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For years other service providers have stolen business away from dealerships with flexible hours and fast service.  Now is the time to take that business back.

I am proud to announce Paragon Honda’s service center is now open 24-hours.  We’ve seen great success so far with our 24-hour service availability, particularly with EMS workers, city sanitation workers, Uber drivers and taxi drivers. I’m proud that we can be the ones to get them back on the road at 4am so they can do their jobs.  By providing quality service at a better price with more flexible hours we are meeting the different needs of our customers.

In the past it has been a matter of getting your car serviced or missing work.  We don’t think customers should have to make that choice.  If you do what is right for the customer that is ultimately what is best for the dealership.  The time is now to adjust your business models to adapt to the customer while times are good.

Click Here To Learn More 

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Last week I had the privilege of speaking on the John Batchelor Show.  John is someone I truly admire and we had a great discussion on the future of car dealerships and autonomous vehicles. This is a topic I have carried throughout all my previous posts.  The future is here.  We need to take a serious look at Google, Tesla, and Apple to see where the industry is going.  There is no better time to face these changes than now.

Click here to listen to the broadcast.

Ridgeline

The new 2017 Honda Ridgeline is here!  I always get excited when the Honda team comes out with something new.  Honda has gone back to the basics with this new design which is a spin-off of the classic truck.  I have not personally driven the new model but I like the athletic build.  Another win for Honda.

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I always find it fascinating to share in different business philosophies particularly when they are different than my own.  This past week I was honored to host a group of individuals from the top 100 sales consultants in Japan.  In recognition of this accomplishment Honda organized a tour of some of the leading dealerships in the United States.

During their visit I was able to share my business philosophy during a short Q & A following a tour of our state of the art facility.  This was such an incredible opportunity to learn from one another and work together to thrive in our ever evolving industry.  While we both sell the same product the strategies that we use and the culture that we sell to could not be more different.

 

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Congratulations to Mrs. Edith Singer and the entire White Plains Honda team for a record breaking month.  This is truly a milestone that shows the great strides the team has made.

Keep up the good work!

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“This is what customers pay us for – to sweat all these details so it’s easy and pleasant for them…”

-Steve Jobs

In any business it is important to focus on the details; to not only listen to the customer but to anticipate their needs.  In order to maintain a strong relationship, we must not only know our product but also know our customer.

And as each business carries its own set of challenges it is important to identify any areas of improvement.  Paragon Honda’s Queens, NY location has created a unique set of challenges with several blocks separating the service center from the showroom.  This is why the dealership now offers free transportation between buildings.  This small addition will save our customers time and money, and it is often the smallest details that play the biggest role in building a successful relationship.

 

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Paragon Honda has had the privilege of hosting dealers from Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Japan, Australia and many more places over the past several years. I always value these visits, as these visits are always a learning experience for both me and my team.

This time, instead of hosting visiting dealers, I traveled to them.

On Monday evening, I boarded a plane and traveled to Copenhagen to speak at the Confederation of Danish Dealers annual conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Due to the time difference, I landed midday on Tuesday and started a whirlwind schedule.

My two and a half days in Copenhagen were filled with presentation prep, an interview with Mikkel Thomsager, Editor-In-Chief of the Danish business paper Chefredaktør, and a great dinner with the Board of Directors of the conference.

Despite the different country, culture and business model, I found that my presentation message resonated with the over 250 Danish dealers, vendors and business partners in attendance. Both of our auto industries are facing the same challenges, both now and in the immediate future. The time to confront these challenges is now, before it is too late and the next wave of progress is upon us and we are left behind.

It was truly an enjoyable trip, and I’m looking forward to a continuing relationship with the Denmark auto industry.

 

Featured Photo: A copy of the presentation booklet in Danish featuring my image and a quick overview of Paragon Honda.

Photos Below: Left: Just before dinner with the Confederation of Danish Dealers Board of Directors in the wonderful amusement park Trivoli. Middle: A few slides into my presentation in front of 250+ Danish auto personnel. Bottom: Myself standing alongside several Board of Directors with a copy of my gift to them as a token of my gratitude, “Acres of Diamonds.”

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Success is built after the lights off and everyone else has gone home. It’s built in the early morning hours when the rest of the world is asleep. When I want to go home, or when I’m tired and don’t want to get up early, I remember that success is simply outworking everyone else. Promise yourself you will not be outworked.

 

Video link: http://bit.ly/21GP3FY

As many of you know, I am an avid marathon runner. I run several marathons a year, including the London Marathon. This year, I traveled to London with my family several days in advance to get settled and start my pre-marathon routine to ensure I was in top shape.

This year held special significance to me, as this year marked ten years since I ran my first marathon. I ran my first marathon in 2006 and posted an embarrassingly long time: over four hours. Ten years later – and ten years older – and I have shaved more than an hour off my time, and run countless other marathons across the country. Every time I start training for a marathon, I am reminded through all the pain, soreness and stiff muscles and joints how to work hard at something you love.

 

Photos: A mix of pre- and post-race alongside my running partners, as well as a shot during the 26-mile trek.

 

 

A few weeks ago, I was invited to speak at a Honda Grassroots Meeting for Zone 8 by the zone manager. For those who know me and the Paragon dealerships, Zone 8 is not my zone. In fact, it is far from my zone, in the upper Midwest.

 

It’s always a great opportunity to spend time outside of my bubble and see how the rest of the country does business. Brainstorming and sharing knowledge is critical to building each other up, because as Honda dealers we should be allies instead of foes.

 

I was honored that Honda corporate thought that my thoughts and business philosophies would be valuable enough to share with fellow Honda dealers, particularly in a market so different from New York. And yet, the central theme of my presentation was one that affects all dealers across the nation. I believe our industry is under attack in the form of Tesla, Google and Apple. The warning signs are here, and there is no mistaking the direction in which the consumer wants our industry to evolve. That evolution may not include us, the dealer.

 

Hope is not lost. The best part about these warning signs are just that – they are signs, signals of the impending change. We have time to adjust and to adapt before the rain comes. Adjust your business models and adapt to the consumer while times are good.

 

Fix the roof while the sun is shining.

 

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Photo: This photo was taken during the presentation at the beautifully classic Renaissance Blackstone Chicago hotel.