Raheem Travis, 37
Customer financial services development manager, Dallas-Fort Worth market, AutoNation Inc.
After just more than a year as customer financial services development manager for AutoNation Inc.’s Dallas-Fort Worth market, Raheem Travis is setting records and raising profit.
But Travis doesn’t plan to stop there. His goal is to master all dealership departments, from used vehicles to the service lane, so eventually he can become a market president at AutoNation.
By taking advantage of nearly a dozen years of experience with one of the most prominent names in auto retail — Jim Moran & Associates — Travis plans to make the Dallas-Fort Worth market AutoNation’s most consistently profitable.
Travis studied mass communications and business management at Texas State University before he joined JM&A Group’s career development program in 2006. As part of the program, he sold vehicles at Suncoast Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Seminole, Fla. His first vehicle sale, Travis said, was a case of the blind leading the blind into a 2006 Wrangler Sahara. His customer was a first-time car buyer.
Travis internalized the sales process and trained others on it for years. He said F&I managers can find opportunity within each part of the buying experience.
At AutoNation, “we have a three-step process: customer interview, customer menu and upsell,” Travis said. “And within that process, it’s important that customer experience remains good.”
Lacking a quality customer interview in the beginning of the sales process makes F&I managers vulnerable to F&I product sales objections later. With a quality customer interview, “We have all the ammunition so that we can present the proper products to the customer,” Travis said.
In 2012, 2015 and 2016 Travis won the JM&A Star of Excellence Award, measured by the success of the dealerships he trained.
He said the transition to AutoNation last year was smooth. As a senior district manager for JM&A, Travis oversaw 32 stores. At AutoNation, his market has 14 dealerships.
“Once I joined AutoNation, I was able to hit the ground running, applying the same management techniques that I’ve been doing previously,” Travis said.
His market generated more than $58.5 million in gross income among the stores, with each location adding $100 in net profit per vehicle retailed, securing Travis AutoNation’s coveted award for top finance managers his first year with the company.
— Jackie Charniga