It has been 6 years since we first had an interview with Nguyen Ngoc Quyet after he won the “Best Sales Consultant” title of Volvo in Vietnam in 2017 and the first half of 2018.
After all these years, Quyet still maintains his enthusiasm in every conversation with his customers. As Tet is approaching, people are starting to put their work aside to prepare for the upcoming holidays, but Quyet is still busy with continuous phone calls from customers to advise and arrange vehicle deliveries.
A 7-year journey is not too long, nor is it short for a car salesperson like Quyet. However, it can be said that the period from 2017 to 2024 is a period with many challenges that everyone who has gone through it will never forget, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic (2019-2020) and the economic crisis of the past year (2022-2023).
We had a conversation with Quyet to find out how the best sales consultant of Volvo Vietnam overcame those challenges and achieved 7 consecutive years of top sales.
“There are no lazy people’s footsteps on the road to success”
Congratulations on winning the “Best Sales Consultant” award of Volvo Vietnam in 2023. This is the 7th consecutive year you have received this title. What is the secret behind this?
The secret is actually very simple. I often share with everyone that it is hard work. My father used to tell me a phrase that stuck with me, that on the road to success, there are never the footsteps of lazy people.
The second thing is the love for the product and the brand. Many people ask me why I am still here after 7 years. I have to say that I have to love Volvo and understand Volvo in order to be able to bond with it and convey that love to customers during such a long period of time.
What does “hard work” mean specifically, sir?
First of all, I have to constantly search for customers, open up multiple sales channels, and online marketing combined with traditional sales channels such as showrooms and events.
The phrase “selling cars” sounds simple, but it is actually a combination of many difficult tasks. In the past year, almost every weekend, I had to attend events and meet customers, and I didn’t have any weekends at home with my family.
I also have to spend a lot of time doing online marketing, taking care of everything from websites to Facebook, or shooting many videos to upload on various social media channels. I can say that I can communicate with customers smoothly, but as soon as the camera is pointed at me, I have to redo it many times, which takes a lot of time. Sometimes it’s frustrating, but I have to keep trying.
Finding opportunities in difficulties
2023 was a year of economic decline, people tightened their spending, especially with luxury products like luxury cars. How did you overcome such a challenging year?
I think it was a common challenge, not only in the automotive industry but also in many other industries such as real estate or finance-related jobs. The past year was also difficult for me, similar to the general situation of the market. The sales volume decreased a bit. Therefore, I always had to find different ways to adapt to each situation.
I always value taking care of old customers, including two groups of customers: those who have already purchased a car and those who have shown interest in cars. These are the most potential customer groups. The first group usually buys additional cars, changes cars, or refers other people to buy cars, while the second group has the need but did not want to buy before, and now they decide to buy.
When the market was down, Volvo had many promotions, I could take advantage of that opportunity to text them, call them, and offer those promotions in a subtle way, and they would feel OK to make a purchase. The important thing is that I have to speak and analyze things correctly and convincingly.
In addition to taking care of old customers, I also spread that information through various channels, such as Facebook, TikTok, and the website. I also spent a lot of time creating instructional videos and sharing information with customers.
Of course, I can’t do all of this alone. I always have to make an effort, but besides that, I have many colleagues and friends who support me in my work. Currently, I am the Sales Manager. I have colleagues who can support me in handling procedures, documents, and vehicle registrations. Sometimes when I’m too busy, they can meet customers and deliver vehicles for me. It’s impossible for me to do everything alone.
You are one of the early adopters of Facebook as a sales consultant at Volvo, using it to tell stories about the brand and find customers. After 7 years, how effective do you think this channel is?
In my opinion, Facebook is still effective. This platform is expanding more and more. In the past, I used to write articles to share, but now I also make videos. Short videos (Reels – PV) are an interesting way to reach customers nowadays.
In addition to Facebook, I also run the TikTok channel. It is a new platform that is quite popular and easily accessible to a large audience. At the same time, I still maintain making videos for YouTube and online marketing through websites, running Google Ads. Those are all the online channels that I am currently running.
Using all these platforms, I found that Facebook is still bringing the best business results because I have many long-time friends there, and my page has gained certain credibility. Currently, I have 3 Facebook accounts because each account is limited to 5,000 friends, while the number of followers on my page continues to increase.
“You have to find different approaches to sell cars to Gen Z”
Looking at the entire automobile market, it seems that customers buying cars are getting younger and younger. So have the Volvo customers you have sold cars to in the past 7 years become younger?
Yes, that’s right. In recent years, I have sold Volvo cars to many young people born from the 90s to 2000, and even beyond 2000. The younger generation is very talented. There are young entrepreneurs in the fields of media, information technology, business, and e-commerce.
In general, selling luxury cars and specifically Volvo cars to young customers, especially in the late 90s and early 2000s, or the so-called Gen Z, is it different from middle-aged and older customers?
Each customer has different ways of being taken care of, and I have to be flexible to adapt.
With older customers, sometimes I have to make phone calls and meet them in person instead of texting. I also need to ask more questions, provide more detailed instructions.
With younger customers, around my own age, I usually maintain a relationship by interacting on social media. I can always support them through that interaction. Young people also follow me on social media, so they ask questions directly there. The information exchange through social media is continuous and faster.
Young people today also have a good understanding of the product, more so than the previous generation. They have a lot of knowledge about cars and sometimes even more than me because they research and have experience with various car models. Therefore, I have to have in-depth product knowledge in order to answer the questions that young customers often ask.
In addition to understanding Volvo’s products, I also need to know about the products of other brands. There are many luxury car brands on the market. Many customers buy Volvo after having owned Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Porsche, or Land Rover. The information is now open, and young customers have done extensive research before buying a car. At that time, my job is to convey the differences of the brand. One of them is the minimalist, exquisite, and elegant aspects of the Scandinavian design style.
Furthermore, I actively interact with young customers through daily stories. It could be common interests or a field that both of us are interested in. From there, I can become closer to young customers.
“Keep trying, you never know what might happen…”
Do you remember how many cars you have sold and how many customers have bought cars from you so far?
Frankly, I can’t remember all of them. The number of customers is probably in the hundreds. The number of cars sold is around 400.
I don’t have the habit of counting the number of cars sold. I’m not the kind of person who, for example, if I sell 5 cars this month, I can take some rest the next month. I always think that I need to maintain continuous car sales. It’s like a work routine that has no stopping point.
After 7 years, the automotive market has undergone many changes. Working as a sales consultant throughout that time, how do you feel you have changed compared to the “newbie” selling Volvo cars in the past?
First of all, after 7 years, I have aged. I’m no longer young and feel more mature. Secondly, before working for Volvo, I wasn’t married, but now, I have a wife and two children. That is about my family.
As for work, from a regular sales consultant to team leader and now Sales Manager, there have been certain changes in my job. As I mentioned, now I have colleagues who support me in handling many tasks. At the same time, I now have to organize and plan my work in advance, perhaps about a week ahead of time. Thanks to that, no matter how busy I am, I still try to prioritize the tasks that have been planned in order to complete everything on schedule without overlapping.
For people with determination, they always strive for higher peaks when they achieve certain success. Some people switch from selling common cars to luxury cars, then open their own showrooms. Looking at your impressive sales record over the past 7 years, it can be seen that you are also a person with a strong will. What is your career direction for the future?
In the past 7 years, I have strived from a regular sales consultant to team leader and now Sales Manager. I will continue to strive to improve myself and aim for higher positions, such as Sales Director or who knows, maybe one day I could take on an even bigger role. I still love this job, love Volvo, and the culture here.
Thank you for sharing. I wish you success in realizing your dreams in the future.