Synnex business development representative Jono Cochrane has recently taken on the Xbox part of the business for the distributor, an area he says he is very excited to learn more about. Cochrane says Xbox will be his main focus for the next 12 months, as he works with his team to grow that business for Synnex.
“With Synnex recently being appointed Xbox distributor in New Zealand, I have taken on the Auckland based BDR role solely focused on Xbox. It is such a great opportunity for Synnex to grow and for me personally to learn a new product range. We’re well equipped for the new challenge and I’ll be working in a team of five to make sure we get it right,” he says.
Cochrane seems optimistic about the rest of the year and says that business is, overall, doing well. “For every customer that is struggling there is one thriving. I think if people keep proactive, understand the value they bring to the table and embrace change they will succeed.”
The secret for anyone to succeed in the same business he says, is above all to listen to customers and colleagues. “It is far easier to work with someone if you understand them and the only way to understand them is to listen. Someone once said to me that you have two ears and one mouth and you should use them accordingly in proportion.”
As a very young father when his daughter was born 11 years ago, Cochrane says he had to look for a job rather than a career.
“After working at Pak 'N' Save, KFC and Mitre 10 in my teenage years, I joined Able Business Machines. Initially I sold typewriter ribbons and printer consumables but then Able amalgamated with Connect,” he recalls.
“In the new company I carried on selling consumables and was then promoted to document sales. A couple of years later an opportunity came up in distribution with an Australian company looking to start up in New Zealand, Altech Computers. I took on that challenge and really enjoyed dealing with resellers, as until then I had only been selling to end-users. Hearing of the work I had been doing at Altech I got a call from Richard Harri who wanted to bring me on. Synnex dealt with the some similar customers to Altech so when he presented me with the opportunity to join Synnex as a BDR, I jumped on it.
“Two years into it and I’m loving it,” he adds.
Cochrane’s dreams of becoming an All Black (he played rugby competitively until the age of 17) were put aside a few years ago but he says he is passionate about IT and proud to wear the Synnex colours. However, if he ever does give up IT, it’ll be for a role “heavily involved with sports”.
He enjoys the social aspect of the IT industry and says a lot of his regular workdays involve face-to-face meetings with resellers. “I arrive at work in the morning, go through follow up from the day previous and then hit the road to visit our customers,” he says. “Working with resellers face-to-face really helps to grow the relationship. Many customers say “the reason we deal with Synnex is because you guys stick your head in our door. There is no substitute for actually visiting the customer and becoming their friend,” he says. “I'm lucky because Synnex does a lot of promotions with our customers and I often get to go fishing or to driving events etc. This gives me time to get to know our customers on a more relaxed level.”
Meeting people and travelling are his two favourite parts of the job, he says. “I hadn’t seen as much of NZ before I started my current role, now I’ve been from top to bottom and many times.”
Where do you live now and where did you grow up and have lived before?
I have moved around a bit, grew up in Bucklands Beach and Ngatea which is close to Thames. We moved to Auckland when I was about 10 and I have been a Westie ever since.
Are you married? Kids?
I have a beautiful girlfriend and an 11-year old daughter to keep me on my toes.
What are you currently reading?
Not much of a reader, the last book I read was Dan Carter’s biography. If I do read books, it’s generally a biography and generally of a sportsperson.
Who is your mentor? Or someone you admire professionally?
There have been a few people that have helped me in a big way throughout my career. Ken Liu and Richard Harri are a couple of the most recent.
Do you have any favourite sports?
I enjoy all sports, particularly rugby, league and basketball. I still play touch and a bit of indoor netball socially during the week.
What's your favourite gadget?
My Windows phone, I noticed it when I changed phones and I had to go without it for a day as I didn’t have my micro SIM.
And your favourite website?
Google for sure, you can find anything from there.
What's your drink of choice?
Alcoholic is beer, water otherwise.
What do you think has been the single most important advance in technology?
It’s got to be the internet, it’s a huge part of the world today, particularly allowing easier/cheaper communication.
How do you keep the work/leisure balance?
It can be tough, traffic is to blame for the 12 hour days but once work is done there’s plenty of things at home to sort out, plus I play social sports up to three times a week. My daughter has a pretty busy social schedule at the weekends so I’m pretty much booked out with that, outside of work spending time with family is what I enjoy best.
What do you consider to be your major strengths or skills?
I’m consider myself coachable and keen to learn and I think the former is an underrated skill, with changes happening so often you can’t know everything. So while I am confident in my abilities I’m happy to learn from people and do my best to adapt quickly. I also really enjoy change. Someone told me if you’re not moving forward, you’re not moving - which stuck with me.