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Meet Gareth Stubbings… a keen sportsman and sophisticated sales rep from Bangor, Co. Down.

Having spent the day with Gareth, I’ve managed to conduct an interview to find out a little more about him, his background and role within Rich Sauces (for your eyes only!)

So Gareth, can you tell me a little bit more about your background?

Well Dora, I’m currently a sales rep for Rich Sauces sauce suppliers and have been for a number of years covering counties including Down, Antrim and your part of the world (Armagh) in Northern Ireland. I originally studied a Business Management degree in Leeds (‘of what studying I did’) and in my spare time I play Hockey for Bangor.

How did you become a sales rep?

To be honest, believe it or not… my career all started from making samples of wholesale mayonnaise for Rich Sauces in their factory simply as a summer job! From there I moved into dispatch and then ended up within internal sales covering maternity. After this, I was asked if I would promote a new product called Gourmet mayonnaise for a month out on the road – luckily for me, this proved successful and since then I’ve continued as a sales rep within external sales.

On a typical day, what sorts of duties would your job entail?

It really depends, duties can vary day to day depending on the types of calls. For example, in a follow up call I’d simply pop into the store check how well the sauce is being implemented, offer more advice and help if need be. In terms of a cold calls, I’d spend a lot longer with the client, discussing their needs, going over our products and providing samples. Nearing the end of the day, I’d spend time writing up notes and confirming plans for the next day.

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When out on a call, how long would you typically spend?

Again this depends on the type of call, a follow up is undoubtedly shorter compared to a cold call. But typically calls can last anything from 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.

When you’re out on the road, how do you find communication with the head office?

For me, communication is very easy, I live locally and can come into the factory whenever - normally once a week. Even at that, I speak to my boss at least once a day so finding out the office antics is very easy!

In terms of products, which ones do you think are the best sellers?

Undoubtedly, Rich sauce’s real mayonnaise is definitely number one – it’s the one product food service businesses use most of, proves so versatile to use within a range of foods and enhances dishes. In terms of sauces, I’d say sweet chilli is up there along with our great taste award winning bouillons.

 

In terms of samples, how do you judge how many to have at one time?

I tend to keep stocked up of everything whether they’re needed or not – at least have two or three pots of each catering food supplies. It’s best to have more than being left short.

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With regards to bespoke products, would those be offered/made often?

These are regularly offered/made for clients but really only if the volume is there. For example, we make a unique MSG free white sauce for a manufacturer who had been having consistency problems with their previous supplier. So yes, if the demand and volume is there it is not a problem. 

When delivering products, which distributors do you work with?

There are typically 5 major wholesale catering food suppliers in Northern Iireland that I work with including our dedicated catering food suppliers Ian Kells based in Belfast, and Newry legend Des Carson (famous western and country singer!) 

Do you also deal with manufacturers?

there are four major manufacturers that I deal with. They vary from producing bagged salad, food to go and wet salads. For me, it was introducing these manufacturers to Rich sauces that I would count as one of my biggest successes.

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Challenges of the job?

As great as our product are you will not get ever business to buy them (although I do try). Being able to pick yourself up after a knockback and brush yourself down for the next call can be tough. And as for traffic, I’ve definitely become more irritated sitting in it having started this job!

Finally, have you any advice for someone new starting external sales?

Simply be yourself and treat every call as a new opportunity!

So there you have it… a brief interview with Gareth complete.

If you want to find out a little bit more about the day, check out my next blog.