Northern Building Plastics has strengthened its sales team by appointing two new sales apprentices at its Bolton and Leeds Super Depots.
The recruits – Matthew Bilton, 24, and Mackenzie Chantry, 19 – have been taken on as part of a training programme to bring fresh ideas and talent into the company’s team, as well as NBP’s ongoing commitment to developing the next generation of enthusiastic and knowledgeable salespeople in its sector.
“In the building industry, what it takes to be a great salesperson is massively underestimated,” said Stephen Jones, Sales Director at Northern Building Plastics. “Our customers know as much about the trade as their suppliers and we want to make sure that our salespeople are here to support them.”
Speaking more on why they’ve chosen to employ younger apprentices in the roles, Steve said: “A lot of people are keen to get into sales but often don’t have the opportunity or experience. We want to give young people the chance to bring their unique talents to our industry, as well as their drive and enthusiasm. We want to keep young people coming through into sales roles.
“So much is changing in our industry, from the ways we buy and sell to how we approach sales and customer relationships. We’re always trying to make things more convenient for NBP customers, like the addition of WhatsApp ordering and our next-day delivery service, but we know that the old ways still work the best.”
Matthew says: “Sales has always been a career I was interested in, but I’d never found the right opportunity before, so it’s been great to get involved with NBP. So far, my training has been very much hands-on, allowing me to work closely with my line manager and the rest of the sales team, which has helped me settle in quickly. I’ve been getting to grips with the industry, our business and how we run our depots, learning everything I can along the way.”
Mackenzie offered: “Sales is something I have always wanted to explore as a career, so I couldn’t pass up this opportunity, and everyone at NBP has made me feel welcome since day one. Ultimately, I aim to keep learning to work my way up.”
As well as introducing fresh faces to the team, the new apprenticeships gave NBP a chance to try out a new streamlined recruitment style. The ‘speed-dating’-inspired interview format gave candidates a 15-minute slot to sell themselves, and allowed Steve and his team to quickly prioritise those he felt had the right attitude and mindset to be the future of the NBP sales force.
“We’ve invested in training our apprentices the old-fashioned way because we know that it works. Having young people with a new attitude is the way to a new future, but that’s no reason to turn our backs on the old ways that have stood us in good stead for so long.
“Customers can get frustrated when they’re going around in circles with automated phone lines and AI chatbots. Sometimes you just want to pick up the phone and speak to someone who knows what they’re talking about. At NBP, that’s exactly what we still want to deliver.”