This week, Chris talks to Brian Benstock, the GM and VP of the #1 Honda and Acura dealership in the world, Paragon in Queens NY, and is known for his customer driven philosophy “The Future is Frictionless,” and for following the digital trends of big name companies like Amazon and Peloton.
Brian grew up on Long Island and around the age of 12 he started playing hockey but his dad couldn’t afford to buy him the right gear. So in order to play, he made his own pads out of foam, plastic and jean fabric. He didn’t make the team but for his next birthday his dad bought him the right gear and he decided that if his dad was going to invest this much in him that he would invest all he had into becoming a great hockey player. And he did, he even played for the minor leagues. Then, at the age of 22 someone told him there was no real future in playing hockey and he needed to get a real job. That’s when he started working for Paragon Honda in Queens “until something better came along,” – he’s been there for 36 years! By working as hard as he could and constantly pushing back the goal post, he worked his way up to where he is today.
Brian believes that if you want to be successful you must be disruptive. He looks to companies like Amazon, Instagram and Uber and applies their business models it to his dealership and service departments. He’s invented software to create a “frictionless” experience for the customer booking car service and some of his customers never even leave their house. He believes that the auto industry is our game to win and if you can adjust with the changing trends and find new opportunities then you can be extremely successful.