Hello, my name is Matt Chila. For the past two years, I have been the Southern California stucco rep for The Quikrete Companies. I came to Quikrete with no previous experience in construction products or the industry as a whole. The six years prior to joining the company, I had worked in marketing and advertising with two start-up companies, both selling directly to the end users and also running teams of sales reps.
Though my industry experiences did not translate, my knowledge of working with people has helped me expedite my growth process within the stucco industry. I am beginning a blog in which I will be writing about my experiences over the past two years and also moving forward to give insight into daily occurrences when working with contractors. If you, the readers, have questions or comments, please send them to us. Active participation will increase the success!
It must have been my second or third week in the industry when the calls from the contractors started coming frequently. Each call seemed to be very similar earlier on. The contractors didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know them and the only time I would get a call was when they felt they had no other possible way to figure it out themselves or they needed something confirmed directly from the manufacturer.
The calls would typically go like this:
Me: “Hi, this is Matt Chila with Quikrete, how can I help you?”
Contractor: “Who is this?”
Me: “I am Matt Chila. I handle all plaster and stucco for Quikrete for all Southern California, and what can I do for you?”
Contractor: “I need to know does your 1139-86 (Pump Grade) meet ASTM C-897 for Sand? Or ASTM C-206 for Hydrated Lime? Or what are your proportions, sand and cement and fibers, in your mix?”
I know for sure that I cannot say something wrong to these guys just to simply give them an answer. If I did that and something was wrong or went wrong my credibility would be instantly lost. Without thinking twice, my response to all these types questions in the beginning was something like this, “I believe our washed plaster sand meets ASTM C897 but I will get full confirmation for you in the next hour, is that okay with you?” I did this to let them know I was new and to have them understand that in the beginning I may not have all the answers right away but I will act quickly to get them the CORRECT answer every time.
Fast-forward two years and I can handle almost any plaster question thrown my way from all levels of an organization. Some of the same people in the beginning that were challenging my product knowledge now pick up the phone and call me for all questions or consult me on something they are planning on doing because they value my opinion.
Integrity takes you very far in life! Contractors do not need a hot shot sales rep that is fast talking; talking about everything or everyone he/she knows in the industry or saying things just to sound smart. They need someone who is accessible at all times, gives them the correct information they need and offers field support when needed. Someone they can trust and count on are the types of people that make it far in this industry!
Until next time.