Rhys Taylor joined Connector Systems in February 2011 as a business development manager based in Auckland. Rhys has 20 years of experience in the IT industry. At Connector Systems, Rhys is responsible for growing the reseller business with a focus on SonicWall partners, but he also works across other key brands such as Motorola and Brocade.
Do you consider yourself a persuasive person?
Being persuasive really goes with the job, if you can’t argue your point and win more often than not – you might want to pick a new job for yourself.
Has that quality ever reflected on you in a negative way?
You’ve got to remember that some people don’t like talking to sales people – if someone prefers to have an in-depth technical discussion with a design engineer, they usually don’t want to talk to “Johnny shiny shoes” about Gartner graphs and the hard and soft benefits of the solution you’re pushing. As surprising as that sounds, I’ve found that you have to back off and let the tech guys have their say.
If you’re entertaining a client how much would you drink?
Given that this is an industry magazine - I have the right to remain silent, on the grounds that anything I say may be taken down and used against me...
Is it okay to open up and discuss personal details with clients?
A great part of selling is building relationships with people – and it’s pretty hard to build a relationship with someone whilst discussing the feature set of a next generation firewall. Having said that though, there aren’t too many customers that really want hear about the fight you had with your wife the night before.
Have you ever become friends outside of business with clients?
Working in distribution means that my customers are resellers, many of whom I have worked with in the past. So the short answer to that question is yes, most of my clients are my friends outside of business hours, it helps you to understand and meet your client’s expectations when you know them really well.
Do you find being nice to people you don’t particularly like an easy part of the job or difficult?
New Zealand’s IT industry is a village. it doesn’t take long to meet and get to know the major players within the market. I don’t think it’s a case of being nice to people you don’t like. It’s more a case of mutual respect. If you want to work with someone – either in a client, supplier relationship or even as co-workers you have to have respect. People that don’t understand that don’t tend to last too long in the industry.
How do you balance time spent between product knowledge training with generating leads or opportunities?
It’s a really exciting time at Connector Systems. We are constantly bringing on new, world-class brands. This week alone, I’ve spent two days learning about our new internet security suite. Because we are growing at such a rate, I would say that I am spending a little more time than usual learning and up skilling on our products and so I’d say about 30 percent of my time would be spent learning and 40 percent would be spent extolling the value of expanding product set to our resellers.
What’s the best deal you have ever closed?
Your last deal is always your best deal, closely followed by the one you’re about to close. It’s important to celebrate success.
Would you encourage your offspring to go into sales?
It’s funny you should ask that. My son Jack (who is 8 going on 9) was in the office last Friday. We jokingly set him a target of $1,000 for the morning – otherwise no McDonalds for lunch, he was pretty keen to get going. He still keeps asking to come back to work with me.