Welcome to the first episode of Founder Focus with Steve Greenfield, an ASBN original series that focuses on the journies of some amazing founders. In this segment, Greenfield sits down with Andrew Gordon, founder of Dealer Science. Gordon is a mechanical computer-science engineer and a third-generation Honda dealer. Currently, he works as a consultant for startup businesses, offering advice and insights that he would have liked to have while he was starting Dealer Science.
Gordon opens the conversation by sharing details about his background. With his dad working in service, Gordon started at Honda in the sales department. However, he learned quickly that sales wasn’t his strong suit. He moved on from sales into developing solutions for problems and inefficiencies. This business model helped propel him forward with starting Dealer Science.
Gordon then dives into his unorthodox journey as an entrepreneur. He admits that he resisted thinking of himself as an entrepreneur for a long time, but a new perspective helped him change his outlook on what he was doing.
“I liked helping people and I liked solving problems,” said Gordon. “We recognized that the way we could help more people and solve more problems by getting this software into their hands.”
Gordon then shares that the hardest aspect of his time leading a startup was firing someone. The strenuous combination of personal relationships and difficult business decisions often overlapped, creating a very challenging position for Gordon.
The highlight of Gordon’s journey in the startup space is the same highlight for many startups which was the day the company was acquired. Dealer Science was acquired by TruCar in 2018. Gordon shares the excitement that followed the acquisition as it set many employees up for long-term success and validated all the hard work that had been poured into the company.
Gordon concludes the conversation by explaining how the best way to sell is not necessarily going out with selling top of mind. Instead, he says that salespeople should go out with the mindset of listening to problems and crafting genuine solutions. Listening to problems opens up receptiveness to solutions that might pertain directly to the product that the salesperson is looking to get in the hands of consumers.
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