Starting a new job is scary at the best of times, let alone when the only way to get to know your new team is in our new virtual world. So, in the absence of buddy time, shared lunches, and Friday drinks, we had a virtual cuppa with our latest starter Matthew Bennett. Read on to learn more about our new recruit.
You have worked for some major outdoor lighting brands, why outdoor lighting?
Quite by accident (like most of us!).
As a twenty-something-year-old, I was given a chance at Kingfisher and never looked back. Quality lighting offers so much, from the simple security of a well-lit street to enhancing beautiful architectural features on listed buildings. I love how no project is ever the same and how a well-lit scheme can massively enhance a local area.
When we get back to normal, I recommend a walk around London to look at the lighting. There is such a wide range of different styles, from the fantastic Gas Lamps in Covent Garden and around the Tower of London to the ultra-modern Thames River art project. I could spend all night look at lighting in London.
Three months in, what has surprised you about LPS?
Their passion and drive for superior customer service. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that our products’ performance is among the best I have worked with; quite a statement bearing in mind I have worked for some much larger companies. It’s a pleasure to be working with such great quality products.
Talk us through your typical day.
I have kids, so top of the list is coffee, coffee, and more coffee.
Once I’m fuelled, it’s into work mode, catching up with emails and the rest of the team, prioritising what needs doing first and what is most urgent.
I always make time to speak with customers; to get an understanding of what they want on their project.
Organising any quotes and lighting designs.
And of course, gaining all-important feedback and hopefully orders!!!!
If you had to make a sale today, which three products would you present and why?
Our Keno street light – for its brilliant performance, quality, and competitive pricing. Simply good street lighting without any unnecessary frills.
Luna – Great option. A contemporary post top luminaire – perfect for schemes that need an attractive solution. Excellent performance and well built.
The ATP range as a whole. There are some great products with outstanding performance, but they are also incredibly well built with a unique design for city centre and coastal locations. And a 10-year warranty (as standard)!
Sales is traditionally a people business; how have you managed to keep in contact with customers/find new customers during the pandemic?
It’s been hard.
Having a year out of the industry due to COVID has been difficult as well. But the best form of contact is always speaking to them either via phone or Teams. LinkedIn has also been a great source for updates. We’ve seen a lot of change this year, and it’s a useful tool to see where people have moved.
What’s your favourite project so far?
With LPS, that one’s hard so far. The Amazon projects stand out, and I love the Center Parcs project (the first to be built in Ireland).
How do you like to end your working day?
With family and friends. The past year has shown us how fragile life is and how, above all things, family and surrounding yourself with good friends, especially those who like a nice bottle of gin, wine, or beer, is crucial for one’s sanity.
Who are your mentors/inspiration in the lighting world and beyond?
When growing up, I always wanted to be the next Stuart Pearce, but lack of football talent put an end to that. So, I gain inspiration from the thousands of people who volunteer their time to charities and involve themselves in their local community.
I am an active member of the Gloucester Round Table. I have been lucky enough to be involved with several charity events that have raised thousands of pounds for Gloucester’s local charities. These people make me want to do better and do more for my local community.
Within lighting, I have had a few. I have been fortunate enough to work with some brilliant people over the years. It is hard to single out just one person.
Do you have any words of wisdom for anyone thinking of joining the lighting world?
- Never stop learning and asking questions.
- Good lighting people are good to know. They will always help you understand and help you gain knowledge. It’s an incredibly friendly industry, it’s competitive, but most people are passionate about delivering high-quality lighting solutions regardless of where they work.