I’ve been working on this post in my head for a while now, as its kind of difficult for me to get all creative. Selling cars really doesn’t take much of an imagination, so putting together a thoughtful and inciting blog post is a tad bit difficult. However in light of the fact that I just passed the ten-year mark here at McKenna Volkswagen it seemed like the time was right for me to put into words why I’m here and why I do what I do the last 10 years and 53 days (as of today!).
I’m certainly not here because its easy! Commissioned sales in a competitive industry is a far cry from what most stability-oriented creative types generally go after for their livelihood. I never looked at this as a career. Many of my early managers and customers will remember my grand plans to get out of car sales and into graphic design or some other creative industry. My degree in fine art will attest not only to that desire, but the reason I’m working in sales to pay the bills! (I will say it did help a lot in putting together SoCalVWGuy.com though) Honestly, I only got started with Volkswagen here at McKenna because I needed to pay rent, and I had a 1985 VW Golf that I loved. I tripped and fell into car sales, and I’ve been here ever since.
Most of my customers know I’m not really into sales for sales’ sake. One of my most over-used lines, is the truest I can come up with…
I’m here because I love Volkswagen, and I love people…
…Everything else is second. I’ve discovered that to be successful in auto sales you don’t have to be a “Car Salesman” which is great because I’d have failed miserably at that! I made a habit early on of understanding (as best I could) my clients, and trying to do what would have them satisfied with the experience long term, not just in the moment. One of my other favorite lines is “I’m ok with not selling you a car today, as long as you say good things about me afterwards” This means I might not sell you a car until next week, I might not sell you a car ever, but when one of your friends, neighbors or relatives talks about wanting to look at VW, I’m the first person you think of.
I love Volkswagen. Seriously, I love what I sell! My first VW was a “Smurph Blue” 1985 VW Golf with who knows how many miles on it. I’m pretty certain that it had around 220,000 miles when I sold it, but man I loved that car. I took it to the mountains in freezing temperatures with no heater, drove it in 100+ degree weather in North Carolina with no AC which was so hot I had to pack a change of clothes for when I got to my destination because they ones I was wearing would be soaked with sweat! I raced it at a drag strip (17.2 second quarter mile!) and moved all the way to California in it, driving across the country in the middle of August with that poor thing so stuffed to the gills that every time I hit even the smallest bump the back suspension bottomed out. It was broken into enough that I just kept it with no radio, and my security system was to park on a hill so they couldn’t steal the wheels, take the steering wheel off, and just leave it unlocked so I didn’t have to worry about anyone thinking they had to break something to get into it. Just left it wiiiiide open and undriveable!
Six Volkswagen vehicles later, my daily driver is a 1969 Volkswagen Bus, and every single day I get to leave my house, get in my dream car, and drive to work. My wife and son drive a 2013 VW Passat, and I’m secure in knowing my family is driving one of the safest, best-built cars on the road, and having fun doing it!
One of my favorite parts of my job is showing customers what an incredible vehicle VW makes, the attention to detail even on the most basic of cars that will put a $50,000+ luxury vehicle to shame. Not to put anyone else down, but merely to showcase the quality and care that go into each and every VW vehicle. I believe in the quality of Volkswagen products, and I love sharing that with the people that come to visit my store.
On top of that though, is Volkswagen vehicles are just plain fun to drive! In Volkswagen’s vow to their customers, one of the main points is that
…we believe owning a Volkswagen should be something to smile about
Its amazing to see so many people walk through the dealership doors with stories of their last VW, either the 2009 they’re trading in, or the 1950’s model that was their parents first car. Everyone has some sort of VW story, and whether their story involves an old Cabriolet that was their first car in high school, or the Touareg they took to the mountains last weekend, there’s a profound emotional connection that I have never seen come from another make of vehicle. Getting behind the wheel of a VW is not just about getting from point A to point B, its an experience, and its FUN.
I love people. Ask me about what I value most from my car sales career and I can guarantee you it won’t be about the month I sold X number of cars. It won’t be about winning an award, or even being promoted. It will be about the people and relationships I’ve been able to create along the way. I have clients who’s children I’ve seen grow up. I’ve had customers who I’ve been able to help get their first new car by themselves, their first new car after being married, and their first new family car when they had children! I have customers that come in to service their cars two three or even 8-9 years down the road that still seek me out to ask how my wife and son are doing. These are the things I remember, and these are what I value the most about what I do.
Its the people I remember and value, because through them I have learned that its not about just making another sale, its about building strong, enduring relationships.
My incredible (and patient) wife can attest to the fact that car sales is not an easy job, and requires long unpredictable hours and plenty of pressure. However I continue to be amazed at how when things get tough, I’ll have a familiar face come in to look at a new car, and its like I just get to hang out with friends and talk about what I love, Volkswagen. I’ve been blessed to be able to support my family financially selling VW’s for 10 years and counting, but I could not do it if it weren’t for all the amazing people I’ve been able to work with along the way. Hanging out and talking about VW.
That’s why I sell Volkswagen.