Being the “new girl” was certainly a scary thought.
I had spent the past (almost) eight years working away at a competing car dealership as the Human Resources Manager. One day, I decided it was time for a complete career change. By “complete career change”, I mean, I decided I didn’t want to be the Human Resources Manager anymore. I wanted to sell cars.
I know, right? So awesome!
So began my quest for a new car dealership.
Many job offers came my way (probably because of my charming personality and fabulous hair). But the decision to join the Thayer Team was an easy one. There was something different about Thayer. I could feel it in my gut when I interviewed with them. They really listened to me, they laughed at all my
lame super hilarious jokes, and most of all – they seemed like they really cared. They were genuine.
The first time you sell a car is a real thrill. I take that back, every time you sell a car, it’s a real thrill. You’ve helped the customer find the perfect vehicle for their needs, the customer is excited about the new car smell and the great deal, and your boss gives you a high-five.
After my first sale, I was doing a happy dance all the way back to the Detail Shop. My happy dance quickly faded as I realized Mr. Thayer was the one getting my customer’s new car ready for delivery.
Paul? I’m so sorry. Here. I can take that tire shine. Let me do this. You have better things to be doing right now. I can prepare a car for delivery.
Meredith, you go back out there with your customer. I will be done with this in ten minutes. Did Anthony sell one, too? If so, have him send it back to me.
I walked away in shock. We were very busy the night I sold that car, but to see the owner of the company back there cleaning cars… Was I going to be in trouble for this? Why didn’t he let me take over?
As time has passed, I’ve realized that’s how it is here at Thayer. Everyone – from Mr. & Mrs. Thayer to the Senior Management Team to the Sales Team to the Service Department – just pulls together to take care of the customer.
We all roll up our sleeves, and we get the job done. Our Customer Satisfaction Scores directly represent this fact.
Word travels quickly in a small town. When you live and work in a small town, you have to treat people right. We understand that we are competing with dealerships on the Central Avenue Strip, in Findlay, in Perrysburg, all the way to Cleveland. That’s okay with us. They won’t treat you the way Thayer will treat you.
I spent (almost) eight years in Human Resources, trying to drill into my employees’ heads the importance of the customer. I’ve preached about how customers are “not outsiders in our business” and “without customers we are nothing”.
They don’t have to preach that here. Everyone already knows. And that? Warms the heart of a former Human-Resources-Lady-Turned-Car-Sales-Lady.
Being the “new girl” isn’t scary anymore. This place feels like home.
Meredith Soleau is the “new girl”, working in Sales at Thayer Chevrolet. Meredith was supposed to be a famous Country music singer when she grew up, but her parents made her go to college and major in something “real”. Thank you, Meredith’s Parents. She is better at business than singing. Connect with Meredith on LinkedIn or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Good luck in your auto sales career. I too worked at Ralph Thayer Chevrolet back in the old days. Paul had the best teacher in the world. Ralph and Ruby were wonderful people and I still miss them today. Ralph, like Paul, was hands on himself. I made one major mistake and that is I quit to move on to what I was told was greener pastures. It wasn’t! You will never find a better place to work or have better bosses.. Again good luck.
Thank you, Tom! I am so impressed with Thayer. Leaving is never an easy choice. But coming here was the simplest and best choice I’ve made in ages.