It is all too easy for employers to recruit from competitors. It makes sense – find someone who knows an industry and they will “hit the ground running”.
Whilst this can be a recipe for success, at Pickerings Lifts we recognise the value of developing diversity within a team and considering new ideas, new approaches.
When recruiting for a Service Sales Manager for the South last year I was therefore very pleased to find Lucy Wilson. No experience of the lift industry, but someone with a wealth of transferrable skills.
One of the first things that struck me about Lucy is her exceptional emotional intelligence – she naturally engages with people and builds relationships.
She also consistently asks great questions. This came across during the interview process and continued through induction when she demonstrated a high level of “active listening”, taking notes and frequently checking for understanding.
These skills and qualities are a very effective toolkit for selling service contracts, when it is important to identify customer needs and offer the right solution.
I’m certainly impressed with the start that Lucy has made at Pickerings Lifts, but I’ll leave it to her to describe her first few months in the role…
Steve Watkins – Senior Regional Service Sales Manager
Hi. I’m Lucy Wilson, and I’ve been asked by the powers that be to give you a few words about who I am, what I do, and my thoughts on my first six months with Pickerings Lifts and the lift industry.
And, as this is about #RealPeople, they’ve asked me to be as honest as I can.
I joined Pickerings Lifts in November of last year… 2020… being taken on by Steve Watkins, my manager, as a Regional Service Sales Manager for the South of England and South Wales.
I work in the Lift Maintenance and Repairs, or LM&R business stream of Pickerings Lifts. Together with the Lift Installation section of the company, it’s the oldest part of the business, being started in 1854 would you believe?
Prior to being taken on, I’d never worked in the lift industry before.
In some ways that’s good… because it shows, firstly, that Pickerings Lifts are open to taking on a wide range of people, even if they don’t have the industry background.
And secondly, it’s allowed me to ask all sorts of questions that would never be asked by someone who’s been in the industry for years and has become ‘blind’ to opportunities, if you like.
But it also means there’s been a steep learning curve.
Yes, I’ve got the selling skills… they’re portable skills, so there’s no problem there.
I’ve had to learn about a whole new range of services and the legal implications of what maintenance has to be complied with, what is recommended, what is necessary but not mandated, and who is responsible and accountable for making sure checks and repairs happen to comply with Health and Safety.
Just to confuse things, the lift industry… like any industry that is regulated by the HSE (the Health and Safety Executive) is stuffed full of acronyms and terminology.
There’s LEIA… Responsible person…Health Technical Memorandum (HTM)…Block management…. Open protocol… SFG20 and just learning all these and what they all mean has taken time to sink in.
Pickerings Lifts has a strong belief, passion and faith in the products and services they provide, and they encourage their employees to grow within their roles.
I’d like to think ‘I’ve got there’, I’m really proud of that and it has been a welcome challenge.
So what do I actually do though?
The official line is that I am ‘responsible for the development and growth of regional service contract sales across the South of England’.
That could mean talking about lift maintenance contracts on goods lifts or dumb waiters with small businesses; or with the manager of passenger lifts in a tenant block; or quoting for a multi-site contract spread across my entire sales region.
I’d like to think I’m good, and always have been good, at building relationships. I believe that you get that way by listening to people, working with your contacts whilst being truthful and reliable.
Paying attention to detail is also key, and that’s why my most important productivity hack is having an organised email inbox! An organised inbox is an organised mind [smiling].
The job can involve a lot of travelling. But I’m okay with that. It comes with the territory… pun intended.
Ironically, one of the most interesting things I’ve experienced at Pickerings Lifts so far was one of the shortest trips… to Buckingham Palace Road to meet with the maintenance team working for a friend of the Queen.
At home, in my other life, I enjoy a bit of walking in the Chiltern Hills, and I’m a big reader.
Musically, I grew up listening to Queen and was always disappointed that I never got to see them perform live. Plus, I’ve always been inspired by Dolly Parton. She had very poor upbringing and overcame a lot of hurdles to build her Dollywood empire. I think it would be great to have a one-to-one conversation with her.
And film-wise… it has to be Johnny Depp. Another one I’d love to meet, although I would have to insist he arrive in character as Jack Sparrow. [laughing]
Lastly, I think you can always tell a lot about the person by asking them what three items would they take with them to a deserted island… mine would be an iPad, my favourite pillow… and a bottle of rum to share with Cap’n Jack.
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