Introducing James Lonergan, Trainee Business Centre Sales Executive

On Tuesday 1st December 2015, Snows Toyota Southampton welcomed James Lonergan, a new Business Centre Sales Executive training under the direction of mentor Ali Rutt, who has been at Snows for over a decade.

Throughout 2016, we’ll be following James on his journey as he learns the tools and tricks to be a master of the trade. With Ali’s guidance, James will discover what it takes to be a Business Centre Sales Executive here at Snows, and we’ll get an exclusive insight into how he responds to each stage of the process.

In this, our inaugural post, find out more about what makes James tick and how he came to work at Snows Toyota Southampton.

James studied Business, Economics, Maths, and Sociology at Barton Peveril College before starting to work at Samsons Gym – named of course after the Biblical character blessed with superhuman strength. James had already been a regular gym goer, and as he worked his way up to Assistant Manager he realised that he had a great set of interpersonal skills; he enjoyed working in a customer-facing environment and alongside the public.

It was the discovery of these skills which encouraged James to start researching sales careers, and during this process he found out about the business side of things. He realised that he could be a great asset in B2B communications, but wanted to gain some valuable experience as well as enjoy himself before settling into a new role, so he spent five months living in Ibiza taking part in promotional work (and having a good time whilst doing so!).

James realised he might be cut out for a career in sales due to his friendly smile and interpersonal skills

After an amazing time abroad, he came home and started searching for jobs online, and it was here that he found the opportunity with us at Snows. He applied and was invited to an interview where he talked about his experiences and employment history. This was a success, and he was invited to a second interview where he had to present to Business Centre Manager Ali Rutt and General Sales Manager Marcus Gaffney on what interested him about Toyota.

James did some more research, and decided that he’d present about hybrid cars and the impact these have on corporate costs. Hybrid vehicles, those which utilise a combination of an electric motor and an internal combustion (petrol or diesel) engine, are becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. Not only are they better for the environment (and therefore for your pocket; many hybrid cars come with little or no road tax), but hybrid cars often come with the advantage of increased fuel economy and a regenerative braking system, meaning that the excess energy generated when you apply the brake helps to recharge the battery a little, rather than being wasted. As ever in line with customer demand, Toyota has a range of hybrid models available to choose from, whether it’s the Yaris or the new RAV4, which is available to order at Snows Toyota dealerships now. You can take a look here to discover more about Toyota hybrid.

The new Toyota RAV4 hybrid is sure to impress wherever it goes

The presentation was a success, and James was offered the position of Trainee Business Centre Sales Executive. He had just under two weeks to prepare himself before starting, and spent this time replacing the Ibiza and gym clothes with a whole new professional wardrobe, as well as brushing up on his knowledge about Toyota UK.

When we caught up with James in December, he’d been in the business for just over a fortnight, and already his expectations about the role had been subverted! Initially, he thought that he’d learn selling technique straight away, before going on to develop a knowledge of the product, but he soon learned that the process would be much longer than this. He’s been overloaded with information about the product, legalities, finance, and more, but he’s glad that he’s in a role where he’s gaining so much knowledge. James described the experience as a learning curve, and he’s glad to be working under such an experienced mentor like Ali; he’s confident that the Business Centre Manager will prepare him well for what’s ahead – whatever that may be!

At the moment, James feels he can’t answer when his friends ask him what the new role is like, because he’s not sure he really knows yet. The road to becoming a Business Centre Sales Executive is a long one because we want to ensure our customers receive the very best service. For the time being, James is enjoying gaining experience and he’s looking forward to the next stages of his training. We’ll catch up with him in a few months to find out where he’s got to, but for now, we wish him all the best of luck!


Posted on 07/01/2016 by Snows in Snows Motor Group, Toyota with no comments