06 Sep 2022, Blog, General, Team Profiles
The word “sales” can get a bad rap. Sometimes it’s even associated with pushy, manipulative, profit-centric tactics that leave customers high and dry. But Bruce Lavoie, Technical Sales Specialist with SFC Energy, has built an impressive career taking the opposite approach. In fact, he sees a customer’s success as inextricably linked to his own.
Starting out back in 1985, Bruce has spent his entire career in the industrial automation electrical industry. He’s worked for big names such as Rockwell Automation, Powell Canada and Guilliven International. Recently, Bruce was an account manager with ABB, a global leader in automation technology and close distribution partner of SFC.
Bruce’s mastery of drives and motor applications caught the eye of Bill Staples, SFC’s former VFD specialist. As Bill began transitioning into a management role, he knew he couldn’t leave the department in the hands of just anyone. And after working with Bruce for years and seeing his potential for speciality applications, Bill knew it had to be Bruce.
Today, Bruce is a Technical Sales Specialist with SFC, providing a highly skilled resource in the sales and applications of VFDs and motor control products.
As Bill suspected, Bruce is a perfect fit. With his experience, Bruce has hit the ground running applying the ABB products he knows inside and out to the complex custom projects SFC is famous for.
“SFC’s applications require more technical consultation and design, and are a lot more technically challenging.” Bruce says. “But they also produce bigger results for the client, so they get the full value from their automation investments. I’ve really been enjoying it.”
Bruce describes his role in a way you might not expect from a technical specialist. He breaks it down into two parts, both anchored in helping people.
First, Bruce works directly with customers. He takes a consultative approach, asking questions and gathering data. Then, he doesn’t just present one solution, but several, and asks about the effects of each one.
Bruce is adamant that his number one priority is customer success. He describes himself as analytical and diligent, yet compassionate and empathetic.
“To me, it’s not about making a sale,” says Bruce. “When you show that you care about the customer and that you want to see them succeed, you build a relationship with them. Then it’s not about price or delivery anymore. It becomes about the right solution from a trusted advisor.”
The second aspect of Bruce’s role is mentoring junior employees at SFC. Working with the quotations and engineering and design teams, he provides technical support incorporating VFDs into customer quotes and package solutions. Not only that, but Bruce uses these opportunities to instill his philosophy of honourable and compassionate customer service to budding professionals. The hope is that they’ll take these lessons with them on their career journeys too.
After nearly four decades, Bruce’s own journey is far from over — and he says his future is bright with SFC. He’s looking forward to supporting customers, mentoring junior staff and growing his repertoire of drive and motor applications. “It took a while for me to get here,” he says. “But I think I’m in the right place.”