Who’s shaking up the industry today and making it a unique, successful, challenging and innovative sector? The members of the 2016 Counselor Hot 25. Check out their stories.
While this industry has its fair share of gregarious personalities, few match the level of infectious enthusiasm for the business extolled by BIC Graphic’s (asi/40480) vice president of inside sales, Jill Stirnkorb. “What can I say: It’s been a crazy, fun ride all these years and it’s part of my DNA,” says Stirnkorb. “I love that this industry is still a relationship-based business – it really feels like a big family. Everyone is willing to help each other, and I still have really great relationships with some of the first people I met 25 years ago.”
Stirnkorb says that as much as she relies on technology, she still prefers to pick up the phone and talk with customers. “Email, social media and all the technology in the world does not replace a good phone call or face-to-face meeting.”
She feels a special responsibility to mentor younger women in the business, as she was only the third female in the sales force when she started at BIC. “We had to work twice as hard to be recognized, but I was fortunate that my first manager was a female who was not only a great role model, but a mentor as well,” she recalls, adding her advice for young salespeople in the industry. “Be prepared; be true to your word; if you commit to something, follow through; plan your work and work your plan; and listen twice as much as you talk.” And of course, from the woman known by so many people in the industry: “Continuous networking is so important, as this is a relationship-driven business – people buy from others they know and trust.”
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