Kenny Parker on 'House of Cars'

It was a lively and busy week for the Charles Hurst Team featured on BBC Northern Ireland’s ‘House of Cars’. The second episode – the final airs next week – focussed on sales targets across the Group. With 16 independent dealerships on the Boucher Road site alone, all competing for customers, how does this need to succeed affect individual performance?

Helping us understand this is Use Direct sales person Kenny Parker. Outgoing Kenny 32, has worked for Charles Hurst for 2 years and has 12 years of sales under his belt, including extensive periods in customer service. In this week’s episode Kenny – normally one of the top performing sales people – has hit a speed bump with his targets. “When my confidence dips, my head drops” he says. Managers Colin McNab Jnr and Tom Magowan waste no time in telling Kenny what needs fixed – “improved organisation and activity” are the answers apparently.

Does Kenny turn it around? Read on to find out!

When we first meet you in this episode you are behind your target. What happened?

“The timing was interesting as it was my only bad month since joining Charles Hurst! My target is normally around 22 or 23 cars a month and at that point I was hitting 16. I had some personal issues at the time but managed to get back on top. Of 114 sales people within the group I am now number 2, which is pretty good!”

Did you feel under pressure to succeed?

“You always feel pressure - there's pressure in most jobs. There are people who cope and those who can’t. Come the end of the month the board is wiped clean and the next day the previous one isn’t talked about. It’s history.”

How did you manage to turn things around?

“By getting my confidence back. One sale then leads to another….and another…in fact I managed to exceed my target the following month and sold 23 or 24 cars. I know the only way to achieve that is if I’m at the top of my game and aiming to deliver an exceptional level of customer service”

Have you enjoyed the experience of making the documentary?

“It’s been great. I have had regular customers coming into the showroom and saying ‘well done’ which has been fantastic. My friends have also been texting me to say ‘congratulations’. In the showroom I can see customers with other sales people point in my direction, but I don’t mind. I’m really easy going so it’s all fine.’ “

What can viewers expect to see?

“I think it will give an insight into how tough sales - in any environment - can be. At the end of the day we are just normal people so it really opens things up for people to see. Everything is very natural too. There wasn’t a big camera crew – just a single camera – so most of the time I didn’t even know I was being filmed.”

Have you been recognised in the street yet?

Yes, I can see people give me sidewards glances which is funny. I was recognised in the post office the other day picking up a parcel. This morning I even heard myself quoted on Cool FM! The host Pete repeated a phrase I used on the show. It was funny to hear myself quoted - that was definitely a first!"

What do your family think about it?

“We didn’t tell my Dad so it was a complete shock for him to see me on TV. He was getting ready for work when he saw me. My family have all been great and have been sending me nice messages of support saying they are happy for me.”

Would you do it again?


By Tracey McBain