Terje Waagenes talks about his career in the automobile industry, and gives thought to why humans will always be superior to machines.
Sales Director for Frydenbø Nybil, with an extended brand repsonsibility for Volvo, located in Åsane.
My name is Terje Waagenes and I have worked as a car salesman, sales manager and now Sales Director for Frydenbø Nybil in Bergen for about 9 years. Recently I got an extended brand responsibility for Volvo.
It all started with a summer job in the car industry in 1994, and I have since then had various roles in the industry. As a sales manager, I am responsible for facilitating sales and purchases, as well as collateral results at our car centers. A typical working day for me consists of a number of meetings, whether it is with our car salesmen or the marketing department, where the development and improvement of the customer journey is put in focus.
Working at a car center is first and foremost very nice. Frydenbø is a traditional company, with a firm foundation of good values, which makes it a safe place to be. You get to experience customer contact face to face, and you also get the opportunity to meet a lot of different people. There are many emotions connected to buying a car both in terms of safety and appearance. This is where it's nice to be able to help the customer find out what fits him or her best.
"Frydenbø is a traditional company, with a firm foundation of good values, which makes it a safe place to be"
In our car dealerships the customer is in focus. This is something that naturally effects the work environment and the work ethic in the workplace. Frydenbø's overall values are clearly noticable in all of our employees. They are honest, enthusiastic and responsible both in relation to customers and their collueages. This set of values is something I believe sets the foundation for growth and future opportunities, in combination with a good result, achievement of sub-goals and objectives, and having good strategies for implementation.
"Frydenbø's overall values are clearly noticable in all of our employees. They are honest, enthusiastic and responsible"
As a salesman in the car industry, it is clear to me that we are looking at a changing market, in relation to the growing "sharing economy". Owning a car is not that important for everyone anymore, especially concidering future generations. Cars belong to a product segment that is undergoing drastic change these days, mainly in regards to environmental issues. As a car dealer in Frydenbø, it is very important for us to have a clear environmental profile, and it is especially important that our partners, small and large, also maintain environmental responsibilities. Our customers are concerned about environmental imprints. The importance of us as a cardealership, and Volvo, as one of our suppliers, showing a clear social responsibility is critical for future operations.
A nice story
A while ago, I was having coffe with one of my many good customers, looking at a possible upgrade on his car. The conversation is nice and casual, and we discussed and decided which car, and what color it would be. It is important to mention that selling a car is not just facts about the length and width, shape and color of the car. It is the relation and interaction between the seller and customer that creates lasting friendships and strong long-term relations.
The customer mentions that he has sold Christmas trees from his farm every Christmas, and we discuss farming, tools and machines. The question then arises as to how I am doing. I have a small farm in Alver municipality on Radøy, and he asks if I could imagine buying a few trees as a hobby. I end up buying fifty spruces with an deal for fifty for next year as well. The first fifty are to be planted in May. The customer ends up buying a car, which will be delivered at the same time as my trees.
"We started off as casual aquaintances, and now we have a friendship that I value highly. The moral of the story is that machines have not replaced the fact that humans still like humans better."