DUPLO AND ITS PEOPLE: life on the road
Back in 2006, Brian joined Duplo as a UK Dealer Manager, covering the North of England, selling Duplo’s smaller office-based DBS products through the UK dealer network.
Fast forward thirteen years, he’s flying around the sunny parts of Europe managing the International Distributors and selling the full range of Duplo products, whilst preaching to anyone who will listen about his beloved Wigan Athletic football team ?? I guess someone’s got to do it….
Some see the Regional Sales Manager’s role as one big adventure, travelling to far flung sunny places. However, overseas business travel always includes long periods of time away from home, early starts, busy airports and flight delays or cancellations and takes a lot of careful planning and logistics, all whilst travelling alone…
Describe a day/week in the life of an Export RSM?
There are no set hours, the days are often long, starting with early flights and often ending with late dinners. I endeavour to have a face to face meeting with each of my 8 distributors once every six weeks through pre-arranged appointments, demonstrations or exhibitions.
My week generally starts in my home office preparing for overseas visits and making travel arrangements flights, hotels, car parking, packing etc. Preparing for appointments by creating presentations, reviewing sales targets and budgets, reviewing product updates and any marketing collateral.
Tuesday is an early start travelling to one of my distributors, to carry out an in-depth business review and sales performance, range gaps, marketing review, sales training. Wednesday is usually field visits to new and existing accounts within the Distributor’s territory. Thursday can see me in a different country with a different distributor and Friday I fly back home and catch up on paperwork from visits and reply to office messages. No week is ever the same and it takes a lot of planning and structure to make things happen.
What makes your job exciting?
Variety of different cultures, types of customer, varied sales practices and above all the food.
What is your biggest responsibility?
Ensuring our Distributors sells the entire Duplo range and achieve budgetary targets.
What is the hardest part of your role?
How much have you changed as a professional and personally since joining Duplo?
Professionally my role has changed from being a UK Dealer RSM to Export Graphic Art RSM, and my skill sets have developed accordingly in managing larger customers, territories and budgets.
Personally, I’m now more appreciative of family time as I’m generally away each week.
What is the best piece of advice that you would give to a person thinking about getting into an Export RSM role?
Be open to new ideas, accept and learn about cultural differences in selling, learn to balance both your work and home life and above all enjoy every day of your continued learning experience.
Use three words to best describe yourself?
Good looking, athletic and modest.
If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be?
Prime Minister for a day, where I would reverse Brexit and scrap the pound for the Euro and fully integrate UK into Europe – not bad for a day’s work, if I had two days, I would ensure world peace.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
What’s your favourite film
Who is your hero?
Kevin Nichols, UK Service Manager, he is to the print finishing service industry what the late great Sir Bobby Robson was to football.
What is your biggest fear?
My boss - Bruno Picquet ??
What really makes you angry?