A smile, a sale and great follow-up

Eddie Ortiz’s, '04, entrance into the world of car sales was a mistake. But it’s worked out quite well for this ’04 alum who has been the sales and inventory manager at Reineke Honda in Findlay, Ohio, for the past 12 years. This confident, genuine “people person” is part detective, part teacher and part comedian, but it all works.

He’s often the first person potential car buyers encounter when they enter the Reineke showroom. His job is to size up their needs and what fits into their lifestyle. “Buying a car should be an enjoyable experience, and sometimes it’s not,” says Eddie. But he’s there to change that.

“It’s fun talking to people, getting to know them and in a small way, helping families make memories.” 

Car sales can be a dog-eat-dog world, especially with a slew of competitors around every corner. But Eddie stands out by providing great customer service and follow-up. He’s not pushy or confrontational, focusing instead on being helpful and knowledgeable. In reality, that’s the only way to do business.

“After a sale, I reassure them at least five times, ‘If you need anything, I’m here,’ and I really mean that,” he says. “You have to fully believe in your product. If I like it enough, there’s a good chance you’ll love it, too.”

Eddie understands that car salespeople often get a bad rap, constantly battling the perception that they’re only in it to make the sale. “That’s just not the case,” he maintains. “It benefits me none to shove you into a car purchase you’re unhappy with.”

In fact, you shouldn’t consider him a salesman at all. He’s a consultant who uses his strong communication skills – he majored in communication/theatre arts at Heidelberg – to connect with his customers.  Communication skills and humor!

Divulging one of his secrets, Eddie says, “Laughter is a good entré for me. We might as well have a good time together, right?”

Through his time at Reineke, Eddie has built a strong customer base, many of whom are repeat buyers. That’s one of the best votes of confidence a car consultant could ask for.

The self-assured kid who rolled onto Heidelberg’s campus back in 2000 is now a polished professional, grateful for the tools he acquired during his time as an undergrad. “Everything I took away from Heidelberg is how I present myself today,” Eddie says.

That presentation always includes a smile. About college, he says, “You get out of it what you put into it.” The same can be said for his approach to h his job, and he’s very good at it.

Eddie is married to Kelly Carey, ’04. Kelly’s parents, Janet (Wilson) and Tom Carey, both ’75, and her brother, Seth, ’06, are all ‘Berg alumni.

By Angie Giles
Published in Fall 18

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