This month, we sat down with Sales Consultant, Christina Strating from Source Burlington
to learn more about her role.
Christina has been an employee with Source since August of 2017 and she was excited to share her experiences with us. Continue reading to view the full interview.
Q: What three words would you use to describe Source as a company?
Helpful,’ ‘friendly,’ and ‘family-oriented.’ Monty (the owner of the company) is such a great man with a big heart. He
doesn’t think he’s better than anyone else and he’s so humble.
Q: What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?
My biggest personal achievement is self-love. It took me 40 years to get here and it’s a result of everything that I’ve been through in the last 40 years. I always say that I’m going to write a book called, “What not to do in your first 40 years.”
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
I start work every morning at 8:30 a.m. I come in and immediately go through my emails and the online orders. We also wait for people to walk in, which can be tedious sometimes because you’re hoping people will walk in, but you just never know. Every day is different, which I love. In my position you meet so many different people and I really enjoy that.
Q: What are your biggest professional challenges?
When I first started in sales, it was a big learning experience because I had to learn all of the product lines. With Tayco, Artopex and IOF, there’s a lot of products. When I was working at Source Kelowna I learned a lot from Brian Anderson. I would ask him, “Do I have everything that I need for this customer?”
In office furniture, it’s important to learn the product lines and what people actually need, as well as which pieces go together. However, you do need to learn from your mistakes. It’s similar to life, if you don’t learn from your mistakes, I’m not sure how long you’ll last in this world.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
Customer service is huge for me, I love people. For example, one of my clients just brought me a coffee and I haven’t worked with them since November. Some clients come in and hug me or want to have wine with me outside of work. I keep it light with my customers. I don’t force people to buy stuff. When they walk in the store, I give them the time that they need, and I ask them if they need help with anything. People appreciate when you’re not all over them.
I also love my coworkers. They’re very helpful when I need them. We don’t try to bug the store managers when we don’t have to because we know that they have a full workload as well. The managers trust us, and we do our jobs well.
Q: Given a chance, who would you like to be for a day (Anyone dead or alive)?
I’d either want to be Jennifer Anniston or Sandra Bullock. They’re both down to earth. I don’t want their money, I just find them beautiful people. If I could portray one of them, that’s who I would be. I’m very similar to them and I feel like I would get along well with them. I would honestly just want to be friends with them for a day.
Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a police officer. My brother and I both wanted to be police officers, and neither one of us became a police officer. I don’t know why we ever went away from that, but often life takes you in a different direction.
Q: If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
I would buy a plane ticket and disappear for a month. If I ever won the lottery, I would never be a super rich person because I would just want to help other people. Money doesn’t make you happy. You need it to live, but it’s not everything. As long as you have your health and your happiness, you’re doing alright. You came into this world with nothing, and you’re leaving with nothing. I would just take care of people. Even if someone just needed $5,000 to get ahead in life, I would give it to them.
Q: Where did your career start? How has it progressed over the years?
I was in real estate for 10 years as a branch administrator in Ontario and then I moved to BC. Source was the first place I interviewed at and they called me that afternoon and offered me the job! They knew I had worked with sales people, since I used to work with 93 real estate agents. I started as a receptionist, but I got bored sitting there so I took on more jobs by organizing things. I did that for two months and then I was a sales assistant for Brian and Rob. That was a lot of fun, and I learnt from the mistakes I made.
I moved back to Ontario last year, because all of my family is here. My son’s here, he’s 19 years old now. I came back to Ontario and Monty recommended that I try inside sales. I’ve never done sales and I don’t consider myself a sales person so I thought to myself, “can I really do this?” At first I was a little intimidated. It took some time but I became secure in my role and became more confident. Last December was a great month for me because I got a university deal that was almost $100,000. It was just a phone call that came in. I enjoy being inside sales and you know down the road – maybe I would try outside sales. But right now I’m so happy. People say to me on the phone, “You really like your job don’t you?” and I say “Yeah I love my job!”
Q: What are the differences between the environment at the Kelowna store compared to Burlington?
: Kelowna has way more people. It was a never a dull moment there! I really miss the people in Kelowna. We had a lot of fun. We would go out floating down the channel in Penticton on the weekends. Here in Burlington there’s really only three of us. It’s quieter and I also don’t get to talk with people in the warehouse, like I did in Kelowna. The people at work become your friends. I still talk to some of my old coworkers in Kelowna too. I’ll get a text message saying “Hey how are you?” It’s nice to know that some of them miss me.
Q: How do you define success?
I think happiness is success. It’s not about money, or what you have, or what you don’t have.
Q: What do you see as the latest trends in office furniture?
Newport Grey items for sure. It’s huge. I wish we had more stock of it. I also think that people like variety. You can do our Performance
line, and you can also do Tayco
, Logiflex and IOF
. You can intermix them. People like that they have different options. They can pick and choose what they want from us, and then they can pick different options.