Opinion: Question Time With ... - Classic FM’s sales director has plenty to smile about, Rachel Minter discovers/Simon Daglish

Since his promotion to sales director of Classic FM, Simon Daglish, or ’Dags’ as his colleagues like to call him, can’t stop smiling. ’After six months of running the sales team as acting sales director - without the facility to put my ideas into practice - I’m relieved to finally have control of the reins,’ he explains.

Since his promotion to sales director of Classic FM, Simon Daglish,

or ’Dags’ as his colleagues like to call him, can’t stop smiling. ’After

six months of running the sales team as acting sales director - without

the facility to put my ideas into practice - I’m relieved to finally

have control of the reins,’ he explains.



But then ’Dags’ thinks that being grumpy is a sin in the sales game,

whatever the situation. ’Without wishing to sound like someone out of

The Sound of Music, I believe that smiling keeps things running

smoothly.’



Daglish is making up for lost time. He has an army background and was at

Sandhurst before exchanging his military career for a job in media.



’This might appear a strange move, but my father was in the army and

also left to get into advertising - he became the sales director of More

O’Ferrell - so I followed in his footsteps.’



When Daglish came out of the army, his father pulled a few strings at

The Express, where Daglish Jnr started out by making the tea. Eighteen

months later, he left for Australia, where he worked under Rupert

Murdoch at the Sydney Telegraph and clawed his way up the ranks to

become sales director. On his return to the UK, he became group head of

The Daily Telegraph.



Daglish fell into radio in much the same way as he started out in

newspapers.



’I bumped into an ex-Telegraph colleague, Giles Howard, who was sales

director at Classic at the time, and he offered me a job in agency

sales.’



The 34-year-old seems to relish life in radio and the only reminders of

his newspaper days are a pair of distinctive red braces, which have

become his trademark. ’Radio is an exciting and dynamic medium and, when

compared with newspapers, offers real flexibility.’



In his new position, Daglish is already looking to recruit and will

spend the next few weeks in management meetings, determining the best

way of taking Classic into the new century.



’I want to build a clearer picture of what exactly the Classic FM brand

stands for. Classic was aimed at the older, more upmarket audience but

it’s changing as younger people are now listening to classical music and

we are, after all, a commercial radio station.’



Daglish also wants to improve the station’s relationship with

agencies.



’We must mirror what the agencies want and the obvious investment is in

planning. I want clients to feel like they are getting value for money

by offering them better planning than perhaps they have had in the past.

That’s why I am putting an emphasis on recruiting people who have a

marketing background and who can think along these lines,’ he says.



He has also instigated a strategic planning support team, so that each

sales group can refer to a strategic person for help.



Daglish admits he’s a typical Classic FM listener. ’I love the station

and I like classical music. But when I listen to a piece, if you asked

me to name the composer, opus number or whether it was a symphony or

concerto, I probably couldn’t tell you.’



Daglish is also a family man and if you don’t catch him at work, he’s

likely to be at the opera with his grandfather or rushing home to his

wife who is expecting their second child.



Daglish on selling



’There is no poetry in this profession - you can be a complete bastard

and do really well, or be a decent chap and fail miserably. You should

maintain a level of honesty when making deals and think ahead of the

game to produce different approaches to conventional problems.’



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