551 episodes

The car business is rapidly changing and modern car dealers are meeting the demand. Join Michael Cirillo on The Dealer Playbook podcast which features expert interviews, actionable advice, and insights that will help you create a thriving career and life within the retail automotive industry. 

The Dealer Playbook Michael Cirillo

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 117 Ratings

The car business is rapidly changing and modern car dealers are meeting the demand. Join Michael Cirillo on The Dealer Playbook podcast which features expert interviews, actionable advice, and insights that will help you create a thriving career and life within the retail automotive industry. 

    Michael Cirillo, Keynote Speaker at NIADA

    Michael Cirillo, Keynote Speaker at NIADA

    In this episode, host Lou Ramirez and co-host Fred Lennartz, of the popular Car Guy Coffee Podcast, interview special guest Michael Cirillo. It's a big ol' switcheroo!
    Michael, who is the CEO of FlexDealer, an automotive marketing and technology company, will be a featured Keynote Speaker at the 2023 NIADA Accelerate Convention & Expo at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas on June 22nd at 4:00 pm. 
    If there's one thing Michael has learned throughout his many years of experience in the auto industry and hundreds of Dealer Playbook podcast episodes, it's that putting people first is an absolute key to long-term growth and success.
    What We Discuss In This Episode:
    The Power Of Building Relationships Of Trust
    The conversation takes a deep dive into the concept of building relationships of trust. Michael shares how putting people first and prioritizing customer satisfaction can be the key to long-term growth and profitability. By focusing on creating partnerships and fostering trust, dealerships can enhance customer loyalty and attract new business.
    Michael Cirillo: Keynote Speaker At NIADA 2023
    In his address 'The Power of Building Relationships of Trust,' Cirillo will be sharing anecdotes from his visits with dealers and employees in the car business and the lessons he’s picked up along the way. Over the years, Cirillo has witnessed a shift in the industry past the focus of moving metal to growing people, which ultimately leads to desired results.
    "We’re thinking more about people and it’s contributing to profits,” says Cirillo. “But it’s not just 'people;' it's the focus on happy people that is making the biggest difference.”
    Check out the full NIADA feature article here! 
    Visit The FlexDealer Team At NIADA In Las Vegas
    The FlexDealer team will be joining Michael Cirillo at this year's NIADA conference to meet with attendees and discuss today's hottest automotive issues and topics. We'll be there to answer your questions, offer insights and advice, and show off our Flex Tech, not to mention we'll have exclusive offers for NIADA attendees that you won't want to miss—including meet-and-greet opportunities with Michael, live interviews for the Dealer Playbook, and more.
    You'll be able to find us at the NIADA Expo at the Wynn Resort from June 19th to 22nd, 2023. You can register for the conference here to secure your best pricing ahead of this exciting event!
    Listen to the full episode for insights and context from Michael Cirillo! 
    ⭐️ Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your LinkedIn or Instagram handle so we can thank you personally! 
    Thanks, Michael Cirillo!
    Connect with Michael Cirillo
    Connect with Michael on LinkedInMore Dealers Are Choosing To Partner with FlexDealer
    Looking for a reliable, high-performance dealership marketing partner? Visit https://www.flexdealer.com to discover why more and more dealers are choosing them over big-box providers.Join Michael Cirill

    • 34 min
    WB Cavender: Enhancing The Car Shopping Experience

    WB Cavender: Enhancing The Car Shopping Experience

    In this episode Michael Cirillo sits down with WB Cavender, the fourth-generation owner of Cavender Auto Group, at their headquarters. WB shares the story of how he entered the automotive industry and the core values that have driven their family-owned business for over 80 years. They delve into the core principles that drive success in the automotive industry, emphasizing the significance of customer satisfaction and cultural alignment within the organization.
    What We Discuss In The Episode?
    Uncover the personal journey of WB Cavender and the Cavender Auto Group's legacy, engaging listeners with a captivating family business story.Gain insight into the operational focus of a successful dealership, showcasing the drive for continuous improvement and customer-centricity.Explore how Cavender Auto Group goes beyond selling cars, focusing on providing exceptional service and support to customers.Discover the value of thinking like an owner and empowering every team member, regardless of their position, to make a difference.Be inspired by the impact of Cavender Cares, the dealership's philanthropic arm, and their commitment to giving back to the community.Discover how Cavender Auto Group's commitment to helping people sets them apart in the industry. WB shares heartwarming anecdotes of going above and beyond to assist customers, even in challenging situations. From empowering every team member to think like an owner to fostering a culture of giving back through Cavender Cares, their philanthropic arm, WB sheds light on their deep-rooted dedication to their community.
    The episode dives on the value of metrics and data in understanding customer behavior and optimizing sales processes. WB Cavender highlights the importance of training and being knowledgeable about key metrics, but he emphasizes that the ultimate goal is to foster enduring relationships with customers. By prioritizing transparency, understanding customer needs, and ensuring a seamless experience, the numbers naturally fall into place.
    Michael Cirillo and WB Cavender provide invaluable insights into building successful customer relationships and fostering a strong organizational culture. By exploring the interplay between metrics, transparency, cultural alignment, and customer satisfaction, listeners gain a profound understanding of the key factors that drive profitability and business growth. 
    Tune in to this episode of The Dealer Playbook podcast to be inspired by the Cavender Auto Group's dedication to customer care, community impact, and building a lasting legacy in the automotive industry.
    Listen to the full episode for insights and context from WB Cavender! 
    ⭐️ Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your LinkedIn or Instagram handle so we can thank you personally! 
    Thanks, WB Cavender!
    If you enjoyed this episode featuring WB Cavender, support us by clicking the links! 
    Connect with WB Cavender on LinkedInConnect with Michael Cirillo
    Connect with Michael on LinkedInMore Dealers Are Choosing To Partner with FlexDealer
    Looking for a reliable, high-performance dealership marketing partner? Visit https://www.flexdealer.com to discover why more and more dealers are choosing them over big-box providers.

    • 22 min
    Lou Ramirez: Creating a Unified Auto Industry

    Lou Ramirez: Creating a Unified Auto Industry

    Lou Ramirez is the CEO of Solutions at The Certified Solutionaries and co-host of the Car Guy Coffee podcast.
    Discover the layers of their inspiring conversation as they explore the importance of encouraging individuals within the automotive business and eradicating negative stigmas associated with the industry. Lou shares his personal transformation, from a once angry and unapproachable street kid to a beacon of hope and joy.This episode offers a captivating exploration of Lou's journey and his inspiring vision for the automotive industry.
    Uniting the Auto Industry and Empowering the Community
    Lou  explains how his goal is to unify the auto industry and become a voice of hope and upliftment for the community. He highlights the importance of recognizing the essential role that every automotive business and dealership plays within their respective communities. The conversation explores the significance of fostering a sense of camaraderie, shared values, and positive morale within the industry.
    From Anger to Hope - A Personal Transformation
    Lou shares a deeply personal journey of transformation, revealing that he used to be an angry and confrontational individual. However, he experienced a profound change when he encountered faith and embraced forgiveness. He attributes his newfound hope and joy to the transformative power of the cross. Lou explains how this pivotal moment shaped his desire to encourage and uplift others, especially within the automotive industry.
    Balancing Family and Ministry
    Michael and Lou touch upon the challenges of maintaining a healthy work-life balance, particularly when involved in ministry and leadership roles. Lou emphasizes the importance of prioritizing family and shares how he learned this lesson firsthand. He reflects on the need for leaders to excel not only in their professional lives but also in their roles as spouses and parents. The conversation highlights the significance of being a positive influence within the family unit and the broader community.
    Sharing the Goodness
    Michael and Lou engage in a thought-provoking discussion about the natural inclination to share the good things in life. They draw parallels between sharing a great cup of coffee or recommending a favorite restaurant and the desire to spread faith and hope. Lou explains how, as believers, the goodness and transformation they experience inspire them to share it with others genuinely.
    Don't miss this captivating episode that uncovers the profound impact of unity, hope, and faith in the auto industry and beyond. Tune in now to experience the transformative power of embracing one's true self and inspiring positive change.
    Listen to the full episode for insights and context from Lou Ramirez! 
    ⭐️ Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your LinkedIn or Instagram handle so we can thank you personally! 
    Thanks, Lou Ramirez!
    If you enjoyed this episode featuring Lou Ramirez, support us by clicking the links! 
    Connect with Lou Ramirez on LinkedInConnect with Michael Cirillo
    Connect with Michael on LinkedInMore Dealers Are Choosing To Partner with FlexDealer
    Looking for a reliable, high-performance dealership marketing partner? Visit https://www.flexdealer.com to discover why more and more dealers are choosing them over big-box providers.

    • 26 min
    Matt Jones: How Putting People First Can Drive Long-Term Dealership Growth

    Matt Jones: How Putting People First Can Drive Long-Term Dealership Growth

    Matt Jones is the Director of Corporate Communications for TrueCar, Inc. In this episode, Michael Cirillo sits down with Matt Jones to discuss his deep connection with people in the automotive industry.
    Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, Jones saw the stark differences between the "haves" and "have nots." He noticed that people who had wealth seemed to have it all, while those who did not were often stuck in poverty. This belief was challenged when he entered the car industry and saw regular people without advanced degrees making a living and learning skills they may not have learned at home.
    Jones shares his belief that people are the center of the universe and should always come before anything else. He attributes his strong connection to people in the automotive industry to his experience witnessing firsthand what the industry can do for people who may not have had the same opportunities elsewhere.
    Michael and Matt discuss the importance of human connection in the industry and how it can make all the difference in a sale. Michael believes that people buy from people they like and trust, so building rapport and relationships is crucial. They also discuss the importance of building connections in the automotive industry and how it can lead to success. Jones shares his tips on how to approach networking, including the importance of being genuine and building relationships over time. They also talk about the importance of listening to others and understanding their needs, rather than just pushing your own agenda.
    Matt reminds listeners that building connections is not just about gaining something for yourself, but about creating a community and supporting each other. He believes that the automotive industry is filled with passionate people who want to see others succeed, and that by working together and building connections, everyone can achieve their goals.
    Matt believes that the automotive industry, specifically in the retail arm, is the embodiment of the American Dream. It rewards those who put in their work, effort, and dedication to their craft. It is a true meritocracy, where salespeople are rewarded for their efforts. Jones emphasizes that the automotive industry is not just for those with a background in automotive, but also for those who have no experience in the field.
    If you want to learn more about building connections in the automotive industry and how to succeed, this episode is a must-listen. Matt shares his wealth of experience and knowledge, and listeners will come away with actionable tips and insights they can apply in their own careers. So tune in and start building connections today!
    Listen to the full episode for insights and context from Matt Jones! 
    ⭐️ Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your LinkedIn or Instagram handle so we can thank you personally! 
    Thanks, Matt Jones!
    If you enjoyed this episode featuring Matt Jones, support us by clicking the links! 
    Connect with Matt Jones  on LinkedInConnect with Michael Cirillo
    Connect with Michael on LinkedInMore Dealers Are Choosing To Partner with FlexDealer
    Looking for a reliable, high-performance dealership marketing partner? Visit https://www.flexdealer.com to discover why more and more dealers are choosing them over big-box providers.

    • 39 min
    How To Make Your Marketing Sticky

    How To Make Your Marketing Sticky

    In today's fast-paced digital world, it can be challenging for brands to stand out and be memorable. Whitney Norrad is the Director of Demand Gen at Flexdealer.com. In this episode she joins Michael to discuss marketing stickiness and how to make brands more memorable to customers. Here are some of the key takeaways from their insightful conversation.
    The Power of Exposure and Uniqueness
    Michael began the conversation by sharing an example of a jingle from a Ford dealership that comedian Bob Odenkirk remembered from 30 years ago. Whit suggested that exposure and uniqueness are key factors in making a brand stick in a customer's mind. He also shared his personal experience of remembering a jingle from a car dealership in his hometown, despite never buying a car from them.
    Frequency and Simplicity Are Key
    Michael wondered if a good ad is necessary for stickiness. Whit agreed that a good ad is not a prerequisite for stickiness. However, frequency and simplicity play a significant role in making an ad memorable. They also talked about the importance of creating unique and interesting ads that stand out from the rest.
    Measuring Effectiveness of Marketing Campaigns
    The conversation then turned to the importance of measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Whit emphasized the need to have clear goals and metrics in place to track success. He also suggested testing different messaging and channels to see what works best for a particular audience.
    Creating Emotional Connections with Customers
    Michael and Whit discussed how creating an emotional connection with the audience is essential for businesses. They mentioned how different audiences relate to different stories and how emotional connections can be created in various ways, such as the way cars are merchandised and described in vehicle descriptions.
    Whit shared that it's not just about the product, price, or picture, but about the emotional connection that businesses can create with their audience. Michael added that people will remember how they are treated more than the brand itself. 
    Creating a Memorable Brand
    The episode emphasizes the importance of creating a memorable brand and messaging that resonates with customers. Michael and Whit emphasize the need to focus on a specific audience, craft a unique message, and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. By following these insights, businesses can create a brand that sticks in customers' minds and stands out in today's competitive marketplace.
    Check Out Flexdealer.com for more insights!
    Listen to the full episode for insights and context from Whitney Norrad! 
    ⭐️ Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your LinkedIn or Instagram handle so we can thank you personally! 
    Thanks, Whitney Norrad!
    If you enjoyed this episode featuring Guest Name, support us by clicking the links! 
    Connect with Whitney Norrad on LinkedInConnect with Michael Cirillo
    Connect with Michael on LinkedInMore Dealers Are Choosing To Partner with FlexDealer
    Looking for a reliable, high-performance dealership marketing partner? Visit https://www.flexdealer.com to discover why more and more dealers are choosing them over big-box providers.

    • 25 min
    Ann-Marie Johnson: The Power of Moments of Truth

    Ann-Marie Johnson: The Power of Moments of Truth

    Ann-Marie Johnson is the Director of partner relationship at ASOTU. In this episode, We discussed her journey in the automotive industry, the concept of "moments of truth," and how it applies to both personal and professional interactions. By recognizing the importance of these moments, Ann-Marie believes that individuals and businesses alike can elevate the overall perception of retail automotive.
    The concept of moments of truth extends beyond personal experiences, affecting businesses in every industry. Ann-Marie explains how these moments can occur at any stage of the customer journey, from sales and onboarding to retention and beyond.
    One crucial point Ann-Marie raises is that these moments can be either positive or negative, and it's up to the individual or business to determine the outcome. By being proactive, detail-oriented, and empathetic, businesses can create positive moments of truth that build trust and credibility with their customers.
    We also discussed the challenges of changing perceptions within an industry, such as automotive, where negative moments of truth have accumulated over time. Ann-Marie suggests that understanding the importance of moments of truth and actively working to improve them is key to changing the narrative.
    The Power of Compounding Moments of Truth:
    Michael Cirillo highlights the idea of compounding moments of truth. The outcomes of one's life and the situations they find themselves in are often the result of a ripple effect of choices made during various moments of truth. The key is to understand the importance of these moments and to make conscious decisions that positively impact oneself and others.
    Winning or Losing Moments of Truth:
    Michael notes that moments of truth can be won or lost, and it's essential to strive to win as many as possible. They discuss how problems and opportunities are the same thing, with the choice of winning or losing these moments lying in the hands of the individual or company.
    Changing the Perception of Retail Automotive:
    Ann-Marie relates the concept of moments of truth to the automotive industry, stating that the overall perception of retail automotive has been established through decades of negative moments of truth. By seeking out and promoting positive moments of truth delivered by dealers, the industry can work towards changing its perception and humanizing retail automotive.
    The idea of moments of truth is a powerful tool for transforming both personal and business relationships. By understanding the impact of these moments and striving for a positive legacy, individuals and businesses can foster lasting relationships built on trust, credibility, and respect.
    Listen to the full episode for insights and context from Ann-Marie Johnson! 
    ⭐️ Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your LinkedIn or Instagram handle so we can thank you personally! 
    Thanks, Ann-Marie Johnson!
    If you enjoyed this episode featuring Guest Name, support us by clicking the links! 
    Connect with Ann-Marie Johnson on LinkedInConnect with Michael Cirillo
    Connect with Michael on LinkedInMore Dealers Are Choosing To Partner with FlexDealer
    Looking for a reliable, high-performance dealership marketing partner? Visit https://www.flexdealer.com to discover why more and more dealers are choosing them over big-box providers.

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
117 Ratings

117 Ratings

mvelasco07 ,

A must-listen!

The Dealer Playbook has quickly become a favorite in my feed! I'm consistently impressed by the engaging conversations, insightful content, and actionable ideas. I truly learn something every time I listen!

MCivilization ,

MC is as solid as it gets.

Even if I don’t think the guest or topic for the week are relevant, I always end up with a great take away. Cirillo is solid.

OateseyInSD ,

Entertaining and informative

I’m a huge fan of Michael and his approach to podcasting. It’s both fun and informative. Thanks for having me on and for offering this resource to dealers!

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