Wholesale & Distribution International - Fall 2017 - 47
THE GSA ORGANIZATION
mergers and acquisitions and the fallout is
unbelievable," Beaver explains. "One rep
firm, for example, lost 80 percent of its income in six weeks and I pick up remnants
like that when the lose their major line and
don't survive. We have purchased six representatives since I started the company."
GSA believes in taking a proactive approach to sales and relies on its salespeople to go out into the field and specify new
projects instead of relying on the factory to
bring business to the company. As for new
employees, "We are looking for millennials, but they aren't easy to get," Beaver
notes. "When we hire a recent college graduate, he or she will have a mentor who will
call every night for their first year to find
out where they are going and what they
are doing. The mentor will also travel with
them and in many cases, I am the mentor."
The company hired a recent college
graduate who trained in New York for nine
months and then moved to his territory in
Virginia. "Now he's running fantastic in
Virginia," Beaver says. "We have a conference call on Friday morning for new hires
and talk about what each person did, which
applies peer pressure. The millennial
doesn't quite understand how hard or little
he should work and makes his own judgment call. But when he hears this other guy
did all these great things it applies pressure
better than I ever could."
For its more seasoned salespeople, GSA
holds a Monday morning call. For those
who come to the company with previous
experience, Beaver says he prefers to hire
people who have worked for his competitor. "I can't train a 35- or 45-year-old guy
the way I want because they are set in their
ways, so they have to come with the right
experience," he adds. "With millennials, I
like to first understand their background
and work ethic before I hire them."
Moving forward, GSA plans to continue
expanding down the East Coast with Beaver's successors leading the way. "I do plan
to be retiring and taking a step back in five
years. My daughter and son-in-law will take
over part of the company and I am also selling a portion to one of my salespeople who
has been with us for eight years," he says.
"We have to continue to get bigger because
our principals want to go to one organization and get what they need. Larger reps
will take the place of regionals." q
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Efficiency in Automation!
Fall 2017 www.wdimagazine.com