Lerex Management Team Spotlight
Craig MacKellar - Head of Sales
What attracted you to working for Lerex?
There were a couple of things:-
The people. Throughout any recruitment process I think it is always important to get a feeling of the people you will be working with. After my initials discussions with Lerex, I had the impression that not only were they knowledgeable in what they did, but they were open and approachable, that was important to me.
More specifically for a sales focused person, the question I asked myself is “what is the potential in this business that I can bring out?” and Lerex, with its expertise and impressive technology, just seemed like it needed to shout a little louder about itself to the wider world.
Even in these difficult economic times I think our first few months together have shown this to be the case with a lot of new customers coming on board, and many more to follow.
What do you find the most challenging in your role as Head of Sales?
Personally, as I come from a different sector, the energy and commodity trading sectors, initially the first challenge was to get up to speed on the industry and understand it complexities. The team at Lerex have been really helpful in doing that.
As a business I think my main challenge is bringing a focus to where we can grow our business. There are so many areas that could benefit from a card programme and we are a relatively agile business, so it’s keeping that focus on the areas we think are most mutually beneficial.
How do you think sales techniques have changed over the last 10 year & what is your preferred approach?
When I first started in sales, the main requirement for a career in sales was; “can you talk a lot?”. (as you can see from my answers to this, the answer still is “yes” 😊 )
In addition to this, sales really was seen as a quantity focused activity. The philosophy was “have the same conversation with as many people as possible and eventually you will make a sale”
About 5 years ago I was told something that completely changed my approach to sales;
“most people listen with the intent to reply and not with the intent to understand”
This is particularly true when it comes to sales, so now I notice how, yes, salespeople have to be good speakers, but the best salespeople are good at asking questions and listening to the answers to understand what the other person really wants.
This desire to change sales to quality conversations was also the motivation for me to join the Institute of Sales management and to help mentor others move the effectiveness and reputation of sales forward.
Before working at Lerex, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I guess that would be my time as a retained firefighter. This is a role that required the same level of training and expertise as a ‘full time’ firefighter but was performed alongside my main job at the time.
In that role the most challenging aspect was when on call, the pager can go off at any minute and you race down to the station not knowing whether you will be attending a false smoke alarm for 10 minutes or, as once happened, a massive industrial fire for 15 hours.
This role also taught me that while we have an urge to tell people in times of stress or crisis that “everything will be OK” it’s important to resist the urge to make promises on things that are outside of your direct control and even to this day you will never find me say to a client “everything will be OK” instead I always say “we will do our very best”.
What is the favourite part about working for Lerex?
Working with a great group of people and having the opportunity to define and influence the commercial direction of the business is a real plus, but more rewarding is that we work with a lot of startups and provide them with an essential cog in creating and growing their business.
To be surrounded by the energy and enthusiasm of these people really is my favourite part and one I hadn’t expected before I joined Lerex
Three words to best describe you:
Pragmatic, Competitive & Curious.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Give me a Mountain, a loch to kayak across and a tent surrounded by a dark starry night and I’m happy (oh and the ability to make a cup of tea!).
Failing that, I’ve never had a dog walk I didn’t enjoy.
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?
If I could choose the weather and the location then it would be a Postman (in the middle of Scottish highlands).
Fresh air, brief chats with people, hopefully delivering good news and most importantly, you start the day with a bag of things and at the end of the day, your bag is empty ready to be filled the next day.
And I’ve never had a day in sales where my in tray has been empty at the end of the day, so it would make a pleasant change!
What do you think is the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime & why?
I’m a big gadget fan and almost none of my favourite gadgets would have been invented were it not for the Internet.
It also has brought the world closer together and particularly in these current times, has helped people remain connected, whether that is allowing businesses like Lerex to continue to grow, or to allow grandchildren to speak face to face with their grandparents through lockdown or over different continents.