IC&G has appointed the highly popular Pat Teasdale as the company’s first ever full time sales executive. Pat, who is into her first few days working with the company covering the Yorkshire area, joins from UKG. Previously to this, IC&G has served its retail customers via a team of agents. What prompted the change was agent Carol Stead’s decision to retire, after 42 years in the greeting card trade.
“I’m 70 now and have had a wonderful 42 years in this industry. I would do it all over again in a heart beat, but I couldn’t hand over to nicer person than Pat, who I have known for years. We are working together to ensure a long smooth handover for our lovely customers,” agent Carol Stead told PG Buzz. “I promised Simon [Wagstaff, md of IC&G] that I would give him six months notice so that they could find the right person to replace me and our customers would not lose out,” Carol added, who officially retires at the end of June.
Simon said he would be ever thankful to Carol “for everything she has done to help in IC&G’s development. Without our agents and their relationships with our retail customers, the company would not be what it is today.”
Having advertised the post for Carol’s replacement, as a full time sales executive’s post, on PG Buzz, Simon said he was delighted that Pat Teasdale applied for the position, aware of her high reputation in the trade.
Pat, who has been working in the greeting card industry since she left school in 1978, told PG Buzz she felt “very proud” to be IC&G’s first and only sales executive. Her experience spans retailing (Memory Lane/Maiden and Kemp), merchandising (Hanson White) and selling (latterly with UKG where she has been awarded sales person of the year several times). “I have loved my last 15 years working with UKG. It is a great company, with lovely people and good products,” Pat said, but when she spotted the advert for the job on PG Buzz, she felt compelled to apply for it. “I felt the time was right for me. I have a lot of respect for what IC&G has done and how it gives customers what they want in products and service. I am glad to be playing a part in its future.”
The plan is that Carol and Pat will work alongside each other for the coming months. When she officially retires at the end of June, Carol will have spent over 42 years in the greeting card trade, over 37 of which have been on the road in a selling capacity, having become an agent 19 years ago.
“I started out working for a independent card shop, then joined card publisher Royle, with whom I spent 16 very happy years. I then joined Images and Editions for a couple of years before becoming an agent,” Carol explains. Although over the years she has represented several companies as an agent, she currently only carries IC&G.
Sharing her words of advice to would-be agents, Carol said: “Stay true to yourself and always stay true to your customers as they will return that with loyalty to you.
Plus, only work with companies that you absolutely love and on whom you can depend.”
She said that IC&G definitely scored on the latter point. “It has been lovely to have played a part of IC&G’s development. I wish I was younger so I could go further with them, but Pat will do a great job. I really think it helps that, like me, she has had retail experience, which means you can see things from both sides of the counter.”
Carol is already forging plans for her retirement, including getting a dog, doing more gardening and, importantly “meeting up with friends, many of whom are my customers. We have lunches and nights out planned already!”
Tony Roberts, director of sales of IC&G confirmed said he is incredibly happy to have Pat Teasdale on board. “Her enthusiasm, experience and personality makes Pat such an asset to IC&G,” he told PG Buzz, but said that there are “no grand plan” to replace agents with reps. “Why would we, we have a strong team of loyal agents who are doing such a great job.”