Main content | back to top
On the road
“I don’t see myself as the sort of salesman people want to avoid,” says Account Manager Paul Booth.
“I hate it when I go into a shop and the salesperson starts telling me what I want without having asked me a single question. I don’t want to bore people to death with PowerPoint presentations. I want to consult with people and offer solutions.”
A self-confessed people person, and dedicated family man, Paul has been in his position at Shell since 2006 and loves his job. “I’ve stayed in this role because I enjoy account management and I’m good at what I do.” He laughs: “Either that or Shell is really trying to develop me.” No development necessary. Last year, Paul was recognised at Shell’s internal employee awards and scooped a weekend away in Rome for his performance.
“It was really unexpected,” he says. “I had no idea I’d even been nominated until I found out I’d won. When I saw my name come up on the big screen I thought ‘oh that’s nice, I’ve won a trophy’. Then when people started to ask me if I was looking forward to Rome, I said ‘why, what’s happening there then?’”
Paul’s job is a mixture of working with potential new businesses and maintaining relationships with existing customers. To do this he spends a lot of time on the road. “I live in Cheshire with my wife and two young children, at the bottom left hand corner of the area I cover, which stretches right up to Aberdeen and Inverness. I’d say I cover around 35,000 miles a year and spend four days out of five on the road.”
Far from complaining about the travel, this is the part of the job he loves the most. “I want to be out on the road and seeing people. I meet all sorts of different people from different companies. From the type where the owner may go out on deliveries if things get busy, to big operations that spend £20million on fuel. I love seeing how different people operate.”
“Shell does things a bit differently by sending out its Account Managers to see people, since often other companies don’t. We’re very professional in our operations.”
“...we’ve got a good value proposition that can make a difference to a fleet’s operation and cost savings.”
Paul cites the Shell network as one of the attractions for him when he moved here from his previous job. “We’ve got a strong position for HGVs on the motorways and A roads,” he explains. “What’s important to fleet managers, now that the oil prices are going through the roof, is the whole life cost of the fuel. So, not just what the up-front price is, but what you’re ultimately paying if your HGV has to take a two-mile round trip off route to get fuel from a Shell competitor.”
“You might pay more with Shell initially but when you look at the long-term picture, you’re likely to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.”
His passion for the product and Shell offering is infectious. “We know we’re not the cheapest but we’ve got a quality fuel in FuelSave diesel, which is standard now across our network. No one else in the marketplace offers a premium product like that without over-charging for it, and that is available at commercial pumps.”
If he’s out and about talking about what Shell has to offer, then Paul is happy. “It can be lonely at times but I enjoy the autonomy of working on the road and I don’t mind staying in hotels, and as long as I bring the (free) shortbread biscuits back from the hotel, my daughter is happy.”
Even in this respect he likes to get a deal. “If I can plan in advance, hotel rooms are cheaper, so I can usually stay somewhere decent at a good price. Coming from Yorkshire I am quite frugal with money, whether it’s mine or the company’s,” he laughs. “It’s all about volume at good value for me, whether I’m selling fuel or booking a hotel room,” he smiles. And with that, he’s off. Back on the road again.