How long have you been with Hackney and what do you do?
I started with Hackney in 1980 at the Independence, KS facility. I spent about 3 years as a welder in the assembly department. Next I went into engineering to work on a special project which lasted less than a years’ time. After the engineering project was over, I moved onto a position in Customer Service for the Parts and Repair department. In 1987, I started working as the Field Salesman for the Parts department quoting for refurbished units and part sales. I traveled all around the middle part of the United States quoting on old Beverage body and trailer fleets to be refurbished and painted back at the plant. I was in the field a lot staying on the road 3 weeks out of each month. It was my first taste of being a road warrior.
After 10 years in that role, Hackney ended the sales program for parts and repair. In 1997, Hackney began the Special Applications department which was primarily vending bodies at the time. I was asked to be a salesman for that department and was a little apprehensive on whether I could make a living selling vending bodies. I took the job and it has grown into service bodies and other vocations giving Hackney a more diverse product line.
On June 1st of this year, we had a territory change with the Hackney sales force. I went from a large area in Special Applications and a small territory in Beverage to having 13 states for both products. This has given me the challenge to grow as a salesman by expanding my knowledge in the Beverage market and making new connections. I am appreciative of the change. Obviously I had to give up some customers who are very close to me, but we still maintain our friendships.
As salesmen, we thrive on new challenges and learning new things which helps keep us young. I need all that I can get!
What is your favorite part of your job?
Early on while I was still in customer service, I realized that I had a knack for dealing with people and building relationships. I enjoyed working with people, solving their problems and getting them what they need. I realized that being a salesman is what I was meant to do.
So for me, sales is all about relationships. Almost everyone I sell to becomes a friend. I don’t see them every day, but we are still connected and I have even had customers stay at my house. It’s been a great experience. The best part of my job has been building the long-term relationships with my customers. Since I enjoy my job so much it makes me better at what I do.
How do you go above and beyond?
Sometimes a customer needs a truck body or shelving right away. Something has happened to cause an immediate need like they have wrecked their truck. To be able to work with the customer and both Hackney facilities to get them what they need as quickly as we can is very rewarding. I enjoy being able to help someone when they are in a bind, which in turn creates a very loyal and trusting customer. We aren’t the lowest priced in the industry, but we’re successful because our products are top-of-the-line, our amazing service and longevity.
Tell me about your family and hobbies you enjoy?
My wife, Kyra, and I both grew up in Independence, KS. A little over a year ago we decided to change our lifestyle, sold our house, and moved to Grand Lake in Grove, OK. I sold my Harley, bought a boat and now our hobbies are going out on the boat with friends as much as possible.
We have one son, Dalton, who is an attorney in Kansas City and is married to Grace, a music teacher. We are expecting our first grandchild in mid-September. Exciting times!