Still at it After All These Years...
By Tom Stokes 8/26/2018
Dallas, TX... Hard to believe I started Moving Iron 20 years ago sitting at my desk at a dealership in South Louisiana.
For those that don't know the story behind the name or too young to have heard the phrase Movin' Iron ... Every Saturday morning we had a sales meeting that always ended with our manager asking "What are we gonna do today?" We would answer in unison "Move Iron" our boss was old-school from Chicago so some of us would joke and say "Not much iron left in them these days boss" Jim would always reply "Shut up go move some iron"
So, I named the company Movingiron to Honor the meanest, craziest most caring, loveable used car director I have ever met. Jim hated everybody but he was a damn good car man. I would watch in amazement as he completely transforms into someone else when he was in front of a customer.
I remember getting my first business cards and was very excited to see my name on the card next to certified sales professional. Jim noticed how I admired my cards and asked to let him see them. I thought it was odd when a couple of the guys that were around me took off as I handed Jim my box of pride. Jim looked at them and said nice card how much did they cost. I proudly said thirty-five dollars. He pulled out a wad of cash.
I swear that man kept ten thousand cash on him all the time. He peeled off two 20’s after digging through a few hundred and handed them to me. I looked at him bewildered for a second as he was headed to the window of the 1950’s building and threw my new business cards in a wet ditch below. He looked at me and said “If I ever catch you with a business card Stokes you’re fired” I was about to tell him that Eddie (The in-house sales trainer) ordered them for me but I remembered he hated that guy.
I said yes sir and went back to work. Jim had my number and yes you had to be that extreme with me or I wouldn’t have got the lesson. Like the time he was penciling a deal with me and on the second pencil, I asked why he was wanting me to go back and bump the guy for more money down. Oh man, you never talk back to your manager, Jim turned red and I thought I saw steam come out of his ears. Jim looked like a taller Danny DeVito if that gives you an idea. Anyway, that was the first time I ever heard a ten-key crash into a wall. If you don’t know what a ten-key is google it.
From that point on I always said yes sir and no sir and when Jim said jump I would ask him how high. I was a green pea and to me, Jim was some sort of car God. There was a purpose to everything he said. The man really very rarely joked or smiled I guess he saved that for the customers. He was pretty miserable most of the time because he hated working with people with no talent he would say. Jim and I became really good friends. He took me under his wing and really installed a lot of great closing terminologies that I still use to this day.
Now you know why Moving Iron is Moving Iron. Jim passed a few years ago but I will always remember him and appreciate him taking time out to teach me the business. I’m not sure if he knew but I can’t imagine him not knowing that he saved my life.
I’m proud to be a professional car salesman.
Thanks to all our dealers that helped us reach our goals and dreams over the past 20 years.
Read "Old Dog New Tricks" by Tom Stokes