Real Stories From Life at a Dealership

People are the experience

The Power of Sympathy

Sierra Motors        “One Low Price, Plain and Simple…ALWAYS !”


 CALL TODAY  @800.571.0275 


Never underestimate the power of sympathy in the course of a sale.

How is your office decorated? In a sales office on the showroom floor, what would be appropriate? Tom decided to put up a display of license plates. It looked to be about 25 to 30 of them. Many different states and years, so there were different colors and numbering. In a business environment where anything you say or do can be used against you this seemed safe.

  So Tom has a customer in his office. He has already gone through most of the steps to a sale and is on the paperwork phase. He gets to a stopping point and takes his worksheet and related paperwork into the desking manager. Tom always had great report with his customers. So I saw an opening and went in.

 I offered the nice lady a typical friendly greeting, followed by an offer to get her something to drink. She said everything was fine. I noticed that she was looking at the wall of license plates. I offered, “Tom’s a nice guy isn’t he”? “Oh yes” she replied. “I see you noticed all of his License plates”, “quite a collection”. “Did Tom tell you about them” I asked innocently? “Why no” was the answer.


I interjected, “Every family has its Black Sheep. In Tom’s family it’s his Father. Tom’s dad has done more than a little time if you know what I mean. So Tom has collected a license plate from every state where he has been incarcerated.”


Amazed she said, “Wow, that’s quite a few”. Looking for away to go I tossed up, “That’s why selling cars is so important to Tom, because it’s his only connection to his father. Tom takes every sale personal.”  I thanked her for her time and was out of the office before Tom ever knew I was in there. Of course talking to another person’s customer is against the rules.

 When Tom went back into the sales booth the customers tone was different. She explained to Tom that every family had its black sheep. She kept commenting on the license plate collection. She asked Tom about his father having a rough life?  As he completed the sale, she kept trying to comfort Tom. When the transaction was finished, Tom came in and said that it was the weirdest thing, that during the entire close she was interested in was his license plate collection, and for some reason she sure was interested in his Father.

 What started out as a bit of a joke on Tom, turned into a playhouse move on the customer. Never underestimate the power of sympathy in the course of a sale.


May 13, 2009 Posted by | eric prothro, license plates, sierra motors | , , , , | 4 Comments

The Legacy of Jack

Sierra Motors        “One Low Price, Plain and Simple…ALWAYS !”


 CALL TODAY  @800.571.0275 


The Legacy of Jack

 Who is the most important co-worker that you have ever worked with? Most of us have worked with a lot of people, hundreds at least, maybe, over a thousand. Some of them have been very memorable, some you would like to forget. But who has actually affected your job and life? Let me tell you about Jack.

 In 1983, when I broke into the car business, the top dog in the store was Jack. He sold the most. He was there the longest. He took care of all of the Owners’ personal customers. He had a customer following that seemed like an endless supply of buyers. When we went through training, Jack trained us on the delivery process. He was a master of going over the new car in a methodical, yet comforting delivery that would ensure repeat business.

 Jack openly stated that one of his best skills was that of a bus driver. Not the public transportation kind, but the “If you don’t do things my way you will get run over by the bus named Jack” kind. He was even complete with sound effects. Whenever someone was about to be or had just been run over by the bus, Jack would come out to wherever was the biggest group of people and simulate the sound of a bus going through the gears and then running over something with a “thump, thump” sound. He would do the bus braking, putting it in reverse and backing over the victim again. Then he’d pull forward again to run over the poor schmuck a third time. All with the “thump, thump”. He smiled and loved to make a public display of all who opposed him or maybe talked to one of “HIS” customers.

 My Uncle Corky was in the dealership looking to order a new Corvette. He was working with Jack and realized that I worked there. So he told Jack that he would really like to buy from me if possible. Jack amazingly said no problem. He got me involved and walked me through the process of making my first factory order. Everything was finished, we took the deposit and said good-bye to my Uncle. My first week on the job and I already had a Corvette order. Jack was very polite and accommodating.


 Jack then pulled me aside and explained to me that the Corvette order would take at least a couple of months and in no uncertain terms that I would no longer be there and he would get the sale anyway. Then he walked away. I realized that this business might be a little tougher than I had anticipated, but I was no quitter. Let’s dance.

 It was about a month later when things came to a boil. Saturday lunch had just arrived for the sales department. The store used to buy lunch for the sales department on Saturdays. Jack went to get his. When he opened it up somebody had taken a bite out of his sandwich. Jack was out raged,” Nobody touches my lunch.” Jack started literally screaming that whoever did this was going to be fired. He was making an unbelievable scene over a free lunch. The store manager came to see what all the yelling was about, he ran into raving maniac Jack. The manager asked Jack to quiet down and explain to him what had happened.

 Just being questioned at all sent Jack into a complete frenzy. Then the threats started. Fire whoever did this or you all will be gone. Then he came up with his best idea yet, fix this immediately or I will quit and go over to your competitor and take all of my business with me and put the whole dealership out of business. Jack was really proud of himself. “That’s it…I quit” yelled Jack. He assumed that when the owners found out what had happened that they would beg him to come back. He thought that this brilliant move would totally solidify his already lofty position. I guess they didn’t feel the same way.

 The first thing that I noticed when I came to work Monday morning was that the dealership wasn’t closed. It was business as usual. A customer came in and asked for Jack. Someone else took care of them and sold the car. It actually got better without Jack. It became what was best for the store not Jack. When my uncle’s Corvette came in I was the one still working there and delivered it to him. The first of six Corvettes he bought from us.  Jack didn’t fair well at the other dealership. Most of the customers didn’t follow him. He only stayed in the business a little longer. I heard that he became a prison guard.

 I have always remembered what my Mom would call “getting too big for your britches”. Nobody should think that they are the business. It can and will survive without me or anyone else. I’m better off as a servant of all of those that work with me, to help them prosper. To get the customer what they want & need.

 Most importantly…Don’t be a “Jack”…



May 11, 2009 Posted by | 1984 corvette, Chevrolet, customer satisfaction, dealerships, eric prothro, jamestown, motherlode, sierra motors | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Buyers Bill of Rights

Sierra Motors        “One Low Price, Plain and Simple…ALWAYS !”


 CALL TODAY  @800.571.0275 



Yes we are different. Most people say the most unpleasant part of getting a new vehicle is the price negotiation. That’s why we are so successful; we’ve already done that for you. Compare our six rights to how you have been treated elsewhere.


“Sierra Motors’ Buyers Bill of Rights”

…changing the way you purchase your next vehicle.


  1. Receive our best price upfront in writing on every vehicle everyday.
  2.  Receive assistance from non-commissioned sales consultants who are paid based on your complete satisfaction…not how much you spend.
  3. Enjoy a relaxed shopping experience. You do not have to commit to purchase a vehicle, in order to see how much it cost.
  4. Receive the cash value for your trade…whether you buy ours or not.
  5. Receive affordable finance solutions for today and your future.
  6. You can’t buy the wrong vehicle: industry leading seven days or 500 mile (no question asked) full refund policy.


     Go to or call 800.571.0271


     See you soon,





April 29, 2009 Posted by | best price, buyers rights, customer satisfaction, eric prothro, sierra motors | , , , , | Leave a comment