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Neal trades handcuffs for car keys, sales

Chris Neal has come a long way from driving a police car to selling cars at Peach Chevrolet.
Although he spent several years working with various areas of the correction system, he has found his niche in sales doing something that he loves.
“After I graduated from high school, I worked in construction for a while,” Neal said. “The pay was always uncertain. Some weeks we were paid well and others we were paid very little. I wanted something to do that would be constant.”
After working for about a year in construction, Neal’s friend, who worked in law enforcement, called him and said there was an opening with the Covington County Sheriff’s Department. He was later hired by the Florala Police Department in 2007.
He also met and married his wife, Karla, during this time. He became a stepfather to a 14 year-old. In addition, they have a German Shepherd dog as part of the family.
“We live in Perdido and my wife works in Century, Fla., at her parents’ Radio Shack,” he said
Neal said he enjoyed working in law enforcement. but he needed something that paid a little bit better. He learned through another friend that there was an opening in Brewton at Peach Chevrolet.
“It was just the right job for me,” he said. “I like what they told me and I decided to to make the change.
“It was the right move for me,” he said. “I came to Brewton in 2014 and began working in sales. Since that time I have moved to sales manager. We are usually very busy, but I work better under stress. We sold about 160 vehicles this past month. That’s a lot of sales for a month.”
Neal said he believes that a good salesman should have a working knowledge of cars and he should be good with people.
“Buying a car is the second most expensive item, after a house, that someone usually buys and it is nerve wracking,” he said. “People are hesitant to spend that much money.
“We are able to work with them, get to know them and be able to suggest a variety of programs that will work with them,” he said. “We have a credit forgiveness program and one that we call ‘cash for clunkers’ where we pay the customer for their old car no matter how bad it is. I think it helps for us to know our customer and be there before, during and after the sale. When they know we will do the best we can for them, they will come back the next time they want to buy a car. When we sell 160 cars with seven salesmen, we are doing something right. We value our customers and will help them anyway that we can.”
Neal was born and raised in Covington County. He graduated from Pleasant Home School in 2003. He was the typical boy growing up, and he loves to be outdoors. He and his family like to spend time at the beach and travel whenever they have the time.
“I have found the place I can stay for a long time,” he said. “Right now I am putting in a lot of hours at work, but that is okay with me.”