Extra Mile Award Winner Ron McLain

February 11th, 2021 by

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We recently ran a contest to recognize employees who are driving their dealership’s sales experience forward in key categories. Though we received many impressive nominations, the following folks truly really went the “Extra Mile” — earning our accolades and a $100 Amazon gift card. Read about them below and take inspiration from their award-winning strategies.

William Messina, better known as Bill, has been in the business of selling cars and building relationships for more than two decades. Most of his client roster comprises referrals and repeat business — and for good reasons.

First, he’s relatable. According to his manager, John Gerrard, Bill’s a family man with an affinity for sports: “He’s able to easily strike up a conversation with any customer and make them laugh.”

Second, he’s personable. He uses their Express Store to send his customers links to deals that he’s configured for them, and follows up by phone to help guide their purchase. He also creates a video of the car they’re purchasing to get them excited about picking it up. His videos have garnered thousands of views apiece.

Third, he’s a perfectionist. He ensures every detail of the deal is correct, and that the car is ready and waiting for his customers when they arrive at the dealership. Because of this, the purchase process is highly efficient, which his customers love.

As a result, Bill sells more cars — 300 units annually — and keeps his customers highly satisfied in the process. For 2020, his CSI was 991.5 — notably higher than both the store’s average (958.2) and the national average (948.3). He has also won the Ultimate President’s Club award for the last 20 years!

According to one customer: 

“Bill Messina’s process was flawless! From our initial conversation uncovering my wish list and financial goals to the post-delivery satisfaction survey, I couldn’t offer a single process improvement. I’m completely satisfied and #impressed.”

When he’s not assisting customers, Bill’s usually helping his fellow employees. He trains new sales agents, shares his best practices with them and lends a hand wherever it’s needed. Way to be, Bill!

Reigna King wasn’t always comfortable using technology to sell cars. “It adds extra steps to the sales process,” she told her manager, John Moyer, when he informed her that they would be adopting a digital-retailing platform. Two weeks later, after she became Express Storefront Certified via Roadster Academy, she had a change of heart: “I love Roadster!”

Now, after three years at BMW of Ann Arbor, Reigna uses the platform with every phone-up. She has the highest Express Storefront use time of anyone at the dealership, averaging 80 minutes per day. She shares vehicle details with almost every customer, and has the dealership’s highest shares and VDP views — 2-3x more than her team members. She also boasts the highest frontend gross across the entire sales team.

Her technology usage extends into the showroom, too. If a customer visits the dealership to complete their transaction, Reigna checks them into the Express Storefront using an iPad and the customer can pick up where they left off at home, without repeating any steps.

What’s motivated her to master technology? John says it’s her competitive streak:

“She has bigger things ahead of her. She’s a winner.”

Indeed she is.

Ron McLain’s automotive career began like so many others. He started out as a salesman in the 1980s, sharpened his skills over the years and earned the Gold Master Award, which certified him as a member of the American Honda Motor Co. Inc. Council of Sales Leadership. He was promoted to assistant manager and, later, manager.

But as the internet became a sales tool in the early 2000s, Ron saw the opportunity to drive the industry forward. He took it, and never looked back.

He single-handedly managed the dealership’s fledgling internet department before hiring a salesman to help him field internet leads. As his department grew, he developed new initiatives including Cash for Clunkers. Today, he’s built his dealership’s BDC into a fierce five-person team that utilizes their Express Store to sell cars remotely.

What pushes Ron to continually improve the sales process? According to Karley Chilombo, who oversees the dealership’s marketing and promotions: “He’s always looking for new ideas and innovative products that will give us an edge over the competition.”

Ron is constantly reviewing his team’s sales data and looking for ways to improve their results. He’s always sharing stats and resources with his team, and hosts training sessions to help them. As a result, they’re receiving daily inquiries for pricing and finance applications, and have seen a 25% increase in sales.

He prides himself in being prepared for the market and any upcoming changes by enrolling in automotive webinars, reading blogs and attending industry events — back when you could do that.

When he’s not riding his Harley or relaxing poolside with his wife, you can be sure he’s at the dealership with his door wide open.

“His dedication to this dealership is a huge part of our success,” Karley says. “Ron takes the saying ‘going the extra mile’ to a completely new level. That guy goes the extra 10 miles.”

Congratulations to all of our contest winners!

Posted in Honda