Promotional Sourcing Specialist
American Solutions for Business, Glenwood, Minn.
Vanessa Wood started as a graphic designer at a Colorado print company, but moved state to state and company to company for her husband’s job relocations. Regardless, she took advantage of every opportunity she could. Through her 20-plus-year career, she learned how to cut film in prepress, operate Jet Press fastening equipment, function bindery machinery, use a Kluge die-cutter, run collating equipment and more.
Eventually, Wood found her passion on the promo side, but longed to return to Colorado. She was working for WorkFlowOne at the time in Virginia and sought an account manager position for print and promo products in the Denver office. Landing the job allowed her to move back to her home state in 2010. Her manager, Claudia Cisneros, noticed her talent in promotional products and promoted her to a lead over five employees on the promotional side. Cisneros soon left for American Solutions for Business, but asked Wood to join her three years later. Now, as a promotional sourcing specialist, Wood creates presentations for clients with suggested products she believes are best for them and their event type. Her customers are often impressed by her ability to find the exact item needed and even locate those difficult-to-find products, according to one of her nominators. (She was nominated twice!)
That nominator went on to note that Wood volunteered for the PPE team, playing a crucial role in vendor sourcing and communications. Her vast promotional product knowledge has been her true asset—even for ASB’s print salespeople.
“Working with Vanessa, one receives the ultimate customer experience and service,” her nominator said. “Her humor, experience and attention to detail result in her customers’ complete satisfaction and repeat business. She has opened the door for many of our sales associates to be able to sell promotional items with knowledge and confidence when their business was only print [previously].”
Her Approach to Customer Service
My approach to customer service is, ‘how do I want to be treated?’ If I want someone to be patient with me, to take their time, to make me feel important, then I must do the same. I think we all want to matter, so that is why I try to do the same.
How She Keeps Calm and Stays Inspired
It’s not just customer service, it’s the industry, too—always moving so fast, so much to do and never enough hours in the day. Although the underlying function of my job is the same every day, it’s always different, so that keeps me inspired. I love looking for and finding items. I love my job. To decompress at the end of the day, truthfully, I like watching TV. ... Something that makes me laugh, nothing that makes me have to think. That’s my big release, and then I’m good to go for the next day.
How COVID-19 Has Changed Her Job
Well, instead of looking for pens, I’m looking for masks! Really, it’s just the items that have changed.
Why She Loves Her Job and the Industry
I love that the company I work for believes in me, trusts me to work from home and do my job. They give me freedom to grow and learn and be who I am. In this industry, every day it’s prints or promo, but at the same time, it’s always something different. I like that. I never get bored in this job.
Her Proudest Career Achievement
I have made some amazing friends in this industry over all my years all over the country, whether they are fellow employees I work(ed) with or clients. I feel proud when I can help a sales rep land an account with ideas, and then help them get up and running. I like to see the sales reps succeed and any little part I can do is great.
Her Best Advice
Start each day with a smile and have a “conquer the world” attitude. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
What She Does for Fun
I like to take photos, I like hanging out with friends and I love to travel—never enough time for that!