For 25 year old Jason Larsen, the chance to formalise 5 years’ worth of experience in vehicle sales was a chance not to be missed. As sales consultant for the family business, Kapiti Cars Limited, Jason is among the first in the country to enrol in MITO’s National Certificate in Sales (Level 3) and is looking forward to seeing the qualification become standard within the industry.
“Previously, there’s been no formal national sales qualification in New Zealand for vehicle sales,” says Jason. “So being one of the first to do such a qualification and have my previous experience recognised really attracted me to the training programme. I don’t think it will be long before it becomes the norm for sales professionals in the industry who want to stand out.”
There’s a lot included in the training programme for everyone in the industry, and I’d thoroughly recommend it.
Jason’s passion for the industry is infectious, and says his favourite part of the whole vehicle selling process is watching the lifecycle of the consumer purchase – which begins when he purchases cars from Japan. “It’s actually something you can be really proud of! To first buy a car in Japan, ship it over here, have it groomed and then see it sitting on the yard is just really cool. Then you sell it to a customer and often see it being driven around the community - the whole process is a real buzz.”
From a business perspective, Jason notes one of the significant aspects of becoming qualified will be his ability to put the consumer’s mind at ease. “When I’m talking to customers, I’ll be able to show them that I’m formally qualified in vehicle sales, which will no doubt add confidence to the purchasing process. They’ll see my National Qualification hanging on the wall and know that they’re dealing with both a reputable business, and reputable salesperson. I anticipate it will help me sell more cars too!”
Comprising three two-day workshops, and on-the-job training, the one year sales qualification covers everything from prospecting through to legislation. However, the information surrounding target markets particularly piqued Jason’s interest. “I found that part extremely relevant to my role. You’re always selling cars so you have to constantly be thinking about your stock levels and learning how to better identify your end user and what they want. Plus, the content surrounding legislation, is something you can never know enough about.”
The workshops provide a perfect forum for interaction with other participants and was a component that Jason drew a lot of value from. “The workshop was set up very well and there was a great mix of consultants – some who had been working in the industry for ten years, others six months. To be able to discuss concepts as a collective and hear everybody’s individual experience, perspective, and opinion, was incredibly worthwhile.”
Jason makes particular mention of the fact he views this qualification as relevant to everyone in the industry – from smaller owner operators to larger franchises. “Even the older hands who have been in the industry for 25 years will find it beneficial,” says Jason. “It’s a great opportunity to refresh your knowledge whilst learning new information and skills. There’s a lot included in the training programme for everyone in the industry, and I’d thoroughly recommend it.”