|Laura Williams from Sinclair Volkswagen Newport (centre) with Sophie Raworth and Moneybarn’s Shamus Hodgson|
Understanding people is a key attribute to being successful in car retail. Laura Williams may have been handed an edge at Sinclair Group four years ago after graduating from Cardiff Metropolitan University with a degree in psychology.
Williams joined Sinclair’s Mercedes-Benz site in Bridgend, originally on an interim basis, but was quickly offered a full-time post after the management team identified her as an individual with significant potential.
|BUSINESS MANAGER OF THE YEAR|
She was transferred to Mercedes-Benz Cardiff as a finance and insurance support assistant.
She trained to be a salesperson under the Smart brand and passed business manager courses with both Mercedes-Benz Finance and Volkswagen Financial Services.
Williams moved to Sinclair’s Volkswagen Newport site as business manager in 2012, where she instantly impressed the group’s leadership with her results and positive contribution to the business.
Williams finished 2013 at 118% of her financial targets, contributing just under £250,000 to the site’s bottom line. This came from finance penetration of 67%, PCP penetration of 56%, service plan penetration of 72% and GAP penetration of 58%, all delivered with a personal style that particularly impressed the auditors.
As well as her role in helping to close sales and add value to the business, Williams has played an active role in keeping the business compliant. The overall F&I strategy is to earn a little from a lot, with absolute transparency at the forefront of the sales process ensuring all customers make an informed buying decision.
Williams also makes the most of the manufacturer support with strong PCP deals, linking them to service plans to help retain customers. As more customers look to transact on the internet, Sinclair has increasingly moved to make finance information available online.
Williams has been central to assessing the impact of different online strategies to ensure customers are aware of the showroom finance opportunities and how they can help make changing a car more affordable.
Also shortlisted: Cameron Baillie (Phoenix Honda); Craig Denholm (Phoenix Honda Glasgow); James McVicker (Corkills Volkswagen)
Previous winners: New category.
Category sponsored by Moneybarn.