PMG Employee Spotlight with Brian P.
Brian is in his 16th year with PMG as Director of Business Development/Trainer/Mentor/Sales Coach.
I didn’t start out in sales. As a young man, I was in a band, writing music, playing keyboards, and trying to get a record deal. We had some success, however, the woman I was dating and eventually became my life partner knew I needed something else to fall back on. Because of her, I was lucky enough to get pushed a little bit in what turned out to be the right direction.
We started building our family and I started working in accounting, bookkeeping and marketing. But I wasn’t really into crunching numbers and wanted to find something more exciting. What happened next? I answered an ad to sell sandpaper over the telephone! It was a low paying job but I was fortunate to have some great mentors. They showed me how to sell, helped catapult me into some early success that cemented my career in sales and led me to training and managing as well.
What are your main responsibilities in your position?
I start my day out by going through my pipeline, looking at what stage in the sales process my prospects are. Then, I strategize next steps to continue to move them through towards closing. I also always make time for prospecting. Next, as a trainer/coach/mentor, I make time to critique calls made by other reps. I provide feedback and input to help them hone their craft and become more successful. I really like mentoring new salespeople. Good mentors were crucial to my career success and I enjoy giving that back. It’s really gratifying to see that lightbulb go off for a new salesperson.
How did you learn about the opportunity with PMG?
I’ve been with PMG 15 and a half years and was the first salesperson they hired. I was in a strictly managerial role before coming to PMG and wanted to get back to selling.
When I started, PMG was a young company and that’s what they needed – a salesperson in the trenches. It didn’t hurt that the business model seemed kind of sexy too with how different it was from the competition. I was looking for a 5 to 10-year plan and I thought it didn’t sound like a bad opportunity. It turned out to be a great opportunity! I had thick skin and wasn’t afraid to start from the ground cold calling against established competition. It excited me to be part of building something. They needed someone who could stick it out through the tough times, make the calls and build value around what differentiated PMG from the competition. We’ve grown well together.
What do you like most about your job?
I like taking a challenging prospect and being able to build enough rapport, and show enough value, to make them see our business model as a viable solution to their problems. That part is always more satisfying when it’s a prospect that was leery or cynical initially. To have them go from doubt to buy-in, and then involve the rest of their stakeholders to get them onboard, is all part of what I enjoy about my job. I get a great thrill from that still, even after all these years.
What do you like most about working for PMG?
I like how the culture has developed, especially over the last five years in particular. It’s been a continuous evolution towards more and more teamwork, cohesive leadership, and accountability throughout all divisions and teams. Leadership actually listens to the ideas of employees from any corner of the office and there is a lot of respect for all team members. There’s flexibility with our roles, tasks, and lives too when it comes to things like working remotely, etc. The benefits don’t suck either! (Laughs) From the difficult growing pains of the first ten years to seeing the way it’s all started to come together has made it all the more gratifying. That’s especially true for me, having had a hand in growing and developing sales.
What advice would you give to a recent new hire at PMG?
If you have to sell day to day: My mindset has always been that every call you make should have intent and purpose. You should always be sincere about wanting to hear about any pain the prospect has so you can share a solution that can have a truly beneficial impact for them.
General to PMG: Hone in on your responsibilities and be a sponge. Take in everything you can learn from your mentor. You’re a branch in a big tree here and we need all the branches to be able to grow fruit. This is a multi-faceted industry and all our departments and resources work together to support each other. You want to be a part of that.
What are some hobbies you do in your free time?
I still love to play, make and listen to music. I play a lot of piano. I like to hike and hunt mushrooms and deer in the fall. I garden and cook what I find and grow too. I don’t mind having a nice glass of red wine to go with any of that either.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?
Colorado. Going there and seeing the Rocky Mountains, and Red Rocks Amphitheater, was one of my best trips ever. Hands down the best. Seeing that beauty up close and being able to experience great music at a great venue – amazing! I also love the beaches in Sarasota, like Lido Beach. I winter there now.
What celebrity/inspirational person do you admire the most?
I like common sense motivational speakers like Jim Rohn. I also admire one of my first mentors, Kevin Aasgaard, who was my first sales trainer at St Paul Abrasives. He really taught me about goals, how important they are and that goals MATTER. From him, I learned to keep my eye on that goal, how to develop a plan to achieve it and the discipline to actually do so. Nobody is a born salesman; you have to have someone that will put their arm around you to get you through difficult times and pick you up when you fall down. I had that in him.
Without that, who knows if I’d have made it to where I am now. I try to give that to the people I am fortunate enough to mentor now because I know how instrumental it was to my success. I want to help others get through those difficult times to achieve the mini-successes that give them the confidence to keep moving on. Kevin gave me that and I try to give it to others.
What did you want to be when growing up?
I thought being an athlete would be fun because I was good at baseball and hockey, so at one point that crossed my mind. Then, at another point, I was really into acting and thought it would be really cool to become an actor. Later, I fell in love with music. I wanted to be a piano/keyboard player in a famous band, tour and record music. That was my biggest dream ever and it’s the one I came closest to actually achieving. We released a song on an album with a national label for the 10 Best Unsigned Bands in America in 1984. I would’ve loved to sit in with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for a few gigs.
You’re happiest when…
I’m content mentally and spiritually and feel that I’m being successful and on the right track as a person. When I’m taking care of my family and being kind and helpful to others, that’s when I’m happiest.
What’s your favorite restaurant and your must order there?
I like homemade perogies, soups, chilis and stews. Homemade anything is really my favorite food, but I don’t mind going to a good restaurant, like Mancini’s in St. Paul, and having a nice steak. I’ve had my 40th and 50th birthdays there already because I really enjoy that place.