I wanted to take time and personally thank our customers for supporting Sherwood Park Dodge over the past 2 ½ years.
At this time of year, many business owners send out messages of “Seasons Greetings” and “Holiday Cheer.” Frankly, I have never really paid much attention to any of them. These (commercial) messages, at this time of year, have become standard, a tradition of thanking customers for their patronage and wishing them well.
For me, my family, my employees, and their families, the message this year has far more meaning. This is not another routine holiday message full of platitudes and pleasantries. I am profoundly grateful and appreciative for your support. Here’s why…
In Canada, it is a rare event to see a new Dodge dealer open for business. We did so in 2008 at the height of the “great recession” that saw both General Motors and Chrysler USA go bankrupt. Believe me, when we started planning to build this new business, literally from the ground up, we had no idea what was in store for us.
I recall the first “blog” I made on our website was a letter to the general public where I tried to ease fears regarding the problems with Chrysler in the US. The media coverage was all negative at the time. Few people knew that Chrysler Canada was profitable. Technically we (Chrysler Canada) were not in trouble, that is until some people started telling us they were going to “hold off buying” because they feared Chrysler would be closing its doors.
I must confess, there were more than a few sleepless nights in 2008. My wife and I had just invested our life savings, and several years of our lives, into this business.
During the height of negative media coverage, when most dealers were advertising they were selling below cost, or at least giving the impression they were, I decided to do the exact opposite and let people know the truth. Basically, the message was this;
“We are new, and we need customers, so we are going to have to work a little harder than the other guys to earn your business. We don’t sell below cost, because we are in business to make money, but our prices are fair.”
When I started telling folks I needed to make money in order to stay in business, a funny thing happened, I started receiving emails and phone calls from people who thanked me for being straight with them. People told me they were tired of hearing about how some dealers seemingly sell everything below cost. They said they never believed it and thought the message was patronizing at best.
And our sales went up. Way up. Over the past two plus years, we have gone from an empty potato field on the eastern edge of Edmonton to one of the largest retailers of Dodge Chrysler Jeep products in North America.
Had it not been for your support, this story would have a much different ending.
So, when I say that this message has a lot of meaning to me, my family, my staff, and their families, I am speaking from the heart.