PPB Presents Podcast: Selling In A Post COVID-19 Environment
Recorded On: 05/21/2020
In this episode, PPB Presents: Selling in a Post-Coronavirus World with special guests, Jeremy Lott, president of SanMar and Greg Muzzillo, founder of Proforma, along with moderator Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO of PPAI. Listen as the conversation takes a deep dive into the challenges these owners and their businesses are facing, how the lockdown has affected their sales and teams, what their strategy has been over the past few months, their quick pivot to PPE, how sales practices have changed, the future for meetings between suppliers and distributors and where trade shows will fit into the mix, among other topics.
Greg Muzzillo founded Proforma in 1978 as an industry distributor. Within five years he built the company from zero to several million in sales. By the mid 1980's Proforma had been recognized by Inc. magazine as an Inc. 500 fastest growing company three years in a row as Muzzillo grew his distributorship to more than $25 million in annual sales.
In the late 1980's Proforma introduced its membership program to enable distributors to retain their business ownership and independence. This enabled them to share in sales and marketing resources, purchasing power with industry suppliers, one back office including all billing, accounting, vendor payments, cash flow, computer systems and more.
Today, Proforma has more than 750 members with more than $400 million in sales. Proforma has more than 100 members of its Million Dollar Club and more than 40 members of its Multi-Million Dollar Club. In 2012, eight Proforma Owners earned a spot on Inc. magazine's list of the 5000 fastest-growing, private companies in America.
Today, as President of the family-owned business, Jeremy works in partnership with his father, Marty and his brother, Jordan. Over the years Jeremy learned the business from the inside out, from pulling orders to purchasing. After college and a stint studying in Hong Kong, he launched his career as an analyst for investment bank Piper Jaffray's technology team. Jeremy moved to Chicago in 2001 to earn his MBA, and then joined SanMar full-time. Adding strategy to vision, he continues to steward the company toward long-term growth and health. Proud of the opportunities given to so many tenured staff members to thrive, he often spends time "table-hopping" at the company's on-site café. He learns a lot during those casual conversations because, he says, employees have the pulse on what's really going on in their arenas. The father of six young children, Jeremy discovered that a work/life balance holds the key to maximum productivity. He enjoys spending time outdoors — skiing, hiking, boating and generally staying active.
Paul Bellantone, CAE
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Promotional Products Association International
Paul Bellantone, CAE, is president and CEO of the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), the not-for-profit association for more than 16,000 member companies in the $24.7 billion-dollar promotional products industry. Bellantone is responsible for executing the strategies and vision of the PPAI Board of Directors and advocating for the industry and its professional practitioners. His focus on delivering compelling member value and business-building products and services, combined with his commitment to active and meaningful member communication, has helped PPAI achieve marked growth. Bellantone holds a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and a master’s in business administration from the School of Management at Texas Woman's University. He is a Certified Association Executive and is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives, the Dallas Fort Worth Association Executives, the American Marketing Association, the Dallas/Fort Worth AMA and a board trustee for The Forum: Business Results Through People.
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