Empowering Valves is happy to see so many industry professionals nominate their fellow peers, to help shine a light on the PEOPLE behind the valves! Today’s Valve Person of the Week is Matt Rieker, Senior Sales Engineer with Flow Control Inc. When Matt is not at the beach, fishing, kayaking, golfing, or spending time with family and friends, he is supporting industry as a Control Valve Solution Provider – specializing in 1/4 turn valves, tight shut off, and zero-leakage applications.
Supporting valve owners and operators in Eastern Virginia, he collaborates with customers to identify and solve problems, focusing on individual applications and process control loops to improve the customer’s overall efficiency. Originally from the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, he now resides in Tidewater, VA, with his wife and dog, and loves his career providing solutions for industrial / manufacturing customers in the power, paper, chemical, shipbuilding, government, military, food / beverage, and oil & gas industries, as well as the commercial and municipal markets in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Q. How did you get started working in your field?
Matt: After graduating from college, I started my sales career in Building Products. When the housing market collapsed, I began looking at other sales industries. My introduction to valves came when I was offered a position at a Process Control Company outside of Philadelphia, PA. The company is a manufacturer’s representative for a variety of industrial automation products, specializing in control valves and flow instrumentation, with a division handling service and repair.
Q. What do you love the most about your job? What are you most proud of?
Matt: There are quite a few things I love about what I do. To start, I’ve always been interested in how things work. Many days, my appointments resemble the TV show “How it’s Made”. I love that I get to go to interesting places. One facility has a particle accelerator that produces a stream of charged electrons which scientists use to probe the nucleus of an atom. Another research facility duplicates flight conditions encountered by hypersonic vehicles in their high-temperature tunnel, capable of testing at mach 6; it’s rather impressive. I would have to say being aboard a Navy or Military Sealift Command vessel at any of my shipyard accounts never gets old (::laughs::). I think what brings me the most pride in my work is being able to bring solutions to the customer. Whether it’s introducing new and innovative products, or helping industrial plants tighten their process control loops, I find it rewarding to provide ways for the customer to operate their plant/facility more efficiently.
Q. What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work or new to the field?
Matt: Put in the work and provide value to the customer. Read up on the products and their applications. Take advantage of product training sessions. I started the first few months of my career in a hybrid role (both inside & outside sales). It was incredibly beneficial as it prepared me for handling issues that arise in the field while also giving me access to the brains of some of the more experienced inside sales reps I’ve ever met. This role was critical to my success in the transition to an outside role where I manage my own territory. The more you understand how the customer’s process works, the more value you can provide. This will lead to a better relationship with the customer. They will see you as a value-adding resource and your sales numbers will grow as a result.
Follow Matt on Social Media – @Valve_Life (Twitter), and also on Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube!
Matt, we look forward to keeping up with you through social media and the #ValveTalk Online Community!
Know an Amazing Person who is making valuable contributions within the Industry? Nominate them to be an “Industry Person of the Week”!