New LaPlace car salesman in unexpected career

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 24, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

LAPLACE – Supreme Ford dealership of LaPlace has a new employee, and they want you to know that he is worth his salt.
Vernon Bailey said the employees of Supreme Ford recruited him very aggressively after he went next door to have his vehicle serviced at Quick Lane.
“They asked me if I would come in and do sales, and I told them no, I didn’t want to do sales. My thing is that I had retired from the sheriff’s office, and I was ready to enjoy that part of life. They thought I would’ve been a good fit for the community because I worked with a lot of people at the sheriff’s office,” said Bailey.
“Their recruitment was so hard. I came in here and said, ‘Let me pick up an application, and I’ll turn it in later.’”
The father of 10 had retired from the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office after 29 years of service. Bailey spent 16 of those years a school resource officer supervisor. Tammy Crawford, an employee of Supreme Ford, said they were so persistent in taking Bailey on because of his charisma.
“I said, ‘You know, Mr. Vernon, since you’ve been in here you’ve spoken to four or five people.’ I said, you’d be wonderful at this job because obviously, people know you, and they enjoy talking to you,” said Crawford.  “I don’t even think it’s about selling when it comes to him. He’s a real people person and likes helping people. That’s why people come to do business with him. They’ll be more flexible with him because they trust his opinion.”
Bailey said when he went to pick up the application that day, the employees surprised him by calling up the general manager to further persuade him. The rest is history.
Since he was was hired, Bailey said that he has exceeded sales expectations — the average sales person sells between eight and 10 vehicles a month. Within in his first month, Bailey sold 16 vehicles. He then went on to sell 21 vehicles last month.
Despite his success, Bailey implies that he doesn’t get any special treatment around the office. When asked if he had received a raise, Brian Pesses, Supreme Ford general manager, said jokingly that if he wanted a raise, he could stand on his chair or sell more cars.
Bailey said that he is still fond of his co-workers despite their well-intentioned antagonism.