December 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature
Whoever was hired as the new greeter at Mad City Mitsubishi in Madison, Wis., had some pretty big shoes to fill. That’s because they replaced Tracy Heid.
Heid was hired as Mad City’s greeter in February after applying for a position in the funding department. But when she lost out to another candidate, she recalls, owner Pat McNamar offered her the greeter position and said, “OK, prove yourself.”
That she did, and she was quickly promoted to a sales role some five months later. She’s now one of 10 salespeople on the floor but makes up about a quarter of the dealer’s business —averaging about 31 vehicles per month and climbing. In November, she sold 40.
“I strive to succeed,” says Heid. “I started asking about sales because I knew that my compensation would be based on my performance and what I could put into it. I liked that about the job.”
Now that she’s familiar with the sales side of things, she says her “specialty” is taking a customer who says: “‘I don’t know what I want, but I need a car.’ I’m all for that. Let’s find you one,” she says.
Despite the fact many others in the industry have seen customers coming in and knowing exactly what they want, Heid hasn’t found that to be the case.
“Very rarely do I have someone come in here who did all the research and points to the car and says, ‘I want that one.’ That doesn’t happen very often.”
That kind of challenge is something that comes natural for Heid, who is used to facing challenges. She was in law enforcement for about 20 years, 12 of which were spent as the chief of police for the small town of Marion, Wis., population 1,250. Seeking a change of pace, she started a second career in bar management.
So when the opportunity arose at the dealership, she had to hit the ground running, says Mad City’s general sales manager, Bryan Popp. Having joined the dealership in June and watching Heid excel as a greeter, he knew he had to help her transition to a sales position.
“I brought her in and gave her my two cents as far as what makes a good salesperson and what I expected of her here, then turned her loose,” he says.
With a long career in sales ahead of her, for now, Heid says, she just wants to see her customers happy.
“I like to see them leaving here with a smile on their face. And even if they don’t get it, they appreciate you just for trying.”