“When I first arrived I was looking to get into the IT industry. Unfortunately it is hard to get a job without Kiwi work experience. I started looking at the local businesses and found an opening at Harvey Norman Manukau as a computer sales person. I had my interview and held a part-time position for three days before they hired me full-time. I had promised the general manager at the time that I would be his best salesperson.”
The promise turned out to be true. Smart joined the top 13 salespeople at Harvey Norman in his first year and topped the list in his second year. He excelled in selling Flexirent at the retail chain.
“Flexirent was a very profitable product at Harvey Norman and I was recognised for selling it. I knew everyone at Flexirent as well. The next step for me at Harvey Norman was proprietorship, but I wanted to stay in Auckland and it wasn’t really what I wanted to do at the time.”
Smart’s next move was joining Flexirent as sales area manager for Auckland. A good friend, Bryan Simpson, who is now country manager for Logitech, was working at Flexirent at the time and helped him get the job.
“I stayed in the role until about one month ago, when Symantec offered me the position of sales account representative. The reason I left is that I had been selling Flexirent for the last five years. There are only so many ways you can skin a cat. Flexirent is an intangible product, it’s not something you can touch and feel, and getting the sales pitch across to younger salespeople can be hard to do. It’s good being here now and selling a tangible, hands-on product; one that people can see results from right away.”
Smart says he was used to selling the Symantec and Norton brands from the early days of his IT career, with the products coming bundled with PCs. This gave him an insight into how Symantec was positioned in the market. Because the brand is well known, Smart says a lot of his work has been done for him.
“My role here is basically running the retail division for Symantec in New Zealand. I will travel a bit throughout the country to spread the word, but the great thing about Symantec and Norton is they are well known, so a lot of my job is already done. It’s just getting in there and reinforcing that we are the market leader.”
And where does Garrick Smart want to go from here?
“The sky is the limit. I know what I am capable of, so it is all about proving my worth to these guys and taking on every opportunity that comes along.”