The Career

In Conversation With…A ‘Retail Sales Leader’

This week’s graduate graduated 2 years ago with an Honour’s Bachelor of Commerce from a recognized university. He’s an outgoing, relationship-oriented self-starter with a passion for action. That’s why his role as ‘Retail Sales Leader’ at a leading pet food CPG company is perfect for him.

Did something above resonate with you? Read on to learn more!

The Struggling Graduate: Describe yourself in 3 words.

S: Personable, driven, curious.

The Struggling Graduate: What is your role and what is a typical day like?

S: I’m a Retail Sales Leader responsible for educating, selling and expanding our company’s Petcare product portfolio within pet specialty, grocery and mass retailers in the Toronto area. I monitor approximately 80 retailers and have built relationships with each store manager. On a day-to-day basis, I visit 5-8 customers within my territory to discuss and strategize potential opportunities to increase sales within their store. 

The Struggling Graduate: How did you get your job?

S: After graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce and participating in various case competitions, I identified that Sales was the facet of business which attracted me the most. Through the use of leveraging my network (meetings, coffees, LinkedIn), I was connected to the District Manager at my then-future-company. They were coincidentally hiring for this position and after a few interviews…well, the rest was history.

The Struggling Graduate: What skills do you need to be good at your role? Describe the kind of person who would excel in your role. 

S: My role is unique in that I don’t commute to an office. I also don’t have a manager who supervises my daily work. I have earned her trust because I am a self-motivated individual who consistently delivers results and exceeds my sales targets. I thrive off of developing relationships with my customers (store managers of retailers). Understanding the unique needs of their business is important; but getting to know them as a person, as in their motivations and daily struggles, is critical to success. Some days can be great with awesome conversations and positive results. However, some days can be discouraging with customers who don’t have time for you and your sales dip in results.

The Struggling Graduate: It sounds as though it takes a strong self-starter attitude to do well in the role. Last but not least…where do you see yourself in 5 years?

S: In 5 years, I see myself working at this company in a head office sales role. Namely either a Key Account Manager, District Sales Manager or Senior Sales Analyst. I believe this company has a very positive culture who invests in the development of young people and will help create a positive impact within my career. In my current role, I’ve observed how our products are executed in-store. I would eventually like to dip my toes in the behind-the-scenes planning.

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