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Last Update: Monday December 18, 2017

"When you own your own business..."

She makes her financials work for her.



Woodhaven, MI:   In a quiet suburb just south of Detroit, we go inside an American icon -- the car dealership -- to witness a "can-do" attitude in action. We meet a woman whose love affair with the car is as real and palpable as any romance going. And at this place where GM is sold, driving people to act upon that passion is her business.

Pamela Rodgers is the owner of Rodgers Chevrolet.  We learn that key to her repeat business success is service. From her originally designed, colorful waiting area featuring a speedway theme to a team of highly skilled service advisers, Rodgers Chevrolet is a company that never misfires when it comes to building long-term relationships with customers. This is a team that's as well trained in the mechanics of human dynamics as they are the electronics of today's automobile engine. Keeping that relationship running smoothly is a matter of individualized communications where customer satisfaction is not an optional service.

Pamela's story is all the more unique in that she is one of the few women in the world to own a dealership in her own right. It wasn't passed on to her by her father or a husband, and she took a failing location and turned it around. Today, with a team of 85 employees Rodgers Chevrolet generates $73 million in revenue annually by selling nearly 200 and servicing as many as 1,200 cars per month.

In an industry defined by steel, rubber and oil, Pamela Rodgers is a woman in a man's world where it's more common to see grease under the fingernails than a French manicure. Yet, her philosophy has always been that the two are compatible, and that strong, smart leadership -- regardless of gender --  is what matters. As a product of an influential mentor herself, Pamela is intensely focused on the softer side of what it takes to sell cars, and she invests heavily in the raw materials--the people--in her business. From training to development to advancement, Pamela understands that business is all about providing good service to your customers---and employees.

Her dealership is a fine-tuned organization with capable women in critical jobs: business manager, parts manager, controller, and of course, sales. And, their placement is anything but gratuitous. Statistics show that women own or purchase 50% of all automobiles sold, and influence the purchase decision on 85% to 90% of all autos purchased. But, it's the quality of their experience at Rodgers Chevrolet that determines if and when they'll return. Judging from Pamela's track record, that happens more often than not and in the car business that is where the rubber meets the road.    

Go to all the key ideas and videos from this episode...


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