Due to the personal nature of field sales it remains one of the most effective sales conversion strategies for brands to undertake. At FMI we have an incredible team of dedicated field sales representatives who bravely face the unpredictable Irish weather to deliver sales results for our clients. One such dedicated person is Alex Leonte who has been with FMI for the last 6 years working his way up from Brand Sales Consultant to his current position as Assistant Sales Manager.
Alex’s career is a testament to his resolute work ethic, as he openly admits he was never the best at sales.
When I started, I had no previous sales experience, but what I lacked in experience I made up for in determination, working Mondays to Saturdays to refine my pitch and to close the sale. The hard work paid off when I managed to exceed my sales target for 4 consecutive weeks which earned me my first promotion to Junior Team Executive. Last year I was nominated for the Sales Championships Award, at the time I was managing a team of almost 30 people; and this month I got promoted to Assistant Sales Manager.
Building a rapport with the client quickly is key. The best way is to just be yourself, authenticity shines through. The next thing would be to qualify the customer, this allows you to understand what they want, which lets you to tailor your offering to what they need, rather than telling them what you are trying to sell.
I love working with people from various cultures. I am generally not a fan of the office environment, so running field sales teams allows me to be out the office. Running my team is like running my own small business which I find very rewarding. I also like the diversity of the campaigns we work on. The sales targets we have to hit on a weekly basis are always challenging and although it is tough, accomplishing this gives me a tremendous sense of achievement.
I have learnt something positive from all the managers I have worked with. I have taken what I learnt from each of them and created my own style of management.
The first thing you have to appreciate is that the weather is out of your control, but you need to be prepared, as it is likely to rain. I like to manage my team in a very personal way, they become my family, and I believe that support and transparency are the fundamentals of building trust with my team. That,… and I buy them coffee and hot chocolate on cold days to keep the teams spirits up and helps to keep them motivated to deliver results.
I thoroughly like the diversity of the people I get to work with and the people we talk to on a daily basis. At FMI there is always great support and an opportunity to learn new things and to continually improve my career. I believe that selling is a skill that touches all parts of your life, it’s a soft skill that everyone should have as you will always need it. Working for FMI has undoubtedly made me more confident and a lot more accountable. I also used to hate change but now I embrace change and the new challenges that it brings.
The first manager I worked with at FMI inspired me to want to become a Sales Manager, so that’s the next goal.
I am also on the FMI Sales and Client Relationship Management programme, which is a degree course run by the Learning and Development team at FMI, which is a programme accredited by partners TU Dublin. I am naturally better at the practical side of things, so the theoretical side of the degree is my new challenge. That, and the responsibilities of my new role.