Season 1 – Episode 5 – Bob Tasca 3 – Part One
In this high energy and informative episode Adam DeGraide interviews Bob Tasca 3. Bob shares the story of how his families automotive business went from a single point dealership in Seekonk, MA to one of the largest auto groups in the USA. This is part one of the can’t miss two part series of David Vs Goliath Podcast. If you are not fired up after watching this I’m not to sure what would fire you up as a business owner.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to today’s episode of David vs Goliath, a podcast dedicated to helping small businesses leverage technology, to not only help them compete against their large competitors, but win. Your host is currently the CEO of Anthem Business Software, a three time Inc. 500 recipient, and a serial entrepreneur with a passion to help small businesses everywhere, find, serve, and keep more customers, profitably. Please join me in welcoming your host, Adam DeGraide.
Adam DeGraide (00:31):
Hey everyone. It’s Adam DeGraide, here with another exciting episode of David vs Goliath. So glad to have you guys here. It’s going to be a great day today. I have one of the coolest guys in the world. This guy goes zero to 320 miles an hour, back down to zero, in under five seconds. That’s right. I’m talking about the vice president of Tasca Automotive Group, Bob Tasca III. Bob, give our everyone a thumbs up. Great to see you here. Thanks for joining me today. Really, really, excited to have Bob Tasca III here. Before we get into the interview, I want to cover a little bit of housekeeping. Number one, you can visit us today at davidvsgoliathpodcast.com. There, you can subscribe to the podcast, and also apply to be on the podcast. And that is very important by the way. We are, you can also watch us on YouTube.
Adam DeGraide (01:27):
You can listen to us on Spotify, Apple, or any one of your favorite podcast applications. And if you like the show, please subscribe so you can be kept up to date on the latest episodes. This is going to be so exciting today. Bob Tasca, welcome to David vs Goliath podcast.
Bob Tasca III (01:45):
Excellent. Always nice to see you, Adam.
Adam DeGraide (01:47):
Man, it’s such a pleasure to have you on here. It’s very rare that I get to actually interview somebody who goes from zero to 200… How many miles is it? Is it 330?
Bob Tasca III (01:57):
335 miles an hour in 3.8 seconds.
Adam DeGraide (02:01):
Think about that folks, listening and watching. My gosh, I can’t even imagine. We’re going to definitely talk about your professional drag racing career a little bit towards the end, but at David vs Goliath, Bob, we love helping small businesses compete with their big giants and win. And I thought it would be awesome to have you on, because throughout my life, watching the Tasca Automotive Group grow from a single dealership to what it is now, it truly is a David vs Goliath story, where now, you’re one of the Goliaths in the industry, and you looked up at to, for so, so… Because your grandfather did such an amazing job, you guys have done an even better job.
Adam DeGraide (02:44):
This is so powerful for people to realize, that you can start small, but you could end up big. And the vision continues even today. Tell the folks who are watching and listening, Tasca Automotive Group’s beginning, a little bit about the history behind it, and why your family has been able to be so successful in it, for so long?
Bob Tasca III (03:03):
Well, sure. Well, hey listen, my grandfather started everything back in the sixties. I wasn’t even born. I don’t even think I was thought of back then. But he started as a single point Ford store. And my grandfather always used to say he was a mega mini. He was a single point dealer, but he acted like a big dealer. He did big business. Very successful group. Then, he grew to… Lincoln Mercury Store actually sold the Ford store back to Ford, and bought Lincoln Mercury, which was brand new at the time. And my father and my two uncles were getting involved. And he didn’t want to be in the big Ford store. He wanted a new challenge. My grandfather’s all about challenges.
Adam DeGraide (03:42):
Bob Tasca III (03:42):
And started Lincoln Mercury in the early seventies. And that store really grew to be the largest Lincoln Mercury dealer in the world, in 1986 and 1987. No one sold more Lincoln Mercuries than in Seekonk, Massachusetts. And my grandfather was very proud at that time, to say, “None bigger. None better.” It was the largest volume and highest customer satisfaction Lincoln Mercury store in the world. And about that time, I was getting through high school, and college, and got to this. Our family grew up in the business. I was always at the dealership as a kid. And there was, I think, five Tascas in a 14,000 square foot building. And we were bouncing off each other in that place. And we, at that point, realized that if we were going to stay together as a family and grow our family, we needed to grow our business.
Bob Tasca III (04:35):
And we started to do that. We actually bought back his original Ford store in East Providence, Rhode Island, as I was coming out of college. And we just kept growing. And we reached a plateau to a certain point, in the early 2000s. And then, my brother and my cousin, David Tasca Jr., and Kyle Tasca Jr., and my sister started getting involved. And we hit the throttle again. And now, we’re, oh man, I think I’ve lost count. I think we’re at 15 rooftops in Illinois, Florida, throughout Florida, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and still growing. And we’re very fortunate. We got an unbelievably dedicated group of men and women. It always, always, always comes down to people and process. As you scale a business and grow a business, you need… The easiest thing to do is buy businesses.
Adam DeGraide (05:27):
Bob Tasca III (05:27):
Running them is much more challenging, and we’re just very fortunate. We got great processes and great people, and we’ll continue to grow.
Adam DeGraide (05:37):
Folks, when you think about that, a single Ford location, sold it. Took on a Lincoln Mercury at the time. I remember the early days, watching your grandfather on TV commercials. And he always had this slogan that was awesome. He basically said, “You will be satisfied.” And he actually wrote a book called You Will Be Satisfied.
Bob Tasca III (05:58):
Adam DeGraide (05:58):
And I’ve taken that whole principle, even into my businesses, Bob, a little bit. Tell people about, what did he mean by that? Did he really mean that?
Bob Tasca III (06:06):
He actually had a saying. You took it one step further. You will be satisfied. We’ll either fix it, replace it, or burn it. Bring the matches. And that’s the [inaudible 00:06:15] mentality. He did whatever it took to satisfy the customer, as we do today. He empowered at the very lowest level in the company, to take care of the customer. Because that is the secret. The further up the chain the customer goes, the more expensive it is to solve the problem. And it was his cornerstone. And today, many years later, it’s still our cornerstone.
Adam DeGraide (06:37):
You’re still using the slogan to this day. Man, think about how-
Bob Tasca III (06:40):
[inaudible 00:06:40]. It’s everywhere.
Adam DeGraide (06:41):
Think about how proud he would be right now, seeing you, us, two goofy guys on a podcast here, talking to each other. And I just know he’s smiling down at you guys, and is so grateful and just so happy that you guys have been so successful. Now, this doesn’t happen on accident, by the way. I think a lot of people, especially listening to this podcast, Bob, they’re small entrepreneurs and small businesses, relatively under 500 employees, typically, that listen to David vs Goliath podcast. But they’re always looking for ways to grow and things to think about. And one of the things I talk to them about are the five smooth stones that every business has to have.
Adam DeGraide (07:16):
And the first one is plans with goals. The second one you’ve alluded to already. People. The third is tools. The fourth is the process your people use, the tools to hit the plans and goals. And then, the fifth is courage. So starting off with plans and goals, thinking back to the early conversations you had with your grandfather, and your dad, and your uncles, and all of you guys sitting in a room. I know you plan. This is not, this doesn’t happen on accident. Give a little window of insight from the early stages of what it was like to be in meetings with Tasca, to what you even do now. Do you plan? Do you have specific goals, and do you hold people accountable to it?
Bob Tasca III (07:56):
It’s a great point. I get an opportunity to speak to about 30,000 high schoolers a year. And it’s funny that you say plans with goals. I use the term, goals with plans. A goal without a plan is a wish. And I don’t like to wake up in the morning and wish things are going to happen. I like to wake up and make things happen. And a goal without a plan, you’re going nowhere. So you have to have, in my opinion, a couple goals. I tell people five’s too many. And one’s not enough. You need two or three, three or four goals, that you wake up each and every day chasing, with a plan. How are you going to get there? What are your backup plans?
Bob Tasca III (08:38):
You need to think through all of those processes. And then, you need to go out there and do it. And use a word called accountability. See, I think accountability is… That really doesn’t tell at all. It’s consistent accountability, is what really is the game changer in my opinion. Anybody can be accountable for a day.
Adam DeGraide (08:58):
Bob Tasca III (08:59):
Show me someone that can do it for a month, a quarter, a year, consistently, holding their team accountable to what I consider realistic expectations. You can’t ask someone to score 80 points in a basketball game, right?
Adam DeGraide (09:12):
Bob Tasca III (09:12):
So it’s going to be realistic. You got to have good processes. And then, you got to hold them accountable to the results that you expect. And what I use, a phrase, Adam, my number one responsibility in our company is to put our team in a position to win.
Adam DeGraide (09:28):
Bob Tasca III (09:29):
In a position to win. You can’t win it, right? The coach, Belichick, as good as he may be, he’s not going to go out and win every football game. He’s going to put his team-
Adam DeGraide (09:37):
Really? We saw that the other day.
Bob Tasca III (09:38):
We saw that the other day. He’s going to put his team in a position to win, with the resources, and the facility, the marketing, the software, the leadership, whatever you need to do to surround your team with the people, the talent, the resources to win. And then, you got to let them go out and win the ball game, and not micromanage them. Not suffocate them. Let them go out and win. And that’s what we do in our company. It’s been very successful, and we’ll continue to do it.
Adam DeGraide (10:08):
Bob, it’s so… You have to give people the tools to win, right? There’s no doubt about it. But when you think back, one of the things I remember early on, when I would visit you at the dealership, you would be coming out of meetings. You have regular meetings with your team, right? This isn’t something that you just, you send out a memo saying, “Here’s our plans and goals. And good luck.”
Bob Tasca III (10:29):
Adam DeGraide (10:30):
You talk with your team on a regular basis, to say, “Hey, what’s working? What’s not working? What can we adjust? What do you need?” Tell people a little bit, give them a little window into-
Bob Tasca III (10:41):
Adam DeGraide (10:42):
… I don’t know if it’s Monday morning. Is it Monday morning? Is it Friday-
Bob Tasca III (10:44):
So we call it mapping it, right? So we call, we use a phrase, map it. So what that means is, is that I want to have visual data daily, okay, that we can look at to celebrate success or look for areas of opportunity. I think one of the biggest challenges in business, is that teams don’t know if they’re winning or losing.
Adam DeGraide (11:09):
Bob Tasca III (11:09):
They don’t know. They may never know if they’re winning or losing. Or if they do, the data is so late or not timely, that they say, “Well, okay. Well, that was a month ago. And I think we’re better than that now.” So we had daily, take our sales force for example. Our sales managers have to, on a piece of paper, and I’m a technology guy-
Adam DeGraide (11:28):
You’re a technology guy. Piece of paper though, man. Sometimes it’s more great.
Bob Tasca III (11:32):
… [crosstalk 00:11:32] piece of paper. They got to go in and write down how many ops came in the show?
Adam DeGraide (11:35):
Bob Tasca III (11:36):
How many they sold? How many delivered? How much gross they put up? What their CSI is month to date? How many appointments they have for tomorrow? This is by hand now. Pen and paper. They have to initial it. Okay? And then, text it. Text that piece of paper to the entire Tasca family. Every single night they have to do that.
Adam DeGraide (11:56):
Bob Tasca III (11:57):
And you talk about accountability.
Adam DeGraide (11:59):
Bob Tasca III (11:59):
When they go for zero, do you know how painful it is for them to write zero on that piece of paper?
Adam DeGraide (12:05):
Bob Tasca III (12:05):
But again, it’s daily accountability. And then, we’ll have more formalized, we ask the general managers to have weekly department meetings. And then, we hold formal monthly report outs. Okay?
Adam DeGraide (12:17):
Bob Tasca III (12:17):
So it’s the first week of the prior month. We do a fixed ops for all parts and service, and we do one for sales. And we take all of our stores, and we rank them on the same set of metrics, month in and month out. And we go around the country, really, with our group, and the heroes, the top performing teams, man, they log into that call, and they can’t wait for the data to come out. And the poor performing teams happen to be at one of the stores right now that need a little boost. Okay?
Adam DeGraide (12:47):
Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Bob Tasca III (12:47):
They dread it. They dread it. And it’s incredible, because I use a word, we create a culture that is toxic to poor performers. It’s toxic. [crosstalk 00:13:00]-
Adam DeGraide (13:00):
Yeah. If you’re not performing well at Tasca, you’re not going to be there very-
Bob Tasca III (13:04):
You’re not going to stick around, because I say to my service managers, “I don’t have to worry about ever firing you.” “Then, what do you mean?” I said, “Because every month when you log into that call, if you are one of the worst performing managers in my company, how many times are you going to log into the call before you don’t log in anymore? You physically don’t show up.” And it’s that level of accountability-
Adam DeGraide (13:22):
Bob Tasca III (13:22):
… because they have no excuses. Right? They have the training, the support, the equipment. And if they can’t get it done, well, we don’t fire the team. Right? We change the coach.
Adam DeGraide (13:32):
Bob Tasca III (13:32):
And that’s just a harsh reality. I’m a competitive guy. I bring a lot of what I do on the racetrack, into the dealership.
Adam DeGraide (13:40):
Bob Tasca III (13:41):
What’s beautiful about sports, anyone who’s played professional sports, you know exactly how you performed.
Adam DeGraide (13:49):
Bob Tasca III (13:49):
You know exactly who won and lost, and you know in the absolute moment that it happened. Well, in business, a lot of that is like, doesn’t exist.
Adam DeGraide (14:00):
Bob Tasca III (14:01):
I don’t know. Did we have a good day? I don’t know. It felt like a good day. It’s like-
Adam DeGraide (14:03):
I don’t know. I don’t know.
Bob Tasca III (14:04):
I don’t know. Maybe we did. What did the guy across the street do? Well, that, when you work for the Tasca family-
Adam DeGraide (14:11):
Bob Tasca III (14:11):
… you’ll go home at night, you know exactly if you won or lost.
Adam DeGraide (14:14):
And you know, what’s so great about that, for the listeners that are watching this and seeing this guys, is it all does start with plans with goals? The reason why his managers and his different department heads know whether they’re winning or losing, is because they’ve taken the time to say, “Here’s what we need to do. These are the numbers we need to hit. And we’re going to manage and measure to that goal.”
Bob Tasca III (14:39):
Adam DeGraide (14:39):
You said, so interestingly, Bob, a lot of small businesses, they don’t really, they don’t know how to do that. You know what I mean? They don’t know how to create a plan. They don’t know what that means. And so, they just sit around saying, “Oh, I think we did pretty good this week.” Well, what does that mean? Relative to what? You know what I mean? To yourself? To your competitor? How do you know? And so, it really does take a lot of energy and effort. So Bob, hang in there with me. Really quick, we need to take a break, right now, from our corporate sponsor, Anthem Software.
Speaker 4 (15:08):
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Adam DeGraide (15:32):
And we’re back with Bob Tasca. This is going so awesome, man. I am loving this interview, because this is real, right? If you want to work for the Tasca’s, you want to be a top performer, because we have plans and goals, and we hold people accountable to them. And then, we have monthly meetings where we go through those numbers. And if you’re not at the top, you’re always on the bottom, and how much longer can you be on the bottom before you just don’t come to the call? And that leads me to, you don’t want to have to be churning your staff all the time, or churning your managers, right?
Bob Tasca III (16:26):
Adam DeGraide (16:27):
So finding good people, man, and you have hundreds of them now, where you started off as a small single rooftop as they call it here in the automotive industry, folks, those of you who are listening and watching. Did you know that they refer to their business by rooftops? Maybe you didn’t realize that, but that is exactly how they refer to themselves. When you have one, to now, you have all these hundreds of people working for the organization, recruiting, hiring, training, mentoring, developing, what is the Tasca methodology to finding, training, and keeping good people, or great people in your case?
Bob Tasca III (17:04):
Well, I can tell you, great people attract great people. That’s the bottom line. We’ll look at our GMs who really are our leaders in each one of our stores, our general managers. And you can really spot great general managers, maybe not how much experience they have in the business, but how well they are able to attract talent. Because I really feel that talent attracts talent. And when you interview people, and you’re on the other side of the table, you want to work for somebody that’s going to motivate you, that’s going to lead you, that’s going to inspire you to grow. And we’re blessed. A lot of our, all of our GMs around our business, many of them have come up through our company, because we know them. Some of our general managers were salespeople, service advisors, that have developed over the years.
Bob Tasca III (17:56):
And we really want to get the general manager position right. Because I don’t have the time to hire every service advisor or every salesperson. So I put, we put a lot of effort in that general manager position, to make sure that that person represents our values, our culture, what we believe in, because that’s ultimately, what’s going to dictate the success of the store. So we, I really focus on the GMs. We have calls with the GMs. I’m in Connecticut right now, at our Ford store, meeting with the GM face to face.
Adam DeGraide (18:31):
Bob Tasca III (18:32):
Because when we leave, they’re the one that’s going to carry on the message.
Adam DeGraide (18:36):
Now, Bob, when you’re trying to find these general managers in your particular situation, do you recruit them yourself? Do they come to you? Do you use an outside recruiting firm? Is it a blend? What are some of the things that Tasca uses to find GMs? And then, what are some of the tools your GMs use to find great people?
Bob Tasca III (18:54):
Yeah. So it’s a combination of all the above. For the general manager position, we really look within. We really like to look within. We don’t, not all of our GMs are from within, but the overwhelming majority of them are from within. And then, we use all of the services. Indeed, and all the online ad services. And it’s not easy. It’s tough. You’ve got to search through a lot of applications. We have used some recruiting agencies in the past. But we are fortunate, because when you do create a culture of winning , word gets out.
Adam DeGraide (19:32):
Bob Tasca III (19:32):
And there’s no better person to hire than someone who’s recommended, or calls you because they know of someone that worked for you or with you currently. Those are the best hires. Because if you think about it, when you’re advertising, for the most part, you’re looking for people that don’t have a job.
Adam DeGraide (19:48):
Bob Tasca III (19:48):
And there may be a reason why they don’t have a job. Right? So-
Adam DeGraide (19:51):
Sometimes [crosstalk 00:19:52]-
Bob Tasca III (19:53):
You got to be careful with that one. But no. That is the challenge. It’ll always come down to people and process, and the teams and coaches that are able to surround themselves with the best people and processes, and hold their teams accountable, will win. Will win while they lose.
Adam DeGraide (20:09):
Yeah. Do you rely on your GMs to train, for example, the sales people on how to handle internet leads, or handle the customer walking into the showroom? Is there a specific Tasca way, so to speak-
Bob Tasca III (20:22):
Adam DeGraide (20:22):
… where, when somebody comes through the door, what do we want them to think? What do we want them to feel? And what do we want them to do at Tasca?
Bob Tasca III (20:31):
Yes. So we have a combination of outside trainers, which we bring in both on the sales side and service side, that backfill the GMs. But it is the General Manager’s responsibility to make sure that his team is executing our playbook. You’ll hear a lot of sports analogies when you look at how we run our company, but we have a playbook. We have a sales playbook. We have a service playbook. We have a set of processes that need to be followed, every time, without fail, no exceptions. And that’s the challenging thing. You can take the most simplest tasks, but you ask someone to repeat it every day, without fail, no exceptions, it becomes very, very complicated to do because of complacency.
Adam DeGraide (21:15):
Bob Tasca III (21:16):
In playing God and skipping steps. And when you do that, you get in trouble. We see it with new salesmen all the time. They’ll come in. They’ll absorb our training. They’ll go out and they’ll execute. And they’ll have an unbelievable run. A two or three month run. And then, they’ll fall flat on their face.
Adam DeGraide (21:33):
They try to get [crosstalk 00:21:35]-
Bob Tasca III (21:35):
I’m a professional. They know all the answers. They start skipping all the steps that made them successful.
Adam DeGraide (21:40):
And then, boom.
Bob Tasca III (21:40):
And then they have three months, boom. It’s like, what happened? Did you forget how to sell a car? And it’s a perfect example about how complacency can set in, and really derail your success.
Adam DeGraide (21:53):
Yeah. And man, it’s so fascinating that you say that, because at the end of the day, you said, don’t play God. Right? So-
Bob Tasca III (22:00):
Adam DeGraide (22:00):
… So many times in sales, we play God. We judge customers. I was talking a couple weeks back on a podcast. I used to, as you know, Bob, I used to work with right around 1800 car dealerships. There were some amazing, wonderful human beings that I met in the automotive industry. And then, there was some dealerships you’d show up at, and there would be some challenges. Right? I remember sitting in a sales managers meeting at that dealership remain anonymous here. And the guy’s like, “Look at that person out there. They’re just tire kickers. They’re never going to buy anything.” And I’m thinking to myself, well, not from you. Not from you. And it’s so, so true. Now, running a dealership, transitioning out of people into tools. Tools are critical, and in a dealership, there’s many tools you’re using. So help the people understand from a marketing perspective, what are the tools that Tasca uses to get the word out to their potential customers?
Bob Tasca III (23:03):
Well, the biggest thing that we have is a CRM. A Customer Relationship Management system, both in sales and service. And that really is the lifeblood of our company. All of the leads, whether it’s phone, internet, showroom, service customers, whether they’re returning, or they’re fresh service customers, go in a database. And then, with that database, we’re able to do so many things. From follow up a customer, to look at the equity in their trade, to see if they’re at the optimal time to trade them out of it, where they have the most equity to go into either another new or used vehicle.
Adam DeGraide (23:37):
Bob Tasca III (23:38):
But that CRM tool that we use, runs our entire company. And it’s vital. The salesmen are in it. The service advisors are in it. The sales managers are in it. And it’s how we stay in touch with our customers.
Adam DeGraide (23:57):
Technology is critical, right? So your CRM is automating processes, back when your grandfather ran the dealership, that you used to have to do manually. Right?
Bob Tasca III (24:06):
Oh, crazy. Crazy.
Adam DeGraide (24:07):
Could you imagine having to do the things that are automated now, back then? That’s what they did though, man.
Bob Tasca III (24:13):
That’s crazy. Yeah. That’s amazing.
Adam DeGraide (24:15):
They had to send out cards. They had calendars in their office. They had to remember people’s birthdays. All the things that we take for granted now, our forefathers didn’t have that, and we’re so grateful to have it, which can make us lazy in some cases too. Right?
Bob Tasca III (24:29):
Oh, for sure.
Adam DeGraide (24:30):
Yeah. You don’t want to lose those principles to technology. From a marketing perspective, bob, what does Tasca do from a marketing perspective to get the word out, besides using technology and automating CRM? Are you on TV? Are you on radio? Are you doing social media advertising? Are you doing Google AdWords? Are you doing it all? Tell us a little bit about that strategy.
Bob Tasca III (24:51):
So it’s unbelievable how that our business has changed. Adam, I remember growing up with you, and we were just starting to go online, and, but newspaper was king, and TV, and we’d do weekend [crosstalk 00:25:03]-
Adam DeGraide (25:02):
Newspaper was king. Newspaper was king. Yellow pages. I remember the days where yellow pages, that’s how old we I am right now, yellow pages were a thing.
Bob Tasca III (25:11):
Yeah, no, it was crazy. So from then, till now, we spend 95%, maybe more [inaudible 00:25:20], to be honest with you. All electronic online. It’s all digital advertising. All digital advertising, and one of the things that I think we do better than the average group in our industry, is we own Google. We have our own internal team that builds the campaigns, updates the campaigns, manages the keyword strategy. Weekly, I have a weekly reporto on-
Adam DeGraide (25:47):
Bob Tasca III (25:48):
… every single campaign. And we go big digitally. What I learned, is you can’t go big everywhere. Can’t be big on radio, TV, newspaper, digital. It’s not [crosstalk 00:25:59]-
Adam DeGraide (25:58):
No, it costs too much money. Costs too much money.
Bob Tasca III (26:01):
Yeah. So we go big digitally. We own it. We absolutely own it. And it’s, I feel, a big competitive advantage. We’ll literally buy a dealership, cancel all of their advertising, and they’re like, “Huh? You’re going to cancel all of our advertising?” [Crosstalk 00:26:17]-
Adam DeGraide (26:16):
Panic [crosstalk 00:26:17]-
Bob Tasca III (26:16):
… do that.
Adam DeGraide (26:17):
Bob Tasca III (26:17):
Yeah. It’s just a panic. It’s like, “Oh my God. I can’t believe you’re going to do this. You’re going to put us out of business.” And I’m like, “No, don’t worry.” I said, “You’ll have more traffic in, by the time we’re done at the end of next week, than you’ve ever had.”
Adam DeGraide (26:31):
Bob Tasca III (26:31):
And it is true. So we’re big digital advertisers.
Adam DeGraide (26:35):
Yeah. You definitely are, man. And I think, man, I remember back in the days, you guys were all over TV and radio, and full page ads.
Bob Tasca III (26:44):
Oh yeah. Horrible.
Adam DeGraide (26:45):
Blow your brains out to spend all that money. Do you spend the same amount of money you used to, per unit that you sell? Or have you seen that technology has allowed you to spend less per unit, and have a more profitable outcome? Or is it just really, truly, just a shift of dollars because the audience moved?
Bob Tasca III (27:02):
You ready for this? We actually make money in advertising now. Make money. Make a profit. And you say, “Well, wait a second. How could you make a profit in advertising?” So we get advertising credits on every car that we buy.
Adam DeGraide (27:13):
Bob Tasca III (27:13):
So the factory gives us X number of dollars per car to go and spend on advertising. And we used to take that money, plus a ton more, and that’s what we did. We just come up with an advertising number. Now, at the end of the month, my advertising account is a negative. It’s a [crosstalk 00:27:30]. And it’s unbelievable. We’re just way more efficient with our spend. Much smarter. Much more targeted, which technology allows you to do. And we sell more cars now, than we ever have.
Adam DeGraide (27:43):
That’s amazing. So Bob, hang out with me one more second. We’re going to take another break. You’re listening to and watching, probably the greatest single small business podcast in the world right now. David vs Goliath, with your host Adam DeGraide. Stay tuned. We’ll be right back with Bob Tasca III.
Speaker 5 (28:00):
At King Sixteen, our agency has done some exciting things over the years. We’ve designed and built amazing experiences for customers, and launched several vehicles for Audi and Porsche. We’ve thrown extravagant parties inside whiskey distilleries, and featured amazing products for brands like Ray-Ban and fossil. We booked some incredible talent, and designed cutting edge stages for those performances. We even threw a red carpet gala in the middle of nowhere, on a horse farm with hundreds of celebrities, which was difficult. I guess you could say we’ve done some amazing things for our brands and partners. Now, the only question is, what will King Sixteen do for you? Find out at kingsixteen.com. That’s king, S-I-X-T-E-E-N.com.
Adam DeGraide (29:19):
And we’re back with the B3 Bomber. Now, Bob, people don’t know that I’ve, that’s what I’ve called you for years. The B3 Bomber. Listening to you, and sharing these stories about… Because I know, the crazy thing is, to the listeners and watchers, I’ve seen Tasca since I was a little child in New England. Bob and I became friends, very, very young. Our dads are, to this day, dearest friends in the world. And we’ve watched each other succeed. We’ve worked together in the past on certain things. And to see the Tasca family go from, “You will be satisfied”, to spread that word, not just in Massachusetts and in Rhode Island, but now in Florida, you said in, in Illinois, am I right? And I’m sure it’s going to continue to grow. It’s awesome. And you don’t hear those stories. When you think about your dad, your grandfather, going back to that first date, where he said, “I’m going to start my own dealership.”
Adam DeGraide (30:17):
He took the sword out in the battlefield, and he started to slay that giant. And here you are now, trying to grow it. Before we transition into process a little bit, I know that you have done some things in the dealership to add different business elements. For example, tascaparts.com. Tell people a little bit about your parts business, because I’ve been to the warehouse. I’ve seen what you set up. I’ve walked through your place where people answer the phones, work on the internet, work in the leads. I don’t think people realize this. It’s a legitimate business within a business. Tell the listeners a little bit about your vision, and how you’re able to bring that to fruition.
Bob Tasca III (30:56):
I think my grandfather, of all the things that we’re doing, if he was with us today, he would look at that and say, “Oh my God. You mean to tell me you’re going to take this part, which a customer can go to one of 3600 Ford dealerships, and Chevy, and all the other brands that we sell parts, and you’re going to ship it to California? And the person’s going to buy it from you, from Rhode Island?” “Yeah. Yeah, Pop. We do it everyday.” And it’s an amazing business. We do millions and millions of dollars every month, all over the country, and truthfully, all over the world. And it all started with, it was me and another gentleman in the parts department. And there was a bunch of parts that, I don’t know, I think we were going to throw them away.
Bob Tasca III (31:41):
And we said, “Why don’t we put them on eBay?”
Adam DeGraide (31:43):
Yeah. See what happens.
Bob Tasca III (31:44):
And then, see what happens. And then, all of a sudden we sold a couple of them. I said, “Wow.” Then, we start to sell a lot on eBay. And then, we said, “Well, wait a second. Why are we paying eBay all this money? Why don’t we just set up our own site? And we’ll just promote our own site.” And today, we’re not even on eBay. We’re not even on eBay. With tascaparts.com, we represent, I call most makes and models. Not all, but most. And you can go on tascaparts.com. You can see pictures, you can see, you know, proper marketing descriptions of, of certain parts and you can buy and have you ship right to your house. And you know, what really surprised me was the convenience.
Bob Tasca III (32:21):
You know, the consumer certainly could go to any Ford dealer and get the part. But the average dealer, not just Ford, I’m not singling them out, the average dealer doesn’t make it easy. You go to the dealership. They don’t have the part. They got to order it. They take your credit card number. You go home. Then, you come back and get it. And they got the wrong part. And then, you go home. Whereas you can go online, you can pick the part out you need, in a very easy to use catalog, and get it shipped right to your home. So again, when you look at it, building a business, starting a business, or growing a business, you got to find the area of constraint or disruption. That pain point is probably a good word to use, and figure out a way to make it less painful, easier for a customer to do business with you. And you can grow that.
Adam DeGraide (33:10):
Bob Tasca III (33:10):
And we’ve done it very successfully with our parts business. And to this day, it’s one of our fastest growing businesses.
Adam DeGraide (33:16):
Do you still have the giant warehouse full of the parts?
Bob Tasca III (33:20):
We actually have two now, Adam. Since we left, we have that warehouse-
Adam DeGraide (33:24):
It’s been too long since you had been up there.
Bob Tasca III (33:26):
… We have a separate warehouse just for the internet operation, that does all the shipping. So we’re shipping 30 to 40,000 parts a month now, all over the world.
Adam DeGraide (33:36):
That is amazing. Bob, do you mind hanging on for a little bit longer? Maybe doing a part two with me? Just-
Bob Tasca III (33:44):
Adam DeGraide (33:44):
… cut your dialogue going. That would be awesome. Folks, seriously, when you think about this, a single point dealership in Seekonk, Massachusetts, to being one of the biggest automotive groups in the country, to being one of the largest online parts distributors and sellers. This is an amazing story. And you too can do it. Think about what I just said to you. Do you believe it? Because if you don’t believe it, you’re never going to be able to get to that point. When Bob went to his family and he said, “You know what? I believe that we can sell parts online,” they probably rolled their eyes at him. But boy, they’re not rolling their eyes now, because he said, “I believe it. I can see it.”
Adam DeGraide (34:28):
And he didn’t just think about it. He didn’t just wish he was going to do it. He got out of bed and said, “We’re doing this thing. We’re marching forward. We’re going to take on that giant in the parts industry online, and we’re going to win.” And that’s what the David vs Goliath podcast is all about. So stay tuned for part two next week, with Bob Tasca III. I’m your host, Adam DeGraide on David vs Goliath. Have an awesome day.