We were wondering what it’s really like to work in a car dealership, which sells some of the world’s most expensive cars, located in the world’s most expensive areas to stay in. So we headed to Jack Barclay Bentley, one of the oldest and largest Bentley dealerships, which is located on Mayfair’s famous Berkeley Square to find out. We were greeted by a friendly woman sitting at a reception near the centre of the showroom floor and as we approached her, she asked, ‘Can I help you?’ We got the lowdown on her working life...
‘We had a couple of royals visit recently so there were a number of people coming and going. They were pretty weird because they had different expectations. I guess that if you are a royal in your own country, then when you go to someone else’s country you don’t receive enough ‘Wows’. We are obviously very respectful to each customer but probably not respectful enough to the royals, according to them.
Sometimes we have people who send ‘pre-riders’ for the people who are really, really important. Then we are told how to talk to the VVIPs and how to approach them. Basicly, we are told how to be respectful in a way they want to be treated and how to address them, whether it is just ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ or something different. Most of the time the VVIPs just come in and if they have a lot of guards, then you know that they are really important. Sometimes they are shocked that a woman approaches them and will try to sell a Bentley to them, but then this is England so they have to either deal with it or they leave. And because they want to buy a Bentley in Mayfair, they usually deal with it. Sometimes I would speak to a guy, and he says, ‘Oh’. But then he would have to deal with it [a woman serving him]. And he would say, ‘I am a bit shocked by you’, and I would reply ‘Yeah, okay then’.
Once you have purchased a Bentley, we will get you flowers, a sketch of your car and when you arrive the next morning, you will find the car in the middle of the showroom, all covered, and be welcomed with champagne. You will also receive a really nice notebook and some really nice things, that you can keep with your car, perhaps umbrellas and other Bentley momentos.
You can never tell by the way a person dresses if he is a customer or just browsing. So I wouldn’t be able to tell whether you would or would not buy a Bentley today. Sometimes people come in shorts and trainers, and buy a car straight away. Also, there are different sorts of PAs coming to a store to get all the information on behalf of the customer. It’s almost impossible to buy a car in one day, though. You could transfer monies to our account at the same day, but you would wait for another morning for us to clean and prepare your car.’