Steve joined Rochem in 1997 as the Northeast Sales Representative, bringing a wealth of experience with him. Fast forward to 2023, Steve is one of Rochem's most valuable Sales Managers, responsible for growing sales in the Americas. We caught up with Steve to find out more about his journey over the last 26 years.
Can you tell us more about your role and what you do?
As a Senior Sales Manager with nearly 30 years of experience in the energy field, I use my knowledge and expertise to guide our salespeople and encourage them to strive for the best customer service while delivering high quality products.
What does a typical day at Rochem look like for you?
I generally start pretty early because our MD Martin is in the UK. This allows me to respond to his questions and send emails or team messages to our production people for information. We are expanding very rapidly in Mexico and Latin America and have teamed up with some really good distributors in these regions. By starting early, I can support things that came in the night before and early in the morning and then work with our team here in the US. The great thing is that each day is different and never boring.
What do you specialise in?
I put a lot of time into creating long-lasting relationships with our customers. I’m really proud that I have had a lot of customers for 25-plus years and call many of them friends. I’d like to think I am mentoring some of the younger people here at Rochem as well as learning what they think about sales and marketing, production and customer support. It’s a two-way street and I believe it keeps us all motivated to take the extra step to support our customers.
What is the most valuable piece of advice anyone ever gave you?
“No Donuts” I worked in the aviation industry for a few years. And this salesman told me a story about a guy calling on a major airline every Monday and taking him doughnuts. There were probably four buyers in the office. One day the salesmen’s contact was gone and had moved to another department and one of the other buyers was sitting at his desk. The salesman went to introduce himself and the new buyer said I know who you are flipping through his Rolodex, you’re “no doughnuts” and showed the salesmen the door. I think it is important to meet and greet everyone in the office and if you are bringing doughnuts, bring enough for everyone.
What do you think the future of the industry looks like?
I think what we do is going to be around for a long time. There is a place for everything. Renewables like solar and wind are good, but gas turbines will be here for a very long time supporting the grid. I really believe some of the people in their 30s here will retire here and Rochem will still continue.
What is your favourite part of your role?
I still go out in the field quite a bit. There is nothing like walking around a big combined cycle plant, meeting new people and running into people you haven’t seen in 20 years. Talking about the “old days” for a few minutes can really bring back great memories. I still really like attending user groups and conferences which has been our bread and butter for meeting new people and plants for 20 years. People don’t answer phones very often anymore and sometimes we lose that connection of conversation, but you can still get that at user groups and conferences.
What makes Rochem a great company to work for?
People. We are a worldwide company and working with people from the UK, Netherlands and Mexico among other places gives us chance to exchange ideas and see what works in different places and what doesn’t work. In the last five years, we have had a new MD who has removed all the walls within our divisions where all ideas are welcome and there are open communications amongst all of us. All trying to go in the same direction to improve. We have a great team here in America which I would like to think I helped put together and great distributors in Mexico and Latin America so working with all of these people and companies is a lot of fun.
What are some of your passions outside of work?
Music has been a passion of mine for many years. I also love to cook and experiment in the kitchen. Both my wife and I travelled for work for over 20 years, so we don’t go out much on the weekends we are home. She will come up with an idea and it is up to me to make it. Some are home runs and well, some are not but it is a lot of fun. I still have a few friends from school that