Friday, March 15, 2013
Alexander’s Mobility Services' monthly “Sales Spotlight” program highlights a sales team member and uncovers what makes them-- and the services they sell—so unique. The Sales Spotlight will feature our teams’ best moving tips, favorite on-the-job stories, and interesting facts about the many services that we offer.
This month we sat down with Steve DeLane of Alexander’s Baltimore office to talk a little about him and the high profile projects that have made him so successful.
Steve began his career in the moving industry in 1986 as a sales person for another moving company. In 1989, Steve joined Alexander’s Mobility Services and eventually transitioned to commercial sales. Steve has been Alexander’s top sales person since 2005, earning a place on Atlas’ president’s club every year since 2002 among numerous other industry awards for excellence. Steve specialized in providing comprehensive turn-key program management and moving services for government clients and government contractors.
How did you get into commercial sales?
I believe it was a natural progression. I was trying to diversify and sell all product lines offered by the company. If a customer has a need, it is our job to fill it; Commercial moving is just one of the many needs our customers have and I felt I needed to figure it out. I learned a lot from on-the-job training. After several moves you learn from your mistakes and figure out what not to do again. We call that experience: making a mistake once and learning not to do it again.
What is the most common concern you hear from your clients?
My clients have many concerns, but their biggest I believe is the fear that when everyone arrives for work they won’t be able to do their job because something went wrong on the move or with the new facility. To prevent this worst-case scenario, I make sure we have proper staffing for the job to be completed in a timely manner and that we don’t over commit what we can do in a given period of time. We also have contingencies in place that can include moving everything back to origin if necessary. Not being up and running would be unacceptable for the client. It is our job to make them comfortable that we can do anything they need.
How does working with a government client differ from working with a corporate client?
The biggest difference is probably the timeline; Corporations want to do in a day what the government clients want to do in a month. Since downtime costs Corporate clients money and they are in business to make a profit, downtime is unacceptable. There is also a lot of advance planning that the government tends to be more willing to invest time into, where Corporation typically are not interested.
Where do you start when planning a large move?
I balance the client’s goals with the investment they are willing to make. No one wants to pay for a poor quality move and without proper funding we can’t provide the level of service that clients expect from Alexander’s. Next, I work on a master plan including detailed move schedules, project staffing, and necessary resources. Finally, I meet with my team and the client to make sure no details have been overlooked.
What advice would you give to a client who is planning a large-scale commercial move?
Figure out who you want to work with early, take the time to plan your project, and don’t base your decision solely on cost. I encourage clients to look at a company’s resume, look at their change order practices, and look at their overall reputation in the market as opposed the references from their best clients. You don’t get a second chance to get it right so choose your partners wisely!
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