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A Day in the Life: Jon Johnston Sales Director kbb Birmingham


A Day in the Life: Jon Johnston, Sales Director at kbb Birmingham, Informa Markets

Even though kbb Birmingham is a biennial show, it takes a lot of work to make it happen. When Jon isn’t out meeting new prospects or catching up with the kbb team, you can find him on the bike staying fit. 

5.45am - I'm up and off training on the bike until about 8:35am, depending on previous days efforts, and whether I meet up with a mate or just solo.

8.45am - After hitting the shower I log on at 8:45am with plenty of coffee and fruit for a depleted body. Usually the week is pre-planned with a mixture of phone calls, team catch-ups or live meetings etc. I am often found speaking to clients, media / PR contacts and other influential people who help me understand more about the sectors I work in. I never stop learning something new.

9:00am - If I am not travelling to meet anyone, the first 2- 3 hours would be a mix of answering queries, building new relationships with companies less familiar with kbb or proposing ideas with current exhibitors and prospects. This can be quite complex particularly if sponsorship is involved. 

11:00am - A chance to brain-dump information with the team or sales catch-up or marketing meet. As we approach kbb next month, our ‘event’ meetings have amped up with the wider team, who play a critical role in helping to deliver everything kbb Birmingham has to offer. It is a real team effort.

12:30pm - I am usually desperate for lunch by now. I usually stay at my desk, and eat while working. I skim through the social media to see what’s new, do some admin and check to see what’s happening in the market. Usually, someone is acquiring another business, or someone is going into administration. In the 13 years involved at kbb the world never stays the same.

1:00pm - Catch up on sales team activity with my colleagues. Right now we are growing kbb Birmingham, and are currently sitting at 320+ exhibiting brands (check them out here), so it makes sense to see what sectors are doing better and predicting where the growth will come from. Salesforce plays a big part of our sales productivity and reporting. 

2:00pm - Keeping our records accurate is essential particularly as these feed into our marketing and communications. For example, even the basics like ensuring contact details are correct on our database are crucial. Attention to detail is important.

2:30pm – Refill the water bottle and maybe a snack like an omelette. Always hungry.

3:00pm - Usually a busier part of the day - often meetings with clients and making more phone calls. Emailing quick answers is good but there is nothing like chatting to people. Microsoft Teams plays a big role in helping catch up. Kbb Birmingham is a big show but only a small part of my client’s day, so when they do get the chance to focus, it’s important to take the time to go through everything with them. Most team meets over-run.

5:30pm - It's time to get energised again. I usually get a bit tired by now. If I WFH there is no commute on the bike. So, I usually jump straight on the indoor trainer and force myself to smash out a few more kilowatts. It’s a bit harder these days to motivate myself, but never give up trying.

6.50pm - Showered off, I cook dinner. My partner doesn’t get home until later. I do enjoy experimenting with new recipes, but I am not that good. I am still logged in and often tempted to work for a bit, particularly if it's something fresh in the mind. More emails, more challenges.

8.45pm - With dinner done, my laptop finally shut down, my attention will turn to planning the weekend’s longer bike rides. Socially, it's nice to have different circles to mix in and whilst it's physically demanding I do have lifelong friends from it.

10.20pm - Both my partner and I are up early in the mornings, especially with the next kbb Birmingham around the corner, so we’re pretty much half asleep even before bedtime.  

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