Monday to Friday, without fail, my alarm will go off at 6.30am. An early start, but in my house, family comes before business and my priority first thing in the morning is to get my daughter up, out of bed and ready for school. My working week can be pretty hectic, but as I work from home one or two days a week, my commute can be as short as just a short walk across the hall!
But this compensates for the vast amount of travelling I do every week. As national accounts manager for Total UK, it is my responsibility to nurture and develop relationships with existing, and potential Total dealers this is a vital part of our entire business model, and something which both requires and merits a large amount of time.
In any given week, I’ll travel all over the UK, visiting our dealers, co-ordinating and advising on the latest site openings, and developing important relationships with independent dealers, who might want to become part of the Total family. It is this genuine family atmosphere which has been at the heart of Total for as long as I’ve been here 20 years now! Total UK is a hugely personal company. Whether they’re in a lubricants factory in Yorkshire, behind a shop counter in Birmingham, or an analyst in our Watford head office, it is the people at Total who make the difference.
In a general sense, my main duty as national accounts manager is to look after the profitability of existing and potential customers. Sure this translates into solid commercial objectives; after all, I’m responsible for over 800 million litres of business! But all the same, my personal and professional relationships with dealers are the real drivers of success.
I believe those relationships are best maintained face to face, so lunch could be with a dealer. If not, lunch will often not happen at all, or be snatched on the road. Thankfully forecourt food has come a long way in recent years though the temptation of freshly baked doughnuts or sausage rolls is not helping my New Year’s fitness drive!
Something that will is a charity climb that I complete each year with one of our dealers with all the funds going towards CLIC Sargent, Total UK’s company charity. I also help to organise sponsorship for local football teams. Over the years I’ve built up a fantastic network of great friends and colleagues and this makes the whole experience all the more rewarding.
Back on the road and things are particularly busy at the moment, as we’re getting ready to relaunch the Total Rewards scheme in March. It’s a massive upgrade on last year’s scheme there’s new technology, new POS and, most importantly, new partners. There are two-for-one offers at cinemas, 1,000s of restaurants, Premiership football and rugby matches. The rewards are still instant though, letting the customer save money, not points. It’s a really exciting time, as there are a lot of industry firsts involved. My job has been to make sure the needs of the dealer community were paramount throughout the scheme design and that everyone knows all about the new opportunities.
With a job like mine, you could easily be tempted to work all hours; and with the office at home, it can be difficult to fully switch off. But it’s all a question of priorities you’ve got to learn to navigate the fine line between work and play. When work is over at the end of each day, my family come first. After all, my daughter can be my most demanding customer!
Job title: National accounts manager, Total UK.
Responsibility: Nurturing and developing relationships with existing and potential Total dealers
Career history: Regional sales assistant at Total’s office in South Ealing; sales at the head office in Cavendish Square, London; analyst; pricing manager; national accounts manager. (Jenny has been at Total for 20 years)
Greatest achievement: Climbing Mont Buet, Chamonix, France
Most likely to say: "Never give up"
Least likely to say: "It can’t be done"
Interests: Family, gym, walking and socialising with friends