While the auto sales industry carries a long-held reputation as a pressure-driven, male-dominated business, a local dealership is turning that history on its head – and people are taking notice.
Before opening Marysville Toyota, co-owners Jim Colon and Perry Watson III gained some valuable insight.
“We wanted to find out what the marketplace wanted,” Watson says. “So before we opened our doors in 2018, we conducted a survey to discover barriers and perceptions people have around car shopping.”
First, people don’t like to negotiate a car’s price. Second, they don’t like to be shuffled off to the finance office. And third, they want the whole process to go a lot faster.
With that in mind, Colon and Watson set about creating a different kind of auto dealership – one based on a non-commission sales model they call the Power of One.
The Power of One and how it works:
- With one best price for every vehicle, everyone receives the same deal.
- Working with one person throughout the vehicle purchasing process, shoppers aren’t handed off to a finance person. Instead, their finance experts work behind the scenes, finding the best solution for each customer.
- And from the time the customer chooses the vehicle they want, the goal is to get them on the road within one hour.
“This approach is definitely working for our customers,” Watson says, pointing out that Marysville Toyota has the highest Google scores in Metro Seattle, a No. 1 rating for Toyota Loyalty Engagement, a record market share and repeat and referral business.
It turns out that this less aggressive, friendly environment isn’t only attractive to buyers, it appeals to potential employees as well. Six of their 10 sales professionals are women, and more than half of their management team.
“It’s definitely a female-centric dealership,” Watson says. “That negative, aggressive commission-based sales environment is gone, and now the vibe here is so open and professional.”
Marysville Toyota also boasts a young staff, with 63 percent in the Millennial and Gen Z demographics.
“We know that they value their time off and a flexible work-life balance, and that they don’t like keeping their personal lives separate from their work lives. In understanding that, we’ve created a close family of 65 employees,” Watson says.
“While making this Power of One model work wasn’t easy, it was worth it.”