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As the world reacted to the loss of a phenomenal actor, Robin Williams, I searched through my movie collection to see how many of his I had. Sadly, I only found Aladdin and Hook clearly from my childhood as they are still on VHS - those aren’t even the best ones!! I am sure Netflix will see a nice a bump in the viewings of the 102 films Williams starred in this month.
“To live would be an awfully big adventure.” - Williams said as he wore green tights and flew around Neverland as Peter Pan in the movie Hook. Williams’ life surely was a big adventure and there is much we, as car dealers, can learn from his various characters.
“GOOOOOOOOOD MORNING VIETNAM! It’s 0600 hours. What does the “O” stand for? O My God, It’s early!”
I am pretty sure every person on this planet has heard this line from one of Williams’ most famous roles even if - dare I say it - they haven’t seen the movie. It is a reminder of a charismatic DJ that thought outside the box in order to breath some life back into the troops that were surrounded by death and war.
Dealers: What is your motto/slogan that a majority of your customer base would recognize you by? Do you have one? Does it explain who you are as a business? There is more to just having a motto for your dealership - your team needs to live by that motto if you want others to remember you by it. Hear from Chris Brown, the GM of Subaru of Puyallup, about how changing his company’s culture to emulate their motto, “Your stress-free dealership”, has increased sales and employee retention!
Within the first few minutes of meeting each other, Genie put on a huge production in order to impress Aladdin and let him know he was different. With the motto “You ain’t never had a friend like me!”, Genie took the time to explain his uniqueness.
Dealers: Highlight your competitive advantages as soon as humanly possible (without being awkward of course)! Your “why buy” statements should be utilized on your websites rotating banners, throughout your digital marketing, within your chat conversations and should definitely be regurgitated by your staff every time they speak with a customer.
You don’t have to have to juggle your own head or make beautiful women appear out of thin air - that’s just theatrics. Be real and highlight what makes you different from the dealership down the road.
There is nothing to learn from this film. It was super creepy and made me stop getting film developed at my local Walmart.
Williams’ was most well known for his stand up comedy and comedic roles, so when he presented himself as the serious, academic widower, it got our attention. This role won Williams his only Academy Award. It was the role that would greatly change the public’s perception of Williams as an actor and artist.
Dealers: It is possible to greatly change the public’s negative perception of car dealers. However, it starts with you, your team, your business practices and the customer experience you provide. Great dealers make it a priority to change the perceptions consumers. Put the customer’s needs first. Streamline your processes to shorten the amount of time it takes to purchase a vehicle. Offer customer-friendly tools on your website such as credit apps, live chat and payment calculators so they can have their questions answered immediately and start the purchase process without your help. Do what you can to wow the shopper and give them an experience they have never had before.
This is your role of a lifetime. Either you will win the Oscar, or you will be another headline.
“Death is not the enemy gentlemen. If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference.”
William’s role in this movie proved that laughter really is the best medicine. Patch Adams changed the lives of all his patients - illegally - because he truly believed that good doctors treat both the body and the soul. Even after all the trouble it brought him, Patch was the embodiment of sticking to your guns when what you’re doing is right.
Dealers: If you know you’re doing the right thing for your customers and (therefore) your business, do it. Sometimes others will disagree with your methods, but that’s okay. Think you should give that lady an extra discount on her oil change even though her coupon has expired? Do it. Feel like your dealership should do something for the community? Say so--or better yet manage it yourself. Waiting for others’ to make things happen isn’t always the best policy, especially when it comes to doing what you believe in.
Named one of the funniest movies of the 20th century, Euphegenia Doubtfire was arguably one of William’s most beloved characters. In a nutshell, after a nasty divorce, Daniel Hillard’s wife holds his children in custody. His solution: transform himself into an elder nanny in order to spend time with them. Brilliant.
Dealers: In order to stay current in the automotive industry, you have to be innovative. Don’t be afraid to give your dated perspectives a makeover in order to achieve success at your dealership. With technology always transforming the way your shoppers buy, you now have to play dress-up and put on a series of hats (marketing, public relations, Internet sales) in order to thrive. But don’t worry, the dress and heels are optional.
Say what you want about the movie (I’m looking at you, Rotten Tomatoes), but Williams gave this Disney classic one of the best makeovers in Peter Pan history. As a grown Peter Banning who travels to Neverland - via magical pixie dust - he rediscovers his youth in order to reconnect with his children.
Dealers: Working in this industry is tedious and stressful, but it’s important to never lose the passion that got you here. Sometimes you just need a reminder like Peter Banning, but that energy you had when you first began in the automotive world is still there somewhere -- you just have to find it.
Subaru of Wichita always seems to show their passion for selling cars in everything they do. Be silly. Laugh a little. Oh and don’t forget the imaginary feast of food.
Rest in Peace Robin.