BMW franchise exceeds expectations
Friday, August 05, 2011
Patrick BMW in Chicago is a family-owned and operated BMW dealer selling BMW vehicles and providing top notch BMW service for four generations. This article, in Illinois' Daily Herald chronicles our BMW dealership sales manager, Christopher Lima. He has six years of experience selling BMWs in Chicago, making him the perfect candidate to lead our growing sales team.
Source: Daily Herald
Christopher Lima has always loved three things: selling, managing people and classy cars. Working as sales manager at Patrick BMW in Schaumburg has combined all three into what could be considered a dream job.
The automobile business wasn’t something Lima had initially set his sights on. In fact, toward the end of his college days at Northeastern Illinois University, where he majored in business management, Lima spoke with his grandfather in an attempt to find a career path. His grandfather suggested selling cars.
“It was something I was already doing,” said Lima, who noted he searched for used cars through private ads, then resold them. “The auto business is something that just kind of clicked with me.”
Following college, Lima sold Hondas for six months, but he wanted to sell higher-end vehicles. After doing research, he set his sights on Patrick BMW, working as a very successful salesman for six years and becoming sales manager about 18 months ago. He manages a staff of about 22 salespeople.
What is the most memorable car you have owned?
“It was a BMW M3 that I bought when I was in college. I had my heart set on finding a Cosmos Black exterior, a rare metallic paint color. After four months of searching, I found the perfect car and bought it. When I drove this BMW, it was such a totally different experience from what I had known. The handling and performance was unlike anything I had ever driven before. I thought ‘this is it.’ I’ve owned many since then, including newer body styles, but I will always remember that car.”
Why did you choose to work at Patrick BMW?
“I wanted to work at the best possible dealership. I did a lot of research and I chose the Patrick Dealer Group because it has been family-owned and operated for four generations. In 1907 Hanley Dawson I was awarded the first Ford new car franchise in Detroit, Mich. The Patrick Dealer Group was named after Hanley Dawson III’s son Patrick. I’m proud to be employed by a family with such significant heritage.”
Do you have a mentor in the business?
“His name is Tim Gadomski, the general sales manager here and we co-manage the Mini franchise along with BMW. When I got into the business in sales, he saw me as a bright star and took me under his wing. He taught me that honesty and integrity are really paramount, that I should always try to exceed customer expectations. In our industry, you have to change with the business market and find the newest and greatest way to do things. Yet, you have to block and tackle and stick to basics, which means not overlooking things, assessing customer needs, being attentive and listening to the customer, as well as guiding their needs.”
What do you like most about the automobile business?
“When I was a salesperson, it was really about maintaining my book of business, about keeping my customers happy. Now as sales manager, I like being part of a much bigger team. I look at all the customers as my customers.”
How has Patrick BMW changed since you’ve come onboard?
“We’ve done great in the last year. In 2010, as opposed to the previous year, we were up 30 percent in sales. In new car sales for that time period, we were up 40 percent. Customers’ expectations need to be exceeded not just met, and that’s what we do here with our special services, such as our Red Star valet service, our customer VIP program, and state-of-the-art facility, which was remodeled in 2010. Our market share has been way up over competitors like Audi and Lexus. We’ve moved up into the top three franchises in sales in the Chicago market."
For the full article click here.