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VP Retail Sales and Marketing for the NHL meets Sporting Goods Business students


Barry Monaghan (left) with program coordinator Charlie McGee
Barry Monaghan (left) with program coordinator Charlie McGee

Barry Monaghan, Vice-President of Retail Sales and Marketing for the NHL, is the 10th and final speaker in the Sporting Goods Business Speaker Series at Fleming College. Sporting Goods Business students and Sports – SHSM students from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School came to Sutherland Campus on Tuesday, Dec. 6 to hear Barry’s words of wisdom from the industry.

“First things first, don’t think it’s all going to happen fast,” said Barry, who got his start as a salesperson on the floor of Footlocker. “Getting a foot in the door is crucial. Get in there and do it and see what happens. Don’t be afraid to take a hit at the beginning to see where it goes.”

Barry confided that his father felt he had wasted money sending Barry for years of study at university to watch him work frontline sales, but Barry knew it was a “foot in the door” and continued to work his way up. And when a licensing and retail position became available at the NHL, he went for it. “I focused on it. I knew I wanted it and I went for it,” he said. “Even my wife thought I was crazy!”

Now the Vice-President of Retail Sales and Marketing for the NHL, Barry discussed the changing landscape of sales– going from bricks and mortar to online. “When you’re dealt cards, you play those cards and figure it out,” said Barry, who has been on the Program Advisory Council for 31 years at Fleming. “Retail is changing and online is growing. You’ve got to figure it out.”

One thing Barry noticed is that sales are becoming less personal; unless you’re ordering large quantities from a wholesaler, you do not speak to a person. “I have trouble with that. I think face-to-face is best to get questions answered. I’m old school, I phone people to bother them,” he joked.

“How can you communicate today to make sure you’re successful and not pushy?” he asked, giving the example of Instagram users. Barry said some post on Instagram with pushy sales pitches and discounts, while others post a cool picture that will help the product sell itself—without the pushy sales pitch.

He added that all technology can be used to our advantage to make sales more convenient while remaining personal, giving the example of his friend’s tech-savvy real estate agent. Barry’s friend works in the industry and often travels, so he is not available to tour houses and meet frequently. His real estate agent offers a video for every house she sells, communicates via text and email, and is active on social media. “She was great for someone who didn’t have time to meet,” said Barry. “She found a way to do what many people have done, but in a different way.”

“Take some of the amazing things available today and use it to your advantage,” said Barry.