Spotlight on…our sales manager Mark Hickman

Our national sales manager Mark Hickman has more than 30 years of experience within the heating and plumbing industry. Read on to discover what his role at DQ Heating involves, and what makes our company – and products – so special.

How long have you worked at DQ Heating?

I started at DQ Heating in February 2020, just before the start of the pandemic. As you can imagine, it’s been an interesting first year!

Why should a customer choose DQ Heating?

DQ Heating is like a breath of fresh air. Everyone is keen to promote the brand, and everyone is passionate about the business and our customers. We aren’t afraid to try new things. Having a compact management team is a big advantage. It means we can react quickly to a changing market. We can also make changes or additions to our range much more quickly than some of our competitors.

DQ Heating’s sales manager Mark Hickman

What’s your favourite category in the DQ Heating brand – and why?

I absolutely love column radiators. I think they can give any room an edge in terms of style. Plus their heat output is fantastic.

What do you love most about your job? 

I love being out on the road. I get to meet and visit so many new people every week. I’m definitely not an office type!

How many people do you have in your team?

There are six of us, including me. Between us, we cover the whole of the UK.

Column radiators are available in a huge range of styles, colours and materials, to complement both traditional and modern interiors

Which radiator and towel rail are currently your favourites, and why?

My all-time favourite DQ radiator model is the Bench. I think it’s such a fantastic piece of furniture. Much to my wife’s amusement, I actually designed a whole room around one for my house! For towel rails, I would choose DQ Heating’s Luxury range, particularly the Croxton. It’s made from brass tubes, which last forever. And because these radiators are hand-made, there are endless options for bespoke sizes. Basically, if you can draw it, we can make it!

What do you think of the DQ Heating electric radiators and towel rails portfolio?

This really is a growing market. We have two fantastic radiator models, the Vela and Modus electric, which can be app-controlled via Bluetooth or WIFI. Almost every towel rail can be either dual fuelled, or made electric only. Thanks to all the different colour and finish options, there are thousands of combinations to choose from. I firmly believe that this is a range that will continue to grow.

Pretty and practical: Our eye-catching dual-purpose Bench column is national sales manager Mark’s favourite DQ radiator model

Aside from the Bench, what other DQ heating products do you have in your home?

In addition to a Bench, I also have several Modus DQ radiators. The heat outputs are fantastic, and the look is spot-on for our house.

What do you think of DQ Heating’s new Azura towel rail?

I think that the new Azura is a great-looking towel rail. And the range of colour options available means it will fit in with almost any bathroom.

Which DQ radiators are currently best-sellers and why?

The Modus bare metal models have proved very popular since their release this year. They are popular because they combine a timeless classic design with a modern industrial look. Another advantage is that we offer these DQ radiators in black, nickel, copper and brass lacquered finishes, so there really is a lot of choice. The fact that they are available on a next-day delivery service also helps.

Fans of industrial chic will love our Modus Lacquered range, which offers a choice of on-trend bare metal, copper, black nickel and brass finishes

What key things does your job involve?

I have a dual role within DQ Heating. I am the National Sales Manager responsible for a team of sales agents covering the whole country. Also, I look after a sales area of my own. This incorporates the East Anglia region from Norfolk and Suffolk in the East to Northamptonshire in the West, and North London up to Lincolnshire. Within my own area I look after our existing customers. These include national plumbers or builders’ merchant branches, in addition to high-end bathroom or kitchen retail showrooms.

I’m always looking out for new customers or alternative outlets for DQ radiators and towel rails. In my wider role as National Sales Manager I take care of our very experienced team of sales agents. Every corner of the country is covered. So I could find myself travelling to Northern Scotland to jointly visit a customer with our agent. Or I could be heading down in Land’s End to provide technical support to a high-end new-build house.

Could you describe a typical day?

It’s difficult to describe a typical day as each one is different. Usually I would be out visiting customers in my area to make sure they have enough DQ radiators and towel rails literature. I also keep everyone aware of, and carry out, regular staff training regarding new models or products. Sometimes I carry out site visits, and negotiate the supply of radiators for new housing estates. I might meet with a plumber to discuss possible solutions for a difficult installation – or even an electrician to discuss the wiring requirements for one of our electric models. Sometimes I partner with one of our agent teams to conduct joint visits to our customers in that area.

Typically I’d spend a couple of days with each agent every few months. The office side of my job might involve analysing sales figures and turnover, or working through specifications for a commercial quotation. In addition, we all get together regularly at the office in Thetford to discuss ideas for new products, strategies and customer literature.

Interested in electric radiators? Our extensive collection includes a huge range of both classic and contemporary designs, in a range of colours and finishes, so you’re sure to find something that suits

What do you think the future holds for the DQ Heating brand?

The sky is the limit! We are growing in every way: customer base, portfolio, staff and warehouse capacity. I think people generally are becoming a bit more discerning. They want to deal with a company who cares, and that’s definitely us!