The Tire Industry Association (TIA) offered its “Tire at Two” panel during last week's Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, Nev. The owners of two successful tire dealerships shared the secrets of their success.
TIA brought Aaron and Laura Telle, owners Telle Tire & Auto Service Inc., a 19-outlet dealership that's based in the St. Louis, Mo., area, and Kim McMahon, president of McMahon’s Best-One Tire Service, Inc., which is based in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Telle Tire's advice
Aaron and Laura Telle encouraged attendees to invest in their employees.
“We are not in the tire business," said Aaron. "We are in the people business and the people you have in your store make all the difference to your customers."
Aaron and Laura said it is important to empower their employees to make their own decisions and even go as far as to say that "no one who makes a decision at Telle Tire will get in trouble.”
Telle Tire recently closed all of its locations on Saturday. None of the stores lost any customers. And Aaron and Laura encouraged other dealers to do the same.
Another topic they discussed was empathy.
“It is important to have that empathy when working with your own people and working with your customers,” said Laura.
The Telles provide anniversary trips for employees and their families who have been at their dealership for many years and they send out personalized thank you cards to customers for that “neighborhood feel."
Best-One best practices
Kim McMahon said the best advice she can give to other dealers is to “give back to the community.”
McMahon said McMahon's Best-One Tire's commitment to community is a huge focus of her growing dealership. In 2021, the dealership gave more than $100,000 to charity.
“I thought, ‘What if we could make a positive impact on our community and employees?'" she said. "Giving back seemed like the best way to do so."
McMahon said when a business can make a "positive impact" in its community, it will encourage employees to work hard at their jobs and customers to reciprocate.