Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, plus Central and Eastern Europe – Brad Taylor definitely won’t get bored in his new position as Account Manager at SHOTS, working with existing customers in the aforementioned markets and helping to further the company’s expansion in these regions. EAN was curious to learn more about his duties at SHOTS and the challenges that go along with them, so was asked Brad for an interview
Brad, please tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What did you do professionally before trying your luck in the market for adult products?
Brad Taylor: My name is Brad Taylor – I originally come from Newark, Nottinghamshire and I am one of eight siblings. As I grew up I wanted to be a Doctor, Dentist and then eventually a laboratory scientist. I graduated from Newcastle University with an honours degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2012. After realising Science wasn’t for me during the last year of my course – I returned home to Newark to decide what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Why did you decide to enter the adult industry in 2013?
My sister was working for a UK distributor in January 2013 and she was tasked with recruiting some ‘muscle’ for the warehouse – I didn’t really fit the bill but I turned up and put in an honest day’s work!
And how has your career developed since entering the adult industry. Which positions did you hold prior to your current job?
After about 6 months in logistics and warehousing I was headhunted by an environmental firm for a sales role – I had one foot out of the door when my employers made me an offer to stay within the industry. I took on a role as a graduate trainee and was trained in administration, operations, purchasing and eventually sales and that’s where I stayed as it was by far and away the role I enjoyed the most.
So, how did you end up working for SHOTS?
Ever since meeting Hein and Oscar at a trade show in the UK four years ago – we have had a mutual respect that has grown over the years. We have regularly been in touch with each and when the Central and Southern European markets became available late last year – Hein saw the opportunity to combine these regions with the UK and Irish market to make a role that suited my skillset and also best served these regions.
What makes you confident that you picked the right company? What are SHOTS’ strong points?
I have always thought of SHOTS as a great fit in terms of their reputation in the market for service and great relationships with their business partners. Further to that, in the short amount of time I have worked with the company, I have already come to realise that SHOTS are a well-oiled machine, if you’ll pardon the expression! Their customer facing and back end systems are second to none and allow for efficient and accurate service for customers – I can now see why SHOTS have long had a reputation for good service. Furthermore – strong brands, innovative product development and excellent fulfilment percentages really do make SHOTS stand out.
“I have always thought of SHOTS as a great fit in terms of their reputation in the market for service and great relationships with their business partners.”
What can you tell us about your field of activity at SHOTS?
My field of activity at SHOTS will predominantly be contact with my customers in order to further our relationship together – I will be the dedicated point of contact for customers in each of my regions and on hand to help our business grow mutually. I already have great relationships with the vast majority of the UK market but it will be interesting to help grow my European regions as a lot of these customers will be new relationships.
SHOTS want to expand their presence in Central, South, and Eastern Europe. What strategies will you implement to achieve that goal?
I am currently carrying out a region by region analysis in order to plan sales strategies for each territory for 2018 and beyond. This includes a visit to each region before eroFame 2018. My aim is to have an understanding of the key customers in each of my regions by eroFame 2018 and to ensure these customers are well served going into 2019.
How much potential for expansion is there in these territories for SHOTS?
Absolutely huge – customers in these regions will now have dedicated focus on a daily basis which can only be positive. I will be working hard in 2018 to ensure we are best serving Central, Southern and Eastern European customers and that they can have access to the high quality, great value brands that SHOTS has to offer.
How does your experience in the adult market benefit you in your current position?
I have worked at both distributor and manufacturer level so I have an understanding of the sales process from concept to consumer. Seeing as SHOTS is both a manufacturer and distributor I think this experience will only benefit both of us. Furthermore – the great relationships I already have with UK customers that already deal with SHOTS as well as some potentially new customers in this market will allow us to press forward in 2018.
What are your expectations regarding your new job, and what are the goals that you set for yourself?
I am expecting growth in all markets for 2018 and have set that as my personal aim. If I can enhance the relationship between each and every one of my customers and SHOTS between now and the end of 2018, I think I will have done a good job. I have also had a sneak peak of the product development for 2018/19 and there are some incredibly strong releases on their way so I aim to get the most out of these releases when they arrive.
What plans and ideas do you want to implement at SHOTS?
I think it was a pleasant surprise when I came to work for SHOTS that our ideas were already well aligned. I plan on adding my spin to the SHOTS way and putting my stamp on my regions in 2018 and beyond by building customer rapport. I think with our assortment so wide reaching and strong at the moment – we really are becoming a ‘one stop shop’ distributor so I hope spread that message as far and wide as I can this year.
You have been working in this business for five years. What are the biggest changes the industry has seen during that time?
I think the biggest change for me has been retail stores transforming their look in response to a customer demand for more couple friendly, well merchandised stores. I think across Europe we are seeing retail customers become much more savvy about making their stores clean, well-lit, well-merchandised places that customers from every demographic would be happy to shop in.