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Tauranga dealership home to top sales consultant


Pacific Toyota has taken out this year’s coveted Toyota Ult1mate Contest with their very own Darren Steele named as the top used vehicle sales consultant for 2015.

The Toyota Ult1mate Contest pits sales consultants from around the country against one another in a series of challenges to find New Zealand’s best and brightest new and used Toyota sales consultants. The competition acknowledges the exceptional passion and dedication Toyota sales staff professionals put toward providing the best customer sales and delivery experience for Toyota drivers.

Pacific Toyota’s Darren Steele from Tauranga has taken out the grand prize in the Used Vehicle category for the first time. His hard work, exceptional product knowledge and sales skills saw him top a strong field of more than 120 representing 76 branches from around the country.

“The Ult1mate contest challenges every aspect possible; you’re representing yourself, your dealership, the brand and bringing the very best service to the customer – it’s all about having the right professional attitude,” says Mr Steele.

Being the second finalist from Pacific Toyota in the used vehicle category is a testament to the culture and drive shared among the team.

“We have a great atmosphere and respect for one another. You’re surrounded by good people with a vast amount of knowledge and experience,” says Mr Steele. 

Darren has been with Pacific Toyota for 14 years and had previously entered the competition in 2011 and 2013. Having entered the competition before, Darren believed his preparation, focus and sticking true to his values is what pushed him over the line to take out the win.

“When you enjoy what you do and you do it well with pride, you will succeed,” says Mr Steele.

Darren was honoured with the 2015 Ult1mate award during an awards dinner held at the Awapuni Function Centre in Palmerston North, attended by finalists, dealership CEOs and Sales Managers, as well as representatives from Toyota New Zealand.

Steve Prangnell, Toyota General Manager of Sales and Operations, says the strong results from Pacific Toyota, with two finalists, are apt recognition of an approach that strives to put Toyota customers first.

“The Ult1mate Contest was conceived with the aim of acknowledging the hard work our national dealer network puts into delivering the best customer experience for purchasers of new and used Toyotas,” says Mr Prangnell.

“For Darren to pick up this year’s Used Vehicle title speaks volumes for the team’s commitment to outstanding customer service and ongoing improvement of their service delivery.”

He says the company’s Toyota Sales Programme, which administers the Ult1mate Contest, covers excellence in all aspects of the role, and is aimed at creating salespeople as good as any globally.

To be crowned the winner of the Toyota Ult1mate Contest, entrants are judged against a comprehensive series of criteria including: monthly sales targets, customer feedback, product knowledge tests, mystery shoppers, a written exam and a final skill proficiency test in a simulated customer based scenario.

Winners in the New Vehicle and Used Vehicle categories each receive a prize package valued at more than $12,000 while finalists in each category receive a prize package worth more than $2,000.