M&S Spotlight: Meet Simon Nicholson of Haystack Dryers
How did you get started in the industry?
My first major role in the industry was back in 2005 with Picsolve. A few years earlier I had been a cruise ship photographer, so I had a lot of experience taking and selling a high volume of photos. I enjoyed five years with Picsolve with a mixture of new business and account management. In almost 15 years I have worked for three companies covering souvenir photography, ticketing, and, currently, the unique customer service of body dryer products!
What do you love about what you do?
I have always liked being a business development manager rather than focusing only on sales or account management. I find this keeps the role interesting and incredibly varied, from chasing sales to website design and marketing. I am always thankful that I work in a vibrant and creative industry, and have met and worked with some great people over the years. Despite a lot of travel in my various roles, I still love to visit new or interesting places, meet new people, and understand the cultural differences that can make parks so different.
What keeps you motivated?
Winning new business will always be my primary motivation. I enjoy the sales process from prospecting to seeing our products in operation with the guests. At Haystack Dryers, we are fortunate to have a large spread of well-known clients around the world but there are still a few regions and specific customers that we would like to work with which keeps the motivation up! I also like to stay abreast of new technology and concepts within the industry, which is constantly changing and evolving. There are numerous other opportunities outside of leisure for our products, including healthcare, workplace, and hotels that keep the job interesting and often challenging.
What’s a fun fact or interesting hobby that most people don’t know about you?
I regularly take part in endurance events—mainly cycling and triathlon. Having worked up through the triathlon distances, I did my first long-distance Ironman event last year in Barcelona (with a sprained ankle!) This year, I took part in L’Etape Du Tour in the French Alps—a particularly challenging mountain stage of this year’s Tour de France. If possible, I will run or cycle on work trips and I’m lucky enough to have done this in many exciting cities. I’m currently looking for next year’s challenge, if I can stay injury free!