CHUNG-Li, Taiwan — At the age of 45, Chen Mei-Hui, a senior Jump Motor (one of Ford Lio Ho dealerships) employee with 12 year's of financial management experience, decided to try something new and venture into sales.
Instead of earning a fixed salary package and staying at a cozy office, Chen now has to spend more than six months every year on trips to visit her customers. After four years of being a salesperson, winning many honours because of her sales achievements, she enjoys her new career life immensely.
"I always like new challenges. Since I'd been working in the finance department for many years, I wanted to be doing something more interactive, and sales is all about getting out of your comfort zone and meeting customers in person. That was something I would love to do."
Despite her later success, the job looked quite different to Chen in the very beginning. With practically zero sales experience and little automotive knowledge, the veteran financial manager sold only two vehicles in her first month on the job.
For someone who was brave enough to have a major career change in her 40s, the idea of quitting seemed far-fetched. Besides using her spare time to learn everything about cars, Chen decided to pick up some sales skills as well as actual combat experience.
One of her peers at a Louis Vuitton retail shop told Chen that she could increase the odds of making a sale by telling her potential customers a true story connected to the product – like the designer's luggage was supposedly the only baggage to survive the sinking of the Titanic.
Inspired by valuable insights from others, Chen sold 132 cars in 2010 – encouraging progress from her 59-car sales in the previous year. The number grew to 137 in 2011, and she sold 17 cars in the first month of 2012.
However, she admits that not every deal went smoothly.
"The key to success is to keep learning, not only from reading or your co-workers, but also to those customers who said no to you," she said, "A salesperson shall be grateful to every customer, no matter if he or she buys the product or not."
Chen believes that her financial background has helped her to maximise the profit for each sale without compromising the customer's satisfaction.
Asked her about any advice for those who have just stepped into sales, Chen said "patience" and "persistence" were the keys.
"Ford is definitely the leader in product design, quality and safety. I am very confident to develop my sales career here," she said, "And like we have four seasons in a year, the market sometimes can be slower, give a bit of time to get used to it, it will be harvest time soon."View All Ford Employee Profiles