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10th September 2018

By Karen Pickwick

Pet Trade Solutions founder Lynda Ward says employers needing sales people are increasingly asking for ‘hard workers’.

“Prior to founding Pet Trade Solutions in 2000 I had spent 18 years in challenging field sales roles in the pet industry, introducing new brands and increasing distribution, so I know how hard the job can be but also how hard work pays off.

“The mental and physical highs and lows of these roles can be exhausting and take their toll on people who do not have the right attitude but there are some who will just cruise along and are simply ‘order takers’. 

“My experience in man-management was that the latter are the hardest people to manage…it’s possible to teach people to sell but almost impossible to teach them to have a good work ethic.”

Lynda said observing people working on trade stands at dog shows or trade events could sometimes give clues. For example, the salesperson who rebuffs potential customers by deliberately not meeting visitors’ eyes as they walk past or not engaging with them as they browse the stand. 

But she warned: “Conversely, believing that the bright, bubbly character who is excelling in those situations when they are surrounded by fellow workers and on a high with the buzz of an event will continue to bring in orders when out in the field alone and having to be proactive, enthusiastic and energetic day after day after day can be a fatal mistake.”

Lynda concluded: “Employers need sales people who will roll up their sleeves and work hard to be successful and it is my job to put the right people forward to the right companies…knowing the people plus how difficult and frustrating the roles can be and understanding the trade itself admittedly does make my job easier.”