If you want to impress Carly Charteris, business development manager, Premier Holidays, have a can of cola at the ready
Describe your week
Four days on the road visiting agents and attending events, and one day at our head office in Cambridge. Each week varies due to training events, conferences and fam trips so it’s always different.
How big is Premier Holidays’ on-the-road sales team?
Our on-the-road team is split between our national sales manager, Dave Kneale and me, but we have a great sales team who support us and who attend training events and conferences with us or on our behalf.
What would we find in your car?
An umbrella, sunglasses, baby wipes, a Mars bar and a bottle of water. The back seat of my car has whatever I need that won’t fit in the boot with my stock of brochures.
And on the radio?
I love Radio 2 – it was a tip from a friend when I started working on the road. The reports from Sally Traffic really help when planning my route. I love the mixture of old and new music, and the PopMaster quiz.
What snack keeps you going on the road?
I try to take healthy food from home, but I do love a Costa hot chocolate.
What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever done as part of a sales visit?
I wore an Australian cork hat to launch our 2015 Australia brochure during agent visits. The corks proved dangerous – I’m not sure how I managed to avoid a black eye.
How many times did you take to pass your driving test?
I passed second time round but had the same examiner both times – the scariest man I have ever met.
What gives you road rage?
Middle lane hogs on the motorway. Overtake or move over...
What’s your hobby?
I love music concerts and have made an effort to go to more this year. My guilty pleasure is country music. I was lucky enough to go to the Country 2 Country music festival earlier this year in London. I love local country duo The Shires and even my favourite TV show is Nashville – everyone loves a cowboy.
What’s the best part of being on the road?
Seeing lovely parts of the country that I might never have seen before, and developing relationships with agents so I feel like I have a friend in every town.
How do you think agents would describe you?
I’d hope to be described as friendly, knowledgeable and caring. It’s important for agents to know I’m here, to help cement the relationship between them and our reservations team.
Which agency gives you the best cup of tea?
I’ve known the team at Escape Worldwide [in Wanstead, London] for years, and because I don’t drink tea or coffee, they always have a can of Coke waiting for me.
What key messages do you try to convey in an agent visit?
I remind agents of our current campaigns but it’s important to listen to what’s happening with them too. People buy from people, and believing 100% in the products and team I represent makes my meetings much easier.
What’s your advice for agents who don’t currently sell your product but are keen?
I suggest trying Premier to experience the personal service we provide. Many of our specialists have been at Premier for at least 10 years – their knowledge and advice will help agents to become the expert for their client.
If you didn’t work in travel, what would you like to do instead?
Not work in travel? It would have to be a lottery win and retirement – after 21 years of working in travel, it’s definitely in my blood.