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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Steve Lange - Tony's Tyre Service Tale


    Steve Lange says enthusiasm is a key to business success. And if you
    don't feel enthusiastic, become a great actor, the former Tony's Tyre
    Service owner says. It's a lesson he learnt from How to Win Friends
    and Influence People author Dale Carnegie about 20 years ago.

    A "larrikin" as a youngster, Lange lived in Cambridge and says he was
    kicked out of school at the age of 15. By 16, he was in a bit of
    trouble and realised he needed to make a change. He hitch-hiked to
    Hastings with nothing but a backpack and $20. He decided then that
    whatever he did, he needed to give it "100 per cent".

    He got a job at a Firestone tyre retreading factory in Hastings and
    worked an extra three hours unpaid every day to learn everything he
    could about the business. By the time he was 21 he was foreman. He had
    a lot to do with retailers and realised it could be done better. That
    triggered the desire to own his own business.

    In 1982, now 23, Lange bought the original Tony's store in Palmerston
    North, with business partner Phil Jones. They each raised $10,000 but
    needed a further $25,000 which Lange ended up borrowing from his
    accountant at an interest rate of 28 per cent. Five years later Lange
    bought out his business partner, and a month later the sharemarket
    crashed. "Sales went south, so did margins."

    Interest rates soared then to 23 per cent and in 1991 his bank decided
    to call in a significant loan to the business. Lange leapt into
    action. He got on a plane and went to see the Westpac chief executive
    in Auckland in person. He told him that before they called in the loan
    they needed to actually take a good look at his business. They
    listened, and ended up lending the business more money.

    By the time he sold the business to Bridgestone four years ago, Tony's
    Tyre Service was the largest independently-owned tyre company in New
    Zealand, employing 170 people, with sales of $28 million and 20 stores
    countrywide, five of which were in Christchurch.

    He is involved in several startup businesses, including a cafe in
    Palmerston North, a water treatment company, a used car yard, a
    finance company and a fibreglass chimney company. He has also invested
    in property, a restaurant and bar in Wellington.

    Full article here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    generally i hate marketing

    and books with titles like

    "how to win friends and influence people"

    but, did read it once

    and just after

    needed to ask a stranger for a big favor

    he said yes, to half of it

    could see him wanting to say yes to the rest

    but company policy was going to force him to say NO...

    so rather than wait for the inevitable, iquickly thanked him for the half-yes

    told him to sleep on the rest

    and got out of there while everything was still positive

    next day, waited for him to go out to lunch

    shot in and left a dozen apricot roses with his secretary, for his wife, as a thank you for the half-yes

    and then waited until the NEXT day to go in for the final answer

    which, surprise surprise

    was a big YES

    "and thank you for the flowers, my wife loved them"

    that cunning bit of manipulative psychology

    came straight from my understanding of dale carnigie's book

    that stuff works

    is a powerful tool

    and generally gets mis-used by too-slick salespeople

    on people who haven't read the book themselves
    Last edited by eri; 09-04-2012 at 11:10 PM.
    people keep trying to rewrite the world as themselves

    like that'll work...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    This is a good read and won't cost you anything http://www.theunfairbusinessadvantage.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    Not too sure about that. It is not available as a straight download. I have to provide name and email address.

    Suffice to say, I didn't.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    Nothing they can't get off your website however?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    True. But that's not the point.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008


    Steve Lange may be inspirational.
    But Tony's Tyre Service isn't.
    I've had two dealings with them over the last two years and ended up unhappy both times.
    I won't be going there again and I won't recommend them.
    Basically I didn't like the hard sell, rammed down your throat, sales pitch to buy tyre insurance.
    I didn't like my vehicle covered in Tony's advertising stickers.
    And I didn't like the take-it-or-leave-it attitude when a problem came up. In my case, the customer wasn't right unlike the tv advert.
    Tony's Tyres - you suck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    I had two bad experiences. In each case, I communicated directly
    with Steve by e-mail. Both the matters were put right. One was
    very expensive for TTSvcs. Because of the 'putting right that
    aspect, I still go there, but I use a lot of discretion.

    Of course, it should not have been necessary to appeal to Steve.
    The local branch people should really have been able to resolve it.
    Or not cause it, in the first place.


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