Welcome to Access Auto! I'm Linda
Yazell and I am ready to help you with a new vehicle. Call
I Fell in Love All Over Again!
The car business always slows down between January and April. This year I decided that instead of having to watch my pennies so closely, Iíd go see what itís like on the other side of the fence, i.e. at a car dealership.
I went to work at Santa Cruz Toyota. Theyíre about one mile from my house and hey, Iíd be selling Toyotas. About 20% of my business is Toyota, so I figured it would be a natural. Working a staggered shift of six hours a day, I figure Iíd have plenty of time to take care of my Access Auto clients who wanted other cars.
I really enjoyed being out in the open air (January and February were really nice weather-wise). While I loved interacting with people face to face, what a hassle it is to work through the dealership system to put a car on the road! And as far as bringing my Access Auto clients there, forget it! It was so hard to get the deal there that I knew I could through my fleet contacts, I was tempted to just broker them elsewhere, and that would have been a huge conflict of interest.
My previous experience working in a dealership was from 1978 thru 1982, when I worked at Val Strough Honda and Mazda in Oakland. It wasnít uncommon for me to sell three or four cars a day, and I remember one Saturday selling seven. Not possible these days. Now it takes three or four hours to get everything done on each car and then everybody has to go through ďFinanceĒ (that little glass room I try to keep people out of).
I was so tired at the end of each day, I had no energy for anything else! Wearing a pedometer, I learned I was clocking seven to eight miles a day walking, and most of the rest of the time was spent standing around. Six hours a day turned into eight hours most days.
That was way too physically demanding for me, and it took so much of my time, that in order to continue working with my Access Auto clients who didnít want Toyotas I was working twelve hours a day.
I thought Iíd found the perfect solution. San Jose British Motors asked me to take over their Internet Dept. They even told me they had no problem with my continuing to help my Access Auto clients (which they later reneged on). Hardly any of my customers ever ask for Jaguar. They bought the Kia franchise shortly after I started working there, but hardly anyone ever asks me for Kia, either. I figured Iíd sell their Jags, and spend my spare time (and thereís lots of it there) helping my Access Auto customers. So every day, I commuted over the hill to San Jose, sat at a computer all day, and called and emailed people who had clicked on a link somewhere about Jaguar.
Now, those of you who have worked with me, and that would be almost all of you, know that Iím not a pest. In fact, follow up has never been my strong suite. Itís something I really have to work at. And there I was at Jaguar where thatís all I did all day long -- pester people. I hated it, but the folks I worked with there were nice, and for some reason they thought Iíd be really good at the job. I kept at it, thinking ďthereís gotta be a pony in here somewhere.Ē At the end of two months, I realized that I had put together ten Access Auto deals and sold only three of their cars, and one of those--a Kia--was to an Access Auto client.
I finally found the ďPonyĒ. I came to the realization that I put you first before the dealershipís customers. Even if it meant putting in ten to twelve hour days, I handled your request. I learned I much prefer it when you call me looking for a car, than being on the phone eight hours a day drumming up business. And on the upside, the extra money earned means not having to spend the busy summer months playing catch up.
Staying in touch by phone, email, my website and regular mail is very effective, definitely an area where I have room for improvement. So youíll be hearing from me on a more regular basis. Itís a good way to prevent the Winter Blahís
I also learned that working for someone else isnít easy. Iíve been self employed way too long to have someone telling me how to do my job or spend my time. At the dealership, I had to punch a clock! They frown on going out to lunch. Can you imagine if Iíd said, ďHey, itís slow today, I think Iíll take a walk on the beachĒ?
I learned that I like interacting with my customers face to face, and thatís hard to do living in Santa Cruz. While I was working at those dealerships, I did get together with some of you and it was great putting a face with a voice and name. The Leasiaís, the Brandiís, the Guttalís and the Steenís have been getting cars from me since as long ago as 1994, and it was nice getting to meet you. If you check the ďLettersĒ column, youíll see a picture of Bob Anderson and me. Bob drove his BMW Z4 down here to Santa Cruz in June and let me drive it. That was fun! It was the first time Iíd seen Bob in probably ten years or more. And Linda Michener lives just a few blocks away from the Jaguar dealership so we got together for dinner and a movie.
On the other hand, Iím glad I have a business that allows me to live anywhere I want and still work with my clients from as long ago as 1983, regardless of where they live now. I just helped one of my clients, now living in Chicago, who wanted a new Chrysler 300. The nearest dealer that had the car they wanted was in Wisconsin. It all came together beautifully.
So all in all, the time spent was a great education for me. I learned a lot about the new technology in cars today. I learned I really want a new Toyota Rav 4. But most importantly, I fell in love with my business and my clients all over again. Iím looking forward to the next fifteen years or so, helping you have an easy time and saving you money when you get your new or pre-owned cars, getting to know you better, and meeting--if only by phone--your friends and family when they need cars.
So Thank You, Thank You for continuing to call me when you need a car and for all your referrals. I think I have the best job in the world!
Well Hi everybody.
Itís Spring again,
and feeling like summer here in Santa Cruz.
If youíve been to my website,
you might have noticed that itís really outdated.
Thatís because the server crashed that had my site, and
the server that had the backup also crashed.
So while Iím trying to piece it back together, and write new
copy, I hope this will serve as an update.
You can always reach me with any
questions or to introduce a friend at 800-763-9227, or you can e-mail me
Should that fail for any reason, you can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iím going to introduce a few
new features with the redesign of the website.
Sometimes a client will actually ask me, ďDo you mind if I
refer you to a friend of mine?Ē Well,
Duh! I love referrals.
In fact I only work with past clients, who are like friends and
family to me now, and their referrals.
So if you have friends you would like to refer, I will be
including a ďTell-A-FriendĒ link where you can put in their names
and e-mail addresses, and select them a pre-written e-mail, or perhaps
write your own, to refer them.
I plan on having some kind of
pop-up (don't cha love pop-upís) that will give you a way of updating
your information for me, so I can keep you in the loop with
newsletters and specials. I
love to hear whatís happening in your life, so I think Iíll leave a
space for notes there as well.
I also plan to put up a link to
another great way to save money on health care benefits.
I found this for myself
when my health insurance became so expensive a couple of years ago, and
wasnít covering anything I needed.
Now for under $20 per month I have great coverage for Dental,
Vision, Prescription and Chiropractic.
Itís saved me beaucoup bucks!
Until I get that link up, you can find out more about that at
sure to check that out, because even if itís not a concern for you
right now, it might become one in the future, and most of us know
someone who doesnít have adequate coverage.
I got if for myself and my daughter, Andrea, who many of you know
from when she was working at Access Auto. Sheís my little Gypsy, who
will never work for anyone who offers her health coverage.
I also want to bring you up to
date on how Iím doing business. This
has been a major change for me, one that people tell me I should have
done years ago.
As most of you know, for the
last 14 years or so, I have had the dealer from whom Iím getting your
car include my fee in the sales price, and then they pay me later.
There were times when a customer wanted to pay me themselves, and
Iíd always make the exception, and my customer always paid the fee if
I was working on a used car.
However, collecting from the
dealer was like having another part-time job.
In fact, for a while I employed someone, and part of her job was
to stay on top of that. It
sometimes took two months to be paid, and it was effecting my attitude
as well as my cash flow.
So officially beginning in
January, 2004, I no longer accept fees from dealers.
Iím working for you anyway, not them, and thereís no reason
you should have to pay tax and license on my fee, which is the case when
itís included in the fee. Iíve
also been able to reduce my fee, and I have a schedule which is very
fair. As you know, the
purpose of my business is to add value to your car buying experience by
saving you more than my fee, while also saving you the time and
aggravation that car shopping entails.
I keep you out of that little glass room.
The fees are:
$350 for anything up to a sales price of $25,000
$500 for anything from $25,001 to $50,000
$750 for anything over $50,000 up to $75,000 (or so)
You retain my service by giving
me your order as always, and then mailing me a check for $100, which
helps to compensate me for the time I spend contacting dealers in your
behalf, negotiating finance and lease rates, and having tradeís
evaluated. The balance
of the fee is due only upon delivery.
I also take Paypal, and within the next few weeks will be
accepting Mastercard and Visa.
The effect of doing business
this way has been incredible!
Since Iím no longer going on wild goose chases for everybody
that calls, your order gets my full attention.
Iím able to work with dealers who wouldnít ordinarily work
with brokers. Just because
they didnít want to pay referral fees doesnít mean they wonít give
us great prices! I also find
Iím better able to bargain with the dealer on the strength that I have
a ďpayiní customer.Ē
And since Iím not mad at
anybody anymore, Iím much more fun to work with. : )
Everyone whoís worked with me
this way has really been pleased. So
try it, youíll like it!
April this year is once again bringing income tax deadlines and Easter, but at least this year weíre not in the very beginnings of the war in Iraq. Letís hope that by next Easter, weíll be out of there.