Good relationships are key in sales, says Simon Nicol

Good relationships are key in sales, says Simon Nicol

'My strengths are my relationship skills,' Nicol says

Simon Nicol has been in the IT industry for around 23 years. He worked at Dove Electronics for almost 10 years, five of those in Christchurch then he transferred to Wellington as branch/sales manager for the next five, before moving back to Christchurch and joining Renaissance. He was made redundant from Renaissance when the company dropped named brands. He then picked up a 6 month contract at Datacom.

Nicol started with Exeed a week before the company launched in New Zealand and has been on board ever since. He manages Wellington South and spends nearly every second week in Wellington and the remainder in the South Island.

“My strengths are my relationship skills," Nicol says. “It’s one part of my job I thrive on and the great part about that is I have made many close friends along the way.”


When did you realise you wanted to be a salesperson?

When I was about 14 I worked in a supermarket part time and the contact I had with customers made me realise I’m a people person and sales was for me.

Do you get a rush of adrenaline when you make a deal?

Yes, it’s one of the reasons I love sales. Without that what would be the point?

Do you find being nice to people you don’t particularly like an easy part of the job or difficult?

Easy. I get along with most people and with the odd one I don’t, I focus on the job at hand when dealing with them.

How do you balance time spent between product knowledge training with generating leads or opportunities?

It depends on the product. I tend to have pre-sales working with me on the high end kit so I focus more on the opportunity and the relationship side, whereas on our day to day run rate items I keep up to speed by reading, online training etc as it’s vital we know our product.

How do you deal with rejection?

I take it as a challenge, reflect back on what went wrong and work out how to do a better job next time.

How do you prepare for a major sales pitch?

Know your facts, competition, and why you are there, spend time ensuring you are as totally up to speed as your colleges working with you on the pitch.

Have you ever been overdressed for a sales pitch?

Yes, going back many years ago I can remember wearing my suit to a rural client, I think I scared them before even spoke to them.

What’s the best deal you have ever closed?

In the past 23 years there have been several, but some of the best are not the biggest, they are the ones you really have to work on and spend time on, especially if you know you're on the back foot. Winning those ones is the best of all.

Have you ever used a psychological trick in closing a deal?

No, honesty is the best policy.

Would you encourage your offspring to go into sales?

Absolutely, I think sales is a great field to be in. It’s constantly changing and challenging, I hope my two children will follow my path.

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