It's not often that you come across a female Dealer Principal, but when you do, you can be sure they are of the highest level of professionalism and damn good at their job.
Susan Butler is no exception. Starting her career after completing double degrees in Social Sciences and Business Management, she embarked on a graduate program with BMW, intending to follow a career in Human Resources. There she discovered, to her horror, that part of the graduate program included a stint on the showroom floor selling cars. But rather than toss in the towel, Susan discovered the joy of selling luxury cars to a point where she could not wait to get back to work after the weekend. "I literally couldn't wait to get back to work on a Monday morning. It was a career I never imagined, but I was addicted and have loved the whole sales process ever since then."
Susan is one the the few female automotive Dealer Principals in Australia. After a successful career with both BMW and Porsche she has now joined Mercedes-Benz Toorak at this blue chip location.
"Working in automotive sales is a fantastic career and I am surprised that more women aren't aware of the benefits that are on offer. As far as a career choice, most girls don't even think about automotive sales as a career - and I think that needs to change as they don't know what they are missing out on. Car sales can be hard, particularly for the first few years, but if you can stick with it you will have a long term career with fantastic rewards."
Susan's tips of the trade? "I recommend the tried and true old fashioned methods as they still work today. Build a database, a referral base, send out Christmas cards. Building relationships with your customers pays off. Work hard at these relationships and turn your customers into advocates and friends. I think to succeed in automotive sales you also need to be self-motivated and able to set your own goals and challenges to get better at what you do.
Automotive sales people need to be proud of their profession. Self-image is the most important thing of all; you need to build your own personal brand. For women considering a career in automotive, my advice would be - do not be dissuaded by the Industry's male dominated reputation. Selling cars is highly rewarding and enjoyable, which can lead to an amazing career path for both women and men."