Aaron Flickinger of New Holland Auto Group in New Holland, PA believes in customer care. In this interview, he discusses the measures that he and his dealership take to personalize the sales experience and service they provide.
What makes you stand out (if you were speaking for a customer)?
I think my customers appreciate my car knowledge, my attitude, my smile, and my desire to help people. I genuinely want to help people. I am always upbeat and energetic, which is how I’ve always been, and the customers respond to that. They want to interact, ask their questions, and get answers, but with a person responding, not a robot. As for our dealership, we stand out from the pack in a BIG way, from our people, to our massive new inventory, to our vast supply of pre-owned vehicles, to our service center that pairs you up to an advisor specifically for the brand you chose—Jeep to Jeep, Ford to Ford, and so forth. This gives the personal touch, where the client forms a relationship with the advisor and doesn’t feel like a number, but rather a person.
Why are you passionate about your work?
I have always been a “car guy.” I work on my own cars, help friends work on theirs, and have always loved all different types of vehicles. I also love to talk to people, meet new people, and help them solve the mystery when they are searching for a new vehicle. It’s fun for me! I love seeing the huge smiles on my customers’ faces when they come to pick up their new vehicles. The excitement and fun they have in the process is true joy to me!
How long have you been at New Holland Group, and what is the best thing about working there?
I will have been here three years in April of 2018. The best things about working here are the people I get to meet, the friendships we form, the camaraderie, and the fun we have through the process. It’s supposed to be fun, because if you go to a dealership and you aren’t laughing and smiling, they’ve failed to do their job, in my eyes! Goal #1 is a great experience. The rest will fall into place!
What makes New Holland Auto Group unique?
We are a fully transparent dealership, with no pressure and no badgering. That’s why I like working here. We don’t do things the way so many other dealerships do! We don’t need to, because our people, our products, and our atmosphere sell the vehicles!
If you could change one thing about the auto industry, what would it be?
I’d change the other dealerships’ sales tactics—the lies, misinformation, baiting, price fluffing, adding a bunch of rebates the customer won’t qualify for on their online pricing to lure them into the dealership, only to spring the “oh you don’t qualify for…”, and the mistrust those dealerships have caused in the industry. It makes dealerships like ours look bad by association, and in most cases when new customers come in, they have their defenses up, and rightly so, after being mistreated for so long. I can’t blame them. The problem comes when I tell them the truth, but they are so used to being lied to that they assume I’m lying, too. If those other dealerships worried more about taking care of the customers and not getting a quick sale, it would be a MUCH better industry and wouldn’t get such a bad rap!
What is your favorite car to drive and why?
That’s a tough question because I love all different types of vehicles and have owned many different types, makes, and models, but I have to say my Jeep Wrangler has me head over heels in love! That said, whenever I get to drive a Hellcat, GT350, or CTS-V, I happily take the keys and go for a spin!
What is the coolest story about a customer buying experience you can share?
I had a young lady who had been treated horribly at every dealership she’d been to (three others to be exact). Because she was a young woman, they didn’t take her seriously or acknowledge that she could know a thing about vehicles. I took her at face value, listened, answered her questions, and after about an hour she revealed not only that she did know about cars, but that she knew more than I did! Her dad was an ASE-certified mechanic! She would go to a dealership, play dumb, and if they tried to take advantage of her, she’d leave! She said when she met me, she could tell I was different by the way I talked to her—not condescending or belittling. I just answered honestly. I sold her a car, and she has sent several friends and family members to me as well. She stands out in my mind because if you judge a book by its cover, you’d never look at her and guess she could tear down an engine and rebuild it without a manual to help her!