I met Robert Tyrrell early in February of 2013 when I was interviewing for an open sales position we had available covering North and South Carolina. We were looking for a professional sales representative with the right experience to be the face of ARES Scientific in that territory. Our business model focuses on putting people together and helping both parties achieve their goals. So, naturally, I was looking for someone with a dynamic personality who was smart, but also enjoyed helping people
accomplish their goals.
After meeting with Bob, I learned very quickly that he is a self-motivated individual, but also that he has a talent for motivating others. This comes from his 20 plus years of coaching high level swimmers competing to earn Olympic Trial invitations and fighting for a chance at National and International tournaments, with the hopes of becoming world champions. Ultimately, we added Bob to the ARES team because of his competitive nature and his passion for working with people trying to make a difference. We caught up with Bob before the new year to see what he had to say. Below is an excerpt from our conversation:
5 FOR 5:
(RJC) Q: “So Bob, what prompted you to want to pursue a career in the research and healthcare sales field?”
(Bob) A: “With a degree in Biology and Physiology from Youngstown State University, and with my passion for athletics and how the human body works, I thought it was a perfect fit. My coaching career was a great experience and I’ve learned a lot from it. But I’ve always been interested in Biology and Kinetics since I was a kid. My wife, who is also in the field with Becton Dickinson, really opened my eyes to what’s out there and the incredibly interesting research and technologies going on now. I had to be a part of it.”
(RJC) Q: “After so many years of working with world class athletes, how would you compare your coaching experiences to selling capital equipment, devices and software to the research and healthcare markets?
(Bob) A: “I am having a lot of fun. Coaching world class athletes is very similar to working with professionals in the markets we serve. My clients are also trying to compete on a national and international level. Whether it’s cancer research at Duke University, precision testing services at LabCorp or vaccine research and production at Novartis, they are all trying to be the best at what they do.”
(RJC) Q: “So now that you have a year under your belt working to serve these markets, what do you see as the most challenging obstacle for success?”
(Bob) A: “Funding continues to be an issue for a lot of my clients. NIH grants and endowments, in general, continue to be down and although the statistics point to a better economy, most of my clients are trying to do more with fewer resources.”
(RJC) Q: “What has been your most interesting experience so far while working with a client or potential client?”
(Bob) A: “Well, I don’t know if this is interesting, but it’s kind of funny. While at a clients’ location and setting up some new incubators we sold them, I realized that the MPT connector on the CO2 regulator was not the right size. They were using larger connector tubing than what we had provided them, which is unusual. So I had to go to the local hardware store to try and find the right size. I won’t bore you with the details, but I spent about a half a day going back and forth to the hardware store to get the right size. After the 2nd time, Frank (store clerk) and I were talking about the college football playoffs and were on a first name basis. Now I know! It’s little things like this that help me add value to my clients and what really sets us apart from our competition. The “White Glove” approach!”
(RJC) Q: “When you’re not spending time with your family or working to support you clients, what do you do in your spare time?”
(Bob) A: “Well, with new twins in the family now, that question doesn’t really apply. But I can tell you that when I used to have spare time, I tried to catch some wind on the shore with my Kite Board. I even have an app on my phone to check out coastal wind parameters. Quite honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way right now!”