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How transparency helped this Indiana dealership increase its net profit by 1200%

On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome one of Automotive News’ 40 under 40 honorees Jon Blakely, Operations Director of Coyle Chevrolet-Buick-GMC and Coyle Nissan. Blakely opens up the conversations, by telling viewers about his journey into the automotive industry. He joined the industry in 2010, right after college. He then started working in sales and worked his way up. The rest is history.

Blakely says, COVID-19 really opened their eyes to the way they do business and interact with their customers at Coyle Automotive Group. One of the things they ask is, are you transparent? They found that transparency meant putting customers in control. They didn’t test-drive vehicles but they did have zoom calls, virtual walkarounds, and allowed their customers to submit their own financing applications. They still use those practices today and have gotten great responses from their customers.

Training across the automotive industry puts everyone on the standby program, says Blakely. One of the changes they made, since COVID-19, is going to a four day work week. Blakely says, they learn that employees didn’t need compensation but more time with their families and flexible work schedule. Blakley believes attitudes need to change across the board. He also says you need to understand where people are coming from and spend time with them upfront, in order to train them appropriately.

Blakely says, when it comes to hiring more minorities, it starts with a conversation. He says, the biggest thing is the resources and opening everyone’s eyes to understand that opportunities are there. He believes the industry is doing a great job opening up those pathways and doors. Blakely says, let’s get rid of the negative connotation that surrounds the industry, and show the potential it has.

Blakely wraps up the conversation by offering advice for newcomers in the industry. He says stay consistent. Always be a student, always be learning, and continue to be humble.


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