Women rocking trucking sales careers at Holland
Women account executives claim Holland’s top annual sales awards
If there is any question that trucking is no longer a “man’s world,” you need only look to the women who won three of Holland’s 2016’s top four account executives (AEs): Nadene Duke, Sandi Romeo and Kristin Ruder. The trucking sales career award winners traveled to Holland’s headquarters in Michigan for an award ceremony hosted by the company’s leadership.
We talked to them about their passion, drive and a “make it happen” attitude. Plus, they share a few secrets of their success in the trucking industry. Chances are you have something in common with them. Perhaps a trucking sales career at Holland would be a perfect fit for you as well.
Meet Nadene Duke
Nadene Duke started her career in customer service for another company 29 years ago. Then, she became an office manager before accepting a sales job. “I was scared, but loved the idea. My boss suggested I do both jobs for a few months and make an informed decision. I’ve been in sales ever since,” says Nadene.
She took a five-year hiatus to become a personal trainer, which also involved sales, but eventually made her way to Holland. “Three years ago, I applied at Holland because it’s a great company with an even greater reputation. Making the transition from personal trainer to trucking sales was easy. I like what I do and enjoy the people,” Nadene explains.
Holland’s AEs have key performance indicators (KPIs) to work toward every day, and while those are the same, no day is the same. Nadene likes having the flexibility to run her own schedule and be at home each night. “I generate revenue every day, calling on my local customer base both new and current. As their AE, customers count on me to meet their needs and take care of any issues that arise, which is revenue producing. But, it’s because I truly care about their business that makes me successful and my sales job easier,” says Nadene.
Nadene’s key to trucking sales success: She cultivates relationships layers deep in an organization. She wants everyone, not only her contact, to know who she is because you never know their reach and influence.
“I didn’t have children. I got a sales territory to nurture instead,” jokes Nadene, “That takes being motivated every day and being a natural self-starter. Believe me, I put more pressure on myself to succeed more than anyone else ever could.” It’s this level of passion for her work that makes Nadene an AE that her customers trust and one that Holland appreciates having on our sales team.
When she’s not calling on customers, you’ll find Nadene on a boat, on the back of a Harley, on the golf course or on her way to Florida or South Carolina – all of which she enjoys with her husband, family and friends.
Meet Sandi Romeo
Sandi Romeo became a Holland AE seven years ago, but she remembers well how she began her career as “the new kid” in the transportation industry nearly 25 years ago. “I didn’t have much LTL sales experience when I came to Holland because I’d come from white glove delivery,” recalls Sandi, “I have 10 people in my regional sales group, and one person won the annual sales award three years in a row. One thing that stuck out to me about him was that he had a good rapport with his customers. If you’re going to be successful in a sales job with a trucking company, building customer rapport is key.”
Building rapport is sometimes easier said than done, but Sandi manages it like the professional AE she is. “Each customer has unique shipping challenges to solve. My sales job, and my success, depends on how well I solve them. Holland has so many seasoned professionals who support me so I can support my customers,” explains Sandi.
Sandi’s key to trucking sales success: Always go above and beyond for your customers and keep the lines of communication open, no matter what issue may arise.
Being a Holland AE is a high energy, fast paced job. “We’re one of the many faces our customers see each day. They’re trusting us to make their days better and smoother, so they have at least one less thing to worry about,” says Sandi.
In spite of the changes she sees across the trucking industry, such as driver shortages and ensuring equipment is in the right places at the right time, Sandi is driven to make it happen by putting to use what she’s learned from others on her team and relying her sales manager. “I love my customers. I have grown right along with them, and I enjoy working with them. That goes for my colleagues, too. They’re like a second family. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I have an amazing manager who is a huge support,” Sandi says. “Representing Holland and earning this award was an honor. It gave me the chance to visit our corporate office and put faces to the names of so many people I talk to daily to resolve issues.”
Not only do Sandi’s customers keep her busy, but so does cheering on her daughter’s volleyball and softball teams. Sandi enjoys interior design and is considering moving into our corporate sales from regional when her daughter is older and Sandi can travel.
Meet Kristin Ruder
Kristin Ruder earned a degree in health and human performance with a minor in nutrition. She opened a gym, and realized she preferred it as a personal passion, not a business. She took a position with a small construction company. A co-worker’s son who was a sales representative for Holland would stop in and share great stories about his job. Kristin decided to apply to Holland and accepted a position in 2014. She became a strategic account manager for YRC Worldwide, Holland’s parent company in 2017, and in that same year accepted a position as a corporate account executive (CAE) for YRC Worldwide, selling again for Holland as well as YRC Freight, New Penn and Reddaway.
Clearly, Kristin gives her job everything she has since in addition to 2016’s annual sales award, she has earned 4- and 5-star quarterly sales awards in 2015 and 2016 for exceeding 100 percent attainment in four or five key measurements, including local revenue, corporate revenue, Canada revenue, G & E revenue and operating ratio. She knows no other way. “I grew up with a brother and wasn’t a ‘daddy’s girl.’ My father set me up for success, teaching me to work hard for what I want to achieve in life by giving 110%,” says Kristin, “And, I learned to keep an open mind and be humble. I might have an idea how a solution for customer should work, but I am always open to new ideas.”
Kristin’s key to trucking sales success: Be a CAE of integrity and follow The Golden Rule. Remember that sales does not have a negative connotation if you set up the relationship truly with the customer’s best interest at heart and work to see how your service fits in. Let your integrity guide your own reputation.
Instead of ignoring difficult problems or uncomfortable conversations, Kristin fixes them and talks straight. She says, “It may be hard, but people respect when you take the time to solve things.” Kristin also isn’t afraid of asking questions, and will ask them until she fully understands the challenge. “In sales at Holland, it’s important to be the ear. Not just talking, but listening. This leads to those meaty conversations and I can offer solutions that the customer may not have considered,” Kristin explains.
Kristin is the quintessential work-life juggler. In the past year alone, she married, moved and changed jobs. She is still active in physical health and her church community. Having full autonomy over her work schedule gives Kristin the freedom to pursue all of her interests and earn a great income. Kristin says, “More sales mean more income. At Holland, there is a correlation between performance and pay. I recommend a sales career at Holland to motivated women who want to be rewarded for their hard work.”
If you’re interested in putting your passion, drive and “make it happen” attitude toward a sales career in trucking, follow Nadene, Sandi and Kristin’s leads. Join Holland and rock your sales career.