Simon - Strategic Account Director in Motor

How is the sales team set up at Distilled SCH?
There’s different sales teams at Distilled SCH, each are dedicated to one area or one of the three brands. The great thing about Distilled SCH and the way it’s all set up is that there is a lot of structure to it. It’s a case of everybody knows who is looking after what. 

Myself, I look after Motor. I’m looking after a very clean cut selection of dealers across the country, but that’s the great thing about the structure - everybody knows what they’re doing. If an email comes in with an enquiry, you know exactly who to contact and who to refer to. Normally, the worst thing about being in sales and working in a sales company is that there’s loads of people around and everybody is fighting for the lead, but at Distilled SCH everybody has each other’s back, which makes for a really nice culture. I’ve never seen that in sales before. Sales can be very cut throat and it’s just not like that here. 

Can you tell me what the mix of sales people is like in your team?
There’s a good mixture, you have Frazer who's background comes from a very high volume area, where you have to stand over your clients and make sure that you’re fighting for them. My own background, I’ve been working on classified websites for over 12 years giving me an excellent understanding of what has to be done differently to normal advertising. If you’re ever stuck on anything you can always turn to him for advice, so it’s a nice mix. 

What’s the culture like at Distilled SCH?
The culture here is brilliant, I really like it.  I think that for a sales team, there is a great vibe in the office. It’s one thing that I’ve heard more around here then I’ve heard in any other company is that a lot of us don’t get the ‘Monday Morning Feeling’. Coming in to work on Monday is fine, you get up, you go in, you have a laugh, do your job and everybody is on the same page. It’s a really nice environment.

How did you get into sales?
No one ever wakes up and says that they want to be a salesman. I used to work for a motor sport company and when I was working there I was looking after a distributor for different motor parts. I’ve always had a passion for motor, especially for rallying, rally cars and motorbikes. A different company then got in touch and the Sales Manager there called me and asked me if I’d be interested in an interview and it basically went from there. The real thing is that I was happy doing sales but what I really fell in with was my first job in that company where I was working in online advertising.  From then I’ve never done anything different and I’ve always worked in digital since. 

What’s the biggest challenge of sales in the motor industry and how do you work with that?
The number one challenge is not to act like a salesperson. If you go into every car dealer in the country or if you go in with an attitude or calling them and trying to pitch every one of them - you’re better off talking to 10 people a day then talking to 100 people.  You’re going to get more conversions and you’re going to get more sales through it and they’re going to be quality phone calls. I think the hardest challenge obviously is that you always have to be mindful that when you ring a business, they’re probably after getting 10 other sales people that are after ringing them as well so you don’t want to fall into that bracket. You want to have a good relationship and the biggest challenge is building up that relationship with anyone that you’re doing business with. It’s important to be memorable too so that they remember you, they’ll take your call and hopefully give you the business too. 

How do you keep up with constantly changing competitors and client requirements?
To keep ahead of competitors I’m always reading the latest blogs and always trying to share more knowledge. I try to keep information going out so it’s always a case of trying to share knowledge with the industry and with the dealers. Now, I don’t know how many of them see it but I know that it does work because I’ve had a few of our dealer partners that have said  back to me that they found such and such an article very interesting or they found that it was useful. To stay ahead of competitors, again it’s a case of not trying to be that big salesperson. It’s a case of trying to be a consultant to the agent or to the market and actually trying to help dealers. The dealers need a solution they don’t need more advertising. They need a solution to sell more cars, get more quality leads and that’s how we stay ahead of our competitors by looking at what the solution is rather than just trying to sell them something. 

Have you had the chance to further your skills while working at Distilled SCH?
I would say that I’ve learnt a lot since I came to Distilled SCH. I only finished going to college last year so I’m taking a break from studying. From being here, working with Brian Fallon or working with Eamonn or any of the Senior Team, even just sitting in a meeting you learn a lot about business, strategy and the general running of the company. You see how all the different ideas come together and I definitely think it’s a massive  benefit to your career being around that type of knowledge. It’s second to none. 

Where do you see Motor at DoneDeal headed?
I see Motor at DoneDeal basically becoming one of the biggest departments in Distilled SCH. The plan that we have in place is going to see Distilled SCH taking over motor in Ireland in the next 18 months. We’ve already started doing that and the steps that we’ve been taking up until now, if you look at the industry and the market, you can’t ignore the size and the scale of DoneDeal. I think with the direction that we’re going in now with the new Distilled SCH group, it’s going to be one of the biggest elements of the company. It’s not a case that any other department is second to it, it’s just that we’re developing this channel at the moment and then we’re going to take a look at other channels and develop those too. 

Do you have any insight for new or growing sales people?
If I was to say to anyone getting into sales, it’s not about having the gift of the gab. It’s about having knowledge, you’re going to go in and be working in online media and you’re doing direct sales with motor dealers or contacting the agricultural audience, you need to understand your product. Once you understand your product and your industry and you have knowledge to back it up, then you can go in and be truly successful. It’s not about having the gift of the gab or being able to talk for 20 minutes and control the room because you have to be able to listen more than you’re able to talk. 

What’s your favourite thing about working at Distilled SCH?
Dealing with the car dealers. No matter how many times you talk to them, they’ll give you a hard time, they’ll break your heart, they’ll try and squeeze you for every penny and it’s a great challenge. I’m doing it nearly four years now and if anything it’s getting more and more interesting. They are my favourite part and my biggest challenge at the same time.