Get ready next instalment of Inchcape Introduces; your exclusive insight into employee life at Inchcape. You can find all of the other interviews in the News section of our blog. This month, we’re catching up with National Key Account Manager, Sarah Carlton.
How long have you worked for Inchcape, Sarah?
I have worked for the Inchcape Group for 7 years now.
Talk us through your career journey, and tell us how you arrived in your current position.
Previously, I was studying to be a Midwife, but I decided to swap delivering babies for cars!
I started out at Volkswagen Cheltenham in August 2012, which was my first role in automotive retail sales. After a year, I went on to become a Business Manager for 6 months before a Local Business Development Manager position came up in Fleet. The job was perfect for me as could use my previous skills to grow the business and tailor the role.
I was in that role for nearly 4 years, then I was ready for a fresh challenge, and that led me to my current position. Working across multiple brands, as opposed to just one, has increased my scope of knowledge, and previous customers can now come to me about more than one brand, which is great.
Describe what your role involves on a day-to-day basis.
My role is very varied, and no two days are ever the same. My duties involve visiting potential clients to discuss their new fleet policy, discussing availability on new and current models, building relationships with the OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and funders and putting together a fleet list for a new or existing customer.
I spend a lot of time planning events for customers to attend, and contact new and current customers to ensure that their requirements are being met. Being clued up on our brand partners is also an essential part of my job, so I dedicate time to continually learn about the 11 manufacturers I represent.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy travelling across the country and meeting new and current customers. I like learning about their businesses, and working to grow a long-lasting relationship with them.
What’s the secret to being a great National Key Account Manager?
I would say discipline. You need to be precise and informative as you are the customer’s first port of call. Excellent customer service skills are also necessary; I fully believe that if you provide those, you can ensure the customer journey is seamless.
What is your proudest achievement in your role to date?
For me, every day is an achievement and a step closer to the goal of ensuring that customers keep coming back because they like the way that I look after them and meet their needs.
What do you think is the best thing about working in the automotive industry?
I enjoy seeing how the manufacturers are adapting to meet global demands, and I like that this industry facilitates the growth and development of good relationships with customers.
Last but not least, Sarah, if you could have any car in the world, what would it be?
A Bugatti Veyron.