Meet UD Group's Newest Recruit... Austin Ryan
Austin Ryan has just this month joined UD Group as a Business Development Manager, where he will be helping energy brokers to better understand the UD Group software offering in order to enhance their business processes. We spent a bit of time catching up with Austin to find out what it’s like starting a new job during a global pandemic, how he wants to help energy brokers reach their career goals and we learn how far he’s come since his days of stand-up comedy…
What is your experience in the industry?
I have 10 years’ experience working for brokerages, aggregators and energy suppliers alike, where I’ve sold directly to customers, have been responsible for TPI sign-up and have handled anything from usage equities up to multi-site tenders.
How have you found starting a new job during ‘lockdown’?
It hasn’t been too bad actually! I’ve always worked from home so apart from being unable to do the induction in the office, I haven’t really noticed much change. The one aspect I have missed out on is meeting my new colleagues. Everyone seems really nice on the Zoom calls we’ve had, but it’s not the same as meeting them in person.
What is your favourite part of the job so far?
As always, I like speaking to new brokers and finding out what challenges they face and how they operate. Now more than ever, it is interesting to see how they’re coping in such unusual times. I’ve always enjoyed speaking to all types of brokers as I feel this gives me a really unique view on the marketplace and how the importance of a platform such as UD Group’s sits within that world.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
I’m most looking forward to helping brokers get to that next level. I’ve always felt within the broker signup roll that my biggest successes have been seeing a broker with one or two members of staff grow into a fully functioning sales team of 20+. I love being a part of that journey and being able to help them get to where they want to be.
What are your biggest challenges in the job?
It’s tough to try and help some brokers understand that there is an another way to grow their business organically, and that through the use of technology, compliance and hard work, the results will be there for everyone to see. There are no shortcuts to success. Another potential challenge in the future could be the reduction of face-to-face meetings for the foreseeable future. I’ve always enjoyed visiting brokers which may prove difficult in the in the coming months.
What advice do you have for new starters in the industry?
From a broker perspective, my advice would be to choose your sales platform wisely. Early mistakes can cost you down the line. Companies telling you there is no upfront cost to working with them can seem enticing at the time, but ultimately you have to be able to trust who you’re working with and who has access to your data. I would also advise new brokers to focus on compliance in the early days so it becomes second nature. I’ve seen too many brokers fall due to poor live rates and the risk of claw-backs from rushing deals over the line for short-term gain.
What else should we know about you?
An interesting fact most people don’t know about me is that many, many years ago, I was a stand-up comedian and did quite a few shows around the London area. Looking back now though, I think I’m a much better BDM than I ever was a stand-up!