June 5th 2023
“Every day I learn something new – still! This job is everchanging, and it keeps me on my toes!” says Ian Storey, Territory Manager.
Having spent seven years in the army, as a utilities and petroleum fitter, Ian discovered his passion for pumps and knew he wanted to work in the construction and water industries.
Upon leaving the military and after a short period at another company, Ian began his journey with Selwood as a Fitter in 2016 and promoted to Territory Manager in 2021.
“The technical expertise and skills I acquired as an engineer in the army have supported me massively at Selwood, but also the discipline and motivation have been transferrable to my working life here.”
Based in Middlesborough, Ian looks after customer relationships in the North (from Scarborough to Berwick Upon Tweed at the Scottish border) as well as new business development.
“When it comes to potential customers, we either use sales leads, or if I’m out and about, I might come across a site and introduce myself. It’s not a very formal procedure – people often don’t want to hear about how well our pumps can perform, they just want to know whether we can provide a solution that will work. It’s more about creating a relationship from the start, rather than selling a product.”
Ian goes on to talk about how maintaining relationships with existing customers is just as important.
“I make a lot of courtesy calls, to build and maintain relationships with our customers, checking that the current solution or products they have on site are meeting their needs. In this way, I’ll advise customers on the right solution for their jobs.
“In this business, people buy from people. It’s why I like to regularly meet face to face with our customers – asking them about what they’re doing, how their weekend was. They value and trust a friendly face – being pedantic and standoffish won’t get you very far in this industry.”
Site visits and surveys
Supporting the sales and solutions teams is part of Ian’s role as a Territory Manager.
“We have a great management team here in the North. If one of us ever needs support, no job is ever too small, we’ll all jump in and help.
“This could involve doing site assessments, including identifying the issue, what is the access like (for delivery and installation) and what does the customer expect of us. Following that, I would do some calculations to determine what pumps and equipment are right for the job. I’ll then make phone calls to the depot to make sure that we've got the stock and to ask them to get it ready for the job.
“I generally take care of providing solutions for construction companies, but when it’s a bigger job or an emergency I will ask solutions for support. While the Solutions Manager might be doing the calculations for a pump, I could be searching to see if we've got the equipment or even starting to knock up a site survey document.”
When he’s not out and about, Ian is usually planning his week around sales and courtesy calls and reading construction industry and water industry news to identify potential new clients.
“I might also have meetings with customers we don’t see as often because they are large companies. I’ll try and pop in and catch up with them to keep the relationship going.”
Supporting mental health
Ian is one of Selwood’s Mental Health First Aiders. This means as well as his everyday responsibilities, Ian acts as a mentor for Selwood employees, to help open the conversations around mental health and signpost the services that will benefit employees.
“I felt honoured to be asked to be a Mental Health First Aider. It’s important in the current climate and playing a part in raising awareness about mental health in the company, is really rewarding.”