Millennial On A Sales Mission

Lexi Tucker
Posted on April 3, 2019

(l to r) Gary Bauer of iCars and Alex Sales

(l to r) Gary Bauer of iCars and Alex Sales

VALLEJO, Calif.  — Like most Millennials, Alaric “Alex” Sales (pronounced saa-les), director of livery sales and leasing for the Team Chevrolet and Cadillac division of Del Grande Dealer Group, didn’t always dream of being involved in the luxury transportation business. He has always loved cars, but it wasn’t until he was introduced to the limo world that he learned the industry has a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Stay Classy Not Tacky

Sales had been a fan of classic, modern, and exotic vehicles from a young age, but he didn’t always see himself selling them. “There’s a very distinct stereotype the phrase ‘car salesman’ brings to mind. Everyone has an individual perception of what they are like, so I was wary at first,” he says. “But looking back now after 15 years of being in the business, I’ve seen the portfolios and results people are capable of achieving. I didn’t think I’d be where I am today when I first started my career. There are certainly some successful people who start from the ground up, and I’m happy to say I’ve become one of them. I’m excited to see where my career stands going forward, but I’m also ready to make a pivot if and when another opportunity arrives.”

Persistence and Patience

During his years in sales, he’s learned it’s all about patience. When he sees turnover at his dealership, he says it makes him think as a Millennial often does — he wants to know he is making a difference.  “When you’ve been somewhere for so long, it’s the people that matter most. It makes you want to stick it out and see if change will happen or if there will be other opportunities that will elevate you to the next level.”

Growing up, he says he knew he wanted to do outreach for a company no matter what it was. However, he doesn’t just stick to texting as his primary method of communication with clients. He likes to see people in their natural business environment. “It’s what drives relationships. To most operators, it’s more than the car you’re selling them. It’s how well they know you. Results will come as soon as you decide building relationships with clients is what you want to do. When you see your work paying off and secure some clients you never thought I’d get…it’s an incredible feeling.” He says it took him 15 years to win the business of Gary Bauer, owner of Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation in San Francisco.

Sales is proud of the work he does because it includes helping match operators to the vehicles that will work best in their fleets.

Sales is proud of the work he does because it includes helping match operators to the vehicles that will work best in their fleets.

Making Changes

He started his journey in 2004 as an intern at New Tech high school in Napa, a charter school funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He was offered another internship opportunity to produce millennial marking results for car buying with Napa Ford Lincoln Mercury after starting out as a detailer there. One thing led to another, and he met his mentor Franklin Earl, who lightly kicked off the sale of 2004-2005 executive Town Cars in Northern California. Sales eventually discovered he really wanted to be involved in the limousine spotlight after a trip out to Thomas Buck’s Beau Wine Tours with Bob Hattich.

After a five year hiatus from selling vehicles, Sales knew the Lincoln MKT wasn’t going to be good enough to fill the sedan void that was left after the Town Car was discontinued, and went back to his roots in Vallejo. He told Kenny Ross, former owner of Team Superstores, he wanted to start up a professional vehicle program that would exclusively sell Cadillacs, as he was sure he could transfer business from where he started to where he’s at now. Jump seven years ahead, and he was able to reach many of his goals and then some.

Vehicle Insights

When asked about the specific vehicles that have been doing well according to what he’s seen, he says the Chevrolet Suburban LT and LS with leather interiors have been the clear winners. “I’m surprised most operators are more concerned with the bottom line figure than they are about amenities. The price point is right around that of a sedan, which is good because, in northern California specifically, sedans are starting to fade away.”

He says he’s seen more crossover and SUV sales in recent years. “Sedans have been a special order. The XTS with the livery package including rear seat and navigation package are somewhat popular, but we don’t see a lot of the CT6 because of lack of marketing.”

Proof Of Ambitious Millennials

Working with people from older generations can be tough for Millennials, but Sales tries hard to encourage teamwork rather than clash with them.

“Some can be stuck in their ways and stubborn, and they are often the last to adapt to change. But respect is a two way street. They need to have more patience with us, just as we need to be patient with them,” he says.

Having a ‘these are our rules, abide by them or go work somewhere else’ mentality hurts creativity and productivity. “We can be lazy in our own way, but we still get work done and are always striving to change the world for the better; we just need to be given the opportunities to make that happen.”

It’s no secret the industry is changing rapidly, and everyone (no matter their age) must work to stay ahead of the competition. “You have to watch for market trends and plan on how to keep up with them.”

In the end, however, everything lies in the experiences you have and the people you’re around who want to help you grow. “At the end of the day, it’s you that drives the career path where you want it to be.”

Related Topics: California operators, industry vendors, LCTFast40, Millennials, Sales & Marketing, vehicle sales

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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