Mon, 15 September 2014
Introducing Hal Somers
Hal Somers is the type of guy that takes opportunities in life when they are presented to him. Hal went to trade school to learn brick laying as a young man and for a short time worked in mining. However, one day a friend in the used car business called him and told him that he was perfect for the job. So, Hal decided to take a crack at selling cars. He asked for two-weeks vacation from the mine to try it out, and after two weeks he put in his resignation at the mine.
Hal moved through the industry, starting with used cars, then moving to a GM dealership, and then he was offered a general manager’s position at a Toyota store. When a Mercury dealership in town went out of business, they courted Hal to take it over. However, there was a major problem, Hal didn’t have the cash to buy in. Mercury was so interested in him that they set him up with a silent angel investor and soon enough Hal was a business owner. He did this without a fancy diploma or degree, but with the right work ethic and attitude. Hal currently owns two dealerships (Ford and Mazda) in Miramichi, New Brunswick and he also is involved with angel investing because that is how he got his own start and he believes in paying it forward in life.
The motto at Towne Ford is, “where customers become friends.” Hal credits his success in the car retail business to this attitude. When you walk into one of Hal’s dealerships, there is a different atmosphere then you find with many other dealerships. Hal believes in treating people, both customers and employees, fairly and with transparency. Treating people the way he would want to be treated builds loyalty and trust. In fact, when Hal was shopping around new mottos for the dealership, it became pretty clear that the community wanted him to keep, “where customers become friends.”
In this episode
Greg tells us about his unfortunate experience using a backhoe. Dave tells us how Hal is the ultimate salesman, and almost sold him a new car just after getting a car. Hal explains why business people need to solve problems in economically depressed regions and not wait for politicians. He tells us an anecdote about a rude customer, and another about a broken plow truck window. Greg loves Hal’s approach to relationships with customers and Dave is inspired by Hal’s transparency and also inspired in general by the region of Miramichi.