This week I had the chance to sit down with another one of our sales and leasing consultants, John Jurgens. John has an extensive sales background in more than just automotive sales, but also advertising and moving and storage. John was also able to share tons of awesome traveling stories which immediately made me jealous, to the point where I was ready to pack my bags and drive across the country. John shared a lot with me about his background and experiences, check out what he had to say.
Zach Bello: So, start off by giving me the “John Jurgens” elevator speech, who you are, what you do, just something about you.
John Jurgens: Alright, well I’m a local resident here in Lebanon, Ohio and obviously working here at Lebanon Ford trying to match people’s needs and wants to the automobile of their choice. I enjoy working with people, try to help them out with their selection and do the best job I can to keep them happy and get them in to something that they really like. That’s what I’ve done basically my entire working career, I’ve always been in sales and always want to try and put myself in the shoes of the customer and satisfy their needs.
ZB: Have you always been in auto sales or what other kind of sales experience have you had?
JJ: Oh my gosh, well…
ZB: Does that mean it’s a pretty lengthy list then?
JJ: It is, it covers a pretty wide area of sales experience. I started out selling life insurance right out of college after I graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in business administration and marketing. I didn’t stay in the insurance field very long, and then got in to a field that I had always wanted to get in to which was aircraft sales and service. I had my pilots license and was always interested in aviation. Some college friends and I started up a company at Lunken Airport and became a dealer for aircraft manufacturers and did flight training and sales. We did that for a few years until I decided I needed a change and went in to the moving and storage business. We had a family operated business that I had grown up with so I knew the business and did that for a number of years, concentrating on marketing and sales. After that I got a job in the advertising field which is something I always wanted to do. I ran my own advertising business working with golf courses. After selling that business, I did advertising for Dayton Daily News for a number of years, concentrating of vehicle sales, which is where I got introduced with Lisa, owner of Lebanon Ford. I decided to get out of the newspaper business and in to automotive sales. Went back and forth between advertising jobs and then finally ended up back at Lebanon Ford.
ZB: Wow, that is very interesting. I would have never had any idea that you had such an extensive background in so many different areas, like advertising. That’s something that interests me having a degree in marketing and advertising sort of falls under the umbrella of marketing as a whole. What is your favorite part about your job?
JJ: My favorite part is definitely working with customers. Each customer is different and you have to match your personality with theirs to best communicate with them. I feel as if my background in advertising has really helped me in this business, because if you can’t communicate well with the person you are working with, then it’s going to be a very hard sale. So I try to see what we have in common and of course work with their needs and really find out what they want rather than what I want to sell.
ZB: So when you aren’t out here working with customers, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
JJ: I love to travel and camp. We used to do a lot of backpacking. We have two labs, a chocolate lab and a yellow lab, and we like to take them everywhere we go. We also have a small RV and like to take that out and do a lot of traveling.
ZB: Where is the coolest place you have ever traveled to?
JJ: My favorite places would have to be Colorado and Yellow Stone. We’ve been going out there the past couple years and I’d say those two places are the highlight of our travels when we go out west. I love it.
ZB: That’s really cool. I’ve always wanted to go out and do some traveling but have never really had the chance to. The coolest place I’ve traveled to is New York and that’s only because my family lives there. We’ve gone to the usual travel spots like Myrtle Beach and Florida trips, but I’ve never really gone out and just traveled and it’s something I really really want to do. I’m young I feel like traveling is something I should definitely be doing.
JJ: When I was in college, we decided to take a trip before the next semester, so we bought an old van and fixed it up in to a camper. We cut the roof off and used sheet metal to make a higher roof on it and put a plastic bubble hatch on the roof so we could look out of it. We rebuilt the engine and took it up through Michigan and out west through Canada all the way to the west coast and came down the California coast, through the Grand Canyon and back up to Ohio. It died the day we were bringing it back about 1,000 feet where we were going to park it.
ZB: That is so awesome, I’d love to do something like that. That is like my dream to just take a few weeks and just drive all over with friends. I’m extremely jealous of you.
JJ: Yeah, it was a great experience, we had a blast doing it.
ZB: What do you think separates Lebanon Ford from other dealerships?
JJ: Having worked for other dealerships, and my wife also works at a car dealership so I can compare those two to what we do at Lebanon Ford. So I think what really differentiates us is the way we treat our customers. We don’t high pressure people and really just have a more relaxed atmosphere which I think really differentiates us. I get stories from customers all the time that tell me they’ve come from another dealership saying they were treated poorly, and that just isn’t how we do it around here.
ZB: And not only does that really create a better experience and environment for the customer, but also for the salespeople too. Where the customer doesn’t feel pressured in the situation, the salesperson also isn’t getting hounded by the sales manager and making them feel like they have to sell a particular car. It’s an overall more relaxed and comfortable experience for everyone.
JJ: Exactly, and that is something you won’t really find anywhere else.
ZB: Moving on to our last question, more of a silly more “what would you do if” type of question, If you won the lottery tomorrow, what is the first thing that you would do?
JJ: The first thing I would do, I definitely wouldn’t quit working unlike a lot of people. I mean I’d probably work less but I wouldn’t quit. But I would definitely travel, probably somewhere overseas since I haven’t been able to do that. I would take a trip to somewhere like Europe or Australia. Also on the priority list would be to help out some people I know, help them get through some tough times.
ZB: And a lot of people wouldn’t even think to do that. You see so many people win the lottery then spend it all on themselves, and then once it’s all gone they are right back to where they were.
JJ: Yeah, and I would definitely stay around here, especially with all of my family and everything. You wouldn’t just find me picking up and leaving and never hearing from me again.
ZB: Whew, well that’s a relief. Well John that was the last question I had for you, thanks for taking the time to come in and talk with me for a little bit.
JJ: Not a problem, and one other thing I’d like to add. My ideal vehicle to sell.
ZB: And what would that be…
JJ: The flying car.
JJ: As soon as that gets perfected, I’m going to make sure we can stock those, turn this place in to a flying car dealership. They are coming, don’t worry.
ZB: I had no idea. Well we’ll be sure to stay on top of that and be the first to offer flying cars to people. Thanks again for all your insight and great stories.