Paul joined LINIAN as their UK Business Development Manager in February this year. His role means he’s out on the road a lot – maintaining existing relationships with clients while building brand new ones with people who are completely new to the LINIAN Fire Clip. So, what’s it like for Paul when he spends most of his time out of the office travelling all over the UK?
Q: Describe a typical day out on the road.
Paul: A typical day in LINIAN is fast paced and demanding but it keeps me on my toes and motivated to keep on spreading the news of the #installationrevolution that is taking over the industry. It normally consists of various meetings with end users, specifiers, wholesalers and industry bodies which I try to arrange two to three weeks in advance where possible. This is my opportunity to engage with and educate the customer on all things LINIAN – the product itself, our service, core values and ultimately how best to ensure that the client can make an informed choice for their customer/project moving forward.
Not one to miss out on any opportunities to generate awareness, I’ll call into any ongoing projects that I pass between calls and chat through LINIAN’s faster, safer and simpler way to install cables with the Project Managers or design team.
Q: How many clients do you see each day? What‘s involved in your meeting?
Paul: Each day varies but I try to see around eight to ten companies per day, some of which are already key accounts of LINIAN.
If it’s a new installer or stockist then I normally show our installation video and talk through the features and benefits of the product, including compliance. I usually leave some samples so customers can see and feel them for themselves or pass some samples on to their colleagues or customers.
If it’s an existing user/stockist then I like to talk through the profile that they have or are using to make sure that the method is still working for them. I pride myself in establishing a long-standing relationship to ensure we are supporting them as much as we can. This includes providing them with any information that’s particularly relevant for them, including any new products that are being released. It’s very important for me to receive feedback on projects that are nearing completion. If a project is finished on time and within budget, the only choice for the next project (hopefully) is LINIAN.
Q: Do you have monthly sales targets?
Paul: I do have big figures to achieve this year but as it’s a common-sense solution to a significant problem faced by installers I am committed to doing what it takes to spread the word. My targets aren’t even my main driver – I am so bought in to this product and the business that I want to ensure that installers are using the most compliant solution on the market to make their job faster, safer and simpler. It just makes sense!
Q: What has been your biggest challenge since you joined the company?
Paul: My biggest challenge is converting a more traditional client from the conventional method to the LINIAN method. With the inherent “ship building mentality” in the UK, some installers are reluctant to change to new methods. Slowly but surely, we are converting them by constantly showing the LINIAN Fire Clip in action.
Have you seen the video with the bag of cement suspended from one clip? If not, check it out – it’s definitely worth a watch. LINIAN is proving to be such a huge success with our customers that I do eventually convert and quite often they say to me “why did I not use this product ages ago when you first told me about it?” This gives me great pride in converting them and a smile of satisfaction at the end of the day.
Q: What has been your biggest success since you joined the company?
Paul: To date, there have been quite a few success stories but I particularly enjoyed our official product launch in June 2017 when we showcased our LINIAN Fire Clip at the Firex/IFSEC exhibition in London. This was hugely successful for us and we were able to attract new partners from all over the world who wanted to distribute or become a stockist of the product.
It’s always great to see that someone wants to distribute the product but it’s more satisfying to see they are so bought into the LINIAN brand. It’s important they are engaged in who we are as a business, our values as people and how we can support them as a business moving forwards. I also loved that our Directors were there to support us, flying the flag for such a brilliant product manufactured in the UK. They are very hands on and love meeting our customers. It’s their product, with their name on the packets so they want to be sure that everyone’s experience of LINIAN is the best that it can be. They really motivated us on the day to have high energy and enthusiasm for what we’re doing and above all to listen to our customers.
Q: Describe what’s it like to work for LINIAN compared to your previous jobs?
Paul: LINIAN is a great company to work for. They are a tight team of Directors who have a global ambition in terms of what they want to achieve and I admire that. Their family business principles transcend into all areas of the business and they have welcomed me with open arms. LINIAN as a business and a family have taught me a lot since I started working for them and sometimes they believe in me more than I do myself in terms of what I’m capable of.
With LINIAN there is no glass ceiling, I’ve been told that there are high expectations for me but that if I want to progress and work hard the opportunities are limitless. This isn’t something that I’ve always had the chance to do in my previous roles and it excites me every day to know that I could be promoted to a more senior role within the business as it emerges.
No day is slow or boring in LINIAN – with a whole territory in the UK to educate about the product there’s not a lot of room for down time. I will only get out what I put in and I love that.
Q: What are your goals and ambitions for the company?
Paul: To facilitate LINIAN to become the preferred installation method for cables in the UK and to open doors to other territories that follow our legislative culture to make buildings a safer place to be for everyone.
Q: How much time do you spend out of the office – how do you find this?
Paul: At the moment I spend three full days a week on the road travelling throughout the UK. I have two office based admin days to make sure that I am capturing information, leads and follow ups but I prefer to be on the road – constantly engaging with stockists or end users. It’s still a relatively new product and there’s a lot of work still to be done. It’s very exciting time!