COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Michael Rezi will proudly tell you that they do things differently at his Nissan of Cookeville store, here in this central Tennessee market of 100,000 people.
But that is specifically the way the 32-year-old dealer wants it.
Rezi has crafted his own approach to vehicle pricing, a different method of training employees, different compensation practices and a gutsy advertising strategy that canceled almost all traditional media spending to focus almost exclusively on digital and social media.
"I worked at other dealerships, with other people in the car business," says the dealer in the clear Italian accent he brought from his hometown of Florence. "It didn't seem to be working well, the way everyone was doing things in all the usual ways.
"I decided that if I ever got my own dealership, I was going to do everything different from the normal practices. If tradition isn't working, why keep doing it?"
The chance to freely put his ideas into action came in 2011, after he had turned around a struggling Nissan store as a general manager in Gallatin, Tenn., just north of Nashville, and was invited to come into the Cookeville store as an owner.