Name: Sara McMurray
Company: Flow-Rite Controls
Location: Byron Center, MI
As the Central Regional Manager for Flow-Rite Controls, I am responsible for the distribution and sale of our single point watering systems and accessories for my region. That region consists of 16 states in the middle of the country as well as Manitoba, Canada. Because we sell our products through battery dealers, I spend a lot of my time on the road working with our distributors and end-users to answer any questions or challenges that they may have. I also do a lot of training on our products. It’s a very intensive job, but I’ve always considered myself a bit of a workaholic. I truly believe in the products that we manufacture and relish hard work.
To be an effective salesperson, communication skills are essential. To many, that means the ability to speak effectively. However, that’s only half of the equation. And even though I could talk all day, I’m also an effective listener when it comes to my customers. Listening to and really understanding what their needs are and what will work for them and THEN effectively communicating a solution is what makes me successful in my job.
Because I spend two to three weeks at a time traveling, my smartphone is like an extra appendage. I can’t live without it. We are also equipped with convertible laptop tablets, which are essential to my day-to-day operation. Today’s technology allows me to have my email, videos, brochures and all other important information at my fingertips at any given moment. Even when I’m not in the office, I need to be connected and reachable.
This is my first position in the material handling industry and the learning curve for a newcomer in our industry can be challenging. In order to train our distributors and end users on our products effectively, it was essential for me to quickly get up to date on our products and industries. To do this, I immersed myself in MHEDA trainings and networking events as well as business books and magazines. I enjoy learning and I enjoy getting better at my job. There’s always something new I can take away from a training session or a sales book.
To be a successful salesperson, polite persistence is paramount. You can’t give up. Being in sales means dealing with rejection and still believing that you can turn those no’s into yes’s. Being able to roll with the punches and have a positive attitude is important.