I graduated in Electrical and Mechanical engineer from the University of Tasmania and joined the Oil and Gas services multi-national Schlumberger in 1985. My role was to conduct electronic surveys of oil wells and I worked in the rice paddies of Java , the jungles of North Sumatra, off-shore East Malaysia and in communist China when everyone was wearing military uniforms and riding bicycles.
In 1990 I moved to London to a desk job analysing oil-well data and became a petrophysicist. In early 1996 I was offered a ‘career opportunity’ to become a salesperson and move to Norway. I did not want a sales role but Norway sounded exciting. And even though my partner, Megan, was 8 month’s pregnant with the second of our three boys, we took the challenge.
After extreme good fortune in my first year as a salesman, I had several roles in Europe and then became sales manager for the former Soviet Union countries, based in Moscow. We had a fast growing software business and it was going well but in 2002, when Chechen terrorists took 850 hostages in Moscow’s Dubrovka Theatre siege, the police barricades went up outside my office. It was time to bring the family home.
Back in Australia, I told a great story to land a job selling telecoms equipment. That led overseas again in 2007 to Malaysia, where I managed more than a hundred sales and technical sales staff across Asia for Nokia and then Halliburton in an almost identical role.
Schooling forced the next move back to Australia in 2012, this time with a job invitation to sell facility services into the mining townships and camps of remote Australia for Spotless. I navigated two more industry changes after that — selling emergency communications equipment and then industrial products — before starting my storytelling sales consulting business in 2014.
With each industry change landing me on the wrong side of a steep learning curve and with only a short time to succeed, I’ve learned the value of seeking out and sharing specific persuasive stories. Now I find stories and teaches storytelling to a client base as diverse and international as my sales career.
In 2018 I wrote the international bestseller Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell.