The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2016 - (Page 31)

@WORK Michael nelson company: Nelson Equipment Company title: Inside Sales and Marketing Manager Years on Job: 8 I started working at Nelson Equipment Company full-time in 2008. But I've really spent my life in an around the company and the industry. When I graduated from Louisiana State University, I was hired as a customer service sales representative. My job was to assist one of our outside salesmen in a territory that was really taking off. He was beginning to get overwhelmed with the work load and the timing was perfect for me because I could come on board to help him and he could teach me about the industry and the role when we went out on sales calls together. Within a year, however, I took control of that whole sales territory and really became an outside salesman. And it was way too early. I was still learning. But that baptism by fire helped mold me into who I am today and I'm better off for it. growing up in the industry Part of what got me through those early years was that I had grown up in the industry. I was familiar with the products, I just wasn't sure how to sell them. But I was lucky in that I wasn't completely green like some people who are new to the industry. I knew the terminology and I knew the function of the equipment so I was able to quickly understand what customers were asking for. When I didn't know something, I could call the office and describe what the customer needed and I was able to understand what the solution was and explain it to the customer. And eventually, I was able to start coming up with those solutions on my own. business. Everything is built on relationship-building. So I had to learn how to be more outgoing and build those relationships. Part of it was just confidence. When I was in outside sales, I didn't know how much I already knew until customers would ask me questions and I was able to answer them without really thinking. So confidence in your ability to answer a question was the biggest key to me. Today, in my new role, I still assist outside sales support and I put together quotes on their behalf to send to customers. I help get information and develop solutions for them quickly so that we can have quick turnarounds, so communication is still the key. communication tools Communication is absolutely crucial in my current role as Inside Sales and Marketing Manager and this was something else that I was able to hone while learning how to be an outside salesman on the fly. I've never been a very outgoing person. And that's part of our brand and how we run our We have tools today that I didn't have even a few years ago that make me look back and wonder how we ever did our jobs without them. Our web-based CRM system, for instance, is so important. We integrate our schedules with the corporate calendar and through the program we can generate proposals, set appointments, set tasks and reminders. I also use our CRM program to set up and send our monthly company newsletter to our customer base in our CRM manager. In addition to the CRM Manager, I would be lost without Quick Books, which I use for order processing. And of course, I don't know how any of us got on without our Smart Phones. Maintaining relationships Our company is built on the foundation of relationship-building. But what I've noticed more and more now is as the younger generation grows among my customer base, their preferred mode of communication is changing. They much prefer doing things by email or text messaging, so relationship-building with the younger generation is a challenge. And it's important that we be able to speak face-to-face to explain the intricacies of our product, because our industry is starting to be commoditized when products like storage rack really isn't a commodity item. It's a pre-engineered solution that, if not done right, can result in a catastrophe. The MHEDA Journal | Third Quar ter 2 016 31

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2016

Chairman’s Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Editor’s Note
MHEDA University Calendar
Ask Your Board
MHEDA Member Profile
Women @Work
Industry Pulse
Best of the Best
MHEDA Member's Populate Dealer Recognition Lists
MHEDA's MVP Program Turns Five
MHEDA MVP and MVS Award Recipients
Happy Anniversary!
Enhancing Safety in the Warehouse
A Look at Ergonomics in the Distribution Center
How to Keep Pallet Rack Safer
Is Your Warehouse Really Safe?
2016 Emerging Leaders Conference
Building and Protecting Your Personal Brand in an Online World
MHEDA Convention Recap
Forklift Dealership Management Conference
Memo to Material Handling Millenials
New Members
Spotlight on Association News
MHEDA Milestones
Index of Advertisers by Product Category
The Last Word

The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2016