How Did You Get Here?

Sabrina Wasden

Rarely do you meet a dealer who planned to enter the automotive industry from day 1. My question would be, how did you end up working in your dealership? Why did you stay?

Jared Hamilton

I am probably one of the rare ones who has always wanted to be in the business.  Literally, i remember telling my elementary school teachers I wanted to sell cars when I grow up. 

I started washing cars at my dads store for an allowance at 12, and went on from there.  Service, a small bit of parts, lots of sales etc.  My dad never would promote me, every time i needed a promotion i would have to quit, go work somewhere else, progress in my career and then come back to my dads store.  I had to do that twice... and ended up spending most of my time working for the others than my dad.  Ultimately i took my own path and founded DrivingSales, then bought some stores with a partner.  Its been a super fun ride!

Maddy Low

This is a fun question! I actually studied journalism in college and worked at a news station for a while, but as luck would have it I found a marketing position for a dealer group and now auto is my career! 

Derrick Woolfson

I had just graduated college back in 2012 working at COACH in marketing & merchandising. The job did not feel right. I wanted to be challenged, pushed and motivated. There is a saying, "be careful for what you ask for." It was not much longer before I had received a phone call from a Dealership. It just so happened that my future boss (current GM/Managing Partner) actually graduated from the same college. Giving us an immediate connection. 

The rest was history. I will never forget the first time walking into the store, and having the feeling of "this is where I belong." Despite the "bad things" I heard in college about car salesmen or the folklore that my parents and family had told. 

In the past five years, I have never felt so motivated, and excited to get up every morning. Working in this industry was a match made in heaven. This is the one industry that encourages both creativity and individuality. I am so grateful that this industry found me! 

Chris K Leslie

I started working with Dealerships when I was in the newspaper business. I've always been really interested in the Auto Biz because it is something I am able to bring my skills too. Thats really what keeps me. The ability to impact change across all aspects of the dealership. 

Jim Bell

I don't think anyone grew up saying 'I want to be in the car business.' I started back in 1996. I had just dropped out of college and needed a job because I was getting married in 3 months. I was driving around putting applications in at different companies and drove by the local Honda dealership. I went to school with the owner's daughter and just pulled in. What did I have to lose? I went in and asked for the owner and ended up speaking with the GM. He said they were looking at creating a position as a 'Lease Retention Manager.' This was way before CRMs were the norm and everything was from hand. I was offered the position and built our portfolio into spreadsheets, following up with leases that were coming due and turning them over to the salesperson. I guess you could call it a mini BDC looking back on it now.

20 years later, after working in about every position in the front part of the dealership, I now get to consult with dealers on performance of their digital strategies. I wouldn't trade it for the world and never regret pulling into that dealership on that September afternoon.

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