By Joyce Nanette Johnson Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – Darrell Fowler grew up in the bustling borough of Bronx, N.Y. At the early age of 15 he began hawking different products on the city sidewalks and from the back of a car. He sold books, incenses oil and women’s clothing while calling out to the passing crowds enticing them with a smile and tempting offers.
Fowler’s entrepreneurial spirit and humble beginnings helped him become a successful sales consultant at Crown Eurocars in St. Petersburg.
He began his auto sales career at Brandon Dodge and Brandon Volkswagen, earning along the way the 2014 Number One Sales Representative Award at Volkswagen, and the 2008 and 2011 Sales Guild Top Salesman Award. He has been with Crown Eurocars since December 2014.
“This is an opportunity of diversity for me. It allows me to reach a different group of people,” he said as he explained that there are still racial obstacles and barriers to overcome. “We still live in a world where color matters, sometimes especially with the older generation.”
However, Fowler is up for the challenge. Not resting on his laurels, he knows he has to “practice, practice, practice” if he wants to make a living in the sales game.
“This is like going to the championship. You have to be on the top of your game to sell the value of the car,” he said. “Being black, you have to be mentally stronger. You have to present yourself so people don’t see the status quo. You have to be 10 times smarter and work harder.”
Fowler explained that there are several steps that encompass the sales approach: The meet and greet, reviewing the needs and analysis of the buyer, the presentation of the vehicle’s attributes, the test drive and the close of the sale.
“What excites me about a sale is knowing that I helped someone to achieve a goal,” he said. “I like interacting with people. To gain trust you have to be genuine. People buy from people that they like.”
New Car Sales Manager of the Mercedes Division, Tim Jamil, spoke highly of Fowler when asked about their long-term business relationship. “He has a lot of integrity, honesty, an easy going guy and customers love him.”
The two worked together for some four years previously at other dealerships, and Jamil recently reached out to Fowler to join Crown. “For me it was a no-brainer because of the way he treats his co-workers, family and customers,” Jamil said.
Fowler said Crown Eurocars offers exemplary customer service, part of which is generated by multi-level training modules that the sales reps must complete. The training goes from basic through an advanced master’s level where they are educated on items such as the technology and new car specifications.
Fowler credits his New York City background for exposing him to diversity at an early age, but also credits the women in his life, including his wife Lisa and his mother who helped to instill compassion in him.
“I’ve learned to redefine myself. I knew where I wanted to go. I had to change my dress, talk, walk and step out of my neighborhood.” He said he lives his life by the words instilled in him by his grandfather. “No matter what you do in life, always be the best. Always give 100 percent.”
Don’t forget, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and high school and college graduation is right around the corner. Stop by Crown Eurocars, 6001 34th St. N., St Petersburg, and see what great deals Darrell has to offer on new or used cars for you or your loved ones.
To reach Darrell Fowler, please call (813) 367-7756.