At SMS, we take great pride in the fantastic team that we have assembled - and continue to grow - over the years, all of whom contribute their unique experiences and personalities to our joint goal of delivering technical excellence in everything we do. In regular intervals we feature colleagues on here, so you'll get the chance to meet the team. This time, we've spoken to Joe, who is busy travelling around as a Sales Manager. Read on to find out more about his role and his journey to date.
Joe, can you first of all briefly introduce yourself to the readers of our blog please.
My name is Joe Carter, and I have been a Sales Manager for SMS for the best part of 4 years. I started my career in the engineering sector straight out of school, joining Brisco Engineering as a 16-year-old apprentice in 1981. Since then, I was able to gather experience in build, design and layout of various engineering packages, including HPUs and Chemical systems. Before joining SMS over ten years ago in 2007, I worked for a variety of Service companies worldwide, installing, commissioning and maintaining systems, therefore getting really good hands-on experience with the complex products.
What made you decide to switch from an Engineering Service role to pursue a career in Sales?
I suppose selling has always been in my blood, what with being exposed to this area of business from a young age. My parents were both working in the leisure industry, both having their own respective businesses. Therefore I quickly got used to meeting different people week in week out during the summer seasons. I can’t remember exactly why I made the change across to Sales when I did, but sometimes you just get a feeling that the time is right.
What does your role as Sales Manager with SMS entail?
Primarily I sit in the Operations side of SMS’ business. As part of my role, my focus lies on engaging with potential new clients and growing the relationships with SMS’ existing customer base. I am predominantly engaged with the Services that we can offer clients, but occasionally do Products as well. I like that about the role, it is incredibly varied and I get to advocate a lot of different areas of the SMS portfolio – 360 degree Sales.
What is your favourite part of your job?
To be honest I’m finding it hard to pinpoint any one thing, I do genuinely enjoy everything about my job, which is why made the switch four years ago.
What is the most difficult part?
The industry we have traditionally operated in was turned on its head 4 months after I had taken up the Sales role. We saw the barrel of oil drop to unprecedented record levels, and this certainly made the start in a role that effectively requires investments on the side of your counterparts very difficult. However, I am glad I stuck it out, as I have learned many valuable lessons on the way.
Tell us about one of the most memorable moments from your job?
Cold calls are always tough. It’s hard enough getting past the Gate keeper at the best of times, so that is why this particular experience stands out as a personal highlight.
One day I was in the Hull area in-between meetings. Trying my luck, I decided to drop a brochure off at a local Biomass Power Station. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, as upon entry I happened to run into the maintenance superintendent who stood at reception. As I approached him with my brochure, expecting to be batted away, he started quizzing SMS’ capabilities, and I pitched to him right there and then. With a shutdown looming and no resolve to an Electrical panel upgrade and lube oil replacement tube work upgrade, I was shown around site. SMS secured these 2 projects in course of the following few weeks.
What’s the most important trait you need for a job in Sales?
When you work in Sales it is very important to not take any criticism personally – in fact, criticism can be a good thing, as people have critically dealt with your products and/or services, and there might be an inroad into further discussions. Secondly, it is important to be yourself, and perhaps even more so, to believe in yourself. Confidence and then consequently delivering on those promises is key for an industry like ours.
If you only had 30 seconds, how would you pitch SMS to a prospective customer?
Calling all Duty Holders from Assets worldwide! SMS would be pleased to offer their services from Capital major projects to end of life support. We pride ourselves with quality of build to include HPUs, Chemical packages, Electrical control Systems and more. SMS are leaders in their field offering cost effective solutions to aging assets. Our dedicated team of Technicians are ready to support you 24/7.
How do you unwind?
For me, there is nothing better than sitting in a field with likeminded caravanners putting the world to rights. Failing that, climb into the hot tub nursing a cold bottle of Peroni.
What is the most important thing your job has taught you?
Patience. There is no benefit to rushing things that should not be rushed.
Finally, what does the future hold?
Service companies purely reaching out to the Oil & Gas Industry are guilty of not diversifying over the years. When oil was sitting at $120+ a barrel, no one gave it a second thought. Stick with that mentality these days and you will not survive.
The future is bright but not without its challenges. SMS have proven there are industries out there willing to engage.
Thank you very much for your time Joe.