Tuesday, October 25, 2016

On the Road

This is my first time contributing to the Rothco blog and I’m happy to do it! My name is Justin Hum, and I started working here at Rothco almost 3 years ago as a sales intern. I studied marketing and sociology at Stony Brook University, graduating in 2014. Like I said, I started out as a sales intern making cold calls, sending out catalogs, along with other clerical work. I was eventually switched to customer service, and my role has since expanded to include sales work and marketing as well. Essentially I’m a jack of all trades, master of none. The expansion of my role obviously resulted in several new learning experiences and opportunities.

One such experience occurred several weeks ago when I was brought on a road trip with Ted Statharos, one of Rothco’s experienced sales managers. I knew beforehand, that it would be an enlightening experience. However, I had not anticipated how exhausted I would be afterward. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always fun to talk to new people, but when you have over 4000 amazing products to highlight, it can be a little bit tiring. Overall, this was a rather beneficial and productive trip as we were able to gather valuable information for further product development. We went on a visit into Queens, NY and I had the opportunity to see a variety of stores and talk to several of our customers.

The first store we went to was a hunting and outdoor store named Atlantic Center & Sports, which gave me a brief glimpse into how one of our more old school dealers operates. Next we went to Brown’s Army Navy, in Jackson Heights which had a beautiful display of our backpacks lined up against one of their front walls. It’s always a pleasure to walk into a store and see your items advertised there. We then went to a uniform shop in Richmond Hill named Jo-Paul’s. Despite the small size of this shop, it gets a surprising amount of foot traffic. We were there for about an hour and a half to two hours, and we were barely able to get a word in with the owner. It seemed like they had something for every type of public service personnel. The final store we visited was a small skate shop in Astoria named Belief. This place was particularly interesting because they were in between seasons, so they hadn’t started to purchase winter apparel yet, which made it a good opportunity for us to show them some of our products.

Getting out on the road gave me a new understanding of our dealers. I had the unique opportunity to see the inner workings of their stores and how our product fits into their operations.  It was great to get out and see a broad range of customers and see what Rothco means to so many different markets. In addition to our dealers, I gained a wealth of sales knowledge from my fellow road warrior Ted. I can’t wait to get back out there again and meet more of our dealers!

- Justin Hum
Sales Assistant / Customer Service @ Rothco

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