Introducing David Mansfield
Since reading ‘If I Could Tell You Just One Thing’, I set a goal to speak to one successful person every month. This month I am introducing David Mansfield, Chairman of RAJAR radio research and other successful businesses. Our Managing Director, Tom introduced me to David.
David has had a very successful career so far and is going from strength to strength at the age of 65. He was kind enough to give an hour of his time to discuss how and why he has been able to develop his career to where he is today.
He started by telling me how when it came to GCSEs and school, he was more interested in rock music than grades, and found that at school he wasn’t sure on which path to take. After studying further, David decided to become an Engineering Apprentice, which lasted 5 years across a couple of different companies.
After leaving his engineering career, admitting it was not for him; David worked for a short time at a petrol station before spotting an advert for a junior sales role with Terry’s Chocolates. He had to reach out to a car salesman he knew to borrow a suit for the interview, as at this point, he did not own one. He was offered the job after the interview to his surprise. Despite trying, David was continuously falling behind in the sales team.
His Sales Career
Just when David was ready to give up, he was appointed a new boss who was very different to the last. He was very hands on and would accompany David on sales appointments. He mentored David over the coming months, which resulted in David going from being close to the bottom of the sales team to being the top salesperson within the business in 12 months!
This is when David realised he enjoyed sales, and after being promoted to a more senior sales role, David decided it was time for a new challenge. After seeing an advert for an advertising sales role and reading the ideal candidate needed marketing experience, David didn’t think he had anything to lose by sending a letter in applying for the job. David told me the letter said something along the lines of ‘Why wouldn’t you want to employ the best chocolate salesman in the UK?’. Even though he had few of the required qualifications, David got the job!
In his new role, David had a fantastic boss that believed in him. He told me it was very target driven, but he delivered because of his sales experience and hard work. David was promoted and had a very successful career managing the business and supporting it in generating £350million annual turnover.
David’s boss moved to Thames TV and invited David to join him. Here he would eventually run day-to-day sales operations. It was also at Thames TV that David overcame one of his biggest challenges of his career, when Thames TV lost their broadcasting licence.
This resulted in over 150 staff being made redundant in the following 18 months. David’s challenge here was to somehow motivate a team of that size to still deliver targets with redundancy hanging over their heads. By implementing initiatives and incentives, before the end of the 18 months, only two of those staff left. What started as one of David’s biggest challenges is now also one of his biggest achievements.
With his Thames TV job ending, David was approached by Capital Radio, but initially declined as he wanted to see out Thames TV until it closed. When the doors of Thames TV finally closed, David was approached again by Capital Radio, where he became Commercial Director. His role included operations direction, branding, merchandise, events and much more which all added further experience and skills under his belt. When David’s boss left Capital, he became CEO and stayed there for over 13 years.
Today, David is not only chairman of RAJAR, but also invests in start-up companies, works with Cass Business School, completes consultancy for other companies and is also writing his own book. The book, ‘The Monday Revolution’ supports others using what he has learnt over the years, and is due to be released in 2020 (keep your eyes peeled).
David was 65 last summer and is focusing heavily on goals and working on his 30 year plan. He has run several half marathons and is still pushing forward and progressing within business. The only time he applied for a job was at 22, he has been head hunted for every other job, what a motivational person and story!
David’s advice was:
“You need a mentor, this is really important. Someone that is not a relation who can advise and support you to avoid mistakes they may have made in their journey. They are there to guide, trust and to use as a sounding board. Build a great network of people around you and keep in touch with them by reaching out to them often. This will be very advantageous within your career”.