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A recent article in Automotive News relayed the story of Obi Obeke and how he had sold 39 cars to world-famous boxer Floyd Mayweather. The article explains how Okeke has been willing to do whatever it takes for his client to keep him satisfied. There’s little doubt that Floyd Mayweather probably gets what he wants when he wants it. And Okeke has delivered. Okeke has received phone calls at 3am requesting a brand-new Bugatti delivered to his house within 12 hours – a feat in and of itself in the exotic car business. And he has always delivered, even when it meant jumping on a plane and driving it to the champ’s house himself. According to the article, Mayweather hasn’t been Okeke’s only famous client – his customers have included the likes of Arnold Scwarzenegger, Jessica Simpson, Ellen DeGeneres, and Chris Tucker – to name a few.
The volume of vehicles Mayweather has purchased from Okeke begs the question as to why Mayweather continues to purchase vehicles from Okeke when he could easily seek out the vehicle himself (or have an assistant do it for him.) He could quite easily carry out the transaction with the dealer who has the vehicle, rather than insist on doing business through Okeke. Bugatti Veyrons aren’t discounted. This means that, in order to make a profit, Okeke marks up the vehicle over the asking price of the dealer who has it in inventory. Mayweather could pay less and, more than likely, get the same result: a new Bugatti Veyron in his driveway in 12 hours. Especially if you consider the fact that Okeke’s dealership is in Chatsworth, CA, and Mayweather lives in Las Vegas – about a 4+ hour drive.
Certainly, dealing with celebrities has its benefits. They can purchase expensive cars that typically do not get discounted and can produce pretty good profit. That being said, how many typical car dealers (i.e.: non exotic) would go to these lengths to satisfy a normal customer? I’m not necessarily talking about taking calls at 3am, jumping a plane and driving the vehicle 4 hours to a customer’s house. But more about going above and beyond.
My guess is that Okeke sold a vehicle to one celebrity who then referred him onto another celebrity due to his excellent customer service and willingness to do whatever is needed. Then the referrals snowballed into the celebrity-selling machine he is today. Whether these high-profile clients originated with Mayweather, or whether he was simply a referral somewhere in the chain of celebrity referrals, isn’t really relevant. What’s relevant here is that Okeke built his business of selling to celebrities through 30-years of word-of-mouth.
There’s really no difference between a celebrity and a “normal” customer. Regular customers operate under the same natural principles. Namely, they appreciate great customer service. And, when appropriate, will share their experiences with their network of people and refer them to that dealership.
My advice, treat every customer you have like a celebrity.