Meet the Team - Chris Kennedy
READ is kicking off our meet the team series with none other than our Global Sales Manager, Chris Kennedy.
What is your career background?
At Stirling University, I studied Geology, Environmental Science & Renewable Energies with my first job out of university being with Halliburton as an Oil Industry Offshore Field Engineer. Within Halliburton, my career developed through various roles including Mud Logger and Data Engineer, then on to MWD & LWD engineer before transitioning over to the Wireline Perforating Division, as an Open Hole Engineer, then to multi-disciplined to a Cased Hole Engineer. I went through a career path change, realigning my career with sales and BD, becoming a Wireline & Perforating Account Representative.
To progress my career and expand my network, I took the position of Europe BD manager at the cased hole wireline tool manufacturer company ‘Probe’ before moving to read for the role of Europe BD manager. In October 2021, I was promoted within READ to Global Sales Manager.
What do you most enjoy about the work you do?
To put it simply… socialising, building relationships, working as a team, providing solutions, and hitting targets! I am very much a ‘people person’ and I’ve always enjoyed interacting with folk, whether it be meeting people for the first time or reconnecting with old friends and acquaintances. I also enjoy travelling and exploring new locations. Lastly, I’m a very objective orientated and collaborative person; I thrive when leading and working in teams to achieve common goals.
Working in a sales enables (and requires) me to do all these things!
What has been your biggest work challenge, and how did you overcome it?
The Pandemic. I joined READ as the pandemic began and I joined in a sales and BD role with responsibilities that require external focus and client interaction. The pandemic led to a downturn in our industry, meaning activity and revenues decreased – I like many feared for my job! The travel restrictions and lockdowns limited the traditional methods of sales – there was no knocking on doors or client lunches! To overcome these challenges, I had to adapt and fully embrace online social communication!
First, was the challenge of forming relationships with my new colleagues. Taking time to directly connect with each of them 1 on 1 using teams for introductions and then regular catchups was invaluable.
The next step was developing relationships with new clients which is traditionally done in person! Instead, I had to achieve the same level of interaction but through different means which led to inviting potential clients to “virtual lunches” or “virtual end-of-day beers,” however the beers were real! Managing relationships with existing clients was also a task. Virtual calls enabled me to connect with clients regularly; it is also quicker, cheaper and easier than travelling! I also arranged some online games and quizzes with clients to help strengthen those relationships.
Due to travel restrictions, I had to be flexible with my time to engage with clients globally. I could be presenting at 5-6 am in the morning to clients in Kazakhstan and Tunisia, then holding meetings with partners in Peru and Mexico at 10 pm-1 am – crazy hours.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
I’m forever proud to come from my hometown Stockport, and love visiting the city of Manchester when I go back to visit family there. I’ve also a soft spot for the small village of New Galloway in the Dumfries and Galloway region of Scotland, as my family relocated here when I was 17. Similarly, I’ll always be fond of my university town Stirling!
However, my number one favourite place has to be Manhattan as this where I met my wife and got married. It is such an amazing place, with so much culture and diversity to experience, plus all the various cuisines, entertainment, and local sports, the list goes on! Every time I am there, I explore somewhere different and find something new!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
At an early age my father always used to tell me “Measure twice, cut once” when helping him DIY around the house, and to this day he continues to use this expression figuratively, when advising on business or personal related matters! It’s a prompt to always plan ahead carefully and pay attention to detail before taking any serious and or irreversible action – wise words to live by indeed!