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Sales role is about more than just sales

Robert Hawkins has been working in the automotive industry for more than 18 years. He is currently group sales manager (cars) at Lings Honda.

“On a typical day I get into the office around quarter past eight. We start with a sales meeting, where I chat to the five members of our sales team at the Lowestoft branch about our sales, current promotions and general car displays,” says Hawkins.

As group sales manager, his day-to-day duties include dealing with customers, finance and the marketing side of the business.

“Another part of my job is advertising, which we do mainly on the internet and in the local press.

“Here at Lings we also work hard at promoting the brand in general. For example, we recently attended a black tie awards evening for tourism in the Norwich area where we were responsible for sponsoring an award. In the summer we were at the Lowestoft Airshow and we’re also campaigning to bring the Honda Formula 4-Stroke series to the area.”

Before joining Lings Honda as a sales manager in 2004, Hawkins was a sales controller at Holden Honda in Norwich, where he worked for five years. Before that, he was in aftersales for Lind BMW in Norwich for 11 years.

He explains how he came to work at Lings: “Back in 2000, when I was working at Holden Honda, I sold three cars to the chairman, managing director and operations director of Lings. When they decided to expand their business to include cars, as well as power and marine equipment, they asked me to join them – and I did.”

As Lings is a new business that is continuing to expand, Hawkins manages targets going forward and liaises with the management at Honda about their standards and CSI.

“My job role keeps expanding. We recently opened our branch in Harleston so now I manage the sales teams at both sites, as well as meeting with people about possible fleet contracts.”

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