Dinos Constantine on the One-Price Model in a Dynamic Price Age

June 5, 2023
Dinos Constantine is the COO of Holler-Classic Automotive Group.
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Dinos Constantine is the COO of Holler-Classic Automotive Group.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Holler Classic Automotive Group has both franchise retail operations and used car superstores as part of their business.
  2. The company adopted the one-price selling model about 13 years ago and had to align their pay plans with this philosophy.
  3. The one-price model has evolved to be more dynamic in response to changes in the market, supply, and incentives.
  4. Holler Classic is working on implementing QR codes across their inventory to keep up with rapidly changing prices and ensure consistency across channels.
  5. The company focuses on exceptional customer experiences and has a mission to create loyalty.
  6. The one-price model has allowed Holler Classic to recruit employees from other industries, such as the cell phone and hospitality sectors.
  7. The company has curtailed hours and closed on Sundays (except the last Sunday of the month) to provide a better work-life balance for employees.
  8. Holler Classic aims to be the most admired automotive retailer, considering the perspectives of customers, employees, OEM partners, and shareholders.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:00All right we're here with dinos Constantine, COO of holler classic Automotive Group.

Unknown: 0:06

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Kyle Mountsier: 0:23

All right, dinos thanks so much for hanging out with us. We still Yeah, out of a session a little bit today. And then once or twice awesome. So how holler is has kind of a lot of different parts of your business, right because you do have some franchise retail stuff, but you have some other really unique types of dealerships correct outside of just the franchise side of things. Yes, we

Dinos Constantine: 0:47

do have to use car superstars in the group.Right?

Kyle Mountsier: 0:49

And tell me a little bit about those. Tell everyone a little bit about those those you love the

Paul Daly: 0:53

word superstore.Yeah, it just makes me feel like I want to go

Dinos Constantine: 0:56

well, we went body down to Used Car superstore route about 15 years ago, we were taking a lot of trades at our stores that were largely wholesaling. And a lot of those trades still had tremendous value to our customers. And we deemed it as a good disposition strategy to create a separate channel for those cars that maybe didn't quite fit our franchise retail model.

Kyle Mountsier: 1:19

Yeah, it's interesting, because I don't know if you know this about Dino's, but he's always about 15years ahead of everybody else.Or at least in my estimation,you know, CRM, data platforms,used car, separate operations that saw a viable opportunity.He's like, Oh, driveway, he's like, we've been doing this for15 years, guys. And one of the really unique things that I knew, and the reason that I kind of got introduced not in person,but just in knowledge about Howler classic was my relationship with Tom Ryan. And you all kind of were part of leading the way in the one price, one person, that way of doing business on the sales side, back in what 2010, you said,

Dinos Constantine: 2:01

2010, we had one of our general managers raise his hand and talk about a new way of doing business being one price and we started, we started exploring that. And we implemented it first at our classic monster store. And shortly thereafter, we rolled it out to the rest of our organization. So we've been one price dealer now for 13 years.

Kyle Mountsier: 2:21

Before it was cool, by the way before it was cool. So what are some of the learnings that you've had along the way? Like, because that's being an early mover? Like that is definitely not easy? What have what's been your learning along the way? And maybe if someone was thinking, hey, I'm may or may not want to do this?What What have you learned that could help them if they're moving forward?

Dinos Constantine: 2:44

Well, I think a couple of things that are important is to make sure that your pay plans are aligned with your selling philosophy. So, you know, one of the changes that we had to make shortly thereafter,going to one price is we had to migrate away from gross base pay plans for our people, whether they be managers, or whether they be salespeople, we looked at price as being dictated by the market controlled by the General Manager. And we allowed our process, our one price process and our selling philosophy to drive our sales and, and all we really asked for it for our people to follow that and to drive volume.

Paul Daly: 3:22

How has one price evolves for you? You know, 1314years ago, you You've definitely changed somewhat, how is it different now than it was you know, say 10 years ago,

Dinos Constantine: 3:34

I think 10years ago, our one price was much more of a static one price as as the market

Paul Daly: 3:41

in the sense that you like put a price on there and it stayed that price for a while.

Dinos Constantine: 3:46

Yeah, the stickiness of the price was had a much longer shelf life than it has today. Today, we got to react react dynamically to changes in supply in the market that can happen very, very quickly. Manufacturer incentives, and we also got to be really aware of what's going on as far as incentives are concerned. And competitors.

Kyle Mountsier: 4:05

Yeah, that's It's wild. Because even probably10 years ago, the data might not have actually presented itself to be available that real time but now maybe the reality is there that like hey, we can make decisions in the real time to move that forward. What you know, since there has been a historical trajectory on being an early mover on things what are the things right now that you're trying to solve in the customer experience with a group so that you're prepared or ahead of time in the next two to three years? Well, this

Dinos Constantine: 4:36

is gonna sound really, really elementary but one of the things that we're really struggling with is with as rapidly as we're changing prices we can't even keep up with re sticker in our car

Paul Daly: 4:45

that was that was literally what was in my mind Oh wow. That's what like makes the case for like a digital digital price board or something on the car because just you figure like the guy just makes the rounds on the lot by the time he gets to the end of the superstore lot like he's just got to start at the beginning again,

Dinos Constantine: 4:59

slow and during COVID One of the eight and even now even through now,with cars coming in very, very quickly or no day supply is still tight. You know, a lot of these cars will be sold before we even get to the store and much less being able to sticker them. And in fact, there are times where we may have sold a car two or three weeks ago, and the price is actually different today than it was two or three weeks ago. So one of the things that we are looking at right now is a migration to QR codes across all of our inventory,where the QR code can be scanned, and it's it's dynamically referring to our latest pricing database.

Kyle Mountsier: 5:29

Yep, that's great, which could be the website could be anything else.But it's like an easy way to get the satisfying

Dinos Constantine: 5:36

one of our salespeople a number of years ago, we were doing, we were doing some testimonials. And one of our salespeople said, the thing that I love about our pricing system is that whether a customer goes to our website calls a store, or ghosts or, or makes a phone call, the price that they get is going to be the three out of all three is going to be the same across all three channels.

Kyle Mountsier: 5:54

That's interesting, because that's like, you would think that's the first from the customer. But that's from the employee side.Absolutely. Yeah. How

Paul Daly: 6:01

frustrating is that from an employee side, if someone's like I called, or I went to the website and a showed up, or they see it on the lot,and then they get on the website while they're waiting?

Kyle Mountsier: 6:10

Yeah, right.What have you seen as the end of the salespersons? Like, your original, you know, you had to change pay plans. Now, it's been a long time, you've probably had, you know, some region, you know, some some turnover, but also some longevity there. But what have you seen in like the employee engagement with the store and with the group and with retention, since moving to a process and price point thing?Well, I'd

Dinos Constantine: 6:31

actually tell you, that's actually a very good question. One of the things that we also did when we migrated to one price is we focused really heavily on what our mission,vision and values were for the organization. And our mission is to create loyalty through exceptional customer experiences. And the only way you can create loyalty through exceptional customer experiences is that you not only have the buy in of your management team,but you have to have the buy in of your employees and salespeople all of your front end line employees in order to make this thing happen.

Kyle Mountsier: 7:02

Yeah, because if, if, if you're trying to create loyalty, and everybody is not on board, or everybody leaves the next month, than how our customers got connected to people, you're just not going to make that

Paul Daly: 7:14

Hi, no, and the vibe of the energy in the store is,you know, like once you get the momentum going in that way,where it's like people are leaving, it's very, very hard to stop. So it is from, you know,you said that the shift in Pay Plan. Did you notice? Or do you notice now that you're able to recruit a whole different class,or category of folks into the car business from outside the car business? Because of it?

Dinos Constantine: 7:37

Yes, we don't typically see a lot of people from within the industry coming to our stores, because of how we pay. But we see a lot of great employees that are coming from other industries and other backgrounds that are really attracted by our hourly sales model. And our bonus funds.Yeah,

Kyle Mountsier: 7:50

what are some of those industries that you're seeing? Oh, a

Dinos Constantine: 7:53

lot of people coming from the cell phone industry, people that were customer service representatives, we see a lot of people coming from the hospitality industry, which in Orlando is a very big part of the industry. And one of the things that we've also done from an attractiveness standpoint,particularly for people that are coming from the hospitality industry is we've actually curtailed our hours a little bit. We started taking a look at when our when our customer shop,right? We started taking a look at how we schedule people. And we tried to get a much better work life balance for employees.And since COVID, we've been able to operate being closed on Sundays, which has been a huge boost for all of our employees knowing that they have that guarantee day off each and every month each and every week.

Paul Daly: 8:31

And that happened during COVID. Because you started closing Did you ever close close? No, not because you're in Orlando. But you you started you closed on Sunday?

Dinos Constantine: 8:40

Yeah, we curtailed our hours, we closed a little bit earlier and never went back. And we've extended our hours just a little bit.Yeah, maybe till eight o'clock.But we're still closed on Sundays with the exception of the last Sunday of the month.Yeah.

Kyle Mountsier: 8:51

I mean, from they all sound like great chains, great, it's decisions on both sides. Because if you only make decisions for employees, or only make decisions for customers, like you're going to lose on seesaw is gonna get out of balance, it's gonna get out of balance. And so

Dinos Constantine: 9:05

that's,that's consistent with the vision of the company, right? We talked a little bit about our mission, but our vision is to build is to be the most admired automotive retailer in the country. And we look at that from four perspectives. We look at that from the perspective of the customer, the employee, our OEM partners, and our shareholders. So everything that we try to do we try to balance,you know, with those four stakeholders in mind,

Kyle Mountsier: 9:27

that's that's a balancing act for sure. Well,dinos, thank you so much for joining us today. I think, like people thinking and looking ahead should be paying attention to what you guys are doing. So thanks

Dinos Constantine: 9:37

for the courage. Thank you for your time today. Thank you.

Unknown: 9:42

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