Let’s go back in time, shall we?
In 2015, Brandie Angus —now our Internet Sales Manager at Garber Chevrolet in Midland, Michigan— was working at the Buckle clothing store as an assistant manager.
The truth? She wasn’t interested in cars. She wasn’t interested in a new job. She had a good thing going in the retail world.
“I loved interacting with the customers; I loved every part of it,” Brandie said. “I wasn’t searching for any job.”
Craig Lang, general manager at Garber Chevrolet Midland, thought differently. He knew Brandie through her community and church involvement. He saw her potential in the automotive industry and suggested she make the switch.
Brandie, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure. But Craig’s suggestion for her to sell cars tugged on her heart to learn more.
“I remember saying to Craig, ‘I don’t know cars. I don’t know anything about cars. I don’t have a background in cars,’” Brandie said. “But I felt a pull to look into it. I was up for something different. I had done retail for five years, so I said, ‘What the heck, why not?’ which is so unlike me.”
Things change. All it takes is the right place and the right people – and Garber has both.
A Change of Pace
Fun fact: Brandie applied for a job at Garber once before Craig told her she should sell cars. But she didn’t get the position.
“I still tease them about not hiring me,” she laughed.
Timing is everything. That first “no” led to a later “yes.”
When Brandie followed her gut instinct to step away from retail and join the Garber team, she was drawn to Craig’s description of the work culture.
“Craig made Garber seem like a place that is a family, which is important to me,” she explained. “It’s important that you enjoy who you work with. I trusted Craig. He painted a picture of what my future could look like. He said, ‘I believe in you and I believe you can do this.’ He saw the potential in me and believed in me before I even started doing anything.”
Brandie got hired on as a salesperson in 2015 at Garber Chevrolet Midland. Like any new job, she had to adjust to the new role and responsibilities.
“I was extremely intimidated by the industry at first,” she said. “I felt like a young girl surrounded by a bunch of people who knew what they were doing and knew the industry, while I didn’t have a clue. But everyone was so supportive and kind.”
She said the newness of the job ended up being an opportunity for growth. She encourages others to do the same.
“Don’t be afraid to take a step outside of your comfort zone,” she said. “I didn’t know what I was doing at first…but that’s where the growth happens.”
Leading the Charge
As Brandie got used to her sales role, the dealership got busier: creating a hole, as well as a stair for Brandie to step up in the company.
“A couple of months in, they needed someone to help with Internet leads,” Brandie explained. “When people go on our website or a third party website to look at a vehicle, people will submit their information when they are interested in a vehicle. We follow up with them. But it got to the point where I was too busy because of all the leads coming in. We determined if we wanted to be successful, we needed to have two more people to respond to leads within minutes or even seconds.”
The dealership hired two more people, creating a team of five to help with Internet leads. Brandie helps serve as a leader in this role, along with helping with customer questions.
“I love sitting down with customers and solving problems,” she said. “Every customer is so different. I like helping and saying, ‘Let’s try this.’ I love that part. With leads, the Internet has grown so much in the last five years. You have to be on top of your game. It’s an important role, and I don’t take that lightly.”
In certain work environments, managers may have a tendency to micromanage.
Not at Garber.
“They trust you and enable you to do your thing and also have a handle on what’s going on,” Brandie said. “I’ve never felt like I’ve had to do this on my own, but I’ve also never felt micromanaged either. They trust me to do my job. They’re great at getting feedback and asking, ‘What do we need to do to improve?’”
Brandie said the positive work environment creates an atmosphere that team members and customers enjoy.
“You couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere,” she said. “Customers always say, ‘We can sense the atmosphere is good here at Garber.’ A lot of dealerships have a reputation of being slimy. It’s not that way here. We find quality people with Garber qualities. That not only impacts how our customers feel, but how our team members feel. It’s a very positive, upbeat atmosphere.”
The growth opportunities for career movement at Garber do not rest on qualifications, Brandie said. It’s about being a valuable asset to the team.
“Garber gives you an opportunity to grow,” she said. “No one has ever said, ‘This is as far as your position will take you.’ What I love about Garber is you don’t have to have all of the right qualifications. If you work hard, you will go somewhere in this company.”
Brandie said she has grown both personally and professionally because of her role at Garber.
“I’ve grown so much since being here,” she said. “I have a different mindset about my life and future. I never had a big career plan. I wanted to find a place I enjoyed. I didn’t have a huge intention of moving up. But when I came here and got the support and doors opened, I was happy to step in and step up. I truly can say I love what I do. I’m so grateful for that. When you love what you do and feel like you helped someone else, it’s a very rewarding thing. Garber changed my mindset of what my life could look like.”
First job? I co-oped at a physical therapy office. Initially I wanted to go into the medical field and I realized I got too grossed out.
First car? 2003 burgundy Grand Am
Three things you can’t live without? My relationship with the Lord, family, friends
Something people would be surprised to know about you? I have an identical twin sister. If someone says hi, I always tell her, “Just make me look good.” We have that agreement with each other.
Best piece of advice you’ve received? My pastor always says, “The doors of life swing on hinges of gratitude.” It puts things into perspective. If you have a hard day or face a hardship, there’s always something to be grateful for.