This month, we’re heading over to Tetbury Audi to meet Local Business Development Manager, Alun Bendle.
How long have you worked for Inchcape, Alun?
I’ve been here for just under three years now. I chose Inchcape because I’ve always worked for Sunday Times Top 10 Companies, and I wanted to do the same when moving into the automotive industry.
Tell us about your career journey and how you arrived at your current position.
I started out as a trainee Sales Executive and worked my way up to an Accredited New Car Sales Executive in just under 12 months. Shortly after that, I completed additional courses to become, first a Sport, and then an Audi E-tron Expert, and then about a year ago, I became a Motability specialist as well.
Three months ago, I was given the opportunity to take on the role as Tetbury Audi’s Local Business Development Manager (LBDM) and I’m enjoying it very much so far.
You mentioned you’re an Audi Motability specialist. Could you tell us more about Audi’s scheme?
We have a great premium product, and our Motability customers want to be able to drive it too. From as little as no upfront payment, Motability customers can drive away in a brand new Audi, which is fully maintained and insured through the Motability scheme, and get another new one every three years.
The key to being a great Motability Specialist is to offer customers the premium service you would expect from Audi, and ensure the car they are looking at fully meets their needs and requirements. We also do all the paperwork and applications for the customer to make the experience as easy and stress-free as possible.
What does a typical working day look like for you as a Local Business Development Manager?
As an LBDM, you have to plan your week quite far in advance, so at first glance it can look very structured. In reality, however, no two days are the same, and there can be so many things thrown at you during one day that it can end up looking nothing like you expected.
Although there is quite a bit of administration, the majority of the day can be filled with visiting clients at their business, or meeting customers in the showroom. It’s all about going through with customers what they desire and what they need, and then marrying the two together by linking the features and benefits of our Audi cars. It’s selling them the Audi dream the Inchcape way.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love doing handovers. It’s easy for us to forget that picking up a new car is not an everyday experience for customers – it’s special. It can represent years of hard work and saving, especially if it’s their first new car because it can be like a dream coming true.
A handover is a chance to share that experience with them and make it as memorable as possible with a bit of flair and attention. For me, it’s a really rewarding and enjoyable aspect of my role.
What’s the secret to being a great Local Business Development Manager?
Audi literally means “Listen” in Latin, and that is the key to success when it comes to being a great LBDM. You have to be able to listen and ask the right questions to best understand the customer and their needs. Mix in prioritisation skills and a pinch of organisation, and you are well on your way!
As you work in an Audi dealership, what’s your favourite model?
I have three young sons, so my favourite model is both practical and luxurious: the Audi Q7 40 TDI Quattro Black Edition.
In your opinion, what’s the best thing about working in the automotive industry?
When I started out here, I was new to the industry and I had no idea how much actually goes on behind the scenes, so it’s been great to explore the intricacies of it.
Personally, for me, the best thing about working in the automotive industry is specific to working for Inchcape. Their fantastic employee car offers mean me and my wife get to drive around in a new car every 6 months – we feel very spoilt!
And finally, Alun, if you could have any car in the world, what would it be?
It’s a really sad answer, but being but a bit of a Star Trek fan I have always wanted a Chrysler Voyager. Other trekkies will understand.