Sink or Swim

Hard work, long hours, and a focus on helping customers helped Cody Finney get off to a fast start at Lone Star Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram in Mineola, Texas.

May 2017, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

by Tariq Kamal - Also by this author

Since joining the car business in 2015, Cody Finney has proven to be a quick study and a trusted sales consultant at Lone Star Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.
Since joining the car business in 2015, Cody Finney has proven to be a quick study and a trusted sales consultant at Lone Star Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.

May 18, 2015, was a day to remember for Cody Finney. It was his first day as a sales consultant at Lone Star Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram — and his first in the car business — and he adopted a mantra that helped him sell three vehicles that day and has stuck with him ever since: “Don’t concern yourself with making money. Take care of the customers and the money will come.”

Lone Star’s sales manager and the source of that wisdom, Cody Boulware, says Finney took the ball and ran with it. In the two years since he joined the team, he has dedicated himself to learning the industry and honing his craft, all while treating customers in a straightforward and transparent manner.

“We get a 90% to 95% repeat and referral rate,” Boulware says. “You can’t get that if you don’t take care of the customers.”

Finney says honesty is the only policy in Mineola, Texas, about 90 minutes east of Dallas.

“The area where our dealership is, it’s kind of in the country. People around here can read you like a book. There’s no fooling anybody.”

That suits Finney, whose reserved and plain-spoken demeanor befits a former educator and oil field worker. After teaching and coaching for nine years, in 2012, he joined the oil and gas industry along with some college baseball buddies. He manned a well head, a job he describes as “making sure it didn’t blow up.”

When it was time for another career change, Finney went looking for similar compensation in a field that paid on performance. He walked into Lone Star, asked for a chance, and got to work.

“They told me, ‘Sink or swim.’ I decided, ‘Well, I won’t BS anybody. I’ll just try to help.’”

Three sold units later, Finney was hooked. Boulware says he hasn’t let up, going bell to bell with hardly a day off, working his social media accounts, and outselling everyone else in the store.

“And he’s not trying to beat somebody else. He’s trying to beat himself every single month,” Boulware says. “His work ethic is phenomenal.”

Finney admits he still has much to learn. He says he will not rest until his bosses’ trust in him has been repaid and every customer is happy and satisfied.

“I try to take the business out of it, keep it laid-back, make it a good experience,” he says. “I just like making sure they love the vehicle they’re getting. That’s the main thing.” 

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