Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S6

HOMETOWN FOCUS ON LISTENING When you ask Teri Lynn Garcia what her dealership is all about, she has a ready answer. "Hometown," she says. "That is the one word to describe our business. I want to be the hometown Chevy store." "Hometown" gets bandied about a lot by dealerships, and in Garcia's case, it's accurate. She grew up in Gallup, N.M., and now serves as general manager of Gallup's Amigo Automotive. The Chevy and Toyota dealership was opened 34 years ago by her father, Terry Proffitt. Now he and Garcia along with her husband and brother-in-law work at the family-owned Amigo. "I was born into the car business. Some people talk about being Army brats; well, I grew up as a dealership brat," Garcia says. "From parts to service to finance, this has always been my life. As a little girl I said this was all I wanted to do. "What I love about my job is that you don't have the same day twice," she says. "Every day is a new challenge, a new experience." Gallup is a town of 21,000 in northwestern New Mexico, famous mostly for being one of the cities where you can "get your kicks," as Bobby Troup's song says, along historic Route 66. "It's a close-knit community," she says. "If I've upset you, or not done right by you, I am going to see you at the grocery store, at our kids' soccer games. If you are not happy with how our dealership treated you and I can't look you in the face, it's a problem. Being such a tight-knit community, it's all about word of mouth. I want you to tell everyone that you love your car, that we gave you a great deal, that we treated you well." Listening is the key, she says. "Good customer service is about communication, and that means listening more and talking less...It helps you steer the customer to the vehicle they need." Often, she says, that means serving as more of an adviser to customers. "We have the philosophy that it's a partnership between us and the customers," she says. "When they 6 / ally / SEPTEMBER 2016 Teri Lynn Garcia and Terry Proffitt "It's a close-knit community. If I've upset you, or not done right by you, I am going to see you at the grocery store, at our kids' soccer games. If you are not happy with how our dealership treated you and I can't look you in the face, it's a problem. Being such a tight-knit community, it's all about word of mouth. I want you to tell everyone that you love your car, that we gave you a great deal, that we treated you well." come in, we are going to listen to what they're looking for, but take into account their means for getting that. We don't want to let them point to the biggest, shiniest truck on the lot and set them up to fail. Instead, we'll tell them, 'Here's reality. We want to do everything we can to get what you want. But here's the truth and here's how you can get there. It just might not be as fast as you want.'" In F&I that means being honest, upfront and transparent, she says, and not letting customer expectations "outshine what we can do for them. We work hard to present the best deal for the customer and the dealership." The sense of community extends to Amigo's 93 employees. "Our employee turnover is nonexistent," Garcia says. "I now have employees I grew up with, and customers whose families I grew up with." Currently president of the New Mexico Automotive Dealers Association-her father served in that role for eight years- Garcia appreciates her role as a woman in a business still dominated by men. "You don't see a lot of females in the business," she says. "But I didn't grow up thinking that this wasn't a job I could do. My dad never said this wasn't a job for a woman. "I think it's helped us with the customer service side. I want every woman who walks through our doors to be comfortable, to know that her opinion matters."

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement

Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - Intro
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S1
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S2
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S3
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S4
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S5
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S6
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S7
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S8
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S9
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S10
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S11
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S12
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S13
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S14
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S15
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S16
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