DEARBORN – Celebrating vehicle knowledge and the ability to use it effectively lies at the heart of the World Cup Sales Excellence competition sponsored by Ford Export and Growth (E&G).
The Vehicle Walk-Around Challenge recognizes and rewards the best sales consultants in E&G’s dealer network. Challenge participants compete first at their local dealership, demonstrating their knowledge of and ability to present the Ford Focus or Ranger to potential customers. Local winners then competed regionally, with winners at that level earning a trip to this month’s World Cup Finals in Dearborn.
Nadia Lamris of Al Tayer Motors in the United Arab Emirates and Tania Mauricio of Nacional Automotriz NASA in Costa Rica tied for first place. Third place honors went to Blaine Moze of McEnearney Motors in Trinidad, who also finished third in 2008. Both Lamris and Mauricio expressed happiness at their victory.
Competing sales consultants first had to achieve core professional level certification. For the competition, they had to know the key marketing messages and how to relate them to customers.
The idea is to connect with the customer on a personal level, so, for example, rather than presenting key vehicle features as technological marvels, competitors were judged on their ability to relate those features to their customer’s lifestyle. They were also judged on how well they established a rapport with the customer, drew out what was important to them and then customized their presentation.
Judges also looked for how well the competitors familiarized would-be customers with Focus’ and Ranger’s quality, green, safe and smart design elements.
“We want to see how well our sales consultants make the features and benefits come alive for our customers,” said Sheri Schaecher, marketing manager. “We’re also interested in how familiar they are with the Ford Story and how they share it with their customers.”
While in Dearborn competitors also participated in a ride-and-drive at the Ford test track and toured the Ford Rouge plant. Irene Mafuleka of CFAO Malawi said the visit to track helped increase her connection to Ford. “I felt a connection to Ford, and even if we don’t sell all the vehicles in market, I get to talk about how great Ford is.”
That connection to Ford is also important to Satish Sarath, the sales manager at Al Tayer Motors, who said his first trip to the World Cup, in 2008, ignited a passion to support the Ford brand, and that passion grows whenever he returns.
The Rouge tour also helped cement the connection between the sales consultants and Ford. “It was great to see the vehicle built that I sell every day,” said Alan Chang of Triple J Ford in Guam.
Ford Export and Growth provides multiple services and support to dealers and distributors in four regions – Ford Middle East, Caribbean and Central America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia-Pacific.