What is your average day, from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep?
My first task of the day is to feed the three very hungry cats; Percy, Neville and Sky. Sky is a Devon Rex and is diabetic so I have to inject her too. Then I feed the Parrot – Quark (who is an Alexandrine) and fill his bowl of fruit and seed up. Finally, I have just enough time to feed myself before getting my sales tools together and heading out for the day. My car will typically be kitted out with product samples, brochures, product guides, sales sheets, display examples and I’ll drive to the first customer visit of the day. Typically, I’ll plan my route so that I start furthest away from home and clear all the other appointments on my drive back.
I’ll do an average of four visits a day, all in the South West of the UK. The furthest north I currently travel is to the Worcester area and the furthest east would probably be to Portsmouth. Typically two of my appointments will be pre-booked which will be existing customers. Here, I’ll be showing them new products, promotions, taking new orders and often re-merchandising any in-store displays – either on-shelf or making sure that our POS displays are still in good shape. Then for the two prospective customers it’s more of a product overview; identifying which products from our portfolio will be suitable – and talking through the features, advantages and benefits. We have a vast and ever-growing product range and time is precious for retailers so I have to strategically select which products are best to promote based on their current assortment.
After the drive home, which will undoubtedly involve phone calls to secure further appointments, it’s time to sit down with a coffee (and the cats) and fire up the laptop to start following up on the day’s actions; organising the promotional orders and POS displays. And when the work day is over, it’s family time – and Quark the Parrot comes out for a chat!
How do you spend your spare time?
Well, I have recently welcomed my baby son into the big wide world, so spare time is a bit of a luxury at the minute. Much of the evening is spent simply enjoying fatherhood or catching up on sleep. Plus I have a 11 year old daughter who keeps us on our toes! When time permits I have an avid interest in motorbikes and old cars.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
It has to be the autonomy I get from the role. The combination of organising my time and the responsibility of self-motivation is something that really works for me. I also really enjoy the day-to-day meeting of the people in pet trade. Seeing different people every day but the same friendly faces every month really makes the job a pleasure. I’ve been in the pet trade for over 15 years and it’s great that it’s remained so social.
How did you reach your current role?
My first foray into the pet trade was several years ago where I was managing a pet and aquatics department of an independent garden centre in Teignmouth. I knew then, that I was in the right trade. After three and half years of that I went on to be a sales rep in the South West for Ferplast for a further three and a half years. Then I was headhunted for a job at national wholesaler Rosewood Pet Products, again in the South West – where I stayed for eight years. I gained a lot of experience there. Obviously, a huge profile of products and some challenging targets – so many learning curves. Then I decided after eight years a new challenge was needed. With PetSafe® Brand I had the opportunity to establish a new customer base – the appeal of building that base and working direct with the retail trade as a brand and manufacturer was different, I’ve been with PetSafe® Brand for around two years now and every day offers something new.
What does the future hold for yourself, and the company?
Growth and expansion! PetSafe® Brand has built its product portfolio by strategic acquisition. Our latest acquisition which was Solvit™ Products gives us a whole host of new pet care lines to work with. With this increased product range which now includes travel and access solutions, will come increased sales opportunities and an increased customer base. Busy times ahead!
Telephone: +353 (0) 76 892 0427 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.petsafe.com/UK