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At Work: Territory Manager

Name: Luigi Marinoni
Title: Territory Manager
Company: Washington Liftruck
Location: Seattle, WA
Years On Job: 5

I began working at Washington Liftruck five years ago as a parts and service representative. However, prior to coming to Washington Liftruck, I worked as a technician. Having a technical background has made a world of difference. I honestly don’t see myself as a salesperson. My job is to find a customer that has a need and then fulfill that need. Having a parts history and a service history allows me to speak more knowledgably about the technical aspects of the complex machines that we’re selling. If I were doing the job without an in depth knowledge, I’d just be an order taker. I strive to be a problem solver.

1.    Travel
To be successful in this job requires much more than a regular nine-to-five. My day usually starts at 6:30 a.m. and goes until 5:00 p.m. The earlier it starts, the better, because generally the beginning of the day dictates how good of a day I will have. My territory covers from Seattle to Canada, about half the state. I split my time about 50/50 between the office and the road.

2.    Organization
Organization is one of the most important aspects of my job. I have to plan my days and travel closely, because I can’t be driving all around the state. Time on the road is time you don’t get back. Early on, I thought I could get clerical work done on the road, but I quickly learned that’s not always the case.

3.    Technology
In order to remain organized, I rely a lot on technology. I always have my iPad and iPhone with me on the road. The iPad is great because I can take down all of a customer’s information and it automatically syncs with my laptop. It’s so much faster than writing it down with a pen and paper and manually transferring everything over later. It also allows me to pull up brochures and specs on the spot to show a customer, and I can email that information to them right there instead of waiting to get back to the office. I’m always connected, which makes me that much more productive.

4.    Communication
You can’t be successful in sales without being an effective communicator. I worked with a customer the other day who wanted a host of things done. However, I told him that I didn’t think it was the right approach and that he might try a different solution. Some people will just do whatever the customer asks, but I want to ensure that my customers are successful so that they will remain my customers. I have found happy customer like to spend more than upset ones. In this case, the gentleman commended me for it and appreciated the input. You have to build a strong relationship and not just be a yes-man, because the customer depends on your experience and expertise.

5.    Support Base
Sales isn’t an individual effort. It takes an army. I wouldn’t be anywhere without my support staff. My technicians are amazing and we work together so well. I also have a sales manager that is always there for me. I can bounce ideas off of him or come to him when I don’t know the answer to something. You can’t be afraid to make mistakes, because if you are you can’t be successful. My managers will go to bat if we run into an issue. We have an open-door policy when it comes to servicing the customer, and that is why we’re so good at what we do.