Some 20 years ago when Darin Wade was considering getting into the auto business as a career, he made himself a promise that he would own a dealership before he turned 40.
One day before that deadline, he made good on his promise.
Wade, who heads a partnership that owns Power Ford New Mexico, took over the old Bob “No Bull” Turner dealership in the Renaissance Center in November 2012.
It wasn’t much of a change for Wade, a native Albuquerquean who graduated from Eldorado High School and the University of New Mexico.
He was already a veteran of the city’s other Ford dealership, having worked there since he was in high school.
“Now my alma mater is my competition,” Wade said. “Really, every dealership in Albuquerque is my competition.”
But Wade’s group brought in a focus heavy on customer service and the results quickly became evident.
In the first year, Power Ford showed a 300 percent increase in business and this year, it’s up another 122 percent over last year, he said.
While the parts and service departments were and are operating smoothly, it took an overhaul of the sales department to achieve that success, Wade said.
“Our job is to satisfy the customer,” he said. “We made a lot of changes in the sales division.”
It was all about changing perspectives, Wade said.
“Sales is all about attitude,” he said. “Glass-is-half-empty people are not going to make it in sales.”
Instead Power Ford went about remaking the sales staff in Wade’s image – outgoing and driven and willing to provide a lifetime of service to the customer.
“I get no greater pleasure than helping somebody get the vehicle they need because it’s so important to their lives,” Wade said. “I truly believe that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that affects their credit. We can leverage our relationships with creditors and help them get that vehicle.”
That vehicle, he said, can help change a person’s status simply by giving them the ability to get to work and make a living.
“Before you know they’ve turned things around and they’re telling other people,” Wade said. “Then we’re selling to their family and friends, too.”