00:00:01 My name’s Louise M and I’m the Regional Sales Manager for Bradstone Structural Products. The sorts of products that I sell are building material products, so anything from walling products to roofing products, used in both housing and commercial builds. I’ve been in sales now for the last four years, I started initially internally, within the sales office, and then have gradually gone out onto the road from there. I think people have this impression that people out on the road just sort of sail around in their cars from one call to the next, but it’s not like that at all, and when I first went out on the road it was hard work. And I think after six months thought about going back into the office, but then really stuck with it and thought no, I can really make this work. And now I love it and would never go back to being in internal sales.
00:00:49 The first time I had to go and actually knock on somebody’s door as such was actually one of – a large building contractor. Yeah, very nerve-wracking, but I knew that I understood my products, I knew what we were trying to achieve, and obviously what they were looking for. So once I was in, settled down, nice cup of tea, and away we went. And it was absolutely fine.
00:01:10 GCSEs – I enjoyed Drama, that was definitely my favourite. Thereafter it was English and Business Studies, I enjoyed. Didn’t enjoy Maths, although being in a sales role probably not a good idea, but didn’t enjoy Maths. And French was the worst one.
00:01:27 From an early age, dreams and goals – I think everybody wants to be somebody famous, or earn lots of money and, you know, really just be comfortable throughout life. But of course we grow up and we realise that reality hits home sometimes. I never really had a true path as to exactly what I wanted to do. I went to college for a short period and thought I quite enjoyed the tourism industry, decided that wasn’t for me. I think I always just wanted to be able to go out, earn a bob or two to be able to live really.
00:01:56 I would have been 17, 18 when I first went out and got a job working in customer service centre. Really really enjoyed it, and I think that’s really where I got my sales spark from, and that’s really what gave me that idea of that’s the role I wanted to move into.
00:02:12 Building materials industry is – certainly is very male-dominated industry, as is the majority of the construction industry. It certainly provides some good opportunities for women, purely because it gives us an opportunity to show what we can do. The organisational aspect, certainly from a sales perspective, has to be top notch, and I think us women generally tend to be able to cope with that a little bit better – sorry!
00:02:37 It’s usually a talking point when I go onto a site and it’s full of males. Most people would say that I’m far to glam to go on a building site, but when I’ve got my big yellow coat and my orange pants on, it’s very different. Well you can tell that it is a male-dominated industry, because if it was female it would be more colour co-ordinated!
00:02:53 In any job, in any industry, the work/home life balance is – you know has got to be important. My outside life – I’ve a young family so of course that takes priority. So I am quite lucky in the fact that sales roles can be flexible and we can work – make that work to fit family life.
00:03:12 In terms of where I’ll be in 10 – 15 years time, I’ll certainly still be in the building materials industry, yes. I’ve found my grounding and this is what I’ve decided I’m going to do. Going forward there’s still a lot more opportunities. I still see myself as being only one or two pegs along the ladder, there’s still a long way to go yet.
00:03:33 If I could do anything in the world, I would probably be a famous singer and earn lots and lots of money. I’ve always had that little dream as well. But I’m not going on X Factor! (LAUGHS)