Last Modified: April 22, 2024

Written By:Olivia Slade-Silovic

|Published Date: May 23, 2018|3 min read

Interview with Mike Delong: Automotive Salesperson as a Professional Advisor

The words "Interview with: Mike Delong, Vice President, Dealer Services" next to a photo of his headshot, where he is smiling and wearing a suit
Mike Delong is the Vice President of Covideo Dealer Services and has led the dealer side of the business for more than 12 years as of 2023. He also has more than 20 years of automotive retail experience, making him an invaluable resource for Covideo’s many users in the automotive industry. Mike coaches them on best practices to better engage their customers through the power of video.We conducted this interview with Mike in 2018 to share his insights into the dealership industry, how it is changing, and how video will pave the way to the future.Covideo: You had worked in the automotive industry for 18 years before you joined Covideo. What is it about the industry that attracts you most?Mike: I have always had a passion for serving customers within a retail sales environment. The automotive industry was particularly appealing in which it afforded you the ability to control your own destiny. By that I mean, within a commission-structured environment, you have control of your income. Success relates to limitless financial income along with additional opportunities for continued growth.Covideo: Now you are working at Covideo as the VP of Covideo Dealer Services. What previous experiences helped you the most for this position?Mike: My retail experience has provided me with a better understanding as it relates to customer interactions within the various departments—the challenges within those departments, and how we can use video technology to enhance customer engagement while providing an excellent customer experience.Covideo: What is it like to communicate with automotive companies from the vendor side?Mike: Rewarding. I can truly understand their daily challenges and can ask the relevant questions to offer meaningful solutions in efforts to help them succeed.Covideo: What makes an automotive salesperson different from sales professionals in other industries?Mike: When I first started in the industry, I believed there to be a great disparity. The “car salesman” was considered the corporate misfit and was not guided by ethical boundaries as those within the corporate world, creating for themselves an aura of irrelevancy, thus tarnishing their reputation. However, I believe that bridge has been gapped and over the years our automotive dealers were forced to embrace Customer Satisfaction. Where now I believe that today’s an automotive salesperson’s role has evolved into more of a professional advisory role when providing today’s educated customer with a friendly, transparent experience.
“Now, I believe that today’s an automotive salesperson’s role has evolved into more of a professional advisory role when providing today’s educated customer with a friendly, transparent experience.”
Covideo: As a passionate video lover, what benefits do you like to point out most to your clients for integrating video communication in their business?Mike: We are forced into the habit of communicating via email in today’s business world. Yet no email, even with its bold-typed words, can ever replace those passionate voice inflections of face-to-face interaction. Adding visual cues along with voice and facial expressions clearly allows you to deliver a more compelling message. As they say: If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what is a video worth?!Covideo: Positive short-term effects are great, but can you tell us more about the long-term ones? What do companies that use video communication in a year or two, or even more, get from it?Mike: The long-term effects, in part, help to create a company culture of transparency. Mind you, video communications are not just powerful for customer-facing communications. Many companies create a culture of synergy when using video within their internal communications as well.Covideo: What changes have occurred in the automotive industry that lead to increased adoption of video communication?Mike: I believe the industry is trying to stay ahead of the technology curve and better communicate to customers’ lifestyle today.Covideo: What are your predictions for communication trends in the automotive industry?Mike: Video communications will become the new norm and plain text communications will become obsolete. Our customers will dictate as such.Covideo: Are there any challenges you see that might become obstacles for video integration in this industry?Mike: As with any industry, yes, there will be challenges. But the only obstacle will be those who refuse to keep up with technology and change with the times. Unfortunately, these companies will be left behind.
Covideo Dealer Services provides video email software that helps dealerships communicate more effectively, build relationships faster, and reinforce their brands with easy-to-make personalized videos. Try it out for free!
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