What are the main responsibilities of your role?
I am responsible for dealer recruitment and network development. SsangYong is growing its dealer network, and I am looking to find partners in the open points across the UK and Northern Ireland. In terms of network development, this covers the training and development of customer-facing sales staff in terms of new product and skills. I also manage the dealer financial composite; this report is published each month and is the end result of our network reporting its financial performance. The report allows our network to compare its performance against all aspects of the business, and dealers can benchmark themselves against other SsangYong franchises.
What have been the most significant challenges in your line of work?
The challenges of expansion apply to most franchises – SsangYong has had a very successful recruitment drive this year. We added 10 new sites in the first half of the year and more continue to join. We currently have 67 sites and expect to have 90 by the end of next year.
My challenge is spreading the word, so that every prospect in every available open point is aware of us.
How might these challenges be overcome?
We have overcome the challenges by strategic marketing, and attending trade shows. Our profile as a brand has put us in front of many potential
partners, and this should work well for us. We have introduced some excellent new models to the range over the past 18 months, and have just launched the all-new Korando into the C-segment. I have also had great success using various data platforms and researching particular open points, before visiting the dealership and offering to discuss the brand in detail.
What attracted you to this area of expertise?
I joined the industry as a sales executive with Reg Vardy – they were an expanding group and I was swept along with the excitement. I became a dealer principal after seven years and stayed for 14 years. My first move across to the manufacturer side was as a dealer development manager at Mitsubishi Motors, this focused on working to improve the dealers’ profitability. Eventually I became involved in dealer recruitment and I thoroughly enjoy the challenge, there is so much variety.
What’s the most important thing you have learned in your career, and how have you made use of it at your company?
The most important thing I have learned is to treat people how I would like to be treated. I know it’s a cliché, but its important to be yourself, and listen. We have a small team at SsangYong, and we all wear a few hats, and work closely together. I interact with new dealers to make the transition into SsangYong an easy one, as it’s a long-term partnership we are entering in, and our dealers can grow organically with the brand.
What drives you?
Maximising the opportunity, and the end result.
What’s your favourite app?
How do you relax?
Flying light aircraft.