Profession and Career
I'm in sales - and I've been a sales person in one shape or form or another pretty much since leaving school. I started off, as a lot of salespeople do by working in telesales selling to the general public. One of the more unglamorous jobs I had as I recall was making double-glazing sales appointments, but eventually (and thankfully) I progressed to B2B (Business to Business) sales which is a lot more civilised!
Today I focus on Account Development in the IT Network Solutions and Services marketplace and this is where I've specialised for the last fifteen or so years. Account Development is probably best described as taking an existing transactional (or deal based) customer and over time trying to move the relationship to one that is a bit more strategic by creating business value for the client. This is the area where I probably I do best though I can turn my hand to straightforward Account Management and new name business. As far as the future is concerned I have little or no aspirations for being a manager (I enjoy life on the front line too much) so I guess that makes me a career sales professional, which I'm very happy to be.
The sales methodologies that I favour most would probably be Power Base Selling as developed by Jim Holden (which is good for presales qualification and navigating large accounts). But sales is an ever changing environment and it's more about business acumen, situational knowledge and value creation these days than anything else and I like the insight selling approach as described in The Challenger Sale for that (great book!).
I've worked across most vertical market segments but probably predominantly within the finance marketplace in the City and also the IT Out-Sourcer/Service Provider sectors. The finance market in the City appeals to me as it’s totally different from any other market whereas the work done for the IT Out-Sourcer/Service Provider market tends to be more business focused as you're often directly impacting their top and bottom lines with what you do for them. Probably the sector I've had least to do with would be public sector.
I'm on most of the business networking sites like LinkedIn etc (see the links section) and I keep in contact with ex-colleagues that way, here are a few photos from a reunion with some of my old buddies. :-)