It was a dramatic pause, as full of confidence as Tim Sebolt could make it.
Sebolt, an aftermarket sales representatives from Rush Truck Centers in Odessa, peered under his black cowboy hat at the question on the big screen on the stage. Hand in his pocket, leaning on the podium.
After a few seconds, he turned to the judges and sold them, completely, on his wrong answer.
"Watching the show pays off," Sebolt quipped as he trotted back to his seat with his fellow contestants, Shawn Grover, Rush Truck Centers Corpus Christi; Gerardo Acosta Rios, Rush Truck Centers Houston; and Drake Abbott, Rush Truck Centers Tampa.
Rush's adaptation of the Netflix game show "Bullsh*t," called "Fake It Til You Make It," was a highlight of the first day of the Rush Tech Rodeo in San Antonio. During the live show, the top four aftermarket sales representatives in the company answered questions about Rush and its processes but, more importantly, they sold the judges on their answers. Right or wrong.
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And the judges were tough. Robb Nixon is Rush's vice president of aftermarket sales and national accounts. Vic Cummings, Rush's vice president of service operations, represented service. Joe Duncan is Rush's director of parts operations.
Each representative had to answer the questions, then sell their answers. They got a point from each judge based on whether they believe them or not. And the barbs weren't just aimed at the contestants. There was plenty of ribbing among the judges, too.
"This is an example, Robb, of why we're not selling service," Cummings said about a question on warranties for overhaul kits.
"I can only imagine your stress if it really was a 90-day warranty," Nixon shot back.
"I'll worry about the stress," Cummings said. "You just sell the service."
Rush stocks more than $325 million in aftermarket parts inventory, the company says, which gave it plenty of questions to choose from.
In years past, aftermarket sales reps were judged with an exam, says Josh Joerns, aftermarket sales manager, the host of the game show and a member of the Rush Rodeo Committee that helps plan the annual event, now in its 18th year.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought game shows as the committee tried to liven up the event, and this year, that game show went live.
Judging from the crowd's reaction, it might be here to stay. Shop teams shouted encouragement and chanted contestants' names as each rep worked their pitches on the judges.
How they got to that stage started with each one's sales numbers from January to October. The top 20 earners then competed in a scenario test to get the final four. There were two from urban centers and two from rural centers.
The finalists will be named Monday night and the grand champion declared Tuesday at the awards dinner with special guests NASCAR Hall. of Famer Tony Stewart and Rush car driver Chase Briscoe. In total, Rush will award more than $310,000 in cash and prizes to the 250 competitors in San Antonio from across the company, including service, sales, parts, body shop and more.
Grover won "Fake it Til You Make It," taking advantage of Sebolt's flub of a name in a tiebreaker round to take home a new ReMarkable 2 notebook. While the game has no bearing on who becomes champion, it did come with considerable bragging rights in addition to the tablet.
"Oh, I'm still gonna win," Sebolt said as he walked off stage, pointing back at the judges and Joerns.