When you look for an experienced guide to the world of BMW, you realize the importance of combining experience with knowledge and the product with consumer needs. With Shawn Collier, Century BMW’s pre-owned sales manager, you get all this and a dose of Internet marketing to boot.
Collier’s road to his position as manager began in Pensacola in high school where he greeted customers at an independent highline dealership. While incredibly young for sales, Collier soon assumed that position as well. But his consuming passion for the automotive world led him to go into business with a body shop owner fixing luxury cars and even selling on the side, where he says, “I got to know cars from the inside out.”
“It was a very fun aspect,” Collier said. “I wanted to know everything there was to know about cars. And that’s when I really learned about cars, that German cars were built better than American and Asian cars.”
After learning the whys behind vehicle performance, Collier went back into sales where he gained an even broader knowledge base that expanded from being able to understand the difference between a BMW and a Mercedes oil change to doing his own financing. He maximized his time as salesman and led the way in utilizing Internet sales and E-bay to increase sales, which he continues to implement as Website Administrator at Century.
When the dealership was bought by BMW, Collier was able to focus more on that franchise from 2000 to 2006. He and his family had had enough of the notorious Florida hurricanes over the years though and decided that is was time to move a bit further north. The decision to join Century BMW in 2006 was an easy one and within a week he had accepted his offer to be the new car sales manager.
“I was impressed with George and Tracy’s values and the way they do business,” Collier remembered. “I’ve always worked at family-owned dealerships. I like being able to think outside the box without all the red tape of a corporate dealership.” As time went on and sales began to continue to increase each year, his position was split into both new and pre-owned sales manager positions.
As the pre-owned sales manager, Collier said, “I’ve been very successful with meeting customers where they are at and helping them make a right decision instead of just selling them something. All this business is about is people and cars. No two people are the same. I’ve learned to respect them, and I understand that people come in apprehensive and realize the importance of listening to them to help them to make a good decision.”
“Then it’s all about loving cars and really knowing the product,” Collier said. “You can’t sell cars out of a book. I’ve always been blessed of being proud of where I work. While numbers are important, it’s more about the customers. Five years have flown by, and I can’t wait for the next five.”
Article written for Century BMW by Andrea Wilhelm.