How Can I Ensure My Pet Will Get Enjoyment From My New Car With Me?

Our four legged friends are as important to us as our children in most households. So when it comes time to pick out our new ride, how do we select one that will be right for us and for our pets?

pet car seat

Well, in short, you should always talk to your salesperson about all your usage, including how you normally travel with your pet(s). A real sales pro will talk to you about safety for the pet and also about features that different vehicles have that might appeal more to someone who is a pet owner.

This occurred to me to discuss here with you because I was talking with a gentleman earlier in my day who was out walking his large breed dog and told me that he’s coming back in to see me to do a demo drive without his dog to make sure that no fur got shed while we’d be out on a test drive.

I could see how much he loved his dog and he told me what a pain it was to deal with cleaning up the fur all the time in his current vehicles when he and his wife would either one be driving with the dog in their car.

Doggie Hammock

That’s when I brought up the subject of pet friendly car accessories and features of the vehicles I carried that his dog would really get a lot of enjoyment from. I told him that there are some companies that carry dog hammocks of heavy material that attach to the headrests and would keep the fur from getting matted in the carpeting or seats. I also told him that the truck he was checking out had a fully powered rear window that lowered 100% and his dog could safely stick his head out in the wind while driving without worry of being clipped from anything oncoming. No large bugs, branches, or cars getting too close! I told him that many styles of the hammocks even had pocket for toy storage and treats. If he’d had a small breed pet, he could have looked at a safety seat for keeping the curious animals contained inside the cabin safely rather than getting nervous and distracting the driver with all sorts of movement. I could also mention that with the truck option, a dog box in the back would give his canine the fresh air as well and remove the risk of having to clean up dog hair afterwards because the dog would not be in the cabin.

There are several ways to ride safely and enjoyably with our pets. I’m always interested in helping people find ways to enhance their in-vehicle experiences. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or suggestions on this matter. You can connect with me on Facebook by clicking here or you can send me an email at

My Podcast Debut!

Patrick and Courtney Hennessey & me

Click here to listen to my interview by Patrick (  )and Courtney Hennessey ( ), hosts of the BE LESS TYPICAL IN CAR SALES PODCAST. I was totally honored and humbled to be included to the awesome list of guests they’ve had on the show and then to have them want to stop by to sit down for lunch personally on their way through the state on a roadtrip to Florida where they were in the process of moving to! What a great couple and I feel blessed to be a part of their automotive family!



At What Point Does Honesty Become Insulting?

Price shopper

We’ve all known someone (sometimes ourselves) that has uttered phrases like, “To be… (instert: blunt, perfectly honest, frank, etc.)” or something like, “It doesn’t really matter to me who does (whatever situation)” and without pulling any punches, it can come off as really rude!

I’m in sales and because of that I have learned to put up with all kinds of arrogance and ego types, but there’s always those instances when people will just really rub you the wrong way. I know it can always come back that way to others from the person you stare in the mirror each morning, but I want to make it a point to anyone reading this that you really must evaluate things when their said and do your best to filter messages before they are just said matter of factly.

I had a guest in the showroom at my store recently who had known one of my coworkers for decades, but wasn’t aware he’d recently taken this job, and in front of us both, after over 30 minutes of assistance in answering questions, the guy had the audacity to tell us that he didn’t care who really sold him the car (meaning us or a different company) because he was just going to buy where he got it the cheapest.

sales stickers

Take to heart what I’m going to say now:

This person showed a total disrespect for the time and courtesy that we’d already shown him and was unapologetic for it. He was rude. He treated my coworker and I as insignificant pawns in his purchasing plans.

He may not have intentionally said these things with malice intent and because I’ve grown to realize just how many people actually have no filter for these things and I really want to try to believe the best in people, but there are many out there that would try to gain a sense of self importance by speaking down to others in this way.

best price and best qualityI was internally angered out of my mind at the audacity he had in saying these things to me, but outwardly I remained calm and bit my tongue without remark because I was careful to not let my temper get the better of me. I was coming very close to telling him that if he didn’t care about the level of personalized service that we provided that it was best to part ways then and that there would be no need to inquire further because we weren’t a good fit to work with him. It’s also been my experience that when you are dealing with someone like this that they will try to needle you long after the sale offering nothing in return but heartache and misery to add to the lack of any revenue from dealing with them.

If you are someone’s customer, this is where I caution you most because if you’re like this example, then there is something you may not have seen coming likely to happen: You may be told that your business in unwanted and unneeded and depending on what you’re shopping for, you might have just lost your chance to get the one you really wanted because it can be taken from you with just a few words.

Sales trainer Joe Verde is often quoted to say, “Sales are lost not by a few dollars, but by a few words.”

Anyone who’s ever had a career in professional sales expects to be put up against other companies offering similar products, so you don’t need to insult the person trying to help you by telling them you just want the lowest price available so that you can compare it to and cross shop other competitors. A really good sales pro expects to represent the best overall value. Value may not be quantified here as price but rather, by quality of service given in exchange for a certain monetary amount.

Trump-You're fired

In closing, be very mindful of the words you speak and to whom you speak them because you might just end up speaking yourself right out of a sale rather than into one. Just because the salesperson WANTS your business, doesn’t mean that he or she NEEDS it. If this happens, the salesperson might just FIRE YOU before you even know if they may have been the best solution to your problem.

zig ziglar

 Follow the advice of the late, great Zig Ziglar and you can prosper in both the deals you seek to close and in those where you seek to gain.



Have You Ever Seen A Mechanic Wear A Stethoscope?

Image result for mechanic stethoscope

When someone is in need of service on their vehicle and don’t know how to perform that service themselves, they go to see a mechanic. However, in today’s fast paced and ever changing world, the days of the old “shade tree” mechanics fixing our automotive problems is coming to a halt.

In today’s world, our vehicles are more like mobile supercomputers, than simply machines that run on a combustion engine. Today we have so many electronic components and have found ways to pair them with our once brutally mechanical engines for a sophisticated, refined, and complexly engineered powertrain that should anything go even slightly awry, it may take a thorough diagnosis to correct the issue.

This is where I see the main split from our automotive culture. Our once skilled mechanics must now adapt to survive and grow into being true diagnostic technicians. These are truly skilled individuals possessing the mechanical sense and technological know how to dive into these situations and keep us running smooth.

Image result for mechanic stethoscope

I liken it to a difference in the medical field; the one between physician and veterinarian. When you stop to think about it, the physician is the easier of the two because there is only one species to focus on. Whereas, in the vet’s case there can literally be several species, much like today’s automotive technicians who must constantly examine 4 cylinder models, V6’s, V8’s, V10’s, boxer engines, and even hybrids!!!!

With all of the electronic components come specialized tools and more of a requirement that the tech have a basic understanding of engineering, software, hardware, mechanics, and overall diagnostics. If you’ve ever watched an episode of the tv show HOUSE, then the next time you visit your personal service technician, just picture him or her with their stethoscope and clipboard ready to treat your automobile for whatever ails it. If you’ve been relying on the “shade tree” good ol’ boys to keep you running, remember that there is a clear and definitive difference between a mechanic and a service technician.

(My company has some of the best diagnostic and repair technicians around. Many of them have been with the company for 10 years or more and some for almost 30. My customers can always count on me and my team of service advisors to help should anything unexpected happen to your automobile. For assistance, just give me a call at my personal number, (304)437-WILL.)

How To Get A Great Service Experience Every Time

Image result for service advisor

Online reviews of dealerships rarely shed light on anything positive because most people tend to just take personal enjoyment in a good experience, but when expectations aren’t met, that’s when the horns pop out and fire and brimstone are breathed upon anyone and everyone to give an audience to you. Thus most feedback online is going to highlight a negative response. (This is actually kind of a personal beef I have with some sites, especially Yelp!) <<<<<{prime example right there}

To ensure a fantastic experience each and every time, make sure that you’re managing your expectations up front.

What do I mean by that you ask? 

Simple. Take the necessary steps to prepare yourself and your vehicle to be ready for your appointment.

Actually, that’s the first step!

  1. Set the appointment! Call ahead and schedule your visit with a service adviser. Write down the necessary information such as date and time, but also the adviser’s name, and make sure to give a complete overview of what you would like done when you bring your vehicle in. Make sure that the adviser reads this back to you to ensure that you were heard properly. If it is just a routine oil change or tire rotation, you may have the option to schedule with the dealership online, but if you know there is a specific issue that needs to be addressed, be sure to consult a service adviser.
  2. Make sure your vehicle is presentable inside and out. If you’re expecting someone to deliver extraordinary service, make sure that the interior is manageable to maneuver around in for anyone else driving your vehicle and that any items of particular importance or value are removed before leaving it. (Nobody wants to be accused of stealing if your tablet goes missing and then you realize a week later that it was buried in a pile of papers in the backseat.) It’s also recommended that the exterior is relatively clean as well. Most service lanes will actually walk around the vehicle prior to you leaving it to have you sign off on a visual inspection, but don’t be surprised if you have a scratch that you didn’t notice prior if your vehicle was filthy when it was serviced and once cleaned that area shows clear and bright! Several dealerships offer a wash and vacuum prior to pick up, but most don’t or offer it as an added fee with your service.
  3. Review your warranty coverage prior to your visit. It saves tremendous time and energy when you have your warranty documents with you when checking in for your appointment.  If you’re out of warranty, call in to the service lane again to your adviser and see if they can offer anything of value to you or if the dealership’s warranty or F&I office may be able to offer you peace of mind prior to your visit. (Your best extended warranty option should have been made available during the original sale of your vehicle to you, but if you didn’t take advantage of the offer then, one may still be available to you.) Also, it might be a good idea to check on programs that offer financing for repair work. There are some programs now available that many people aren’t aware of that will allow you to finance service work if needed, but the term of the loan is usually very short (for obvious reasons), but could be a great alternative to stressing over major repairs when money is tight.
  4. Arrive at your appointment a little early. This gives you time to go through that exterior walk around we were just discussing and listen to the adviser’s suggestions if they may offer added value in recommending replacement of wipers or burnt out bulbs, etc. You should also make sure again that anything you’d like to have examined is explained thoroughly to the adviser and/or the technician that will be working on the vehicle.
  5. Manage your time expectations according to the recommendations. Nobody wants to wait around for anything in today’s world, so if you’re expected to be in and out within a specified time frame, be ready. Make sure you’ve already eaten and won’t start getting hungry half way through the appointment. Bring a book or some other project you can be productive with or entertain yourself with. Know ahead of time if shuttle or loaner car service is offered and schedule that accordingly. Oftentimes, you’ll get a good indicator of how long your visit may last based on the call you made to schedule the appointment, but all too often things will be discovered that need to be addressed and usually faster and less expensively due to labor costs during this visit as opposed to bringing it back later. Be mindful that this can occur anytime for any reason with any vehicle. Don’t be alarmed. Do be prepared!


In addition to these five steps, being a sales professional, I like to know that my clients don’t have bad experiences, so I think it’s also a good idea to also let your sales pro know when you’ll be stopping in for service. We can be a difference maker sometimes when the service dept. is really busy in helping you get the most out of your visit and we can use the time to catch up and perhaps even offer additional input or find an alternative vehicle to meet your changing needs with trade in options you may not have considered.

This is a strategy I’ve advised on for years and those customers that have followed this advice, have been very happy and loyal to me in return with repeated business and a growing number of referrals.

How do I know if the used car I’m looking at is a good car or a lemon.

When shopping for a used car there are so many variables to consider that it can be quite overwhelming.

Because consumer protection laws can vary from state to state, many used car shoppers have very high defense mechanisms built up before meeting with the people that they will potentially buy from, so let’s take a look at how to do the best you can to ensure you don’t get taken for a ride in purchasing your next vehicle.


GET THE CARFAX! Just like the tv and radio ads say, ask the seller to provide a CARFAX vehicle history statement. This will show inspection dates, service visits, recalls that have been performed, and accident history. You’ll want to know if your vehicle has been maintained well previously.


THE SILENT WALKAROUND This is a technique often employed by professional appraisers and used car managers at dealerships when evaluating the value of trades and used car purchases they may need to make. If you’ve ever noticed this technique, you may have scratched your head as to what was going on. They will visually inspect the vehicle and often run their fingertips over the body lines, gaps, and seams of the vehicle to ensure that no damage has been inflicted through unreported accidents. Yes, even though you may have gotten a clean CARFAX report doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been damaged. If it hadn’t been reported to insurance, it could have been damaged and fixed and placed up for sale and nobody was necessarily ever made aware of it. If the fingertip test reveals rough edges along the body or any inconsistencies at all, it may be a sign of paint and body work.

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS Make sure that the seller has cleaned and detailed the car as best as it can be done prior to delivery. Sometimes the smallest things can have huge ramifications to your satisfaction. If it has a cabin air filter, was it replaced with a new one before you drove it home? If not, you be smelling some unpleasant things later on and causing improper air circulation inside the car. Is that a crayon melted into the carpet? Why wasn’t this thing steam cleaned properly?

HELLO? IS THIS THING ON? Often overlooked items can be intrumentation lights and guages that are going dim or burnt out altogether. These items can be easily fixed sometimes, but in some situations it could require replacing ECU’s and other expensive components. Check all the lights and signals both inside and outside the vehicle.


FIND AN EXPERT Sometimes it pays to have experience on your side. When in doubt, it could be beneficial to take a licensed and experienced mechanic or technician with you or arrange to have the car privately inspected before finally signing for it. Ensure that it is functionally capable of delivering the goods when you need it to.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED After doing your due diligence to ensure that you’ve made a decision to buy that you are comfortable with, get a reliable warranty. Take on coverage that will protect you from expensive repairs that might occur down the road that can happen to any vehicle, but be sure to get a genuine manufacturer’s warranty where you are guaranteed service at any of the franchised dealerships around the country and not just limited to certain items or certain repair shops.

I hope that these tips help to find you safe and reliable transportation.

As a car sales professional, I deal with new and used cars on a daily basis and I see the anxiety displayed by several of my customers when researching solutions to their vehicular needs and I do my best to offer my counsel and experience to aid in the process. If you, or someone you know is in the market for a vehicle, new or preowned, please reach out to me by calling (304)437-WILL or message me on my Facebook page.

My credit sucks! How can I improve my score?

road to good credit

Preface: I sell cars and I am not a licensed credit counselor, but I have lots of customers inquiring consistently as to how to increase their credit scores for vehicle loan applications. So, I am writing this article with the intent to introduce customers to an accredited source.

If you haven’t been in need of anything that would require financing in a while and then all of a sudden you find yourself in a position where things are different, you might be surprised to find out that your credit score isn’t exactly what you remember it to be or you might have never had much credit to speak of.


If that’s the case,  many states have their own programs to help you and some don’t, while all over the place there are companies wanting to offer to help you get out of your credit debt for a fee. It’s hard to know which ones to consider.

With that in mind, and not being a credit counselor myself, I have tried to find a resource to aid my customers and I hope that should you or someone you know has a positive experience and this information becomes useful, that you share your feedback with me.

credit bureaus

After an initial call to explain why I’d like to partner up, I felt at ease in recommending the National Foundation of Credit Counseling. You can learn more and sign up by going to the NFCC website by clicking here. If you call their number at (800)338-2227, you will be connected to a representative in your area that can help assist in the counseling and get you on the road to renewed credit viability.

What type of oil is best for my car?

engine oil

One of the age old questions regarding motor oil is “how often should I change it?” Another one that usually follows is “what grade or type of oil would be best to use?”

Over time engine oil darkens and can get sludgy from being cycled through an engine. This sludgy gunk buildup can impede the performance of the engine and that is why we need to change oil periodically.

More detailed information about this can be found by clicking here.

There is a push in the automotive industry to move newer model vehicles to a synthetic blended oil that can go longer without needing to be changed. There are several reasons for this such as being better for the environment, but also chiefly because it is less expensive to change the oil when you can prolong the life cycle that it will last.

When I work with any of my customers, this is always a discussion point before I say goodbye to them in their new vehicles because I want to make sure that they get all the value of their purchase and let them know that I care about that and them! I also realize that things I cover can also be forgotten, so I try to readdress things through this blog and my social media outlets.

To see a little bit more about this subject, check out a short video I did by clicking here.

Here’s a quick little PSA for anyone interested in answers to questions about vehicle safety and crash test ratings, car seat safety, whether or not your vehicle is subject to a recall, and several other topics related to safety. Go to and browse through the site. It was created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is a great resource. It offers a lot of self serve answers to your questions with searchable links and easy to use forms that don’t ask for information to spam you by. Here’s my quick take on it: William McCormick for PSA

10 Easy Vehicle Winterization Tips

  1. Check your tires! Is there still good tread? Do they need rotated? Is there proper inflation? (Low tire pressure increases your risk of blowout, especially in winter as air molecules inside the tire shrink in the cold weather and low tire pressure results in poor gas mileage. And it’s important to remember to include the spare tire in your checklist too!)                       spare tire
  2. If possible, cover the windows to prevent frost from forming. There are windshield covers now available for this. There are also people who just keep the scraper and maybe a can of de-icer nearby.
  3. Let the engine warm up before driving. Turn the engine to the accessory position first for a few seconds to prime the starter, then start it up and let the fluids run and warm up for 5-10 minutes before driving off to battle sludge and sediment.
  4. Test your battery! Make sure that the battery has ample cold cranking amps and enough juice to get you where you need to battery
  5. Make sure that any paint chips are touched up to prevent rust! It also doesn’t hurt to check for flaking underneath and on the inside of your wheels.
  6. Undercoat if needed! Salty roads can be especially corrosive to framework!
  7. Is your oil change due? Make sure that it has been done and that any lids, gaskets, and covers are properly secured.                     mechanic
  8. Make sure your washer fluid is the winter mix as the summer blend may freeze over.antifreeze
  9. If you use both carpeted and all weather mats, make sure that the carpeted ones are put away for the winter. Wet weather conditions will ruin carpeted mats.
  10. Keep an emergency kit in the trunk with a thermal blanket and some nonperishable food items just in case something unforeseen might happen and you’d be unable to get assistance right away.snowy cars