How long have out been with Hackney and what do you do?
I have been with the company since May 2005. My current title is business development manager. I develop and maintain the dealer network in addition to being a salesman for the Hackney Emergency Vehicles product line.
What makes us unique is that all the sales team are trained in AutoCAD so we do an actual drawing as a salesman. We give a quicker turnaround time of a drawing within 24 hours. These are called sales drawings which later are handed off to engineering to finalize. I typically meet with the customer 3-5 times to massage the drawing to their specifications. Once the basic drawing is approved, I put a quote together with a budgetary figure for them. A lot of our customers go through Sourcewell, which helps our customers save time and money with contract purchasing solutions that are solicited nationally.
We build the trucks the way our customers want them built. Our competitor asks, “What size box do you want.” We sit down with the customer to understand their needs. What mission are you running? Is it a HazMat or Heavy Rescue? What equipment are you going to carry? We design the compartments around the equipment they are going to carry to the scene. We are highly customized.
Customers love what we do and take ownership of their units because they are designing it.
How do you manage the Hackney EV Dealership program?
We have about 20 dealerships nationwide we are working with currently. We prefer to partner with dealerships with service centers to help maintain our customer’s units. These dealerships typically offer other fire apparatus lines, but the rescue vehicles are exclusively Hackney. Our dealerships have a respected and knowledgeable sales team who know what firefighters in their area need.
Training is key for our dealerships and I personally handle the onboarding of the sales team to become certified Hackney dealers. I assist the dealerships with sales drawings and quotes to help them make the final sale.
How are you doing business in today’s new normal?
GoToMeeting is my go to tool! I used to travel 3 weeks out of the month and now I’m working from the home office all the time. I have cabin fever bad!
Most fire departments are inaccessible right now due to Covid. I use social media a lot to reach out to current customers and potential customer to see what they are doing at their stations. If we don’t have a dealer in their area, I will call on them and send some ideas of recent deliveries to spark interest. I keep messenger open all day and routinely speak with fire chiefs to keep the lines of communication open. I’m always here to help and keep current and potential customers aware of what’s going on with Hackney.
My goal is to send as much business as I can to the Hackney plant in Washington, NC. I appreciate the team at Hackney and think of them as family. I want my success to be their success.
Speaking of family, what do you and your family enjoy doing?
My wife, Gis, and I have 6 children between us and 8 grandchildren. We have a new black Labrador named Bullet. Every Sunday we have a big family dinner where typically 4 out of the 6 kids come home. I really enjoy relaxing with my family.
We like to take vacations based around sales calls. Last year we took a trip to Vallejo, California for business and after spent the weekend in Napa Valley at a winery. Being from the Midwest and a wine connoisseur, we thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the west coast.