Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with Russell Ray, an active Member of Maven who specializes in consumer products and has experience in multi-unit merchandising and operations for a large multinational retail corporation. Since 2009, Russell has participated in several telephone consultations with Maven customers and he was kind enough to share his experience with me. Here is an excerpt of our discussion:
Maureen Rousseau, Maven Account Manager: Hi Russell. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Can you tell me how you first heard about Maven?
Russell Ray: I was first referred to Maven by one of my contacts at another consulting firm. I immediately signed up and participated in my first Maven telephone consultation within a few days.
MR: Since then, you have participated in several telephone consultations through Maven – do you feel that you receive requests relatively consistently?
RR: Consistency of work with customers is a function of familiarity. In my experience, I’ve seen that positive feedback from customers can help build reputation and create more opportunities within a network. When I joined Maven, I knew that I would have to build my clientele and earn opportunities. I haven’t been fully focused on getting these opportunities because of my day job, but I appreciate the help of the Maven team who keep me in mind for opportunities, and I have been trying to be very responsive whenever something comes my way. Frankly, I’d appreciate as many opportunities as possible and I always try to enter into a situation with an attitude of “how can I help your brand,” or “how can I better your brand.”
MR: What is your favorite part of working with Maven?
RR: Maven has made things a lot more efficient in the consulting industry. The automated call system is great, and I really like the fact that you’re trying to protect the confidentiality and privacy of members and customers. Maven seems to have gone through extra pains to keep people in a defensible position and has adapted well to the world in which we live.
MR: What advice do you have for other Mavens?
RR: First and foremost, my advice would be to meet the need of the client. Be mindful of the client’s need, be credible, and speak plainly. If you’re qualified to speak on the topic, do the best that you can; represent your own personal brand, Maven’s brand, and your organization’s brand. If you feel that you are not qualified, always try to redirect the client to someone else who would be able to help. At the end of the day, it’s about building credible relationships.
MR: Thanks Russell. We appreciate your work and look forward to sending more opportunities your way.
Here is some more information on Russell from his Maven profile. If you are a registered Maven Client and would like to consult with Russell, you can find his profile here.
Mr. Russell Ray (Member 35579)
Market Human Resources Manager
This Maven has served in multi-unit roles with companies such as Wal-Mart Stores, and Limited Brands. Having served in merchandising, operations, and most recently, human resource roles, this individual is knowledgeable on, and can provide deep insight into current trends across multiple channels for categories such as Food, Apparel, Office Supplies, Housewares, Appliances, Home Furnishings, Crafts, Electronics, Toys, Sporting Goods, Hardware, Lawn & Garden, Pharmacy, HBC, and Household Consumer Products. He can also provide insight into many specialty and mass retailers. He originally served for (12) years with Wal-Mart as a store manager, served (4) years as a District Manager in with Limited Brands. He has managed operations in across the Midwestern and Southeastern U.S., and most recently, has returned to Wal-Mart in a multi-unit leadership capacity. If someone is looking for insight into any of these categories, competitive landscape, or consumer behavior, he would be a good person to talk to.