At Ridgeway Volkswagen we‘re always on the lookout for fresh new talent, two of the newest and most technologically savvy additions to Reading are Zak Khan, who joined in January 2015, and Daniel Zimber, who arrived in January of this year. Having both stood out at Ridgeway talent evenings, we sat them down to find out more.
Hi Zak. Why did you decide to attend a Ridgeway talent evening?
After leaving university, I joined the Tesco Graduate Scheme. However, I couldn’t see myself working at Tesco for the rest of my life, and to fund my studies at university I’d been buying and selling used cars on the side, so I decided to start trading myself. After a year and a half I had a bit of a lull, so when I saw the advert I decided to send over my CV, and it went from there.
Were you able to utilise those sales skills?
For the first few days I was shadowing people, but I almost encouraged the management team to throw me in at the deep end, and that way I learnt everything very quickly. What I really like is how mobile we are - the ability to use our iPads to configure and show content to customers through desk screens or TVs is really exciting, it is a really great experience for customers.
Do you have a particular highlight from your time
It’s been great. In my first three months I won a sales incentive to go to Madrid, and I also went to Portugal recently for the Tiguan launch, where we got to get behind the wheel of what I think is a really refined SUV, so we’re really well looked after.
And finally, what do you like to get up to when you’re not in the retailer?
My family own an Indian restaurant, so when I’m
not here I tend to be working there, which I do
about three nights a week. I enjoy it, and I get to
meet a wide variety of people. It’s again customer
facing, which helps me here, and likewise sitting
here with people face to face helps me there as
well. You build a different type of rapport, but it’s
Hi Daniel. How has your new role gone so far?
It was a bit of a learning curve initially. I started out doing a bit of driving because one of our drivers was ill, which definitely helped because it meant I learnt a great deal about the vehicles we sell. About a month after I’d started, I was sitting down with customers and selling cars. It was a bit of a shock, but I think it was the best way to learn, and it’s been great since .
So, how did you first hear about the Ridgeway talent evening?
It was when I was working as an admin assistant and also as a day labourer. I saw an advert, and I went along to one of the evenings after work. It was more of a team building session, getting to know us, and very different to any other interview I’d been in. They want to test you, and see whether your personality would be a good fit. It was all good fun. Did you learn anything new about Ridgeway or Volkswagen from that evening? I learnt that I’d be cared about as an employee here, which has been proven right. It was quite apparent that it was somewhere I wanted to work, because of the way the group treats its employees.
On the Volkswagen side, I’m excited about CarNet
and what’s coming up. The cars are going to be
able to do so much more over the next few years,
it’s an exciting time to be in the motor industry.
What made you decide to be a sales executive?
My father worked in sales and I’ve wanted to do the same ever since I was small. I’m very much a people person. It’s fast paced, it’s a good environment, and I’m really glad I took the chance!
So you enjoy being on the customer facing side of the business?
I do. I did a lot of drama when I was growing up,
and I like talking to people because everybody is
different. When I’m selling someone a car, it’s not
just a pure business transaction, it’s a relationship,
and these are people that you will hopefully take
care of for a while. I’m a big believer in treating
others as I’d expect to be treated, which is what
my father drummed in to me from a young age.