Q. How did you get started working in the Pump Industry?
Tom: I began in the Pump Industry in 1976 as a Sales Engineer for what is now one of the world’s largest pump companies working with customers in the Carolinas to help them address their most demanding pumping applications. From that early starting point was born a passion to globally support pump users across many market segments in their quest to optimize their fluid handling systems and processes; a passion I have pursued for 42 years. I have worked in sales, marketing, business development, operational and executive leadership roles during my career with several premier pump manufacturers and have enjoyed all of the different positions as they related to working with users around the globe.
Q. What is your favorite part of your job? What are you most proud of?
Tom: The satisfaction of working with clients to address their difficult pumping and flow-control applications in the safest, most reliable and efficient manner possible is what has driven me through the years. Whether it involves improving equipment selection, introduction to a new brand or technology that enhances customers’ Total Cost of Ownership or just helping make a company more competitive and more successful by providing them with value-added services… these have always been my favorite parts of working in the industry. I am proud of the fact that while, and to a large degree as a result of incorporating this customer-centric philosophy, I have been able to craft, implement and execute significant domestic and international growth strategies into new markets, core market segments and key customers.
Q. What advice would you give to someone new to the industry?
Tom: As people new to the pump industry have come to me for advice, I have always counseled them to focus on three items. First, really listen to your customers and those in their organization that support them as they layout their issues, needs and concerns. Ask high-value questions if needed. Each function and person will have a different perspective and it will only be by understanding and addressing all of their requirements that you can collaborate and provide total satisfaction to the involved individuals and the organization as a whole.
Second, be meticulously honest in your stated abilities to help a customer. If you don’t have a solution for a particular issue, say so! Help point the way to finding where an answer may be found; your integrity will be remembered and valued.
Third, while it is important to be persistent in working with a user, you always need to remember that they have multiple, and many times, conflicting demands on their attention. If you can help them by expeditiously resolving an issue of theirs, it will be appreciated; so always be cognizant of their changing priorities.
Q. What are the most common questions you get asked by your customers? How do you answer them?
Tom: Of course, the questions I have been asked have varied depending on the role I was in at the time. However, almost all have a similar and underlying element… “How can your company and you help me improve my business?” And my answer to the questions – while tailored to specific situations – has incorporated the basic element of discussing how my products’ and/or services’ value proposition would provide a demonstrable, clear and positive difference or benefit to them and how it aligns with their particular needs.
Thank you, Tom, for being our Pump Person of the Week! Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! We hope that you have some fun vacation plans in store!
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