It’s 6:00 am on Tuesday morning. Dog fed, bed made and coffee brewed as I settle into my home satellite office to answer a list of emails that have come through since as early as 4:30 am. One thing about being in San Diego is everyone to the east has already begun their day, especially my teammates at our corporate headquarters in Dallas. I’ll review and respond to emails relating to client design questions, RFQs (request for quotes) and working through project questions with some of my PMs. Next, I'll follow up with my estimating team to check updated status of RFQs. We need to ensure we’re meeting the client’s expectations. Finally, reviewing any pressing items I know I need to make it off my desk by days end.
Today I have a handful of office appointments booked with clients located in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. My first appointment is scheduled for 9:30 AM with a hotel ownership company located in Orange County. I try to book my appointments where logistics are sensible, and I can drive from one client to the next as I make my way into Los Angeles proper. Mapping out meetings within LA on a weekday can be tricky - must account for that famous LA traffic as I plan my route around town!
It’s now 8:00 AM I’m dressed for success, packed and I'm ready to go. Prior to heading out, I make sure I’m equipped with all the necessary sales materials – literature, drapery and hardware samples, etc. As I drive up the coast, I take this opportunity to make phone calls to QC teammates or clients to discuss any projects details I’m unable to address via email (there’s this thing about emailing while driving..). I get to the place a half hour early to ensure there’s not a chance I’ll be late for this meeting.
It’s an hour later and my first meeting went very well. This hotel ownership group just happened to be looking for another drapery supplier as they weren't satisfied with their current vendor. SCORE! I walked in at just the right moment! These are the appointments that make me giddy about what I do. Loving the company I work with and sharing their talents with potential new clients. This is what it’s all about! I now have this rush of confidence, optimism and excitement that carries me through the remaining sales calls for the day. Some calls are with existing clients which include purchasing companies and design firms. Just a quick visit to say hello, bring in Starbucks and check on any needs they may have for projects. Other calls may be drapery 101 learning presentations, where I walk through and educate on how to write a spec. Most clients will agree, window treatments can be one of the toughest things to specify in a hotel and I love being able to guide them through the process.
It’s now 6:00 PM and I’ve arrived at a hospitality networking event located at a newly renovated hotel to showcase the new design. I'm hoping to run into existing and potential new clients here. These type of events are truly all about relationships, its not just business, it's getting to know the people behind the title. I love it. It helps that I'm a bit of a social butterfly. I also get to spend time with my “industry homies” as I call them. These are the sales people who, just like me, hit the pavement and peddle their goods to the hospitality design people. We’re all there and, in a lot of cases, share leads on new projects. This is what networking is all about.
It’s 9:00 PM and I’m back to my (LA) home base which is either a hotel room or spare room at a close friend’s house. My head hits the pillow as I think about the emails I’ll be catching up on tomorrow. As I make mental notes of another day full of appointments I'm also thinking about the big cuddly dog that is awaiting my return back in San Diego.