It’s a time to reflect and a time to be thankful. It’s also the time of year when distribution owners and reps look to balance their customers’ needs and end-of-year sales with family traditions. Here’s what some have to say.
A time for celebration
Mike Kuna, a sales rep with Midmark Corp., is not afraid of a challenge – no matter what time of year. So, in July, when he joins 10,000 bikers in the annual Group Health Seattle-to-Portland Bicycle Classic, he completes the trek on an old-fashioned cruiser bike. Originally, when he and his brother, Scott, decided to join the Classic, they did so to raise awareness for Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that Kuna’s son has. Their tradition has endured over the years, and now when Kuna completes the 200+ mile trip he does so in the company of fellow reps in the industry who are looking to show their support.
His positive approach not only helps Kuna survive the sometimes-rugged roads that mark the Seattle-to-Portland course, it carries him throughout the year. The holidays are no exception. “I always look forward to the holidays because it is a time of celebration with family and holiday traditions,” he says, noting that “this time of year is no different” when it comes to balancing work and family traditions. Maintaining a balance is always a challenge, he points out. But, with realistic goals and good planning, “I can see what lies ahead and be realistic with commitments,” he says. “It also helps to visualize what is in the coming days, weeks and months.
“One of the most important things I keep in mind is to be thankful and positive,” Kuna continues. “I am thankful for being in this industry, thankful for Midmark and the opportunities that [the company] has given me, thankful for my wife, Lori, and thankful for my sons, Luke and Jack,” he says. “[I try to remember] that the time spent with customers, family and friends is to be cherished! And I am positive about the coming year and the new opportunities in this industry.” He makes it a point to not make New Year’s resolutions only in January, but rather at any time of the year. “If on March 1, I want to set a goal of riding my bike, I do it,” he says.
The holidays are a time for giving back to the customers, notes Kuna. “I find that customers are usually more upbeat and joyous this time of year,” he says. While reps should thank their customers throughout the year for their support, there are creative ways to do so during the holidays, “whether it is making a call in a Santa outfit with some homemade Christmas cookies or writing that special personal thank you letter,” he points out. “One of the best ways medical product equipment reps can be of service to their customers is by providing a written proposal that shows them how to make their practice more efficient. This may include tax incentives on equipment [to help] make their practice a safer workplace. [Reps should] be the expert in medical equipment finance.”
This season, Kuna looks forward to many of the same traditions that he has shared with his family in the past. These include making the five-hour drive to Whistler, Wash. to snowboard when the conditions are good, and attending the Seattle Thanksgiving Macy’s parade, which the his family has not missed in 10 years. “We go to the local Christmas tree farm to find that perfect tree, which is always a special treat with four different ideas of what it should look like,” he jokes. Watching favorite holiday movies together – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life – and attending a Christmas church service make the family’s holiday that much more special, he adds.
For more from the December issue of Repertoire, visit www.repertoiremag.com