Expert automotive consultant Chris Orsaris has had a long and fruitful career as an entrepreneur.
Based out of the borough of Queens in New York City, Chris currently owns and operates multiple car dealerships, each featuring a diverse array of vehicles running the gamut from affordable and dependable models to high-end, luxury brand cars and trucks.
As time has passed, Chris Orsaris has continuously refined his operational practices by employing the latest and most effective processes for sourcing, tracking, and selling vehicles. Over the years, he has also improved his hiring methodology, ensuring that he always has top talent surrounding him and supporting his customers. As a result, each of his automobile dealerships boast exceptional reputations. Guiding all of us Chris’ decision-making is his professional credo, consisting of three foundational principles. First, sell only high-quality, reliable vehicles; second, keep a detailed record of all important information pertaining to the business; third, and perhaps most importantly, facilitate the best possible service experience possible for his valued customers. It is through the consistent application of these three concepts that Chris Orsaris has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in New York City’s notoriously competitive automotive sales industry.
When not running his dealerships, Chris can usually be found near the water, boating, fishing, swimming, or engaging in one of a dozen other recreational activities.
What do you currently do at your company?
I own and operate several car dealerships in New York City. My average workday consists of a few different elements, some of which include managing my team, talking with clients and other dealers, reviewing various data sets, and planning overall operational strategies.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
As a boy, I was alway interested in vehicles. Cars, trucks, motorcycles—even heavy construction equipment like cranes, bulldozers, and cement mixers. My career sort of evolved organically out of that initial curiosity. Throughout high school, I became something of an amateur expert on the makes and models produced by the big car companies. I also took auto shop classes and learned a lot about how the different parts of cars work. So, when I finally graduated and was ready to join the working world, it only made sense to pursue an occupation in the auto industry. After a good deal of thought, I decided my ultimate goal should be to own and operate a few dealerships. I’m delighted to say that I achieved that goal quite a while ago and have since exceeded it.
What defines your way of doing business?
My whole professional philosophy revolves around customer service. I realized early in my career that the customers are everything. Without the customers, there is quite literally no business. Therefore, I dedicate large chunks of my time to learning the needs, wants, pain points, and overall attitudes of my customers, and I make sure they’re treated very well whenever they come into any of my establishments. I also provide a lot of training for my team in that respect. Of course, there are other aspects to the way I conduct business, such as stocking only high-quality vehicles and keeping diligent records, but although important, all that is secondary to customer service.
What keys to being productive can you share?
I cannot stress enough the importance of surrounding yourself with a talented team of friendly, intelligent individuals. Not only does it increase a company’s overall productivity, it makes life better in many, many ways. Too many to list, really.
Tell us one long-term goal in your career.
I’ve got my eye on acquiring a few more dealerships in the near future. In the longer-term, I would like to expand my operations to include dealerships in other states, at some point.
What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
I love any sort of sport or hobby that takes place on or around the water. Whether it’s boating, waterskiing, swimming, or fishing, any recreational activity that involves being on or near a lake, river, or ocean relaxes me and makes me happy.
How would your colleagues describe you?
I think my colleagues would describe me as positive, honest, hardworking, and approachable. I think they would also say that I know my trade pretty well.
What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?
I’m sure this is a fairly typical answer, but I would be absolutely lost without my smartphone. It’s a handy research tool and an all-purpose communications device. It can be a watch, it can be a flashlight, and it can be a camera, as well as a hundred other things. Smartphones seem commonplace now, but when you really think about it, they truly are wonders of modern technology.
What are some of the keys to your success?
Beyond what I’ve already mentioned, I think it’s absolutely crucial to develop an effective system of organization. By keeping close tabs on all company-related information, I equip myself to be better informed when making decisions. I also think it’s important to acknowledge the members of my team who perform especially well and incentivize them accordingly. Demonstrating proper appreciation for a job well done not only shows them my gratitude, but it also invests them further in the success of my businesses. It’s really a win-win.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
I count a number of people as mentors, including members of my family, some of my friends, and even a few colleagues within the industry.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
“Be fair. Treat everyone well. Keep your house in order. Commit to your venture.” One of my mentors gave that advice to me, and I’ve always kept it at the forefront of my mind.
How do you measure success?
I measure success by the rate of satisfaction with the people who buy our vehicles. There are other more tangible ways to measure success, of course—profit/loss and market share spreadsheets leap to mind—but in the end, even those numbers are a reflection of whether or not our customers are happy.
Getting to Know You: Chris Orsaris, Automotive Consultant