Friday, September 13, 2013

Fred Beans Means Business

Brand names that resonate most strongly with consumers all possess the same seemingly magical quality, an uncanny element you just can’t put your finger on, which gives them an indefinable recognizability and familiarity. Fred Beans is inarguably one of those magical brands.

Fred Beans Means Business
You may remember Fred Beans Family of Dealerships from the cover of our September 2012 issue. If you are from the Greater Philadelphia area, however, you probably recognize Fred Beans as a household name. As we chronicled in their cover profile story last year, much of the company’s success stems historically from its founding father’s “out-of-the-box” marketing techniques, and today you’d be hard-pressed to find a Philadelphian who hasn’t at some point heard the radio advise them to “Get to Know Beans.”



Having gotten to know Beans pretty well ourselves when they were last featured in Limo Digest,
we decided to drop in for a visit at their Doylestown headquarters, or “the Big House,” as they call it, to see what the most recognized “family-oriented automotive group” in the Northeast has been up to since we last saw them.

We caught up with Chris Burns, sales and leasing consultant, who has been with Fred Beans for over 19 years. Throughout his steadfast career with the company, he has become the de facto pilot of virtually all livery sales efforts at the Doylestown headquarters, which he designates as Fred Beans’ “hub for fleet sales.” He proudly reports that he is personally up to more than 50 limo company customers, and projects that he will sell around 150 vehicles for the limo industry this year.

While continued prosperity and growth is always good news, it is also reassuring to learn that some things never change. Burns still strives for referrals, echoing himself from our interview last fall by emphasizing that a professional referral remains “the best compliment that anybody can get” in the automotive industry. His expansive portfolio of referrals, Burns says, has enabled him to build a nationwide network of clients in the livery industry. He is currently closing deals in Florida, Washington, D.C., Connecticut and Kentucky.

Burns also credits his success in livery sales to his company’s longstanding commitment to providing their customers with unparalleled access to a wide variety of makes and models. People “buy from us because it’s easy,” he says. “What makes the Fred Beans experience different from others is that it’s one-stop shopping. I’ve got all the brands, and if I don’t have it, I’ll get it.”

The company’s slogan is “Everything Automotive,” and by everything, they mean everything. Whether a client is in the market for a Lincoln, Cadillac, Ford, GMC, Chrysler, Hyundai, or even a Mercedes or BMW (brands Fred Beans doesn’t typically carry), Burns boasts that he can get “pretty much anything” they might want. “Trying to find something that’s not always on somebody’s lot—that’s what I like to say I specialize in.”

Burns remains remarkably committed to catering to the needs of his livery industry clients, and the same commitment holds true throughout the Fred Beans family as a whole. The company has been a long-time supporter of the Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association (PRLA), and showcased a new Hyundai Equus and a Lincoln MKS at the PRLA’s bimonthly general meeting in May of this year. They also host an annual PRLA meeting at their own facility in Doylestown every October, where they provide dinner and a “mini car show” for the association’s members and friends. The PRLA was one of the first organizations Burns became involved with to network with livery industry professionals, and he continues to loyally attend their meetings, and regularly support their events and legislative initiatives.

The company has also been involved with the livery industry by exhibiting vehicles at a variety of associated trade shows, including the Limo Digest Show in 2011 and 2012, of which they were sponsors. We are looking forward to welcoming them yet again to our annual show in Philadelphia this October.

Throughout the growth of the business, Fred Beans has not only contributed generously to the livery industry, but has been committed to making sure community enrichment remains a steady part of the business philosophy. Beans himself has acknowledged a “special responsibility that comes with financial success,” and his belief in “an obligation to give and an obligation to teach others to give.” Accordingly, the company maintains the Fred Beans Charitable Fund, which provides financial support to a variety of community organizations. For the second year in a row, the company is sponsoring “Dig Into Reading,” the Bucks County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program, which supports eleven community libraries and inspired nearly 40,000 children to participate last year. Most recently, they sponsored the “5K Run for the Park,” helping the Limerick Township Parks and Recreation Department raise over $2,000 for the Manderach Memorial Playground.

After more than 35 years in business, the Fred Beans Family of Dealerships continues to prosper and expand. Since 1975 when the first Fred Beans dealership opened in Doylestown, the company has grown into a sprawling auto empire, carrying 18 brands at 15 locations throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, and most recently New Jersey, with their new acquisition of a Toyota/Scion dealership in Flemington. The rich history of this “family-oriented auto group” spans even further, back to its founder’s entrepreneurial beginnings in the late 1950s. It all began when the Fred Beans took a chance on purchasing a single service station in Yardley, Pennsylvania, and his company continues to reap the many rewards resulting from that initial risk. // LD


Written by
Associate Editor & Digital Media Manager
adam@limodigest.com

1 comment:

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