As a Corporate Sales Account Manager, my working day can vary quite considerably dependent upon my diary and travel commitments.
My main responsibility is to source and secure new vehicle sales from corporate and fleet customers, so this means a lot of travelling around the country to visit existing and new clients.
A typical working day for me would look something close to the below:
6am – Up and straight out with the family dog Polo! This is the most important part of the day for me as it allows me the time to think, plan my workday and the objectives I wish to achieve, whilst also getting some fresh air and exercise!
6:30am – Coffee! I would like to say that I also eat a healthy breakfast but normally I settle for just the coffee before hitting the road. I also normally review my emails over my coffee and make a note of any catch-up calls I might need to make during the day.
7am-7:30am – I head out for the day which will generally consist of visiting an existing customer or a potential new one. Plus, where possible and dependent on where I am in the world, I always try to work in a quick hello to one of our corporate dealers. If I turn up with a bag of doughnuts then I am always guaranteed a coffee. I always make the effort to call my colleagues and contacts regularly to catch up on any news, any developments or opportunities I can take advantage of. My relationships with my colleagues and customers are extremely important to me and this benefits us all to ensure we all work well together. Whilst I pride myself on professionalism and representing the brand, I am very personable and make the effort to go the extra mile – it is always worth it.
10am-12 noon – Arrived at my destination.
Before a meeting with a potential new customer, I always make sure that I do some homework on their business beforehand, so that I have some level of understand of what they do and what challenges they may have. That said, the initial meeting is still treated as a fact finding exercise. I listen to what they have to say; find out what they require and try to find a way that I can help to make their life easier. The aim is that by the end of the meeting I will have added some value and possible alternative solutions. With an existing customer I always consult with our corporate administration hubs prior to my visit to check what their experience has been like in dealing with this customer and to make sure there have been no particular issues. This is to make sure that I don’t arrive unprepared! Nobody likes to turn up to a meeting and start off on the wrong foot because you weren’t aware of certain aspects of the business…we say knowledge is power and it definitely is! My customers are brilliant and I appreciate all the business that we receive from them. We look after them and go the extra mile to ensure they feel appreciated and that they can always rely on us to offer a great service. My question is a little boring but it gets a laugh and works – well most of the time…… “So, how many more units can sell to you this year? It’s got to beat our sales last year!”
12pm-1pm – I will try to grab some lunch and if possible I might try to make this time with my colleagues or my customer. More often however, it ends up being a sandwich on route to my next meeting or if I’m feeling particularly healthy or a holiday is looming then I’ll skip the sandwich and make do with some fruit! I also like to try to get some exercise at lunchtime if possible as this helps me to gather my thoughts and re-energise for the afternoon.
1pm-4pm– more customer visits before heading back on the road towards home. More coffee is usually needed at this point! If possible I will try to find time to catch up on some admin whilst I am on the road, checking for any calls and emails that I know I will need to respond to the same day. Not whilst I’m driving though, the rest I will leave until I get home.
6pm-6:30pm– I try to be home at a reasonable time, so that I can catch up with the day. I will look at any emails, news etc. and respond. I also make my plans for the rest of the working week which will invariably change day to day!
7pm – Another walk with the dog before dinner, this time to wind down and reflect on the days discussions and where they may lead.
8pm – Will normally be dinner time and a cheeky glass of red wine. I will chat with my husband about our day and as he also works in the automotive industry, we will no doubt engage in conversation about what is going on in the industry! The kids might join us for dinner occasionally which is always lovely but for some reason they never offer to cook or do the clearing up!
10pm – I would love to say I am a night owl and spend time relaxing in front of a documentary or reading but unfortunately after dinner and wine I am normally struggling to keep my eyes open beyond 10pm and will succumb to falling into bed before another day is upon us!
My working hours are completely flexible. They need to be to meet the demands of the role and will always be subject to change. I spend a lot of time travelling so this also will affect my working day quite considerably. I love the variety and flexibility of my role and it is my key driver in terms of motivation. Luckily, I don’t have any commitments which dictate my working hours so I can adapt.
Even though some mornings, particular dark, cold, winter ones I don’t feel like it, I always get up, get dressed and go straight out for a walk with our dog. I always feel better, brighter and more energised
when I return and ready for the day ahead.
Like many of my colleagues, I am at the mercy of our motorway network most days. Obviously, this presents its challenges, but I also have the opportunity to work from home, so you have to take the good with the bad! I do travel long distances to reach all of my colleagues and customers but this is something I have always done so it is second nature to me and I believe it is well worth the effort to build and maintain very successful relationships.
On my lunch break, I use this as an opportunity to take a breather, try to get some exercise by catching up with any voicemails and making calls on the move – it’s amazing how many steps you can achieve!!
As my children have now left the family home, in the evening my husband and I might go for a walk, which I will admit normally includes popping into our local for refreshments. Or we may just have a quiet evening at home. My husband is a better cook than me, so it gives me an excuse to relax and watch him do the hard work! I try to visit my family a couple of times during the week too as they don’t live close to me. I will take my mum out for a bite to eat or just have a chat over a cuppa.
Although my kids don’t live at home anymore, I like to spend time with them and surprisingly them with me. My daughter has recently bought a new home which she is renovating, so inevitably I have been
volunteered to assist. I was hoping that this would be in a supervisory capacity and for design advice. So far, I have been disappointed!!
I have worked in the automotive industry for most of my working life, as a Fleet Manager in dealerships; a stint in the leasing world before going back into a multi-franchise sales role, which is what I believe I know best. Since being in my role, I have learnt that confidence does not mean arrogance. I know my job very well and this is something I should be proud of. I have learnt to share my knowledge to encourage best practice in others around me. I work on an even playing field with all my colleagues. There is no agenda other than to succeed and see my colleagues and in turn our business do the same.