For him, it's all about customers

August 17, 2008|By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest | Nancy Jones-Bonbrest,Special to The Sun


Sales representative

Partsmaster Inc., Aberdeen

Salary $60,000

Years on the job Nine

How he got started Schlottman said he enjoys sales. Before working for his current company, he sold printing materials for 11 years. Nine years ago, he began working for Dallas-based Partsmaster, selling hardware products to area businesses.

Typical day By about 6:30 a.m., Schlottman begins his day planning appointments. He leaves his home office about 7:30 a.m. and estimates he'll check in with four to eight customers before he returns. His sales territory is the Baltimore metropolitan area, including parts of Frederick and Montgomery counties.

Although many of his customers have been with the company for a number of years, he also is responsible for signing up new clients.

"My day is made up of calling on existing accounts and doing some cold-calling," Schlottman says.

During a service call, he'll check his client's inventory and demonstrate any new products or applications for existing products. He says he tries not to take up too much of his clients' time.

"I'm not the only salesperson these people see. I'm respectful of that. You get a rhythm with customers and know when to wrap it up."

Schlottman sells hardware and repair items to businesses that include construction companies, manufacturers, golf courses and dairy farmers.

"I sell a maintenance product. There's no glamour in it. We sell the products that keep the machines running."

Orders are submitted via Internet and usually ship within 24 hours to the customer. Schlottman is not responsible for billing his clients or collecting payments - the corporate office takes care of that.

Creative outlet Schlottman is host of the weekly radio show Aberdeen Happenings, which airs Tuesdays at 9:05 a.m. on WAMD-AM 970. The show, which has been running for 2 1/2 years, offers information about local events and interviews with people of interest. He says it takes about an hour to prepare the show.

"People are excited to come in and talk about what they're interested in," Schlottman says.

The good "I love when I can provide a customer something and they're happy with it. There's a lot of satisfaction with that."

The bad Gas prices. "I drive a big diesel pickup truck. It's forced me to consolidate and plan my day much better," he says.

Customer service When it comes to working a sales job, Schlottman says, building strong relationships with his customers is important.

Philosophy "If you take care of your customer, the customer will take care of you."

Extracurriculars Schlottman stays busy, serving on many local boards and organizations, including the Aberdeen Heritage Trust and the Aberdeen Planning and Zoning Commission.

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