Ashley is one of our Business Development Managers. He’s been at Red Flag Alert for just over a year (13 months) and sat down with us to share some insights into his experience.
What is your role at Red Flag Alert?
I’m a BDM. My role entails introducing the system to new potential customers with a demo, and providing them with any answers to questions they might have. After the call, I’ll make sure to follow up with them to see if they want to proceed to Red Flag Alert or not.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
What do you enjoy about working here?
I enjoy the products that Red Flag Alert offer; it’s nice to work for a company where we have confidence in our software. It makes the job much easier when you’re selling something you trust. I also work with some great people; I’m mainly based in the Cardiff office, which is smaller than the Manchester one, and we’ve got a close little team that is always there to support each other.
Is there something you’ve worked on that you’re especially proud of?
I think for me, it’s working on my understanding of credit. I come from the world of anti-money laundering, I’ve had to adapt and gain a better understanding of different target markets for Red Flag Alert.
Equally, the people I work with can fill me in when I have any questions, or I can jump on their demos to learn more and train myself. I’m constantly learning, and I’m proud of working on myself to be able to understand the market from being new to it.
What’s been your career journey so far?
I worked in insurance for 18 years, worked more out there to be an assistant manager of three branches where I met my wife. Then I moved over into anti-money laundering checks with LexisNexis, which gave me a good platform to be able to sell at a more professional level. Then from LexisNexis, I did a brief stint at a small AML company before moving to Red Flag Alert.
How do you stay current with industry trends and development?
I try to spend as much time as possible on LinkedIn by joining relevant groups.
I’m also a fan of jumping on my colleagues’ demos. These are very beneficial, not necessarily from a training perspective, but just to see common customer questions and themes. And if we launch a new product, it’s good to know the selling points and new features, so I always take the opportunity to join a demo if I get the chance.
How do you approach problem-solving and overcoming challenges in your role?
I’m big on communication, so I’m never afraid to go and ask for help from my team. It’s important to lean on each other and communicate. I’ll talk to my colleagues and understand if they’ve experienced a similar problem; I probably ask the most questions out of everyone!
How does your role contribute to the success of RFA?
The way I present myself is different from a traditional salesperson. I’m not pushy, it’s more important for me to understand the client's wants and needs – I always present our product to solve the specific problem that they have. I don’t go for the hard sell; the way I present Red Flag Alert is that don’t have a high turnover of sales, we’re more about working with our customers to provide them with a solution that fits their needs. I find that approach is much more rewarding for me as well.
What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing the same career as you?
You must be prepared for good times and bad times in a Business Development role. Every day is different, even every hour can be different! You can have the highs of thinking that quotes are coming in and you’ve done a great job, only to discover that there was an issue internally on the customer’s side and the deal cannot go through.
Don’t count your eggs before they hatch!
What do you see as the future of your industry?
There’s a lot of changes on the horizon, and the Red Flag Alert platform is great at leading the way. For example, the recent addition of the business compliance check within our software – I think that’s something that we can expect to see as an industry standard moving forward. I think that regulatory bodies will soon require customers to not just check individuals, but also the companies themselves. Providing that as part of a credit report is us stepping forward in the market and ahead of our competitors.
What drives you to succeed?
My passion for the job. I left school without many grades, but I’ve always had a drive to do well. I think it comes down to me wanting to do well but wanting to do it the right way – I want to be able to help customers and provide them with software that can really help them out. I’m all about ethical sales!
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I have my wife and two dogs, so to me, the perfect day is rom-com and 80s films on a Sunday with my dogs.