Text Size Reset Font Size Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size

Sales - Bernadette Forsdyke

Sales staff Bernadette

Bernadette's rapid rise at Ryman

When Bernadette Forsdyke discovered there was a job coming up to sell the new Ryman Healthcare retirement village being built in her home town of Waikanae she knew instantly it would be the perfect job for her.

So much so, that she was prepared to wait a year before the job officially started!

“I originally went for the position of sales advisor at the Malvina Major village and then I found out about Waikanae and I was asked to consider waiting until that was available.

“So I got some retail work in the meantime. It was hard because I was really ready but I’m so glad because it was worth waiting for. I absolutely loved it!”

Coming from a strong sales background made the role a natural career progression for Bernadette, who got married and started her family in her late teens.

“Having been a full-time mum for 10 years and being out of the workforce, sales to me is all about relationships and getting along with everybody,” says Bernadette.

“I think I’m a person who can dance according to the music played, so as long as you don’t have any preconceived ideas, you don’t judge people, and are a good listener then you can have success as a sales person.”

Having started out doing sales and management training with Michael Hill Jeweller she went on to work as sales manager for a local design and build company for six years, often with elderly clients.

“That was actually a very good insight for me into this industry.

“The older clients had a lot of time and they needed to spend that time to make the right decisions and that hasn’t changed,” she says, adding: “They were always very grateful too, which always stood out.”

Armed with that experience, Bernadette found herself based in a portacabin run on a generator on what was once a farm paddock!

“Because I was working pretty remotely from everyone else I had to make sure I had the information I needed.

“And I was very busy. Having people coming in and out was great and it was a bonus that I liked to talk and they did too!”

Bernadette says one particular gentleman, who used to pop in to see her several times a week, really made her appreciate the value in her role even more.

“I saw him on the Saturday and when he came in next it was Wednesday. He told me he hadn’t spoken to a single other person since he’d seen me on the Saturday.

“So that underlined to me how important it is to spend that time with people, and to be kind and to have empathy.

“I think I have become a lot more empathetic and with some of the challenges that come in each of the roles I have learned a lot of patience and diplomacy.”

Indeed, after selling Charles Fleming retirement village for two years, Bernadette was quickly offered the role of regional sales manager for the lower North Island, and soon after was promoted again to New Zealand sales and community relations manager.

Bernadette is the first to recognise how quickly she has moved up the ranks at Ryman.

“It has been very fast but I love a challenge and it’s incredibly exciting. I feel really really privileged to be working for a company that’s so progressive and looking to constantly grow and evolve.”

She loves the fact Ryman does everything in-house, from village design, to construction to purchasing and marketing as it gives consistency.

Now, her role includes having regular catch-ups with Ryman’s Group sales and community relations manager Debbie McClure and her own team. Discussions cover when new plans are being released, gauging what demand is like, ensuring the right marketing is in place and putting on good events to attract people to grow lists and setting targets and goals for the team.

“What motivates me now is seeing the team loving their role and succeeding in getting great results and achieving targets.”

Recently, a member of Bernadette’s family moved into the special care unit at Charles Fleming, enabling her to see first-hand how effectively the company worked.

“I took it upon myself to check out the competitors and that reassured me that we are doing a great thing.

“At Ryman, the SCU is beautiful, there is no expense spared. It underlines our view that it’s a privilege to be caring for an elderly person’s life, and life is to be valued.”

We offer exciting and challenging sales opportunities for empathetic and passionate individuals with the proven ability to meet and exceed sales targets.

Our sales team are genuine, approachable people who communicate easily with prospective residents, their families and the wider community.

They are good listeners, articulate, and able to confidently deliver presentations.

Building effective relationships with clubs and groups, they enjoy being out in the community, and genuinely want to help people make the right choices for themselves or their family.

Being able to embrace technology, self-motivation and effective time management are essential skills, along with the flexibility to attend open days and host events within the village.

We provide great support from a dedicated sales management team, and a fabulous working environment within our resort-style villages. Ryman Healthcare is one of New Zealand’s top companies with a reputation for excellence, with opportunities throughout New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia.

If this sounds like a perfect fit for you, we'd love to hear from you.

Enquiries to debbie.mcclure@rymanhealthcare.com