You've had a varied career both within the optical industry and now your latest venture. What do you attribute your success to?
I’m not sure what qualifies as ‘success’ but I always like a challenge and to try something new. I like to understand my subject as much as anyone can and then give my 100%. My background in PR and Marketing has really helped to build Viking Mariners over the years and to think / develop differently from that of a ‘traditional’ sailing business.
You're known across the county for your PR work, what do you think makes a great PR campaign?
Really understanding what you are talking about. Research, for me, is the key. I will only support a campaign if I know I can make a difference for the client and base my strategy and way of working upon that.
Viking Mariners is your latest venture, is it a labour of love? What inspired the business?
Oh yes it is a labour of Love. Both my partner and I are passionate about sailing. We both decided to make a lifestyle change a number of years back and move to Suffolk. We both had demanding careers and thought it was the right time to ‘step back ‘ so to speak. Famous last words!. We both had clients that we had invited on to our own yacht. Interestingly, many hadn’t previously considered Suffolk for sailing before but once they had experienced the natural beauty that the area offers many wanted to bring their own clients on board our vessels. Suffolk is ideally situated for London clients, being just 90 minutes from Liverpool Street Station. So, the Viking Mariners brand was established – making contact with local boutique hotels – we set about developing close working relationships with the Milsoms group and The Salthouse Harbour hotel. The business has grown from offering leadership & Team Building – Events for up to 150 on the water to the launch of the RYA Sea school 5 years ago.
As we have discussed many times, the client is always right. What tips can you offer on maintaining a great relationship?
For me, my biggest tenant is “Listen to the client”. Through listening to the client we can understand what their requirements are and always try to over deliver. We have developed some great relationships with our clients who tend to return again and again – for that we are very grateful
What do you miss most at the moment given our current situation?
In a nutshell – not being able to get out sailing!
Once again, TLMA would like to thank Sue for her time and insights into Viking Mariners. For more information visit https://vikingmariners.co.uk/.
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