Next to buying a home, purchasing a car is one of the biggest financial decisions a person can make. A customer will have their vehicle for years to come, so it’s important they have experts they’re comfortable talking to during the purchasing process. For many women, it can be difficult to alleviate the anxiety of what could happen when purchasing a car, but Thomas Kia of Highland’s sales team works hard to make sure everyone has an expert they can rely on.
One of the ways that Thomas Kia makes everyone feel comfortable is by having a diverse sales team, nearly 50% of whom are women. Thomas Kia is one of the only dealerships in the Region that’s able to boast such impressive numbers, and the variety of associates available ensures a proper connection every time. The women on the sales team include Itxel Carlos, Janelle Najar, Paige Seely, and Kristy Czyzniejewski, and they’ve really found their home at Thomas Kia.
“I started with Thomas Kia in August of ‘22,” said Najar. “It's great. It's a good group to work with, and I'm super grateful constantly for them giving me the opportunity to join the team.”
As sales associates, the women primarily handle customer inquiries, working with customers to match them with the perfect vehicle for their needs. The automotive industry is heavily male-dominated, and this can intimidate a wide demographic of people from working with their sales associate to find their vehicle.
“A dealership can be a pretty intimidating place to begin with. A lot of women come in by themselves, and all they see are a bunch of men,” said Seely. “Just being a woman and knowing what they go through, when they walk in, it's like a breath of fresh air to see a woman. Having an equal number of women on the sales staff warms up the place.”
Having strong female representatives on the sales team helps the whole dealership cater to the needs of its customers.
“It's easy for me to build common ground with female customers, especially being a working mom,” said Czyzniejewski. “I have a lot in common with a lot of the female customers, but I think that everyone, male or female, does a good job relating with customers; everyone has their own stories.”
At the heart of any sales job is a connection with your customers. From building a steady customer base to maintaining relationships, the Thomas Kia sales staff enjoy the opportunity to connect with their community.
“'I’m starting to see, having been here two years, more repeat customers and referrals. That's always nice, having people come back to you and building your own business,” said Czyzniejewski.
The relationship with a customer can go beyond just car sales.
“My favorite part of the job is getting to know each customer's life because each customer comes in with a different story,” said Carlos. “I helped a guy from Brazil once, and that was a really cool experience. To see the customers’ faces, proud or happy, and being able to help them with that is really nice.”
“It's a good feeling to know that you've really helped somebody,” said Najar. “That's a really good feeling when people say, ‘Wow, this was really good. Thank you for helping me. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for this experience.’”
A large contributor to the atmosphere at Thomas Kia is the fact that the sales team gets to work with their friends, not coworkers.
“We know what each other's kids’ birthdays are, we go out and have lunch together, and we go to White Sox games a few times a year with the whole dealership,” said Seely. “It's just a great, welcoming environment.”
With knowing each other well comes knowing how to utilize the unique skills each dealer brings to the table. Carlos, for example, speaks Spanish and thus can help Hispanic guests feel more comfortable by speaking in their native language, helping the process move smoothly.
“Sometimes, moms, or women of all sorts, come in and see a bunch of men, and they are afraid to buy cars because men can be perceived as dominant and scary. I understand that completely,” said Carlos. “Especially when there's women who speak Spanish or moms, they have two barriers that they have to hop over. Being able to help with that is refreshing. I like to know that I'm making a difference in the industry.”
Carlos, Seely, Czyzniejewski, Najar, and more stand ready to help you at Thomas Kia today. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, a new parent in need of some space in the back, or an automotive expert looking for a dealer that can satisfy all of your needs, the staff at Thomas Kia will ensure you find everything you’re looking for and more.
To check out its inventory, browse services offered, and meet some of its team, visit Thomas Kia of Highland’s website or visit the dealership in Highland at 9825 Indianapolis Boulevard.