I had the pleasure of working in the purchasing side of things for two years in my previous job at Cash & Carry, the biggest wholesale food distributor in Australia. As a marketing person, I spend my whole life trying to sell and convince people of my ideas and products. Being on the other end of the spectrum was a refreshing change. I moved from no one wanting to answer my phone call to everyone wanting to get back to me. I would take the purchasing job over marketing anytime.
In purchasing, I was in a position to evaluate suppliers’ offers and their service level. I have seen my share of savvy sales people pitching their products with shrewdness and excellence. I have come across some of the most masterful presentations that did not make the cut, and I have seen some not so sleek communicators that closed big deals, simply because of their good track records and in depth understanding of our needs. Amidst all that was Nick Manning.
Nick does not have any killer pitch. One thing that stands out about Nick is that he is always in a good mood. In the fast paced stressful environment we were in, we did not need a reminder that the day could get any worse when we dealt with our suppliers. Which is why I loved hearing from Nick. Without trying too hard, he often managed to put a smile on the face of everyone who did business with him.
He is always polite, pleasant, with an upbeat attitude. Did I mention, he is also funny? Sometimes we put in way too much energy on perfecting the pitch or the value propositions and neglect the fundamental reason that people decide to deal with us is because they like us. That often has to do with simply being nice to people. Whenever there is an opportunity for partnership or a request for new lines, guess who would be the first on my list to call?