In another of our occasional series of blogs about why people like to work with or for Practice Plan, Area Sales Manager, Suki Singh, speaks to Head of Sales, Zoe Close about what keeps her at Practice Plan.
SS: You’ve been with Practice Plan for about seven years now, Zoe. What stops you from getting the itch to move on elsewhere?
ZC: I’ve always worked within a practice environment.
I started as a dental nurse, went on to be a head receptionist, then practice manager. And then, I worked for a group of practices as the group business manager. I’d worked with Practice Plan through the practices I used to look after, where part of my remit was to maximise the revenue potential and grow the business. We used Practice Plan as part of that growth strategy so, I’d had experience of working with Practice Plan when I heard about the vacancy.
I was attracted to the job and the company as I felt it was a place where my sort of personality would fit. I think the culture was quite clear with the people that I dealt with. I just felt that the role was something that would probably feel quite a comfortable move and not too dissimilar to how I work, anyway.
When I joined Practice Plan, I was taking up a brand new role, so I wasn’t filling anybody’s shoes. It was a good opportunity to grow that role into what I felt the business needed.
At Practice Plan I’m allowed to be myself. I don’t have to be anybody that I’m not. People don’t get judged here, and the fact that you see things differently or you want to do things differently is welcomed. So, I have the freedom to be the person I want to be, and to influence, I think as well.
Knowing you can influence is one of the attractions for me. You can make a difference. You get the opportunity to share your knowledge. I think it’s a company that embraces that. I work with people at senior levels, but it doesn’t really feel hierarchical, and I like that.
Just because I’m head of sales, doesn’t make me feel any different to anybody else in the business. It’s just a role. Obviously, I really respect my colleagues but, I feel that I can have a really open conversation and be really, brutally honest at times.
So, I think that the openness, for me, and the approachability, is something that keeps me at the company.
SS: Have you got any examples of practices that you’ve worked with that you think, ‘yeah, that’s why I come to work?’.
ZC: Obviously I help my team to help our clients. A two-site practice recently moved from the NHS to private practice, and, at 10,000 letters, it was the biggest patient mailing we’ve ever done. That one, for me, is probably going to be one of the takeaways from the last two years because the practice owner dealt with myself, the RSM, and a couple of other parts of the business. So, we, as a Practice Plan team, supported him to successfully move from NHS to private practice.
Seeing the benefits that he’s gained, not just business-wise but personally, that’s the stuff still, that makes me really happy.
It’s not just about customers, though. I think you should always work to your strengths and my strengths are managing to get a team onside and wanting to work together and wanting to work with me.
Although I can be quite direct sometimes, I do it in a really supportive way. I would never not find a way of helping someone get to where they need to be.
So helping the clients is amazing, because you can play a part in that, but there’s no better feeling than when you know that you’re helping the team as well. For me, it’s important, that I add value to the team as well as our customers.
SS: If anybody were thinking of working for Practice Plan, what would you say to them?
ZC: I’d say I wish I had joined it years ago, if I’m honest. Because I think there are loads of opportunities to really grow yourself as a person for anyone that wants to join PP. We like people to come in and be quite forward and honest with their thinking. So, if you’re the sort of person that wants to grow, move forward and get involved, I think it’s a great opportunity.
SS: And finally, how would you describe Practice Plan in five words?
ZC: Vibrant. Exciting. Determined. Caring, and goal orientated.
SS: Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Zoe