Hello friends. Let me tell you, the end of 2014 was full of surprises and packed with exciting action! Never did I think that’s how I would describe a job working for a plumbing and HVAC wholesale company, but once you read this post I suspect that you might agree!
Remember in my last post I mentioned that I had so much fun in the summer? Well, the fun continued into the autumn and winter! On the first weekend of September, one of my vendors took me to the Penn State vs. Akron football game. In all the years that I’ve lived in PA, I have never been to a PSU Nittany Lions football game. Boy, have I been missing out! To witness and be a part of a hundred thousand screaming students, alumni, and dedicated fans was an incredible experience. From the tailgating in Happy Valley to defeating Akron 21-3, the entire day is something that I will never forget. I would like to thank my vendor, Energy Transfer Solutions Inc., for treating me to such a wonderful time.
Fast forward two weeks… I’m in New Orleans attending Hajoca’s first Mainline University. In case you’re unfamiliar, Mainline is Hajoca’s very own private label brand. The Mainline U was a company-wide event for managers, mgmt trainees, and key sales/purchasing employees to familiarize ourselves with current offerings from Mainline (and Luxart) as well as upcoming future products. As I am always saying, my favorite aspect of these types of conferences is the opportunity to meet and network with people from our company that I normally do not get to meet. Sometimes it’s just a matter of putting a face to a name. The folks from our Mainline/Luxart division did a fantastic job of putting together a very educational and informative seminar. Of course, the delectable Cajun cuisine and the after-hours shenanigans on Bourbon Street were extremely entertaining too!
Anytime that I wasn’t away on a trip, I was frantically trying to increase my sales and hit my quotas. In hindsight, perhaps I was being too “frantic” about the whole thing. My sales techniques were still immature and crude. I also lacked the patience and composure that some of our top veteran salespeople possess. October ended up being a somewhat “slow” month for me, which caused me to panic, lose focus, and haphazardly try to claw for POs and new accounts. When everything was said and done, I did barely manage to hit my 2nd quarter sales and GP goals. Unfortunately, I only opened one new active account. I had a meeting with my regional manager and my mentors. They made it very clear that I fell short of expectations and that they wanted more out of me going forward.
My 3rd quarter of outside sales began on November 1st. I really took my 2nd quarter shortcomings to heart and took off with a new passion. The bar was raised — my goals were to do over $100,000 in sales and open 3 new active accounts by 01/31/2015. I’d like to toot my own horn and proudly announce that both of these goals have been met as of 12/31/2014. Everything else in January is an extra bonus.
Throughout this entire time, I’ve been continuing my education through attending classes and meetings offered by my vendors. I took a class on troubleshooting Bradford White’s commercial and residential water heaters, and I sat in on a training session for Gastite products. I strongly believe that becoming more knowledgeable in every facet of our industry is going to make me a better manager and an overall asset to our company as well as myself personally and professionally.
We finished up the year with our annual Weinstein Supply “End of the Year Party” which was an enjoyable time as always. So this concludes my journal for 2014: another year for the history books. In the grand scheme of things, I have never been happier with life and 2014 will always occupy a special place in my heart. See you next year!