In July this year, Ray Harris from our QLD office will notch up 30 years of service with Power Equipment.
Meet Ray Harris – the man, the motivation and the memories. Even though he is a man in a job driven by sales, Ray Harris doesn’t really label Power Equipment customers as his “clients” or “sales prospects” – he calls most of them his friends. “I have forged some really close relationships in my work with boat builders and other clients through Power Equipment and I don’t really see them as clients, I think of them as friends to be honest,” says Ray.
Reaching a milestone of 30 years with Power Equipment in July this year, Ray has certainly gathered a wealth of experience in the engine game and no small list of friendships through his work. Originally a Kiwi, Ray adopted Australia as his preferred home after completing his trade in automotive machining (engine reconditioning), moving from his hometown of Christchurch in 1976.
As the Power Equipment team grew, Ray became solely focused on the marine engine market. And after all these years when Ray starts listing the boat builders and brands he boasts close associations with it’s akin to a “who’s who” of Australian east coast boat building legends.
Norman R Wright and Sons, Peter Coram, Peter Brady, Scimitar Yachts, Auships, Aluminium Marine, Commercial Marine Australia, Lightwave Yachts and a host of other top builders and marine industry names roll off Ray’s lips. This man knows the industry!
There has been plenty of travel for Ray across at least three states in his time with Power Equipment, (mostly Queensland, the Northern Territory and New South Wales), but Covid restrictions have curtailed movement in Ray’s Queensland territory over the last 18 months.
“Early in the piece I was travelling as far south as Coffs Harbour and regularly up to the Northern Territory,” Ray reminisces.
“Even just looking after Queensland, I’d normally do at least five trips each year to North Queensland – but I’ve only been able to get up there twice in the last year or so.”
While travel is restricted, Ray believes it is still vital in the sales game. “You’ve got to get in front of people, there’s no doubt about it,” Ray says emphatically.
“When you talk to people face-to-face, you not only get to know them better, but you’re always finding out what’s happening on the ground, what’s going on in their business and industry generally.
Ray describes himself as a “realist” in terms of his sales abilities though. He credits hard work above sales techniques as his secret to his success and longevity.
The day after sharing some of his 30-year Power Equipment story, Ray is on the road delivering sail drive legs and Gori propellers to a client, (sorry, friend!), on the Sunshine Coast.
Ray may not focus on his sales figures too much, but they certainly speak for his abilities. “I was never a super scholar at school, but I’ve improved plenty over the years,” Ray quips with a smile. “But I suppose the biggest challenges and learnings for me are technology and computer-based systems now-a-days, that’s changing things a lot.”
Changes they may be – but we hope you don’t change too much Ray. Congratulations on your 30-year milestone!