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Distributor Salesperson of the Year Finalist - Bob Southard

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Bob Southard
HALO Branded Solutions (asi/356000)

For Bob Southard, the promotional products industry is a family affair.

His father was in the business, and he can remember being a boy and sorting pens and can coolers for orders. As a young man, Southard first started in promo sales through his dad. Now, the family legacy is continuing into a third generation, with two of Southard’s adult children working as account managers on his four-person in-house team.

“My family and my faith are at the center of my life,” says Southard, who’s based in Columbus, OH. “They’re what motivate me every day.”

While Southard grew up in the promo business, he certainly wasn’t given any free rides. Early on, his father handed him a briefcase and catalogs, and then told him to go earn orders. Some would wilt under the circumstances; this hardworking Buckeye thrived.

Before long, Southard was winning sales – so many, in fact, that he quit the 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. job that helped him support his wife and young children. His full focus shifted to selling. The leap into full-time sales was clearly well-made. Now, 23 years later, the married father of four has hustled his way into becoming one of the top-performing pros in the industry.

In 2016, Southard tallied the single greatest annual sales total of his career, boosting his year-over-year revenues by a whopping 30%. And yet a humble Southard insists: “I wouldn’t have anything without the goodness of God and my great team.”

To reach the sales summit, Southard has taken a strategic approach, making himself a go-to promo pro for nonprofits. The effort has helped him land major accounts in the niche, including the American Cancer Society. Southard often generates sales through programs, which he says helps him best serve clients’ interests and build loyalty. Recently, he was proud to power a year-end fundraiser for a national nonprofit – a campaign that centered on the selling of personalized, branded ornaments through a website Southard provided.

“Bob defines what it means to be a solution-based branding consultant,” says Dawn Olds, HALO’s senior VP of operations. “Not only is he able to match the client with just the right promotional item for their branding needs, he seeks to optimize the buyer and recipient experience along the way. This approach to selling makes him invaluable to his clients.”