Life as Head of Sales for Virgin Venue

John Horspool Virgin Venue

Hi John, thank you for taking the time to talk to me today! So, you’re the Head of Sales for Virgin Venue. How long have you worked at Virgin Media?

I have worked at Virgin Media for 21 years. I started out in United Artists in 1995 and moved through the cable organisations that ultimately became the Virgin Media that we know today.

21 years is such a long time! What has made you stay for so long?

The biggest thing for me is the opportunity I have been given within this business. In the last 21 years, I have had six jobs within the company and worked my way up! I originally started in third party Retail Sales – moved through marketing and returned to sales management later in my career.

The business is so dynamic and fast paced. Nothing stays the same and that’s what is so exciting about the area that I work in. For a sales person, always having something new – whether that’s a new product or service to put out there that’s a real need or want for a customer is what makes it work.

I have learnt that you can be whatever you want to be in Virgin Media as long as you work hard and are 100% committed to your role.

I completely agree! So, what’s the best thing about working at Virgin Media?

I can honestly say that the best and potentially the worst thing for some, is that nothing ever stays the same. We change constantly and that can be either a good or bad thing depending on the type of person you are, but if you are going to be successful in Virgin media you have to be open to embrace change.

When you consider the type of business we are in, if we stood still for long we could never thrive in such a competitive market. So change is ever present…

In your opinion, why should someone consider working in sales for Virgin Media?

Well, what can I say; Virgin Media is a massively recognised and respected brand in the UK. We’re a part of Liberty Global, which is the largest cable organisation in the world. Working for a company that has such stature in the market place, it’s an excellent environment to gain great experience, enhance your skills and give you the career progression you need - it’s a no brainer.

If you could provide one piece of advice to a potential candidate what would it be?

The one piece of advice I would say is that you need to find key attributes in a sales person. The three things that I look for when I am hiring a new team member is:

  1. Energy
  2. Resilience
  3. And personality – this one is critical.

Virgin Media is not a place for Wallflowers – not in sales anyway. Things are so fast paced and dynamic that you have to have that energy and focus to hit and exceed those sales targets.

What do you think separates a good sales person from a bad one?

Work ethic.

If you have the motivation and determination to get the job done, then this is the best place for you. We will work with you and provide you with all the help and advice you will need to succeed. But if you’re not eager to learn, then you will not thrive in this business.

How do you overcome any barriers that are put in your way?

I think for me, I would say I face more challenges than barriers. There are always challenges in this type of business but you have to have the mind-set to be persistent and consistent about working hard to overcome any obstacles.

Determination to succeed always wins out in the end.

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