On the Rise: Jeff Perry
Senior Corporate Account Director | Nexen Tire America Inc.| Age: 39
What was your first job in the industry?
Kumho Tire USA.
What attracted you to the industry?
The competitiveness of sales — it just happened to be the tire industry.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
Continuing to maintain and grow current customers and new customers during challenging times.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
John Hagan, executive vice president of sales at Nexen.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
Growing the corporate accounts division's total number of accounts and sales as the senior director of corporate accounts for Nexen.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
I am the senior director of corporate accounts with Nexen. I handle all of our corporate or nationally based accounts. I handle anything and everything for these accounts — inventory analysis and management, development and implementation of key sellout programs/promotions to help drive sellout, sales and marketing program development and management, and much more. I travel a lot in my position going from customer to customer either at the corporate office, or in the field working with their field sales teams.
Tell us about your family.
I have an extremely supportive and close knit family. My wife is currently studying to be a registered nurse. We have four children at home ranging from 16 years old to 1 year old. My 16-year-old daughter is currently a junior in high school, and no matter how old she gets, she will always be my little girl. Then I have a 6-year-old son, a 4-year-old son, and a 1-year-old son who keep me and Mom very busy and constantly on our toes. My wife is simply my super hero! She is the glue that holds our family together. I have an extremely supportive and loving family.
What did you learn about yourself in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic?
I learned that I could quickly and efficiently adapt to a changing and stressful environment. Working from home is not as easy as it sounds. Especially for someone like myself that was traveling week to week, and meeting with my customers face to face. I had to quickly establish a schedule and cadence with my customers on virtual conference calls in place of the normal in-person, face-to-face meetings in order to maintain that contact on a regular basis. Learning how to balance home and work life was a task in and of itself that would prove difficult from time to time. I was able to quickly adapt, and maintain the constant contact with my customers and key accounts, while learning to balance home and work life.
Name a talent you wish you had.
I wish I had a photographic memory. I have a good memory, and work really hard to ensure I remember and retain certain information for both personal and career purposes. But I would love the ability to remember anything and everything that I come across at a moment’s notice.
How do you recover from a bad or stressful day?
Spend time with my family.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
“Fearless” by Eric Blehm. This is about Adam Brown, and his journey from childhood to becoming a Navy Seal. He had to battle through tremendous adversity and eventually gave his life for his country. Really good book!
What’s your favorite, can’t-miss podcast?
I am really into true crime podcasts. I’ve been listening to an “Unsolved Mysteries” podcast, that is the podcast version of the popular TV show from the ‘80s and ‘90s. I can’t get enough of this podcast.
If you won an Olympic gold medal, how would you have earned it? (You can make up a sport.)
For selling tires of course.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
This one is easy. The biggest issue facing the industry today is the current delays and skyrocketing costs with both overseas and domestic shipping. We are seeing major delays in overseas shipping, due to lack of ship space and available containers, which in turn causes this bottleneck and backlog of product sitting in our factories waiting to be shipped, which then causes low inventory, and lack of product driving down the fill rates from brand to brand. The industry will most likely see this get worse before it gets better with the Christmas season fast approaching. The industry has experienced delays and cost increases before, but nothing of this magnitude.
What advice would you give to tire dealers who are desperate to find good employees?
I truly believe that a happy and valued sales and support team helps drive success, loyalty, and reliability. The advice I would give a tire dealer is to ensure his team feels valued, and working for his company is an overall positive experience. I believe that an employee that feels valued and taken care of will go above and beyond their normal job responsibilities. This can be done by ensuring the employee is well compensated with strong pay, to creating a close knit atmosphere among the tire dealer and all his employees.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
I expect to be selling tires. Kidding aside, I really enjoy what I do. I expect to continue growing and expanding my knowledge within my field, and to someday have the opportunity to run and lead a sales team.