Getting There With Hard Work

Freddy Zhang – Pre-owned Car Manager, Jebsen Motors

The business of selling pre-owned cars conjures up a certain image: profit-driven, zealous salespeople who anchor their success around charisma and master selling tactics. This misconception makes me smile for two reasons. One, that cannot be farther from the truth; and two, it makes me ever so grateful for the down-to-earth, value-driven team I have the privilege of working with in the Pre-owned Car department at Jebsen Motors.

When I completed my Jebsen Trainee programme at Jebsen in 2017, I was given the opportunity to select the business line I wanted to continue working in. Being a Porsche fan, it was easy for me to pick Jebsen Motors, but choosing functional department took a little more introspection. I knew that Marketing, CRM and other communication-intense roles were outside of my comfort zone. In the end, I elected to join the pre-owned car team, attracted to the opportunity of developing what was then a brand new scope of business to me under Jebsen Motors.

Running a well-oiled pre-owned car business is a seriously extensive process. When we take in used cars – from Porsche or other brands – we must go through a thorough assessment and examination to determine the intake price and target reselling price for the car. We would then secure price approval with the customer and management, before refurbishing the car for display and getting it ready for sale. At the heart of this process is creating tangible value: for the sellers who trust us to offer them a fair price, for the customers wishing to purchase a high-quality used car, and for our company as well.

My initial days in the pre-owned car department right away taught me to focus on achieving measurable results. The challenging monthly sales target set by the company motivated me to pursue little goals that drive significant impact. I immersed myself in learning about the business, working closely with my manager to accelerate our department’s growth.

Selling the newly appraised car is a different process altogether. It is a fresh new round of patience, energy, and professional care, from approaching interested customers, facilitating the contract-signing to completing internal correspondences, GM approval and transfer confirmation. To us, though, it is not only about closing the sale. My team and I spend a lot of time getting to know our customers and understanding what they need. Like friends who give one another authentic, helpful opinions, we offer customers objective advice regarding their options, intently giving them the information they need to make the right decision.

As I grew into my role, I was given increasing independence in looking after the department. Nowadays, I am responsible for our operations, and am the key player driving our excellence performance as a team. Though my work is more stressful than ever, I am energised by the chance to share my knowledge with my team, and inspire them to stay focused on delivering value.

In 2019, our team ranked 5th among more than 85 Porsche Centres in Chinese mainland for national sales performance of pre-owned cars; in the subsequent years, we rose to 2nd.  Looking back on this journey, I am ever convinced that good, old-fashioned hard work is the main driver of the success we have experienced so far. In this team, everybody must buckle down and do the work. There are no tricks nor shortcuts to it.

Faced with greater responsibilities ahead, I look forward to overcoming more challenges, developing my communication and people management skills, and unlocking my full leadership potential, all with that same unflinching, diligent spirit that has shaped and brought me here today.