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What Years in Automotive Has Taught Jim Ziegler

  • January 26, 2021
35 min read
What Years in Automotive Has Taught Jim Ziegler

Aharon Horwitz
CEO, Fullpath

Ilana Shabtay
VP of Marketing, Fullpath

Jim Ziegler
President and CEO, Ziegler SuperSystems

Jim Ziegler is the President and CEO of Ziegler SuperSystems. Jim has been in the automotive industry for more than 40 years, conducting business with more than 15,000 dealerships nationwide. He is also a nationally acclaimed celebrity speaker, with more than 100,000 dealers, managers, and factory executives having attended his automobile dealer management seminars.

Jim is also a renowned magazine columnist in the retail automobile industry and has been a featured keynote speaker for the 98 State Automobile Dealer Association Annual Conventions. Jim and his wife Debbie produce four large national conferences annually and consult for auto dealers worldwide. He is also a featured columnist in WardsAuto Dealer Business, F&I and Showroom, and Auto Dealer Today.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Jim Ziegler talks about the one state he has not trained, spoken, or worked in
  • The story behind the name “Alpha Dawg”
  • Jim’s thoughts on Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) co-op programs—and what makes them effective
  • How technology has impacted the automotive industry
  • Jim’s advice to dealerships and store owners who are thinking about reinventing themselves
  • What does a successful digital dealership look like?
  • How dealerships have been adopting and implementing digital retailing during the pandemic
  • How dealerships can leverage video content in marketing
  • Jim talks about his former managerial work and his current dealership trainings

In this episode…

Technology has caused a lot of changes in the automotive industry, both good and bad. Many dealerships have adopted technology not only to market their products but also to carry out their business processes. Because of this shift, something else has evolved in the auto industry: sales strategies.

Facebook Ads and Google My Business have created more opportunities for dealers to sell cars—even without a company website. Because of all these changes in the automotive industry, Jim Ziegler strongly encourages dealerships to reinvent themselves to stay relevant and head off the competition.

Jim Ziegler, the President and CEO of Ziegler SuperSystems, joins co-hosts Aharon Horwitz and Ilana Shabtay in this episode of the Inside Auto Podcast to discuss how the automotive industry has evolved over the years. They talk about the need for dealerships to reinvent themselves, how to create effective OEM co-op programs, and how to stay ahead of technological changes.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by AutoLeadStar, a company that helps car dealerships engage quality customers on the web and convert them into car buyers.

Co-founded by Aharon Horwitz, Yishai Goldstein, and Eliav Moshe, AutoLeadStar’s state-of-the-art software automates a dealership’s entire marketing funnel and provides around-the-clock service for dealers.

AutoLeadStar’s innovative technology helps dealerships automate ads, connect with customers, and discover ROI and performance metrics

Visit their website at to learn more about their around-the-clock marketing service.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:03

Welcome to Inside Auto Podcast where we feature everyone and anyone you’d want to talk to in and out of the automotive industry.

Ilana Shabtay 0:14

Ilana Shabtay here with Aharon Horwitz, co hosts of Inside Auto Podcast where we interview top dealers, GM marketers, entrepreneurs and thought leaders in and out of the automotive industry. And before we introduce today’s guests who were thrilled to have on our show, this episode is sponsored by the auto leads our platform is built on a technology so powerful and allows you to market sell and service cars as you would in the real world at scale and online making one to one matches between choppers and inventory. AutoLeadStar is the only platform that is powered by scale speed and specificity to change the way dealers do marketing today.

Aharon Horwitz 0:54

Alrighty, Ilana here we are season two episode two.

Ilana Shabtay 0:57

Yeah, we are stoked to be back. How you doing today? Yes,

Aharon Horwitz 1:01

yes, indeed. Happy whatever day it is. Thursday, right? Listen, we are we are so excited here to have we’re so excited for our guest today. Someone who is well known in the industry. So you know, it’s one of those moments where I’m gonna give the bio, but most people are gonna instantly know who it is. It’s Jim Ziegler, president ceo of Ziegler SuperSystems. Jim has been in the industry for 40 years, I think from hearing one of his lectures ever since he rolled into Atlanta and I 75. He’s worked in innumerable positions in the industry trained at 15,000 in more dealerships, and really been all over and everywhere helping dealers understand, you know how to do be the best them. And, Jim, I was interested in your bio before we get into anything else that you have apparently trained in 49 states. I want to know what the one state is you’ve not done it or have you already marked it off your list.

Jim Ziegler 1:54

I have never made it to Alaska.Hawaii,

I have desk bills at tios. Done F and I in every state except Alaska. I have done every job in a car dealership in every state. I’ve been the keynote speaker for 98 state dealer conventions, the opening keynote speaker. You know, there’s their states I’ve done four times, you know, like New Jersey, Texas, New York, you know, it’s incredible. I’ve never made it to Alaska.

Aharon Horwitz 2:27

Hmm. But you have made it to Hawaii.

Jim Ziegler 2:30

Oh, many, many times. I was consulting the Qatar group on in Hawaii. back through the 90s and john. He’s a good friend. Absolutely.

Jim Ziegler 2:42

Yeah, that was a funny funny story with the Qatar group. At the time, they were selling over 60% of the cars on the islands. And and it was amazing because I had no problem with them paying my exorbitant fees you know, I was charging those guys $10,000 A DAY PLUS travel but Herman Jones their their CEO their CEO had a problem with my travel expense goes flying from Atlanta first and I don’t fly in the back of no planes you know no goes on back there you know

Ilana Shabtay 3:23

it’s not that fun I will I will let you know you know what the back of the plane is like a little secret Yes.

Jim Ziegler 3:32

I look back there one time a lot and people were like 10 rows across grab one for peanuts look like a prison car. I don’t fly back there. So Herman Jones my airline tickets from Atlanta to to a wahoo were like I don’t know $5,000 and

Aharon Horwitz 3:55

you’re going out to haul if someone’s bringing you to Hawaii I think you have to build in a quite quite a significant travel expense that’s the that’s what’s built into those. So Alaska Alaska said I mean

Jim Ziegler 4:08

that’s that’s the that’s the last night been to Alaska. Got it.

Aharon Horwitz 4:12

All right. Well, who knows there’s still there’s there may be time ahead you know, as we come out of 2020 into 2021. Here

Jim Ziegler 4:19

dog don’t fly in the back no planes.

Ilana Shabtay 4:24

Wanted to insure you as as either Jim Ziegler Alpha Dawg, where where did that where did that little nickname come from?

Jim Ziegler 4:31

Well, it’s amazing. I live in Atlanta, Georgia, on the outskirts in Bradenton, Georgia. I live in Chateau lion Country Club. And we’re only 30 miles away from Athens, Georgia, where the Georgia Bulldogs play. And the Georgia Bulldogs are da wg.

Aharon Horwitz 4:54

I have an affinity for dog because I’m a Clevelander and in our football team I’m in Cleveland, the Browns are called the dogs. That’s been, you know, so

Jim Ziegler 5:03

there you go da w g that. And the Alpha Do on a sled team is the head dog, the one that is leading the team. And the Alpha Dog is the only one with a view. What are the other dogs looking at?

Ilana Shabtay 5:19

They’re probably the ones that

Aharon Horwitz 5:21

I know that because my son don’t get an Alaska connection. I just showed my kids we you know, we have a movie night and my family with my six and four year old once a week, and we watch Balto, which is the story of this this like famous sled dog that brought medicine to Nome, Alaska, I think it was. And anyways, I learned all about the Alpha Dog. But interestingly, I googled, I looked up this dog Balto and he’s he’s, he’s stuffed. I mean, he died at some point was stuffed. And he’s in Cleveland in the Natural History Museum. And I saw him growing up.

Jim Ziegler 5:57

Oh, yeah, go figure like Roy Rogers stuff trigger.

Aharon Horwitz 6:01

This stuff. Yeah, it’s true. That’s a That’s right. That is right. Um, so this is great. So Jim, we’re very excited to have you, I think there’s a lot we can learn from you. Partially cuz you’re willing to speak out and voice your opinion and say things that maybe are not necessarily

politically correct. When it comes to the politics of the industry, which I think makes it interesting. It’s important. One of the areas that I think is fascinating that you speak about, I think, with some insights that aren’t common, and I think it’d be beneficial for our listeners to hear that is kind of and I want to know how this has maybe evolved over the past, you know, through the pandemic, but um, you speak a lot about the OEM Co Op programs, and kind of the impact that’s had on on dealers and on the industry. And I’m wondering, kind of, you know, if you were inventing an OEM today, and you know that, let’s say, No, you brought you in and said, hey, you’re our guy, we’ve got this network of 1000, dealers, 2000, dealers, we want you to help us make those dealers as successful as possible for the OEM. What are you going to think about when you design a co op program? Is there even a co op program? do those things exist? How do you attack that if you were kind of, you know, going through the session size building from the ground up? I think that’d be very interesting.

Jim Ziegler 7:11

Wow, that’s a lot of questions boiled into one, let’s, let’s dissect what you just said, first of all, I’m forming an OEM and I’ve got 5000 dealers, whatever the case, well, first of all, I’m going to be dealer centric. And the very first thing is, manufacturers don’t know how to sell cars. They never have, they never will. You know, people say to me, Well, gentlemen, your General Motors is getting in generally shop click and drive what what a terrible process that turned out to be these people have no clue they haven’t seen the ball since the kickoff. So anyway, so what I’m talking about with Co Op is I’m going to screen the vendors for their effectiveness, not for they’re willing to play. Because there’s a lot of vendors that are willing to play they’re they’re willing to be on the co op program, and their their process is terrible. It’s cookie cutter, it’s all the same. And it doesn’t work for the dealers and I have dealers continually say, Well, Jim, it’s Co Op, they pay half of it, they paid three quarters of it. Yep. And the crap is still crap. I’m sorry. So I would screen the the effectiveness of the vendors. Yeah, some of the best vendors in the industry are not on the co op program, because they they put middle middle persons I’m not gonna say middle men, so so. Precisely correct. Middle persons in between the dealers and the manufacturers that are that are raking the profits. You know, I’m not gonna name any political correctness. Yeah, yeah. Hey, listen, man, if I was a crook, I’d be so much wealthier. You know, I’ll always stick up for the dealers even when it hurt me. You know, and,

Aharon Horwitz 9:12

and I will continue on in this is your barometer of what goes into that program. That’s your number one. kind of setup.

Jim Ziegler 9:19

Yes. effectiveness, it’s got to be an effective program. It’s got to be beneficial. It’s got to be cutting edge. You know, right now the the buzzwords in the industry is digital retailing. The other buzzword is a social media marketing. And, you know, you’re looking at a guy that turns 74 years old next week. You know, I’m, I’m a, you haven’t got underwear older than both of you. You know, I’m wearing it right now. But anyway. You know, it’s crazy because there are some companies out there that that Want to remove the the human aspect out of the car business? Now see if that’s going to necessarily happen. I say it’s going to be a mesh between human beings operating technology, it’s not going to be technology, operating human beings. So what do where do we go? What’s the horizon? Do we adapt? Yeah, we adapt, I’ve adapted. So many times had to reinvent myself and reinvent my processes and reinvent the way we approach the public. You know, 46 years in the business, I’ve reinvented many, many times. And viewers right now I’ve got to adapt or die. You cannot stay where you are. I just wrote an article for dealer magazine that comes out next week, called adapt or die. Or it’s reading that it’s it’s going to be about, you know, technology and how we use technology. And does technology use us and because a lot of the vendors right now are are schemers. I mean that there’s a plot in Amina in the plot isn’t is not so concealed anymore. The, the plot is to become the become the dealer, and for the dealers to become the warehouse. Because the the internet is the very worst thing that ever happened to the car business, the worst. But it didn’t sell the one additional automobile, we would have sold as many cars with no internet as we’re selling with internet. So let’s face it, internet created vendors between us and the customers that are raking profits off.

Aharon Horwitz 11:45

That’s a very important point, meaning the whole idea that this community business where, you know, I once walked into a dealership, and my I knew that my grandfather bought a car there. 70 years ago, they still had the file 70 years ago of him buying a car there. And, you know, I think they’re the dis what the internet’s done in terms of, you know, I think it’s changing. Now I think dealers are getting back in that direct connection. But the disintermediation of the customer. In the end, the dealership has kind of, you know, I like dealerships became numbers, they became phone numbers, they can websites that become prices. And there is that element where like, there’s this disassociation between the consumer and the, and the seller that I think, you know, I think is the story of the internet and a lot of ways it’s had benefits for consumers. But it’s, it’s, it’s also really hurt our economy. I mean, think about the Amazon effect, the Walmart effect, you know what that does to mainstream, when Walmart opens up within 100 miles of a small town, you see the death of all local businesses, that’s it. And then every job is at night at seven bucks an hour job or 15 bucks an hour job, it’s just not good for our society, even though it might be good for that person buying a shirt, you know, at a discount rate bill, you know, made offshore at a, frankly, a horrible price per labor. So I think there’s this element there that we’re seeing, it’s just very, very stark and clear. Now that maybe wasn’t clear. 510 15 years ago, when the internet was still new and exciting.

Jim Ziegler 13:09

Well, let me finish that thought to the internet is the worst thing that ever happened to the car business. But it’s here. It put vendors in between this and the vendors took the profits, the vendors are trying to become the dealer. But now that it’s here, it redistributes who gets the deals, and you got to be good at it. Because it’s going to the people that are the best with operating the technology are going to be the ones that get the majority of the sales adapt or die. Right Internet’s here. vendors are raking the profits. I’m not going to mention any names, but there’s some pretty evil people out there, but anyway, you know, that there are some real we got a bleep

Ilana Shabtay 13:58

Do we need to edit this out? Yeah, we could go instead of

Aharon Horwitz 14:01

instead of like bleeping curse words, which we have no problem with. We’re gonna bleep the

Ilana Shabtay 14:06

censored version. We’ll have a censored and an Uncensored, ‘m not gonna say a name.

Jim Ziegler 14:13

Well, you know, anyway, there are vendors that that are do not have the dealer’s best interest in mind. And what one thing I really hate when a dealers when a vendor says dealers partner, No, you’re not. You’re the dealers assassin quit. Yeah, let’s get let’s get real. And there’s some great vendors out there. I mean, there are some some some vendors that are useful technologies that are helping the dealers. But there’s other dealers out there with a real nefarious purpose that that they got an agenda. And, you know, dealers, we’ve got to learn concierge sales. We’ve got learned a home delivery, we got to get the Amazon going. You know, we know we have to do that. And like I say, 74 years old, I’ve reinvented myself so many times I’m imploring the dealers to reinvent them. So I’m teaching technology, the young people.

Aharon Horwitz 15:12

I’m really curious about that, like, do you when you go into a store? I know it’s very, you know, it’s probably very robust and holistic the way you look at a store. But like, kind of, if you an example of a strong piece of advice that you see comes up a lot when you’re talking to a store, what what is that or strong recommendation? what’s an example of that?

Jim Ziegler 15:31

Well, the first thing we have to do is establish a culture. You know, I don’t care how dealer sell cars, one price negotiation, I don’t care, you know, how they, how they structure their road to the sale, another road to the sale didn’t die, we just put technology into it. And a lot of it now happens on the internet, we know that, you know, so dealers have to understand, we have to have a management process with accountability and measurement. And I don’t care what that process is. But once there is a process, that is the law, and there’s no room for outlaws. Nobody in the dealership is outside once the dealership establishes, this is the way we do business. Nobody is outside of that process. I don’t care what the process is, I don’t have an agenda. But once you have established, this is the way we do it, then that’s the way we do it. And so many dealers don’t aren’t true to that. They, they say they sell cars one way, but they allow individuals within the process to do it any way they choose. I’m up for training, Navy SEAL Team seven. I want I want an organized commando force, for the management, through the lack of attendance, I want everybody in that dealership to be on the program and know what their role in the program is.

Aharon Horwitz 16:56


Jim Ziegler 16:56

So does that make sense?

Aharon Horwitz 16:58

Yeah. I mean, that’s obviously not just the dealership with every company. I mean, I think about that with us. Yeah, I was gonna say that I think

Aharon Horwitz 17:05

that the single greatest challenge is that culture of, sort of, you know, it’s the trusting in the process. It’s working according to process, it’s, you know, you can’t build something that scales unless you have those those building blocks. And it’s a, you can’t build excellence without that, right. You can’t have it can’t be about heroes, it has to be about sort of embedding that into the organization. Very challenging, very challenging thing to do. Extremely. Yeah.

Ilana Shabtay 17:36

Jimmy talks about process and you talked about technology. Oh, sorry. Go ahead.

Ilana Shabtay 17:42

I was gonna say he talks about process, he talks about technology. What does a successful digital dealership look like? I mean, there’s obviously balanced between in in in the showroom outside the showroom. So what does that look like? What have you been telling your dealers?

Jim Ziegler 17:56

Or what is an internet dealership? What is it? Well, first of all, I’m gonna have a BDC is there there’s two schools, salespeople handled the leads. Business Development Center. I like the idea of a business communications center better than a Business Development Center. I want to session that does inbound and outbound communications, not just inbound communication. District distribution. You know, I’m far I said I’d remember when it was telephone centers, no call centers, but now. Now I want business communication center. So outbound calls, inbound calls, outbound texts, and there’s a lot of legality that goes with text and somebody’s dealer. Most dealers are out of compliance and are vendors that are just totally out of compliance. Texting is is is the way today. You know, I’ve got 20 3050 100 I I just deleted up 100 spam emails. I didn’t even look at them. But every text in my phone I read you got all these unanswered emails, email marketing is not as effective as once it was, but texting, everybody reads all of their texts. But there’s legalities there’s an opt in opt out and there are companies out there doing mass texting right now mass texting is illegal. And the fines are in the hundreds of 1000s of dollars if you want to go to jail you want to become the bride a big Bubba acquitted. You know, I don’t I don’t know that. That’s terrible. Yeah, but that that vendor vendors are popping up left and right that are jumping on that Facebook marketing the most incredible tool Google My Business. dealers don’t even understand a Google My Business. You don’t even need a website to retail a car. You can do it on Google GMB. But the dealers that most dealers today, especially my generation, you know, they don’t even know where the on switch on their computer is. Get a board or get out, you know, if you’re not into what we’re doing, turn it over to a competent manager. We’ll give you a golf bag and a beeper. We’ll call you if we need you. Does that makes sense? Aharon? Yeah,

Ilana Shabtay 20:38

yeah, definitely. Um, and have you mentioned the buzzword word digital retailing a bit? How have you been dealing with digital retailing? And how much dealerships are adopting it? Especially since the pandemic we actually spoke to a dealership yesterday that said, even throughout this entire pandemic, and they they implemented digital retailing before? It was? I think, I think he said 15% of their leads not even not even sales right arm is that is that correct? He was

Aharon Horwitz 21:09

he was saying that essentially, the sum up of it was that with all the digital retailing in no way shape, or form replaced, or even came close to replacing their sales and what we what we the way we see digital retailing it, like in our company, which we don’t talk about too much in this podcast, but just just it’s like, Look, there’s 45 Shopping Cart vendors right now in the industry. You know, you can get a shopping cart from you know, Colorado, you can get it from from any website provider, you can get it from roadster, there’s an end like, I don’t, I don’t know any other industry where the shopping cart is such a big deal. Like, first of all, people aren’t buying cars online, for the most part in it in the classic sense the way that we imagine, right? Secondly, the reality is, is that digital retailing is a full funnel, customer centric experience, or it’s nothing. So the shopping cart is a tiny piece of that experience. And, you know, we talk about that a lot. And that’s something that is where we kind of disagree with the buzz in the industry a bit. We think it’s great that someone has a shopping cart, it’s good to get a rich lead. But it’s not about that. It’s about the whole experience. How do you how do you identify the shopper up funnel? How do you figure out what they actually want? How do you give them the right message and make you one of the few stores they actually call or visit the website of and then when they’re on the website? How do you convince them? This is a great place to buy a car and build a you don’t have a trusting relationship for this very expensive purpose, the purpose? And yeah, if there’s a checkout online, it’s great. But I don’t think most people are anywhere near using those things.

Jim Ziegler 22:33

Okay, let’s talk

Aharon Horwitz 22:34

about the fake people hate when I say that, because we’re like a young tech startup. You were probably the most techie startup right now in the industry. And for us to be like talking about it that way is like a little. It’s a little counter. Our brand heresy heresy.

Jim Ziegler 22:49

Yeah. Let’s talk about digital retailing a second. I bet we could go ahead a demo of roadster and that roaster skimmia Darwin,

Aharon Horwitz 22:59

by the way, we like all those people we don’t want to get we don’t want to rip those.

Jim Ziegler 23:03

Rip those people. I like those people. We like,

Aharon Horwitz 23:07

will you ever know we have to we have to preface it.

Jim Ziegler 23:11

Like somebody you will definitely know if I don’t like somebody. I mean, you know, and I will never say something behind somebody’s back that I won’t run around, say to their face to get the reaction.

Aharon Horwitz 23:22

Great. Good. Yeah.

Jim Ziegler 23:23

Yeah. I mean, I am not shy about calling out. villains.

Aharon Horwitz 23:29

Yes, we noticed when we were prepping for this podcast, we suddenly I will

Jim Ziegler 23:33

call out a villain. I mean,

Aharon Horwitz 23:35

we saw a couple of good examples that good. Yeah, you bid

Jim Ziegler 23:38

important. When, you know, there was a major vendor that I that I took on back seven years ago. That I mean, the CEO looked across the table and said, You cost me $78 million. And the Federal Trade Commission came after me and said that I organized a national boycott, which I deny. I didn’t do that. It cost me 50 grand to get out of that. But my New York lawyers, but it was like, you know, we were effective that the CEO said something to me that was so so profound. And he looked across the table and he said the best compliment anybody ever said to me first of all, I said you cost me $78 million. And the next thing he said, we considered buying you off but we knew it couldn’t be done. What a strong testimonial to my legacy. You know, I mean, I have I have taken some hard hits and digital retailing. Digital retailing right now is not working period. It’s working for a percentage of people. There’s a low percentage of people that will buy from cards. Have the car delivered at their home. But that is not a major percentage. It’s a small percentage of the industry. Me personally, you know, a lot of people understand I’m a cancer survivor, I had a major cancer last, earlier last year and three surgeries, I spit in the devil’s face three times. And maybe I’m immortal. I don’t know, I’m cancer free right now. But I like to fill out the and I saw all sorts of doctors. And I lost 85 pounds. But I’ll tell you what, I fill out my paperwork online, but I physically go see the doctor. And that’s why people are buying cars. They aren’t totally transacting online, there’s only a small people, a small percentage of people that go entirely through the process. And that’s one of the things I liked about Darwin, when I took the demo with Darwin is Darwin will allow the dealer to adjust how much or how little human interactions in the in the process,

Aharon Horwitz 26:05


Jim Ziegler 26:06

the dealer can take, can take any part of it right down to total transaction, or they can still keep their managers in it. And in the car business, we have to learn to use zoom, which we’re using right now in this podcast. We have to learn to use zoom to communicate with consumers and close and close sales on the internet and lifetime face to face. Because what we’re doing right now with this podcast is we are humanizing ourselves, hey, look, it’s a very smile, and he’s a person, you know, it’s not flat text or a photograph. You know, this is this is real people in real time. And that’s, that’s what we need to learn to do. Video is the most amazing dimension of the sale. We can get in front of the consumer with video in real time, while they’re in the shopping process. When that customer hits our website, and they identify that they are currently shopping. That’s the time we need to zoom in on them. Would you mind if we did a video conference and right now there’s a couple CRMs that are building video into their process, which I love. I mean, there are some archaic CRMs out there right now. And their CRM is the heartbeat of the dealership. And customer relationship management, there are CRMs that crash at the end of every month, because they’re built on old platforms that can’t accommodate today’s business. And even though there’s some of the best CRMs when they work, if they don’t work all the time, they’re not working. So some of the new CRM is coming in, I’ve got video built into the platform, and I’m not going to name them. And I’m not going to do one of those. But you know, there are some great CRMs being developed dealers need to look at new technology. Don’t fall in love with the people you’ve always done business with. Because the people you’ve always done business with are becoming obsolete. They’re some of the vendors you’re doing business with, are sinking down in the tar pits, eating the last brown shriveled leaves off the trees, you know, they’re good, but seem to be extinct. They’re not relevant anymore. And that’s why they they go back. And when you examine ROI on your vendors they want to talk about, well, we have attribution, attribution. Get out of here, Show me the money. attribution is a very real science, but it’s also the most bogus presentation that most vendors are using, because they gotta remember fingers live and liar, speaker. And there are a lot of liars figuring trying to show that they’re relevant, and they’re no longer relevant. I mean, some of the major vendors in the cut in the country right now are not relevant when it comes to ROI, return on your investment, Show me the money. Show me the deals don’t talk about attribution and influence when you don’t have it. You know, I can manipulate figures and don’t ever trust figures supplied about a vendor by the vendor. If a vendor gives you figures about their own company, what are you dumb ass, quit it. You can’t believe that. And don’t ever trust figures about a vendor supplied by another vendor that the vendor hired.

Ilana Shabtay 29:27

Hey, we’re gonna start bringing Jim onto our second call. Yeah, seriously?

Aharon Horwitz 29:32

Yeah. We’ll show you. We’ll show you what we do.

Aharon Horwitz 29:38

For each word, I

Aharon Horwitz 29:39

want to know, Jim, I want to know what happened. So first of all, I just google the kind of your history a little bit why I hadn’t gotten that deep. And I see what you’re talking about from back in the day. It’s still on the internet.

Jim Ziegler 29:48

The Federal Trade Commission thing is on there, too.

Aharon Horwitz 29:51

Yeah, the war was pretty widely covered. So yeah.

Jim Ziegler 29:55

They said that I was the ringleader of a national boycott.

Aharon Horwitz 29:58

Yeah, no, we won’t get into it. But

Jim Ziegler 30:00

I didn’t do that. I mean, just cuz I wrote a blog with 178,000 comments on the car people I didn’t organize a boycott, right?

Aharon Horwitz 30:13

You know, the thing, you talked about video, I assume that’s been a big part of the past, you know, nine months for you, um, have you managed to keep your training and speaking, happening during this period? Or like,

Jim Ziegler 30:26

thank you for asking. I have a free video training program called Alpha Dog on It’s free management training. You know, I was a very successful manager in the car business, I set records back in another day and

Aharon Horwitz 30:46

40 840 was it What was that quote one time some

Jim Ziegler 30:50

800 840 units a month. And I don’t take credit for that I was one of the managers in that ship. I wasn’t the one that was in charge I, I was a provider, but I was part of Camelot. You know, and I set some f&i Records, and some of those have been broken, some of those have never been broken. But, you know, I was a very successful manager, most of the trainers in the business today, never were managers, and I can’t believe they’re actually training management and from a salesman mentality, I have a management mentality, I, I deal with the top level, I talk about the greater concept of running the dealership, and most people don’t know how to manage managers or how to be a manager. So I’ve got all that on my platform, Alpha Dawg, da, w g, Alpha Dog on And it’s free. My sponsors are paying for it. And, you know, the sponsors are only sponsors that I endorse, I will not take as you couldn’t give me enough money to advertise on my platform if I don’t endorse the sponsor. So, you know, once again, you asked me earlier what I would endorse a sponsor I don’t believe in Now, what I want to take money from a sponsor. I don’t believe in No, you know, I don’t I’m, I’m a fairly wealthy guy. I’m not, you know, there’s wealthier trainers in the business, but I don’t have I have more money than I can spend and what’s left in my lifetime. My wife, I mean, we we’ve got, we got some money saved up we live in, in a country club, environment, but the house that we wrote a check for. And I’m talking about a seven digit check, you know, so yeah, we have enough money. I don’t need anybody’s money right now.

Ilana Shabtay 32:40

thankful for that.

Jim Ziegler 32:42

Yeah. I took it out of the stock market recently. It’s all sitting on the sidelines, I think. Economies Why

Aharon Horwitz 32:48

don’t you get out of the stock market. We could have a whole podcast about this. The best time to invest.

Jim Ziegler 32:54

Oh, that’s gonna be politics. That’s going to be politics. And

Jim Ziegler 32:58

oh, hey, I

Jim Ziegler 32:59

understand that people don’t like my politics. I’m very I’m very conservative.

Ilana Shabtay 33:04

I got it. I got it. You know, and I understand why you took your money out.

Jim Ziegler 33:07

I agree. I agreed with the protest yesterday. Oh, yeah, I agreed with it. I didn’t agree with what happened. But I agree with what they were saying.

Aharon Horwitz 33:17

I think I read things like most people think what happened was pretty tragic. Yes. Tough. tough day. Weird to do. It’s been such a tough year everyday spot like a day. Like

Jim Ziegler 33:28

we got more coverage in the riots in the streets last summer, though.

Aharon Horwitz 33:34

Jim, so if you if you didn’t have you actually done been doing trainings though on even doing it. You run it for Alpha Dog through your your regular program. Do you ever go live and do trainings?

Jim Ziegler 33:46

Oh, absolutely. I do it all the time. I, I do podcasts with people in the industry that are successful. Like I did two broadcasts with Jermaine toit out of Naples, Florida that are selling 500 units a month and they’re a very technology and trinsic dealer so they’re using a lot of technology blended in with their management style. So yeah, you know, Brian Kramer, the general manager is a good friend of mine got

Ilana Shabtay 34:17

a lot of good press lately. I’ve seen him a lot. Oh, yeah. Yeah, he’s,

Jim Ziegler 34:21

he’s out there. Well, definitely. And I’m gonna have a lot of people on the Alpha Dog on demand platform with me. It’s not just me it’s and BBC. I’ve got Jennifer Briggs Bobby Heron, Elise Gephardt they weren’t. You know, those people

Ilana Shabtay 34:40

ever breaks with Tom one, right? Yeah, yeah.

Jim Ziegler 34:44

Jennifer’s one of my better friends. I mean, her Bobby Herron and Elise Kephart. I called my posse Oh, no

Ilana Shabtay 34:51

way. Yeah, we know Bobby too.

Jim Ziegler 34:53

Yeah, they all came down and they were in Atlanta. Just before I had my cancer surgery last January. And they spent the whole weekend with us. And we, we went to nice restaurants and we went to antique fairs. And my wife was a good friend with all three. And we had we had a great weekend and at least kept part of the YouTube diva. I sort of discovered her. Well, I did discover her she was working in a dealership and I saw her videos online. And I brought her out to speak at my internet battle plan conferences. And next thing you know, she’s a national figure in the car business and she’s left the dealership, I’m sure they were happy about that. I’ve opened the door for a lot of national trainers.

Aharon Horwitz 35:46

In gym, it’s been a pleasure. The best news of this whole podcast is that you’re feeling well, and everything’s healthy right now. And that’s, you know, as my grandmother would say, knock on wood. that’s a that’s a good thing. And yeah, there you go knock on knock on blast these days.

Listen, it was it was really a great pleasure to meet you. And, you know, when you get someone from from the internet, suddenly in a conversation, which is kind of experienced we’re having it really is a humanizing experience. And I feel like you’ve been very open and just honest and straightforward with us. And that’s who you are. And it’s been a pleasure to experience that up close. So give us again, that website, just give us the URL,

Jim Ziegler 36:25

Alpha Dog da w g. I’ll tell you a shortcut. Ziggler will also get you there.

Aharon Horwitz 36:37

Okay, great. To hear that we must get Jim’s cell phone because he wants to get an email. So

Ilana Shabtay 36:43

when we wrap to get your cell phone number. Yeah.

Aharon Horwitz 36:46

All right. Listen, so Ilan, you want to wrap this up?

Ilana Shabtay 36:48

Yeah. Thank you so much. And that was fun and lightning. I’m so happy you came to life for us and for our listeners, and I’m sure they absolutely loved this episode. If you did tune in Inside Auto Podcast. Thank you so much again for joining us.

Outro 37:05

Thanks for listening to Inside Auto Podcast. Check out our other episodes with top entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

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