Posted on 14/06/2016 in Company News, by Jon
Welcome back to our series of blog posts that aim to ensure that you get to know the people behind the names and job titles here at Soabar. This time we’re interviewing Jon Nichols, who works in the Sales Department.
What do our employees jobs involve on a day to day basis? How did they kickstart their career in the label printing industry? And most importantly, what drink do they get from the lovingly used coffee machine? All of these questions will be answered over the course of this blog post. So sit back, relax, grab yourself a number 74 (a white coffee with sugar!) and find out more about what Jon’s job involves.
Hello Jon! Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed today. First things first, What is your job title?
Area Sales Manager for the South of England.
How long have you been working at Soabar for?
Well, interesting question. I have been at Soabar for 4 months now, however I have worked here previously for 10 years from 2004 to 2014 as Technical Manager. I then left Soabar for a year making the change to sales which is something I was starting to do more of and thoroughly enjoyed. I have now returned as there was a position available to cover the South of England in a sales capacity working at Soabar.
How exciting! That just proves that you don’t always have to just stick at one job, but rather can take on new positions to suit your interests. Could you please describe a typical day for you.
I start the day waking up at 7.30am unless I am due at a customer’s earlier, in which case some days I can be up as early as 5.30am! I take the dog for a walk every morning before leaving. I find this a good start to the day to get some fresh air, exercise and think about what the day holds. I then return and check my emails over breakfast before leaving the house. I visit existing and new customers to discuss potential opportunities with regards labels, printers and associated printed products and how Soabar is able to help them achieve the pricing and support they need. I use my phone a lot making phone calls to organise visits, arrange quotations with our estimating department and making sure jobs are going out on time with production. I also send a large number of emails which can be quotations, queries, arranging appointments and more.
It sounds as if you have very busy but rewarding days! With so much on your plate, what three skills would you say that you needed to be good at your job?
Certainly a good memory! I am available 24 hours a day 7 days a week on the phone, and although sometimes I am driving I have hands free and need to make mental notes so I can follow them up when I reach the destination. Time management is very important as I need to plan my visits out to be in the right location and right time. Turning up late is one of my pet hates, I don’t like being late for anything! Finally, I’d say that you have to be very organised. I need to make sure I get the quotations sent through to the customers and respond to emails and phone calls as quickly and efficiently as possible.
I think that punctuality is something that is so key to making and maintaining a good relationship with customers. It is great to know that you value it so highly! What experience did you have in the label industry before working at Soabar?
Before working at Soabar my label knowledge was very poor. The first time I saw a thermal printer was when I arrived on a cold January morning back in 2004 for an interview, from that moment it captured my imagination and I could see myself working with labels and printers! Since then I have learnt about all the different materials, ink ribbons, printers, applicators, software, barcodes and how labels are manufactured. I enjoy working in sales as it means that I can apply my knowledge in ways that will best help my customers.
What qualifications do you have (e.g A Levels, Degree) and do you consider them helpful for your job?
I don’t have any qualifications other than my GCSE’s and a couple of NVQ’s in business and IT. I believe if you have the drive and determination you can achieve your goals without them. I’m not saying that it is easy you still need to apply the same work ethics to those in higher education and think outside the box on a daily occasion.
What great words of advice, especially for all those who have chosen alternative learning environments to university. What would you say is the most important thing you have learnt since working here?
Since working at Soabar I have learnt the most important thing is to listen to the customer’s requirement and always offer the best level of customer service possible. I have also learnt there is always two sides to every story.
What one thing can’t you be without in your job?
I think this would have to be my phone. It is an integral part of my role in sales on a daily basis from checking emails, making phone calls, finding a company’s address or phone number, taking photos of labels and scanning barcodes, to find out what data they contain.
What would we do without technology hey?! What drink do you usually get from the Soabar coffee machine?
For me it has to be a 74.. I think I have tried most of the drinks but somehow always end up back at 74 which is coffee, white with sugar.
Sometimes the classics are simply the best! Finally, when you’re not working at Soabar what do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I like to take the dog for a walk, we have a yellow Labrador called Molly who is 18 months old and quite a handful at times. I also have a keen interest in scuba diving, I have travelled all over the UK both in the summer and the middle of winter when the water temperature is down at 2deg! I have also dived in Thailand, Egypt and Sardinia so far with more places planned on the wish list.
Thank you so much for reading our second interview style blog post, and also a huge thank you to Jon for allowing us to interview him. I hope that you enjoyed getting to know what the sales team do on a day to day basis- I think we’d all agree that they have a very busy job that certainly keeps them on their toes! If you have any questions that you’d like to ask Jon that haven’t already been covered in the interview, then please leave them in the comments section below. Alternatively, either drop us a tweet, Facebook message or email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Thank you again for reading! Everyone at Soabar wishes you a productive, enjoyable week.
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