Open Networking and Canapés at Lookers Citroën
You just never know who you are going to meet at a Networking event. As I made my way into the car showroom via a side entrance, one of the showroom sales men stopped me and asked me to remove my shades. I could see the registration desk on the far side of the showroom – so why was I being stopped? Then the penny dropped and I recognised ‘Steve Walmsley’ or Whammer! We grew up together is the same neighbourhood, Not seen each other in years.
Steve really looked after me and my guests. Each time we turned around he was there offering Fresh Coffee, Water, Canapés or Buks fizz.
This was Lookers Business manager, Mathew Kizuiks, first promotional event in conjunction with the Northwest Lancs Chamber of Commerce – 70 plus people attended.
I introduced myself to Gillian Blair, who is the Regional Business Centre Manager at Citroen UK Ltd. Gillian is from Glasgow and covers three countries in her role for Citroen. She was in Preston to monitor, assess and support Mathew and his team.
The modern Car sales industry has evolved into a very professional customer focused service delivery operation with every aspect of the customer’s needs and expectations catered for. A dealership has to achieve a significantly high level of customer service performance before the Regional development team will work with them. Lookers Preston has achieved that that level of performance.
Nick Gledhill, Fleet manager, gave a brief presentation on the various tax efficient ways which you can select and pay for your vehicle – and not a single bank manager in sight. The opportunity to ‘openly network followed the short introduction and presentation. I met some now very familiar faces. Tom Donnelly Glu Media, Martin Westhorpe, Forever Living, Catherine Donavan Down Size My Home, Michelle Cryer and her team from Midas Specialist recruitment to name a few.
The Citroen staff moved amongst us with trays of delicious snack foods prepared by Davina Parker-Murphy, High Class Caters. I sampled almost everything and it was all delicious. Davina explained that the food is 100% home made from scratch using the freshest ingredients and she sources and buys locally as much as possible.
Our attention was directed to the prize draw. The first two draws offered merchandising while the third draw was for the weekend use of the new DS 5. What a beautiful looking bit of kit. I actually won the second draw which was a matchbox size scaled model – to my utter disappointment.
During the open networking session, I connected with some very interesting people.
Jo Hooker, training and development consultant, had some very interesting ideas regarding en-powering graduate trainees, ‘the futures leaders’, early in their career development. The strap line written on her business card, coupled with her animated and vocal passion assures you that she teaches what she practices. Jo promised me an introduction to one of her contacts.
Jonathan Bowen and his partner operate an interior design company called ‘Inside Studio’. He has an impressive CV which includes surgical instrument design. He and his partner run projects between Preston, Leeds and Manchester. Although he was not at liberty to give details, ‘Inside Studio’ are working on a major project in Preston town centre. I look forward to catching up with Jonathan very soon.
Davina and I have arranged to meet – Venue TBD. If I get my way it will be in her kitchen!
My open display of disappointment at not winning the use of the car must have tugged at Mathews heart strings – He said I could call back at anytime and he would arrange for me to use the car, which just goes to show that crying in public can help you get what you want! Thanks Mathew. I also asked Mathew to arrange two consecutive days of sunshine.
Mathew Kiziuk, Steve Walmsely and all the staff at Lookers worked really hard as a team to make everyone who attended the event feel welcomed and ensured that we were all fed and watered. The showroom was in pristine condition and the vehicles nicely displayed. Neal Barefoot, membership manager for the NWLC was certainly pleased with the professionalism of Lookers and the turnout of members and guests.
Je me réjouis de la prochaine goût de la France
Neal Barefoot, Jo Hooker, Steve Walmsley and my DS 3
274 FYLDE ROAD
LANCASHIRE PR2 2NJ
TEL: 01772 768222
North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
9-10 Eastway Business Village Olivers Place, Fulwood, Preston, Lancashire PR2 9WT
T: 01772 653 000, F: 01772 655 544,