From the start of this summer, Martin Critchley has been promoted to become our Group Sales Director. After two previous sales roles in the JET PRESS team since joining in 2016, Martin is now in charge of all sales across the JET PRESS organisation. “There has been a lot of structural change behind this move,” says Martin. “There is now a clearer distinction between the Sales disciplines, who are pre order and Customer Service who look after customers through the rest of the process”.
Tough Job. Difficult Times.
Martin acknowledges that some customers have had to dramatically reduce orders since COVID 19, in the furniture and automotive industries in particular. But new opportunities have arisen. For instance, JET PRESS used to supply hundreds of snap rivets a month. Now, because they are used in Perspex visors for PPE there are orders for millions.
Another customer who normally operates in the aviation industry is working with JET PRESS on an aspiration guard. It will allow doctors, dentists and other medical staff to do their job without putting themselves or the patient at risk of infection.
Why do customers buy from us?
When Martin, who’s worked with two other players in the fasteners industry over the past 30 years, was asked this question, he came back with an interesting answer. “I think firstly, we stick to our word. If we say we’re going to do it we do. Then we try and tick as many boxes as we can for the customer. And we have something like 758 years of experience in this company. Between us, somebody always has the answer”.
Technology is changing the role of sales
Martin started his career with his contacts on a Rolodex. The closest thing he had to a mobile phone was a red phone box. He thinks technology has been the biggest source of change during his career. Martin is certain the events of 2020 will speed up the sales process through the uptake of the social media platforms. They are being used in many ways to enhance customer communication and experience. Sales people will harness this technology to accelerate opportunities by bringing people from different locations and disciplines, sometimes across the world, together to solve problems. And people working together is the best way to solve problems.
Some things however, don’t change. Martin describes the feeling of winning a big contract as like winning a marathon. Emotional and exhilarating. But these days he is increasingly aware that in many ways delivery is as important as winning. “It’s great to win but expectations have been raised and are running high. We have to fulfil all those expectations, especially if we want the next order.”
Relaxing and not relaxing
When Martin needs a break from the demands of running a sales team he heads off with his caravan. “There’s nothing better than being in the countryside in a field with my partner Sue and our three Spanish Water dogs. Ideally without my mobile phone signal”.
But Martin is also very committed to raising money for breast cancer charities. He has taken part in sponsored events including cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, cycling from Blackpool Tower to the Eiffel Tower and The National Three Peaks Challenge. This involves climbing the highest mountains in England Scotland and Wales within 24 hours. He has raised well over £100,000 pounds for charity.
No wonder he doesn’t see sales targets as too big a challenge!
If you would like to speak to Martin or any of the team please call +44 1623 551800, email [email protected] or use our online enquiry form.