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Adam Unsworth – Q&A with the Manchester Evening News

Adam Unsworth

PCS Sales Director, Adam Unsworth took time out to discuss his job with the Manchester Evening News. See the transcript below

What made you want to get into this line of work?
I studied product design at university and had often thought about a creative or design career. But in truth, I stumbled into the print industry after I was made redundant. I had four weeks to find something and so applied for various positions. The opportunity at PCS seemed like by far the most exciting.

How long have you been doing it? How long with this company?
I have been in the industry for more than 15 years, all of which has been with Plastic Card Services.

How did you get the job? Can you remember the interview?
I was very young then and perhaps a little naive, but I recall just trying to be as honest as I possibly could be. I told them that I was not interested in ‘career hopping’ from one company to the next, but would prefer to commit myself to one company for the long term and develop my skills and grow within the organisation. I felt this would be more beneficial to both parties and I think this has proven to be the case.

Give us a two-sentence summary of your job… 
I am responsible for the sales and marketing teams, as well as having a hands-on active sales role where I look for new opportunities and manage a large portfolio of existing clients. As an employee of an SME it’s important to be dynamic, as we don’t have the luxury of a department for every eventuality, so I’m often pulled into areas that don’t necessarily fall under my remit – but I guess that keeps it interesting.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done at work?
I’ve interviewed new starters in sales, hosted a new client site visit, and watched a webinar for a new web-to-print/eCommerce module we are looking to integrate into our website. I’ve also met with our SEO agency for an update on current website performance and held an internal sales meeting to help explore and identify new target sectors and new potential customers.

What do you love most about your job?
Even after all these years, the buzz of a significant client win is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job. It’s also nice to see the more junior sales staff bringing in big orders after supporting and mentoring them from the beginning – proud moments!

What do you hate about your job?
The drive every day from Monton to Macclesfield.

What qualifications, skills and personal qualities do you need for the job?
We look for graduate-level recruits in sales, although this is not always a necessity. The industry is fast paced, so it’s important that you’re able to work under pressure, juggle multiple activities at the same time and think on your feet. Drive, commitment and determination are critical, but being helpful, friendly and polite will get you far too.

Any advice for those wishing to join the profession?
I think sales is best suited to those with a naturally competitive nature, but ultimately, people buy from people, so personality is everything. The pressures are high, but if you put the work in, the rewards are too.