Aggies

Howdy!

I grew up in the car business. However, my understanding of the business was washing cars and picking up trash. I wanted nothing to do with it. Therefore, I went to Texas A&M to get an Engineering degree.

In the summer after my Junior year, I worked as an intern for a car dealer consulting company. What I saw during that summer was an industry filled with people who were making really good money despite the fact that they were horrible business people. It was then I decided that if these people were my competition, then THIS was the business for me.

I did very well in school. I graduated from the College of Engineering with Honors. I had a great GPA. I could have gotten one of the more coveted jobs. However, I had already made the decision that I was going to go sell cars to learn the business. The year I graduated, the top job offer I ever heard of was $40,000 per year. This was a TON of money at the time. And in my first MONTH as a car salesman, I made $11,400. I was rich! It was at this moment that I decided I would come back to hire TAMU grads just like myself to give them the same opportunity.

I sold cars. I eventually became a Used Car Sales Manager. Then, I went on to buy into my father’s dealership and become the General Sales Manager. In March of 2002, I purchased my own dealership. Since then, I have purchased a total of 8 dealerships around the State of Texas. We have grown very quickly. This is not because of me, but because of the incredible people who I have surrounded myself with. They too have grown quickly.

I hired Aggies in 1995, one of whom worked his way up through the organization to be a partner in a dealership, and run a store by himself. I hired Aggies in 1996, one of whom worked his way up through the organization to be the leader and director of our Advertising Agency. I hired Aggies in 1998, one of whom is the most respected sales people in the business. And it goes on and on.

I have been very successful hiring Aggie grads. I fully realize no one goes to college with aspirations of getting into the car business. However, I believe that is because most people do not realize the opportunity available to them in the car business.

It is very safe to say that most Aggies made $50,000+ in their first year. In fact, many have made $80,000+. I can also say that several were making $180,000+ within their first 5 years. This is not something you will find in big corporate America. Yes the hours are long, but they are way less than the tremendous hours my friends put in at the accounting firms or consulting companies, and they were all on salary.

I believe this opportunity is the best available. This business is competitive, but that is what I love about it. This business is fun. We are a young and vibrant organization full of young and vibrant people. If you think it is a fit for you, I hope that you will give us the opportunity to get to know you better and that you will get to know us better.

Honestly, Tomball Ford was supposed to be a practice interview. I had started looking late because I wasn’t sure I would graduate and I had not been on any interviews except Luby’s and they didn’t like my GPA. Apparently, it takes a 3.5 or better to make their delicious macaroni and cheese. So I showed up in my new suit and shined shoes and sat down with Ben. We interviewed in the press box at Kyle Field. I had 15 minutes with him and then 15 minutes with the general sales manager and another Aggie recruit from 2 years earlier. Ben asked me about going for the win on 4th and goal from the 1 with no time left or kicking the tying field goal and going for overtime. Mind you overtime had just come into existence in college football so it was a fresh question. Anyway, I hit it off with Ben, the other 2 guys though I was average, but we all went to dinner that night. After dinner I went home, wrote my thank you letter for the interview (yes, they do get opened and read). Then I drove to the Bryan post office that night and mailed it. Ben got it the next day and knew it wasn’t planned because I mentioned stuff we had talked about in the interview and dinner. They made me an offer within a week and then came the hard part, telling my parents I was considering going into the car business after they just paid for my 4 1/2 years at college to get my bachelor’s degree.

It was a tough sell. My dad seemed disappointed from the start. My mom thought it was going to be too much time and there would be no future in it. 13 years later, they are proud. I am the marketing director for all 7 of our stores and one of only 4-5 people that influence decisions at every store, in just about every department. I have a staff, a great family, and I’ve made great business relationships with people within our organization, people that have worked with us and moved on, and people in the industry of automotive, marketing, and Internet. I consider myself a “car guy” first and fore most, but I’ve learned how to take those skills to help our organization from a marketing and advertising standpoint.

I was given the opportunity to grow quickly. I was trained, I was given the tools to succeed, and I was rewarded for my achievements accordingly. Is it a traditional career you go to college for? No. Can you make more money than your friends that are still borrowing money to finish a degree that will take them 10 years to repay the loan? Yes. Being an Aggie was a foot in the door, I still had to take advantage of the opportunity. Let’s put it this way, my dad is proud of me now and if I had it to do over again, I’d make the same decision. That’s why we keep coming back to A&M, to give more opportunities for Aggies to succeed. If you have questions about anything, call me at 361-574-8568 or email me at scott@ptlavaca.com. Look forward to meeting you to see if we can be a good fit.

Go to college to sell cars? Hhmmm, really? This was the main question I had December of 1999. Soon to be 11 years later, I am glad I made that choice to sell cars. Hello, my name is Jorge Lopez and I am a sales consultant at Tomball Ford.

I graduated from Texas A&M with a business degree back in 1999. When I was first hired to show off Ford vehicles, I was promised a guaranteed salary for 1 year. I was, at that point, very unsure about taking a sales position but the available opportunity to earn as much as my efforts; motivated me. I have had full control of my earning and have been blessed to live comfortably. At point of hire, I thought to myself that I could use that time to take it slow and find a job in the business field of my choice. Well, after the first year and doubling my guaranteed salary, I knew that talking to people and helping them make one the biggest decisions in their life, was for me. I love the interaction I have with customers and enjoy showing off my product. Family transition for me was very easy. Everybody understood that it was a respectable job and a great way to make money. Yes, a GREAT way to make money! The opportunity to live debt free can be with out a doubt attained. Opportunities to advance within this company will always be a priority for Aggies and you can count on full support from everyone here.
In conclusion, I want to say that I have been happy up to this point to work for Tomball Ford and have had 11 great years under my belt. I have enjoyed every bit of it. I help people acquire a vehicle and get compensated well for it. It’s that simple! If you like great opportunities, working with motivating team members and making money; then this is for you!

“Dude, I didn’t go to college to be a car salesman.”

I had been out of college for 4 years, had a degree on my wall from Baylor University, but no money in my savings account to show for. All my friends were making $40-50k a year out of school, but little did I know that their pay would remain static over the next 5-10 years at Hewlett Packard, Conoco Phillips, or Lilly Pharmaceuticals. I was a communications major, I wanted to be a salesman, but everyone wanted an experienced salesman for a well paying outside sales job. Four years into my search, through 2 different jobs, I had to make a move. I had been married for 2 years, my wife and I wanted to have kids, and yet we were committed to her desire to stay home and raise them. How could I continue selling marketing goods at a rate of $3,000 to $4000 a month, keep my wife at home, and pay the bills? I could not, I was stressed, and I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. Life is so expensive. If I could only find the magical $10,000 a month job, life would be easier! On a rainy Thursday afternoon in Houston, Tx I was making the turn off of Loop 610 on to I-10, and I made a phone call to a buddy of mine in the car business, whom I bought my 2004 Taurus from. He said, “Stephen, you should come sell cars for me.” Inside I chuckled, and my next words I can still hear as clear as day. I responded, “Dude, I didn’t go to college to be a car salesman.”
The next 5 ½ years have been a blur. I am now the General Sales Manager for three stores in Port Lavaca, Tx. Selling a car is my favorite thing to do. I am a sports guy, competitive, and a family man?and the people I work with are like me. I have always been a “people person”, but I had never been able to capitalize on my skill set to make money. I built quick relationships with people, I became their friend in the car business, and I got paid! Everything we do is so tangible, including the immediate gratification of completing a sale within 3-4 hours and making $1000. The hours are long, your weekend plans will look way different, but the return on your investment of time and effort will crush any of your fellow graduates.

There is an incredible opportunity for advancement. If you can become a person who has a high closing ratio, a high gross average, and high customer satisfaction, then you’ll shoot up through the ranks. If you can be the person who just seems to always figure out how to put a deal together, and who can overcome customer objections in a way to where they still love you when it all over, then you will be put into a position to touch more customers. Our goal is to maximize the opportunity we have. Some people are better coaches than they are players. However, even though it may take a little more effort and commitment up front, we believe that you’ve got to be able to perform doing the things you are asking your players to do. The fact is that there are people in this business who can just visualize how a car deal is going to come together. We call them “deal makers”.