Hello and welcome to Purple Wave’s Auction Podcast. My name is Aaron Traffas. Today, I’m going to speak with Purple Wave’s newest territory manager, Jason Looker, who will be serving the better part of central Illinois. Good morning, Jason, and thanks for joining me this morning.
Thanks, Aaron. I appreciate it.
Tell me about yourself. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small farming community, Beardstown, Ill., which is about 45 minutes west of Springfield and the area that I’ll be servicing with Purple Wave. My family still resides in the Beardstown area. I’m still very connected to them and some of the friends I grew up with. Springfield is also an area that I have a large network of friends and family and business contacts.
Speaking of business contacts, you have an extensive sales background. Tell me about some of your previous careers and how you found yourself in Springfield.
I got my start in sales about 17 years ago, believe it or not, selling cell phones, pagers and wireless intercom systems. I was still in college at the time so it kind of gave me my first real taste. From there, I graduated into medical sales. I was a manufacturers’ rep and I ran my own small distributorship. I did that out of central Ill. It carried me into the Chicago area for about nine years. After a few things went south in the medical industry with some changes, I got into construction and industrial sales. That’s what kind of brought me up to this territory. In the meantime I’d relocated back to Springfield, Ill., which is the area, again, that I’ll be servicing – a little bit closer to home, a place to settle down. I found this opportunity because it allowed me to do a lot of things that I wanted to for the remainder of my career.
How was it that you did you hear about us and what was it that made you want to be a part of Purple Wave?
I responded to an ad on either Monster or CareerBuilder and immediately got a phone call from Jason Moore in HR. He painted a really neat picture and I did a little background on my end. I felt like immediately there was some sort of a connection. Without going through all of the interviews and things at first, I just thought that there was something there. I thought that the scope of work and the contact points were right online. I thought that this was a company that was growing that I could be a part of, make a name for myself and be a part of the growth and the future. Obviously with career opportunities it was something that I hadn’t seen in a while. Living in Springfield there are limited opportunities like this and I thought it was something I wanted to move forward with and pursue.
Well, there wasn’t a whole lot of time from when you decided to join us until your training began here this last week. What have the last few days been like and what do you think of your decision so far?
Well, I think it has been a smooth transition so far. This week has been a lot of information and hopefully I’m retaining the better part of it. There are so many processes and so many moving parts that I’m not used to, being a small business owner and working for smaller companies. There’s a lot of backend support – a lot of things that I look forward to – but, again, a lot of moving parts and a lot to learn. It’s been a really neat experience and I’m looking forward to it. I’m pleased with my decision.
Tell me more about the area that you’ll be covering and what you see as your roles and responsibilities. What’s going to be an average day?
Well I don’t know what an average day will be, and I don’t know if even some of the more senior reps could give you a direct answer on that, especially with my experience in sales. I think that’s what we all like about it. Springfield’s right in the center part of the state. It is the state capital, so there’s certainly going to be some opportunities there with the state government. It’s still a fairly rural territory, although I think from east to west and north to south there’s probably about a million population. There’s some industrial areas like Decatur, Ill., and Peoria, Ill. A lot of people may be familiar with those two for ADM or Caterpillar. There are a couple major universities, Illinois State University and the University of Illinois. I think the biggest segment will certainly be construction, but there’s a ton of opportunity – obviously Illinois is a huge ag state as well.
Tell me some of your personal interests. What kind of things do you like to do in your spare time?
I do like the outdoors. I like to hunt and fish, although I don’t do that as much as I used to. I spend a lot of time either watching or going to sporting events. I was fortunate enough to go to my eleventh Final Four this year. A lot of the Purple Wave people are envious because of Wichita State being there. That’s something that my wife and I enjoy doing together. We’re season ticket holders for the St. Louis Cardinals. We enjoy being out on the water. We have a boat – anything outdoors as long as the weather permits.
I’ve been speaking with Jason Looker, Purple Wave’s new territory manager serving central Illinois. Thanks again, Jason, for joining me today.
Thanks for having me, Aaron, I appreciate it.
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