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Distributor Salesperson of the Year Finalist - Aaron Kist

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Aaron Kist
American Solutions For Business (ASB) (asi/120075)

Aaron Kist is a crackerjack sales professional with a rock star soul.

The senior account executive at ASB has worked his way into being one of the industry’s elite reps – all while carving out a successful side career in music.

Indeed, Kist is the lead singer for Top GunZ – a group that plays hair metal hits from iconic 1980s bands like Poison and Mötley Crüe. To become his rock‘n’roll alter ego, BlaZe Magnum, the clean-cut Kist drops the workaday wovens and dons animal-print spandex, a flowing wig, cut-off sleeve shirts and other wild gear.

It’s all part of the good-natured fun and theatrics that help Kist and his costumed bandmates create an authentic ’80s rock concert for fans – of which they have many. Kist performs for crowds of 1,000 or more in the St. Louis area, and the group has played to audiences as big as 5,000 and 10,000.

Believe it or not, Kist says there’s ample crossover between his two careers. For both, it’s essential to be creative, brand-build, network, forge relationships and positively influence audiences, be they hair metal fans or a client’s end-users. “One can help with the other,” Kist says.

While Kist’s performance talents rightly garner interest, no less worthy of attention is the Missouri man’s accomplishments in the sales world. Working with banks, construction companies and others, Kist has earned his way to annual gains in each of the nearly 20 years he’s been in the industry. Kist, who won ASB’s “Rookie of the Year” after joining the distributorship in 2013, orchestrated a more than 10% sales gain last year.

Of late, Kist has used Facebook giveaways to connect with new clients. Still, his success is rooted in routinely meeting face-to-face with customers – in getting to know them, and always putting their needs first.

“We have a great relationship. He makes it easy to get everything done right,” says long-time client Ron Dement, branch manager at Capital Supply in Farmington, MO.

Kist is humbled by such praise. “Selling is a way to help people,” he says. “Relationships are the real reward. Build these with your customers, and you’ll be busy.”