Steve Ferrante started out around the auto service industry, and it has influenced his career ever since.
Growing up in his family’s shop, Ferrante’s passion for cars took shape early. Though the business wasn’t primarily built around tires, the fact that every vehicle that came into the shop rolled on four tires meant that he understood their value from the beginning, even if they were serviced by old-school equipment “that nearly killed me whenever I was involved.”
While at American Management Services, Ferrante received the most important piece of advice of his career after becoming the youngest northeast sales manager in the company’s history. “Always run scared… don’t get too comfortable,” the company’s CEO told him.
The advice stuck, and Ferrante has refused to rest on his laurels. “I haven’t been in my comfort zone since,” he says.
Eventually, Ferrante started his own business, providing sales training for businesses in New England. As luck would have it, the tire industry wasn’t quite finished with him, and a series of events led him right back to where he started. One of the company’s clients was tire and auto service industry point-of-sale company ASA Tire Systems. ASA’s president (and former TIA president) Wayne Croswell, after seeing the training that Ferrante’s company provided, suggested that he put together a program specifically for tire dealers.
Luck brought him back into contact with the tire industry, but the relationships keep him firmly rooted in it.
“Some of the very best people I know are owners and managers of tire and auto service businesses. I’m proud and grateful to call them my clients and friends. And the folks that work for them in the stores? These are my people. I feel a real kinship with them. After all, there was a time I had one of those work shirts with my name on it, too.”
Fun Fact: If he could have dinner with anyone living or dead, Ferrante would choose legendary basketball coach John Wooden. “Coach Wooden believed that if players were going to be winners on the court, they first needed to be winners off the court.”