Within 4 minutes of Talking with Mercedes-Benz of Easton's Daniel Govaer, it felt like talking to an old friend. A feeling with which we expect many of his team members are pretty familiar.
He got into automotive as one of three "green peas," sharing a cubicle in a Toyota store in 2004. When the opportunity to move to the group's newly acquired Mercedes store presented itself, he took a chance and was allowed to make a move.
With his new-found elbow room, he developed an interest and knack for inventory management and, of course, spending time around cars most people in their 20s don't even get to hear driving down the street.
Trust. After some years, he was trusted by the COO eventually earned the role of GM. He made no compromise in pointing to trust as an essential bedrock of success. His leaders trusted him, and he showed them it was worth it. Now he passes that trust, and its empowerment, to his associates.
Daniel Govaer notes, "As long as there is trust and respect, there is room to discuss making any change."
Book Club! Daniel said every year, the associates in the store are invited to engage in the culture of trust by rereading the book 'The Speed of Trust." (We expect a book report from each of you reading this within a month!)
Now, between his time leading the store and sitting on the boards of the local Make-A-Wish Foundation and USO, he helps materialize the hard-to-acquire desires of his clients.
"When I hear somebody can't find the car they want, I get excited. I MUST find it," said Govaer.
High-profile clients, whom he was not at liberty to name, come to him because he has built a relationship between that customer and store that extends to the OEM's brand. By maintaining customer profiles, he helps meet them where they are and where they will be.
An investment of time and care that pays out more than money. He shared the unique experience of joining customers when their desired vehicle is delivered saying, “At that moment, politics don't matter, gas prices don't matter, your bills, the news, none of that stuff we usually worry about matters. You get to share that moment with the client, and it transcends everything else."
Tell them why. In closing, he reminded us to work with people we trust and tell them that we trust them and WHY we trust them. Show them they can do the same, and the culture will follow.