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OC MazdaYour dad may have drilled it into your head…

“Son, don’t ever take your car to be serviced at a dealership.  They’ll rip you off every time.”

Or you devour all the sites and posts complaining about dealer service.

You know,  YOU JUST KNOW,  if you take your car to the dealer, they are taking you to the cleaners.

But sometimes you get lucky.

Sometimes you find the exception to the rule.

Like OC Mazda.

There’s a reason why owner John Patterson was awarded the Top Leader for Small Business by the OC Register.

John Patterson OCBizBlog
OC Mazda Owner John Patterson courtesy of The Orange County Register

It’s  the way Lynda Nelson engages and interacts through her emails, on the phone and in person.

How Nicolas in the service department works honestly and diligently on repairs and quick fixes that are within your budget.

It’s why they get great reviews on Yelp.

We have written about OC Mazda Celebrex sales in canada.

This time we’re breaking down what they do to create the best marketing money can buy – word of mouth.

1.  It’s the culture, stupid.

You see it as soon as you walk in the door, but more importantly you feel it.  This isn’t an uncomfortable place to be.  People talk to you like you’re another person.  Not a mark.  Not a “prospect”.  Just someone who is looking for some help.  And help is what you get. It’s very very simple.  And very very hard to get right.

2.  Understand what the customer wants.

Everybody talks a big game about this one but actually executing it is something else.  And to experience it firsthand sort of takes your breath away.  Wait, you care that I have a budget for repairs?  You said you can fix that thing for half what my mechanic quoted me?  Now you’re actually doing it?  It’s done? That’s the bill?  Being understood, actually being listened to, is all some customers want. Do that and you have them for life.

3.  Hire great people.

Remember when the Angels won the World Series?  Remember that batting lineup?  No holes.  Top to bottom it was first-class.  Everybody had a role.  Everyone was on the same page.  Same thing here.  It’s not like the guy who sold you the car was cool and the finance person was a jerk.  Or the service guy is nice but the shuttle guy is scary.  They all get it.

4.  Do what you say you will do.

This is another one that is self-evident but hard to execute.  Talk is cheap.  It’s like the Seinfeld episode: anybody can TAKE a reservation, it’s the HOLDING that matters.  They tell you in the service department your estimate is going to be x.  Does it come back y?  z?  Nope, it’s freakin’ x.

5.  Exceed expectations.

Taking your car in to get serviced?  Yeah, it’ll be washed and cleaned inside and out too.  Need to get back to the office…quickly?   The shuttle will take you NOW.  Need to be picked up?  He will be there at 1 o’clock.  And guess what.  He’s there.  Not at 1 o’clock.  At 12:55.

6.  Follow up, stay in touch, the right way.

Now it’s easier to do than ever.  There are no excuses. But do most small businesses do it?  Nope.  And those that do, generally do it poorly.  They act like an ex-boyfriend who keep interrupting your life.   Come on buddy, it’s over.  It was over when you started belching at every meal.  So why are you sending me junk mail now?   OC Mazda does the right thing the first time, then second time and by the third time I have granted them my permission to stay in touch and NOT just interrupt me.

7.  Just remember The Golden Rule.

So I got my hands on the OC Mazda training manual.  It’s huge.  Thick.  Heavy.  Like 300 pages or something.  Funny thing is, every page has one line on it and they all say the same thing:  “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

Got a Big Heart and Want a Great Deal? Check out DealGooder

DealGooderIf Groupon got together with TOMS Shoes their love child would be DealGooder.

She would be a precocious little thing, genetically engineered to create incredible group discounts and do good deeds every day.

Fortunately for us, you can meet her, them actually, right here in Orange County, as the Newport Beach venture officially launched this week.

Their site, boasting a yummy design with cute characters, is currently offering a $140 value for $35.  It’s two private pilates sessions at Escape Pilates.

Check it out here.

This is a startup that is literally fighting the good fight, donating 50% of their revenue to a good cause.




They’re clever to combine two proven concepts into one.

Their brand message is strong.

Promoting philanthropy as a value to attract customers who share that value is what rocketed TOMS Shoes into the startup stratosphere.

But they don’t take themselves too seriously.

They got some poor guy (is it co-founder Todd Meyer?) running around in a dog costume.

And whoever is doing their tweeting is fun, sassy and smart.

I like these guys.

I think co-founders Erica Austin, Cara Mungo and Todd Meyer can pull this off.

That’s why you’ll see their cute little logo on the right hand side.

Check Out ProductCamp SoCal This Saturday

ProductCamp SoCal

ProductCamp SoCal will bring together over 250 product managers, marketing professionals, and innovators from a broad range of Southern California companies and industries, as well as a few nationally-known experts, to discuss emerging issues & trends and improve how they conceive, develop, and market products,” said Greg White, Founder of Orange County Product Managers.

“Unlike a traditional conference, ProductCamp is 100% participant-driven. Everyone volunteers in some way: presenting a topic, leading a roundtable, sharing their experiences, or staffing the event. ProductCamps have been held, to enthusiastic reviews, in places like Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Austin, Toronto and Amsterdam, among many others.”

ProductCamp SoCal highlights include:

• Participant-led panels and breakout sessions,
• Workshops on topics like connecting with customers, social media’s impact on marketing & development, working
with outsourced functions, and the managing your career like a product,
• A focus on understanding customers and markets rather than on technology and “nice-to-have” features.

“This will be the second ProductCamp SoCal. If the first one was any indicator, it will be a great forum for practical solutions to many of the brand, product development, product management and marketing issues that need to be addressed,” said Jeof Bean, Principal, Del Mar Research & Consulting.

Interested product professionals can go to ProductCampSoCal to register, suggest a topic, and volunteer. The latest news & updates may be found on the website or by joining the conversation on Twitter by following @prodcampsocal.

Goodwill Halloween

I like Goodwill. Our family gives more to them than any other charity. They seem straightforward and honest. They have a clear mission based on the “teach a man to fish” principle. They also make fun Halloween ads.

Get metformin fast

imperial starsWant to know how NOT to market yourself?

Meet Orange County-based Imperial Stars, who by all indications are neither imperial nor stars.

If they were, then they would not have had to block traffic on the southbound 101 yesterday to promote their song Traffic Jam 101.

Did I really just write that?

One punishment that has been suggested is to throw them in an Orange County jail for a year and force them to listen to their own music.

As you will see below, that might be considered cruel and unusual…

Buying bactrim in the us

You don’t get to be the King or Queen of anything without having a few loyal subjects.

And that’s exactly what you’ll find when it comes to Carson Toyota‘s Dianne Whitmire if you visit the PriusChat forums for folks in the market for a hybrid car.

That’s how I found her.

I had visited a few dealerships and gotten the classic runaround and decided to do a little more intensive research when I found all these people on PriusChat gushing over Dianne.

The Laguna Niguel resident is the perfect Prius salesperson for 5 main reasons.

1.  She’s a bit of a tech geek, having built websites for dealerships in the early days when everyone was coming online.

2.  She’s passionate about the Prius and really knows her stuff when it comes to all the details of the car.

3.  She goes the extra mile for the customer.

4.  She’s as honest as the day is long.

5.  She follows through.

I think of Seth Godin and his mantra to be remarkable or become a linchpin for your company and it immediately conjures an image of Dianne.

She is special when it comes to doing what she says she will do.  She stays in touch no matter what time of the day or night and promptly returning a text, call or email.

I wanted to surprise my wife with the car that day so what does she do?  Offers to drive my car TO MY HOUSE that night so I could enjoy a little fun with my family.


So how did Dianne become the Prius Queen?

Well she does all the stuff I just mentioned and more but what really happened was the merging of a personality with a trend.

As the Prius became more popular and more people were going online to shop for their cars, Dianne made herself into an expert on the Prius and online buyers.  She carved that niche for herself.

She sold other models too, but really focused on that one car.  She sold to buyers coming in off the street as well, but honed in on forging relationships with the online crowd.

She worked her tail off too.

To the point where she basically burned herself out, decided to leave the industry and semi-retire to her second home in the beautiful backcountry of Oregon.

She was hanging out there when she got a phone call asking if she would consider getting back in the game.

What was meant to be an hour long meeting at John Wayne Airport turned into six and two kindred car veterans realized they were a match made in heaven.

Today Dianne loves working at Carson Toyota where she began her career.

It’s good to be the Queen.

Interested in a Prius?   You can email Dianne directly at dianne@carsontoyota.com