Faith & Co. | DRIVING TRUST

Faith & Co. | DRIVING TRUST


(birds chirp) (gentle music) – [Don Voiceover] When I
first came out of college my dad asked me if I wanted to
consider coming back with him in a Volkswagen dealership we owned. And I told him that I first
wanted to go to graduate school in theology because I wanted
to ground my faith much more biblically and theologically
as I went forward. And then, that I wanted to do
every job in the dealership and I wanted to get paid just like him. I remembered working as a
technician and I had been a really good student along the way. And I was a very average technician. And I remember struggling and
one time I’m just, I’m working on this exhaust manifold, intake manifold and I get rust in my eyes. It’s burning up hot, and I’m
like “Why am I doing this? I could be in graduate school right now! I could’ve gone there and
I’m doing this right now?” But my idea was that I
wanted to actually experience the struggles everybody
went through when they did their jobs. I did that for four years and then I went back to
graduate business school. (upbeat electronic music) I began to develop kind
of some basic premise and one of them was that what space had God given me to have influence? What does it mean for
me to actually live love in that setting? And what does it mean to
actually bring hope to these people’s lives and
encourage them as people? (upbeat electronic music) – [Amy] You can be in the car
business in a lot of places. But if you want to do it
differently and better, and you want to provide
a very, very different experience for people, this is about the only
place you can do that. – Everything that we do is
about building trust with our customers and I think Don has
done a good job of instilling that in his management and
his leaders in the company. How we take care of our customers, how we take care of
each other as employees, and also how we look to serve
the community that we live and work in. – This is, for a lot of
people, the second-most, and for some people, the most
expensive purchase they’re ever going to make. So to me, what’s different
about that is that we care that we’re gonna affect their whole life if we do this wrong. – If you looked in terms of
biblical language and said, what do we wanna be about? How does that give expression
to what we’re trying to do now in terms of what would
be animating the culture, or ethos, inciting our business? We said the first thing has to be trust. And to be a person or
organization that is trustworthy we have to ask, “what
does that actually mean?” If you came in for service,
what would that look like? If you came and bought a car from us, what would that look like? And we deconstruct everything
we do in the business. Everything, all the way. (bright orchestral music) So you entrust your car
to us and you’re at a real disadvantage, you don’t
know anything about cars. And you can’t get around
if you don’t have a car. So it’s pretty easy for
someone to take advantage of somebody else. What would that look like for us to say that could never happen here? And came out and said we could
only give you one estimate. We came back with more than,
we had to basically eat that. It means that if we didn’t
fix it right the first time you never paid again. It meant that you couldn’t
be inconvenienced, we could pick up your car
and bring it back to you. And the price that we put, it
would never be more than that. No matter what. No matter if we made a mistake or not, it would be done one time. – Some of the things
that people experience out in the industry is just
the hiding of information. – We do the opposite. We wanna tell them every single thing. So us being profitable
is not about us having more information than the customer. It’s about us giving value
and providing a really, really fantastic service for people
not only when they buy their car but long after when
they service their car. – [Don] If negotiation
is basically based on asymmetrical knowledge in the
sense that I know something you don’t know and I
can use that against you then we can’t do that anymore. So, we change the whole
way cars are priced, how we came to market.
Instead of starting at the top and negotiating down price, we came right up front with the price. We looked at the way we appraise cars too. We went to the open books. You can see how we arrived at the price. In the financing world, long before there were caps on finance we said we have to cap it. Doesn’t make any
difference what the law is, we have to cap it because
we said your ability to negotiate should not
determine the price you pay. It should be the same
offer everybody gets. Warranties on our used cars, we put $100,000 warranty on a used car. So we have to figure out
how to manage that call. So that meant we had to
get better reconditioning so we developed a very
detailed process so we knew with confidence the car would really last. And then we put a money-back guarantee because that’s what you
would do for a neighbor, you’d be able to offer
something back again. And people said that I must be crazy. Not too long ago, and I said, well, if I said I was really
going to treat a person like a neighbor or like
a guest in my home, that’s what I would do. So why aren’t we doing that? How do we kind of re-engage
in the trust relationships? (gentle music) Trust has underneath it
keeping your promises always, regardless of the cost. It means that you would
never advantage yourself at the disadvantage of another. It means there can never
be any language that is manipulative, deceptive, or
puts you at a disadvantage. If you said you could make a
trillion dollars but we can’t treat people like this anymore, or we can’t treat a customer like that, I just don’t wanna make it. That’s not success for us. Success has to begin in
terms of we can be trusted to always do the right
thing for our customer. A place that a person comes to work, they invest their scarce
labor capital with me and they get a full return for their life for having done so. And we are a place that
in our communities, that we really enhance the
communities that we’re in. That we’re a place that
if we didn’t exist, people wished we were there. Faith is something we actually exercise. It’s not an abstract concept. So how do we actually exercise faith? And love is something we actually live. It’s not an abstraction but
it’s actually a lived movement in life. And hope is something we actually bring in our very presence. (upbeat inspiring music) And so, we want to connect
those to people’s lives and say, how to we help this be a place
that’s worth believing in? How is this a place where
you believe you make a contribution and you make
a difference in what you do? And how can this be a place
where you feel connected as a human being? (upbeat techno music)

About the Author: Michael Flood

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