After nearly 40 years in the industry, Jane Ryan has seen it all. The good, the bad and the sleazy, Ryan has encountered every bit of it and has emerged with her smarts, legendary wit and professionalism intact, as is evidenced by the abundance of ebullient distributor nominations she received to be named this year’s SGR Supplier Sales Rep of the Year – an award for which 87 other sales reps were nominated. Now with Jetline for the last three years, Ryan, keeps exceeding goals and expectations – all with that laugh, which puts both “Ls” in LOL.
“I first met Jane at the ASI Show Orlando and I could tell right away she was passionate about her work,” says Lisa Schraw, director of operations for The Brandit Agency. “She knows her product line and loves to help me when I need new creative ideas for my clients. Jane has visited my office a few times since our first meeting in Orlando and follows through on sample requests and virtual flyers. Jetline is lucky to have such a dedicated and devoted sales rep that truly cares about her clients.”
Having averaged 15% or more growth in each of her three years at Jetline, Ryan was not only named the company’s Sales Rep of the Year in her rookie year, but CAAMP’s 2014 Supplier Rep of the Year as well.
“Every day is different with new challenges,” Ryan says, when asked what it is that keeps her motivated after nearly four decades in the business. “I love helping clients fill their needs, and it gives me such great satisfaction. When you’re as passionate as I am about this industry, it doesn’t feel like work – it’s like helping a friend.”
But Ryan cautions new reps to the industry, and especially millennials who may not have extensive sales experience, not to make the same mistakes she did when starting out. “Early on in my career, I always wanted to say ‘yes,’ and realized quickly that ‘yes’ isn’t always the best answer, but honesty is. My motto is, ‘don’t over promise and under deliver.’”
So what tips does Ryan have for distributor reps to the industry? Get involved, network, be social, listen, be yourself, work hard and have fun. “And be as forthcoming as possible with information regarding a project/leads,” Ryan advises. “The more information you can gather and share with your suppliers regarding a client’s orders and programs will offer you better results.”
Eric Levin, the famously taciturn owner of Jetline, is downright chatty and convivial when it comes to Ryan. “Jane is a treasured member of the Jetline family,” says Levin. “She’s been a contributor in so many ways since the day she started with us and she continues to use her depth of experience to help in staff development. From my perspective, her success comes from a recipe of energy, dedication, professionalism and a lot of panache. Jane’s disarming personality and bottomless enthusiasm opens doors and closes sales. Jetline would not be the same without her.”
Kristina Newsom with Specialties Plus of NC agrees. “Jane is a fierce force of positive energy that makes you excited to learn all about her products and want to sell them to everyone. She’s so super-knowledgeable about this industry that I never hesitate to call her for sound advice on anything that arises” she says.
“I think the number-one thing we love so much about Jane is her personality,” says Maxey Cloud, promo products account director for Benson Integrated Marketing. “She’s always smiling and happy and her laugh is contagious. She’s knowledgeable not only about her products, but about the type of clients we work with and has ideas that help the industries we’re selling to. She’s a true rock star.”