By Dale S. Laszig
Castles Technology Co. Ltd.
Editor's Note: With this article, we are delighted to welcome Dale Laszig as our Street Smarts columnist for the coming year. Many of you are already familiar with her because of the many informative articles she has penned on sales and technology for our Education section in recent years. Please join us in giving Dale, who is an indomitable sales professional, a warm welcome. And join the conversation about issues of concern to the payments industry's feet on the street at www.greensheet.com/forums. Look for Dale's questions posted under the Street Smarts moniker.
I'd like to thank everyone at The Green Sheet for the opportunity to pen the Street Smarts column and participate in our industry's evolving conversation.
I'd also like to thank my Street Smarts predecessors: Jeff Fortney, Bill Pirtle, Ken Musante, Jon Perry, Vanessa Lang, Jason Felts, Dee Karawadra, Michael Nardy, Ed Freedman and many others who brought their distinct voices and perspectives to this space and helped elevate the dialogue of our day-to-day communications in GS Online's MLS Forum.
Before we begin exploring the many topics of the day, I'd like to reflect a bit about my journey so you'll have a chance to get to know me better. In my BP (before payments) days, I worked as an art director for an ad agency in Orange County, California.
One morning an account executive invited me to join a sales presentation so I could discuss the marketing side. When I sat in the board room and watched him present to the client, that's when I absolutely knew I was born to sell.
My boss thought I was crazy. Everywhere I interviewed I heard the same thing: "You're a creative; you can't be a suit." For us business development types, there's no better motivator than being told we can't do something. I kept on looking until I found a company that was willing to give me a shot.
There, in the middle of the Los Angeles meat packing district, sat my phone, my cubicle and me, calling the East Coast every day from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. I sold industrial supplies and sealants to glass companies from a 600-page catalog. But I was selling. And I became the first rep in company history to ship over $1 million of product in a year.
One day while I was writing up a big order, I received a call from a guy in Pennsylvania who needed 144 pairs of glass handling gloves. His name was Ed Laszig. Several years and several thousands of air miles later, we got married.
Predictably, after a few years of telemarketing, I began to get the outside selling itch. Once again, I heard the objections: You're an inside-sales person; you can't be a road warrior. Again, through sheer persistence, I found a company willing to give me a shot: Brown-Forman Enterprises, one of the original ISOs.
What an amazing adventure, selling merchant services and following the job. I went from Los Angeles to Tucson to Denver, and finally (when I got tired of the commute) to a farm in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
It's been a great ride, working for leading acquirers and hardware manufacturers, and making friends along the way. I had the opportunity to participate in an IMPAX Corp. sales effectiveness program when I worked at Hypercom Corp. IMPAX's mission is to assist its clients "in improving their sales, account management and sales leadership efforts and in achieving their sales objectives to drive business results." Learning and implementing the IMPAX process helped me take my career to a whole new level.
I earned a masters degree in management in 2010, the same year I joined Castles Technology Co. Ltd., a leading global manufacturer of contact and contactless terminals and peripherals. Seeing Castles grow in its partnership with Dejavoo Systems has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career in payments.
Our industry offers many opportunities for continuing education and volunteering. I currently serve as Secretary of my local chapter of W.Net (Women Networking in Electronic Transactions) and am fortunate to have served on committees for the Smart Card Alliance and The Electronic Transactions Association.
This year, I look forward to continuing sales channel partner development for Castles and Dejavoo, and collaborating with IMPAX and C3ET Training & Education Inc. to develop unique sales effectiveness programs.
Now, that's enough about me. I want the coming year to be all about us. If you're not yet a member of The MLS Forum, come and join the conversation. Log in to The Green Sheet at www.greensheet.com, create a profile, and apply for membership in The MLS Forum. Let's discuss and debate our industry's issues and trends.
If you don't find any interesting discussions, by all means start a new one. I look forward to actively participating in the ideas, debates, and discussion threads of The MLS Forum, where Street Smarts lives. See you online.
Would you like to read more articles by Dale S. Laszig?
If so, click Search under the E-Magazine tab at the top of our home page, www.greensheet.com. On the page that appears, click Byline Display, and scroll down to the D section. Click on Dale's name to access a complete list of Dale's prior articles published in The Green Sheet, dating to March 2008.
Dale Laszig is a writer and payments industry executive specializing in business development and sales performance improvement. She manages channel sales at Castles Technology and sales effectiveness programs through IMPAX Corp. and C3ET Credit Card Consortia for Education & Training Inc. She can be reached at 973-930-0331 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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