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So you want to be a rep?
7th August 2019

By Karen Pickwick

Recruitment specialist Lynda Ward, of Pet Trade Solutions, is reporting an increase in pet retail assistants seeking field sales roles.

She said: “It’s perhaps not surprising that pet shop owners and assistants are often attracted to a career ‘on the road’, given their understandable perception of the perks – such as provision of a quality car, expenses and freedom from the shackles of a static base – but there are hidden responsibilities and potential downsides, too, that should be thought through.”

Lynda advises that Key among the considerations must be to understand that selling to consumers is not quite the same as selling to business buyers, who not only need to know the features and benefits and end price but also margins, promotions and support plus ordering delivery and payment terms against the competition.

LONELINESS


“It may sound simple but not everyone is comfortable with the switch to B2B (business to business) sales and consequent KPIs (key performance indicators) and targets,” she said.

“Another major concern is the amount of driving and inherent loneliness of the job – there’s nothing worse than a long day’s driving in frustrating traffic coupled with
several BNAs (buyer not available) and NTTs (not today thanks) calls – and, while being part of a team helps counter this to an extent, you are still basically out there alone.”

Lynda said these were just two potential pitfalls that people can fall into. “However, I am proud to say that, over the years, I’ve been able to identify and introduce to enlightened employers a number or people who I felt had the necessary tenacity and transferable skills to make that jump… and are now in senior roles in the pet industry with a highly-successful career and job satisfaction.”