In our new series, “A Day in the Life,” we’re talking to Zoetis sales colleagues throughout the world to learn more about the unique challenges our customers face, and how Zoetis is helping to solve them. Catch “a day in the life” glimpse of how our colleagues in the field bring value to our customers, how they live our Core Beliefs, and what they do to succeed – both personally and professionally.
We’re kicking off the series with a Q&A with Paul, Area Business Manager – Beef. Paul is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and supports the Southeast region of the United States.
1. Can you share a unique challenge that one of your customers faced, and how you solved it?
Each market in the U.S. is unique, which provides the opportunity to work with individual customers to create tailored solutions. In the Southeast United States, we work with several large resellers. These resellers have their own outside sales teams, sell products for a variety of manufacturers, and in some instances, have moved away from partnering with Zoetis. When I stepped into my role as Area Business Manager, I saw an opportunity to improve the channel partnership.
Prior to working in Sales at Zoetis, I had several operational roles at our corporate headquarters that gave me visibility to a number of resources and strategies that I felt were being underutilized with our reseller customers. My team and I used this knowledge to create a program for one particular customer who was selling products from many different animal health companies. By offering additional product education and sales incentives, this reseller started buying more products from Zoetis, far exceeding our expectations. This showed us just how important value-added services can be to customers. Due to the success of the pilot, this program is now in place as a customizable resource to grow our reseller business moving forward.
2. What Zoetis Core Belief resonates with you most? How do you put it into practice in your sales role?
The Core Belief that ‘sticks’ with me every day is ‘Our Colleagues Make the Difference.’ I have been fortunate to lead a team that has extensive industry experience. Listening and learning from my team members has been key. After all, they spend their time directly interacting with customers, so they truly understand the unique challenges that our customers face.
I’ll never forget the time I was working at the Florida Cattleman’s meeting. Our tradeshow booth was filled with customers who wanted to see one man – their Zoetis sales representative Kurt. Their relationships with Kurt ran deep – he knew and understood the business of each customer very well. They knew they could rely on Kurt for best-in-class products and great customer service. It is Zoetis colleagues like Kurt who make the difference in driving our business forward.
My mission is to help create an environment where our colleagues are encouraged to probe deeper into the needs of our customers’ businesses, and develop solutions and resources that can help them prosper.
3. How would you describe a great day in the field?
The Area Business Manger position gives me the opportunity to work with our Territory Business Managers, Technical Service, Sales Leadership and Marketing teams to align on strategy and target specific sales objectives. A great day at work is when this team has open communication and works together to create and deliver customized strategies that help our customers succeed, while at the same time growing Zoetis’ business.
Also, every once in a while I feel like I’m starring in a “Dodge Ram” truck commercial. Picture this: we drive a truck up to a beautiful green farm with rolling hills and cattle grazing. Our customer steps out of the barn to greet us with his dog by his side. We discuss his cattle operation as we tour his farm, which has likely been established over the course of several generations. He describes his challenges to our team, and we provide him with suggestions on how to enhance his business. Grateful for the suggestions, he thanks us and purchases Zoetis products as we drive off down a dusty road to the next customer. This makes a great day even better. In fact, sometimes I feel like I should write a country song about this (after all, I live in Nashville).
4. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received, and who gave it to you?
Starting in 1932, my grandfather ran a family business in South Dakota where I grew up. Through the game of golf – which we loved to play together – he taught me the importance of the “3P’s”: patience, persistence and professionalism. Today, and every day in my career, I think of these 3P’s and how I can apply them to my daily interactions with customers and colleagues. I strive to abide by the important lessons my grandfather taught me.
5. What’s the best career advice you can give other colleagues?
“Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back.” – Babe Ruth. To me, that means owning your own career. Zoetis has many great resources that can help colleagues figure out career goals, and then develop a plan of action to get there. But you have to raise your hand for opportunities and step out of your comfort zone. For the past ten years, I have worked in various departments and locations at Zoetis – from Sales, to Corporate Affairs and Communications, to Marketing, and then on to Sales Leadership. My goal was to find and choose opportunities that would help me grow my skill set and advance my career. Sure, I’ve been told “no” before. But thanks to my grandfather, I am persistent.