay plan in a matter of five to 10 seconds, Randy says, it's not the right pay plan. People have to understand what and how they're getting paid. Commissions should be administered appropriately for general service workers and tire technicians, he suggests, offering accountability for quick work and professional inspections — not for selling oil filters and alignments, commissions that should be reserved for sales pros. On this episode of Gain Traction, Neal Maier welcomes Randy for a conversation regarding the latest trends in the tire and auto repair industry. They talk about both the positives and the negatives, with suggestions for fixing the latter. Randy emphasizes the importance and value of a professional inspection to both the customer and the shop, and he discusses the customer experience advantage independents have over large chains. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Randy O’Connor provides an update on tire industry developments based on recent dataHow base cost is increasing compared to payroll cost in the tire and auto repair industryRandy discusses the importance of accurately explaining a pay plan to an entry-level applicant What is a reasonable incentive-based pay plan for tire technicians and general service employees?How the auto industry could improve its professional inspection processWhy independent tire and auto repair shops always have a customer experience advantage over large chains Randy shares how The One Minute Manager is a helpful book for anyone in leadership Resources mentioned in this episode: Randy O’Connor on LinkedInDealer to Dealer Development GroupThe One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson Neal Maier on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Reacting to Changes in the Marketplace With Michael Chung of Auto Care Association
01-11-2023
Reacting to Changes in the Marketplace With Michael Chung of Auto Care Association
Michael Chung is the Senior Director of Market Intelligence at Auto Care Association, where he spearheads market research initiatives for the automotive aftermarket sector. He plays a pivotal role in keeping industry members informed about market trends, primarily through monthly content, the promotion of a comprehensive industry data platform, and the publication of an annual factbook. Before joining the association, Michael co-led a market research consultancy, focusing on client relationships and strategic planning. Outside of his corporate responsibilities, he also serves as an adjunct professor, teaching environmental health and water quality to Master of Public Health students. In this episode… The tire and auto repair industry has recently encountered some unwelcome marketplace changes: Inflation has increased, interest rates have been hiking up, the cost of capital has risen, and the pandemic led to supply chain issues that have persisted to this day. How does that impact the price of goods and services? Is it all being passed along to the customer? The Auto Care Association has conducted a member survey, according to Market Intelligence Director Michael Chung, asking executive-level managers about excess inventory, inventory management, and price changes. They found that product, customer, and market strategies have shifted quite a bit over the past several years and some had to find different suppliers. Stocking up on key and critical input materials has been common, Michael says, along with the diversification of supply sources. On this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge welcomes Michael to chat about the strategic shifts executives and managers in the tire and auto industry have made as a result of increased interest rates, inflation, and supply chain difficulties. Michael shares some key takeaways from a recent survey which revealed changes in consumer driving habits and frequency of service. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Michael Chung discusses his background as an environmental engineer and how he started working at the Auto Care AssociationWho the Auto Care Association advocates forHow Michael is working to educate lawmakers on issues pertaining to Right to RepairWhy competition is healthy for those in the tire and auto industryMichael lists some benefits of membership with the Auto Care AssociationKey takeaways from a a member survey regarding the impact of inflation, rising interest rates, cost of capital, and supply chain challenges Resources mentioned in this episode: Michael Chung on LinkedIn Auto Care AssociationRight to RepairGiorgio Andonian on LinkedInFOCUS Investment Banking  Mike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
The Importance of Trust From Tire Dealers and Customers With Cody Lang of Tire Solutions
25-10-2023
The Importance of Trust From Tire Dealers and Customers With Cody Lang of Tire Solutions
Cody Lang is Vice President of Sales at Tire Solutions. He embarked on his journey in the tire industry from a young age, inspired by his father's passion for the trade. From playful childhood memories of "playing tire store" with Matchbox cars to overcoming challenges as a young salesperson in a seasoned industry, Cody’s dedication is evident. His proudest achievement is contributing to the growth of Tire Solutions, a startup that began in 2010 with only five employees and has since flourished, boasting a team of 35 today. In this episode… If you are a relatively-small family-owned tire business, how do you compete against and differentiate yourself from larger, corporate-owned competition? According to Cody Lang, Tire Solutions takes a different approach to its business by placing a primary focus on the customer experience. When you pay a visit to one of its locations, in the conference room, you’ll see one thing written across the top of the board: “we can be the best in the world at relationships.” And in today's market, Cody says, it's not just all about tires. He knows there's a lot of big businesses out there, and the amount of small businesses is decreasing, but he believes many people desire to support small businesses above purchasing a product for its price alone. On this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge visits with Cody about the challenges faced by small business owners in the tire and auto repair industry and the possible ways to overcome them. He discusses the importance of trust in a shop’s relationship with both customers and tire dealers and why going above and beyond can have great value. Cody also explains why offering an additional warranty at no cost to the customer can instill confidence in a product. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Cody Lang describes the makeup of his Tire Solutions team and how it stacks up against similar entitiesWhy going above and beyond for the customer can have tremendous valueHow Cody anticipates his brand expanding in the near futureWhat tire brands does Tire Solutions offer its customers?Why it’s important for a shop to gain trust from tire dealersCody tells a funny story about being drenched by an exploding radiator hose before an important sales dinner Resources mentioned in this episode: Cody Lang on LinkedInTire Solutions Giorgio Andonian on LinkedIn Sonny McDonald on LinkedInMike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
The Value of a Long-Term Exit Strategy With Giorgio Andonian of FOCUS Investment Banking
18-10-2023
The Value of a Long-Term Exit Strategy With Giorgio Andonian of FOCUS Investment Banking
Giorgio Andonian is the Managing Director at FOCUS Investment Banking. Since joining the company in 2019, he has been instrumental in guiding mergers, acquisitions, recapitalizations, and capital raises for middle-market businesses in the Consumer and Automotive Aftermarket sectors. Prior to FOCUS, Giorgio served as vice president of 55 Inc. in Southern California and has held other roles in the tire industry spanning finance, operations, and supply chain management. He holds a MBA from Pepperdine University and several professional licenses including Series 79, Series 82, and Series 63. In this episode… Are you considering selling your tire and auto repair shop in the near future, or maybe the distant future? How far in advance should you begin planning your exit? According to Giorgio Andonian from FOCUS Investment Banking, it’s never too early to start taking the necessary steps because these transactions often take longer than expected. Giorgio says his company recently played a part in a sale that took three years to complete due to the advanced maturity of the tire industry. Among the questions to start considering now: Are you a C Corp or an S Corp? Are you charging yourself fair-market rent? What will management look like when you are no longer the owner? On this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge welcomes Giorgio for a conversation about the many aspects of selling a tire and auto repair shop. He explains why it’s important to know what type of corporation you are, why you should start planning for a potential sale with your accountants years in advance, and the considerations associated with ownership of the property where the shop is located. Giorgio also talks about what he learned while working at his family’s Discount Tire Centers. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Growing up in the tire business as a small childHow Giorgio Andonian became involved in his family business,  Discount Tire Centers of Southern California, as an adultWhy Giorgio’s inventory management experience in the tire industry has paid off with FOCUS Investment Banking Pep Boys’ acquisition of 25 of Giorgio’s family’s 50 Discount Tire Center locationHow Giorgio and his father more than doubled annual retail revenue after scaling down to two locationsWhat precipitated Giorgio’s transition into investment banking?Advice to shop owners who are considering selling their business Resources mentioned in this episode: Giorgio Andonian on LinkedInFOCUS Investment BankingMichael McGregor on LinkedInMike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
A Reporter’s Journey From Covering Sports to Tires With Don Detore of Tire Business
11-10-2023
A Reporter’s Journey From Covering Sports to Tires With Don Detore of Tire Business
Don Detore is the Editor of Tire Business, an industry trade magazine published by Crain Communications. Before this, he began his tenure at Rubber & Plastics News in March 2013 as a copy editor and was later promoted to managing editor. With over 35 years in journalism, Don has held significant roles at The Repository in Canton, including sports editor, managing editor, and executive editor. He holds a bachelor's degree in communication arts from Walsh University. In this episode… When you grow up as a sports fan and eventually become a sports reporter — getting paid to cover historic NFL games, including all-time great basketball players like LeBron James — could you possibly enjoy a job where you write about tires? According to Don Detore, who spent over 25 years covering sports for Ohio newspapers before transitioning to writing for tire industry publications, the answer is a definite "yes." Since changing direction, Don says he has immersed himself in the industry and fallen in love with it. According to Don, covering the tire industry is fun, interesting, and entertaining mainly because of his relationships with people who have become friends for life. On this episode of Gain Traction, Don joins Mike Edge​​ to talk about going from covering sports and Hall of Fame athletes to writing about the tire industry. Don takes Mike on his career journey with fascinating stories about constantly trying to get an interview with Fran Tarkenton, being on the field during John Elway's legendary 98-yard drive against the Browns, and a crazy situation he witnessed on the road with a team. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Don Detore discusses covering LeBron James as a sports reporter in OhioHow an interview with Fran Tarkenton changed Don’s image of his childhood heroWhy Don and his wife named their first dog WebsterDon shares how he transitioned from the newspaper industry to writing and editing for tire publicationsWhat are Don and his team at Tire Business currently working on?Don reveals the hit TV show where his mentor’s daughter was a star Resources mentioned in this episode: Don Detore on LinkedIn Tire Business The Repository in CantonWebster SlaughterRubber NewsLance Bullock on LinkedInMike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Truth and Transparency in the Tire Industry With Frank Frattale of Trimax Tire-Maxon International
04-10-2023
Truth and Transparency in the Tire Industry With Frank Frattale of Trimax Tire-Maxon International
Frank Frattale is the Director of Sales at Trimax Tire-Maxon International. With a rich history in the automotive industry, Frank has honed his skills in management, account management, sales, strategic planning, and business development. He is an accomplished sales professional, having previously worked for Fury Tires, NAMA Tires Inc. and NEXEN TIRE. In this episode… How do you build long-term partnerships or relationships with customers? Treat them the way you’d like to be treated. According to Trimax Tire-Maxon International’s Frank Frattale, that starts with respect and complete transparency. Many distributors tend to shy away from telling the truth for fear of losing a customer, but Frank says customers respect and appreciate honesty and will stay loyal — even after receiving bad news — if they know you’re being transparent with them. On this episode of Gain Traction, Frank joins Neal Maier and Matt Peters for a conversation about treating customers in a way that encourages them to partner with you in good times and bad. Frank talks about the importance of transparency and the benefits that can come from it. He discusses his thirty-year journey in the auto and tire industry and shares valuable advice crucial to his success. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Frank Frattale talks about his entry into the auto industryWhy Frank transitioned from selling wheels to selling tiresWhich brands does Trimax Tire-Maxon International import and distribute?How the recent industry struggle with production and shipping affected Frank’s approach to working with customersWhy complete transparency is an effective method of communication in the tire businessFrank reveals the best advice he’s ever received Resources mentioned in this episode: Frank Frattale on LinkedInTrimax Tire-Maxon International Parnelli JonesNeal Maier on LinkedIn Matt Peters on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Profits and Product Performance Produce Partnerships With Scott Weeden of Barnwell House of Tires
27-09-2023
Profits and Product Performance Produce Partnerships With Scott Weeden of Barnwell House of Tires
Scott Weeden is the Vice President of Sales at Barnwell House of Tires. With over two decades in the trucking industry, he previously managed his own freight company and oversaw the New York City market for a commercial tire manufacturer. In his position at Barnwell, Scott has cultivated a team of 22 sales representatives, leading to a 60% increase in revenue. Additionally, he serves on the Tire Industry Association board, contributing to the safety of tire technicians, drivers, and pedestrians. In this episode… How do you convince potential clients that it’s worth partnering with your company? According to Scott Weeden, who leads the sales team at Barnwell House of Tires, it starts with an efficient process and eliminating mistakes in the transaction paperwork — after that it comes down to the performance of your product. Scott says a refined process combined with reliable product performance drives profits, resulting in partnerships. On this episode of Gain Traction, Scott talks to Mike Edge about what makes a shop attractive to potential clients. He explains what it means to provide reliable and exceptional service, offer a mistake-free transaction process, ensure product performance, drive profits, and gain partnerships. Lastly, Scott shares a crazy story about a memorable experience with a customer and discusses some classic movie scenes. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Scott Weeden talks about growing up in SeattleHow Scott began to work at Barnwell House of TiresScott provides insight on some of his major accomplishments in the tire industryWhat sets Barnwell apart from others in the industry?Scott’s story about an intimidating experience he had with a customerWhich scenes from Glengarry Glen Ross and The Usual Suspects are Scott’s all-time favorites? Resources mentioned in this episode: Scott Weeden BiographyBarnwell House of TiresKevin Gorman on LinkedInJimmy Gorman on LinkedInMason Hess on LinkedIn Purcell Tire and Service Centers Mike Edge on LinkedInTread Partners Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.
Looking Back on 100 Episodes With Neal Maier, David Christopher, and Mike Edge of Tread Partners
20-09-2023
Looking Back on 100 Episodes With Neal Maier, David Christopher, and Mike Edge of Tread Partners
Neal Maier and David Christopher are Co-founders of Tread Partners, a digital marketing agency focused on using SEO, marketing, and branding to help tire companies and auto-repair shops grow and thrive. Neal was previously a Partner at 3VE and COO of TexTivia, which rebranded into 3VE. He has worked for multiple automotive companies such as Autoshop Solutions and Auto Pro To Call. David was previously a Partner at 3VE and the Founder of TexTivia, which rebranded into 3VE. He has over 20 years of experience owning and operating businesses, including his own family’s auto repair shop. Mike Edge is in business development at Tread Partners. He has had a lengthy career in his field, having previously been the Owner and Business Development expert for Resource Connection, Inc., Director of Business Development at Upright Communications, and Owner of T.M. Edge, Inc. In this episode… When Neal Maier, David Christopher, and Mike Edge from Tread Partners first decided to do a podcast featuring guests from the tire and auto repair industry, Neal says they never imagined they’d make it to their 100th episode — especially since it took what seemed like forever to land their first guest. But after a little trial and error, dozens of Zoom calls, and all kinds of interesting and informative conversations, they are now in a position to look back on 100 episodes of Gain Traction! On this 100th episode of Gain Traction, Neal, David and Mike join Rise25’s Chad Franzen to reminisce about some of their most memorable podcast interviews. They discuss what they enjoy most about hosting the show and the relationships they’ve built. They also look back on valuable information and insights they’ve received from guests on topics such as sales, culture, training, tire and repair legislation, and having fun at work. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Mike Edge, David Christopher and Neal Maier each share what they most enjoy about hosting Gain TractionMike looks back on a particularly funny story heard during one of his interviewsThe longest amount of time Neal and a guest have spent talking before hitting the record buttonDavid highlights the importance of Right to Repair and tire registration for anyone in the industryThe most important criteria for being an effective salesman Why culture eats strategy for lunchHow often Neal learns something new from a guest, despite having worked for decades in the industry  Resources mentioned in this episode: Neal Maier on LinkedInDavid Christopher on LinkedInMike Edge on LinkedInTread PartnersRobert “Sonny” McDonald on LinkedInRandy O’Connor on LinkedInRoy Littlefield on LinkedInMarc Pons on LinkedInRon Dolan on LinkedInKim McMahon on LinkedInJoe McDonald on LinkedInJared Kugel on LinkedInJason Rook on LinkedInLance Bullock on LinkedInAngie Oleson on LinkedInKent Coleman on LinkedInLarry Sutton on LinkedInJudd Shader on LinkedInMichael Mathis on LinkedInTim Winkeler on LinkedInJarid Lundeen on LinkedIn Chad Franzen on LinkedInRise25 Sponsor for this episode... This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.  At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.  By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays. We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.  So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.treadpartners.com or email info@treadpartners.com to learn more.