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Christopher Carey

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As a kid, my dad used to take my brother and me fishing, firstly from piers, and when we bought a little "tinny", in the estuaries and harbours of Sydney. We caught a lot of fish because dad knew where to fish, the right bait and tackle to get a bite, and how to hook the target. Leadership and sales is a bit like fishing. You need the right tools, you need to know where to find your prospect, how to attract them and how to "hook" them. My first job was as a storeman at Clarke Rubber during the summer holidays. I was 16. Warehouse. Tin roof. Hot and working Saturday! Yes, I could unpack the truck, move the boxes, pack the shelves and exhaust myself until closing time, but what I most enjoyed was talking to customers on the showroom floor. It wasn't my job, I wasn't supposed to do it, but I was drawn in. I remember I convinced this gentleman to purchase a 'pool cleaner' even though I knew nothing about it. My boss was very impressed until I told him that I had told the customer that the unit picked up the leaves when in fact it simply pushed them to the surface for the skimmer box to collect. Not a 'pool cleaner' at all! The customer returned it next weekend. Evidence that I had no tools, lack of knowledge and plenty of front. Unperturbed, I became a merchant banker in Sydney during the heady days of the late 80's, early 90's. Firstly financing cars and photocopiers, progressing to trucks, boats and aeroplanes. I wrote some of the largest asset finance deals at the time. Fast forward ten or so years, I was leading HP Finance's Asia Pacific Japan sales team. From there I spring boarded to MD of a fleet leasing company, then was CEO of an insurance company owned by Chubb, was Director Commercial Sales for Aon and then CGO of the 5th largest professional services firm in Australia and New Zealand. Each move utilised and built upon my skills in sales, growth, enablement and leadership. Knowing where to fish, what to fish with, what to fish for and how to hook them. Always learning. Sales is a conversation but you need to be able to get someone to talk to you first. Enter my new firm, Growth Team Advisory.

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