Category Archives: people

Adrian Valdes

Senior Account Executive | Dallas, TX

When it came time for me to decide on a career path, I knew that I wanted to seek out a sales opportunity. What I didn’t know was that PLS would find me, and I would become an industry expert five and a half years later.

I graduated from Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma where I played football. Immediately following graduation, I moved to Dallas, TX, where I began coaching football and wrestling. After a few years of coaching, I posted my resume online and PLS reached out to me. It was the perfect fit for my career interests and background, and I was excited about the opportunity to get involved with the logistics and sales industry.

I became drawn to the idea of a sales career because I always considered myself a social person who enjoyed communicating and connecting with all types of people.

I quickly realized that sales and coaching involved similar approaches. In coaching, I had to work with all different types of players and determine what worked and what didn’t work for each of them through problem solving and communication. I wanted to utilize this background in my professional career, and PLS allowed me to do that. I was able to communicate with different prospects or clients to see which points of contact were successful, and I could use my problem-solving skills to join two clients in need of business together.

Obviously, I knew that money was involved in a sales career, but I had no idea of all of the potential opportunities that would appear right in front of me. Opportunity is what drew me to PLS, along with the industry exposure and chance to connect with different people all over the country.

When I first started out at PLS, I never really considered it a career possibility until I understood how well I fit into this industry. I quickly realized that this market has its ups and downs, but after years of exposure and gaining insights, I love that I can now play the expert role in my position.

My favorite part of the day is being the informative, go-to contact for a client.

I enjoy analyzing the market and explaining the forecast, predictions, and direction of the industry to customers. It is very rewarding to see the cumulative progress that I’ve made at PLS, and it’s refreshing that the possibilities are endless here. There are so many more sectors that PLS can get involved with outside of the transactional, day-to-day operations of brokers. It’s amazing that I’ve learned so much, but there’s still much more to learn.

PLS has helped shape my career and given me the starter kit necessary to become a logistics and sales professional. One of the major things that PLS does to help me excel in my career is to bring together all of the top sales representatives on a bi-annual basis to discuss industry trends, forecasting and different tactics used. At PLS, we are all able to learn from each other, which is something that has helped to drive my career and continues to shape my success.

My advice for someone entering a sales position is to educate yourself on your own. There is only so much that a structured curriculum can offer you when you first start out with a company. Don’t be naïve in thinking that this company is giving you the one-all solution to everything within that industry. You must take the initiative to educate yourself and invest in yourself to become an industry expert – read up on material, case studies, blogs, etc. Take the opportunity to create a career out of what’s in front of you.

We are born with sales in our blood, but the industry is made of individuals that have taken time to hone in their skills and invest in themselves.

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Dan Rocknage

Satellite Office Leader | Pittsburgh PA

Following college graduation, I jumped into a sales position at PLS. When I first started, I never really considered myself as a salesperson but knew that if I worked hard, I could be successful. For a while, I struggled to find my way at PLS. I was living paycheck to paycheck and realized that if I was going to make this career work, I needed to step up and make a change.

My manager at the time expressed a simple piece of advice that transformed my entire outlook on selling.

He told me to stop trying to sell like a car salesperson, and instead, find a way to start selling myself.

This piece of advice presented me with an entirely new perspective that truly made me realize how much control I have over my career.

I used this advice to my advantage and started to excel and even set PLS records. Fast forward eight years, and I am still working at PLS in the Pittsburgh office and have accomplished my goal of a management position. In this position, I have assisted account executives to achieve higher job status’ as well as encourage them to work hard every day.

With all the great moments in a management position, there are also many overwhelming and stressful situations. I found out rather quickly that you either sink or swim, and I am not the type of person to sink. I am the type of person who will come out swinging for success if trapped in a corner.

One thing that motivates me is improvement, for myself and other people around me.

Sales is a constant movement, and once you realize that concept, it makes the job a little less difficult. For me personally, I have an office of over 40 people who started in their positions not sure that this would be the best career path. I took this as a challenge to encourage them to keep improving, and most of them have proved they are meant to be in the sales industry.

Many people ask me what skills are needed in order to be a successful sales rep, and I can honestly tell you that everyone in the Pittsburgh office has unique skills that are all keys to success. One skill that everyone has in common, and it can sometimes be difficult to identify in a person, is the ability to accept failure

If someone says no, keep moving forward. If an opportunity isn’t there for you, find the next one.

The people that succeed the most here at PLS are the ones who make the decision day one that they are going to be successful.

My favorite part of my day is coaching and sitting down with reps to identify strengths and weaknesses that make them unique and help them to succeed the best I can. I love the opportunity to get to know all my reps and encourage them to keep working hard in their position. I love seeing my sales reps be successful.

To the future of PLS: Here is the reality. This is not what I call a quick sales job. You must be willing to put in the effort and time to be successful. If you want an opportunity to develop and improve your sales skills, improve other businesses bottom line, or build relations with other companies, then PLS is the place for you. This is an industry that has been around for years and will be around forever. You need to prove to your customers that you are different and worth their time. You must be willing to work hard, and if you work hard you have the potential to grow quickly and will be rewarded. If there was a blueprint for sales, everyone would have it, but there isn’t. It all comes down to putting in time and effort.

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