One June 19, Randy Butler, owner of Randys Autos, hit the 40-year mark selling cars.
In a town with fewer than 2,000 residents, and in an industry where deceit has become the norm, that’s remarkable. Yet, Butler has carved out a successful niche selling quality cars the right way.
“I love what I do. I could retire this year, but I’ve chosen not to,” he said, “It’s too much fun, too fulfilling, to retire.”
It began in 1979, when Butler was hired by Redd Chevrolet as a new car salesman. He saw it as a way to return to Monticello and figured if he wasn’t any good at selling cars, at least he made it home and could find other work. It didn’t take long for him to find success. He loves people and he loves cars.
When the dealership closed, he connected with another dealer who hired him to sell used cars in town. After a handful of years working for the dealer, Randy went out on his own and became a licensed dealer. He has run his own business for the past 16 years--years which have been the most rewarding of his career.
“It’s challenging, yet very fulfilling to have your hands on every part of the business. I have to do a little bit of everything. I have to be effective at a lot of things.”
Butler specializes in selling “program” automobiles. Program cars are only a year or two old, and have a guaranteed history and condition as part of a program with regimented maintenance, such as those of a corporate fleet or car rental business. They’re good cars and Randy has very few dissatisfied customers.
He competes shoulder-to-shoulder with the biggest dealers in the state to buy these cars from the same entity. Without the high-pressure sales tactics of a big city dealer or the need to tack on big city overhead and unnecessary sales add-ons, the cars on Randy’s lot are priced to compete fiercely with big city dealers.
“That is going to be the success of a dealership - having good products at very good and competitive prices,” he said.
This begs the question, why would anyone go to a big city dealership to subject themselves to ethically-questionable, high-pressure sales tactics to pay more for the same car?
Butler acknowledges the role the community plays in his success. He says, “The people who shop at home are what make a dealership. In the first place, the business has to be run efficiently and competitively. But even if it is, and there are no buyers, and no one is at least shopping and comparing, then there can’t be success.”
Customers also enjoy the car-buying process without the high-pressure sales of a big city dealership team.
Butler relates, “My dealer friends say, ‘How do you make it, how do you keep your doors open without those profit dollars from backdoor sales?’ I say proudly, I’m making it doing it the right, fair way to do it, and I sleep good at night.
“I don’t try to sell people. I don’t play games. I don’t make excuses. I have to make a profit, but I can make it by having a fair profit and I specialize in getting a good vehicle and not selling the public things they don’t need just to enhance my profit. That’s my whole deal.”
And that’s why he’s been selling cars for 40 years.
If you’re looking for a car, it’s worth it to first check out your hometown dealer, Randys Auto.