His Early Career
Edward worked in a metro area selling cars for a dealership with a culture that did not reflect his personal values. He observed co-workers who commonly combined high-pressure sales practices with twisting the truth. Salespeople had "anything goes" attitudes about making money, and it worked. He found himself wondering, "Is lack of integrity a necessary component in succeeding in the car business? Does the nice guy always finish last?" He soon realized, because he refused to play that game, that cars sales is not a zero-sum business: The dealership as well as its customers can-and should-both be winners. But in a large city during that time, dealers weren't much interested in customer loyalty; the numbers of the day were all that mattered.
When he moved back to his hometown upon the birth of his first son, he had an opposite experience in car sales. The dealership he now worked for was honest with customers. However, motivation to succeed was missing. Why? Because it wasn't necessary. This dealer had been no. 1 in local sales for several years, and there was no reason for anyone to think this status would be threatened. Happy with the way things were, owners did not encourage an energized sales force that tried to earn new business. "This passive approach may work now," Edward thought, "but what if things change?" Indeed, they did…and he's the one who precipitated it.
Legacy is Born
In February of 1997, with one employee and one small facility, Edward established the roots for Legacy, grounded in a culture of honest and responsible motivation for success. Three years later, his staff had grown to 15. A year later, he opened a dedicated service department and welcomed five more employees to his team. Today, under the Legacy umbrella, we have four facilities (soon to be five) and about 90 employees who form a solid team that claims a customer loyalty rating in the top five percent among Nissan dealers nationwide. Indeed, we have many reasons to smile and be grateful.
Dedication is Key
Along with integrity and forward thinking, key to this success and rapid growth is Edward's dedication to family-his own as well as the families of his employees, and his community family. He has demonstrated this since the very beginning by providing health insurance for all full-time and many part-time employees. He reasoned that if he couldn't afford health care for his Legacy family, he couldn't afford to be in business. Legacy's community support is demonstrated through major sponsorships for area schools, such as the Legacy Nissan Classic at North Laurel High School, The GJ Smith Showcase at South Laurel High School and the iReady program at Corbin Elementary, among others. Additionally, the newly-formed Legacy GPS program is now serving area schools through investment-free fundraising opportunities, with the GPS Driver Network offering promotional assistance for the program.
Are we there yet? You know the answer to that. But we're making progress, as always, so stay tuned.