IMAX is lucky to have a rep force full of energetic and interesting people. It’s true! Each rep has their own story to tell of what makes them who they are. To help you get to know our sales team a little better, we decided to feature a rep each month right here on our blog.
We would like to introduce you to Doug Steffes, our March rep of the month!
We’ve asked Doug a few questions, and posted his answers below. After you get to know him, if you like Doug as much as we do (and we know you will), be sure to say “hi” in the comments section below the post.
How long have you worked with your sales group?
I started with Ivystone late in 2007. I was originally a member of Bickel Sales out of the Minneapolis Gift Mart. Our showroom was purchased by Ivystone and I subsequently went to work for them.
How long have you worked as a sales representative?
I was hired out of college by a distributor of hair care products in 1983. At that time I worked with Paul Mitchell Systems, Redken, Matrix Essentials, and a host of others. I went to work for Bickel Sales in 1999. So I guess I have been in this business about 14 years.
Complete the following statement: I LOVE selling IMAX because…
What is nice about Imax is it is a company that can be sold in multiple store types. High end gift, furniture stores, interior designer stores, grocery stores. They really have something for just about anybody. I also like the way the company has grown and gotten better every year. By that I mean their customer service, their shipping, their promotions. The introduction of their Repzio app for the iPad has been a major game changer on the road. They really are nice people to be partnered with!
Complete the following statement: I got into repping because…
I always liked being independent. In sales, the money you make is contingent on how hard you want to work.
What do you like most about your job?
The independence that it affords and the people that you deal with. I really have some great customers.
What do you like least about your job?
I’m not real thrilled about staying away from home when I do the markets. But you do what you have to!
What is your favorite stress releaser? i.e. At the end of a long road trip, long day, long market or tough sales month?
In the summer, 18 holes of golf with my sons and grandson. That just can’t be beat! In the winter I like to kick back at home with a nice fire and a good basketball game.
You travel on the road and to markets – what is your favorite travel tip that you would like to share?
Eat right, sleep right, party…but not too hard, and be sure you have comfortable shoes!
Fill in the blanks: When I go to market I always, think I’m going to get a chance to enjoy the city, but I never take the extra days off to do it. I wish I could unwind better.
What are some of your best retailers doing to be successful?
The best ones always look for the promotions. They tend to buy right. They also tend to go to more markets and are always looking at the trends. They find ways to incorporate what they learn into their business. I found out early that if you work the markets and listen to what customers are saying, what vendors are saying, and what the trends are you have a bag full of ammo to take with you on the road.
What are retailers in your area asking for?
They ask for the promotions. They want to know what items or ideas I see working in the market place. Lately they have really liked the vignette pictures that I took in the IMAX showrooms this winter and they are asking me to be sure to send any images I take from High Point. This gives them plenty of merchandising ideas.
What is the funniest or most interesting thing a customer has ever said to you?
When I was in the hair care business, I did have a customer brow beat me about getting a bigger discount once. I pulled the pockets on my trousers inside out and said, “Look, there’s nothing left!” He replied “C’mon, be Santa Clause for once in your life!” We still laugh about that!
If you could have any position, career or job, what would it be?
I coached my three kids in basketball when they were younger. I would love to do that again!
Name something on your bucket list.
I would love to shoot a hole in one!
Tell us about your children/family/pets.
I have been married to Mary Jo for 32 years. We live in Madison, Wisconsin. We have three children — two boys and a girl. I have a 5 year old grandson, an extremely intelligent Golden Retriever, and an incredibly lazy cat. My youngest son attends college and lives at home most of the time. Everyone else lives in Madison so we break bread at least once a week. Life is good!