That’s Chris Martin’s favorite word. “Adventure, because it has so many possibilities,” says Chris about the opportunities at the all-new America’s Car-Mart of Cabot, Ark. where he is the store’s Manager. Chris grew up in nearby Beebe, Ark., and he’s thrilled to be ‘back home’ where he will know most of his customers or their parents.
“It’s exciting! I get to build something with one of the best guys I know in the company, Dennis Johnson. I started my career with Dennis [Chris’s supervisor] at Car-Mart of Batesville,” says Chris. “This isn’t a market we’ve been in before. It’s our first time in Cabot, and I really look forward to helping customers and being a part of the community.”
Indeed, for Chris, the best part about working at Car-Mart is taking care of customers, providing transportation solutions to them, and getting them into quality vehicles. “Transportation is such an integral part of everyday life. You need a car to provide for your family, to be a better person, and to better yourself. With a vehicle, you’re able to mobilize and empower yourself,” says Chris.
“We realize life happens. A lot of our customers, who never thought they could get on a path to owning a vehicle, are finding success with Car-Mart,” Chris adds. “They can walk in and drive away with a vehicle, as well as a service contract. I don’t know of another car dealership that takes an interest in a customer’s success like we do at Car-Mart.” That’s why Chris is eager to build relationships with his customers in Cabot and make a difference for them.
Never a bad day at Car-Mart
Before Chris joined Car-Mart, he had never stepped foot into a Car-Mart. He didn’t even know what to expect when he joined Car-Mart. And, now, he’s never had a bad day.
“I counseled a customer who thought she had to give up her car because she couldn’t make her payment. We came up with a solution that kept her in her car. She was able to find another job and eventually pay off her car. The first time I helped a customer like that; I caught the rush. That was it for me, and I was hooked!” says Chris.
His best day at work is “yesterday, today, every day.” “Any day that I can go to work and provide that kind of service to a customer and make a difference–that’s a great feeling,” he continues.
Chris also recalls a single mother in Nashville who totaled her vehicle, which unfortunately resulted in her having to ride her bicycle to work. With Car-Mart’s Payment Protection Plan, Chris was able to forgive her the balance [her contract] and get her into another car.
“I’m very lucky I get to do stuff like this every day,” Chris says. “It’s really all I do. I go home holding my head a little higher, so my days are very rewarding. I provide smiles and satisfaction every day. I try to be the best part of our customers’ day. I treat them as the most important person I’ll see that day.”
Never a dull moment
Chris started his Car-Mart journey as an Assistant Manager in Batesville in 2017. He then moved to Madison, Tenn. as the General Manager where he led that store to profitability. Returning home to Arkansas for family reasons, he landed a spot as Assistant Manager in Searcy.
As a new Car-Mart associate, he participated in the company’s Future Manager Training Program where he learned the Car-Mart business. “It was great–a really-focused program; it’s probably the best training I’ve ever experienced,” says Chris. “The training focused on delivering the best experience for the customer and also helped prepare me for my leadership roles.”
Never without a passion
While Chris is passionate about helping his customers, he is also a history buff and an English language fanatic. His historical focus is World War I and World War II. Family vacations – with Alyssa and their four-year-old daughter, Daphne – take them to historical events and places. In 2018, they traveled across western Europe where they enjoyed the 100th anniversary of WWI in Verdun, France (site of the biggest WWI battle).
“To be in such a pivotal place at the end of the conflict, it was kind of sobering to see this place in world history,” says Chris. “The world and life are just stories. When you hear those stories, you want to know more. Suddenly it’s 500 years ago, and it’s oceans away.”
Never without a smile and a helping hand
That’s what he says other people will say about him. He greets all his customers with a smile, and he strives to put a smile on their faces. Plus, the personable Chris has never met a stranger. “When you buy a car from us, I have a vested interest in your personal success. If there’s anything I can do to help, I will,” says Chris.
Working at Car-Mart is rewarding and energizing for Chris. To be sure, he’s found his home at Car-Mart. And, of course, it’s all about adventure.
It’s a Car-Mart tradition
When we open a new Car-Mart, we invite the community to our grand opening celebration. We, also, select two charities to be recipients of assistance from Car-Mart. It’s one of many ways we pay it forward for our customers and communities. This is just the beginning of serving and supporting our neighborhoods. We believe in being good neighbors by giving back and making a positive impact in the places where we live and work.
And, it’s our managers who select the local organizations and charitable causes closest to their heart. For Cabot, Chris and his team will donate $1,000 to A Veteran’s Best Friend, an organization that trains service dogs to help Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at no cost to the veteran. Additionally, a supply donation of non-perishable food items and hygiene supplies will be donated to Feed the Vets, dedicated to providing food sources to military veterans.
“The Cabot area has a large percentage of residents with some tie to the Air Force base,” says Chris. “That’s why I picked two groups that assist military members. Many in the military and their families need assistance with necessities. Things we might take for granted are very much needed by those that serve this country.”
Because suicide rates and depression among active military and veterans continue to rise, Chris selected A Veterans Best Friend. “There are huge benefits to the human-animal bond. I think most people with pets can relate to this, but unlike just having a pet as a companion, these dogs are trained to be service animals. The dogs help them with their confidence and help them get outside more. They help to motivate them, also.”
Car-Mart looks forward to a continued partnership with these two organizations and helping raise needed funds, food, supplies, etc.
Come meet Chris and share an adventure with him at Car-Mart of Cabot. Help Chris – and Car-Mart – make history!