Article

Rumor Has It Right In Texas

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Seth Ridgeway - Also by this author

Selecting a dealer to highlight is never a simple task because there are so many deserving dealerships. Texan Ford in Arlington, Texas gets my Platinum Dealer Award selection this month. They deserve it for having the vision to promote Ed Bailey from used car director to general manager and hiring the pied piper of car sales Reggie Franklin
I heard for months about Franklin from other automotive people. The rumor is he is a true professional in every sense of the word, always looking for solutions to help people and never a harsh word to say about others. His personal commitment, interpersonal skills and positive demeanor makes everyone around him better. Oh, one last bit of the rumor was Franklin can sell cars—lots of cars.

While interviewing Franklin, I found him to be one of the most charismatic characters I’ve had the pleasure to meet. His positive energy flow left me feeling incredibly energized. One moment I was tired and in need of a therapist and the next I couldn’t wait to start working on this article. He was everything I’d been told and then some. Guess that makes the rumor a fact.

“I got my start in the auto industry during the early 90s with Van Enterprises,” Franklin said. At that time Van Enterprises maintained about 60 dealerships. “It wasn’t long before I was number one in sales for the group and was sent to other stores to train people.”
Franklin stated that anyone in car sales could get the same results he does by applying simple methods to action. First you must contact the customer promptly, get the appointment and continue follow up until they show. Second, develop a relationship based on respect. Finally, gain their trust and give them hope for gain. The majority of salespeople that fail do so due to a lack of effort.

“I work with a great group of people here,” Franklin said. Without a doubt Bailey’s leadership style created this atmosphere for Franklin to work in. “I’ve known Ed Bailey for several years. He’s a great manager, easy to talk to and the employees respect him and what he’s accomplished.”
Since Bailey’s arrival this dealership has prospered, taking them from 10th to first in used car sales for the group in two months. After Bailey’s promotion to general manager, the dealership total sales group standings went from sixth to second.

“Everything I do can be easily duplicated,” Franklin said. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to sell a car. Just think about it: who do you know that doesn’t own a car? People want to own them, dealers want to sell them and lenders want to provide financing. There’s a never ending supply of opportunities to make sales because it continues to recreate itself.”

If customers are treated fairly they’ll become repeat customers and send you plenty of referral business. Why not take the opportunity to turn your last sale into several more?

“A salesperson that doesn’t have referral sales every month is doing something terribly wrong,” Franklin said.

“My favorite customers are non-prime Internet applicants. I get tremendous satisfaction from helping them get the vehicle and financing they need when others can’t. Customers that have been turned away by other dealerships for credit problems are my specialty,” Franklin said. “I take pride in my profession and look for ways to get the sale completed, not excuses why it can’t be done. If other salespeople would just go that extra mile for the customer they would have made a sale.”

Most special finance managers believe they need super sub-prime lenders to be successful in this market. Not true! The majority of sales at Texan Ford are financed through Wells Fargo, Capital One and Ford Motor Credit. Why strap a customer into hard core financing unless it’s absolutely necessary? Franklin’s theory is to make the current sale while attempting to set up the next sale.

Franklin admits he has a “secret weapon” that helps him generate a steady stream of sales opportunities: Customerfunding.com. It’s an Internet marketing company that provides sub-prime customers daily.

“I’ve been using them for years and can count on 15 sales to 20 sales each month with its program. When I add the referrals from those sales that’s another seven units to10 units sold.”
Working without Customerfunding.com isn’t an option for Franklin, and he has Bailey convinced with results.

“The best way to get what I want in life is to help enough other people get what they want,” Franklin said. “The automotive industry gives me an opportunity to do that. I make a great living in a career that allows me to use my creative abilities to help others.”
So why aren’t there more Reggie Franklins in this industry?

Vol 2, Issue 12

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