Interview with Rupert Macfarlane

by Bushra Khan

Interview with Rupert Macfarlane

1. What motivated you to launch TASN?

I launched TASN (The Advanced Sales Network) in November 2016, with the aim of helping businesses in the hospitality industry, to grow their prebooked (advanced) sales. In my time with Novus Leisure, we established principles around reactive and proactive sales, that grew all manner of sales occasions from birthdays to ‘full-venue-hire’ events and Christmas parties. These same ‘principles’ had long been established in my earlier career, where I ran sales teams within companies such as H.J.Heinz and Energizer, so I was confident that the results achieved in one hospitality business, could be replicated in many others. And so it has proved – we now support a number of businesses, from large, well-known high street-names to independent bar and club operators.

2. When working with a diverse mix of clients, what has been the main objectives?

We’ve worked in many different ways, with many different clients. Everything including full strategic re-direction of the sales force, or implementing one from scratch; ongoing mentoring, support and training of sales teams; providing temporary sales resource for Christmas drives or new venue launches; or simply recruiting the very best sales and operational staff to deliver the company’s growth objectives.

3. When sourcing candidates what are the fundamental traits you look for?

Having had a very diverse career myself, selling everything from baked beans to batteries to event space, I have to believe in the principle of transferable qualities and skills - and I do. So, enthusiasm, positivity and desire (which can normally be judged in a candidate’s preparation for a first interview), always trump a year or so’s experience in a directly-competitive business.

4. The hospitality industry offers a vibrant mix of restaurants, bars and cafes, which brand(s) do you recommend and why?

All of the companies that TASN works for! Actually, that makes it difficult for me to select a specific brand or venue. I’m always fascinated, though, to understand the sales function within a venue – and how smooth, professional and dynamic that is – and whether that is backed up with smooth, professional and personalised operational delivery – if it is, that is a winning combination for me, every time!

5. What are your plans for TASN in the upcoming new year?

It’s certainly a busy time for TASN at the moment, leading up to Christmas. We have some exciting projects lined up for the new year too, meaning the team will continue to grow, as we take on more brand partners - so getting our own recruitment right, will be an important part of the plan. Also, we will continue to improve our website and our enquiry platform; we will be far more visible on social media; and we will increase the range of services we provide, such as marketing and digital support. I’m really excited about the future possibilities of TASN and look forward to meeting many new brand partners, as well as high quality candidates, throughout the coming year!

For more information on how TASN can help your leisure or hospitality business then visit our Clients page or if you are looking for your next job role then visit our Vacancies page. Alternatively, you can also send your enquiry to


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