I was originally hired as a Sales Manager for our Indianapolis market. With ProLift, a branch sales manager partners with a branch operations manager and they both get exposure to the entire business. With this structure you learn the challenges with all aspects of running a dealership. At ProLift, like most companies, there are more good ideas than time to execute them. As a result, I had the opportunity to participate in several project teams early in my career. The project work provided a deeper understanding of other areas in the business and the chance to learn from our leadership. Today, I serve as President of ProLift. I’m fortunate to have resources available to me in the Toyota dealer network, from our Board and the dealer support team at Toyota. The people I’ve met over 26 years in material handling have also become a resource for me. They’re people I can count on for business and personal advice.
I think listening and empathy are the two skills that have served me throughout my career. Everyone wants to be heard and understood. If you demonstrate understanding of what someone has shared it makes an impression. I’m not sure it should be that way but that’s the feeling I get. Another thing you hear about communication is that there can never be enough of it. I think it’s important to communicate frequently but it’s also important to understand the impact your communication has on your audience. At times I’m addressing 400+ people in our organization with various experiences and world views. I’m conscious of making sure my messaging has the intended impact. My preference is to communicate in person and the smaller the audience the better.
Tools of the Trade
On a daily basis I’m using the suite of Microsoft products regularly (primarily Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint) as well as our business operating software which is in the process of being updated. Over the last five years we’ve introduced other forms of technology that continue to advance our business. Those include CRM, Google analytics, video, VOIP, product quote configurators, video and voice conferencing and fleet management software.
A measure of success is our ability to develop and support associates. Having each associate understand their job responsibilities, how they personally contribute and maintain consistent execution is how we become an indispensable partner to our customers, owners, community and each other. I’m naturally collaborative and when I stepped into my role it was during a time in which increased collaboration was what the organization needed. My challenge is to continue my development and keep pace with what the organization needs to thrive.