manage vendors and suppliers and meet with clients.
A high level of commitment both to the growth of the company and to one’s clients is needed to build sustainable relationships within a competitive global IT market. Having started out in the industry as a technician, Terry has extensive technical insight which he uses when negotiating new deals. “As a technician, I always looked out for ways to engage the sales department and encouraged customers to make use of the latest technologies,” he recalls. “It was through this that management identified me as a sales person.”
In order to achieve the level of professionalism required, Terry believes that a degree in Computer Science plus additional courses in business and human resources are needed.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing and Terry has had his share of hair-raising moments. A paperwork glitch at a border post in Swaziland almost saw him jailed for ‘smuggling’ computer equipment - and he almost lost a lucrative deal when an unsuspecting Chief Information Officer sat down on his plate of cream scones!
When challenges are great, success is sweet. “I draw great satisfaction from closing a deal with a customer who was initially difficult,” Terry says. “To come through and embark on a formal, contractual business arrangement is most rewarding.”
If there’s one thing he doesn’t enjoy, it’s losing to a competitor. “Especially when I’ve been outmanoeuvred,” he laughs.
Terry advises anyone on the threshold of a new career to study in a field that best suits you as an individual. “Having a passion for the field you are entering is probably more important than the money aspect, because it’s something you are going to spend most of your day doing for a long time,” Terry states.
He thinks for a moment and then finally adds (with a sly smile): “I think I’d rather be an artist in some remote village along the Western Cape coast!”
Published By: Liezl Maclean