Women & Automotive: Sophie St-Laurent of iA Dealer Services
Auto Remarketing Canada is recognizing the 2022 Women & Automotive: Profiles honorees in the current issue of the magazine and at Canada's Used Car Week this month at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.
In the weeks leading up to the June 27-29 event, ARC will be posting Q&As with each of the Women & Automotive honorees on this website.
Next up is Sophie St-Laurent, who is national director of training and recruitment at iA Dealer Services.
Auto Remarketing Canada: What do you enjoy most about working in automotive, and what would you change?
Sophie St-Laurent: Nowadays, challenges faced are a lot different from a few years ago: from the expansion of internet sales to the ever-increasing focus on customer treatment, professionals in the industry need to adapt fast and be passionate about their product and their consumers. The business is so broad that people with various backgrounds, interests and skills are now attracted to this automotive world, which allows for a beautiful diversity and helps foster an environment where diff erences are also strengths.
ARC: What piece of career advice would you have for someone new to the industry?
St-Laurent: Believe in yourself, be a good listener and at the same time, don’t be afraid to share your ideas. Stay true to who you are; women bring a valuable and different approach to our industry. Find an organisation whose values are aligned with your own and enjoy your time spent at work. People only grow when they like what they do and where achievements are recognized in their work environment.
ARC: What is your proudest moment/ accomplishment, career-wise?
St-Laurent: I am extremely proud of what my team and I have accomplished over the last two years. Our ability to adapt has been our most valuable tool. During the pandemic, we were able to react in a short period of time to launch 28 comprehensive live webinars developed and led by our in-house training team. In 2020 and 2021, we provided virtual training to 5,932 participants in a record time.
We also built a training library of 23 bilingual videos available for our dealer partners. I am also very proud of our new onboarding program for the new sales employees: it is one thing to recruit new employees, but making sure the hiring process is positive and they have an enjoyable onboarding experience is what drives us.
ARC: What has been the top key to your success in retail automotive?
St-Laurent: There is no short cut to success, so hard work is the key. I surrounded myself with a few solid mentors that I respected for their knowledge and leadership style. I have always been curious, wanting to learn more, open to feedback and passionate in everything I do.