Think you’ve got what it takes to be a great salesman? Think it looks easy? Think again. With 500 sales in 938 days, Stephen Mahon gives us an insight into being a supercar superstar.
Less than three years ago, Steve Mahon was working in a hotel. OK, one of Yorkshire’s finest – Rudding Park – but you could be forgiven for wondering how he ended up as a Sales Executive at Redline Specialist Cars.
Q&A with Stephen Mahon
What was your previous job before you started at Redline?
Restaurant Manager at Rudding Park
What made you want to get into the motor industry?
More sociable hours and better pay, if you can believe that! That, and a passion for cars…
What was your first motoring memory?
Being driven to the south of France by my parents in our Citroen BX 16 RS
I don’t even know what that is…. What is your favourite car?
Audi RS6. There is nothing it can’t do, even four-up with the dog and the kitchen sink. Deeply impressive,
So – give us the statistics!
I sold my first 5oo cars in 938 days – the count started on my first day at Redline. The value of the cars? Around £26 million.
What was the first car you ever sold?
A 2014 Nissan GT-R in dark blue. I hadn’t even driven one at that point!
Which car did you break the 500 sales milestone with?
Appropriately, a Fiat 500. Well, it was an Abarth 595C but why let a little detail like that get in the way of a good story.
OK – so what is the most expensive car you have sold at Redline?
A Lamborghini Aventador SV coupe in red. Absolutely stunning and worth every penny of the £410,000.
What sale are you most proud of?
A Lamborghini Huracan, to the same customer who bought the SV. They like a challenge and bought it on the condition that the car was delivered within 48 hours – to Poole in Dorset! I drove through the night to deliver it and still made it back in time for work on Saturday morning. I’m actually heading back down there tomorrow with a third car.
What makes you good at selling supercars?
I guess it’s my background in the hospitality industry. No hard sell, you just talk to people, get on with them and “accidentally” sell them a car at the same time. In hospitality, you always try to find a way to say Yes to your customers – I guess it’s the same in the motor trade. A combative, high-pressure approach doesn’t work for our type of customer – or any customer, in my opinion. That’s not the Redline way.
What have you learned since you’ve been here?
Never judge a book by its cover! We deal with all sorts of different people here and many of them have made a success of themselves doing some weird and wonderful things so we always try to take people at face value.
The personal touch also makes a big difference.
Redline – what are the good points and the bad points of working here?
Good points – the products we sell are the very best, so they kind of sell themselves. We’re never short of enquiries, either.
Bad points – it’s hard work and long hours, but compared to life at a hotel it’s like working part-time! Don’t tell Rob (Milner – managing Director) I said that….
And finally, Steve – what was your reward for hitting the 500 sale mark?
Well, I had hinted that a nice watch was surely just dessert for such an achievement, but all I got was a slap on the back until our Christmas party when I was presented with an amazing Omega Speedmaster watch To be perfectly honest I thought they had forgotten, so it came as quite a surprise!
Be honest – did you get emotional?
Maybe a little….
Well done, Steve. We salute you!