Aug. 31, 2021

RANDALL BLAUM / dealer makes musical / climbs Mount Everest

SHARING THE LOVE + behind the scenes: 2:57 Randall and Jeff met 3:13 Randall to Jeff: "Do you have any other dealers making a musical???" 3:58 budget was $20,000. it's amazing that 3000 work hours later, 30 people that were unemployed during the...

SHARING THE LOVE + behind the scenes:

2:57 Randall and Jeff met

3:13 Randall to Jeff: "Do you have any other dealers making a musical???"

3:58 budget was $20,000. it's amazing that 3000 work hours later, 30 people that were unemployed during the pandemic, and 100 days from idea to when it hit the screen. We have a musical.

5:13 James Olmstead a director on Broadway, everyone doing the backup singing sings on Broadway, all the instrument players work on Broadway. Our book writer Henri Schein has written for Broadway. So this was a very high level of work. And our director, Steven Brownback has worked on Broadway

7:57 Jeff on musicals: If they can say it. Why do they have to sing it?

10:00 after the show, there's a 15 minute behind the scenes package that wouldn't have happened if not for Cox Cable

14:00 Randall "if I want a car, where am I going to buy that car is the question."

21:58 Randall's dealership greeting: "If we could make it the most fantastic day ever, what would that look like?"

27:17 VIP (Vehicle In Production) program

29:23 Jeff on car shortages

32:34 Randall vs. Mt. Everest

34:54 "The ledge"

42:05 dead last.

44:28 Randall: it was a trip that brought out who I really was possibly since birth, but it reconfigured the way I thought about my entire life up to that time.


Unknown Speaker  0:00  
Yeah, the budget was all of $20,000 which, in cards in car store stuff. That's not a whole lot of money. But it's kind of amazing that 3000 work hours later, 30 people that were unemployed during the pandemic, and 100 days from idea to when it hit the screen. We had a musical car dealership or not what business in the right mind one morning wakes up and says, I think I've got to do a musical and 100 days later has one you have to get everyone to say yes, you got to get everyone to buy on. Now. Look, I've already told you this. I'm not a musical guy. If they can say it. Why do they got to sing it?

Unknown Speaker  0:34  
I'm Randall from, you know Subaru. belco. How can I help? Well, our line is Hi. Welcome to Super Beltone if I could make this your most fantastic day ever. What would that look like for even manufacturers saw that customers are willing to wait to get the exact car they want. So part of our VIP program is when you order it, yeah, you can order whatever flavor Subaru or Buick GMC, you want to order and you get moved to the front of the line. If you place an order, we put your order right up front. So you get your car as fast as humanly possible. built your way at a price you already know with agreements you already understand. So when it arrives, literally all you do is come in inspect the car, here's your keys and off you go. We want our employees to live a life and not just literally be you know, one paycheck away from out of out of home without any exaggeration. The ledge was about this wide. And on this side was a 2000 foot drop. Just listening to the story testicles definitely retracted three inches at that point.

Unknown Speaker  1:34  
Jeff Sterns connected through cars, if they're bigwigs, we'll have him on the show. And yes, we'll talk about cars and everything else. Here he is now, Jeff Sterns.

Unknown Speaker  1:50  
Gosh, Randall. So last time,

Unknown Speaker  1:53  
we were talking, you're in the middle of working on your show sharing the love.

Unknown Speaker  1:59  
And we spent give or take an hour together.

Unknown Speaker  2:02  
And we didn't record. My equipment didn't work and I was heartbroken about it. But since then, you've really sharing the love and then you know, as I watched you on LinkedIn, and you sent me a text once in a while, I don't know the exact number of awards. Well, sharing the love so far has won 15 Awards, including Best Musical best producer and Best Ensemble acting team from the own rose Film Festival in New York. We recently just got a special mention from the one realer shorts competition. So the love keep sharing, if you will, with sharing the love. So folks, let me explain because Randalls, a little humble for my taste.

Unknown Speaker  2:42  
I like a guy who's a little more bit more like, look what I get. Alright, so. So here's the deal. My day job. My career is selling chat and software services and consulting to dealerships around the country. Randall and I met through one of these deals, he uses our services, a couple of his stores while we're talking and how we end up in a podcast because I certainly don't have all or I don't even know about any of my other dealer clients on if there's another I forgot I'm podcast. Randall is like, Do you have anyone else in the dealership space? Making a musical?

Unknown Speaker  3:22  
And I'm like, no telling me more. So we had to do more about it. But really, what I want to emphasize is, Randall is a In my opinion, and in it, this is my opinion, so you don't get the corrected, but you could certainly add on to it. This isn't about the Carver's I met him through the car business, but he's a marketing expert, using things way outside of the norm coloring way outside of the box, to market the store and somehow went to the ownership and leadership of the store and got them to approve, I think a real shoestring budget, right? Yeah, the budget was all of $20,000, which, in cards in car store stuff. That's not a whole lot of money. But it's kind of amazing that 3000 work hours later, 30 people that were unemployed during the pandemic, and 100 days from idea to when it hit the screen. We have a musical. That's absolutely hard. I mean, that's that was like the impossible. You pulled the impossible out of your hat and you didn't just get it finished. We've got these 15 awards that you mentioned. Well, I have them on the screen here. Now I was privy to seeing the show prior to it being released. Now. By the time we released this podcast, can I put the link in the show notes? Can the public See it? Absolutely. Yeah, it is available online for everyone to see and share it because it really is. The story of how and why a cat made is actually more important than that it got made if that makes sense. Because car dealership or not what business in the right mind. One morning wakes up and says I think I've got to do a musical and

Unknown Speaker  5:00  
100 days later has one you have to get everyone to say yes, you got to get everyone to buy on. And when I say everyone, all of the music, the entire script that was all original, nothing was off the shelf. This was 100% original. Our orchestrator James Olmstead lives in New York. He's a director on Broadway, everyone who is doing the backup singing sings on Broadway, all the instrument players work on Broadway. Our book writer Henri Schein has written for Broadway. So this was a very high level of work. And our director, Steven Brownback has worked on Broadway and now he's a professor at SDSU. And how we got all these people to say yes to this wackadoo idea was kind of amazing. And yet the stories that happened after we made it are even bigger than the thing itself. So I want to talk about that just a little bit. So first of all, I mean, did you write this, or the outline, like, who designed and forgive me, I'm not in your business or in show business at all, but who designed the player what we what would be the right word, or the musical? Well, what was very interesting is, my husband and I were sitting on the couch one night, and he works for the Old Globe Theatre, which is the sixth largest regional Theatre in the country. Everyone's out of work. No one knows when they're going back to work. Everything's a disaster. Basically, it's the Titanic writ large. And he was like, you're creative. Why don't you do a musical? So I slept on it overnight. And the next morning was like, Okay, why not? Then about four days into it, I realized what amount of hubris that was to go short, let's just knock one out and see what it is.

Unknown Speaker  6:32  
But I called a friend of mine, Matt Mauro, who's the creative director at the division diversionary theater here in San Diego. He connected me with Stephen who connected me with his people, I connected all of us with my people. And without exception, every single person said, Yes, I just I'm still stunned by that. So you got no resistance, you didn't have to talk anybody into it. You didn't have to go around anyone or get another person that one wouldn't play everybody just was, yeah, I'm in Randall. They really did. I think he was also partially timing, especially the creative community, it was the first time they had to get their acting, singing Creative Writing chops back in gear, because nothing had been done. San Diego literally was shut down for 18 months. So I think that was a piece of it. Plus, because of the way, the whole thing is about joy and happiness, and actually sharing the love and what that means. I think a lot of people just identified with it. And you know, there's a song in showing the love called pull through, it's the it's the second song, and pretty much really show it to audiences, you can hear a pin drop, because everyone has touched one of those moments in that song where they felt bad or they felt something during the pandemic. So we also wanted to get some people emotionally involved in it. And I think it was just the right project the right time, and certainly the right group of people. Yeah, no doubt about it. Now, what about the net? Look, I've already told you this. I'm not a musical guy. I my saying always is when I'm watching a movie, or a play. If they can say it. Why do they got to sing it?

Unknown Speaker  8:00  
But I really I honestly, you know, I told you privately. I enjoyed yours. I really did. Now it may have had something to do with I know the person behind it. I know the circumstances behind it. But and I'm certainly no expert. But for me even Mr. Not musical. It was a very enjoyable, very digestible, it wasn't like work. There's another song It was really nice. it real. Now did did you write the songs or was part of the crew? a songwriter? How does it work? Yeah, no, that's a great question. And realizing that we had a miniscule budget. And by the way, all 30 people got paid. No one worked on this for free. Every single person made some money for their talent and their time. And that is a belief that I've had forever to answer your question. Nothing was written. So the big finale song, which is sharing the love, we gave the writer one sentence, it needs to be like this and kind of like this, and you have to say a couple of these kinds of things. And three weeks later, he and his partner who's the musician of the group, came up with the three songs and all the information that was in the songs. Yeah, I didn't I songs are sort of like art. I know what it looks like. What it looks good. And I can't draw stick figures. I leave that to the professionals. Okay, so a lot of serendipity

Unknown Speaker  9:19  
no doubt about it. Budget time range. And Gosh,

Unknown Speaker  9:26  
really how and I don't want to get all like syrupy on in heavy need insulin here. But what a lift for the people in that business. I'm assuming that I mean, their wheelhouse and what moves them in life is performing.

Unknown Speaker  9:41  
I mean, that's what does it form that's what touch moves inspires them. And they're stuck at home. Yeah, almost beyond belief. And what's interesting and I really do have to give credit to Cox Cable and the your review channel on Cox Cable out here, because they helped us in ways that I could never have imagined and you know, some could say yep,

Unknown Speaker  10:00  
Big Bad Corporation and I hate them on my cable bills too high, my cable bills too high, I get it. But in this case, they actually gave us airtime to show sharing the love at no cost. And at their cost, they produced a 15 minute behind the scenes segment that airs right after the show. So people want to see what it meant to the actors and crew in the show, and what it really took to make it it's right there. So after the show, there's a 15 minute behind the scenes package that would not have happened if it weren't for Cox Cable again, signing on and saying yes, so Randall, when in my show notes here, when we give the link to sharing the love automatically when they watch that attached to the back of that will be a behind the scenes that they want to keep watching. Correct. And you can find sharing the love, you may just need to type it into YouTube. But there's also some additional information if people just go to Subaru of alcohol calm, they can actually see the link it's right on the home page. And unlike other car dealerships that have you know, cars on the homepage, we've got dancing people video so it's a little bit different there as well. But yeah, Subaru Belka home comm is where they can go and it's You can't miss it big right up front. So Randall sticking with cars, and looking at my notes, because we hadn't talked in a while you're doing some and I'm looking at my phone, you're doing some I don't want to say necessarily totally out of the box or totally unorthodox, I would say forward thinking things. For example, like for those of you in let's talk, but let's speak to the audience as if they're not in the business. If you're in the business, forgive me, just patronize me for a minute. So in the car business, and in many industries, I'm sure in car boat, RV, mattresses, cell phones, I'm sure it's very, very much third party lead driven. And so here's what I mean, there's

Unknown Speaker  11:51  
entities out there that you'll see saying, we know which dealers are overstocked and need to get rid of invoice or you'll see the best three cell phone services in your area and use their affiliate link What's going on? is they're taking your name number email and what you're interested in, in selling it to one or multiple business entities to start contacting you like lending tree, even something like that, that should be the idea. So car business is very heavily leads driven leads can be from the dealerships own website, and I'm in the business of chat. So part of my business is giving support to a guest on a dealer site like what are the business hours? What's the manager's name? Can I get a status on my vehicle and service something like that? And then another part is, I want a new forester Do you have a black one, etc. And here's my name and number have someone from the dealership call me. So this could be a lead from a dealerships own website. There's also something called third party leads. And this could be if you go to autotrader or pure car or true car or something like that. The dealership would pay somehow either for the lead or for the once a car get sold or something like that. But you're moving away from that right, Randall. That's true. And this is really for anyone that's in any type of sales organization, whether it be a mom and pop pizza place on the corner or at&t. Everybody either buys or generates leads. If you run an ad, if you put a poster in a window, you are generating a lead for someone to come to your business and buy whatever it is that you have. So this is not car specific. But the car industry, probably ad infinitum has been massively heavily weighted towards third party leads someone paying somebody else or truecar, an auto trader to go out and find people interested in buying or whatever it is, and then sending that information to a dealership or multiple dealerships. You're absolutely right on that. What we found out, and I'll have to say that working with a Subaru dealership and I also worked with a Buick GMC dealership. They are slightly more niche audiences, but they still sell a car. And people are still people, right? So if I want a car where where am I going to buy that car is now the question. And we found a year and a half ago as the pandemic hit. First, we were the only Subaru dealership in the region not too close in California. We were shot one day when the governor said everything is shut down. And on that day, we held a zoom call, which at that point in time none of us really know how to use and figured out how we're going to build the airplane while it's taking off. Well, we've been building that same airplane for a year and a half. And what we found out is with whatever budget we have, or whatever budget, you know, a listener may have right now is is it better spent buying a lead or is it better spent working in a niche market for us? We're working with indigenous populations, the LGBTQ a plus population. We're working in underserved areas that don't have any car dealerships. So if you become ingratiated into their tribe, and they know that you're not just paying to be there that you really are part of that tribe. They start to love

Unknown Speaker  15:00  
They start to show up and just say when I need to buy fill in the blank, I'm going to go to you to buy it. And we have seen that trend happen for the last year and a half to the point where we have trimmed our leads at both dealerships by almost 60%. Our internet closing ratio is up our PVR, where how much money we make per vehicle is up, and our customer service scores are up. So we've moved away from everything has to be discounted, to everything has to be experiential. And there's really two questions 1am I putting a speed bump in the process? Or am I taking one out? And then two? How do I positively impact this particular guest lifestyle? Or the way that they live in a way that makes them want to spend money with me? That's the same question. If you're a pizza place, do I like your cheese or I like your sauce is your crust thicker, then whatever that is. So it's not just a car, it really works across the board in virtually any industry, are you better off paying for leads from a source that you don't know exactly where they're coming from, or going directly to the source and becoming their friend and having them love you. And I want to defend you a little bit about your per vehicle, your profit going up a little bit? For those of you that are not in the car business, this does not mean Oh, don't deal there, because it's a ripoff, or they overcharge, let me explain a little bit I was in retail for 27 years, find that when guests are thrilled with the dealership, and when their life is enhanced by the experience in the dealership, that the selling price of a vehicle goes up a little Now you might think well, I'd rather be unhappy and pay less well think about that, when a business has nothing to hang their hat on besides price, all they can do is cut their price. And it's not a matter of nailing the public, it's a matter of a business can do that all the way until they're out of business, they can do that all the way until they have to lay off some of their staff, especially in using quotes. Non productive staff, for example, a salesperson is viewed as productive, because if they are productive, they're bringing in money a technician is seen as productive, because when they're working on cars, they're bringing in money. But for example, a receptionist might be seen as non productive. And I understand we need them to stay open. I'm not sitting here doing any reception ashaming nothing like that. But on the financial statement in the business, there's some employees that aren't seen as directly bringing in money. And when layoffs occur, even a marketing person when when layoffs occur, or a trainer, you know, these can be some of the first ones to be let go. And in 27 years well, and now between two and chat, almost 37 years, God forbid my age, I've either been in or spoken to dealerships on both sides of the spectrum. So there's nothing wrong with profit, we're not talking about hurting anybody, it just means that with a lot less friction, the dealer doesn't have to go down to the last dime of profit or even losing $300 to get somebody not to leave now let me just expand on that. I think that's bullshit. Jeff, why would a dealership lose money? Well, there's some things like momentum. So if in the community where you live, you see a whole bunch of license plate frames, or dealership stickers on the back of the trunk belonging to a dealer outside of your area. That can mean that I should probably shouldn't do business locally. Look how many people are going outside of the area or maybe the customer of the dealership lives behind the dealership like you get hop the back fence from the back service department and end up in their backyard. And yet, they're saying that if you're not $500 lower than the place 45 minutes away, I'm not doing business with you. I'm not faulting the customer. This just I'm faulting the dealership there because this means that the dealership didn't build an experience or build a relationship strong enough for the person even that lives behind their back fence to want to do business with them for reasons other than they're just absolutely the stone. cheapest place in town. randles point about the pizza place. Good sauce, good cheese, good crust. And I'll even go further. I think what Trump's that is phenomenal service. I think Randall that a customer will give a restaurant a second chance if the service is phenomenal and the food was a little weak more often than if the food was fine, but the service was terrible. I agree completely. You've hit on a good point sticking with the the pizza metaphor for a moment and not picking on on anyone just using it as an example. There's little caesars, you know two 599 there's Domino's. There's Pizza Hut. There's whatever the next one is. And then there's your local place the local place that I use

Unknown Speaker  20:00  
It's $37 for a pie. And yet, if you don't order five or six hours in advance, you don't get one that night. So why are people paying $37 for a pizza? Well, the waters imported from New York. So they're I mean, they're making it as as New York as it can be, right. So it is about the experience. It's not just about the end product. And I think this is true for any sales organization at all. If it is only about the price, you have dehumanized the product and the system, and if the people can't be expected to make a living wage, where they can treat their family, as well as can be expected and don't have to worry about where their next meal is. Or they're going to be in a cardboard box under a bridge because they can't afford rent, then that business is inherently doing something wrong. And we tell our customers, we are virtually never the least expensive. You want to get in and out in 47 minutes. Would you like us to bring the car to you? How about the paperwork? Would you like us to overnight it? So what so we asked the questions about in the lifestyle sense. What do you Mr. Mrs. Customer? What do you need to make your life happy? And one of the things that we use when people walk in the door, you always go, you know, Hi, I'm Randall from, you know, Subaru belko. How can I help? Well, our line is Hi, welcome to super well to hone if I could make this your most fantastic day ever. What would that look like? Is that your dealership? greeting? Is that the messaging? Oh, that's beautiful. So all of a sudden one does, because remember, Amy, we sell cars every day, customers buy cars, on average, whatever it is seven, you know, 710 years. And so it's it's not they come in not knowing everything. Even they've done a ton of research on the internet. So we immediately take away the fear of buying a car and just ask them what they want. If we could make it the most fantastic day ever, what would that look like? And one of two things happens, they will go well, I don't want an argue and I don't want this. Perfect. So once I hate what I hear you saying is if I don't do this, and don't do this and don't do this, you might be interested in buying a car. Is that correct? We ask for the sale in the first 30 seconds. We don't wait for the 10 questions on the test drive. We don't wait for the 18 questions when you get back to the dealership, we don't wait to the you know, come inside. And three seconds later you turn your back and hopefully the customer follows you. They're there to look at a product. Can you imagine Nordstrom? Or even Macy's is like, No, just ask the customer what they want, and then tell them how it affects their lives positively. That's beautiful. And then finally, because I've just feel so defensive about the industry, I mean, if Subaru elka home or South County, Buick GMC, if they're getting a few $100 more a car. And Randall just said, we're just about never the least expensive place in town. No one's saying you're overpaying when he's talking about getting in and out in 45 minutes, as opposed to a three or four or five hour negotiation. And very often visiting two or three places and stealing up your body in your mind to get ready for it and taking a day off of work and putting it off because you don't want to do it to pay a few 100 more on a 20 something $1,000 to 70,000 something dollar, or a GMC 100,000, potentially dollar item that's free. I mean, that's nothing for your time and your sanity. That's a very, very fair exchange dollars for value it is and time is valuable. And I think that's something that people really learned in the pen is that the time that I have is mine. And when it's gone, it's really gone, I can play a you know, one more video game or I can go talk to a human being. So that's why our approach is literally How may we serve you tell us how you want this to happen. And then that's the way it will work. And we find that they're probably nine and a half out of 10. customers appreciate that. And that the other half customer, you know what, it's not our customer, and it's okay to wish them well in their search for whatever product it is because it using either cars or the pizza place or Nordstrom or anyone in between. If you continue the race to the bottom, you're going to commoditize everything, take out the human element. And then literally, the humanity will be lost. If people aren't an important part of any sales process. There is no process we can just buy from a machine. And then what happens then we come out of a pandemic, and everything's automated. So you got a crap load of people not wanting to work, don't want to work, can't work, have to move out of the state to work. So the pandemic has really shifted everyone I think it's moved our thinking probably five years into the future. Very interesting. And you said just buying from a machine and we know that there is a used car business that does advertise, buying from a vending machine, But to your point who's gonna take care of you later who's gonna take care of you later. It's a fun idea and you know

Unknown Speaker  25:00  
From what I've read, they do a reasonable job a great job. Not sure a reasonable job, I think so. But then the question comes, is that the experience that you want? And if you buy from I mean, it's carvanha. If you buy from carvanha, what's their follow up? their commercials make it seem like it's a dream. I've read a lot of online stuff where that dream is not exactly as as real as the commercials would make it seem. And it's pretty much all over what's the trend. It's transactional, it's not relationship correct. And a retailer like Subaru. In fact, Tom Dahl, the president of Subaru, which really turned the company around about 11, or 12 years ago, it's a different type of car company. And that's what really helps us do what we do is because, yes, we want to sell a car. Of course we do. But it's not about only selling the car, or there wouldn't be the Subaru love promise, there wouldn't be the heart pillars, there wouldn't be all the community outreach, which we just won the 2021 community commitment award from Subaru of America, because of all the outreach that we do. So yes, we want to sell a car just like you want to sell a pizza or Nordstrom wants to sell a shirt. It's beyond that, though. And I think that's where the people in sales seem to forget sometimes that it is about the human equation, not just about the product exchanging hands, I love it. I really do. And I'm resonating with you so much, I worked in three stores over 27 years in two of them among being in the top volume issue, United States, etc. We're number one customer satisfaction in the nation for like more than a decade, year after year after year. So it's very nice. It's very nice to hear and it resonates, for sure. But I want to bring you back to tell us a little bit about your VIP program. Super Welcome home, we were actually very lucky. We're the smallest of the Subaru dealers were the oldest of the one in the area, were the only building that hasn't been renovated. So here's the Oh, woe is me story pouring out, right. And we're in the middle of Alcoa home, where you know, we're not any of the great big traffic areas that are the other luxury areas, and things like that. So we never have the number of cars other people have. We never had the selection, we never have the order pipeline that other people have, we still had to sell cars. So how do you do that? In the middle of a pandemic? And part of what we did is we created the VIP program, which sounds like just another bs VIP program. Well, this is a vehicles in production program. And as opposed to selling what we have on the lot sell what's in the pipeline? And people gonna say, Yep, old idea everyone, does it? Absolutely. The really good people do. My question is, we've been doing this for the last year and a half, because we had no choice because we didn't have as many cars as everybody else. And what we're seeing now is the dealerships. And this isn't just in San Diego, it's across the board, almost any manufacturer, the ones that always had 300 500 700 cars on the lot that now have none don't know what to do, they don't know how to sum the pipeline. And from an inventory management standpoint, imagine this out of let's say you're getting 200 cars in in August, you know that you've already sold 113 of them, because you've got agreements with customers. So all of a sudden you can manage your process even bigger and better. In fact, I was just reading was two days ago, Ford came out headline in my was motor news that they are thinking about not overloading dealer lots and doing the pre order program. So even manufacturer saw that customers are willing to wait to get the exact car they want. So part of our VIP program is when you order it, you can order whatever flavor Subaru or Buick GMC, you want to order, and you get moved to the front of the line. If you place an order, we put your order right up front. So you get your car as fast as humanly possible built your way at a price you already know with agreements you already understand. So when it arrives, literally all you do is come in inspect the car, here's your keys, and off you go. Sounds attractive. Yeah, a lot of people like it, literally people walk into the dealer with a piece of paper. This is my car, and they go into finance. There's nothing to talk about, you're done. And you spent a few weeks talking with them going through the entire process. And they come and pick up their car. That is beautiful. And let's just explain to the to the public, not in the car business, about vehicle shortages. I mean, if you're in the market, or you've been in the market the last few months, you know, there's vehicle shortages. But if you're one of the part of the world that hasn't been trying to get a car recently, you may not be cognizant manufacturers got hung up by suppliers not being able to provide computer chips for the cars. So there's quite literally hundreds of 1000s of cars built right now sitting in storage at manufacturers waiting for these components. So dealers that normally stock a few 100 cars can be down to one or two or 10 cars. That's what's really going on. At the time of this podcast. I'll look at my clock on August 2 2021 you

Unknown Speaker  30:00  
Cars are going crazy. So if it's still going on and you have an extra used car, now would be a great time to sell it. I mean, you could probably sell it to a dealer right now for more than you could have sold it yourself out to the to the public a year ago, because new cars are unavailable, a B, because they can't sell a new cars often, there's no trade ins because of that. And see, that's the only thing that someone could get their hands on right now would be a Pre Owned vehicle. So used cars have a very, very strong value. So this is the vehicle shortage that randles talking about. I believe Randall because of this, at least the public that's experienced this because some, again, haven't been in marketing aren't aware that they've now been trained. And I mean this in a good way to be patient, and maybe get what they want. I mean, I think that we've all been, it's been such an instance society, I don't think the jury's out on that, that we want to go, we want to go find the thing, and we want to leave with it right now. And there's nothing wrong with that, like you said, there's a segment that want that. But for the segment that's like, you know what I could put in my order, get that part off my plate. And then when it shows up in however many weeks, get that little piece part of it was already done before. So that's off my plate, perhaps the financing piece, the trade value piece, the deciding what I want peace, choosing a dealership piece, like that's done, finished, I could take a breath. Now I can come in and just pick the thing up. And that would really be my ultimate experience. And the last thing I remember, is just the picking up. And I think that the mental ownership or the emotional involvement with the vehicle would be higher. If somebody ordered it saying I chose the interior, I chose the exterior, I chose the wheel I I chose the option. It's there's it's sort of like when they're building a home, it's there, it's happy, right? The ownership experience begins the moment they place the order because it is their order. So everyone's got a different model on how it works. But no matter what people do, My belief is that you have to not only charge a fair price, be able to prove why that price is fair to the customer. And part of that is we want our employees to live a life and not just literally be you know, one paycheck away from out of out of home. Got it. So, Randall, do you mind if we move away from the car business and this conversation a little bit? Oh, let's let's get to the really fun stuff.

Unknown Speaker  32:29  
Because we had a conversation once and if you don't want to talk about it, we can edit it out. But I'm intrigued by your story and the life lesson related to your mountain climbing. You might dig it into that no, it's fine. It's actually fine. So it was several years ago, I was asked to direct a film and follow a at that point in time, the oldest North American to climb Mount Everest, Werner burger, and then my cinematographer was john briber, who's an Emmy Award winning cinematographer. And I said yes to the gig because hey, I got to go to Mount Everest and direct a film. I mean, why wouldn't you want to do that? Well, it turns out the directing the film was the most insignificant, least important part of that entire adventure. So I spent 42 days in what they call the Khumbu, which is the area basically between Katmandu and Mount Everest. So you basically disconnected from virtually all technology, other than an emergency satellite phone that literally was all that you add. And the mountain really tends to get into your head. And it's very much like that scene in Star Wars where Luke asked Yoda when he goes into the cave, what am I going to find in there? And the answer is only what you take with you. That's exactly what this this is. And there were several times on the mountain, right? It No, I was gonna make it. And the people we were traveling with Alpine ascent, which is probably one of the best climbing people, I got to interrupt you. So like, legitimately, we're not just exaggerating. So I really want to be there with you. And when you're explaining this, you're on this mountain. And there were times when you said that you weren't sure you're gonna make it. Does this mean you want to throw in the towel? Does this mean you thought you weren't going to live or did it mean that you just wanted someone to take you back down? Like, what does that mean? See, we'll start with your third thing first. No one takes you back down because everyone's going forward. If you go back down, you're kind of on your own till you get back to Katmandu. So you know, good luck with that. So your choice is, I guess, to stop and stay where you are or move forward. But I never thought I was going to die. But on our track, there was another tracking group that someone did die, or one of the days we were in the same camp together so people do die. But we were coming out of the Tom a monastery, and we had to we were tracking across this large, I mean, this large piece of mountain and without any exaggeration. The ledge was about this wide. And on this side was a 2000 foot drop, and on this side was this mountain

Unknown Speaker  35:00  
Even billy goats couldn't get up. And it took me back to when I was seven years old. And I was trapped on the side of a mountain. And my uncle had to come up and get me. Because I couldn't go up, I couldn't do it, I couldn't, I would die on the side of the mountain unless someone came up to me. And I thought of all things in all the world to be faced with something that happened, you know, 47 years ago, and a cold sweat, I didn't know I could, I didn't know if I could go forward. And I decided that I was going to go forward. And when I crossed the halfway point, the cold sweat stop. But it was one of those moments and everyone that goes to Mount Everest has a moment like that. Because it's just, you know, using the vernacular, it's you garden, your emotions, whatever you take with you is, is what's there. And I think the mountain brings up stuff that you may not otherwise, understand. You know, I also learned that you know, pee and poop and a hole in the ground having two ladies standing in front of me, protecting me from other people seeing me so the other side of Mount Everest is kind of funny. But I only went to base camp only, it was 17,500 feet, because I was not crafted to design to go to the top. And that was going to be my cinematographer and Warner and they did make it. So that was great. And we didn't know they would make it. And if Werner died, we would have captured that and they don't bring bodies back from Mount Everest. Once you're up in the ice fallen above, you just kind of stay there. But on the way back. The second time, the mountain really threw something at me was short version of a long story. I went right, the sherpani ladies that I was with went left. Didn't know they went left. So for 12 and a half hours, I didn't see another soul anywhere. And I'm I'm in Nepal, you know, somewhere near Mount Everest, going downhill, having no idea what's what. And it was so interesting, because it was just like, no one knows where I'm at. I can't reach anybody all I have what's in my backpack, and I keep going downhill. And it turned out to be a day that changed my life forever. Because when you ask yourself the question, Is this all that I am? And am I satisfied with that? And in that exact moment? I knew the answer was yes, this was all that I am. And I am satisfied with it. But the all that I am has the opportunity to grow by leaps and bounds. And there was no fear I spent, like I said, 12 and a half hours later, I reached another village, I figured if you keep going down the hill, you're gonna see something sometime, there were there are plenty ladies sitting on the side of a bridge waiting for me, they had been there for about three hours because of course they move faster than I did. But it was a trip that changed who I was forever. And yet very much like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, I didn't have to go to Mount Everest to find out who I was. And that was probably the biggest lesson. I could have learned it in the living room. I just didn't believe what the world in these United States was telling me about who I was and what I can do. Okay, you're getting deep, and I appreciate it. But I want to get all surfacey on you because I've been dreaming about this. So your 12 and a half hours alone. I mean, I can really like you took me there with you. I'm really picturing

Unknown Speaker  38:09  
everything that you went through. I'm sure you went through wondering how it was going to end up and probably crying here. And there, I would be, you're saying that all you had to do is keep going downhill. Now. I agree with you that if I was being logical, I'd say keep going downhill. And eventually you've got to get to the bottom something or something down there. But you could also have bumped into a chasm.

Unknown Speaker  38:35  
You could have also gotten past something to something you couldn't navigate. I mean, that had to be going through your mind as well. Like on one hand, you're being logical to save yourself like so you don't go nuts. All I got to do is keep going this way, and there's going to be civilization. But you also probably not only imagine that you get run into something you couldn't get around, you probably bumped into a few things that were challenging to get around when you were by yourself. Is that good or bad speculation? No, that's fair. Because some of the bridges I had to cross, no one in the right mind would cross the good like, you know, two strings, a piece of tape and a prayer. But the thing that I hung on to was the trail that I was on, looked relatively well traveled. I didn't know that it was but it looked relatively well traveled again, the trail is in the middle of kind of the jungle. Again, it's only about this wide. But I can see that it's not overgrown. So someone at some point in time has traveled here. No clue, no concept. What I was going to see around the next corner, I literally did just have to put faith that I kept going down I would make it somewhere and find someone because again, going down you're going to find something something's going to be at the bottom of doubt. So it was freakishly weird. But then it became very, very comfortable in knowing that no matter what happened. I was good. I think I don't know that. That's the same feeling that people have when they're faced with, you know their own mortality or something.

Unknown Speaker  40:00  
Like that, because I didn't think I was gonna die. But if I did, I think it was gonna be okay with that because I had found that place. Good answer and backing up to the bridge that was this wide that you took you back to when you were seven when your uncle got you down. How long was that? Like you said when you're halfway the cold sweat stop. But how long? He was probably on that one. It was the bridge. It was the side of a mountain.

Unknown Speaker  40:27  
It had to be probably at least 40 or 50 yards. It was that powdery. Anyone who's lived in the desert knows what I'm talking about that powdery desert dirt that every time you stepped on it, it all moved underneath you. So at no point in time. Did you ever feel you had short footing? It was no when I saw that. It was like I'm done. I'm heading back to Tom a you guys pick me up in three weeks. That was my first response. I can't do this. And then it was like, why am I having that reaction to this? Because I'm not seven, I don't have my uncle. And everyone in front of me seems to be making it. So I did have to zone inside myself. And then I watched what they were doing. And I basically copied them. And that's how I got my self assurance that I could make it across. I'm glad you clarified that. Because when you're telling the story and you said Oh, when I got halfway across my cold sweat stopped, I thought okay, it's 10 feet long. He took three steps in

Unknown Speaker  41:18  
because he said it's 2000 feet, looking down 20 stories. And there's no handrail This isn't like being at the local mall. There's no glass partition to save you just listening to the story testicles, definitely retracted three inches at that point.

Unknown Speaker  41:32  
Note, I mean, my God, like in my gut, I mean, my God, and you tell it so calmly. But it's only because now it's just a story for you. But I know there was a lot going on for you.

Unknown Speaker  41:45  
And when I got to Basecamp, I didn't know I was gonna make it I seriously didn't, because as much as I trained.

Unknown Speaker  41:52  
I was not trained enough to do that. And every day that we'd start out, and every day that we'd wind up there were like 16 or 20 people that were climbing the mountain and then other people I was dead last. And do you know what it's like every single time you head out to know that you are the worst, you will never make it and that you were always going to be dead ass last. And what happened was, we were at a monastery was called Faerie che and some people came over to me and said we just want to tell you something I said what said we think you're the reason why we think we can make it to the top of the mountain. Like a why it's like because you have never given up because there are times it was light outside, they were all having dinner, it was dark, and I came in camp. So it was interesting to find that even being dead ass last, the impact I had by just being me and not giving up gave other people that were much better off than I was and the ability to climb and track. I was there symbol of I can make it to if he can do it, I can do it. So no matter whether you're last or first or somewhere in between, sometimes that doesn't matter the effect you're having on other people and that was probably one of the other biggest lessons that I got out of that whole trip. I think great perspective. We're self conscious when we're last I mean growing up athletically or whatever I was often or usually the that last kid school whatever. Definitely, between me and the Down syndrome girl being the final one pick for kickball. I mean, what can I talk? And we don't know. I mean, these people let you know how you impacted them, you would not have thought that had they not shared that. And now you now you have the realization that wherever you're at being yourself, you can impact somebody positively. That's right. Like I said, that was just an amazing, an amazing moment. And when I made it to, when you go into Basecamp, you kind of come over a little rise and you're on the shale mountain. And you can see Basecamp in the distance and say, Oh, there it is. It's sort of like the end of a hike. Oh, I can make that. Well that was still like three and a half miles and you're on the shale mountain. It's very unstable. And when I got to Basecamp I literally I just I broke down and cried because I didn't think I could do it and Basecamp was my top of Mount Everest. That was another lesson not everyone has to go all the way to the top your top may be a different size and you need to be happy with if you've done 100% and you've reached your top celebrate that is not the Why can't make it there is no you made it all the way to here. Be happy with so like I said it was a it was a trip that maybe didn't change me but brought out all of who I really was possibly since birth, but it reconfigured the way I thought about my entire life up to that time.

Unknown Speaker  44:41  
This has been Jeff Sterns connected through cars

Transcribed by

Randall BlaumProfile Photo

Randall Blaum

Randall Blaum

Randall has 40+ years of experience with creating effective sales processes and procedures, training teams to succeed as well as creating marketing, advertising, PR and promotional events and campaigns that create revenue. His revenue-generating sales processes and team training have been profitably enjoyed by hundreds of companies and universities worldwide.

His marketing, advertising, and promotional events and programs have been seen by over a half-a-billion people worldwide and he has received coverage for his events, promotions, and programs in virtually every major media outlet in the US. He has created dozens of successful large events ranging from 10,000 people to more than 40,000 people.

The list of clients Randall has served is extensive and includes: PLUG-IN HYBRID AND ELECTRIC VEHICLE RESEARCH CENTER of the Institute of Transportation Studies for UC DAVIS, General Motors, Nissan, California New Car Dealers Association, San Diego Gas and Electric, PETCO, Dolby, and American Express.

During his career, Randall has worked with and promoted Madonna, Paula Abdul, NEC Solutions America, Panasonic, Regal Entertainment, Lucasfilm THX, and every major film studio in the US.

In addition, Mr. Blaum is the man behind multi-part advertising and marketing campaigns you’ve undoubtedly seen in such notable publications as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Post Intelligencer, USA Today, and others. He’s also been quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, Miami Herald, Arizona Republic, The Oregonian, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and many other national and international publications. He and his promotions and marketing campaigns have been featured on the NBC's Today Show, ABC's Good Morning America, and hundreds of local and regional television and radio stations.

“Randall, Your out-of-the-box revenue-generating and marketing strategies really, really work. From top-notch charity events to bringing thousands of people to special events, you’ve shown us how to make money. What you do what you do is simply amazing.”
— Lance E. Jones Senior Vice President/Corporate Development Klipsch Audio

“Randall you have incredible revenue-making ideas! Your passion and expertise literally stand head and shoulders above anyone else. Your marketing know-how, sales strategies, and free publicity strategies always sell out the house (puts butts in seats) and makes maximum profits a reality for NEC. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
— Kurt Schwenk, General Manager – NEC Solutions (America)

“Your dynamic delivery and extremely timely and pertinent material energized students who had been faltering with admittedly tough projects. My follow-on conversations indicated a high-degree to which you struck a nerve and got new ideas flowing. The real proof-of-concept came in their presentations to the clients, where those with the most impact on the client clearly followed your recipe.”
— Dr. Chick Fojtik, Professor of Marketing – The Graziadio School of Business and Management (Pepperdine University)

“Working with Randall has been a flawless experience. Randall’s approach to projects helps us to keep his costs down while enabling us to serve clients very well with what we do best. He has the ability to both spread vision AND implement that vision into reality, which in my experience is a rare skill set.”
— Scott A. Shuford, President – Frontgate Creative Inc.

“I worked with Randall for several years and he is a great “out of the box” thinker with a tremendous knowledge of multiple industries. His unselfish sharing of his knowledge contributed to my growth and passion for the entertainment industry and helped prepare me for my future role at IMDb.”
— Bob Hogan, General Sales Manager, ABC Radio

“Randall helps you become adept at partnering with the media and prospering as a result. Whether you own a local retail store or run a global empire, Randall knows how to turn you into someone famous and an expert who people will spend money with. He’s created extraordinary media campaigns for me.”
— Janet Switzer, NY Times Best-Selling Co-Author “The Success Principles” and “Instant Income”

“Thank you for doing such an excellent job promoting my movie.”
— Madonna

“Your marketing methods and strategies are GREAT! Wow! Every time I see your strategies in action, I’m amazed. Whether it is getting thousands of people to pay to attend a special event or generating tens-of-thousands of dollars in free publicity and media, you not only get the job done, but you get it done with flying colors! Randall, you are a class-act. Thank you.”
— Scott Carson, Senior Exhibitor Relations Coordinator – Universal Pictures

“Just a note to tell you how much of an honor and a pleasure it was to have worked with you. I have been involved in helping to produce over 1,500 events and it is a real rarity to find a person that truly understands the event and people business. You can get people to love everything, all the time, which means we all make money every time out.”
— David Mirisch / President, David Mirisch Enterprises

“In my view, Randall Blaum is able to make nearly any business, in nearly any business climate, famous to buyers. I delight in surprise every time I work with Randall. I’m so confident in his genius for keeping immense projects together – on time and on budget — until their productive end, I’m able to let go and relax a little. Even on seven-figure, high-stress projects, he’s howling-mad fun to work with. When the subject is a serious one, he exudes panache and delivers profound and elegant solutions with punch.”
— Peter Stone, Professional Copywriter

“I wanted to emphasize for everyone just how successful a campaign this was. As a communications professional with nearly 20 years in the business, I have never seen a greater ROI. We typically provide our clients a CPM in the $4-5 range, which in itself is extremely rare. But what this team pulled together is literally unprecedented. To achieve a CPM of 80-cents is a miracle of the first order!!”
— Rob Bailey, Owner, Rob Bailey Communications

“Randall’s insights into getting publicity are a “must” for anyone seeking to improve their image, credibility, and revenue.”
— Dan Janal, President, PR LEADS

“One of the first strategies Randall developed for me turned an $80 expenditure into $11,000 in just 30 days. After that I kept doubling my internet income every month and now I’m making more from my internet sales than I ever thought possible. I’m glad I’ve sought Randall’s easy-to-understand sales and marketing expertise. I highly recommend Randall to you.”
— Bill Vaughn, President and Owner Earthcare Products
“Randall, you made an exceptionally quick and accurate assessment of the City of Vista and the region to determine the best impact from our fund-raising event. You creatively designed and executed a concept that not only got the attention of our school families, but also showed us the best way to raise $25,000 in one day to help our cash-strapped libraries and school band program. You are the expert in the advertising industry and displayed a wealth of knowledge and experience. I offer my highest endorsement for you and Marketing Experts International.”
— Dr. Dave Cowles, Superintendent of Schools Visa Unified School District

“Randall, your Marketing Strategies were solely responsible for the super success of the World’s 1st Open-Captioned Film Festival. Randall, the very keen strategies of yours that we used to launch the product, and the ease of using those strategies, made the project 100% successful and because of your methods we received thousands of dollars in free publicity! I shudder to think what would have happened to our event if we hadn’t found you.
— Steve Ellis, Vice President, InSight Cinema
“Randall is one of the most creative and brilliant sales and marketing people I have had the pleasure of working with. His talents and ability to bring out the best of his clients are exceptional. His dedication, knowledge and personal touch make the experience rewarding and satisfying.”
— Paul Krupin, President, Direct Contact PR

Plug-In Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Research Center of the Institute of Transportation
General Motors Rock Hill Nissan Plug-In America
Lucasfilm THX Warner Brothers UC Davis Transportation Studies
AMC Theatres Regal Cinemas Loyola Marymount University
Hard Rock Café Tribune Media Services Pepperdine University
Middlesex University American Express Safeway
Universal Studios Walt Disney Studios Dolby Digital
Oregon Food Bank ABC Radio NEC
Klipsch Audio Quality Chevrolet Victory Automotive Group
NBC Today Show Krikorian Entertainment
Habitat for Humanity