To support a year of significant company growth, Hector Santos was recently appointed as Equalizer International’s first sales and marketing manager for the Western Hemisphere. BIC Magazine visited with Santos to discuss how he is growing Equalizer’s business throughout the Americas and managing the company’s new regional sales and marketing team based in Houston.
Q: What led to your position with Equalizer International?
A: I was brought on board because Equalizer International is in the midst of an expansion with the goal of providing critical support to our distribution networks so they can grow sales. I was attracted to the company because of a mix of the culture and focus on product innovation. A good culture is the most valuable investment a small company can make and it starts with the founders. Prior to joining Equalizer International, I was building a company around an enduring ethical culture. In the process of building my vision, I became involved with Equalizer International and I found myself working with kindred spirits who were well on the path to creating exactly what I sought. After working as a distributor for Equalizer in Latin America, the directors thought I would be the right fit for the planned expansion into the American market, North and South.
Q: What is the biggest news in the company right now?
A: One is our innovation in flange spreading tools, introduced at the 2013 Offshore Technology Conference. We now produce the most powerful tool of its kind in the world. And the second is the personnel expansion that is placing key individuals in important markets to support our distributors. I’m based in Houston with a key role to support our master distributor Equalizer USA, which is based in Crown Point, Ind. Equalizer USA President Joe Vetter has been very successful building an extensive sales network of distributors. My goal is to make the Equalizer brand message more widely available to end-users thereby supporting Joe’s sales efforts.
Q: What is your biggest lesson learned?
A: That all business is personal! The best way to create a sustainable, unassailable and competitive advantage is to create a culture focused on improving the lives of individuals and people, inside and outside of the company. There are other ways of achieving financial success but to make it last you have to come up with something that makes life better for people. Having an ethical culture keeps us on the right path.
Q: Are you looking to grow in new markets or expand in current ones?
A: I see my job in the immediate term as expansion in current markets. We have been selling our products steadily here in the Gulf Coast. As we achieve greater awareness of the products, we see sales accelerating. In Houston, I have found the same response as elsewhere in the country; once an individual sees and uses our tools, especially if they personally have worked on flanges, they become believers. That’s how good these products are.
Q: What is the most important thing a person should know before taking a career path similar to yours?
A: Know yourself. Sales and sales management are parts of everyone’s life whether they know it or not. Every time you try to convince anyone of your point of view you are in fact selling. But to do it for a living requires an understanding of human nature. If you have difficulty empathizing with people, a career in sales will be difficult for you. The skills can be learned and honed by anyone willing to invest the time, and the financial rewards can be significant. And if you really love solving problems for people you will find no more rewarding a career in the world.
For more information, visit www.equalizerinternational.com or call (713) 927-1840.