52 episodes

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

Gain Traction Neal Maier and David Christopher

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

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

    Minimizing Headaches and Maximizing Efficiency With Crissy Zellers of Accelerate Personalized Sales Solutions

    Minimizing Headaches and Maximizing Efficiency With Crissy Zellers of Accelerate Personalized Sales Solutions

    Crissy Zellers is the Owner of Accelerate Personalized Sales Solutions, which helps tire dealers succeed with retail tire programs. She uses unique tracking tools and detailed program knowledge to help retailers stay focused on their weekly goals, maximize their earnings and prioritize their purchases. Crissy started her own business in September 2020, after 11 years of working in management and sales for tire distributors Max Finkelstein and Tire Centers. 
    In this episode… As a tire dealer, have you found yourself managing multiple programs at once with a particular distributor?  What about multiple programs with multiple distributors? If so, your email inbox has probably been flooded with messages and you’ve faced the unenviable challenge of remembering where each distributor is on every program. If you have more than one retail location, the headaches are multiplied. What if there was a way to streamline that process and stay on track? Crissy Zellers of Accelerate Personalized Sales Solutions has a solution on this episode of Gain Traction!
    On this episode of Gain Traction, Neal Maier welcomes Crissy to discuss the all-inclusive program management tool she developed to make life easier for tire retailers who are managing multiple different programs from multiple distributors. Crissy explains how this new technology keeps managers at tire dealerships on track with what can be an overwhelming amount of information, allowing them to stay on track on a weekly basis. Her tool reports goals, numbers, and potential payouts. Don’t miss it!
    Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Crissy Zellers shares how the struggles of the pandemic led to the idea of Accelerate Personalized Sales Solutions How an all-inclusive program management tool Crissy developed helps tire dealers stay on track Various tasks Crissy’s tool completes to save tire dealers time and effort Why Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist is Crissy’s favorite book Resources mentioned in this episode: Crissy Zellers on LinkedIn  Accelerate Personalized Sales Solutions  Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist Neal Maier on LinkedIn  Tread 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. 

    • 12 min
    Profit Sharing Increases Caring With Dick Erickson, Founder of Sun Tire and Author of How the Rubber Meets the Road.

    Profit Sharing Increases Caring With Dick Erickson, Founder of Sun Tire and Author of How the Rubber Meets the Road.

    Dick Erickson is the Founder of Sun Tire and author of How the Rubber Meets the Road: A Blue-Collar Roadmap to Success for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs. He opened his first Sun Tire store in Orange Park, Florida in 1981, and added ten more stores over the next few decades. Dick sold the business to a national chain of tire stores in 2018. His book details his journey from rural North Dakota to flying helicopters in the Marine Corps in Vietnam and covers four key business topics: customer service, profit sharing, mentoring, and profitable growth.
    In this episode… How do you motivate your customer service team to reach the highest levels of service possible? What are the best ways to keep frontline staff motivated and pushing in a positive direction? If you own a tire and auto repair shop, you’ve probably asked yourself these questions more than once. For insight on this topic, don’t miss this episode of Gain Traction!
    Can profit sharing among employees positively affect customer service? Dick Erickson says he implemented profit sharing for every employee and it changed how everyone behaved at work. They treated the equipment with more care and the quality of customer service went “above and beyond.” 
    In this episode of Gain Traction, Dick joins Mike Edge for a captivating conversation about what he learned from attending a Les Schwab training program for 19 consecutive years and how his Sun Tire stores benefitted after he implemented profit sharing among all employees. Dick speaks on the topic of profit sharing and how it revolutionized the culture at Sun Tire. Tune in to hear how profit sharing could potentially change your business!
    Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Dick Erickson summarizes his 40-year journey in the tire and auto industry What life looked like when Dick opened his first Sun Tire store in 1981 Why a commitment to learning has served Dick well What Dick learned from visiting a Les Schwab program on the west coast for 19 consecutive years How profit sharing affected Sun Tire’s quality of customer service Why Patton is Dick’s favorite movie Resources mentioned in this episode: How the Rubber Meets the Road on Amazon   "Mavis Is At It Again: Sun Tire Is the Latest Acquisition"  Les Schwab Danny Murphy, co-author Mike Edge on LinkedIn Tread 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. 

    • 26 min
    How and When To Sell Your Auto Shop With Michael McGregor

    How and When To Sell Your Auto Shop With Michael McGregor

    Michael McGregor is Managing Director at Focus Investment Banking. His experience includes fifteen years of advising on business transfers, capital raises, and management buyouts for middle market businesses. He has been a founder or co-founder of three automotive-related businesses. Michael is author of the book Buy, Build, Fix, Sell, which helps tire and service dealers build better businesses and get maximum value when they decide to sell.
    In this episode… If you own a tire and auto repair shop and are planning to retire, have you thought about a succession plan? Are you thinking about selling the business? There are often lots of matters to get in order before selling which shouldn’t be overlooked. What’s your exit strategy? Check out this episode of Gain Traction for some valuable advice!
    Many tire and auto repair shop owners plan to sell their shop when they’re about to retire, but many don’t realize everything they need to do to make it profitable. According to Michael McGregor, author of Buy, Build, Fix, Sell, when planning to sell, shop owners need to make sure their shops are maximally profitable. This includes documenting expenses and making sure their pricing is right to earn a reasonable profit.
    In this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge sits down with Michael for a conversation about the important matters that should be addressed before tire and auto repair shop owners consider selling their businesses. They also discuss the importance of marketing the business, how much of the budget should be dedicated to marketing, and the best methods to reach the right customers. Michael says a shop’s clean and updated appearance is a big part of marketing. Don’t miss it!
    Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Michael McGregor shares how he broke into the automotive industry by selling coupons door-to-door The number one thing prospective tire shop sellers should focus on Where tire dealers should be spending their marketing dollars What made Michael decide to write Buy, Build, Fix, Sell The career milestone Michael is most proud of  Why the Grateful Dead is Michael’s favorite rock band Resources mentioned in this episode: Michael McGregor on LinkedIn Focus Investment Bankers Michael McGregor’s Articles on Modern Tire Dealer Independent Tire Dealers Group Grateful Dead Mike Edge on LinkedIn Tread 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. 

    • 21 min
    Never Stop Evolving With Dwayne Myers, Co-Owner and Managing Partner of Dynamic Automotive

    Never Stop Evolving With Dwayne Myers, Co-Owner and Managing Partner of Dynamic Automotive

    Dwayne Myers is Co-owner and Managing Partner of Dynamic Automotive, an independent automotive repair business with five locations in Frederick, MD. He has spent his career of over 30 years in the maintenance and repair industry, ranging in size from lawn mowers to U.S. Army tanks. His skill set includes negotiation, market planning, team building, business planning, and operations management. Dwayne's greatest passion is enriching the lives of others through philanthropic endeavors and community involvement.
    In this episode… As the owner or manager of a tire and auto repair shop, are you resistant to change? Maybe things are going fairly well — but could they be better with a few adjustments? What’s keeping you from trying something different? If these questions resonate with you, you don’t want to miss this episode of Gain Traction!
    Dwayne Myers, Co-owner and Managing Partner at Dynamic Automotive, has been in the industry for 27 years and is still making changes to improve his shop’s operation and culture. “I worked Saturdays for thirty years and didn’t realize what I was missing,” he said. Dwayne was reluctant to change his hours of operation for years, but says the pandemic caused a reduction in hours and the benefits have outweighed the negatives ever since.
    On this episode of Gain Traction, you’ll hear from Dwayne, who tells Mike Edge about the positive outcomes from making operational changes such as working hours, community involvement and programs for retaining employees. He talks about his long journey in the automotive industry and the ways he never stops learning. You don’t want to miss this interesting and informative episode!
    Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Dwayne Myers shares how he got started in the automotive repair business Why Dwayne still considers himself a parent despite not having any children of his own  How local high school students are learning to repair vehicles with Dynamic Automotive The key to Dynamic Automotive’s success in keeping employees happy and minimizing turnover How the pandemic made Dynamic Automotive a better company Why staying closed on Saturdays was a good business decision The biggest turning points in Dynamic Automotive’s 27-year history Resources mentioned in this episode: Dwayne Myers on LinkedIn Dynamic Automotive Mike Edge on LinkedIn Tread 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. 

    • 22 min
    Providing Great Customer Experiences Regardless of Circumstances With Sally Thomas, Co-Owner of J.P. Thomas & Company

    Providing Great Customer Experiences Regardless of Circumstances With Sally Thomas, Co-Owner of J.P. Thomas & Company

    Sally Thomas is Co-owner of J.P. Thomas & Company. She is most-commonly associated with Thomas Tire & Automotive, a family-owned and operated full-service repair shop that’s been in business since 1981. With 10 retail and commercial service centers in North Carolina, Thomas Tire & Automotive’s mission is to be the first and only choice for all automobile-related needs. 
    In this episode… Tire and auto repair can be a tough business. Shop employees not only need to be skilled at diagnosing problems and repairing vehicles, but also have the ability to communicate those problems to a customer who may not be ready to hear about them — or the cost to fix them. How can you build rapport and trust with your customers to ensure satisfaction in a potentially negative situation? Tune into this episode of Gain Traction to find out!
    Nobody likes to tell customers who may be experiencing difficult sessions in life that their car has problems that need fixing — and how much it’ll cost. “I wish we sold ice cream,” said Sally Thomas, Co-owner of J.P. Thomas & Company. “I always say, ‘listen, we didn’t buy it, we didn’t build it, we didn’t break it’.”
    In this episode of Gain Traction, Sally joins Neal Maier for a discussion anyone in the tire and auto repair industry can relate to: how to provide a positive experience for the customer despite the negative circumstances. Sally shares how she keeps her staff upbeat, the importance of transparency in all aspects of vehicle repair, and explains how the appearance of both the inside and outside of the shop can affect the customer experience. Don't miss it!
    Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Sally Thomas shares how she began working in the family tire business as a child How her father’s love for employees and customers was a great example The most important thing Sally hopes her team can accomplish each day What Sally likes for customers to experience on the inside and outside of stores How Sally feels about having tires in the showroom at her stores What it means to be transparent with tire and auto repair shop customers The best advice Sally has received from a mentor Resources mentioned in this episode: Sally Thomas on LinkedIn Thomas Tire & Automotive  Neal Maier on LinkedIn Tread 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. 

    • 20 min
    Generating Loyalty and Avoiding Complacency With Steven Stamey, Operations Manager at Maxi Auto Service Centers

    Generating Loyalty and Avoiding Complacency With Steven Stamey, Operations Manager at Maxi Auto Service Centers

    Steven Stamey is Operations Manager at Maxi Auto Service, which has eight locations in the Chattanooga, TN area. He started his career at a Chevrolet dealer in 1999. Steven is also a former college level instructor with ASE L1, L2, and L3 Master Certification. 
    In this episode… What motivates your staff? Is it strictly financial compensation or are there other, less tangible factors? Do your employees stick around for decades or are they here today and gone tomorrow? If you own a tire and auto repair shop and these are some questions you find yourself wrestling with, this episode of Gain Traction is for you!
    Making your employees feel involved and important through communication and teamwork can be just as effective as wages when it comes to motivating and generating loyalty. According to Steven Stamey, Operations Manager at Maxi Auto Service Centers, “once you get everybody singing the same song, the same tune – and they’re interested in winning – it’s amazing what they can accomplish when they just find belief.”
    In this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge welcomes Steven to discuss the ways in which building from within can benefit your tire and auto repair shop. He talks about the gains Maxi Auto Service has made from expanding its existing stores rather than adding new stores. Steven shares the ways he gets his employees involved through consistent communication and training. Don’t miss this conversation!
    Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:  Steven Stamey discusses how he broke into the automotive industry in his childhood How teaching at a local community college helped put Steven in his current role  Why expanding the size of its current locations has proven more valuable for Maxi Auto Service than adding more locations How Maxi Auto Service avoids falling into complacency Why learning to enjoy the journey will help you get to where you want to go What Maxi Auto Service does to elicit long-term loyalty from its employees Resources mentioned in this episode: Steven Stamey on LinkedIn Maxi Auto Service Mike Edge on LinkedIn Tread 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. 

    • 23 min

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