Although MacMaster Buick GMC has definitely made an impact on Orangeville through extensive volunteer work and support, it is the team that supports it that helps give the company the success it has. Two such individuals are father and son, Larry and Chad Soper, salesmen at MacMaster.
Larry, who has worked at the dealership since it was Jeff Pilch Pontiac on Broadway in Orangeville, has been with the company for nearly forty years and doesn’t see that ending anytime soon.
“I’ve been here for 36 years, I’ve worked for four different people, so I’ve had four different bosses, and have never left the building,” explained Larry. “It’s been an exciting time. There’s been good days and bad days, good years and bad years, but I enjoy selling cars and always have enjoyed selling cars.”
What’s kept Larry there, besides enjoying working for his bosses, has been the desire to provide the best possible care for his customers – something which can be impeded when a salesmen switches dealerships.
“When you’re in the car business you strive to establish clientele; that clientele stays with you as long as you look after them,” explained Larry. “Every time you make a move from one dealership to another you lose part of your clientele, which mans that you have to rebuild. If you stay at the same dealership, they know where you are, they come in and you’re here to look after them. That has been my motto all along, is I try and look after them very well.”
For Chad, the road to being a car salesman was not always clear. At one point he had expressed that he would never want to be a car salesman because his dad was never home. Fast forward to the not-so-distant future, and on Take Your Kids to Work Day, Chad’s interest was sparked. At the end of the day, he was asked if he wanted to work part time, and agreed.
“I worked every Saturday,” said Chad. “I guess I just fell in love with working extra long hours and the fun and enjoyment of seeing new cars and meeting all the different people and I think that’s what has kept me in it.”
After spending a year doing sales at MacMaster, Chad chose to pursue his education at Georgian College, earning his diploma and then degree in a program specifically designed for the automotive industry, finishing with honours for both portions.
During an interview, dealership President Danny Brackett shared that when Chad first started he requested to have his office as far away as possible from his fathers, so that he could prove himself without riding on his father’s success. So far, he has done just that.
Their success is derived from more than just passion though, it stems from the very thing that drives them to do as well as they can. For Larry, that means being the kind of salesman that is more concerned about meeting the needs of a client than about forcing a sale.
“That’s the biggest thing in the car business, is that when you can have enough money put away where you’re not forced to make a sale, it makes it a lot easier,” explained Larry. “I think the customer can read that from you when they’re doing the deal, that you’re not pushing them to make the decision.”
Mr. Brackett pointed out that when it comes to returning clientele, Larry has more loyal customers than anyone he has ever seen.
“[Customers] want to deal with someone they trust, generation to generation,” said Mr. Brackett. “I don’t think there are too many people in this world that have the customer depth that Larry does.”
Chad’s success comes from the drive to be able to provide for his own family what he had growing up – a comfortable lifestyle without the stress of having to overwork himself to sustain it.
“Growing up, we didn’t always get what we wanted; we were responsible for working towards affording it ourselves,” Chad said. “I think that’s what got me to this level, that I want to have a family and I want to be able to provide a nice home for them, the same way I had one growing up.”
Although Chad has only been working full-time at the dealership for five years, he has already earned a Gold sales recognition from the General Motors Sales Marketing Guild, an achievement that most salesmen never hit.
“That’s almost unheard of,” pointed our Mr. Brackett. “Guys just don’t accomplish that so young. Obviously Chad’s determination and commitment got him that, he’s definitely following his father’s footsteps to a T.”
He added that Larry has had the Gold status sales record for his entire career and is currently in the top 1% of sales country-wide.
“I consider myself one of the luckiest dealers in the world to have guys like this working for me,” concluded Mr. Brackett. “If you get to know Larry or talk to people who know Larry, some of the things that will come to mind will be integrity, respect, courtesy. It is just unparalleled, and then the success just comes naturally from that.”
Written by Tabitha Venasse