A mid-life career change can sometimes be dicey, but not for Pat Lau. After 20 years in consumer electronics, he made the switch to auto sales at Volvo Villa in Thornhill, Ont., north of Toronto, and hasn’t looked back.
“I was lucky to start my vehicle sales career at a luxury make, like Volvo,” says Lau, adding that most new-to-the-business hires are usually required to spend time at mainstream brands before making the jump to premium.
He says that his outgoing personality and technical proficiency in consumer electronics convinced the dealership to “take a chance” on him.
He didn’t disappoint. He came to quickly understand all the infotainment, connectivity and safety features in Volvos, and to effectively explain those technologies to prospective customers. Even though he has been in the car industry and at Volvo Villa for only one-and-a-half years, he is already the “technical lead” for all sales consultants at the dealership, helping his colleagues when they have questions or need information and clarification on Volvo technology.
Lau is also the dealership’s point person for Volvo’s Overseas Delivery Program, which gives customers the opportunity to take delivery of their Volvo cars in Sweden and combine that with an overseas driving vacation.