In the Dallas-Fort Worth market, a melting pot of different cultures, the Mac Churchill stores have made hires to accommodate the diverse backgrounds of its consumers.
The staff of the Bedford, Texas, group, which has an Acura dealership and a separate used-car store, includes immigrants and natural-born citizens with ancestry that spans the globe, including Congo, Senegal, Guatemala, Haiti, Canada, France, Peru and Italy, speaking about 20 languages.
Al Lewis, general manager for the Mac Churchill stores, says it's all about making consumers feel comfortable. Lewis said some Spanish-speaking buyers bring their teenage children to translate for them, but there could be doubt in their minds about the messages that are being relayed back and forth from the salesperson.
Having a Spanish speaker work with them instead can take the anxiety out of the process, he said.
One of the reasons Lewis turned to Hireology, a Chicago consulting firm that helps dealerships recruit and hire, was he wanted to bring in higher-caliber salespeople.
His sales staffers were good but could improve, he explained, using a sports analogy. Some people can run a mile, he said, but they'll never be long-distance runners because it's just not their skill set.