“What’s your jacket size?”
Such was the question Angela Selzer was asked on her best day at America’s Car-Mart.
Curious request, she remembers.
The intriguing phone call was from the Car-Mart corporate office. Annually, the company recognizes its top 10 lots and presents a Car-Mart letter jacket to the winning General Managers. Twenty GMs are called, so the individuals don’t know if they’re a winner until the company’s yearly annual meeting.
Angela was held in suspense for two months. Would she be called to the stage at the meeting as a top 10 lot? The song she selected for the occasion continually played in her head – “Low Rider,” the 1975 hit by War.
Drum roll, please!
Yes, Angela was called to the stage. She was a top 10 lot! “It was one of those times, and you can’t fathom it,” says Angela, General Manager at Car-Mart of Greenville, Texas. “It was a rather good accomplishment. I felt like I was watching someone else. I was blown away.”
Angela knows how to sell cars alright. She achieved this top 10 accomplishment in her second year as a GM in 2017, and she attributes this feat to her Car-Mart peers who provided support, advice, and inspiration along the way. “People had faith in me and that spurred me on. I’m extremely competitive, and I like to be good at what I do,” Angela says.
Fast forward to today – Angela’s Greenville store outgrew its building, so a bigger structure was necessary. Angela’s office no longer doubles as the breakroom. The building features 12 offices, an increase from five. Plus, the lot is nearly double in size and accommodates twice the number of vehicles–from 30 to 60.
“My customer base is going to explode!” she smiles. Currently, the store employs 12 associates and is expected to increase by three with an Account Representative, Sales Associate, and Service Manager.
“I have an incredibly good team. My associates are the reason we’re growing in Greenville,” says Angela. “This new facility is a tribute to them.”
Overcoming fears and gaining friends
Angela’s Car-Mart journey started in 2011 when she joined the company as an Account Representative in Greenville. Five months later, she transitioned to Office Manager. In 2015, she transferred to Car-Mart of Sulphur Springs, Texas as an Assistant Manager and returned to Car-Mart of Greenville as General Manager in 2016.
Car-Mart is the first place she’s ever had such a great network of friends. Growing up, her family moved frequently, so keeping friends was challenging. “Making true friends began when I started working at Car-Mart,” says Angela. “We’re all supportive of each other. I can make a phone call and get help tomorrow.”
Through the years, she has also sharpened her leadership skills. “I’ve learned a lot, grown a lot. I used to be very quick in making decisions. Now I take a step back and think and look and never assume,” Angela remarks.
She’s a leader who likes to have fun during her workdays. She and her team have huddles several times a week to share company updates, training information, and fun. One Thanksgiving they performed the Gobble Wobble dance. For another huddle, they backed the trucks in a circle, sat on the tailgates, and talked about their best times at work.
Angela enjoys watching her associates grow personally and professionally. One of her sales associates was promoted and accepted into the company’s Future Manager training program. Angela had hired him as an inventory associate. She worked with him, and he learned the business. He became an Office Clerk. Then he took over Sales. And, now he’s an Assistant Manager at a Car-Mart store.
“He did all the work, and I’m so proud of him,” says Angela of her first Car-Mart mentee.
Angela knew she made the right decision to join Car-Mart after being with the company for two months. Unfortunately, her mom had passed away. When she returned to work after the bereavement period, her new GM expressed his condolences and mentioned the service.
“He had an obit on his desk. He had attended the funeral. I didn’t know he was there. He was there for support. That blew me away,” Angela recalls. “That told me right then that they’re good people here [at Car-Mart].”
Car-Mart, a community partner
For Angela, Car-Mart is more than a used car dealership as the company believes in giving back to its local communities. Angela’s Greenville store is no exception. She and her Car-Mart team support Fish-Hunt County Shared Ministries, an organization that provides emergency help to victims experiencing crisis situations. Their projects have included sorting canned goods and collecting box fans to beat the summer heat.
They also support the JDRF fund-raisers to help raise needed funds for type 1 diabetes research. They conduct drives for toys, school supplies, and dog food. And, at Christmas, Angela’s team adopts a family to help make their Christmas special.
“I love being in a position to help people,” Angela comments.
Helping people, happy endings
Angela provides that spark of hope for her customers when their lives take unexpected twists and turns. She offers four encouraging words, ‘we’ll get you approved.’
“Sometimes customers get to the bottom and they don’t realize there’s a way up. At Car-Mart, we do more than sell cars. We help people with life’s struggles,” says Angela. “Sometimes they don’t know how to make ends meet, so we’ll help with budgeting and financing.”
Angela remembers a customer who had been evicted from their home and was living in their car with six children under the age of 10. Their vehicle literally broke down in the Car-Mart parking lot. Angela’s team put them up in a hotel. They fed them. They took the kids to school. They fixed the vehicle. Fortunately, the customer was able to return to work and even pay off his vehicle.
Helping people happens elsewhere [at other dealerships], according to Angela, but not the way it happens at Car-Mart. Most recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, some of her customers brought their vehicles to Car-Mart concerned about making their monthly payments. Angela told them, ‘your car belongs with you, not on my lot. We will help you out.’
“It’s an amazing feeling to be able to help,” says Angela.
Angela is surrounded by her three grandchildren – two boys and a girl and one on the way. Fortunately, they all live in Greenville for Grandma visits. She’s been married to her husband, Charles for 27 years. And, he’s her rock and biggest cheerleader. They have four grown children, Jessica, Brian, Ethan, and Brett.
“Here I am and I’m loving it!”
Indeed, Angela has found her family at Car-Mart. She’s inspired every day she goes to work.
“This [working at Car-Mart] is not just a job and a paycheck. It’s a way of life. If you love Car-Mart, then do it. It’s worth every single hour you put in,” Angela says. “I never thought about selling cars, but here I am and I’m loving it.”
“Working for Car-Mart gives me a sense of belonging. This is a great company to work for and they push you to be the best you can be! I have a great circle of support from my peers and the associate support team,” Angela concludes. “I am proud to be the GM in Greenville. It was a great road getting here.”
Angela is excited to meet new people and she invites everyone to come see her and her team at their new facility at Car-Mart of Greenville. If you live in or near Greenville, let Angela and her staff welcome you to the Car-Mart family.