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Published December 21, 2022
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How to get through life, according to Experience Guide Brandon McGruder, is proudly owning that thing about yourself that others may criticize or poke fun at.
For McGruder, it’s a hairline that’s, well, up there, revealing a forehead that’s earned him a nickname among his teammates at EchoPark Grand Prairie (more on that later). It became a running joke among coworkers, and was cemented into the annals of EchoPark history when he asked a customer to refer to him as “Brandon with the amazing hairline” in her online review.
She did and “It literally became a thing,” McGruder said, laughing. “But I love to engage people and make them laugh. That’s my personality. When they put that in a review, I know we’ve connected.”
McGruder loves coming to work every day in what he calls the fast-paced, competitive and high-energy environment of EchoPark Grand Prairie.
“This job really allows my personality to come out and be displayed and be celebrated,” he said.
This extrovert takes the time to talk to a guest and get to know them before talking car sales, and it’s more than just making them laugh about his hairline. McGruder treats guests at EchoPark like he would at his own home, in hopes that they’ll come back and get their referrals.
“My goal is to focus less on the transaction of the sale and become friends with the guest,” McGruder said. “That way I establish trust and the guest doesn’t feel like he or she has been taken or forced to do something.”
His approach works, evident in some of the reviews he’s received over the past year:
“Brandon McGruder was amazing! He never complained, no matter how difficult I was! He made sure I was completely satisfied with my purchase! I could definitely tell that he wasn’t just about ‘making a sale!’” Review by FaithfullyFaith
“Brandon was awesome! Helped find a car within my price range and worked hard to find what I was looking for. Was patient with all the cars I wanted to test drive.” Review by Brittany L.
“Brandon was very helpful! We got there very late right before 8 p.m. from Waco, TX. He stayed late and helped us get the car we wanted. He is very knowledgeable and answered every question we had! I’d go back to him if we ever need another vehicle.” Review by Vanessa.
McGruder worked for GM Financial, assisting with loans, for 3.5 years before coming to EchoPark with zero sales experience. He was looking for a change and applied for a guest loyalty coach position.
Maybe it was that magical hairline, but regional sale manager Geremy Smith asked McGruder: “Hey, have you ever thought about selling cars? You have the personality to sell cars.”
Smith remembers McGruder telling him during his interview for the guest loyalty position that he was frustrated in his current job, but remained positive and demonstrated resilience. Those personality traits make for a good Experience Guide, Smith said.
“I remember being impressed with how he (Brandon) communicated and thought that he would make a great guest loyalty specialist but thought he should also consider Experience Guide as a possibility and I am certainly glad that he did,” Smith said. “Brandon has been a consistent performer and great addition to the EchoPark team. Brandon shows care by the way he shows up for his teammates and his guests. He provides an excellent experience for his guests by listening and making them feel comfortable in what can be a stressful situation of buying a vehicle.”
General manager Christie Rogers also noted McGruder’s grit, which told her that he would be a hard worker.
And the hairline? It’s really a thing. His coworkers call him ‘Tesla’, Rogers adds, with a laugh.
“Because his forehead is so large like a Tesla windshield,” she said.
But it’s all part of that McGruder magic.
“He makes himself vulnerable and he allows people to make fun of him to make those connections,” Rogers said. “When you have that people skill, it makes it easy to do what we do.”
Meet Brandon McGruder at EchoPark Grand Prairie. Our Experience Guides are matchmakers between you and your dream ride, making car-buying (or selling) hassle-free. Find your 5-star rated matchmaker at an EchoPark Experience Center near you and start shopping for ‘The One’ today.