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World’s Greatest Car Salesman, Part 2

How Many Car Salesmen Do You Know Who Give A Car Away Every Year—On Live TV?

How Many Car Salesmen Do You Know Who Give A Car Away Every Year—On Live TV?

The Foundation Has Been Laid… Now It’s Time For HIGH GEAR.
Finishing Up The Innovative Blueprint To Sell 50 Cars A Month.

Written by Rich Harshaw.

Note: This article is part of Monopolize Your Marketplace’s Innovation series. Don’t worry that the topics aren’t directly related to contractor marketing; find ideas that you can run with in your business

Last article I started to lay out a 14-step plan to become the World’s Greatest Car Salesman. It wouldn’t really be that hard to pull off—several core innovation and marketing principles are all that will be required… just a simple execution of the Monopolize Your Marketplace system… innovating, educating, and having some fun.

Let’s review how we started down the path.

Last Issue—Steps 1 through 6
Step 1: What Convinces Is Conviction
Step 2: Understanding The Numbers
Step 3: Introducing The World’s Greatest Car Salesman
Step 4: Build A Case For The Cars
Step 5: Consumer Advocate
Step 6: Relentless Follow Up

Step 7:

As I generate email leads I need a website— (Branding. Branding. Branding.) The site will offer my reports. Some people might already have the reports, so it will include additional information. If they don’t have my reports, when they request them, a prospect form will capture their information and automatically drop them into my hopper system.

On my website I will also create a digital “wall of fame.” Every single person that buys a car from me will have his or her picture taken with me and without me. My assistant will upload every picture onto the website. Before long, social proof that I am indeed the WGCS will be very strong.

Step 8: Joint Ventures

Now let’s get people into the dealership. Joint ventures are a good place to start because you can leverage other people’s contacts and relationships. There are two different kinds of joint ventures I’ll put together. First, I’ll join with local businesses like dentists, lawn guys, accountants, the guy down at Feed Store Barbecue restaurant, and anyone else who has a list of local customers.

On page 239 of the book, Monopolize Your Marketplace, there’s a long, contractor marketing-based sales letter that starts, “If you are even considering building a custom home please read this letter immediately. I want to personally urge you to take immediate action…” I will rewrite it to include the World’s Greatest Car Salesman branding and ask the local businesses to mail it out to their customers. The letter should read conversationally. For example, “I thought he sounded like he was full of manure until I met him. He educates me on this, that and the other, he brought me out to test drive the competition’s cars that he bought on his own nickel, and he treats me like this blah, blah, blah . . .” If you wouldn’t expect a letter like that from your chiropractor or favorite BBQ pit—you’re right. This really isn’t about following standard protocol to sell 50 cars a month. This isn’t hyperbole and fluff—I really am the WGCS.

You can find a template for the second joint venture, customer endorsements, on page 243 of the MYM book. It’s called a “pardon the intrusion” letter. In the same way I reworked the first template as if it were coming from the local businesses, I will rework the intrusion letter to come from my customers. I will put a picture of their new car with them and me in front of it (remember that extra photo I took in step seven?) and I will send it to 25 of each of the customer’s closest neighbors.

My customers will do this for me out of reciprocity because by the time I’m done selling them a car they’re going to be convinced that I’m indeed the World’s Greatest Car Salesman and will do whatever I ask them to do. They will. If you don’t think so, try it yourself sometime.

Step 9: Join The Club

Now that I’ve got two joint ventures in the works—one with customers, one with local businesses—the next step is to create a free club for the people who buy cars from me. While working on the joint ventures in step eight, I’ll round up free offers and discounts for step nine. The club will include both free stuff and discounts from businesses that complement the car itself.

For instance, when you buy a car it comes with the factory stereo—and if you want a cooler one, you take it to a custom stereo shop. How stupid is that? What if I had a brochure at the dealership that reads: “I know the factory-installed stereo is just fine for most people. But 30% of my customers want something a little—or a lot—beefier. If that’s the case, here’s what I can do. I have partnered with ABC Custom Audio Auto to install stereo for my customers prior to the delivery of the car. You’ll pay the exact same prices as if you went there yourself, but you’ll be able to roll it in with your financing.”

Not only will my customers and the custom audio shop benefit, so will the WGCS. If the audio shop agrees to pay the dealership a 15% commission on every stereo sold and if the average price is $1200, $180 goes to the dealership or, in this case, me, the salesman. You can run the calculator to see how quickly this can add up. I could do the same thing for hands-free cell phone kit, custom wheels, tinting, and car alarms. Dealers offers these things but at rip-off prices. Do you think you’d want to be a member of that club? Of course you would.

Step 10: Leverage The Internet

Step ten will generate new leads using pay-per-click advertising. People research cars on the Internet, so why not reach them there? How about an ad that reads, “Camry, Accord, Or Malibu? Free Report Compares All Models So You Can Get The Best Car.” Or, “Thinking About Buying An Accord? Not After You Read This Report You Won’t.” Do you think people in the market for a car will click for that report? Of course, and the people who click for that report are going to be pretty good prospects for me. Naturally, the ads will all lead to my website, Once they go to my website they’ll find even more information, warming them even more for me.

Step 11: Radio Magic

If you’re walking around as the WGCS, you should have your own radio show. That’s the eleventh step. Here’s how I’d do it. I would buy time on Saturday morning AM radio. I’d sell advertising to my joint-venture partners to offset costs. On my own radio show I can say whatever I want. I can be biased and become the de facto expert on the topic of cars. I just want people to hear me on the radio and say, “Oh, I heard him on the radio.” If they didn’t hear me on the radio I’ll tell them, “Oh, I’m on the radio.” My website will say it, my business card will say it, and my credibility will go through the roof. Remember, people always want to deal with an authority on the subject.

Step 12: Mr. Giveaway

In step twelve, the WGCS becomes Mr. Giveaway. From out of the $2,000 a month I put away for promotions, I’ll spend $500 a month giving free stuff to my customers and prospects. Restaurant gift cards, sports and concert tickets, movie tickets. I’ll use some joint-venture stuff! In an email blast I’ll give away two tickets to the Mavericks game. They can claim the tickets by calling my cell number. Surprised I would give out my cell number? I am the WGCS, trying to sell 50 cars a month, month in and out. I had better want people calling me on my cell. When they call me I’ll say, “Oh gosh, John, I just gave those away to Steve. But I’ll tell you what; I’ll put you in line for next time. By the way, you know what? I’ve got a restaurant gift card. Let me give that to you,” or, “Hey, how’s the Camry going?” or “How’s your car, how’s your wife coming along, etc.?” I’ll do this once a week on random days so it doesn’t seem like it’s the same thing every time.

Now these are good giveaways, but they won’t earn me the title of “Mr. Giveaway.” To accomplish that, I’m going to give away a car. I’ll save $1,500 a month for a year and give an $18,000 car away for free… from me, the WGCS. Once a year, I’ll throw a huge customer appreciation barbecue. The Feed Store Barbecue I talked about earlier could cater it, and a few other joint-venture sponsors could help defray the costs (They can set up booths or tables to promote their companies and gain some exposure.) The TV media will eat this up:

World’s Greatest Car Salesman Gives Away Car For Free.

It’s important to give the car to a current customer because I want people to know that if you buy a car from me—the WGCS—then you have a chance to win that car for free. I don’t know any dealerships that give away cars, and I don’t know any manufacturers that give away cars. But there I’ll be—a little old salesman giving away the car on TV. This is the real deal. Over the course of a year I’ll sell 50 cars a month. That’s 600 people a year, not to mention everyone in my hopper system. How many will actually show up to the barbecue? A lot, that’s how many.

Step 13: Referrals Galore

On to step thirteen—a referral program. I’m on TV and the radio, and I’m giving away cars at barbecues. I’ve got reports exposing the industry. I have a website. Now let’s put together a gift-based referral program. Remember, I earn $700 per car, a bit of which goes to marketing. This is what I’m going to spend that bit: a gift to thank customers. A $25 gift card for Chili’s with some M&M’s in the package to give it heft maybe. It just needs to be enough to say thanks and open the door to ask for a referral. My assistant will coordinate this for me. The hopper system will periodically ping customers. When I do get referrals, I’ll send them reports and enter them into my hopper system. It shouldn’t long for the WGCS to get a few referrals. Heck, I might give their friends a new car.

Step 14: Everything Else

The last step isn’t so much a step as it is a catch-all. It all relates to customer experience.

I’m going to have a cubicle just like the other salesmen. I’m not trying to be a prima donna with my own office. Just give me a cubicle where I can hang pictures of my family so that I look like a credible, normal person. I’m also going to have my wall of fame pictures, too. Pictures will be tacked over pictures on my huge bulletin board. People will look at that and say, “My gosh, how many pictures have you got on there?” The answer will be, “A lot.”

I’m going to offer snacks, drinks, and even candy for the kids, and I’m going to pull them out of my own fridge. Customers will see that this guy pulls snacks and drinks out of his own fridge. “Oh, I would hope so,” they’ll think, “He is the World’s Greatest Car Salesman.”

Another way I’ll innovate the customer experience is to set appointments with customers. If I’m going to sell 50 cars, I can’t cram them all into Friday and Saturday. I’m going to have to set appointments during the week.

So… what’s the verdict? WGCS? Close to it? Here’s the point—you can eke out an existence in your business doing things the same old way—or you can have some fun with it, innovate yourself, and shoot for the stars. Either way, you’ll put in the hours and get a paycheck. My vote is to have some fun and get a bigger paycheck for those same hours invested. You might even develop a few raving fans along the way.

FYI, my family and I didn’t get the Cadillac or the Sequoia. 4 months later, I called a car guy I know and bought a Buick Enclave. It’s a nice car—it seats eight—and my wife loves it. I like it, too… enough, in fact, that I just might start selling them. After all, I feel it’s my responsibility to keep all those nice families out there from getting barbequed in a Suburban.


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World’s Greatest Car Salesman, Part 1

It’s Easy To Stand Out In Industries Where Everyone Else Pretty Much Sucks.

It’s Easy To Stand Out In Industries Where Everyone Else Pretty Much Sucks.

Everyone Hates Car Salesmen… And Rightfully So.
Here’s A Blueprint For Selling Cars The Right Way—That People Will LOVE.

Written by Rich Harshaw.

Note: This article is part of Monopolize Your Marketplace’s Innovation series. Don’t worry that the topics aren’t directly related to contractor marketing; find ideas that you can run with in your business.

“You will die in a fiery crash. Beheading is not out of the question.”

Yea, I know. Not a great way to start an article. Also not a great way, it turns out, to sell a car. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what I was told last summer when I was dumb enough to go car shopping.

My wife finally convinced me it was time to trade in her six-year-old Sequoia, and though I avoid dealerships with more gusto than A-Rod avoids urine tests, I packed the wife and six kids into the car and headed to the lots. (Everyone has to come to really, really test roominess.) We set out to test the new Cadillac Escalade and the newly restyled Toyota Sequoia.

First up, at the Cadillac dealership we met the cheesiest salesman—70’s porn moustache, gold chains, chest hair, the works. I told him we were looking for the Cadillac version of the Suburban, a new one. The only word Mr. Crazy Deals heard was “Suburban.” He replied (shocker) he had the perfect one.

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Extreme Makeover—Can You Even Tell What This Ad Is For?

If Your Prospects Have To Guess What You Sell, Then Your Advertisement FAILS.

Guessing Games Are Fun For Children And Game Shows, But Terrible For Advertising. You’ve Got To Take A More Direct Approach!

Written by Rich Harshaw.

Note: This article is part of Monopolize Your Marketplace’s ongoing “Extreme Makeover” series, where Rich Harshaw takes an existing contractor marketing piece that’s not that great… and works his MYM magic on it..

A remodeler recently submitted the following ad to me for feedback and suggestions:


As my brain attempted to process what I was seeing, here were the thoughts/reactions, in order:

  • That green font looks like it’s off the front of a can of Monster Energy Drink.
  • Whatever this is stops bugs, pollen, rain, and wind—it must be some kind of fabric.
  • What’s up with the secret service man? Why is he so angry?
  • Huh?

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Pimp My Ride

When You Make Ordinary, Mundane Things Extraordinary… People Will Notice

Learn To Make The Ordinary Extraordinary And You’ll Make A Fortune. And No, It Doesn’t Have To Have Anything To Do With Your Car.

Note: This article is part of Monopolize Your Marketplace’s ongoing INNOVATION series. Some of the ideas will be specific to construction/contractor marketing; others will not. Use these ideas to spark your imagination as you think of ways to improve your business.

Written by Rich Harshaw

I’ve never been less impressed with a restaurant in my entire life. If you could even call it a restaurant.

Several years ago, an employee and I had just flown cross country for a seminar in San Francisco—something like a 3 ½ or 4 hour flight. Then the luggage shuffle, the taxi cab ride, checking into the hotel, then the blah, blah, blah. We’ve all done it a zillion times, and suffice it to say, I was exhausted and just wanted to get a good meal and catch some shut eye.

Upon checking in, we were informed that the hotel restaurant was closed for some reason, but we could still order room service if we wanted. Maybe it’s just me, but I just can’t ever seem to get rid of the smell of buffalo wings or hamburgers after room service… so we asked about nearby dining options.
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