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Gain Traction

Business & Economics Podcasts

The Gain Traction podcast features top automotive entrepreneurs and experts and shares their inspiring stories.

Location:

United States

Description:

The Gain Traction podcast features top automotive entrepreneurs and experts and shares their inspiring stories.

Language:

English


Episodes

Tread Carefully: Ensuring Roadside Safety With David Bennett of AAA

4/10/2024
David Bennett, Repair Systems Manager at AAA, brings over 37 years of dedicated service to the company. Originally from the Washington DC area, David's career journey began at a young age, marked by early experiences as a paperboy, at a gas station, and in food service. His passion for automotive work ignited during high school, where he received vocational training and honed his skills, laying the foundation for a successful career in the industry. In this episode… The vast majority of adults in the US own a vehicle, but are they paying attention to the most important maintenance elements? Which often-overlooked parts of a vehicle specifically require proactive attention for safe driving? According to David Bennett of AAA, tire maintenance is of paramount importance. Drawing from his extensive experience in the automotive industry, David highlights the alarming frequency of tire-related issues among vehicles he has inspected. He emphasizes the critical need for regular tire care, noting AAA's role in promoting roadside safety. Through AAA's network of approved auto repair facilities and roadside assistance services, its members gain access to reliable resources for addressing tire-related emergencies and ensuring safer travel experiences. On this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge welcomes David to discuss the importance of automotive education and tire maintenance. David's journey from working at McDonald's and a gas station to becoming a Repair Systems Manager highlights the value of vocational training and hands-on experience in the automotive industry. He cites alarming statistics revealing widespread issues related to tire maintenance. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: Resources mentioned in this episode: David Bennett on LinkedInAmerican Automobile AssociationNational Air and Space MuseumBureau of Engraving and PrintingMike 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.

Duration:00:33:21

Empowering Employees for Success With Baker Ghanim of Tire Store Service Center and oTo Solutions

4/3/2024
Baker Ghanim is the President of Tire Store Service Center in Bedford, Texas. Under his leadership, Tire Store Service Center opened nine locations in its first 10 years, with a goal of ultimately opening 50. Baker is also the Founder of oTo Solutions, where customers can easily order tires online. With his background in business management and customer service, Baker is dedicated to providing top-notch services and solutions to clients. In this episode… In a rapidly evolving automotive sales and service landscape, innovative management techniques can empower employees and unlock unprecedented levels of success. According to Baker Ghanim, empowering employees by treating them as store owners fosters a strong sense of ownership and responsibility within them. Implementing performance-based pay and involving managers in decision-making processes leads to increased engagement, loyalty, and accountability among employees. This strategy not only enhances employee satisfaction, but also translates into better customer service and overall business performance, as employees are motivated to excel in ensuring the success of their respective stores. On this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge talks with Baker about fostering a sense of ownership among employees in the tire industry. They delve into empowering managers, referencing stores by their names, and the benefits of this approach. Additionally, they discuss Baker's entrepreneurial journey, insights from Kent Coleman's book, It’s Not About the Mangos, and the innovative solution for independent tire dealers, oTo Solutions. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: It’s Not About the Mangos Resources mentioned in this episode: Baker Ghanim on LinkedInTire Store Service CenteroTo SolutionsIt’s Not About the Mangos 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.

Duration:00:25:08

From Food to Tires: A Customer Service Journey With Brooke Johnson of McMahon's Best-One Tire

3/27/2024
Brooke Johnson is a dedicated Customer Service Representative at McMahon's Best-One Tire. With a prior background in the food industry which spanned a decade, Brooke brings a refreshing perspective to her role, marked by honesty and a strong work ethic. Despite her initial unfamiliarity with the tire industry, Brooke's commitment to learning and serving customers has made her an invaluable asset over her three-year tenure. In this episode… Is it necessary to be a lifelong “car person” in order to provide outstanding customer service in the tire and auto repair industry? Is it possible for a novice with a strong work ethic to learn about tires through experience? Brooke Johnson's journey exemplifies resilience and adaptability in the face of career change. Transitioning from the demanding food industry to McMahon's Best-One Tire, Brooke was undeterred, committed to personal growth and connecting with customers. Through proactive initiatives like digital vehicle inspections, Brooke ensures transparency and trust with customers, empowering them to make informed decisions about their vehicle maintenance. On this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge welcomes Brooke to reflect on her journey from novice to proficient in tire sales. They explore her honest interview, which has led to a fulfilling role at McMahon's. Brooke reflects on similarities between industries and her skills that recently led to her promotion to store manager, as well as McMahon’s proactive approach to customer service and supportive workplace culture. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: Resources mentioned in this episode: McMahon’s Best-One TireOlivia Newton-JohnMike 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.

Duration:00:21:33

Navigating Auto Repairs With Empathy With Lee McWilliams of Midas

3/20/2024
Lee McWilliams is the store manager for Midas in Eden Prairie, Minn., where he oversees a customer service team in the automotive repair industry. With a keen understanding of the pivotal role customer interaction plays, Lee emphasizes the importance of empathy and adaptability in his role. Raised in a family where small-town values translated to warm customer service, Lee learned the art of building rapport with customers early on, making it easier to navigate conversations and provide effective solutions, whether it's a brand-new BMW owner or someone with a trusty truck of 30 years. In this episode… Customer service, especially in the auto repair industry, can be a draining and difficult job. Customers are never happy when their vehicle has a problem that needs a potentially pricey fix. With these challenging interactions, it’s important to uphold the right attitude According to Lee McWilliams of Midas, maintaining empathy while providing customer service is of paramount importance. Lee stresses the need to build rapport with customers, regardless of their background or vehicle type, by asking questions and communicating in layman's terms. He emphasizes that customer retention is most often driven by fostering trust and providing quality service. On this episode of Gain Traction, Lee joins Mike Edge to discuss the crucial role of customer service in the auto repair industry. Lee emphasizes the need for empathy when dealing with customers, especially considering financial constraints and anxiety surrounding auto repairs. He shares insights on building rapport, educating customers, and the significance of customer retention. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: Resources mentioned in this episode: Midas Eden PrairieRobert “Sonny” McDonald on LinkedInToyo TiresCody Lang on LinkedInTire SolutionsMike 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.

Duration:00:25:12

Keys to Customer Engagement With Jason Widmer of AAA Auto Repair and Darren McLea of DJM Solutions

3/13/2024
Darren McLea is a tire sales trainer and the Founder of DJM Solutions, specializing in tire sales, repairs, and elevating the customer experience within the tire and auto repair industry. With a passion for fostering growth in automotive businesses, Darren provides comprehensive sales and operational training while delivering consistent coaching feedback. His dedication lies in helping business owners forge enduring connections with both employees and customers, ultimately fostering loyal long-term relationships and increasing tire sales. Previously, Darren was the Executive Vice President of McLea’s Tire and Automotive Service before selling the 41-year-old business to AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah. Jason Widmer of AAA Auto Repair brings a unique blend of comedic flair and intuitive sensitivity to his role. Jason has mastered the art of connecting with customers whether they walk in feeling downtrodden or jubilant. His ability to read situations and body language allows him to effortlessly strike up conversations and lift spirits, turning routine interactions into memorable experiences. With a keen sense of timing and a gift for knowing when humor is and isn’t appropriate, Jason creates a welcoming atmosphere where customers feel understood and appreciated. In this episode… Maintaining a positive demeanor plays a vital role in customer service and effective communication, particularly within the automotive industry. How do seasoned professionals approach interactions with unhappy customers? From personal experience, Jason Widmer and Darren McLea have learned how humor and adaptability can be powerful tools in navigating stressful scenarios with customers. They underscore the significance of establishing rapport and finding common ground with customers to enhance their overall experience. Additionally, Jason and Darren emphasize the impact of positivity on team morale and productivity, and highlight the importance of not allowing negative encounters with customers to dampen future interactions. On this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge welcomes Jason and Darren to discuss the importance of maintaining positivity in customer service. Drawing from their extensive experience, they share anecdotes illustrating how utilizing humor and building rapport can enhance customer interactions. The conversation also touches on practical strategies for handling challenging customer encounters and the value of finding common ground with customers. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: Resources mentioned in this episode: Jason Widmer on LinkedInDarren McLea on LinkedIn DJM Solutions AAA 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.

Duration:00:26:46

Nurturing Organizational Cohesion and Camaraderie With Walter Lybeck of Point S Tire

3/6/2024
Walter Lybeck is the CEO of Point S Tire and Auto Service. Originally from McMinnville, Oregon, growing up in a tight-knit community instilled in Walter a strong work ethic from a young age, starting with his first paying job mowing lawns. His path eventually led him through various roles in the service industry, including a memorable stint at Burger King. Though he initially stumbled into the tire industry by chance during a housing downturn, Walter found himself drawn to the dynamic challenges and opportunities it presents. In this episode… Company culture has taken center stage when it comes to the overall value, reputation, and desirability of a workplace. In reality, how important is that culture and camaraderie to the value of a tire business? According to Walter Lybeck, a supportive work culture and tight-knit community have proven to be invaluable for Point S Tire. His commitment to creating a familial atmosphere among team members reflects not only in his leadership style, but also in the strong bonds formed within the organization. By prioritizing collaboration, mutual respect, and a shared sense of purpose, Walter has proven that an emphasis on building relationships and camaraderie among employees can have a profound impact on employee morale, productivity, and overall organizational cohesion. On this episode of Gain Traction, Walter joins Mike Edge to discuss the importance of company culture. Walter shares how to engender a familial closeness among team members and how those efforts have paid off, both day-to-day and in the big picture. He also discusses his accidental journey into the tire industry and why he’s happy it happened, and recalls an embarrassing story as a testament to poise under pressure. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: Resources mentioned in this episode: Walter Lybeck on LinkedInPoint S TireRon Dolan on LinkedInSailun Tire AmericasMike 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.

Duration:00:33:06

Secrets of Exceptional Service With Cristol Duke and Heather Langdon of Gerald's Tires & Brakes

2/28/2024
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: 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.

Duration:00:22:40

Generational Wisdom and Customer Focus With Clint and Clay Watts of Gerald's Tires & Brakes

2/21/2024
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: 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.

Duration:00:24:50

Exceptional Tires, Equal Treatment With Charles Vickery of Beggs Tire & Wheel

2/14/2024
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: Resources mentioned in this episode: Beggs Tire & Wheel Prineville, OregonLes SchwabDanny Smith on LinkedInSame Day Auto Repair and Tire ProsMike 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.

Duration:00:19:50

Work Experience Must Be Rewarding and Fun: Danny Smith of Same Day Auto Repair

1/31/2024
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: Resources mentioned in this episode: Danny Smith on LinkedInSame 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.

Duration:00:32:57

Shaping Pros Through Innovative Training With Scott Blair of T.R.A.C.K. Auto Training and Network

1/24/2024
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: Resources mentioned in this episode: Scott Blair on LinkedInT.R.A.C.K. Auto Training and NetworkThe Wheel FitMike 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.

Duration:00:23:17

Tires, Tears, and Triumphs: A 25-Year Odyssey With Jeff Mullersman of ATTURO Tires

1/17/2024
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: Resources mentioned in this episode: Jeff Mullersman on LinkedInATTURO TiresHunt Demarest 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.

Duration:00:32:52

Realities of the Tire Business With Hunt Demarest of Paar, Melis & Associates

1/3/2024
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: Resources mentioned in this episode: Hunt Demarest on LinkedInPaar, Melis & AssociatesTodd Hayes on LinkedInJoe Adams on LinkedInGlenn Piccolo on LinkedInAdams AutomotiveAutoShop AnswersMike 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.

Duration:00:31:53

How To Create a $6m Store With a Great Winning Culture With Todd Hayes, Joe Adams and Glenn Piccolo

12/20/2023
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: Resources mentioned in this episode: Todd Hayes on LinkedInJoe Adams on LinkedInGlenn Piccolo on LinkedInAuto Shop AnswersAdams 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.

Duration:00:39:59

A Personal Support System for Independent Auto Shops With George Kingman of Advanced Shop Leadership

12/6/2023
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: 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.

Duration:00:30:52

Optimizing Performance by Committing to Staff Development With Charles Mesones of Cook’s Tire & Service

11/29/2023
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: Atomic Habits 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.

Duration:00:30:49

Using Technology To Establish Customer Trust With Keegan Wentz, President of McMahon Tech Center

11/22/2023
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: 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.

Duration:00:24:34

Camaraderie and Passion on Full Display at the 2023 SEMA Trade Show With Mike Edge of Tread Partners

11/10/2023
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: Tire Business 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.

Duration:00:26:03

Recognizing the Good and Fixing the Bad With Randy O’Connor of Dealer to Dealer Development Group

11/8/2023
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: The One Minute Manager Resources mentioned in this episode: Randy O’Connor on LinkedInDealer to Dealer Development GroupThe One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer JohnsonNeal 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.

Duration:00:32:10

Reacting to Changes in the Marketplace With Michael Chung of Auto Care Association

11/1/2023
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: Resources mentioned in this episode: Michael Chung on LinkedInAuto Care AssociationRight to RepairGiorgio Andonian on LinkedInFOCUS Investment BankingMike 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.

Duration:00:35:24