This month we're talking to Sontay's new Global Sales Director, Mark Newton, about his experiences in the industry and what advice he would give to people starting out.
How long have you worked at Sontay?
What is your job role?
I am the Sales Director for the company
What are the best/worst things about your job?
It’s very early days but…..
The best part of my role is the complete empowerment I have been given by our Manging Director, Sandy. Often, when you join a new business there are old rules and habits that must be adhered to. Sandy has given me the freedom to approach all aspects of the role as I ‘see fit’. This is refreshing and motivating in equal measures
The most frustrating aspect of my job is the amount of traffic on our roads! However, I can’t control this and audio books enable me to learn while I am stuck in gridlock on the highways.
What attracted you to working in the building controls industry?
I had spent my previous 13 years working in the LED lighting sector where the market had become extremely price driven. I wanted to work in a new sector where quality and solution selling were key ingredients to success. I had also become a little stale, and I wanted to challenge myself in a new industry.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
In my area of expertise (Sales), my advice is the same I have been giving to sales people for over 30 years:
1 Have a daily to do list and stick to it
2 ‘Seek first to understand then to be understood’ – listen to your customers' needs before you start to sell to them
3 Become passionate about your company, your products and your customers – Passionate people are unstoppable!
4 Retain a healthy work / life balance
A new one I would add:
5 Take 10 minutes at the end of each day for reflection. We tend to run around at 1,000miles an hour and creating just 10 minutes of quiet reflection can have an extremely positive impact
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
In my early informative years 18-22: my first MD, John Newton, who also happens to be my father!
In my sales manager and introduction to leadership 22-28: my first Sales Director, Eric Anderson
In my years as a leader: my MD at Hager UK, Arnold Nossek
All three, in different ways, taught me that, integrity, discipline, self-belief and ‘working smarter not harder’ were all key ingredients to your on-going success (in both your work and your home life)
What five guests would you invite to a dinner party? Dead or alive…
Steve Coogan (in the character of Alan Partridge for the whole evening)
Let the wine, storytelling and laughter flow……
What is your favourite book?
The book I return to whenever I am ‘in a rut’ is Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson. It takes less than an hour to read but the core messages are superb
Who is your favourite musician?
Oasis – and alas, I don’t believe they will ever reform
What is your perfect holiday? Sun or Snow?
I was introduced to skiing at the ripe old age of 40 and after two lessons I was hooked. Exercise, good food / drink and plenty of laughter with friends. Plus, you get to go to bed early which always suits me!