2022 CSR All-Stars: TinaMarie Cino, Gordon Sinclair
Inside Sales Manager/Director of Client Services
Gordon Sinclair, Valley Stream, New York
TinaMarie Cino has been busy this year. As the director of client services for Gordon Sinclair, a title she’s held for just under a decade, she helps promote cross departmental communications. But, new for 2022, she’s also the inside sales manager of a division she launched in January after receiving the greenlight from her manager/company vice president Mark Gardyn.
There’s no typical day for Cino. At any given moment, she can be found creating virtual storyboards, setting up quarterly marketing campaigns, providing quoting help and item information, attending trade shows or visiting clients — sometimes, all of the above. Cino loves it and, in turn, she is loved.
“You never have to ask her anything twice,” says one of her five nominators. “She makes things happen and customers love working with her.”
“Tina goes above and beyond with all requests and truly cares about each client,” adds another nominator. “It does not matter what time of the day it is, Tina answers calls, texts or emails even on the weekend.”
“Simply amazing!” a third chimes in.
Cino landed her first industry job — a CSR for Dri Mark Products — at the age of 24 through a help wanted ad in the newspaper. She credits her manager and mentor, JoAnn Linden, with lighting a spark that became a full-fledged flame for all things promo and her ability to deliver.
“[JoAnn] helped me realize my self-worth,” Cino shares. “She showed me the ropes and showed me how to reach my goals. But really, once I started in this industry, I fell in love with it — the products and the people. I never realized that this industry was even out there, but once I did, I was hooked.”
Cino’s roles and responsibilities evolved with time. She was promoted to customer service and order entry manager, eventually taking on a secondary role as inside sales supervisor that tasked her with supporting a team of 16 outside sales reps in the U.S. and Canada. (Notice a pattern here?) It was a successful 16-year run until Dri Mark decided to close its promotional products division, leaving Cino the last person standing.
Fortunately, that’s not where her promo story ends. Dri Mark owner Charles Reichmann had a plan for his loyal employee. After a quick call, he gave Cino the contact information for industry peer and president of Gordon Sinclair, Robert Gluck. She reached out, aced the interview and seamlessly transitioned into a customer service position at the company.
A year later, Cino assumed a morphed customer service/customer service manager role and after that, an order entry manager role. As her nominators point out, Cino is not just a question answerer, but a problem solver. Management noticed and agreed Cino’s skillset would be a great fit for the director of client services position (and eventual inside sales manager).
So, what’s next for Cino? Not rest. She has big goals for her department of three inside sales managers that includes herself. She’d like to add two more to that list, which would give her a more manageable account base. (She currently handles many of the national accounts and buying groups, totaling approximately 700 accounts.)
“We have had great success in the first two quarters and are looking forward to a great third and fourth quarter as well,” Cino says.
Her Approach to Customer Service
I always treat all customers the way I want to be treated. I also always do everything I say I am going to do. I try to get things done quickly. I always try to exceed the customer’s expectations. Also, I am brutally honest. Sometimes they (the customer) may not like it, but I always think that is the best approach and normally they thank me for it in the long run.
Her First Instinct When Things Get Complicated
My first instinct is to not overreact. I try to take a step back and look at everything before I start doing anything. I like to stay calm. When you stay calm, it is easier to keep the customer calm and you can think clearly. I always assure the customer that I will help them, that I am on their side. I make sure to stay connected with them every step of the way in solving any issue. I make sure that I do anything and everything I possibly can to make their experience with our company a good one — even if it starts off not so good.
What Pandemic Fallout Has Taught Her
It has taught me that I am a lot more patient than I ever realized. It has taught me about perseverance. I know this whole situation is awful, but I also feel like it hit a big reset button and made everyone a bit more understanding and patient. I feel it made people look at things a bit differently. It was really tense and very difficult in the beginning, but has gotten so much better. I just hope that when things finally get back to normal that everyone remembers what we all went through during these times and keeps the frame of mind they have now.
Her Proudest Career Achievement
To me, the most important achievement and what I am most proud of are the relationships I have formed. It really is rewarding, and it is so important to me to know that I have the respect of my management, my customers and my peers. Relationships are what allow me to offer a greater experience to my customers. Knowing that they trust me to do what is right and best for them is everything to me.
Her Best Advice
My advice would be to start each day with a positive attitude. Listen before speaking. Have empathy — a little goes a long way. Strive to do your best every day and try to remember that everyone is in the same boat. We are all human and we all need to give each other a break. Treat everyone the way you would want to be treated. Work hard and you will feel accomplished.
What She Does for Fun
I love to cook, especially gourmet meals. I love to grow flowers from seed, and I love to garden. But mostly, I love to spend time at home with my family, my friends and my new rescue puppy, Gracie.