Ian has worked with MGF for a total of 15 years, first joining in 1985 when the business was just starting out and had only been trading for a couple of years. With a total of 37 years working in the industry, being able to celebrate MGF’s 40th anniversary last year was one of many milestones in his career. Here is what Ian had to say about it.
Tell us a bit about your role
Based at our Astley depot, my role is predominately to provide support to our customers, across the Manchester area. Consulting regularly with new and existing customers about best practices, I liaise with all MGF internal support functions to ensure our customers receive the best service possible from the design process through to practical solutions. Providing continued on-site support for issues such as on-site repairs is also a key part of the service we provide as well as delivering toolbox talks and sales and shoring awareness presentations.
What is it that you enjoy about it the most?
I really do enjoy meeting new people, developing relationships and getting to know them and how they tick. Having the opportunity to talk to customers every day about many different solutions whilst being recognised as an industry specialist means that no two days are the same, this is what keeps my role interesting as you never know what to expect from one day to the next.
What was it that made you want to follow a career in Technical Sales?
From as long as I can remember I always knew that I wanted to work in sales with customers. I didn’t want to go into a career where I would just sell to customers based on volume and price. I initially wanted to sell on either products, solutions or service but working as Technical Sales Representative at MGF allows me to sell on all three, which is perfect.
Describe your background and how you got into the industry
I began my career in the industry while working at another local business and my progression into a Technical Sales role was more stumbled upon. I was working in a sales role and often used to call in at the Astley Depot for a chat with some of the guys. We got to know each other quite well and one day they offered me a job as junior sales. It was only after 3 months that I was then asked to take over the hire desk for a few weeks while the recruitment of staff took place but 2 and half years later I was still there! We only had one computer to use between the office so back then everything was written by hand. In 1988 I decided to move on and ended up working in Reinforcement for 11 years, and then went to live abroad for a while. After returning to the UK I bumped into one of the guys I had previously worked with from MGF and he asked if I had time for a catch up, that afternoon we had a chat and the next day he rang and offered me a job as Technical Sales Representative.
What do you find to be the most interesting projects to work on?
I don’t really have a favourite when it comes to projects as they all have their own benefits and quirks which make them all interesting in their own way. It’s dealing with people that I get the most enjoyment out of, and across all levels from Managing Director down to the guys in the trench. It’s this that keeps the job interesting for me as you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I have previously worked on a few basement jobs that I did find very interesting as we don’t get very many of them in the North West, these included The Liver Buildings, Fiddlers Ferry and Salford Media City.
What do you appreciate about having a strong working relationship with customers and how that benefits your job?
I always say that people deal with people, corny I know but it’s very true, I believe that if you are honest in your approach from the start you will build trust with your customers and they will want to keep coming back. I have some customers that I have dealt with for over 30 years now!