On the Rise: Fausto Astudillo
Service Advisor | Lenharts Service Center | Age: 26
What was your first job in the industry?
What attracted you to the industry?
I have always had an interest in vehicles but never really pursued a career in it. I had always worked hard labor jobs before I got into the industry. I was told by multiple people that I would be good in sales because I'm good with people so I took a leap of faith and stared selling cars. Once I started selling car I learned about features of vehicles and what they could do performance wise, but I knew nothing mechanically about them. At this time I had been selling cars for almost two years and in the car sales world if you know, you are never home to spend time with your family. I have 2-year-old son and I was missing him grow up so I was looking for a job with more flexible hours, but still in the field where I can use my sells experience and learn more about cars. I was lucky enough to have Lenhart’s find me.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
I'd say one of the most difficult challenges I face in this industry is learning the mechanical terminology and the mechanics of vehicles in general. Every day I'm trying to better myself and retain everything that I can. The guys will get annoyed sometimes because I'm over their shoulders looking to see how they are fixing something, but the more I know the better I can explain to the customer what’s going on and why we are repairing what we are. No one wants to be over whelmed with a service advisor telling them they need $800 worth of work and not explain to them correctly why
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
I’d say my biggest influence in this industry would be Nick Lenhart. He has taken me from knowing nothing about this industry to become more then proficient and comfortable behind the desk. He definitely inspires me. He’s always looking to better the business, us and himself. He’s always teaching me new sales techniques and new things about vehicles. He has helped me a lot in this industry and I'm grateful.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I’d say my biggest accomplishment so far in this career would be that I have increased our sales number since being here. I'm proud to know that I'm the reason for that and I'm doing my job proficiently. It’s a great feeling knowing that the Lenharts trust me to excel their business into something greater.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
Well, my job consists of handling all sales at the shop, building estimates, directing staff on what jobs to do and opening closing the shop — pretty much everything a manager should be doing and then some. Whatever it takes to help the team. I spend most of my day making sure the shop is running smoothly and the guys have work to do from my selling. When I have free time I’m doing training whether it’s about tires or vehicle mechanics. Anything I can do to improve myself and help the shop out.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
That’s a long time from now! I’m only 26; I’m still a young buck in the shop guys’ eyes. But I’d like to be more established in this industry helping run a business like Lenhart’s Service Center. Hopefully I’ll be here. I definitely would like to be more involved in growing a business making something great that I can be proud to be a part of.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
I’d say one of the biggest issues is the vehicles themselves. They are constantly changing with new technology every year, and that’s why I think training is so important. We are very lucky here to have the technicians we do. They are constantly training and learning new things. I commend the Lenharts on that, because they push us to become better, which I believe puts us ahead.
What’s the one thing you wish someone would have told you before you entered the industry?
How many personalities I have to deal with on a daily basis.
What class(es) do you wish you had paid more attention to in high school?
I wish I would of went to a vo-tech in high school so I could have had a foundation for the field I’m in now.
What’s the worst cliché or generalization made about your generation?
I think the worst generalization about my generation is that we don’t work hard and we are handed everything. That I think bugs me the most because of how I am and what I came from. Everything I have I’ve obtained on my own from hard work. I didn’t have a lot growing up, so all the things that I’ve done to get me where I’m at in life I see as great milestones.
Tell us about your family.
Well I can talk about them all day! I’ve been dating my fiancé for 10 years since high school. She is my backbone; without her I don’t know where I’d be. She’s an all-star. She is always keeping me in check even when I don’t want her to. She also has this great little way of messing with me at work. Every time she packs my lunch if it’s a sandwich or something like that she’ll take one bite out of it because she knows I hate it when she takes my food. We have fun together not matter what we go through. She’s perfect. I couldn’t be more blessed. We have a 2-year-old son who is our world, but he’s always keeping us on our toes. He’s a crafty little boy to say the least. He’s real big into cars and dinosaurs and loves Mickey and the Roadster Racers. You can say I’m a pro at Disney Jr. shows. Now we are expecting another little boy in January so we are super excited.
What’s your favorite weekend activity?
Honestly I just like spending time with my family no matter what we are doing.
What keeps you up at night?
Worrying what type of world my kids will be growing up in.
How do you encourage others to enter the industry?
I try to explain the success I’ve had in this industry, especially all of the things I have learned, which is worth its weight in gold. You’d be amazed how little people know about vehicles.
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
When I was young I used to be an amateur kick boxer.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I love to play video games, ever since I was a little kid and my dad bought me and my sister a Sega. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Name a talent you wish you had.
To build things like houses, decks etc.
What’s your favorite food?
Well I’m Cuban and Italian so I eat good, but my favorite would have to either black beans and rice with steak or stuffed shells.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
John F. Kennedy
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Playing paint ball with my dad. We would have a blast when I was a kid doing that.
If we took your cell phone away and said it would cost you $1,000 to get it back, how long would you survive until you paid the ransom?
I’d say about a month. I like to be left alone. My family would probably pay it before I did.
Other than your cell phone, what’s a tool you must have to get through a work day?
My pens and the computer. I’m constantly writing things down and taking notes. The guys love to take my pens (including owner Nick Lenhart); I’m constantly hiding them.