15 years of delivering best in class training and interim support to the UK's Automotive Sector 

Charlie Crossley Interview

We caught up with our very own Charlie Crossley after his brilliant promotion to New Car Sales Controller at Guy Salmon Land Rover Stockport. ​​

Charlie was one of our first Trainees back in 2013 and also our youngest, when we offered him a place on our Professional Sales Executive programme on his 18th birthday.

​His achievements in the few years since may be the stuff of dreams, but they have come through sheer hard work, complete focus and building strong relationships with those around him. We are immensely proud to call him one of our own!

We ask him about his time at LR Stockport, his great new role in Management and reflect back on how his Academy training has impacted his career to date.

"My advice to anyone joining the industry is simple.

Be prepared for a lot of hard work and even bigger rewards as a result." 
Let's talk about you
Charlie, please tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

Hi I’m Charles Crossley the New Car Sales Controller at Guy Salmon Land Rover Stockport. I am 21 years of age and looking forward to a long, healthy career with the Sytner Group. I am a driven and focused individual who loves the rewards of working hard and playing harder.

What were you doing before you were a Trainee? 
​Before I was a trainee I had a short spell working in the Aftersales department in the Specialist Division of Sytner at Bentley Manchester. This gave me a great taste of the Automotive industry and made me keen to learn more.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I spend most of it following my beloved team Manchester City around Europe! I also play football myself and recently ran the Manchester Half Marathon in support of Cancer Research raising £500.
What do your family and friends think of your career achievements so far?
My family are very proud of my achievements so far. I was brought up in a family of hardworking people so I try to apply the same work ethic every day.​​

​Who inspires you?
My biggest inspiration growing up was my Father. I have a great relationship with him and we share a lot of things in common. Aside from that, I am always inspired by positive people… those that look for the opportunity and not for the problem.

Now let's talk about the job
What made you want to join the motor industry?
My Grandfather was in the motor trade for most of his life and had success selling car finance. My Father then followed in his footsteps and is still enjoying a successful career. I have subsequently then followed in the same footsteps and hope to achieve the same success in my career. I grew up not knowing what I wanted to do for a living, but I definitely feel like I have made the right decision joining the motor trade and can genuinely say that I love my job.

How did you find your colleagues treated you when you started as a Trainee?
My colleagues have been very supportive of me since the day I started… right through from being a trainee, to working alongside them as a sales specialist and now being their line manager. That’s all down to the respect you earn through working hard and helping each other out.

Did this change at all when you became a Manager?
I most certainly had to work on my relationship with the team when I became a manager but I have their full support and backing. My relationship with them means a lot to me and is the focal point of everything I do on a daily basis. I’m also not scared to role my sleeves up and get stuck in which helps!

Are you competitive at work? 
​I am always competitive at work. I strive to be the best and hate settling for anything less. I like to see the same competitive streak in my team because without it, they would always settle for average performance.

Tell us a little bit about your promotion.
My promotion came about in January this year. I had been in conversation with Steve our MD for many months prior to this about the opportunity of a new challenge and he gave me all the support and faith I needed to make the move. We spoke about a few different potential opportunities but I believe my new role is best suited.

I was thrilled to be offered my new position. I knew at that point that I was making the right move for me in the best business.

What car are you driving at the moment? 
I currently drive a Range Rover Evoque which I really enjoy. However I am looking forward to moving up to a Discovery 5 for the winter months!

What is the best part of your job?
The best part of the job for me is working alongside such a great team of people!

What motivates you to get out of bed every day?
I am a very money motivated person so to wake up every day with the opportunity to earn good money and work alongside a great team of people is enough to get me out of bed in the morning.

Where do you want to be professionally in 5 years from now?
In 5 years from now I hope to be continuing my journey to senior management in this organisation. I have an awful lot still to learn but I am confident to achieve this with enough hard work and support from my colleagues.

Looking back on your Academy Training
What value do you put on training and why?

The training was a vital part of my success. It gave me enough time to properly understand not only the sales department I work in, but the entire dealership. It helped me form better relationships with everyone and gave me confidence in my work after I graduated.

What did you learn from your Academy training which is standing you in good stead now? 

I learned a lot from the Academy training. It doesn’t just provide facts and figures about the industry, it gives you intelligent advice on how to deal with certain situations and I started to appreciate the importance of all the basic aspects of the job which other people may not appreciate as much as they should.

If you’d not been formally trained, in which areas do you believe you would be lacking or less informed about if any? 

I think without the training, I would have felt a lot less confident in my approach to the role. Having the time to learn everything in my own time, allowed me to see my colleagues in action which in turn meant I picked up best practice from them.

In your current job and also your previous sales role ... when things get tough, how do you motivate yourself and pick yourself up from difficult experiences?​​

When the going gets tough in this role, it is very easy to let your head drop and start questioning your ability. I have always benefitted from strong management above me… sometimes just them reminding you of your ability and their trust in you is enough to motivate yourself. I try and implement the same positive attitude with my team.

Final question - what has been the hardest part of becoming a manager? 

Hardest part of becoming a manager is getting your team to all buy in to the same philosophy and to keep high standards consistent. Changing the mind set and keeping everyone motivated is challenging but is the main reason why I love my job so much!

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

"That hard work pays off! Simple."

"Thank you Charlie for a great interview and we wish you continued success.  ​​

Your attitude, maturity and determination stood you out the very first time we spoke to you at aged 17.  You're a great inspiration to Trainees up and down the country."