Our new business development manager discusses his role

We speak with newly appointed business development manager (Newcastle branch), Gavin Howd

“I left school thinking that I wanted to become an electrician but decided an apprenticeship in warehousing and distribution was the best route. I joined a national company and worked with it for a number of years, learning all about the products in my warehousing role before I moved onto the trade counter and then internal sales. I found that starting at the bottom gives you a depth of knowledge to fully understand your trade.

Throughout my career I have been very fortunate to work under Tony Brumwell and I have learnt much of my skillset from him. When he left the company we both worked at to become Newcastle branch manager for Park I took the opportunity to join his new team. I haven’t looked back and have been here for just over three years. After 10 years of building my knowledge and developing my skills within internal sales I have made the transition to external sales and business development.

Going from internal sales where you are building trust and relationships over the phone is very different to going out and meeting customers face-to-face. What I like about working at Park is that it is a very friendly and comfortable environment to be in. I have been allowed to ease into my role which in turn makes you feel more relaxed. I am really enjoying making sure that my customers are pleased with their service and will always go above and beyond to ensure they are satisfied.

I am also getting the chance to create and develop business leads which is a challenge but provides a great sense of pride and satisfaction when you are able to develop a relationship with new customers. The job is always varied and I report to sales director Craig Hopwood on a monthly basis who is a great support. This provides us with a chance to review targets and I am also in contact with Tony Brumwell on a daily basis.

Working within the sales arena for me the biggest challenge is the competitive nature of the work. A lot of wholesalers are offering competitive rates but you have to be confident in who you are and what you offer. At the end of the day people buy people, you have to be likeable. It is good to see that there are two young lads who are coming through, one who has just completed an apprenticeship in warehousing and is beginning to learn the trade. From my time with the company, Park provides a lot of opportunity for young people by giving you a prominent position within the team and the opportunity to progress.

The team very much looks after its members and we also enjoy bonding out of work! Working in a sector that is more competitive than it has ever been, it is good to let your hair down now and again!”