Langs Chevrolet couldn’t be more thrilled to have one of the top Chevrolet sales associates in the in the area on our team. Henry has enjoyed great success during his 15 years with Chevrolet and has built a huge following and strong customer base along the way. This kind of success doesn’t come from luck, there’s a good reason for it. To Henry, his occupation is about more than just selling cars. It’s also about building relationships and touching lives. Henry is not at all your typical salesperson. The approach he takes to his job, his views on life, and his incredibly positive energy are what make him unique and successful in all aspects of life. Henry brings 35 years of sales experience, a wealth of knowledge, and a big, warm smile to “The Happy-face Place”.
Born and raised in Dayton, Henry is no stranger to this area and there’s no place he’d rather be working than right here in Beavercreek. Even though he spent much of his early life in Dayton, after finishing high school he moved out to Columbus to further his education. In addition to going to school, Henry worked as a special agent for Prudential Financial. There he was involved in estate planning and capital needs analysis. Meanwhile, Henry’s brother was the one that got him into the car business. After learning more details of each other’s work, the two brothers decided to trade jobs, and the rest is history.
“He was telling me about it, he liked it. I was bored with insurance, and we just switched jobs –literally. He took the insurance job and I took the car job, and that was 35 years ago. That’s how I ended up in the car business,” said Essick.
Henry undoubtedly found his niche 35 years ago, but that isn’t to say selling cars dominates his life by any means. He is highly involved with several organizations and has many other hobbies outside of the dealership. He serves in ministry as a non-salaried pastor at a local church. He’s a visiting chaplain at Miami Valley and Good Samaritan Hospitals, and also a volunteer chaplain at the Montgomery County Jail and the MunDay program. Henry considers all of these things, including selling cars, as hobbies instead of work.
“Selling cars isn’t a job, and neither is pastoring or taking care of people. It’s just my hobby and simply what I love to do,” he added.
He admits that pastoring and volunteering do take up a lot of time, but its time well spent. He’s found a way to make work his play. He finds thorough enjoyment in what he does and that is one of the main keys to his success. Henry pointed out that even when work gets to be the most challenging it’s still fun for him. He insists that selling cars is what he does for a living, but his real profession is serving and helping people.
When asked about the highlights of career, Henry immediately mentions the strong bonds that he’s built with people he now considers family. He reiterated how much he loves getting the opportunity to meet new people and their families. With this type of mindset it’s clear to see why he has been so successful in developing strong relationships with his customers and how he’s changed a lot of lives.
Along with his positive attitude and genuine enjoyment of his work, it really is the extra care for his customers that set Henry apart. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” said Essick. He pointed out how used car salesmen, in general, have earned such a bad reputation, and rightfully so. Henry’s goal is to turn the picture around and prove to customers that you can find good deals when you deal with the right people in the business. He elaborated on how most salesmen want to just throw their customers into a car and be on their way. Henry sees himself more in a position of counselor. He has guided customers away from certain vehicles they’ve been looking at and makes recommendations as to why another vehicle would suit them better.
“Most people that come in for a vehicle are not forward thinking and don’t really break down what it’s going to cost them long-term. I try to steer people toward certified pre-owned vehicles simply because the warranties are so extensive,” said Essick.
The counseling isn’t restricted to just used car recommendations, not when you’re a man who is all about helping and serving others.
“There have been people I’ve met along the way that I’ve done eulogies for and others I’ve visited in the hospital when they were sick. There’s also been some I’ve married, and some I helped counsel and repair marriages for. That means more to me than any sale,” said Essick. “It’s really not about selling the car, it’s really about the trust, and caring, and concern for people. Because in the end, when there’s someone that has a problem and you help them solve it, it makes them happy and they don’t forget that.”
Aside from his natural-born love for helping people, there are other reasons why developing relationships is so important to him. “People have trust issues sometimes that they need to overcome. They have questions that are legit, and if it seems like all the salesperson wants to do is quickly close the deal and get the most money out of them, it’s not going to work. You have to have the customer’s best interest at heart,” added Essick.
Henry attributes his concern for customers as being the main reason why he has been in the top 5% in Chevy sales for so long. There are many customers that come in and don’t talk to anyone but Henry. There is always a customer somewhere out on the lot that was referred from someone Henry has sold to. Henry’s referral rate is at an un-paralleled 40%. This is no surprise when you consider this man has been known to take calls at 1:00 in the morning to help a customer. “Once they buy from me, I feel like I owe them. Some look at a sale as money made and they’re done. In this business it’s important to give yourself to that person before, during, and after the sale,” Henry pointed out.
Along with a positive attitude and a genuine concern for people, Henry has a terrific work ethic. He gets up every morning around 5 o’clock to pray, meditate, and read scriptures to get himself started off on the right foot before the beginning of the day. He also goes through a few sales training exercises each morning to make sure his mind is right before he talks to anyone. He arrives at work around 8 AM, an hour before Langs opens, to look at his back log and see what needs to get done, checks his emails, takes some early phone calls, and gets ready to start the day.
“I can’t wait to get there to be honest with you. Each day is an adventure and you never know what is going to happen. Having the right attitude in sales is very important and it can be extremely rewarding,” said Essick.
It’s hard for some people to understand how someone can be so happy all the time. So what gives a man this kind of enthusiasm and motivation to help people each and every day? Henry says, “I just appreciate all the grace that has been given to me. I’ve come to understand that life isn’t about what you do for yourself, but it’s about what you do for others.” That’s Henry’s philosophy.
“Only you can decide who you are and who you want to be,” said Essick.
Henry mentioned that he’s felt like the villain before and doesn’t ever want to be the villain again. He prefers to be the good guy. He’s learned to take that same grace he’s been given and extend it to others, including his customers.
You’d be hard pressed to find another topic that makes Henry light up the same way he does when speaking of helping others. But there are many other things he enjoys outside of his job and volunteer work. He loves spending time with his wife and his 2 grandchildren that he loves dearly. He also enjoys listening to gospel music, particularly Lee Williams and the Spiritual QC’s. Henry has also been a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan for much of his life. He also roots for the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Dayton Flyers. Henry gushed when talking about the Flyers strong tournament run.
“The Flyers went as far as they could go with the talent they had and exceeded all expectations. Beating OSU, I think showed them something about themselves, and that’s something those kids can take with them for the rest of their lives,” he said.
Henry doesn’t have time to watch a whole lot of TV but when he does, it’s all about talk shows and sports. He likes to stay up on what’s going on in the world and is interested in what all the “talking heads” have to say. When asked if he would ever do anything similar to what the Ford salesmen had to do recently on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (stay in physical contact with an F-150 the longest to earn Jimmy’s business), Henry dismissed the idea. He said he didn’t have time for a gimmick like that and mentioned that they need to just be a real salesperson. “I could close Jimmy Fallon, easily,” Henry said with a grin.
When asked who he thought should play the role of Henry Essick II if Hollywood decided to make a movie about his life, he broke the answer down into two pieces – prior to 1990, and after. “Prior would probably be Samuel L. Jackson and after would definitely be Forrest Whittaker,” Essick said.
As far as people who Henry admires most, atop the list was Jesus Christ. He called Christ the “most fascinating person to ever exist.’ He also listed John F. Kennedy, noting that Kennedy was his most admired politician, calling him “the change in our time.” Martin Luther King, Jr. was the other person he mentioned for his “ability to demonstrate how to deal with problem through love.”
Through the many lives he’s touched, there are certainly people out there that look up to Henry to for his high character, strong values, and generous heart.
After trying for quite some time to get Henry to join the sales team, Langs Chevrolet couldn’t be more proud to have Henry on-board. The feeling is definitely mutual.
“I heard some good things about Langs but it wasn’t until I got here that I really saw what a great dealership we have here. I didn’t know we had the number 1 service department in all of Ohio. Just being here and seeing the difference – the attitudes and extensive training from our staff here. These guys are just top-notch, and it helps myself and everyone else here. We have a good thing going,” said Essick, adding that “working here is the best situation I’ve ever been in.”
When asked for a final thought about how he’d sum himself up as a salesman, as expected, Henry diverted the attention away from himself and on to others, “It’s important what others have to say. I want other people to make assessments based on how I treat them. We all like to think great things about ourselves but what matters most is how customers see me, and I think they see me pretty well.” A fitting response from a selfless man.
If you’d like to meet Henry in person, or maybe you just want to find the perfect car at a great price, head into Langs Chevrolet today. You may just come away with a friend for life.