Meet Fred, Flagship Area Sales Manager since 2011, and a 36-year veteran of the automobile business. From working the sales floor to directing the finance department of one of the largest dealerships in the country, to managing Flagship dealer relationships across South Texas, Fred has done it all when it comes to selling and financing vehicles.
In their own words:
I’ve been in the automobile business since 1980 and even though a lot of things have changed, one thing stays the same: Relationships form the foundation of a good business. No matter how much the world around us changes, that will always be true.
I always say, ‘People don’t know how much you know until they know how much you care.’
That’s what I like about Flagship. We don’t do what I call “the politician rap.” We don’t go into dealerships handing out pens and cookies and leaving. Sure, it’s important to develop those relationships, but you have to be transactional, too. We get involved with helping them put deals together, we show them through our actions how much we care about their business and when they see that we care, the trust factor comes in, and they want to do business with us.
Flagship places the same importance on supporting its associates. They give us tools to help do our jobs well, and they encourage us to rely on our team. For example, in my position, I rely heavily on my credit officer and funding team. It doesn’t matter how many transactions I bring in; I won’t be able to keep those dealer relationships if I can’t see them through. I must count on the rest of my team to continue to build those relationships from their position, too. The whole team has to be able to rely on each other to keep those relationships.
As an ASM, my job is always about building relationships. It’s not an easy thing when you’re first starting out, but as you build those relationships with your dealers and with your team, they get easier. It’s the domino effect; each one affects the other. Flagship understands that and they make sure everyone’s working together and sharing experiences. We have regular calls to collaborate on how and what we can do better in each situation. Everyone is willing and able to help new associates understand our process, whether they’ve been in the business as long as I have, or they’re brand new to it.
For me, it’s important to work with people I believe in and who believe in me. I’m an old guy and I like to think that makes me wiser. Over the years, I’ve learned that people tend to work at a higher level when they know that they have management in place to help them. That’s one of the best things about working for Flagship because you know how much they care and support their people.