Being Steady Whilst Flexible: A Winning Sales Combination

Peter Lu – Deputy General Manager, Porsche Centre Shanghai Puxi, Jebsen Motors

Geminis are known to have a double personality. Since joining Jebsen Motors 14 years ago, I have become more and more aware of the value of my seemingly conflicting personality in my work. I find that if used properly, this contradiction can give people a chance to shine, particularly in the sales industry.

While I am fond of change, I am also very persistent. Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? Before joining Jebsen I was working at another 4S car brand and I loved my job there, and wouldn’t have thought then about leaving it. But when my supervisor there mentioned opportunities with the higher-end Jebsen Motors, I was ultimately drawn to the challenge. I also wanted to learn to be more flexible in handling different tasks. I boldly accepted my supervisor’s recommendation, and after three rounds of interviews, I became part of the Porsche team.

Once I decide on something, I persevere in pursuing it. This determination is something I believe has been cultivated in me throughout childhood. It also explains why I enjoy long-distance swimming—it’s one of those exercises that teaches you to persist.

This never-give-up attitude permeates my job as Deputy General Manager of Porsche Centre Shanghai Puxi, where I am responsible for the entire centre’s operation and management. Porsche’s unique selling proposition is fulfilling the customers’ need for personalisation and customisation. To help the General Manager achieve annual sales and profit targets, I need to commit to the endurance race that characterises this hugely customer-oriented work.

I remember a super VIP customer back in 2014 who requested to customise a 911 Turbo S Cabriolet. His requirements were far beyond the conventional configuration options, and even the customer himself was not even sure that his request was feasible.

The customer’s demand was indeed a challenge, but it wasn’t a mission impossible. With the help of Porsche China Headquarters, I was able to get in touch with the head of Porsche’s German sports car production department, and a unique and custom-made 911 Turbo S Cabriolet—the one exactly requested by the customer—came to life after a year of negotiation and effort.

At that moment, I was extremely excited for having broken through the routine. An even bigger achievement: the customer was very happy about his dream-come-true sports car.

This is just one of those work experiences that made me grateful for my dual personality, and my habit of persevering while aiming to chart new frontiers. Day to day, I am able to keep improving business performance using solutions we’re familiar with, while also encouraging my colleagues to learn and try new things as we deliver highly personalised Porsche custom features to customers.

We’ll need this flexibility to respond to rapidly changing market needs. Today’s auto market has become increasingly competitive, with the rise in number of authorised sales outlets, and traditional customers preferring to purchase cars in at 4S centres. What’s more, the new coronavirus pandemic has impacted the entire industry. Then again, I find that changes like these make us stronger, and right now our priority is to work together to achieve a healthy balance in our operations, and overcome these challenges together as a company.

Besides swimming, I also enjoy the quieter pastime of music. Music allows my mind to relax after a serious and intense day of wading through work challenges. In the same spirit, my double personality is also reflected in my management style. I can be serious and strict especially when evaluating employee performance, but I can also be a friend who just loves to communicate with my people. This combination of firm and relaxed management styles has created a cohesive and powerful team. Outside my team, I am fortunate to have also met many outstanding colleagues at Jebsen. Everyone shares the same goal and are growing through diverse challenges.

I remember looking forward to joining Jebsen Motors when I was 26 years old. Today, I am 40 years old, and am still full of the same energy I felt back then. I’ve witnessed firsthand how the Jebsen Group has sustained its heritage of excellence. The Porsche brand has achieved brilliant growth across China in the last decade, and I am proud to have been part of this achievement. For all of these wonderful opportunities over the years, and more, I am grateful.