Tori Lavery, Senior Client Director, Retail at UKG

In our regular #MyFirstMcJob series, people who shine bright remember when they were in the complete dark

Tori Lavery_

Hi, Tori! Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Victoria Lavery. Everyone calls me Tori. I'm a senior client director for retail at UKG, which means I sell our workforce management solution into retail companies.

What was your #MyFirstMcJob?

Selling Npower door-to-door, when I was a student in Bristol.

How did you get the job?

I needed to some money, saw a little advert and thought: “Oh, I could help people save money on their energy bills. Everybody wants to save money. I can help people do that.” So I applied.

What did you have to do day-to-day?

Knock on people's front doors and say, “Hi, I’m Victoria from Npower, and I can help you save money on your energy bills.” Lots of people would tell you to do one, but some would say: “Okay”. This was 22 years ago before the Internet had really taken off, so you didn’t have all these opportunities to compare your energy bills. You’d wait until someone came along.

How long did you work there for?

One day!

What happened?!

I had really good mental arithmetic. I was paired with their top sales person, and when we'd sit down with these little old ladies or little old men, no matter what their energy bill said, my colleague would say: “We can save you money”. I'd do the maths and and think: “Actually, we’re going to cost you a blinking fortune more!” After we’d left, I’d say: “But we are not going to save them any money,” and he’d say: “That doesn't matter. We've got a sale.” I’d say: “Where’s your moral compass? How can you just go and do over these people?” He’d say: “It's not about that. You just need to tell them that you're going to save them money.” When we got back to the office, our sales were totted up, we’d scored the highest, someone rang a bell to celebrate, and everybody starting applauding. My manager said: “You’ve done so well today, we can't wait to see you tomorrow.” I said: “I’m not coming back. You are the most unscrupulous person ever. You encourage your people to go out and and fiddle old people. I won't be back tomorrow.” I don't think I even got paid for that day!

Did you still manage to pick up any skills during that one day at Npower that you still use today?

Well I think it solidified my honesty and integrity! I'm a sales person now and when it’s appropriate I make a point of saying: “You don't need what I sell. Your company isn't ready yet,” or: “our technology is too big for you or you are on another journey, let’s stay in touch.”

Obviously not, but are you still in contact with anyone you worked with for one day at Npower?

No. I don't think I could even pick them out of a line-up!

Why is alumni important in your current job?

After Npower, I worked as PA for a director at Axa. He said to me: “Be careful who you push down on your way up because you never know who's coming up on your way down.” He treated everybody with the same respect. He was the first person in the office at 7:30am and he'd chat to all of the cleaning staff. Then he’d have a meeting with CEO and would show the same respect. That's always stayed with me. Alumni is so important because the network of people you meet throughout your job journey helps you get to where you want to be next, but it also helps you help other people get where they want to be. I wouldn't be doing the position I do now if it wasn't for the people that I've worked with in the past.

What would if you went back and did a second day, selling Npower door-to-door?

I certainly don't have the mental arithmetic to do the maths that quickly anymore! I’d only do it if I was actually saving people money.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice, what would you say?

Take every opportunity that comes to you because you're going to learn something from every single one. That’s not the only job I walked out on!



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