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Interview With a VP of Sales

Posted by Kati McDermith- MNI Brand Ambassador on Wednesday, October 6, 2021

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2021 has been amazing!

Yep, I just said that.

Read it again if you need to.

There has never been a year without drama and conflict. But never has there ever been a year so full of opportunity like 2021!

Many opportunities have been afforded to me amidst this weird pandemic time. My favorite has been meeting and getting to work with professionals in manufacturing. I teamed up with some wonderful companies this year to assist in marketing needs and made some pretty incredible friends as well!

First in a new series for spooky season, a spoof off a popular book and movie (Interview with A Vampire by Ann Rice), I am so excited to bring to you today's interview with a VP of Sales:

Interview with an Executive VP of Sales, Ryan Shaw of B&F Fastener Supply

Ryan and I met each other in winter of 2020 when I performed a video lead gen demonstration for the sales team at B&F. Before then I hadn’t met anyone with such genuine excitement in his industry and passion for his company. Instantly we were friends. Ryan has been a source of great support—-he was the first to help me celebrate when I was promoted to Brand Ambassador and continues to encourage me when I do anything exciting.

In September I was able to meet Ryan in person when I toured their new facility in Sioux Falls SD and we sat down to chat.

It is funny how similar we are! It was like I was meeting my long-lost brother for the first time!

It is no mistake that I felt that way, it turns out! B&F has a family culture that emanates.

Kati: What is your favorite thing about working with B&F?

Ryan: B&F is a family owned and family-oriented company. Money is reinvested back into the the business to help fuel additional growth. Family comes first, and our customers are our family.

Kati: What makes B&F different than all the other suppliers at your customers’ door?

Ryan: We do try to be different in our approach to business, and the goal of that difference is all tied to customer experience. We really want to create a dynamic where our customers feel the partnership side of that experience, as opposed to a simple product vs. price experience.

Kati: What is a piece of advice you would give to someone starting new in industrial supply sales?

Ryan: Be patient! To sell correctly in this industry you need to be more than just a typical ‘salesperson’. You need to be able to find out what your customer needs, as opposed to what they use. There can be a dramatic difference between the two, and without knowing the answer to that question you suffer to provide value to your customer. This takes time, effort, and persistency.

Kati: What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Ryan: Smarties. I used to steal those out of my kids’ trick or treating buckets when they weren’t looking…or even if they were looking really…

Kati: I bet your phone rings often with cold calls and your inbox is filled with marketing emails! I know everyone wants to move your product for you and that there’s someone who has an answer to a problem you have. What do you want us to know about the best way to market to you and your peers?

Ryan: Do your research! We get so many cold email/calls that are just that…cold. There isn’t any effort made to personalize or understand our company/industry. This leads to a lack of perceived value and a lot of what I would call ‘cold deletes’ from my inbox.

Kati: How has MNI helped you or improved your marketing efforts?

Ryan: We are thrilled with how MNI has improved our lead generation efforts! Kati was the difference maker in our experience with MNI for sure! She understands our industry, understands our needs specifically, and provides a ton of value to our company. I am a Kati fan, no doubt about that!

Kati: What exactly is an Exec VP of Sales? What function do you perform? What is your primary goal?

Ryan: Lol… I herd cats...Seriously though… I run the sales/marketing fingers of the company. That meaning can change from day to day, but mostly I work with our DM teams and executive team to coordinate sales culture, training, accountability, reporting, etc… That’s in a very broad term of course. My primary goal is to ensure the sales department runs at maximum effort, result, and efficiency. This is done through development, accountability, teamwork, and trust.

Kati: Thank you, Ryan, so much for the hospitality and for your continued support as colleague, peer, and friend. I appreciate you giving us all a little look into your mind as a VP of Sales. I absolutely love your approach to empowering your team and B&Fs family culture.

Stay tuned for future posts about B&F and all the gains they have made in 2021!

About B&F Fasteners:

SERVICE, SERVICE, SERVICE!! Since day one this has been our philosophy. If you take care of the customer, the rest will take care of itself. B&F Fastener Supply focuses all of their efforts on making things better for our customers. As a leader in the industrial and construction supply industry we strive to make sure we are living up to our name. We take pride in our work and our ability to serve a wide variety of customer demands. After all we wouldn’t be First in Service® without putting our customers first.

Join Ryan and thousands of others that are using IndustrySelect to build their business. Access nearly 400,000 manufacturers and almost a million decision makers. Set up your free account here and take a test drive! 

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