It's no surprise that Chris Raubach was a rugby player. When you meet him in person, he has a very imposing presence yet has the ability to put anyone at ease. Maybe this is why his vehicle leasing business is so successful?
Originally from Cape Town in South Africa, Chris says that, "You should always stay true to your goals and your morals" if you want to be successful in life and he adds that being in business is an amazing journey, but there are a lot of late nights and early mornings.
He loves nothing more than serving up food from a Braai (the South African name for a barbeque), then sitting around the fire chatting with friends and family. His hobbies include martial art Krav Maga as well as going to the gym and running. He's lived in Milton Keynes for over 20 years.
When it comes to business, I've always felt that Chris really knows what he's doing. One of the founding principles of BNI is Giver's Gain and as Treasurer for our chapter this year, he's certainly giving us his all.
And he's always incredibly helpful when it comes to his business, Bond Vehicle Leasing. Vehicle leasing can be a confusing subject and many people worry that they'll be spending a fortune on a lease and are locked in to a long contract. But Chris always puts their minds at rest.
He explained that, "In a nutshell, vehicle leasing means you can use a certain vehicle for a fixed period of time, for an agreed sum of money which is paid back in monthly instalments". We'll that's a concise explanation. I guess that means we can all afford a nicer car than if we bought it outright.
Chris adds, "You'd be surprised at the savings I can make for my customers. When they go into a dealership themselves, it's expensive, but thanks to my relationships with manufacturers, I can save them a lot of money!".
If you want a comparison, Chris told me that a customer recently went to a BMW dealership to ask about leasing a particular vehicle. They quoted him over £500 per month which freaked them out and they left. When the same customer was referred to Chris, he was able to get the same car, with the same leasing deal for just over £300 per month, which is a considerable saving.
I've always said that in the next couple of years, I'm going to lease a car via Chris. I'd like a Ford Mustang because I've always wanted a V8 and they'll be rare beasts soon, but in reality, I'll probably get a Tesla, which is just as quick, but a lot quieter.
However, it's not just cars Chris can lease. "I can help with vans, pickups ... any sort of commercial vehicle really, except probably HGVs!" He's got great relationships with the majority of the vehicle manufacturers and can get the exact vehicle you want, at the exact price with whatever level of maintenance you want included.
So, what sort of customers is Chris looking for? Well, when we do our 60-seconds at our BNI Sterling meeting each week, he's normally very specific. However, any trades business who needs a new van, or anyone with a small fleet of vehicles, car or vans, will suit him.
And any individual that wants a great deal on a better vehicle than then could get themselves. When I was listening to his 10-minutes presentation today, there were many agreeable murmurs from other chapter members who'd leased a vehicle through Chris, so that's a huge recommendation immediately.
He'll make it successful by improving customer services and offering a better experience for those who lease vehicles through him. He has one final thought on what his goals are though. He said that, "a life that's wealthy in memories and life experiences because that is the currency that really matters". Something we should all strive for.
And I know you'll have a great experience leasing your next vehicle through him.