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Meet the Team

William Cousins – Sales Manager

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Welcome to the 15th edition of our meet the team series where we take a closer look at our incredible employees. This week we feature our Sales Manager, William Cousins! Will discusses how he got to the position he is in today, with his love for travelling and his fear of standing on slugs…

 

 

Tell us a bit about your Job role?

I’m a Sales Manager at John Hogg, working within the Speciality Dyes business unit. I manage the business unit’s strategy and sales delivery, which involves working with lots of people internally but also some classic sales work such as talking to and visiting customers, and even attending a few exhibitions. Pushing our strategy and keeping customers happy is a simpler way you could write it.

How long have you been a part of the John Hogg team?

I’ve been working at John Hogg for 5 years now, I joined in late December 2018. My first day ended up being that year’s Christmas party!

What was your first job, and did you enjoy it?

My first job was cooking burgers at McDonald’s when I just turned 17 years old. I give a lot of respect for McDonald’s on how they work their kitchen, being able to take in a lazy 17-year-old with no work ethic and make them work efficiently with little training. I remember I could make about 8 big macs in 2 minutes… It could get quite intense, but it instilled good work ethic into me and was a big learning experience on how to work fast in an intense environment.

Did you attend University? If so, what did you study?

I studied chemistry at Manchester Metropolitan University. I really enjoyed how it wasn’t just classroom based, but you got to put theory into practice in the laboratory, using equipment that I had never seen before. It was very challenging for sure, but I persevered and ended up loving the whole university life.

What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I really like cooking… and eating. I don’t know if I can call myself a ‘foodie’ because I think there’s a hierarchy of ‘foodies’ out there and I’m probably low on that ladder, but I know what works in the kitchen and there’s nothing more rewarding than when you’ve really nailed a dish.

A job I did for years at John Hogg was as a sales representative for Asia-Pacific geographic area. As you might expect, that exposed me to amazing foods from Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore, so I do my best to try and replicate some of those back home, but I’m also equally keen on a Sunday Roast.

I also love travelling, that’s a big one for me. I’m trying to visit new countries each year, and I was very fortunate that John Hogg allowed me to take a career break for 6 months travelling South America. This was an amazing experience for me and I’m really grateful for John Hogg to give me that time out. Those who know me sometimes joke about the amount I talk about my travels so I’m now overly conscious of this!

I also love cycling and I like to brew my own beer, the chemistry degree has helped a lot with that one.

Do you have a favourite sports team?

It’s got to be Manchester City, I’m a blue!

Do you have an accomplishment that you are proud of?

I’m quite proud of the amount of travelling that I have done, this is probably a standout one for me. I think I have seen over 45 countries which is pretty good going, with plenty more to go and see!

Tell me something about you that most people wouldn’t know

I was the lead of my school play when I was about 11, it surprised a few people at the time as I was a quiet kid back then, but I’m sure it’s less surprising for some people who know me now!

I’m also a massive history buff, I used to have techno music blasting on the way to work now the only thing coming out of my car speakers is World War II stories for the most part, it’s probably a sign of my diminishing youth

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would it be and why?

You’re asking a traveller this question… Despite all my travels, I haven’t been to Africa. If I could go anywhere right now, I would love to see South Africa. I’d enjoy doing a big tour of the country, visiting the beautiful coast with the marine life, but then also the inland, with the amazing animals they have over there.

Which book or a movie has left a lasting impact on you and why?

I read this quite a few years ago, it’s a book called Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Almost in a childlike way he would ask the question “Why?”, about humanity, taking us through the birth of us as a species to where we are now, and trying to figure out why we are what we are. I do still look at things around me and think about his answers, sometimes trying to implement some things he said into my own life.

If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This might make me seem boring; and don’t get me wrong I love all different types of fancy food, but in terms of versatility, it has to be the sandwich. If we’re deep diving into this, what even constitutes as a sandwich? I could probably put a burger on that list… I’m such a bread man, I love bread and I love sandwiches.

What is your greatest fear?

Its probably having lots of regrets when getting to the end of my life. I’m trying to live my life in a way that I’m planning for my future but also trying to live in the moment – this explains the copious travelling I’ve been doing I suppose.

Standing on a slug with bare feet is also an option…

Your GOAT music artist?

I feel like the musicians that you had phases with when you were younger really have a lasting impact. I really liked electronic music, so daft punk was a huge one when I was younger. I’m also one of those classic millennials that had an Indie phase circa 2008 so there’s still a few songs by bands like Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, Bombay Bicycle Club and the like that get me going. I’ve also consistently listened to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers from a kid until this day. I saw them in 2022 and they were still amazing.

If you could have dinner with anyone, living or deceased, who would it be?

Leonardo DiCaprio would be a fun guy to chat with, he’s been in so many amazing films and he’s got a pretty unusual personal life. I think he’d be very interesting…

If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?

This is tough. Restless, adventurous, and inquisitive.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Firstly, we’ve got a really good team, not just my immediate team but everyone at John Hogg. As a salesperson, there is a lot of different work that goes on all the time especially with some weird and wonderful customer requests that you can’t do alone, which is why I’m grateful to have so many people at John Hogg that will ‘knuckle down’ and help you through it. Everybody cares and everybody has a drive to see the company succeed. This makes my job so much easier!

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned while working at John Hogg?

Never assume you know everything…

Assume you know a bit, but hardly anything. When you’re trying to solve problems that are quite large in detail, you might think that you can come up with a simple solution. But once you start asking your colleagues for their input, so much arises that you wouldn’t have even thought of. Speak to as many people as possible, communication is so important for the best results.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to new team members to succeed within our company culture?

As a new person joining the company, you have a 6–12-month window of just asking literally anything and everything. People say there’s no such thing as a stupid question, which is especially true when joining a new company. Speak to as many people as you can, the more you understand about our business, the better you will perform at John Hogg.

Finally; In your opinion, what sets John Hogg apart as an employer?

I spoke before about how we all care, but nobody in the last five years of me working at John Hogg has uttered the words “that’s not my job” …

Everybody gets involved when things need doing. I don’t know whether it’s because we are very good at hiring the right people, or because we take such good care of the employees, and reward everyone in the company.

I think being a smaller company really helps with both scenarios, because there’s a big family feel about John Hogg that brings both elements together.

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