Trade talk: Q&A with Darren Legg, Sales Manager UK and Ireland for Dietz Power
Having spent years in the mobility sector, working for some of the biggest brands in the market, Darren Legg knows a thing or two about powerchairs.
So, when the chance to introduce a lesser-known range of high-quality chairs to UK dealers arose, it proved an opportunity too good to pass up.
THIIS spoke with the former Easy Living Mobility manager to find out more about his decision to leave the world of retail behind and re-join the supply side with DIETZ Power, as well as what makes the new European powerchairs special.
THIIS: How did you first enter the mobility industry?
Darren: “I started in the mobility industry nearly twenty years ago, having relocated from a role working at Xerox. Like most people, it wasn’t a conscious decision but I loved it straight away and haven’t ever considered moving back out of the industry.
“My first role was within customer services at MovingPeople.net which, through acquisition after a few years, became Handicare. During that time, I went out on the road as an area sales manager, then as a national product specialist, eventually working as the national sales manager.
“A further acquisition of the mobility division of Handicare by Sunrise Medical took place and I worked there as the national sales manager for retail.
“That led to me taking on a role with Easy Living Mobility to kick off development of their franchise opportunity before taking up my current role as sales manager for the UK & Ireland with DIETZ Power.”
THIIS: What was it that prompted you to leave retail and join DIETZ to focus on their powerchair offering?
Darren: “The decision to start with DIETZ Power was a combination of several factors. Albeit not such a well-known brand as some of our competitors, the owners and people within the business are all very experienced and well-known within the industry, with most of the key personnel having been in the industry between twenty and thirty years (and some even beyond that).
“That experience, combined with the passion and empathy within every individual, makes it a great company to work with. There is also one very clear goal and that is to develop powered wheelchairs that are adaptable right down to the very last detail.
“For myself personally, the opportunity to establish the business within the UK and Ireland is a fantastic challenge and one that gives such great scope to work collaboratively with a number of quality dealerships to help build their business and ours.”
THIIS: Which models are available in the UK and Ireland?
Darren: “The complete range of SANGO Advanced and SANGO Slimline powered wheelchairs are available, which covers everything from paediatric to adult-size seating. We also offer the SANGO XXL for larger adults up to 40 stone and has all powered options up to the full user weight.
“The SANGO advanced is available in mid, rear and front-wheel-drive chassis options and caters for users up to 25 stone looking for a chair for indoor and outdoor use.
“The SANGO Slimline’s chassis width is only 20.5 inches overall and is also available in mid, rear and FWD chassis options. This is suitable for users up to 21.5 stone looking for an ultra-compact chair that is extremely capable indoors without compromising outdoor use.
“All of the powered wheelchairs in the SANGO range have a rubber suspension system which offers a very comfortable and quiet drive. An ultra-low seat to floor height of 15.5cm can be achieved across the range, even with 60Ah batteries as standard and if a powered seat lift and tilt mechanism is fitted. As the range is so modular and adjustable, it can cater for most users and environments, right down to the last detail while the bespoke options allow a very personal and individual set-up if required.”
THIIS: Now that you have your new range available, what kind of dealers are you looking for?
Darren: “Given the modularity and adjustability within the range, the chairs are suited to those dealers looking to offer the more complex solutions. However, dealers looking at other routes to market should consider the range as it offers such a variety of solutions.
“For example, the quality and robustness of components and overall build has led some dealers to provide our chairs through the bespoke route for Motability.
“Other dealers who use specialist seating have seen the benefits of the adjustability in the seating frame and the ultra-low seat to floor heights as a massive benefit when fitting third party seating and carved foam systems.”
THIIS: Why should dealers consider working with the DIETZ range over some of the other ranges in the market?
Darren: “We believe that we can offer the perfect balance of functionality, comfort and design within the DIETZ Power range. We have focused energy on powered wheelchairs and the valuable know-how and many years of experience to support our dealers.”
THIIS: For the dealers that do decide to work with DIETZ, what support do they receive?
Darren: “We look to offer a bespoke package of support to our dealers. Most importantly, of course, is product training and aftersales support. Beyond this, each dealer can often have different priorities in what they need from us as a supplier. Some may prefer an advertising campaign whilst others may prefer the support and organisation of a local open day to introduce the range to the OTs and case managers that they work with.
“In all eventualities, we look to support lead generation and conversion and to then offer first-class support of the product from thereafter.
THIIS: Do you think there is room in what is already a competitive market for DIETZ to become a major player in the UK market?
Darren: “I certainly believe and am already experiencing that there is room for DIETZ Power in the marketplace.
“We are large enough to cope with what is needed but also small enough and focused enough to deliver exceptional support to our dealers. Through the combination of passion, enthusiasm and empathy, we will become an established player in the UK market, as already experienced in many parts of Europe and further afield.”https://thiis.co.uk/trade-talks-qa-with-darren-legg-sales-manager-uk-and-ireland-for-dietz-power/https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Sango_Advanced_coffee1.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Sango_Advanced_coffee1.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Analysis & InsightsNewsroomSupplier NewsTrade NewsTrade Talkaftersales support,complex needs,Darren Legg,Dietz power,Easy Living Mobility,Europe,Handicare,Mobility,powerchair,SANGO,SunriseHaving spent years in the mobility sector, working for some of the biggest brands in the market, Darren Legg knows a thing or two about powerchairs. So, when the chance to introduce a lesser-known range of high-quality chairs to UK dealers arose, it proved an opportunity too good to pass...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine