“Why do customers like me? I pay them.”

You might remember from last month’s blog, our salesman Richard got a big thumbs up from one of our clients in the safety systems industry, who described Richard as “a really nice gentleman” with “excellent communication skills”

As far as we know, he wasn’t even paid for saying it, so we caught up with Richard to get his take on working as part of Edmo’s sales team.

So, Richard, tell us a bit about your background

I’ve been with Edmo just over two years.

Before that, I was the sales director at another company. I’d been there for nearly 20 years, working my way up from warehousing and distribution to sales, but I’d come to the end of what I could achieve.

I wanted to work with a company where I could offer my customers more, and Edmo fit the bill.

What does your role at Edmo involve?

My job’s split between taking care of our existing customers and looking for new business.

I’ve been in the industry a while (editor’s note: we’ll let 20 years pass as “a while”) and between me and the other guys, we’ve got some good contacts.

We’ll often hear from customers we’ve helped in the past who’ve moved on to new companies and want to work with us again. It’s a nice feeling, knowing that you’ve been remembered for doing a good job.

Is there such a thing as a typical week for you?

One of the good things about sales is that every day is different. I split my time between home and the office, as well as visiting clients and prospects.

We do the rounds every six to eight weeks for existing customers, just to make sure we’re doing everything they think we should be.

For new business, we make contact by email initially, follow up over the phone, then call in for a chat to see if we can help them out.

If we can, we invite them for a tour of Edmo’s facilities so they can see for themselves just what we can do. I like that variety – it keeps things interesting.

Is that variety the best bit of your job?

Yeah, one of the best bits. But what I also like is the positive feedback we get from customers when we’ve done a really good job for them.

People really do appreciate us getting rid of the headaches caused by them having to juggle loads of different suppliers: working with Edmo, you really do get a ‘one-stop shop’ solution.

Do you think Edmo’s complete solutions are a big draw for customers?

Yeah, that’s what most customers want: to get everything they need with the minimum hassle.

If you’re working with multiple suppliers, a delay or a problem with one of them is going to impact on all the rest.

With us, that’s not a problem. If there’s a delay, we’ll make it up: you’re not going to phone round a bunch of people then wait three weeks for the next available slot.

If there’s an issue with the end-product, you’re not going to have to listen to three different suppliers try and pin the blame on each other. We’ll know what’s happened, and we’ll sort it.

Why do you think your customers like working with you so much?

They don’t – I just slip them a bit of cash on the side to tell everyone I’m great.

But no, I like my job. I like working with people, building that connection, and being honest and up-front. Customers appreciate that.

Honesty is a big part of our job, in sales, and I don’t think too many companies can say that.

We take our lead from Andrew (Edmo’s managing director) on how we relate to customers. We’re not ‘yes men’, and we’re not here to tell customers we can help them if we can’t – we’ll try and send them in the direction of a supplier that can.

My job is to get people the solution they need. This is a small industry and word gets round. If you’re helpful – which I try to be – people remember that.

OK, let’s sum up. Who is Richard Baker, the man, the mystery, when he’s not at Edmo?

I’m an outdoorsy sort. I live with my wife and two daughters, who are seven and four, in the Forest of Dean.

It’s very rural – if you look out of our window, you can see two houses and just a load of fields. It’s lovely for the girls – they’re home-schooled, so they get to really enjoy the countryside.

Apart from me, my wife and the girls, we’ve got a dog and three lambs (Dotty, Milky and George, for the record), but who knows what we’ll end up with next.

Read about Richard’s happy safety systems customer here.


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