ANALYSIS: How to sell to ... - Steve Husband/MBS’s director of press and radio buying can handle tyrants

Steve Husband remembers his first day of media agency life like it was yesterday. He arrived at the offices of Sinclair Knight, suited, booted and keen as mustard, only to see Mr Knight kneeling on the chest of one of his employees and violently banging the man’s head on the office floor.

Steve Husband remembers his first day of media agency life like it

was yesterday. He arrived at the offices of Sinclair Knight, suited,

booted and keen as mustard, only to see Mr Knight kneeling on the chest

of one of his employees and violently banging the man’s head on the

office floor.



’He was the Genghis Khan of buying,’ says Husband, grinning at the

memory.



’He held a sales rep out of the window once because he wouldn’t agree to

a lower rate.’



Knight once cut Husband’s telephone line with scissors while the then

trainee planner/buyer was negotiating a deal, simply because he didn’t

like the sound of it. But Husband survived the ’sink or swim’ atmosphere

of Sinclair Knight and moved on.



Since 1996, the Tottenham-bred 31-year-old has been working for the less

temperamental Glenn Burton at MBS Media, the UK’s oldest media

independent.



The agency has Carlton and Norwich Union on its books, but its biggest

sector is retail. As media director, Husband has been running the pounds

15 million Limelight Group business, which encompasses Moben Kitchens,

Dolphin Bathrooms and Sharps Bedrooms.



Now Husband has been promoted to press and radio buying director - 90

per cent of The Limelight Group’s media spend goes on press, while

Norwich Union is a fan of radio.



Outside work, Husband is into ’normal boys’ things’ like rugby as well

as the (on the face of it) less macho game of hockey. The latter was

taken up at school ’because more women played hockey than rugby’ but

became a serious hobby. ’People react strangely when you tell them,’

says Husband.



’But hockey is a good, classless game and I’ve broken my nose more times

than my rugby-playing mates have.’ Nowadays, weekends are taken up

looking after his six-year-old daughter and settling into a new house in

Twickenham.



If you do land a lunch with Husband, make enquiries about the venue.



While at London Bridge-based Clark & Taylor a few years back, he took a

glamorous female sales rep from Conde Nast to a Chinese chip shop in

Bermondsey. ’It was a wet day and by the time she got there she was

soaked,’ Husband sniggers. ’She just sat there by the gas heater looking

awkward in her Chanel suit. It was brilliant.’



LIKES

Hockey

His old MG

Sales people who like what they do

DISLIKES

The high turnover of sales staff

Hierarchical sales teams

Pretentious restaurants



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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).