It’s not about hard selling. Not any more.
Spend an hour or two with Ken Choo at London’s Bentley dealership Jack Barclay — flagship of the countrywide HR Owen network of 15 luxury car dealerships — and you’ll soon learn that the process that delivers prestige cars into the hands of new owners no longer involves old-style persuasion.
Neither do Choo and his team want it that way. They’re well aware that today’s luxury car buyers arrive with a pretty good idea of what they want (having usually done prior research online) and they have an even clearer view of how they want to be treated. Dealers are for helping them realise their dreams and emphatically not for coercing them into unwanted actions.
“We won’t chase people,” says Choo. “Instead, we create events and opportunities they want to join. We had 500 guests at the recent Geneva motor show and they tell us they had a great time. This kind of thing gives us opportunities to know our customers and understand what they want. There’s a lot of trust and goodwill in this business nowadays, or should be. It’s founded on continuity, not one-time profits.”