Breanne Bergman, store manager of the new RNR franchise location in Marion, IL, is one of very few female store managers in a the custom wheel and tire industry.
Breanne Bergman came to the custom wheel and tire industry blind. She’d been working for a bank for several years, as well as Rent-One, a rent-to-own business owned by Larry Carrico, co-owner of the Marion RNR store where Breanne is now the manager. In April of 2008, things changed. Her husband, Rich Bergman, also co-owner of the Marion location, and Larry asked her to help them out in their new RNR location in Fairview Heights, IL. They had a sales position that they needed to fill, and Breanne jumped right in, ready to learn. She had experience in the rent-to-own business, of course, but custom wheels and tires were a whole new world. Breanne spent everyday taking in all the information her husband, Rich, could give her, determined to be as knowledgeable and successful as any man on the floor. In just a few weeks, she made her first sale; and by the end of the year, she was one of the most successful salespeople between two stores.
As a woman working in what most would agree is a “man’s industry,” Breanne has had to work a little harder than the average employee. Her natural grit and determination, competitive nature, and excellent organizational skills coupled with a genuine personality that puts people at ease certainly helped, but still she finds herself confronted, often on a daily basis, with a certain degree of prejudice on the sales floor. Often customers will ask if she’s the receptionist or even request to speak with a man, but Breanne doesn’t let this bother her too much. If anything, it emboldens her—makes her more determined to be the best she can be. Once she gets those customers to stop and really listen to her, she wins them over. She knows what she’s talking about and she cares about what she’s doing, and that translates to her customers. Those same customers that requested to speak to a man—they come back and seek her out again. That’s how far she’s come.
There are some customers though that see Breanne when they walk in the door and breathe an immediate sigh of relief. Many women often feel defensive and/or skeptical when confronted with mechanics and other automotive professionals. We’ve all heard the stories about women being taken advantage of because they weren’t well-versed in tires or automotive repair—they’re charged too much or talked into repairs or products that they don’t really need. This has certainly never been the policy at RNR, but Breanne is a valuable asset on the sales floor because women who come in looking for wheels and tires feel a little more comfortable dealing with another woman. As Breanne puts it, “Women don’t want to feel misunderstood, taken advantage of, or unknowledgeable. Most women control the budget when it comes to purchases, and in automotive sales, nearly 80% are influenced by women. National statistics also show that over 60% of all passenger tires are purchased by women. I can relate when a woman walks through the door. I may know more than some men do about tires now, but I used to be in her shoes.”
The great thing about Breanne though, and all of her customers feel this when they work with her, is that she really cares about what she does. This is not just a job for her, it’s a career; and she wants to be the best. She continues to train and educate herself so that when a customer comes to her with specific needs, she knows exactly how to help them; and her customers come back to her because they know they can count on her to help them get just what they want and need.
RNR has become an important part of Breanne’s life—she thinks of her vendors, customers and co-workers as family. It’s this attitude of caring, commitment, and determination to be the best, and to help raise the bar for everyone around her, that has made her a success and such an ideal RNR employee. Less than 7% of women in the automotive industry work the frontlines as a manager, sales or service advisor, but Breanne is helping to change that—and inspire her male co-workers and customers along the way. It takes a team of committed and knowledgeable employees to make a business thrive, and we feel very lucky to have Breanne leading our team in the new Marion, IL RNR location.
The RNR Experience
RNR customers are provided a program that allows them to pay for the custom wheels and tires that they want in easy weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly installments with no credit hassles. In addition, customers are offered the lowest cash prices on wheels or tires and have a huge selection of both new and previously rented merchandise. RNR carries just about every major brand in the custom wheel and tire industry, including: Dub, KMC http://www.kmcwheels.com/, Laxani http://www.lexanitires.com/, Michelin http://www.michelinman.com/, Goodyear http://www.goodyear.com/ and many more. For Information on RNR contact our Corporate Offices at 813.977.9800
ABOUT RNR Franchise
Headquarted in Tampa, Florida, RNR Custom Wheels and Tires operates tires and
wheels stores and has become a dominant force in the wheel and tire industry by offering retail, rent-to-own and other payment options to those who want to own custom wheels and quality tires. Our innovative approach combines 40+ years of rent-to-own experience combined with extensive knowledge of the wheel and tire industry. RNR currently operates franchise locations in 21 states and has eight affiliate stores in Tampa, Florida. For additional information on franchising, contact John Armatas at 855.844.8377 or visit our franchise website at http://www.rnrfranchise.com.