Facebook Twitter

Dealerships ease into fast lane

SHARE Dealerships ease into fast lane

Brent Brown is like a seasoned horse trainer who can turn the slowest nag into a Derby winner.

Of course, Brown is more concerned with horsepower than horses, but the Utah County car dealerships he runs through Brent Brown Enterprises include a few that were at the bottom of the industry when Brown took over.

Now, his dealerships are models in the trade for their sales volume and customer retention.

Brown entered the fiercely competitive car sales industry in 1981, buying and selling luxury import cars. Within a few years, he was lured to a Volkswagen dealership, where he was top salesperson his first month on the job. Brown broke that dealership's sales record five times in five months.

Brown's trail of achievement continued — one of Jaguar's top five American salespeople, head of one of the top 10 U.S. Suzuki showrooms, winner of Toyota's President's Award for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction.

Brown has taken the proven approach of opening several dealerships in one place, using economies of scale and inter-brand synergy to dominate the local market. He now runs Toyota, Chevrolet, Buick, Dodge/Chrysler and Jeep dealerships.

Each of Brown's showrooms focuses first on customer satisfaction, then on employee satisfaction and third on profitability. Brown trains his managers with the idea that, if customers and employees are happy, high profits will follow.

To keep employees motivated and content in a high-pressure industry, Brown makes a policy of filling supervisory jobs from within the company. The company provides monetary and non-monetary incentives and, several times a year, Brown and his wife take select employees and their spouses on getaways to places like Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.