Under 40: Matt Gleckler, American Solutions for Business
Matt Gleckler, 39
Senior Account Executive
American Solutions for Business, Glenwood, Minn.
How he got his start: This is my first job after college. In 2002, I started with Optimum System Products in Columbus, Ohio, [a company] that specialized in selling print and promo to community banks. The owners of Optimum, John and Dorothy Martin, were nice enough to hire me even though I didn’t know much about banks, printing or business in general, but I was willing to learn. I did a lot of odd jobs at first, like working in the warehouse, filing work orders and samples just to get an idea of what it was we actually did for our customers. I would travel with other sales reps to see how they sold our program. After a year of training, I started working in customer service, in addition to going out on my own to visit current customers and prospects. I had a few sales successes early on, and I believe that this success was because of how I learned the job from the inside out. Knowing how the warehouse worked and understanding what it is like being in customer service made a big difference in how I sold and how my customers viewed me. After about two years of doing both customer service and part-time sales, I switched to full-time sales in 2005. In 2015, Optimum merged with American Solutions for Business.
His current role: I am responsible for maintaining my current business and gaining new business, whether it is growing my current client base or adding new clients.
What he likes best about his job: I really enjoy the people I work with in Columbus and how we work as a team to take tremendous care of our customers.
Age roadblocks and advantages: The biggest challenge for me right now is balancing work life with family life. My wife works full time as a marketing director for KPMG, and we have two young boys, Greyson and Connor, ages five and two. Over the years, one of the challenges of being young was getting a bank CEO to trust in me. I learned early on to study the financial industry and understand what challenges banks were facing so that I was more trustworthy to a C-level executive. One of the advantages of being young is that I am still willing to learn, which should enhance my career moving forward.
His biggest career influence: Ken Renker was the sales director for Optimum for five years, and I learned a tremendous amount from him during that period. He was dedicated to helping our sales team and spent nearly 100 percent of his time helping us grow. Ken taught me how to listen to customers/prospects, ask the right questions to find out what their needs were and how to come up with a solution to address those needs. He helped me learn the power of conducting business reviews and how to manage a large territory. Ken would travel with me and I spent a lot of time just studying his calm technique. I am so lucky to have had him as a mentor for me in the middle of my career thus far.
His most meaningful business accomplishment: I starting calling on a bank that was the perfect fit for our program back in 2006. I met the CEO, I met with marketing, I met with facilities and over a six-year period, I was persistent and continued to pursue this prospect. As they grew, they understood the need to partner with a company like ours, and in 2012, they decided to utilize our program for print, promo and office supplies. They are still a great customer and have been a great reference for me the last six-plus years.
His differentiating factor: Our team in Columbus is always looking for new ideas of how we can help our customers increase revenues and lower expenses not only in print and promo, but through partnerships with a wide variety of companies outside of the print and promo arena. Over the years, helping our customers in different areas within their business has strengthened our relationships.
Why he believes the future is bright: My customers continue to want to get their messages out into their market places, and they do this through the utilization of brochures/flyers and a wide variety of promotional products. Technology will continue to be a huge factor as well. Over the past five years, the enhancements in digital printing and print-on-demand [have made] me believe that the future is bright. I am amazed at the new products we keep seeing in the promo world, and the demand for these products by the consumers means we are ready to grow over the next five years.
Final thoughts: I would like to thank all of the employees at American Solutions for Business for the help over the years, not only the people in Glenwood, Minn., but all of my support in Columbus, Ohio. Without all of you, my career would not be where it is today.