This September will mark three years since Ashley Whitmire began her accidental career. Whitmire is a Morton High School graduate, a proud mother of two daughters, and a sales representative at the Thomas Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM dealership in Highland.
“I came in hoping to be either a cashier or a service writer,” she said. “I was interviewed by a sales manager and they told me they were going to put me in sales. I was really nervous at first, but they told me to give it a try. I did and I fell in love with it. I’m a people-person. I learned that from my mother and I’m glad I’m just like her in that way. You definitely have to be a people-person in this industry.”
While Whitmire had her doubts as she began her unexpected journey as a sales representative, she found that she had a knack for it. She discovered that if she listened to customers and put effort into getting to know them, the job was easier than she had first thought, and more enjoyable.
“One of my favorite things is building relationships with people and actually becoming their friend. I enjoy when they come in and talk to me about what’s new in their life,” Whitmire said. “I like to make sure my customers are happy. That way, when they do plan on getting another vehicle or their family member is planning to get a vehicle, one of the first things that pops up is how I treated them really well. I play a big part in making sure they feel comfortable when they come in here.”
Whitmire has also come to appreciate the significance of helping people purchase vehicles.
“It’s the second biggest purchase they’re going to make. You have to make sure they absolutely love their vehicle. This is something they’re going to be in most of the day depending on how they work,” she said.
During her nearly three years of working at Thomas Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM, Whitmire has created many fond memories. A lot of these memories center around her experiences with customers. Whitmire noted one of her more recent enjoyable customer interactions.
“Two weeks ago, I sold a husband and wife vehicles,” she said. “It was a big thing for them. They were retired. It was kind of an all-day experience making sure they found two vehicles that they really wanted. The whole experience was awesome because I never sold a wife and husband a vehicle at the same time.”
When Whitmire is not putting in long hours at the dealership, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters. They like to relax while watching TV and movies. A more active hobby they share is tending to Whitmire’s rose garden.
“I have a big rose garden. I have all different kinds and colors. I have yellow to pink to red and I even have white ones coming in that I planted this year,” Whitmire said. “My yellow ones are my favorite. They’re wild roses and they’re beautiful. When I planted them, I didn’t know that the wild roses would go everywhere. They kind of took over, but they’re so beautiful.”
Something that puts a smile on Whitmire’s face is when her 8-year-old daughter FaceTimes her, which she does on a regular basis to let her know when she has watered the roses.
Whitmire was thrilled to have become a sales representative despite the position being differentfrom her original plan. She said she wants to continue working at the dealership for as long as she can.