Katie Hughes -Dawkins – Territory Sales Manager for the North UK, Ireland & Scotland
Why did you choose to pursue a career in Sales?
I initially started out as a beauty therapist and whilst I was still attending college, I also worked at a Manchester city centre day spa. I was employed by a man who was my best and worst employer rolled into one. On the one hand he was a total charlatan, on the other he introduced me to motivational speakers such as, Anthony Robbins; even incentivising me to attend one of his seminars, which was life changing. At such a young age to be exposed to this kind of ‘mindset’ was invaluable. My employer soon made me business coordinator of the day spa and I found myself training others in sales, as it came so naturally to me. My outlook to sales was not that I ‘sell’ to a client, but that I do them a dis-service if I don’t educate them on how to achieve their ‘in salon’ results at home. To summarise I would say I never consciously chose sales, but that through the love of my industry and passion for what I do, it seemed to flow naturally from there.
Tell us about your career journey so far is Sales?
I am a trained therapist and aesthetician, who has always ended up falling into managerial roles where I can help others. Every ‘aesthetician’ role I applied for, ended up that I would be managing others and running one or several clinics by default.
I have worked in many different positions, including as a colonic hydrotherapist, a laser technician and everything in between. I found running multi-site clinics was where I learned how to adapt my managerial skills to a wide variety of people, which led me to training in further education and qualifying at degree level, whilst also running the businesses.
I moved into field sales within my industry in 2015/16 and have worked for some incredible brands. Every position I have held has taught me so much and I am grateful for my journey every day.
What has been a career highlight for you?
It is so hard to pick just one, however I have recently taken on a role working for Crown Aesthetics and am thoroughly excited to be working for this brand. As the founders of the infamous SkinPen Precision (the number one microneedling device on the market), they have set their sites on making a huge impact in the UK, having taken the brand back from the previous distributor to now direct sales. I am tasked, along with the team, to give outstanding service to our existing customer base, whilst also growing the brand and it’s presence. I am responsible for the North of the UK, Scotland, Ireland, Isle of man and Jersey, so no small task. For this reason, I would name it as a highlight, as I am thoroughly excited to see what we can achieve.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced?
I always view challenges as opportunities to learn. I would say the biggest lesson of my career has been that not everyone thinks like me or has the same intentions. I had to learn the hard way a few times, thinking colleagues or people on my team were friends and pure in intention. If you go through life this way, you will end up hurt. Therefore my biggest challenge has been, always say less than necessary.
Where do you see the future of Sales heading and how your career will develop with that?
Sales according to the experts, is an everchanging process. However, I believe the best way to stay at the top of your industry is to love what you do and only do what you love. The selling process is ‘emotionally led’ for the most part. Buying something that isn’t a necessity is usually about how it will make us feel. Being an empathetic and genuine person will always ensure your success in sales. Most people can ‘feel’ when they are being ‘sold to’. I always base my selling process on facts, feelings and how it can benefit my customers business. You can apply the method I use to any product or service, providing you truly believe in your brand.
My intention is to become in a position where I can help the most amount of people within the aesthetic industry. There are so many incredible practitioners, from therapists to nurses/Dr’s, who are the best at what they do, but need support when it comes to the sales aspect of their business. That is why I am here, I have a passion for helping others become the best they can be.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Dream bigger! Never allow where you start, to determine what you can achieve. You might not be able to see the top step, but all you need to do is take the first step to start.