Having never been diagnosed as dyslexic, I turned up to school but education just passed me by, though I found a home in drama and music. After applying for a job through the local Job Centre aged 16, I was lucky enough that a Manager at an information company called D&B took a punt on me and I joined them as a file runner. I then moved into customer services and then quickly into sales at 18 and was trained in SPIN.
Over 20 Years in the Information Industry and Sales
Now with over twenty years’ experience in the information market, and being fortunate enough to see the transition from books to online, I guess I could be summed up as both a data geek and a professional salesman proficient in sales management, sales training and start-up.
- Over six years’ experience in successful sales leadership
- Over eight years’ experience in sales coaching
- A track record of assisting start-up businesses
- Youngest Field Salesperson of the Year
- Nine Presidential Citation awards for top sales performance
- Three Sales Leaders’ awards including Top Sales Leader in Europe amongst fifty competing leaders
- Securer of seven-figure deals
- Start Self Start Up Business Trading over 11 Years and Counting
- Marathon Runner
I’m now the Managing Director of GB Consultancy, a niche boutique consultancy, which I’ve taken from start-up to now over 11 years trading. We specialize in recruiting talent into the information, technology and software industry nationwide, with salary ranges from £18k to over £150k. We also offer sales training, mystery shopping, head hunting, executive search and consultancy. With an unrivalled intelligence we have an outstanding network and talented candidate base of Data and Information professionals.
I personally believe anyone can follow the path that I took and I am no different to anyone else. I have passion for finding talent, like someone spotted in me all those years ago
A message for all sales professionals
A hall packed full of three hundred, one hundred and fifty of them salespeople – a mini Oscars ceremony for the sales person of the year. Countdown in reverse order. ‘In fifth place,’ still sitting. ‘In fourth place,’ still sitting. ‘In third place,’ still sitting… ‘We’ll take a break.’ someone said. And I remember thinking, ‘How will I deal with second place?’
We take a break, and my heart’s pounding. The other guy and I shake hands: even though it’s down to me or him. I take my seat again as second place is announced. Inside I feel a numbness, and the world seems to hit slow-motion. The guy next to me stands up and walks to the stage to pick his award up.
An almighty roar erupts in the room as the name of the winner is announced. A sea of heads; friends crying hysterically. Three hundred pairs of eyes all turn to look at me: not a pop star, not a sportsman, not an actor, but Gary Boys – a great salesperson!
After thanking all my family, friends, God and anyone else who knows me, I realised that my career has just taken off. I’m nineteen years’ old.
Up against one hundred experienced professionals, I had become Salesman of the Year, in my first year in the game. From the moment I arrived in sales I learned from all the other professionals. I learned that the customer is king. I had a passion for my job, I had drive and I made sure that I beat the competition. I learned that to quit is not an option: I would be the first and last person on the phone, talking to customers and prospects. With success and winning came the financial rewards. I went out and spent money. And then some more, and then some…
I purchased my first convertible at twenty, built a wardrobe of designer suits, ate expensive meals, and sunned myself on luxury holidays. The list went on.
Then I got a call from my mother.
Nan was in hospital. ‘But I’m far too busy. I’ve got sales to make. I’ve got to keep going.’ No, the boss had spoken. For the next two weeks it was my turn.
I loved my Nan, how could I not find at least two hours a week for her? She brought us up while my mum worked in any paid job she could find – a challenge given so often to single mums. We spent a lot of time at Nan’s.
Whilst my mother was working my Nan brought me and my brother up. Awake at 6am every day, come rain and shine Nan taught me that drive comes from within, and that sitting around was not an option. She was a working-class South London woman who had battled through the Blitz of World War II, and life was about making a difference, everyday.
So I adjusted my hectic schedule to fit in my visting times. When it was time to leave, I would be there chatting to the nurses and the patients, making them laugh with a bit of banter and a song.
On one of my visits to the hospital I got there and realised I had forgotten the flowers, so in the hospital’s florist I flashed my bright gold Amex and said I’d buy £100 worth of flowers.
‘Sorry Sir, we don’t take credit cards,’ said the flower seller. ‘Do you have any cash?’
‘Of course, no problem.’ I said, reaching deep into my pockets. Football training looming, I started to panic. Nothing! No change. I went back to my car and frantically checked under the seats. Again nothing. Then… jackpot! A twenty pence piece in my back pocket.
‘What can I get for twenty pence?’
‘Well there’s this plant.’ It was in a pot: mauve, with small rubber leaves. That’s all I remember. Deflated, I took this thing to the ward. Nan smiled and her face lit up. Eventually I had to leave. Three weeks’ later, and just three hours prior to my next visit, Nan died.
I was ushered off to a room where a nurse came into see me. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach: confused, dazed, numb and cold I sat down. The walls of the room seemed to be closing in. Nothing but silence. I’d never known death so close. Someone I’d loved so dearly was gone. ‘What does gone mean?’ I was so lucky to have spent those last weeks with her. So many questions, and I have no answers.
‘You’re Gary, aren’t you?’ A voice bridges the silence.
‘Well I was the nurse looking after your Nan, and she was such a wonderful lady who admired you so much. You brought her a flower, a mauve plant didn’t you?’
‘Yes.’ I said.
‘You know, your Nan watered that plant every day. There wasn’t one person she didn’t show it to, and everyone knew it was from her grandson. She felt so proud.’ The nurse sat down beside me. ‘That plant blossomed and brought some amazing colour into the ward,’ she said. ‘Your Nan got pride and pleasure from your gift, and she felt something inside so strong, every time she looked at it.’
I never saw that nurse again, but I’ve often thought back to her words, and I have rewound this story in my head whenever I have had to dig deep for self-belief.
I guess this was one of those sliding door moments for me; the moment I realised how lucky I am. And even though I found that money and winning are important, I learnt never to underestimate the power of small gestures – these are the things that differentiate you from others. And never forget, through success or failure, those who gave you the inspiration to be where you are, and where you aspire to be. Always find time for them as they found time for you.
Where ever you are Nan, I know you are looking out for me… your inspiration is inside me… always.