24 Jan 2018 | 08.59 am
Interview: Mark Dennis, HB Dennis
A good salesperson never promises more than they can deliver
24 Jan 2018 | 08.59 am
Mark Dennis of HB Dennis Leasing tells Conor Morris that good sales people are usually those who are in sales for the long term
Mark Dennis, managing director of HB Dennis Leasing, has been in the vehicle leasing business for over 30 years. After working with PWC as a chartered accountant, he set up motor dealerships for Opel, Suzuki and Fiat/Alfa. HB Dennis has grown to be one of Ireland’s largest lease and fleet management companies.
What was your most memorable job?
For four years in the early 1980s I worked in Galway auditing a major multinational over an eight-week period. Galway in the summer was a great place to be and the audit always ended before the Galway Races started. Our audit group then attended Ballybrit with the client — great times.
What do you enjoy about sales?
We have a great team in HB Dennis Leasing and I enjoy the camaraderie and team spirit that brings. There is no better feeling than the whole team getting together to achieve a client win or to add improvements to a client’s fleet.
What makes a high-performance salesperson?
Someone who is in sales for the long-term. One-off deals tend not to be profitable and a good salesperson will have the client’s interests at heart and will increase sales from this. It’s also essential to ask for the sale after you’ve pitched. In addition, never promise more than you can deliver.
How have you made HB Dennis Leasing more successful as a sales organisation?
We have always emphasised that it’s our service which differentiates us. We try to go the extra mile, whether it’s out of hours deliveries or help with personal car choices. Our ability to help clients on an individual basis helps cement the relationship. LinkedIn, Google ads and increased website investment is paying off as more business is being generated from digital leads. This will be increasing relevant going forward.
How have customers changed over the past few years?
Our customers now need more flexibility in their leasing and service arrangements. We provide this with solutions to their needs, whether this involves restructuring lease periods, providing storage facilities when positions are unfilled or rolling costs to meet budget targets.
What impact is technology having on sales process and performance?
Technology has changed everything in the vehicle leasing and fleet management business. Our job is to refine the information and present to clients in a useful and meaningful way. Motor vehicles are now effectively mobile offices with on board communications and WiFi, and our job is to enable the operation of this in the most cost effective and meaningful way.
How do you teach your team to sell?
We emphasise that the customer is king and we should provide what they want, not what we want them to have. Any sale must be good for both sides: the customer must be satisfied they have secured fair value and confidence in our service back-up, and we must achieve an acceptable margin.
What makes a good sales leader?
Someone who can make a decision and see it through. We pride ourselves in HBDL in being able to adapt quickly to our clients’ needs and to be flexible enough to make their transport needs as cost effective and efficient as possible.
What’s your opinion of The Sales Institute?
The Sales Institute is a great forum for keeping up to date with changes in sales processes. It is also the best networking forum we have experienced and the sales courses our staff have attended have been excellent.