This month we sat down with Jennifer Holloway, our Director of Business Development.
Tell us a little about your current role and how you got to where you are…
Since October of 2013, I have been the Director of Business Development for Answering Service. This means that I am responsible for the Answering Service sales team. I give them goals, motivate them, we play games and consistently work toward a common goal. I also check all of our client accounts on an ongoing basis, and handle any audits.
Prior to this position, I was the Call Center Manager since 2006. I started with the company in 2004 doing outbound sales for Thompson Cigar. As of this year, I am here with the company for 10 years.
What’s it been like working here for a decade?
I feel like I have really grown up while working here. It’s been a journey, it’s been a pleasure. Working for a family-owned business like this one is like being a part of something great. You aren’t just a number, you are a person. Everyone knows your name, from the top of the company on down. Of course, as on any journey, there are some bumps in the road and sometimes it can be overwhelming. At the end of the day, I know that this is where I belong and this is my home.
Can you tell us more about how you manage your team?
It’s important, especially when working in sales, to stay motivated and to keep my team motivated. I try to remind them that tomorrow is always a new day, so if today wasn’t the best, there is always tomorrow and always a chance to do more. We talk about how sales is not about closing a sale; it is about relationships. It is important to me that my team is happy and motivated.
I came from the bottom, and I worked my way up. I like to say that I had a headset just like the rest of my team. I understand what it is like to be an agent, to have that headset on for eight hours a day. When I am working with my team, I always ask myself ‘What would I want my manager to do for me?’ or ‘How would I want my manager to act in a situation like this?’ I like to do special things for my team members, like mailing birthday cards to their home or taking them out to dinner. I believe in treating everyone as an equal, and I would only ask someone to do something that I myself would do. To me, that’s a team effort.
What motivates me?
I came from a family of 14 grandchildren and grew up on a farm in Maryland. I was the first one to leave, and to go to college. That motivates me. Having a successful team motivates me. Hearing “great job” from the owner of the company motivates me. Failure is not an option for me, I take failure real hard and try to stay away from that. Sure, there are bad days and bad weeks. When things aren’t going well, I try to figure it out and build on that. When my team is growing and successful – that’s success for me.
I consider myself a brave person. On the farm, we ate eggs, milked cows and I never went to the grocery store until I was 13. I always thought I’d be there forever. For me to venture out was a big deal, a risk. But that’s what led me here, and I am so grateful and thankful for this company and the opportunities here.
What’s your life like outside of work?
Outside of work, I spend a lot of time with my kids, ages 8 and 15. We love to go to the beach. I also love dancing – I was a tap dancer until the age of 16. My best friend and I love Spanish dancing. I’ve been in Florida for 10 years and love it here. I left the farm and came to Florida and have been here ever since.