Meet the Team
Name: Steve Cobb
Company role: Business Development Manager
Favourite quote: “Life is supposed to be fun, it’s not a job or occupation and we’re only here once” – Billy Connolly
Hi, Steve! Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. First of all, tell us a little bit about you. What’s your background, and what do you do at Cherry Godfrey?
I was born in Portsmouth, where I started my career in banking. I was appointed as business manager for Lloyds in 1995 (in Guernsey) and led the merger with TSB. I also played rugby for Guernsey, who had just won the Siam Cup (the second oldest rugby cup competition in the world) against Jersey – a victory that was never repeated (sadly) during my five-year tenure!
In 2000 I moved to the Isle of Man. The Lloyds Corporate team grew from a team of 8 to 30; initially, my focus was on SME business, and then property and professionals. In 2017 I accepted a new challenge from James Quinn (MD of Quinn Legal) to develop and promote corporate legal services - with a particular focus on GDPR - assisting local authorities, local/international businesses and professionals. A year later I went on to assist my friends Paul and Tiffany with their new start up at Fynoderee Distillery. Having been in banking for so many years it was fascinating to be on the other side – to be working with local trading businesses, and to be involved with strategy and promotion. I have to say that for some reason gin was an easier sell than legal services…!
Having been recently appointed as Business Development Manager at Cherry Godfrey, I’m relishing speaking with local SMEs, acquaintances and professionals to develop solutions to help their business thrive.
What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?
I worked for pocket money at my Grandads pub. I would count and bag the change from the juke box and football table then bank it at the Lloyds Branch across the road. I remember telling my Grandad at this early age that I’d be a bank manager! Also, at 16, whilst at college, I applied for a part-time job on the bakery counter at Tesco. During this time, I learnt the importance of great customer service.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced at work – and how did you overcome it?
Moving out of my comfort zone in banking. However, I soon discovered that the training I’d received was a great grounding for me with so many transferable skills.
What skills have been the most important to you, both personally and professionally?
I remember that my Grandad was always helping people and customers in the local community especially with new business ventures, looking back he was what is now known as a business Angel. I think this must have stuck with me as I get a real buzz from discussing business proposals, assisting with finance and seeing people realise their dreams. Also, Interpersonal skills and how to communicate with people. I have found that developing and building relationships is key to business success.
If you had to choose one problem to fix – something that people in your industry/niche commonly face – what would it be?
Not a problem, but more of a challenge: you see, it’s easy to make initial contact and book appointments, but then you need to close the deal and get the sale. My approach over the years has been to develop a relationship and find out what makes my clients ‘tick’. Then, through follow ups and perseverance, you can achieve your business goals.
What do you love about Cherry Godfrey?
Great service for our customers - without a ‘tick box’ mentality. We look at the individual. I also have to mention the efficacy of local decision making and turn-around on deals: I had a case agreed in less than an hour last week!
Right, that’s enough about work – time for some fun stuff! Top three podcasts or books?
I’m a bit of a foodie (in particular spicy cuisine and seafood), and love a variety of cookbooks - especially Rick Stein. I also remember reading all of the Ian Fleming James Bond novels as a kid (quite topical with the recent release of No Time to Die).
I’ve recently discovered Wim Hoff’s podcast. He’s a motivational speaker and extreme athlete – and I love his approach to life, and his insights as to how we can be more content and at peace.
Finally, what do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I love spending my time with my children (Angus , Isabella , and Eric ). There’s nothing better than days on the beach and in the sea with them. When I have time, I play squash, and I love to swim in the sea – though it’s not quite as warm on the Isle of Man as it is in Guernsey and Jersey!