Melissa Skinner discovered that car sales is actually what she loves most after entering the business as a single mom skeptical of sales people. Her passion has grown through learning from some of the best in the industry.   

I was a single mom working two-plus jobs, week to week. My pastor talked me into car sales, actually. Lol. I was blessed that my two pastors and one of their dads were stellar, standup, rock star sales people/managers who had seen something in me!

When I first was asked, I said, “Car sales? I hate salespeople.” Lmao. “Reassure me that I can do it my way” (with integrity). I outsold everyone my first year in business (10 out of 12 months). Was hooked after that! I love to sell cars now. Even when I’m working in a different position, I definitely get the bug to go sell still.

Some of Melissa’s dealership trainees.

Some of Melissa’s dealership trainees.

Over the years I have had the privilege to work with and learn from some amazing people, and many have become my mentors. John Pleyer, Mac McIntosh, and Shane McIntosh were my first real mentors in the car business. All the real deal. I was not only inspired in business but also personally and spiritually. They taught me to filter out the garbage and look for the integrity in the business that I love. It’s out there.

Craig Lockerd owns AutoMax Talent Network and is the best in the business. I’m inspired by his drive, his knowledge, and how he cares about the dealer clients and the recruits. Just a genuine person. I also am impressed by the company he has built. AutoMax is like a family of the best of the best in recruiters and sales trainers!

Jim Ziegler, I remember watching his VHS tapes my very first week. Lol. He is one of the best in the business. It has been an honor to work hard studying my passion in the business and be 15 years down the road and have the chance to not only meet Jim and Debbie in person but also train with him one on one. Jim and Debbie are just amazing, down-to-earth, fun people.

All of these gentlemen have been a personal inspiration to me, and I am thankful not only for the lessons that I have learned, but also for the ones I’m sure I’m still going to learn.

My journey from green pea to top Sales to dealer principal came full circle. Now, I recruit and train green peas coming into the business because I want to have a positive effect on the lives of others the way this business and my mentors have had on me.