Automotive marketing exec preaches passion, excellence

Decide what you want to do in life. Be passionate about it, pursue excellence and don’t let anyone stop you.

That sums up the advice of Mitch Cummins, whose passion is making a difference in people’s lives and helping businesses reach their potential. He’s a combination motivator and business coach.

Cummins is a longtime automotive sales and marketing executive who more than two years ago launched Las Vegas-based Opportunity Max, a digital consulting service that he recently sold to the Maritz Corp., a global sales and marketing services company. He remains as president of Opportunity Max, which helps auto dealers with online marketing and analytics to boost sales.

That’s a long way from where Cummins started when he was a theater and film major at the University of Houston. Once he took a job selling high-end audio-video equipment at a Houston mall and earned $5,000 to $6,000 a month at age 20, he knew he had a calling in sales.

“I said, ‘What do I need school for?’ and I went off into retail,” he said.

Question: How did you go from the electronics business into the automobile business?

Answer: I got recruited to run video superstores, and I did that, but it ended with an employment dispute with that last owner. During that time, I had to go get a job, and I went to buy a car. By the time the transaction was over, management came over to me and said, “You need to be in the car business and not on the other side. You’re brutal.” I said. “That’s not for me.” He said. “Give me a week of your time, and I will show you this is for you.”

Question: What happened?

Answer: I went to work for the Gillman Cos. in Houston in a Mitsubishi dealership. I was in a mobile- home selling Mitsubishis for this big organization. I rose to management within a month of being in that role and became general sales manager in that first year and then ended up running six of the dealerships for that group. I was then recruited to another large organization, the largest GM dealer group in the world.

Question: Why leave electronics for automotive?

Answer: It was an accident, but I quickly realized sales were sales. If I could sell a Walkman, I could sell an office building. If I could sell an office building, I can sell an airplane. If I can sell an airplane, I can sell air. That’s when I realized, why hold myself back? I love retail. I love working with people. I wanted to be different in the car business. And I always had a motivational type of personality to get people to do more than they realized they could.

Question: How did that lead to what you do today?

Answer: Why I am here today is I try to bring a solution to these giant car dealers spending millions of dollars in advertising with no rhyme and reason to say why don’t we put a little science to this. Why don’t we put a little accountability to the dollars that car dealers spend. I developed a product, a program (with my partner and company called Dealer FX out of Toronto) to help show dealers how to spend their money more effectively. I went to work with General Motors. They said, “Why don’t you roll this out to our dealers?” We did that and we rocked that. We had such great results that GM hired me to train the entire U.S. sales force of GM, 1,000 of their employees, on understanding the car retailer and get better factory relationships with the dealer and understand the dealer’s world. I did that and the bankruptcy happened with GM.

Question: What happened?

Answer: It was a startup company, and I ended up selling my interest in that company to my partner, and I opened Opportunity Max 2½ years ago.

Question: What do you do?

Answer: Two things we do with Opportunity Max is to make sure your marketing is working. We want to ensure every dollar you spend both conventionally and digitally (is spent effectively). We believe conventional media still plays today as well as digital. And we ask, “Are you are getting the return on investment that you should and holding the vendors responsible so that you’re getting your money’s worth?” Your job is to spend your ad dollars properly to bring in traffic. Are you bringing enough traffic to hit 300 cars or are you bringing enough traffic to only hit 150? It’s not fair to your staff to hold them accountable to what they can’t control. But then more importantly, are your people working the opportunities? That’s is where the breakdown is in most businesses.

Question: Where are you working now?

Answer: We work all over the country, including manufacturers. Mazda was the first we signed for a national agreement. We are their digital marketing company. We are working with about 90 dealers with a bunch in the pipeline.

Question: Why did you sell to Maritz?

Answer: Maritz is the largest research company in the world. Opportunity Max was a company that now is a product. We have a taken a consulting gig and moved it into a true deliverable product of 66 people and growing where it was just four people a year ago. The reason we needed that is we found in the old days as a consultant, I was trying to teach that 60-year-old business owner about digital. But at the end of the day they just want it done. What we did is create the fulfillment teams to just do it for them.

Question: What are the biggest changes in the industry?

Answer: The confusion is the business owners feel like they have to have a different strategy for digital than they do conventional. You’re talking to the same consumer today. The old days it was the pipe-smoking guy that booked out his car, knew the cost of our car and had his financing lined up. He was the guy you didn’t want to do business with. You couldn’t make any money. He was painful.

Today, we know 80 percent of the consumers are coming from digital in some way but most business owners have less than 1 percent or 2 percent of their entire staff dedicated to 80 percent of their traffic. That makes no sense. We’re trying to change the culture to understanding that. Internet customers are expecting a new experience and better experience from the retailer. You better live up to it.

Question: What do you see yourself doing in the future?

Answer: I think sharing my expertise. I almost want to do a charitable “Shark Tank” in my future. I want to go out and help young entrepreneurs and take them to levels.

Question: What do they need to do?

Answer: Focus and have a plan. We believe in a solid written plan for everybody with due dates. It’s that simple. Green: we did it. Yellow: we’re working on it, and Red: we missed it. That’s how we write our game plan. Once you have a game plan, you have to have priorities.

We might have a list of 100 things we have to do but someone needs to stop right now and say what’s the top three lowest hanging fruit out there that’s going to make the biggest difference to our business, to our consumer and let’s focus on that. If you don’t, we’re shotgunning it everywhere, and we never get great at anything. We’re just OK at everything. We want to be great at whatever we’re focusing on.

Question: What’s your advice for someone starting a business?

Answer: For me, Nike says it well. Just Do It. It’s that simple. If you want a cheeseburger, get a cheeseburger. I equate life to that and your business. Decide undeniably what you want and don’t let anything stop you. Be undeniable. Whether you’re the garbage guy and that’s what you’re happy at or you’re the CEO of a company, be the very best at what you do.

I love my work. I love getting up every morning. It’s part of me and I’m blessed to have that opportunity to get up and get after it and help people. I like to see that everybody in the store is doing better. It affects their families. Most of these car dealers have hundreds of employees and their families. We’re talking about thousands of people that I can go in and change their business in an effective and positive way. That’s my mantra every day. Get up and make a difference in somebody’s life somehow.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Holiday Parade Lights Up Downtown Summerlin
Holiday parade lights up Downtown Summerlin every Friday and Saturday night through Dec. 22.
Nevada's solar industry on the rebound
In 2015, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission voted in favor of a new tariff structure that reduced net energy metering buyback rates and increased fix fees for residential solar customers.
Apartment complexes selling fast in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ apartment vacancy rate is among the smallest in the country, and rents are climbing faster than the national average. (LVRJ)
Aristocrat Opens $45M Campus In Summerlin
Aristocrat Technologies Chairman Ian Blackburne discusses the company's growth. (LVRJ)
Sunrise Hospital celebrates 60 years
Sunrise Hospital opened its doors to patients on Dec. 15, 1958. Employees of more than 35 years celebrated at a luncheon Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Jessie Bekker/ Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Maya Cinemas to open soon in North Las Vegas
Moctesuma Esparza, CEO of Maya Cinemas, talks about the newest location in North Las Vegas, set to open Jan. 10. The aim of the theatre chain is to serve latino-centric, underserved communities.
Holiday shopping and returns make this the busiest time of year for UPS
The UPS Las Vegas South facility is the company's busiest pre-load operation in the country, and it's even busier this time of year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times
The mall, attached to Primm Valley Resort, opened in 1998. Back then, it was a “textbook, perfect outlet-center location." But now, Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times. Las Vegas Boulevard has endless shopping spots. And there are other outlet malls that don’t require a hefty drive to the state line. Its mortgage-holder foreclosed on the mall in late September.
Miltary auction at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Humvees, ammo cans, construction equipment, field gear and more is on the auction block Friday and Saturday at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. About 10,000 items in all are for sale in what GovPlanet bills as the largest auction of its kind.
Las Vegas residents discuss avoiding holiday scams
Las Vegas residents discuss their donation habits and how they avoid giving money to scam charities during the holiday season. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory ahead of economic impact expectations
The Tesla Gigafactory’s economic impact on Nevada has exceeded projections, bringing in more than 7,000 jobs. In 2014, Nevada agreed to give the automotive and energy company $1.3 billion in tax abatements. In return, Tesla promised to meet certain requirements in areas like employment and capital investment. As of June, Tesla has brought in a total of $6.05 billion in capital investment, surpassing the $4.95 billion projection. The original contract gave the company until 2024 to make $3.5 billion in capital investments in Nevada. Derek Armstrong, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Land sales near the Las Vegas Raiders stadium
Land around the Las Vegas stadium site has been selling for high prices. A few months before the stadium’s groundbreaking, Global Trust Group acquired a 2.5-acre parcel just north of the stadium site. The property sold for $7.25 million, or $2.9 million an acre. Osprey Real Estate Capital and Huntington Hotel Group acquired a 2-acre industrial site just west of the stadium site in late November. The property sold for $6.5 million, or $3.15 million per acre. That's roughly 12 times the average price of land in the valley this year as tracked by Colliers International.
T-Mobile Tech Experience Truck parks in Toshiba Plaza at T-Mobile Arena
The Tech Experience Truck is a state-of-the-art showroom on wheels, with demonstrations that put connected drones, smart cities, augmented/virtual reality and smart tracking. The exhibit shows new wireless technology – including 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents to keep them from teetering off into homelessness. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vrgas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Crowds camp out for Chick-fil-A opening
Dozens of customers camped out 24 hours ahead of the 6 a.m. Thursday opening of the new Chick-fil-A on Rainbow Blvd.
Cheapest listings for sale in Las Vegas
Listed for $39,990, 585 S. Royal Crest Circle, Unit #9 is one of the cheapest homes currently listed for sale in Las Vegas. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Terry Miller discusses Convention Center
Project Manager Terry Miller explains the phases of Convention Center construction.
Zappos treats their team members on Cyber Monday
Zappos rolls out a variety of food, drinks and special activities for all team members at their downtown Las Vegas headquarters for Cyber Monday. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Team Hybrid at the 2019-Model Motor Trend International Auto Show
Among the companies showing off the 2019 model cars, Team Hybrid shows off its modified cars. Las Vegas resident David David talks about the team, which is in its ninth year exhibiting at the show, and his show car.
Black Friday Shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal
Black Friday shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfYe
Black Friday shopping in Las Vegas
Black Friday sale shopers express their shopping experience. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday at Fry's
Shoppers line up for deals early on Black Friday at Fry's Electronics on Las Vegas Boulevard South. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am on Nov. 23. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Black Friday - 1am Closing Time
Quiet night.
Black Friday - 12:30am - Best Buy Arroyo Crossing
Sam's Town Holiday Lighting Ceremony
On Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, Mystic Falls Park opened with its annual tree lighting ceremony, hosted by Boyd Gaming Executive Chairman Bill Boyd. The attraction features a Winter Wonderland theme and holiday-inspired laser light show, available daily Nov. 23 to Jan. 1. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What Is A Smart City?
George Karayannis, vice president of CityNow, Panasonic’s smart-city arm, explains. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Walmart uses virtual reality to train employees
Walmart Academy Facilitator demonstrates the VR training program being used by Walmart stores across the country.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like