Striking a Good Deal Takes Chemistry

For Ralph Planzo, selling cars is a science. The former chemist is methodical, yet sensitive. And his formula works more times than not.

Ralph Planzo

For Ralph Planzo, selling cars is a science. The former chemist is methodical, yet sensitive. And his formula works more times than not.

Planzo, whose father owned an upholstery shop, said he never thought he would go into sales.

The Springfield, Mass., native moved to the West Coast in 1950. He attended Long Beach City College and California State University, Long Beach. Planzo then worked as a chemist for Richfield Oil Corp., but soon changed course.

He moved to Lake Tahoe in 1969 and took a job at Harvey’s Resort. Planzo would spend the next 35 years working in the casino industry, from Reno to Las Vegas. Though he loved dealing dice, Planzo said he also worked as a pit manager, shift manager and baccarat supervisor at major casinos, including the Flamingo, Las Vegas Hilton, Dunes and Sahara hotel-casinos in Las Vegas. He spent his last 14 years in the industry working at the Mirage and Bellagio.

The move from the casino floor to the showroom floor was easy, Planzo said.

“My whole career, I’ve been working with people,” he said. “Everybody is different. If you listen good, you find out quick what they’re really looking for.”

Park Place Infiniti General Manager Joe Tortomasi said Planzo, 75, had announced his plans to retire on his birthday this past February.

“I offered Ralph a way of easing into retirement by working fewer hours and only four days a week,” Tortomasi said. “After talking it over with his wife, Ralph decided it would be beneficial, and easing into retirement was a good idea.”

Planzo’s way of easing into retirement was to be “Salesman of the Month” in February and win the use of a new 2014 Infiniti Q50 for the month.

Planzo has been selling Infinitis for more than 14 years and has many loyal customers.

“Ralph is a valued team member who is always willing to help others break into the business,” Tortomasi said, adding, “Ralph’s favorite phrase to the sales manager is, ‘Let’s do the deal.’ ”

Planzo is quick to give Park Place Infiniti credit for his success.

“When you have an excellent product and a company like Park Place Infiniti, it’s easy to sell,” he said. “This is a great company. We all get the same training, so every client gets the same care.”

When Park Place purchased the Infiniti dealership in Las Vegas in 2012, Planzo stayed on to work with the company that takes pride in employing “Experts in Excellence.”

Founded in 1987 by Ken Schnitzer, Park Place Dealerships represents luxury brands including Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, McLaren, Maserati, Lotus and smart. In June 2012, Park Place purchased the Infiniti dealership in Las Vegas. For more information, visit, www.parkplaceinfiniti.com.

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