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@ Work: Brian Neuwirth

Company: UNEX Manufacturing
Title: VP of Sales & Marketing
Years on Job: 12 years

I am the VP of Sales & Marketing at UNEX Manufacturing. In this position, I am in charge of sales and marketing strategy, customer interaction and new market acquisition. I couldn’t do my job well without my awesome sales and marketing team. Each day I am involved in interactions with customers, listening to them describe the problems they are having in their material handling areas and/or picking operations and figuring out how to best help them with products that we offer or whether we need to develop a custom solution for them. I manage both inside and outside sales teams, helping them grow revenues and make customers happy.

Communication
It is extremely important to communicate externally with customers to understand their needs. Most importantly is to listen to their problems, then strategize how to solve their problem and develop solutions that are different and better than anyone else. I believe you should listen twice as much as you should talk. Internally I communicate with my team by setting clear objectives that are measurable. I let the team know how they are doing against expectations and teach them how to be successful. I let them know that you can’t win every deal. I relate this to sports – you can’t win every game, so when you lose, you get up and do better the next time.

Challenge and Opportunity
To me, challenges and opportunity go hand-in-hand. The evolution of material handling equipment and the fast pace that things are changing means you have to stay aware of lots of different equipment and processes. Every day there is something different – a new product, a new industry, a new challenge. You have to be adaptable and keep up with the challenges and new happenings to be relevant in the industry and have opportunities for growth.

Team
I wouldn’t be able to do my job without my exceptional sales and marketing people. Ultimately, my job is to motivate people so that they want to grow and better themselves. As a leader, you need to get excited about new things and new opportunities for both your company and its employees. The skills I rely on are communication, strategy, planning, development and management.

Keeping Up With Change
I get informal training from attending trade shows and conferences, and just being out in the field with customers. I also learn from MHEDA and MHI. It is somewhat necessary for technical people to understand the mechanics of the material handling industry, but the key to success in this industry is problem solving – helping people move products from point A to B as fast as possible. If you can understand that, you can understand anything in the industry.