One of the perks of my business is having wonderful discussions with a whole bunch of bright people in diverse industries.  It’s one of the key things that keeps me going!

One of the discussions this last week was about, of all things, automotive sales.  We all have our own impressions of auto dealers, but let’s just admit that consumers’ perception of this industry are pretty darned low.  Everybody has their horror stories to tell.

SalesmanAs it turns out, there’s some interesting developments in this industry.  We all know about dealers who claim “always low no haggle pricing,” and I have to confess that I don’t have much experience with them.  It’s not that I like haggling, but I guess I don’t trust their honesty.

But we did have an outstanding experience with Saturn’s no-haggle approach, before the company died.

With my friend, I learned about a couple of other approaches that hadn’t been on my radar screen.  Auto Brokers help connect you up with the right vehicle no matter where it might be, and Auto Agents do the same thing but act on behalf of the customer rather than the seller.  I found out that my friend (as an Agent) just charges a flat fee for his services, and the entire transaction is absolutely transparent between the buyer and seller.

What got me excited about this is that we’re taking a powerful concept and applying it to a different industry.

We’re all familiar with the concept of a realty agent:  someone who will help a buyer to find the best house for their needs, negotiate the best terms, and handle the horrific amount of paperwork which results.  Because that agent is on your side, you have reasonable trust that they’re not trying to work against your interests.

Since an automobile is often the second largest investment you make in your life, doesn’t it make sense that this may be a useful concept?  Especially because most of us dread the experience of negotiating the price and terms.

So, for your business and your industry:  What cool concept could be leveraged from a different industry to totally rock your world?

Why not do it first?