Thermal Processing welcomes its newest sales representative to its staff, Kendall DeVane. He has 20 years of experience in sales and promises to bring his unique style and acumen to making sure advertisers get the best possible exposure with our readers.
What about the heat-treat industry most excites you?
It might sound like an odd fit, but I actually come from a background in the golf industry. During my time primarily teaching and fitting clubs, I became fascinated by how the various metals perform — whether they’re used primarily by themselves in an application or blended into an alloy. I’ve had the pleasure of watching how clubs are actually manufactured, so learning more about how they are cast, forged, or milled has always intrigued me.
That being said, I simply like to learn how products are made, from beginning to end, and being involved in the heat-treat industry in this new capacity will allow me to learn a lot.
How do you approach a potential client who you feel should be advertising in Thermal Processing?
Any new or existing client almost always has their own unique approach to how they see their products or services. But with any potential client, I want to make sure I know what they are looking for and the direction they want to take their marketing agenda.
In order to do that, my No. 1 goal is to familiarize myself as much as I can about what a client’s needs are and how they want to use those needs to make an impact on the heat-treat industry.
I try to achieve this goal by making sure I’m always available to make the client-sales rep relationship a collaborative effort where we can work together to develop the best marketing strategy available in order to let our readers know that client is making the best products and supplying the best services that they can, yielding the greatest results.
What part of your sales background has most prepared you for interacting with the heat-treat industry?
It’s important as a sales rep to realize that, even though I expect the best results for both me and my client, I also realize that every relationship isn’t going to be perfect. As a matter of fact, sometimes it might not be a good fit at all. However, sometimes those bumps in the road can lead to an even better understanding of the client, which can translate into a huge boon in sales for whatever the client may be offering.
One of the best sales reps I have ever had the pleasure of working with used to tell me that it was his job to present everything he could, in the best way possible, and it was the client’s job to make a decision. He simply explained the benefits and features of each product. That is a philosophy that I have adopted with those I am working with. If you truly believe in the product you represent, presentation and explanation often can take the place of selling.
Ultimately, in my opinion, the results a client can get by working with Thermal Processing will speak for themselves while bringing them back for more collaborations.
As you learn more about the many aspects of heat treating, what do you see as the No. 1 need when it comes to businesses sharing what they can do with the industry at large?
From my perspective, we have to be able to find the most efficient ways to connect with the greatest number of heat-treaters possible.
As with many things in life, it can all boil down to communication. That is something I have become most impressed with during my brief time with Thermal Processing.
The magazine offers such a great array of choices that enable our customers to get the word out to the industry about their amazing products and services — no matter if the platform they choose involves print, digital, or, ideally, a combination of the two.
Personally, I enjoy being hands-on with the community storefronts, allowing us to share company information, websites, and all the social media a client has at their disposal to make sure they’re not shouting into a vacuum, but getting in touch with the heat treaters in need of what they can offer.
What parts of Thermal Processing do you feel have most surprised you about the heat-treat industry, and why?
Bottom line: I have become firmly enthralled by this incredible industry, and I really didn’t see that coming.
I find myself voraciously reading articles and watching videos in order to learn how something is created, as well as all the processes involved from start to finish.
After that, I often go back and reread or re-watch to see if I might have missed something.
I want to learn all I can about every aspect of this industry, and I have been truly blessed to be able to learn from the staff here. I’m also learning from the very companies I represent as they patiently work with me and explain what they can do for the heat-treat industry, because I know what they do is important to the fabric of our everyday lives. And for all that and much more, I’m very grateful.
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