ANALYSIS - HOW TO SELL TO ... Becky Smith - MGM’s account manager and rugby aficionado is tackled by Ashley Davies

Becky Smith is doing annoyingly well for a 25-year-old. After a stint as a press buyer with Zenith Media, she joined Manning Gottlieb Media as a senior planner/buyer, and is now account manager on Virgin Direct and Fuji.

Becky Smith is doing annoyingly well for a 25-year-old. After a

stint as a press buyer with Zenith Media, she joined Manning Gottlieb

Media as a senior planner/buyer, and is now account manager on Virgin

Direct and Fuji.



The move into media came after she studied international business at

Loughborough University, where she picked up a fondness for rugby. She

really does enjoy the game, she insists. As if anyone could accuse a

woman of being into rugby for any reason other than respect for the art

form.



Anyone who has dealt with MGM staffers will know they don’t exactly sit

around picking their noses all day. Actually, they work ridiculously

long hours. One of Smith’s bugbears is not being able to reach people

between noon and 3pm. ’It’s especially bad on a Friday if we’re trying

to get a tactical out,’ she says.



Not that she’s averse to a long lunch. Smith does enjoy the opportunity

to get to know the people she’s dealing with, without necessarily having

to talk about work. Building up that mutual trust, she says, makes for

more relaxed negotiations in the future.



But, she points out: ’I do like a rep who understands the difference

between overt bribery and relationship building.’ Sadly, she’s too

discreet to name and shame the offenders - but you probably know who you

are.



Another thing that gets on her nerves is people who get on the phone and

start rabbiting on without having established whether it’s a convenient

time to talk. And reps who take it personally when they’re not on her

schedule tend to grate a bit too.



Although she reckons nothing gets her too horribly irritated, she’s not

too keen on arrogance, or reps who overrate the value of their product

in terms of what it can achieve. She adds: ’It’s amazing that I get

stronger offers at the end of the month than at the beginning. Nothing

to do with targets or commissions, I’m sure.’



Like most people, Smith respects reps who can give credible arguments

for the roles their products play. The same goes for those who have

thought about what they’re offering before phoning her. ’I’ll know it’s

a call worth returning,’ she says.





LIKES



Rugby Mutual trust leading to relaxed negotiations Credible arguments

for being on the schedule





DISLIKES



Reps who are unavailable between noon and 3pm



Reps who wax lyrical on the phone without checking if it’s

convenient



Overt bribery.



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