IT FELT LIKE THE PERFECT FIT| By Hildy Webb
When I decided to come on board with CITY, I applied at a bunch of different places. I was mostly looking for an opportunity to go back to the Des Moines area so I could be closer to my family. I then came across the Indeed application for CITY. It’s the only one I really remember filling out. There was a lot of great questions that caught my interest. Then when I started going through the interview process, it just felt like the right fit. I went through a phone interview, to begin with, had an interview with Chriss Carsello ( Sales Manager.) Then I had one with Chriss and Colin Wetlaufer (President at CITY) and I could just tell the people, the culture, and the vision of the company was something I definitely wanted to be involved in. They were telling me the freedom I would have and how I could really help CITY grow into what it is now. It was the place I applied to that felt like home. It felt like the perfect fit.
My first year, I started training in Oelwein, Iowa. I got to experience the plant and everything that happens there. From there, I came down to the Des Moines territory and met Mark Ballo (Des Moines Regional Manager) and Shane Mckinney (Route Service Representative) who at the time were the only two guys here in Des Moines. I got to ride on a route with Shane. I was with him for a full day. I met him at 4 o’clock in the morning and it was an excellent experience to learn a little bit about the industry and what we do and what I was going to be involved in.
From there, I went out into the field. Chriss was really involved in coming down and taking me around. He showed me the ropes. He showed me what a phone call, follow up, and what my appointments should look like. He was with me for the first few weeks to help me sift through this new world. We then went and did cold calls and I got to watch him.
Things have definitely progressed since that first year. Since I’ve started, there is a lot more in-depth training. For me, though, my first year was an advantage in some ways because I was just out there figuring things out. I was learning my territory. I was learning every street in this county like the back of my hand. So, I feel like it really gave me an advantage because I was so involved to try and learn.
This was not my first time in a sales job. Before I was in the sales industry, but it was for a furniture company. It’s a night and day difference between a customer coming to you versus finding clients. I received a lot of guidance from both Mark and Colin to help with the transition. They both told me not to give up. I remember Mark telling me to just work like your hair is on fire, meaning if you work really hard, you’ll succeed. It’s a numbers game. You just have to get out there and talk to as many people as you can.
In this industry, it’s all about the process. Learning the process was huge. Knowing the sales process in this industry is imperative to be successful because you can’t skip steps. You can’t go around specific tasks. You have to follow the process to get the end results you are looking for. In a way, it can be a struggle. There is a lot of time involved in that. One of the most significant differences between the two industries I have worked in is the contracts. In this industry, there is a timeline, and people are stuck in contracts for a while, and it could be six months or six years before they can even switch to our services. At the end of the day, you need to line up your shot and stick it when that opportunity presents itself. By following the process, you know that when their contract is up, they are going to change to CITY. The process just makes the transition so smooth; Following the process is the biggest piece of advice I’ve ever received.
My first year Chriss would practice with me a lot. We would go through roleplays and put me in those conversations that are sometimes not the funniest. This way, I could step outside the box to provide the best answer I could to certain problems. This way, I could be ready for anything that was thrown at me. I am so grateful for all the experience I got in the beginning because it really helped me build confidence.
That confidence and training lead me to great things at CITY. My most memorable story so far has to be the time I sold CITY’s second largest account. When I came to Des Moines, that was one of the first companies that Mark Ballo talked about. Colin talked about it. Everyone talked about this company. It was a whale that everyone was looking to get. It was one of the first places Mark, and Colin cold called when they went to this territory, so it was always on the radar. I was able to get the opportunity to have the first appointment when no one else had even gotten in the door yet. After that first appointment, I was able to get all the information I needed. It was a great feeling to know I could help get that started. To this day, that was one of the craziest sales I’ve been through. I still remember taking Mark with me for a meeting, and there were 12 people in the room, all decision-makers, from the different buildings and departments. So, it was a big deal for me. I just found out last week they are going to renew their contract with us again, so not only did we sign them, but we kept them on board. We were able to follow through and take good care of them.
From treating our customers well, we have been able to grow to achieve amazing things. I still remember one time when I was in the car with Mark and Chriss; Mark said to me that we were all going to go for a drive. He pulled us to this little cul-de-sac where our current depot is, and I got a call from that same big account I mentioned before. They called to give me more information which a huge step in the right direction. Mark and Chriss told me that calls like that were a big reason why we were able to build a depot. Because of the growth that we have experienced and because of the accounts I’ve signed, I also secured a job for my little brother, Barney Webb.
I recruited him about a year after I started, and he came on board as a Route Service Representative. It’s so cool that I get to work with my brother. The best part is everything I sell, he services. Knowing everything I was doing was securing a position for him was awesome.
Overall, CITY has changed so much since then. My job was already great when I first started, but knowing we have grown has just made it all so much more rewarding. It’s amazing to know that the executive team and everyone is on board with this vision that Colin has. Seeing some of his vision come to life over the years has been incredible.
The future is so bright at CITY. Everything we have talked about in that first interview has actually transpired and become real. If our growth continues the way it has over these past four years, then I can’t wait to see where we are in another four years. I have a feeling it’s only going to move even faster from here. I’m so excited to explore new territories, meet new people, and help CITY grow. It’s an extremely exciting time at CITY, and I’m happy to be a part of it.