SELLING YOUR SKILLS IN THE OIL SECTOR
In spite of the ongoing challenges faced by the oil industry, many new people continue to be attracted to the sector. So what is it that entices newcomers to make the career leap into the industry for the very first time?
North-east born Kelly Davidson left Ellon Academy unsure of what career path to follow but soon landed her first sales role, finding a niche in which she subsequently excelled, gaining experience in media,
advertising, banking, property and recruitment.
In May 2014, she was approached by Aiken Group managing director Danny Donald who, having watched her career blossom over a number of years, was keen to have her on board in the new role of sales and marketing manager.
This position was created when the company promoted six senior members of staff to director level, forming new management roles in a bid to ensure a balance of long-serving personnel with fresh new talent.
Danny said: “I have known Kelly for many years and she has always demonstrated, both personally and professionally, a calm yet determined, go-getting personality. I have watched her career in various roles over the years with great interest.
“Kelly is passionate about her job. She is constantly stretching herself and gaining more and more in-depth knowledge about our product ranges and takes great pride in being able to deliver this information well.”
And rather than viewing someone with no industry experience as a risk, Danny believes newcomers bring wide experience from elsewhere which can be tapped into, thus presenting an opportunity to be embraced in order for companies to evolve.
He added: “Kelly’s sales background has provided us with a different spin on presenting the company brand in a new and vibrant manner, opening up new and varied markets.
“She clearly demonstrates all the skills sets great salespeople have, whatever their industry, and that is vitally important for us as we move forward in the current financially challenging market.”
Kelly believes that much of being a salesperson comes from innate personality traits but that, while some skills may need to be in-built, there is always the scope to change what you do, how you do it, and the sector you do it in.
She said: “Although I have a lot of experience in sales, I had never worked in the oil industry until I joined Aiken Group – but I jumped at the chance.
“For me, it was the right time to try something new but I had always shied away from this industry because I wrongly thought you needed more technical knowledge to work in oil industry sales.
"The reality, however, is that salespeople have a lot of transferable skills and you learn the product just as you learn any product in any new sales role.
“Aiken Group in particular attracted me, primarily because of the company’s local roots and local ownership. There are lots of facets to the company so that means there are lots of products and services to get out there, and that makes the job busy, varied and interesting – all the things I like.
“One major bonus in my learning is that I have brilliant colleagues to learn from. As well as benefiting from really good training and development, I have the expertise and experience of the directors and a very hands-on managing director to draw on and that is a very valuable combination which I plan to capitalise on as I develop my career at Aiken Group.”