Like father, like daughter: Passing down sales skills

It’s nice to retire at the top of your game. That’s what Rocco Panuccio did in April after spending 28 years in the car business. In fact, he still holds the record at Lexus of Las Vegas for selling 310 cars in one year and averaging 250 sales per year.

“I enjoyed selling and meeting people and building relationships with customers,” Panuccio said. “Most of my business came from repeat customers or referrals. You need to take your time and don’t pressure people. If you treat people right, they will come back and buy a car.”

Panuccio said the mistake most sales people make is saying the same thing to every customer who comes through the door. He said it’s important to adapt to each customer’s personality, their needs and their culture.

“You also need to do what the customer wants. I would spend time with them. Go to their home and program their garage door openers.”

The quality of a vehicle, price and the sales agent are what determines if a sale takes place, Panuccio said. He said many sales are lost, simply because a customer didn’t like the sales agent.

“It takes about four hours to sell a car,” Panuccio said. “Customers are a lot more educated today in buying, so you have to build a relationship with them and win their trust before they’ll purchase a car.”

Soon after retiring Panuccio and his wife moved to Gioiosa Ionica in Calabria, Italy. They return to Las Vegas once a year for several months around Christmas to spend time with their children, dropping by Lexus of Las Vegas occasionally to visit daughter, Amanda, a sales and leasing agent.

“Dad always tells me to keep a smile on my face and build relationships with customers because this is very important,” Amanda Panuccio said.

She has worked at Lexus of Las Vegas for 1½ years and previously at a local Toyota dealership.

The Lexus of Las Vegas dealership is at 6600 W. Sahara Ave. For more information, call 702-942-6600 or visit