Hi! This is Amy from Think Creative. I’m here with Shirley, also from Think Creative.
We’re at Colley Ford.
This is the inaugural, very first episode of Colley Ford’s new podcast. And we are here today with Cory. Cory is the general sales manager here. Welcome, Cory.
How are you doing today?
Thank you for having us.
I’m doing great. How are you all?
We’re good. We’re excited to talk to you.
Well, thank you. I’m very excited as well.
Let’s start from the very beginning. And just tell us a little bit about yourself, a little bit about your background, and what brought you to Colley Ford.
I’ve been in the car industry for about 27 years now.
Wow. That’s a long time.
Yeah. Climbed my way all the way to the top. Started as a salesperson. Worked all the way to where I’m at now. What brought me here actually, ironically, was a friend of mine worked here. I live out in Murrieta, which is quite a ways away from here. He called me, asked me to come out, check the place out. I happened to be kind of looking at that time. And I met the Colleys. And I mean, they’re just an incredible family. They really are. The history of this dealership was a lot of what brought me here.
So tell us about–
Yeah, tell us about that. About the Colleys.
They’ve been in this town for– I mean, in business, for well over 50 years.
Wow, 50 years.
Yeah, that’s a huge achievement.
That’s a long time.
Yeah. And they’ve got an excellent reputation. They’re just incredible people to work for. CJ is probably the most incredible guy I’ve ever had the opportunity to work for. Yeah.
Wow. Okay. That’s high praise.
He’s given me free rein to excel. Like I said, it’s an incredible family. They treat me with respect. They let me do what I want to do. I knew that I had some things that I could offer, and they allowed me to do that. And we’ve been very successful so far.
That’s a fantastic relationship then.
I’m very passionate about what I do. Being in the position that I’m in now, I realize it’s not just about me. It’s about everybody on the floor, everybody that works for me. I’ve talked to CJ, my wife, and I have those times where I worry about their families and their mortgages and things of that nature and taking care of their family. And I want to do everything that I can in my position to ensure that they actually have a decent income and a good career as well.
Well, I do notice that. Coming in here, I notice the team; everybody is more of a family type of atmosphere. You guys care about each other. And obviously, that resonates from you.
Well, thank you. I’m glad that you see that.
Well, it shows for sure.
I feel that way as well. I had mentioned earlier that we have very little turnover here. When people come to work here, they realize that we’re not a big conglomerate corporation. We are a family-owned dealership. Yeah. That’s part of our slogan. We are family owned and community driven. We’ve been in business over 40 years in this one location.
I’m aware. Yeah.
So besides CJ, is there anybody else that works here still that’s part of the family?
I would say my entire management staff, my salespeople, service department, we all work together. Every single one of us. All the department heads, we communicate very really well, for the most part. So it’s a really good organization. It really, really is.
Yeah. You don’t want to lose something like that when you find it.
No. That’s why I’ve been here five years.
Right. Well, and there’s a reason why you drive from Murrietta.
An hour, two hours. There is a reason why you come here every single day.
Yes. Definitely. Definitely. And that’s the driving force that brings me.
Right. But what is something else that you’ve done here at the store or about the store that you’re just very proud of?
There’s a handful of things that we’ve done together and somethings that I’ve implemented that have worked to our benefit. Not to get too technical, but I brought the store together as a whole. And I’m very, very proud of that. There were two separate departments. We had an internet department and a retail department, and I brought everybody together as one. And it’s retail and internet. And that seemed to pay off really, really well for everybody. And sales did go up, and we’ve maintained that. So I’m very proud of that.
And so looking into the future, what are some of the goals that you still hope to accomplish here at Colley Ford?
The one thing I want to accomplish definitely is– obviously, we’re here to make a living and sell cars and service vehicles and sell parts and that sort of thing as well, but I just want to push the dealership to the extent of what it can do. To the highest level that we can get to.
Well, purchasing a vehicle–
I think that’s pretty cool.
–is probably the second largest purchase.
Oh, it is. Absolutely.
So for you to help consumers out there, definitely that shows that you care about the community and you care about what will help them financially as well.
And I think the family-owned aspect of the store helps consumers to feel like they’re really– when they purchase a vehicle, it has a little bit more meaning when they come to a place like Colley Ford, so.
Absolutely. Every time when we sit down with a customer, that’s one of the things that we actually tell them is, “Welcome to the Colley family.”
Is there any other events that you guys are contributing to?
Yes. Absolutely. One thing that we did last year, which I’m really, really proud of, we raised over $10,000 for the City of Hope. And we took a portion of each car deal that we made and we set that aside for the City of Hope. And like I said, it was over $10,000 that we raised in about two months for them. I’m going to be initiating that again next month.
Why the City of Hope?
I had a good friend of mine that did have a child die of cancer. And believe it or not, it actually started my idea. Anyway, being in the position that I’m in, I have the ability to actually help people and make those type of decisions and put something like that into place. And it started with a commercial. I was watching a commercial one night, and it just popped in my head. And I said, “It’s something that I can actually do.” And I came in and crunched the numbers a little bit and said, “If I take a little bit of each deal and put that money aside, then we can raise money to help the kids and also anybody with cancer or any other disease for that matter.” So.
That’s awesome for you to do something like that.
Yeah. That’s huge.
Well, thank you. I was very, very proud of that.
And then you’re going to do it again. So that’s amazing.
We’re going to start in April.
Okay. In April?
In April. Yeah. We’re going to run it all the way through May.
Okay. And what comes with that? I mean, you’re going to do the same thing? Just anybody that makes a purchase, that they’re going to assist and donate to– essentially, pretty much donate to the City of Hope. Correct?
Right. Yeah. Yeah. Any car purchase, anyone that buys a car, a portion of that purchase–
Here at Colley Ford.
–here at Colley Ford will be donated to the City of Hope.
Your actual purchase makes a difference.
Yes, it does.
Excellent. So we kind of touched on this already, a little bit, when you said that you welcome people to the family when you start your negotiations. But you probably do know that dealerships, in general, don’t always have the best reputation [laughter].
No, they don’t. Unfortunately, they do not.
Yeah. So what are some of the things you do to combat that perception, that image that people have about what it’s like to come to the dealership?
Integrity. Just try and let people know that it’s not all about the car deal. If we come to terms, we come to terms. That makes the car deal. That’s good. If we don’t, then hopefully they can leave here and take something away from here that they haven’t experienced at other car dealerships. This is a career for a lot of people. I want people to understand that we’re not here just to– we’re not buzzards or whatever trying to take advantage of people. That’s not what we’re about. I want to be able to sell a car to someone, make them feel really, really good about it, and then go and tell their friends, their families, and everything else. And that’s how you build, from that point. So if somebody leaves from here with a good feeling, knowing they got a good deal, then they’re going to tell their friends. They’re going to tell anybody that they know. And word of mouth is your best advertisement.
Well, being that Colley Ford is 40 years plus, I mean, of course.
So hopefully, with the way that we treat people– like I said, integrity’s a big thing for me. And people need to be treated with respect. And if they are, when they leave, they want to come back. And they want to tell their friends and family. And that’s how you build your business.
Yeah. And it’s probably a good feeling for your team too, to be able to provide that kind of experience. So that feeds off each other.
Well, that’s the greatest feeling, is when somebody comes on the lot and obviously, they’ve got their walls up, because like you said–
–it’s a car dealership! And it’s almost like going to the dentist. They don’t like it. And–
But they know it’s good for them. And they have to go. They have to go.
Exactly. Unfortunately, it’s an asset we all have to have to get back and forth to work and do our daily lives, but it’s not something that they look forward to, unfortunately.
But that’s where I even get the feeling, me walking in here. I felt like it was more of like a family atmosphere and that you guys are here as a team to kind of just help out the customer, whatever they’re in need. And that’s the feeling that I didn’t get.
That’s what we hope to achieve. And then when they leave, the best part about it is when they’re hugging you and they’re like, “Thank you so much.” They walked onto the lot with that big giant wall up to begin with, and then now they’re hugging you when they leave. And they’re so happy and recommending people to you.
Well, I noticed that with the customers that come through the service department, they just come here because obviously, they entrust in you because it’s their vehicle. This is what the– transportation that they get to work and home and whatnot. And they entrust in your service department. So obviously–
–those your customers are coming through, and they’re happy.
And that’s one thing that we do, especially during normal business hours, is make sure that they meet somebody in service before they leave. They’ve got to know where they’re going to bring their vehicle and who they’re going to talk to. And we want to introduce them to the rest of the family that they’re not dealing with at that moment. So it seems to work out. I mean, I like it.
The extended family.
Yes, the extended family.
The extended family. Exactly.
If there was one thing that you could communicate to people about car dealerships, what would it be? If there was one myth or bad idea that people have that you could just dispel, what would it be?
Well, everybody’s heard the term we’re vultures. I don’t want them to think that about us. That’s not what we’re– we’re not like that. I genuinely care about the customer being happy, providing what they want, and not trying to put them into something that they don’t. If I don’t have what they’re looking in the lot, then I’m going to look at other dealerships to see if I can find it, do a dealer trade, get them exactly what they want. I want the customer to be happy. Because like you said, I mean, it’s their second biggest purchase. So let’s get them into exactly what they want. Because they are spending a lot of money, and that’s money that they’ve worked hard for. And I don’t want them to have a bad idea or a bad feeling about a dealership, especially about ours.
Truth be told, you actually have a dealer trade today. You have two vehicles from what city [inaudible]?
We did one in Barstow, one in Sunland. Yeah.
And I actually while I was sitting there in your service department, and I was watching you talk to a customer. Typically, in general, sales managers, typically they don’t get off their desks. They don’t talk to the customers. And I saw you, there was a customer there, and you went over there and you greeted them and you asked what did they need, how you could help. That’s what you don’t get in the car industry. And that’s where, for you, Cory, I see that you’re willing to make the customer feel like they’re at home. And I see that.
I want to. And thank you for bringing that up. I mean, that makes me feel really good because I do like to talk to everybody. I want everybody to feel welcome.
And that’s the feeling that my team has gotten today.
Great. That’s awesome.
Yes. Absolutely. So let’s just wrap things up with one final question. Tell us a little bit about Ford. What makes Ford such a great brand to sell?
Innovation. I mean, they’re so far ahead of the times. What the customer’s looking for. And their technology’s actually amazing me with some of the– I mean, these cars are almost driving themselves. So they’re definitely–
The body style, I would have to say, for sure. The F-150, for sure, I–
They’ve got the styling down, definitely.
Absolutely. I saw the Expedition. That was something. You guys’ 2019 Expedition. Super clean. It was nice. It was definitely elegant, for sure.
Yeah. No, they just brought that back a couple years ago too. It was discontinued for a while.
Right. That’s right. And I saw that on your lot. So that was a beautiful car. I even checked it out myself.
Yeah. Plenty of room in that thing. You can put the family and you can tow the RV. And I mean, plenty of room in it.
All right. Well, thank you so much for your time today.
Yes. Thank you.
Well, thank y’all for coming in. Thank you.
And we encourage everybody to keep tuning in to the Colley Ford podcast for more insights from this dealership.