Friday Five with Luke

Friday Five with Luke

Tell us about your career and journey that brought you to Schools Mailing

I moved back to Bristol when I was 17, after living on the Isle of Wight for nine years. The prospect of moving to a back to a big city was both exciting and daunting. Full of hope, I set out looking for employment to hit the ground running. However, my CV consisted of beach and Hotel work. Sadly, the demand for hiring out Jet Ski’s in Bristol was in low demand.

Becoming disillusioned, I spotted an advert in the Bristol post simply saying, ‘can you rabbit’? It immediately caught my eye. British Telecom were looking to hire people that could hold a conversation in a telephone-based customer service role.

Three months in I was asked to switch over to the inbound sales department. I quickly realised I had a knack for sales. 12-months later, the Bristol call-centre closed and moved to Newcastle.

I quickly found my next position, this time working for the AA Driving School telesales team selling driving lessons. I spent 6 fantastic years at the AA, moving up the ladder, working in both Driving Instructor Franchise Recruitment Team then onto Instructor Retention. In my sixth year The Saga group acquired The AA and sadly moved the operation to Cardiff.

It was at this stage I moved over to Schools Mailing, working on a contract we held with NASEN. Primarily I was brought in to sell and manage the advertising space in their subscriber magazine, ‘Special Magazine’. 18 months later, we made the decision to move me over to Schools Mailing. Utilising my skill set and working alongside the now M.D Sarah Rodgerson in the Sales Team.

I have now been with Schools Mailing for 11 years, building a library of industry knowledge as I go. The years have passed, and my responsibilities have grown exponentially. I have been the Sales Manager of a dedicated team for the last three years and am actively involved in the daily general office management.

I have enjoyed every second of my time with Schools Mailing. I really do feel blessed to be a part of this fantastic company.

What do you like most about Schools Mailing and your job?

The company owner Paul Uttley is a conscientious and caring individual, who has instilled an honest and customer-first ethos throughout the business. Working for a company that perfectly matches my own values, means I can truly care about the work we do.

My role now consists of many elements, however there is still no better feeling than working with a customer from the creation of the project and seeing it really work for them. To this day, I get a huge buzz from it each and every time!

What advice would you give anyone wanting to market to schools

Marketing to schools can be frustrating for suppliers at times. There is no one shoe that fits all and no guaranteed method. What works for one supplier, may not work for another. Sometimes, against all the odds and recommendations, a marketing approach that shouldn’t work on paper, yields a great response.

Unfortunately, this makes it a very difficult industry to predict. This means you must go in with your eyes wide open. Try not to be too quick to judge. If you send a campaign and it fails to give you the response you are looking for, don’t write the method off. Think about the message, think about your competitors, think about the timing. Be creative, keep knocking on the door, but not without thought. Lean on our fantastic team for guidance. Feed on the knowledge we have acquired.

Lastly, please try to avoid sending something just once. Plan a series of messages, including a mixture of Email and Direct Mail, then support this with active Social Media participation. You will find that 99% of the time a one-off send will give you a one-off response rate. I understand it is easy for us to say as it isn’t our marketing budget, it is yours and it isn’t infinite. But in all honesty, if you want market to schools successfully, you need to give it the time, care and attention it deserves.

What is your mantra for success?

Evolve. Once you are good at something, think about the next step. There will always be someone else looking to eat your slice of the cake, so keep baking!

What are your interests outside of work?

I am a family man through and through. I have two wonderful teenage children and am very close to my wider family. We celebrate success together and are there for each other when the chips are down.

I also enjoy film, music and gadgets. I have recently started growing indoor plants and they are surviving (so far). I am told it is getting a little obsessive, but I honestly don’t see why dressing up as a 6ft cactus and talking to my little green friends should be an issue.

Posted in Education News.