Benjamin Kibet has always had a love for cars. While at university, he volunteered at a car yard that was close by, which gave him the opportunity to learn a lot about the business of cars.
Well, his assigned role may have been parking the vehicles in and around the car yard, but this didn’t stop him from diligently watching the yard owner as he dealt with clients. This experience helped him understand the systems he would need to install should he venture into the business someday.
After university, he tried in vain to secure employment and eventually decided to fall back onto the one thing he knew well – cars. He leased a car from a friend and got into the taxi business.
Being in the taxi driver’s seat meant constant interaction with clients where he studied the nuances of forging relationships and customer service. This skill would serve him very well in future ventures.
Soon, he decided to get into the car dealership business, a business he’d long wanted to run and that he now felt confident enough to step into.
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Car dealership entails linking up customers to the second-hand car of their dreams, or whatever car they need at the time. To succeed, Benjamin established networks with car yard owners where they would inform him of the cars available for sale, and he would make contact with potential customers to seal the deal.
Following a successful transaction, he would earn a commission or an agreed upon set amount. Now, he primarily deals with locally used cars but still holds on to the dream of getting into car imports and even one day owning his own car yard.
For further mentorship, The Business Coach linked him up with Kevin Kinyua, the owner of Vina Auto Centre, which offers a variety of services including importation, selling used cars, vehicle financing and a body repair workshop.
Kevin, an expert in the field, shared a few nuggets of wisdom on the business of cars.
1. Offer your clients value-added services
In the car business, one cannot survive if they just offer one service. The owner has to ensure that they cater to different kinds of clientele and various developing needs. For instance, Kevin set up a body repair workshop for his clients who end up having minor or major accidents after purchase.
2. Source for capital from your profits
The car business is sustained by ploughing back profits as capital to grow the business. To ensure that your business enjoys sustained profits, at the core of your services should be great sales delivery and impeccable customer service.
3. Be honest
The car business is marred by fraudsters, so the entrepreneur has to first and foremost earn the trust of potential buyers and be at hand to provide any information they need leading up to the purchase.
[The Business Coach airs on KTN Home every Monday at 7.30pm]