GREG MUSTO started RJM Automotive Buyer’s Agency back in 2011 based on a strong desire to change the way relationships are treated in the automotive industry.
We’ve all had the experience, right? You walk into a dealership and are instantly encircled by sharks, looking to make sure you don’t leave the lot without filling their pockets. Today. Now.
This is the sad reality, but based on his experience and convictions, Greg wanted to create a different kind of company. But first I have to tell you about the company name.
Do you think “RJM” sounds like just a random bunch of letters? Not exactly. It’s actually the initials of Greg’s son, Reece. And this is no ego trip or marketing gimmick.
The name of the company is what helps keep Greg centered on his values, every minute of every day. Every decision is made in the context of this and the family photos on his desk.
It’s an important part of this business, because Greg’s convinced that if he loses his values, he’s lost everything. So how does this translate into the goals and structure of the company?
Greg explained that he runs everything around relationships. Remember that experience you had at the car dealer. Would you ever want to do business with that salesperson again?
Instead, RJM puts relationships first, and business second. I’ve had first-hand experience with this, as I’ve talked with Greg several times over the course of this year. While telling me about what a Buyer’s Agent is and how this has value different from a dealer or broker, he hasn’t pushed me to become a client. For him, it’s about building reputation through open and honest conversation – something I’ve to be found lacking in the automotive industry.
Greg has found a ready market of people who are looking to purchase cars in a less stressful way. Although he has big growth ambitions, he’s making progress and is mostly limited by the time he’s willing to take away from his family.
But he has run into a significant problem with hiring employees. In particular, he’s had to let salesmen go who were too much invested with the traditional automotive industry model. They couldn’t stop using using high pressure sales techniques, so Greg had to let them go. As a result, his current strategy is to hire first for attitude and values, and then teach new hires how to do sales in a way which is consistently values-centered. It’s an ongoing learning process, but he’s satisfied that this will get him to his future dreams.
And those dreams extend beyond just this industry – he’s looking to expand into adjacent relationship-based businesses such as real estate and possibly insurance. The early feedback he’s gotten from testing the market has been positive, so it looks like his ideas just might work. “It’s not about getting filthy rich,” as he says, but instead to make a good living from serving the world in multiple ways.
I talked with Greg about how he infuses his Christianity into RJM. He doesn’t have a fish logo on his sign, and doesn’t overtly mention God or Christ in his marketing materials. He feels that this would be dishonoring God in a way that’s akin to the money changers in the temple (Matthew 21:12-17, for example) and it just doesn’t seem right. So he devotes significant time and money to church causes. Especially close to his heart are efforts which help orphans around the world. When building relationships with clients, he finds that spirituality and Christianity can come up, because it’s such an important part of his life.
I’m finding that Greg’s outlook helps me to examine my own balance of family versus work, and how I keep my values strong and focused.