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A Day in the Life of....... a Regional Head of Sales

21 September 2015

Lee Moulson is currently Regional Head of Sales – South West Region of The Jockey Club and is based at Cheltenham Racecourse.
We asked Lee about his career and how he got to where he is today.

Why did you decide on a career in your chosen industry, and when did you decide?
I started working for a local trainer when I was 13. A couple of years later, I realised that a career in horseracing was the path I wanted to follow and so I went down the route of being a jockey. I had my first ride in a race in 1998 but realised that riding professionally wasn't for me, so I then made the decision that racecourse management was the area I wanted to focus on. Although I did consider the marketing and communications side of racecourse management, I thought that sales was something that I could be good at and my written skills were perhaps not good enough to do the marketing.

How did you get started in the industry? What qualifications and experience did you gain?
I went to the British Racing School as a teenager, where I obtained my NVQ 1,2,3. I had got the third one by the time I was 19, which is pretty early. Further down the line I also went to university, where I studied Business Management for Horseracing Industry. This is a course run at Morton Morrell in Warwickshire, via Harper Adams. I managed to get a 2:1 in the degree. While at university I did lots of work experience, with Racenews, JSC Sport, who do all the PR for the Investec Derby and I was a runner for RUK. I found this a very useful way to gain contacts.

What is your current role and how did you get into it? What year did you start it?  
I moved from Warwick Racecourse, which is in the South West Region of The Jockey Club, to Cheltenham in January this year. I had been Commercial Manager at Warwick and came into the role of Head of Racing Sales. I was promoted to Regional Head of Sales in July of this year, where I cover both the Racing side of the business as well as the Conferencing and Events.

What does a typical day involve? What are your key responsibilities?
Every day is different, but I have a variety of responsibilities, including managing a team of sales agents who are based here at Cheltenham but cover all four racecourses in the region. I therefore liaise regularly with the regional General Managers of the smaller courses, Warwick, Wincanton and Exeter.
My role is to liaise with all the key clients that we have here at Cheltenham, who take boxes on an annual basis. A lot of these clients are also sponsors, so I work with Peter McNeile, Head of Sponsorship, on this.  It is important that we focus not only on achieving results in the immediate future, but also plan the strategy on a longer-term basis, to ensure that the sales side of the business continues to develop.
Another area of the business that I work with a lot is the marketing and communications, making sure that the racing hospitality, conferencing and events products we have are publicized to the wider audience.

What do you think are the most important skills for someone in your role to have?
I think that to be involved in sales you have to have great perception skills. Not only that, but interpersonal skills are also essential, as you are client facing the vast majority of the time and you have to build a good rapport with customers.
There are many highs and lows when you work in sales, so you have to have the type of character that can take the rough with the smooth and keep balanced at all times.

Describe the aspects of your job you find particularly rewarding.
I’d have to say that my favourite part of the job is when a member of my team gets a good sale. It’s such a buzz for everyone and a great morale boost.
Also seeing clients having a great time, whether it be on Gold Cup day in a box or at a Sterophonics concert is a sign that all that hard work has paid off.

Describe your future career plans.
As I am quite new in the role, I don’t see myself going anywhere for a while. I love being part of the Cheltenham and South West Region.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone seeking a career in your sector/industry?
I have two:
Get as much work experience as possible – it’s a great way to make contacts
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – my moto for life!

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