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Running the primary sales team, popcorn in afro wigs and NSYNC lyrics: Q&A with Primary Sales Manager, Dan Hearty

Our Primary Sales Manager, Dan Hearty, kindly took some time of out his busy schedule this week to have a chat with us.

We talked about what his day involves with running the team, what his achievements have been since he started with Castleford and what his thoughts are on the upcoming season for Manchester United.

1. Like two of Castleford’s directors, you originally hail from the UK. What brought you to New Zealand?

It was a bit of a spontaneous decision, really! About 2 years ago I was on my way home for good from Australia and decided to take a quick (four months!) detour via Asia and on my travels, I kept hearing stories of how beautiful NZ was so I booked a last minute flight!  My only regret has been shipping all my belongings home from Aus to the UK. I arrived with barely anything!

2. What’s the most embarrassing track you like to listen to?

I don’t think there’s anything I’m embarrassed about (unless you’re trying to hint at something!) but my music taste can vary heaps depending on my mood and I do sometimes get some funny looks! At the moment, my housemates think I’ve taken a step back in time with things like Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and The Beach Boys blasting out of my earphones. I might also add that I still know all the words to ‘Girlfriend’ by N’sync & Nelly (even the rap part) and I do love a bit of R Kelly ‘Bump and Grind’ on a Karaoke night…

3. What have you done that you’ve been most proud of since you joined the company?

We’ve made quite a few changes over the last year or so with the Primary Sales team, which were originally instigated by my former boss Jonny (he’s the beardy hipster looking one in the other Q&A). I think we’ve brought in a lot of changes which can be tough but we’ve made sure that people can still enjoy the role and have fun, so I guess the thing I’m most proud of is the environment and culture we have within the team. They are all hungry to learn and to progress – they have that competitive edge yet they are so supportive of each other and full of banter!

4. Describe what an average day involves for you.

My day varies so much! I’m usually in early to run through my emails and send through some reports. Once the team arrives we’ll have a quick morning huddle to run through any important news and how we’re getting on, or I might run a training session with them. When I’m not in meetings, I’m floating around to support the team with any queries or issues that come up whilst cracking on with any ongoing projects I have.

5. Rumour has it that your nickname is Dan ‘Party’ Hearty… care to elaborate?

For the record, I have never encouraged this nickname myself and I have no idea how you know this! I guess I like to be a sociable person… it started years back when I lived in Whistler, Canada and worked promoting a club night. I guess some of the kiwi friends I worked with have somehow spread this to my current work colleagues!

People in 70s outfits

Dan ‘Party’ Hearty in action, front and centre

6. You often organise games and activities for your team as work incentives – what’s some of your favourites?

Haha! Our team gets a lot of attention from the rest of the office when we’re doing them! The classic ones that seem to go down well are team vs team sales battleships, the stealing game (where everyone competes for a limited number of small prizes and they keep swapping them around), and an adapted version of poker!

By far the most bizarre game would have to be the popcorn and the afro game, which is literally a competition to see who can throw the most pieces of popcorn into an afro wig! Crazy, I know.

7. What’s your favourite part of managing a team?

It sounds really corny but I enjoy seeing people develop. We have a core value of hiring character and training skill, which means that we hire staff that have the right attitude and personality, then provide training to give them any skills they don’t yet have. It’s great to see the team progress within their current role and the company, and I get a great level of satisfaction helping them achieve their best.

8. If you could go back to your first day at Castleford what advice would you give to your younger self?

Try the Vietnamese place down the road (Hello Misters). It does an awesome Pho, sells Sriracha (my favourite hot sauce!) and it took me 18 months to find!

9. You love soccer and you’re a Manchester United fan – what are your thoughts on the upcoming season?

Firstly, it will always be called football regardless of where I am in the world! It should be an exciting season. There’s so much competition for the top spots these days, it’s so hard to call it, but we definitely need to keep hold of David De Gea (our keeper) then sign a striker and a few others to keep up with the rest! I’d say we’ll finish top 3 but there’s still a month or so until it kicks off again, so for the moment, it’s all about cheering on the British and Irish Lions in the rugby!

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Amber Denny About the author