Beating the Good Ol’ Boys

Sharon McCoy sells more Suburbans than anyone else in the world.

Sharon McCoy sells Suburbans. A lot of Suburbans. More Suburbans – and pickups and vans and Blazers – than anybody else. In 1984, working out of Lawrence, Marshall Chevrolet in Hempstead, she was number one in the country in truck sales.

Six years before she became supreme in Suburbans, McCoy held down two salaried jobs in Houston. A secretary by day and a receptionist at Bob Marco Buick by night, she still made less than $11,000 a year. Maybe, she thought, she could do better as a salesman. But the new-car manager – who also happened to be her boyfriend – told her she would never succeed. McCoy quit her jobs, her dealership, and, in time, her boyfriend, and began selling for Bob Robertson Chevrolet in Houston in September 1978. Two years later she sold more passenger cars than anyone in the Houston region.

Truck sales have traditionally been a good ol’ boys’ game. The only woman on the full-time sales staff at Lawrence Marshall, where she moved in 1983, McCoy kept winning – and turning down – such leading-salesman rewards as deep sea fishing trips and hunts on exotic game ranches. She does not try to be one of the boys. She regards her job as a profession, and she has the calm, competent manner of a professional. “Most people look at buying a car like going to the dentist,” she says. “The dentist’s job is to put them at ease. I’m the dentist.”

Style is not the only secret to McCoy’s success. She is to the car business what Richard Viguerie is to political fundraising – the master of direct mail. “If you wait for your customer to come to you,” she says, “you starve to death – unless you’re satisfied making two, three thousand a month.”

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