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Going Back to Basics

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Victor Zhang - General Manager, Porsche Centre Shenzhen Longgang and Futian

People often ask me the secret to building a top-notch dealership. As General Manager for Jebsen Motors’ Porsche Centre Shenzhen Longgang and Futian, you could say that I have a solid track record: In 2015, I led the Porsche Centre Beijing Goldenport to win the Dealer of the Year award in Porsche China’s 2015 nationwide dealership ranking. When I moved to Porsche Centre Shenzhen Longgang in 2016, we won the Dealer of the Year award again, taking the top place after being only in the ninth place the previous year.

My answer every time is that there is no secret. Most people are skeptical of this response, but it is true: our success has nothing to do with any complicated model or magical formula. It really all boils down to a simple, unofficial work philosophy – “Going Back to Basics.”

We have three locations in Shenzhen – a 4S Centre in Longgang, and a showroom and a service centre in Futian. There are 180 people working across these locations. How do I ensure that every member of such a big team are performing? I go back to basics. Is the space clean? Are we greeting customers in a courteous and helpful manner? Are we listening to our customers and do we understand what they need? I believe that if we strive for excellence in even the smallest details, results will automatically follow.

The beauty of the philosophy of going back to basics is that it is simple, but extremely versatile. Not only does it help us ensure a seamless customer experience, the attitude of paying attention to the small things applies when it comes to managing teams.

What makes our team members want to wake up each morning and come to work? Do they enjoy working with one another? How can I help them solve problems at work? As their leader, these are just some of the questions that I regularly ask myself. It’s a very basic act of putting myself in the shoes of our team members, but it helps me understand their perspectives and take concrete actions to address their needs.

For example, one of our regular after-work activities is playing football and basketball together. We even have an informal competition every year!  Though sports are not directly related to our jobs, they provide a great platform for us to have fun together, get to know one another and learn to cooperate. The team spirit that we build at our ball games spill over to our work at the dealership, and the results are amazing.

I suppose when people ask me about my secret to success, they are hoping that there is some kind of shortcut. But really, this is all there is to it: aim for excellence in every aspect of your job, no matter how small, and you will eventually see big results. Jebsen is a place where this philosophy works, because we are constantly provided with tools and resources to help us do the best we can. Will we be number one again in 2017? No one knows for sure. But when I look at my team and the support available to us, I feel optimistic!

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