Not one to shy away from a challenge, Ramsey Bros Salesman Neil Hein has faced up to many a test in his day. Growing up in Murray Bridge, this true-blue country boy commuted regularly from his farm to become a superstar Ruckman for Norwood Redlegs, before being snapped up by the Brisbane Bears.
But it wasn’t on a national stage under the bright lights of the AFL stadiums that Neil met his match. Nor, was it when he returned to the Redlegs and the southeast of South Australia to take up farming… or the 18 years that followed in a physically-demanding earthmoving career.
No, it was his role as a Salesman for Murray Bridge Ramsey Bros and Neil’s first ever webinar that really put him to the test.
“I’d been working for Ramsey Bros for about 18 months when I was told to jump on to a webinar. I’d never done one before, so the fact that I managed to log on was a minor miracle in itself,” Neil recalls.
“I hadn’t had a lot to do with computers before this. Anyway, I sat on the group call, listening carefully until I got another phone call on my mobile. Of course, I answered and chatted away to my client who was after some machinery.
“Little did I know that when I’d logged onto the webinar, I was supposed to turn off the microphone. So, instead of what I thought was a private conversation, the other 50 Dealers from across SA were listening to everything I said about the features and benefits of the Vennings Self-Propelled Grain Auger,” Neil recollects with amusement.
“I was kicking back in my chair, feet on the desk, chatting away to this client… paying no attention to the group session anymore. Suddenly, my phone was beeping, as several other calls started coming in. I was oblivious to the fact that my workmates were trying to give me the heads up they could all hear me — I just figured it was a busy day! But it wouldn’t have made a difference if they’d been screaming down the phone, I had no idea.
“It wasn’t until our Service Manager came storming through the door, doing the whole ‘cut across the throat’ move to get me to shut up that it clicked. At first, I thought someone must’ve died when he ran in — I couldn’t believe I’d made such a public mistake!
“All the Ramsey Bros staff on the meeting knew it was me, but no one let it slip to the rest on the call. Everyone else must’ve all been thinking ‘who’s this idiot?’. I tell you what, they all knew a lot about Vennings Augers by the end of it,” Neil laughs. On the bright side, Neil got the sale. And the rest, as they say, is history.