In the hot seat

Ian Russell, Sales Manager at O’Reilly’s Wholesale

IAN RUSSELL, SALES MANAGER AT O’REILLY’S WHOLESALE

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF

I have just turned half a century and am married to Judith. We have two teenagers keeping me on my toes: Emma, 18 and James, 16. I am originally from Rostrevor and now living in Warrenpoint for the last 23 years. I have worked for O’Reilly’s Wholesale for 21 years, commencing in my role of sales executive with the company in 1998 and progressing to business development manager in 2006. I was promoted to take on the role of sales manager in 2016 and, whilst I find this brings many challenges, I really get a buzz from this role. I enjoy most sports though watching now rather than participating in! I am a member of Warrenpoint Golf Club and try to play most Saturdays but, with an 18 handicap, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY INVOLVE?

I start work at 8am unless a sales meeting is scheduled earlier. The minute I get to the office, the nature of our business demands me to have a full involvement in many parts of the company. This can be anything from management meetings, customers contacting me regarding product range prices, delivery days, new customers coming on board and general day today enquiries. We have a professional and experienced sales and telesales team who are always striving to assist our customers in any way possible. I am very much involved in promoting great customer care. This has led to O’Reilly’s becoming such a successful business and allowing us to celebrate our diamond anniversary – 60 years this year. I am in constant communication with the rest of our management team, always trying to improve all aspects of our business and always with the customer’s needs in mind.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE?

Although I hold the position of sales manager now, I would say being promoted to BDM in 2006 was the highlight. A few months into this role, I could see the benefit of what the role would bring to both the retailer and to the company. I have held the position of sales manager since 2016 and helping develop my team has brought great rewards personally as they are a very professional team to work with.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

This is an easy one to answer – I get such great satisfaction from seeing a customer’s business grow and develop and knowing that we have helped them achieve greater product range and therefore better opportunities for profit growth.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

My father said: “You have two ears and one mouth, you should listen twice as much as you speak.”

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST GRIPE?

Mistakes being made due to complacency.

WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE?

I took part in our community strictly come dancing and found out what a really a bad dancer I was when I actually thought I was good.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS/AMBITIONS?

To push forward the O’Reilly’s brand and our plan to increase the number of our very own symbol store brand, One2Shop. Would also love to run a marathon.

WHOM DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?

My father, who passed away nine years ago, was a real family man who was well received in the community. He was a quiet man but anything he said made a lot of sense. Also, anybody who can speak more than one language – I tried Spanish and have to admit it got the better of me…

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE?

Our very own Mourne Mountains; I’m blessed to live at the foot of them and enjoy jogging up there on Sunday mornings.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD PRODUCT?

Got to be a good steak, though in this day and age and with the carbon footprint, maybe I shouldn’t be saying that.

HOW DO YOU RELAX?

I am a member of Carlingford Lough Currach Club and enjoy rowing on the Lough whenever possible, followed by the obligatory pint to discuss the day’s row. My wife Judith works for an airline which brings the benefits of travelling to some wonderful remote destinations which we have enjoyed over the years as a family. I have a very close family circle and we enjoy spending as much time together as possible.

 

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