Having been in the business for 27 years, Tom Seely, General Manager at Thomas Kia of Highland, knows that car sales is a whole lot more than selling cars - it’s about taking care of his employees and customers.
Seely got into car sales on a whim. At the request of his mother, he applied for a position at a car dealership when he was 20.
“And the rest is history,” Seely laughed.
In 2013 Seely began working at Thomas Kia. The process of buying a car, Seely said, should be an exciting one.
“For a customer purchasing a vehicle, it’s the second largest purchase they’ll make in their lifetime,” he said. “So, having it be an exciting experience, a happy experience for them is a true joy. It’s an intimidating thing to do...so we try and have a good culture of just being happy and exciting.”
His consideration for his customers throughout the car buying experience pairs well with his particular interest in the new 2018 Kia lineup; namely the new 2018 car of the year, the Kia Stinger, and the redesigned Sorento and Optima. His real passion for the work, however, comes from helping his employees succeed.
“My goal besides selling vehicles is to help cultivate a good career for the staff,” Seely said. “My goal is to not just help them sell cars...but we also tutor them with their retirement plans, we work around their schooling if they want to go back to school.”
In this way, Seely gives staff members an environment that makes them feel appreciated and sets the foundation for them to succeed. Because of Seely’s efforts to guarantee his employee’s happiness, many of them are here to stay.
“They’re people that care, they have good morals, good values, and they truly care about their customers. They’re here for longevity,” Seely said.
Recently married, Seely and his wife Allison, a teacher at Liberty Intermediate School in Chesterton, enjoy traveling and hiking, making it their goal to climb a mountain every year. He also enjoys spending time with his two kids. For Seely, balance is important.
“If you’re happy at home, you’re happy at work, and if you’re happy at work, you’re happy at home,” he said. “You just have to find a great balance.”