“It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.”

– Henry Ford

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Let’s face it, interest rates are at an all time low and demand is at an all time high.  However, all business is cyclical and now is the time to start preparing for changes in the market.  Already the average customer is more knowledgeable and looking to buy in the most time-efficient way possible.

This change alone has caused dealers to look outside of their comfort zone.  The problem is that the industry is not adapting.  This is why big companies like Tesla, Google, and Apple pose such a threat.  They understand today’s customer and are already consulting with automotive experts, looking to enter the market.

During this time of success, we face the most dangerous time of all.  Dealers are getting comfortable.  This is exactly what I have been trying to convey to my team for the past couple of months.  As Paragon continues to breaks records we are also continuing to push for more.  We are being relentless.

We need to push, to go from being good to being great, and this drive does not end when we break a record.  We never sit back and say we are there; we never tire.  Being relentless is the only way to break through barriers and stand out from the crowd. We need to exploit every change we face as an opportunity to achieve more.

  This is a proud moment for the Paragon Acura team.  After just two days in the showroom the team has officially sold one of the first 2017 Acura NSXs in New York.  This super-car highlights the best of what Acura has to offer while paying homage to the old classic.  The future is here and we are privileged to be a part of it.

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“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”-Albert Einstein

In any industry it is important to know the community you serve.

This is why Jason Graciano, the General Sales Manager at Paragon Honda, appears on the WABC radio show, Living Better with Laura Smith, every month.  This gives anyone the chance to call and directly ask any questions related to the car business without the pressure of buying.

Just like Apple we want our customers to be well informed on what’s going on in the industry so they are better able to interact with our product.  We are the experts on cars and we want to share our knowledge with the customer no matter where they buy.  The more we communicate with the community we serve the better our relationship.

[Click Here to Listen to the Podcast]

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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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