Thursday, February 26, 2009

How one GM Dealer goes about his business in Orillia

Good business people ask themselves one key question every day, “What am I going to do today to add value to this business”. I came across a very good example of a local businessman in Orillia, Jim Wilson who runs Jim Wilson Chevrolet Pontiac Buick GMC http://www.jimwilsonchevrolet.com/.

Jim has oil in his veins having grown up in the business. His current location right off the highway in Orillia is a showcase dealership that he opened a couple of years ago. He sells GM cars and trucks. He has to overcome all the press General Motors has been receiving recently.

I called him a couple of weeks ago after I had heard his blanket radio advertising on Rock 95 http://www.rock95.com/. He had run an indoor garage sale the weekend before and I was interested in hearing how it had worked. Like everyone I have been following the news of the auto industry’s challenges, especially General Motors and wanted to find out how he had done. I was expecting the worst.

That was not the case. Jim was still pumped over the results of the weekend. The event packed his showroom. Turns out that Orillia consumers know something the rest of us don’t: GM makes some good cars and you can get a great deal right now. 3 years of maintenance, 5-year warranty, great prices appeal to me…and to a lot of people in Orillia as well. Jim's marketing talent: he took advantage of those features and created an event that benefited consumers. Marketing 101!

I’m not a shill for General Motors. Full disclosure: I have worked for their advertising agencies in the past; I do not work for them now. I drive a Saab, but haven’t owned a ‘domestic’ vehicle for a number of years.

I like a good business and marketing story. I especially appreciate a business story where individual determination combined confidence attitude drives results that beats the odds.

Jim follows the basics: Great customer service, fair prices, and added value…these never go out of style.

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