Customers with Disabilities

Jillian Marchewka
I just recently started getting my feet wet on the sales side of the business to help them out when they are super busy (I generally just do Digital Marketing at my dealership.) I sold my first car EVER on my own today... Not only was I nervous about doing my first deal and deliver, but I was also nervous because my customer (and his son) were both completely hearing impaired (deaf). Yesterday I got through the meet & greet, demo, and negotiations by communicating via a notepad and marker, but I wanted to make sure that the delivery today was on point and thorough. To prepare for today I made a slideshow that basically would have been what I said out loud when delivering a vehicle. It had everything from asking him if he would like a beverage, to breaking down warranties, to showing him all of the buttons in the car. I printed it out and used it as a visual script along with a note pad to communicate with if he had any other questions... He was completely TICKLED that I took the time and prepared for his delivery to make sure he understood everything. I really wanted to go above and beyond and provide an exceptional experience for him. What have you done in the past to accommodate customers with disabilities and to break down barriers?
Dustin Lyons
Wow! I am impressed, that was very thoughtful of you and really shows professionalism and creating true value for a customer with a unique situation. Great Job!
Megan Barto
Great job! I actually learned sign language - I'm not the fastest and I'm not the best at it, but customers *really* appreciate you at least trying to communicate with them.
Lauren Moses
Outstanding! I am sure that you have earned a customer for life. If you ever move dealerships make sure you get their contact info before you leave so you can send a letter letting them know where your new dealership is at. Sales can actually quite fun. Especially when you have a great go-getter attitude. Not to mention that if you are enjoying yourself, then it shows and the customers enjoy themselves. I have never done a hearing impaired, but I do know minimal sign language. I learned it very young because we had 2 girls in our class that were deaf. We just got done doing an upfit on a GMC Savana Van for one of our customers. He was in a wreck a few years ago and is paralyzed from his neck down. He is in an electric wheel chair (and it's 4 wheel drive), and has a little use of his hands (just enough to steer it), but that is it. He wanted the van upfitted so that he could take it hog hunting, I know...Only in Louisiana. The van had to be almost completely redone to fit his needs. 4 Wheel drive, raised roof and doors, dog boxes in the back, etc. But the look on his face when he could actually get in and know that it would take hunting was priceless.
Jillian Marchewka
Lauren-- Off topic! Speaking of uplifted vans, our dealership is right down the road from Quigley 4x4, one of the first (and biggest) companies specializing in upfitting vans to be 4x4s! I know it is a haul to Louisiana, but I have some great contacts with them if you ever run into someone wanting a top of the line 4x4 cargo van. They really don't have any dealers in your geographic area that keep stock of them. I know that we have people who drive hundreds of miles to get their hands on one at our dealership, so I imagine in your neck of the woods it might be pretty lucrative. Their site is:
Lauren Moses
Jillian, I don't think we are going to be doing any more any time soon. It quickly became the "Van from Hell" because it caused so many issues. Surprisingly its not something that lots of people need. Jacked up trucks, yes. Vans, not so much.

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