We talk to Victoria Best, sales executive at The Tipi Company.
I drive new sales for the business and thrive on transforming a client’s concept into reality. I like to get into the nitty gritty and really understand each client’s requirements – no two clients or venues are the same, so it is imperative that I understand the brief! Saying this it’s also important to share my knowledge and experience, recommending the most suitable options, not just being a yes person.
As sales executive I of course want to get the sale over the line, but it doesn’t just stop there. The service and continued support after this is paramount and when you become a client of ours you become part of the family. After all we are a family-run business.
Quickly describe your background and how you ended up in your role
I’m officially known as a ‘pad brat’ as my dad served in the British Army. This allowed me to travel the world with my family, residing in England, Germany and Canada. With this came a wide circle of friends of which I was always the friend who planned all the social events and reunions. As I have always enjoyed organising events, I went on to study hospitality management and graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University.
I began my career in hotels and then moved over to a casino in Manchester City Centre. Here I was fortunate enough to arrange several intimate concerts for the likes of Matt Goss and ABC! I then wanted to challenge myself even further, which led me to the outdoor events industry (and let me tell you this was certainly a challenge – the weather is one thing you cannot control). Over the past five years I have gained experience in the hire side of the tipi world which naturally led me to the manufacturing side, which I absolutely love and now here I am featuring in this article!
Tell us about your working environment and daily routine
No two days are the same. Some days I’m in the office responding to enquiries, drawing up quotations and floorplans (which I must say is one of my favourite parts as it really brings the quotation to life). Other days I am traveling across the country conducting site visits. I also spend time with the team in the fabric and woodyard departments discussing upcoming projects.
The beauty of this role is the diversity and the ability to collaborate with the production department and management team. As a result of this all our clients and prospective clients deal directly with us, the manufacturers. There is no middleman involved which keeps everything seamless. As many of our clients visit our factory to collect their orders, they get to know the team, so an invaluable rapport is created. They know that they are not just a number.
What are you working on at the moment?
From educational settings, glamping sites, hospitality venues, tourist attractions to adventure parks – you name it, we are doing it! One of the biggest projects that I am working on right now, without giving too much away, is the installation of several different sized tipis, all linked via enclosed tunnels to provide a truly magical setting for children this Christmas. The venue that I am working with will have five separate Santa’s grottos in operation and the access to each grotto through the tipis and tunnels must be kept out of site from one another (you can only imagine the carnage of a child seeing five different Santa’s at the same time). Working on a project like this allows me to relive my youth; I mean who doesn’t want to go back to the days when you believed…
What are your main challenges in your role?
It’s important to not become too overwhelmed. We work in a very fast paced environment and it’s easy to lose sight of the end goal. I am very task orientated so this helps me align my thoughts and prioritise my workload. It’s also important to take breaks, even if it means just walking over to the woodyard or down to the fabric department to have a catch up and cup of tea with my colleagues.
Give us a funny anecdote
It is quite funny and slightly alarming when clients underestimate the length of the poles (of which some measure 8.25m in length). Some clients have arrived in a vehicle with a trailer half the size, others thought the timber poles were telescopic. Easy solution, they come back the next day with a more suitable mode of transport or we arrange delivery of their order. No matter how small or big the problem is we will always have a solution.
How does your team work together?
We are a very passionate team who believe in our products and providing the best service. Many of our team members have worked for the company since day one, so they have seen the company grow and have grown with it. We are very solution based and thrive on staying ahead of the game. Aside from this we regularly hold social events; it’s very important to have the right work/life balance! I believe this Christmas we will be going axe throwing, how apt!
What are you most proud of?
All our products are certified as Made in Britain and are built to last by our team of skilled woodworkers and fabric technicians. Without them none of this would be possible. I am proud of our team and how we’ve helped our existing clients and new clients come through the restrictions that resulted from several lockdowns.
Please tell us why you love your job
The reason I love this job is that no two days and no two clients are the same. We are an ambitious and innovative company, always looking to develop our products and services. We maintain close relationships with our clients who continually provide invaluable feedback.
Working in sales I am often on the road travelling around the country visiting picturesque locations and amazing venues. I have visited places I never even knew existed; I no longer take for granted what’s on our doorstep!
THE TIPI COMPANY
The Tipi Company manufactures large event tipis and custom-designed tipi enhancements for outdoor spaces. Based in the heart of the UK, The Tipi Company has been awarded the Made in Britain marque and all products are made in Bolton, Manchester.
Durable, reliable, and weatherproof, tipis provide an outdoor structure for a whole range of services including outdoor wedding venues, restaurants, activity centres and classrooms. www.thetipicompany.com