When asked how I got into the car business, I smile. Actually, kind of smirk, because I don’t know anyone that has chosen to be in this business. I, like most people, fell into the business, purely by accident.
I went to college as a music major, having the elusive dream of becoming a superstar one day. As a starving artist, I performed with a Jazz trio 4 nights per week and sold insurance during the day Monday thru Friday. One of the regulars that would follow my trio around, was the local Chevrolet Dealer and his wife. One night he asked me what I did for my day job, to which I responded “I sell insurance for State Farm”….he replied; “If you can sell insurance, you can sell cars!” I replied with; “I don’t know anything about cars, I just know where to put the key and the gas”, to which he replied, “I don’t want to hire you as a mechanic, I want you to go talk to Joe over at the Dealership on Monday, will you do that for me?” Sure, Jim, I will do that for you, I replied. That was in January of 1987. I started selling cars in February 1987, and have been in this business ever since that day.
Working in the Automotive industry isn’t easy, in fact, it is probably one of the most difficult and demanding jobs there is. 60-80 hour work weeks is average, and in Illinois where I started, there is this beautiful thing called snow that gives an extra little boost to the workday called “Snow-Command”. Yup, Snow Command is an actual thing! If it snows more than an inch overnight, it’s up and Adam at 6:30 am to brush all of the cars and trucks, both new and used, move them, plow the snow and move them back to their original spot. This process repeats as the snow falls.
Car salesman got their bad rap from the 1940’s. After the depression when the economy was booming, supply was low and the demand was high for automobiles. With that kind of market, the salesman could, and did, anything they wanted to do. They charged way over sticker price on every vehicle they could, and pissed off every customer there was because behind that pissed off customer, there was someone else willing to pay the price.
Not much has changed today, with the exception of CSI surveys from the factory (Customer Service Index). If you are purchasing a new car, truck or SUV, the survey matters to a dealer, therefore, they will treat you with some respect. However, purchasing a used vehicle, or pre-owned (one in the same), the game is on. There is no survey, a dealer can charge whatever they want to charge, and there is nothing regulating the pricing of the vehicle. It’s all up to how much the customer is willing to pay, and, if the dealer will accept the price you are negotiating. One could say, research is key, however, there is no such thing as the “Used Car Factory”, meaning, you can’t “Order” a pre-owned vehicle, and, there are no two used vehicles that are identical, therefore, you can’t shop one against the other, and, in the end; it’s true.
So back to my story, I worked in every position within the Sales part of the dealership, from a Salesperson, to Assistant Manager, Sales Manager, Finance Manager, Finance Director, General Sales Manager, General Manager, and finally Dealer Partner. That’s a heck of a lot of hours! LOL. Throughout my time in the Car business, I found one, irrefutable fact: Women are NOT treated equally. We are, in large part, mistreated and disrespected, and not taken seriously. I have hundreds of stories to share with all of you, not the ugly stories, Lord knows I have them, but the humorous stories, the ones that will make you cry laughing and want to re-read it.
So fast forward to today and my “Why” of what I am doing. I have spent close to 30 years of my time in retail, wholesale, and automotive aftermarket and have a wealth of knowledge to share that will strengthen some of your negotiations in the future. It’s time for me to give back, one woman at a time, one car, truck or SUV at a time. It is something I’m passionate about, and something that I know will help you, your friends, family, and co-workers. Buying a new vehicle is easy, add a trade in, (Your current vehicle you no longer want) and the games begin. This is where I come in. I purchase your vehicle, paid for or not, running or not, and remove the numbers game from your next vehicle purchase. No matter where you go to purchase your next vehicle, you will have a better understanding of what to expect and there will be no place to hide or inflate numbers.
I have a sincere passion for helping people better their position, and THAT SINGLE FACT is my WHY I do what I do: I purchase your current vehicle so you can walk in with cash and not play games with your next vehicle purchase. I want you to say “I got a Gal for That” when it comes to automobiles! And, throughout our time together, I will be sure to share a few hundred stories with you about the car business!