Most Important Person in Your Business

Strong Employees

Last week we had Mike Strong come to the office for a video-taping session where he responded to questions about the history of our company. Over the next few months Mike’s responses will be part of an in-house program to educate new employees (and reeducate old employees as well) on what automotive merchandising represents in our company name.

The answer Mike gave to the question, “Who is the most important person in the agency?” was on-point for our company, as well as yours:  “Everybody!

Mike’s one word response came with clarification. “When any of our clients is involved directly with an employee – whether it’s answering the phone, clearing up an accounting question, or verifying offers in a TV script – at that point, to that person, you are the company,” Mike noted.  He went on to say, “And the impression you make is everything, such as getting a question where you are not sure of the answer. Be bold enough to say ‘I don’t know, but I will find out and get back with the answer’. To that he added, “And make sure you do!”

Across our company, and even more so for yours where shoppers, service and parts customers come and go every day, the interaction of those people with your employees is everything. Who’s the most important person in your company? Everybody. And whatever you do, do it to be the best, every time.


About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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