I had the pleasure of chatting with Nicole McNamee, one of Boundless’ fantastic Sales Affiliates who has been with the company for the past two years! Nicole speaks on how she got her start in the industry and how she strives everyday to “break the odds”.
Tell me a little bit about yourself: where are you from and what are your hobbies?
I was born in Memphis and currently live in Germantown, Tennessee – a suburb outside of Memphis. When I am not working I am scratch cooking for my family. I’m a terrible cook but my oldest son, Miles (8 years old) has 25 food allergies and my youngest son, John Carrick (3 years old) has 6 food allergies (not all the same as big brother). Every day presents unique challenges for the most basic need, feeding my family. I also love to exercise and travel. My family just received Global Entry status!
How did you get into the promotional products business?
A tough conversation, that I later realized was a gift. I was Controller for a large hospital in North Mississippi. My CFO pulled me aside and told me “You are too social to be an accountant, maybe you should try the other part of your degree” (I have a dual degree from University of TN in Marketing & Finance). I was 26 years old with a lot of pride and apparently too many visitors to my office! I left the company partially disgruntled but smart enough to listen to her advice. I thought I’d take this easy job in sales at a small promotional products distributor. I quickly realized that sales is NOT easy … but my CFO was right, this was such a better fit for me. I love meeting people and nothing excites me more than a room full of strangers. If I ever see her again I’ll thank her.
What do you like about working in the promotional products industry?
I love that any given day, I speak with multiple senior level marketing executives in Fortune 500 companies around the world. To work with this talent level, each with unique goals, challenges, and communication strategies that I have the privilege to be involved with is so exciting. My customers rely on me to provide creative ideas – but often they push me as much as I push them.
What professional goals do you set for yourself and how do you achieve them?
My screen saver says “I think I can break the odds” – Jose Fernandez. Every day my goal is to break the odds. Whether it is personal sales goals that include meeting with new clients or helping current clients achieve extraordinary success, or personal goals that include getting my son into the #1 food allergy program in the world (we are in!). It varies every day, but every day I strive to break the odds.
What do you think is the most important quality of a good manager?
I manage a small team of 3, but have the amazing extended team at Boundless Corporate in my back pocket. The important trait for our team is making sure that my teammates are working in the areas of their strength. This can change over time and it’s important to keep them engaged doing the parts of the job that they love. They are strong in areas where I am weak, and they ‘Protect the Quarterback’ – which in case you are not aware, is more important than the role of quarterback.
What is your secret to building relationships with your clients?
It’s not a secret if I’m telling you! I am genuine. I don’t sell anything I don’t stand behind 100% and people learn to know that about me. They ask for my opinion and I tell it to them. Companies are always changing and restructuring, people grow in their careers and sometimes grow out of the promotional purchasing role. As they change, I want to stay in touch with them because we are friends. Our relationship evolves over time and I move with them, sometimes even helping them find jobs!
What has been the biggest game changer in the promotional products industry in your time as a sales partner?
Clearly we all know at Boundless that our patented technology is already changing the game, and will continue to do so. Either you’re going to be Boundless, or be wishing you were.
If you could change one thing in the industry what would it be?
This could be a very deep question, but I’ll go with an easy quick answer: I would have the people attending our industry trade shows not bring those crazy folding carts we all trip over!
When did you start working with Boundless? What drew you to the company?
April 2014. I told my dear friend Michelle Bell at ASI that I was looking to make a change. I gave her the company specifications I was looking for and she provided me with a list. Lucky for Boundless, that list was in alphabetical order. Seriously though, when I realized that Boundless only hires people at the top of the industry, with tools to help both my team and my clients succeed, it was an easy decision and I did not proceed down the list!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
No man or woman is an island, I wouldn’t be where I am today without my amazing team, personal advisors, and awe-inspiring clients. I can’t ever find enough ways to thank the people who have been a part of my journey. Thank you! You know who you are.
Interested in joining the Boundless team? Contact us today, we would love to hear from you!