Hi Michel. Can you tell us a little bit more about your role at Bisley?
I joined Bisley back in May 2021, almost two years ago now, which has absolutely flown by! I am a Regional Sales Manager and handle the Middle East region.
My role involves promoting Bisley, our products and values within my assigned territories, developing our partnerships with end users and the A&D network throughout the region. That includes giving regular product training sessions to ensure Bisley products are specified on projects, and to gain sales through the approved channels of key accounts or our dealer network.
Do you have a passion for the furniture industry? If so, where do you think this passion began?
From the age of 14, my summer vacations were very different from my friends’ breaks! I used to spend the whole three months working for my father who worked in the furniture industry.
The furniture company he worked for represented an international brand of commercial furniture and flooring solutions back in Lebanon, and his main role was to handle the full installation jobs at the company. My father would take me along on his project deliveries and this is where my role as an installer began! This passion was later reflected in my decision to pursue my studies to become an interior designer, which has helped me to develop my furniture knowledge and the industry on a professional level. I consider myself very lucky to have been exposed from a young age to many furniture brands that cater to different types of projects in a number of sectors, including commercial, educational, and healthcare. I’ve also gained significant technical skills that put me on the right track at the start of my sales career and ultimately led me to Bisley.
What’s your favourite part of your role?
I have lived in the UAE for more than 8 years and have worked in Sales since the very first day. However, my first 6 years were handling the UAE market, so taking on a regional role with Bisley has allowed me to truly expand my skills and knowledge of different markets. Working regionally can be challenging, as it requires a great deal of planning (which is something I thoroughly enjoy)! I have to be prepared at all times, meaning that my tools and knowledge must always be up to date and accurate so that I can pass on the correct information to my clients.
What does a typical day look like for you?
There is no typical day in a salesperson’s life – every day is and should be different! On the rare occasion that I’m not travelling the region, I’m working away in our beautiful Bisley showroom. What could be better than starting the day with a coffee on the 45th floor with a panoramic view of Dubai’s most famous landmarks, including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa! On a serious note, every day my schedule includes communicating with our partners in each region, asking for updates on any new projects, following up on any ongoing enquiries, connecting with the A&D community and welcoming customers into our showroom.
What has been the most valuable thing you’ve learned through working as a Regional Sales Manager at Bisley?
Adaptability, patience, and persistence! Honestly, these features are very much required in most careers, however, these are vital for my role. I have to spend a lot of time researching, asking questions, and gathering all the knowledge I can and adapting this to fit within each market independently. Although the regions I handle are connected on many levels, including language, culture and traditions, each country naturally has its own rhythm and each must be approached differently. It’s taken a lot of patience and understanding to manage each area separately, although meeting new customers and developing my personal relationships with each needs a lot of persistence without being too pushy!
Do you have any professional goals for the year ahead that you’re able to share with us?
One of my main goals this year is to develop a good rapport with customers and to build a strong partnership with the region. I’d like to connect with people who share the same passion and loyalty towards Bisley as I do. By reaching this goal, I am confident that the level of commitment and trust will grow and we’ll reach even higher levels of success. On a personal level, I’d like to improve and develop my time management skills, which will help me to achieve greater performance and productivity levels.
Do you have a favourite Bisley product and why?
For over 80 years, we’ve been creating innovative products and with such a huge portfolio, it’s difficult for me to select one! Obviously, I have to start with the MultiDrawer, a design classic that’s as versatile as it is iconic. I also really like our storage systems, such as LateralFile and Be as well as our more beautiful products, such as Bridge and Outline. My favourite of all though, has to be our recent Design Guild Mark winner, Buddy. Clean, compact and colourful, Buddy fits on any desking system or any environment. It can also attach to a sit/stand desk meaning that I can store my personal belongings safely without cluttering up my desk.
When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
My focus right now is on my physical and mental health, therefore I am pushing myself to do activities that improve that and mostly outdoor activities, such as a walking or running by the canal, cycling, and swimming. I’m enjoying these activities now, because summers in the UAE reach a minimum of 45 (113°F) during the day.