Last Monday, almost everybody was closed in Detroit. It was the day after the 4th of July and it was a national holiday, so things were pretty quiet in the Motor Capital of the World.
I was out exercising one of my cars and needed a destination. I remembered that a local Cadillac dealer, Don Massey, had advertised a barbecue to get some traffic on that Monday. What better place to head than a car dealership open for the day?
Sure enough, when I arrived, there was a lot of activity. Sitting at command central was my friend, Don Massey.
He's a delightful guy with a whale of a lot of knowledge and experience in the retail business. He's been the leading Cadillac dealer, and he has great faith in the franchise with several top-performing dealerships all over the country. He obviously loves this retail business and gets a kick out of selling Cadillacs.
For most folks it was probably just another ho-hum day. But I spent a couple of hours with him in the middle of the showroom and watched everything happening on a day when everyone knows that you couldn't get anyone to buy a car.
Well, everyone is wrong. I don't know how many they sold that day, but there was a buzz in the showroom all day, and they actually delivered several cars to happy customers right on the spot. Holiday and all, some folks didn't want to wait; they were able to shop and drive their cars home that same day.
What a pleasure to watch everyone on what was supposed to be a quiet day, walking around, kicking tires, buying cars. Customers and salespeople enjoyed the experience. People who probably wouldn't have bought a car for a while could take their time on a holiday and go shopping for one. Just for taking the time, they got a barbecue thrown in.
I would have bet money that people would have had something better to do than go visit a Don Massey showroom and buy a Cadillac in 90-degree weather. I would have been wrong. That's why Don Massey is a successful dealer and I'm not. That's the entrepreneurial spirit that seems to be a part of so many successful dealers. They simply love what they're doing.
Massey has the best radio commercials on the air. He does them in-house with that down-home voice that works so well.
Don Massey has done a lot for the community. He loves what he does. It reinforces my belief in the individual dealer. If he could, Don Massey would sell all 17 million cars and trucks this year. He's going to try.