Lots of dealers walk their stores with coins in their pocket.
But when Keith Kocourek does so, at least one of his 250 employees is about to be rewarded for reaching a goal or taking special care of a customer.
Kocourek is the owner of Kocourek Automotive Group, a group of five dealerships in Wausau, Wis., that combined sell about 200 new and 350 used vehicles per month.
The coins in his pockets are not nickels and dimes; instead, they are custom-minted reward coins for his employees in denominations of $20, $50 and $100.
Each month -- or more often if the mood strikes -- Kocourek recognizes outstanding achievements in service or sales by his employees with the casino chip-sized coins.
But there's a catch: The coins can't be turned in for cash. They must be traded for an item of the employee's choice, such as a gift card, sports tickets or even a trip.
Once the employee chooses a reward, the company buys the item on the employee's behalf.
"It has to be something that they would personally benefit from -- like a treat," explains Marcie Kuduk, Kocourek's assistant who administers the coin program. "People have turned them in for gift cards, for trips. One guy will save his coins and then he buys his wife something for Christmas."