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The art of empathy

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#EXCELLENCE
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Cici Li, Digital Sales Consultant, Porsche Centre Hangzhou Westlake

At Jebsen, people call me “Damei.” It means big beauty. Since joining Porsche Centre Hangzhou Westlake in 2016 as a Digital Sales Consultant, this homegrown name has evolved meaningfully today to refer not to me as a person, but importantly, to the satisfaction happy customers take away from my work.

Taking on a career mostly dominated by men, and one regarded as a highly aggressive environment, would seem to be a choice that goes against my character. For a woman perceived as shy and demure, Sales is probably the last career you would associate with me. But I had a penchant for relating to people and helping them—an important trait in any business that requires customer interaction. Beyond my quiet appearance, Jebsen focused on my strengths and saw in me a big potential to make a difference in the lives of its customers. 

I soon translated this trust to fully demonstrating Jebsen’s customer first philosophy. I believe in a personal approach to selling—one completely different from the traditional extroverted way. I like to listen before I talk. From the moment I receive online inquiries from customers, through the entire sales process, I imagine myself in their shoes—what questions would I want answered? What information would address my concerns? What would make the car-buying experience perfect for me? Much like when I am doing my paintings at home or taking a scenic photograph, there is an art to customer service that disciplines me to step back, observe, and explore the best way to achieve the most beautiful outcome.

This introspective disposition, though not typical for a salesperson, enables me to stay attuned to what customers want, and to deliver it to them before they even ask.

I have practised this sense of empathy many times in my job. It helps me acknowledge the differences in the customers I encounter and understand their varying needs. One time a customer wanted to join a Jebsen social activity, but did not want to go alone. I volunteered to accompany him, not to make a great impression, but because I knew that If I were in his shoes I would appreciate the company of someone who could make me feel comfortable too.

Every time a customer calls, even outside work hours or while I am on vacation, I take pleasure in becoming part of the solution to a top priority issue for them. I see these efforts as adding value to the lives of customers, and I am glad that my family supports my beliefs. Moreover, satisfied customers reward us not only with a wonderful feeling of being of service, but also with business opportunities to connect with even more customers through referrals. For me personally, many clients have become friends over the years.

Yes, I may not appear like your typical salesperson, and that is perfectly understandable. I am thankful for the opportunity to demonstrate, through my work, that anyone can create big and beautiful customer experiences, the kind that truly leaves a mark in people’s lives.

Cici Li is the winner of the Jebsen Motors Award – Sales Award, 2017

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