Employee Stories

Beyond the Sales – Shari Guest

Shari Guest got her start selling Simply Accounting software in a call centre 20 years ago. It’s not the easiest or most fun way to start a sales career, but Shari seems born for it. As a Packaging Specialist in the Folding Carton, Retail Packaging Division, she brings a love of people and 12 years of experience at GLBC to the job every day.

folding carton packaging specialist headshot
Folding Carton Packaging Specialist – Shari Guest: Beyond the Sales

Why did you choose a career in sales?

I like to think that I didn’t choose sales, but sales chose me. I was a hairdresser for many years, loved it, and then got into a car accident and could no longer do it. I then got a great job at BC Hydro, but I felt like it wasn’t enough for me. My partner at the time was working for Sage Software and I just happened to see a job posting for their outbound selling group. I decided to apply on a whim, thinking that I wouldn’t get the role, but I did. I found that I loved selling and talking to people every day so much. From there I realized that I didn’t want to sit in an office all day, but I wanted to be outside selling and I guess that was how I progressed, and things fell into place for me!

What are some keys to your success as a salesperson in the packaging industry?

I believe there are many things that have helped me along the way as a salesperson in the packaging industry. I’ve had some great mentors in my life who have made an impact on my sales career.

Listening is one of the key components in selling and so I’m really focused on that. I’m a relationship builder; that’s one of my key attributes as to why I am successful in my role.

What interests you most about being in the Folding Carton division?

Folding Carton keeps me interested because of the diversity! Every day is different, and I am always learning.

What do you find most rewarding about being in sales?

At GLBC, we have goals that are set so when I reach those goals, I find it really rewarding. Working with the people at GLBC is also rewarding to me and makes the job a lot more fun.

What were your biggest challenge(s) and how did you overcome them?

Changing territories has been a challenge, especially in the last couple of years due to COVID. I had decided to take on the U.S. territories and was extremely excited to get out there. I was only in the territory for six weeks and then COVID shut everything down. I’ve only been in the US twice in the past two years. My biggest challenge with this was forging relationships, getting to know the lay of the land, and building leads.

I really had to adapt. I used online resources to do my research, relied on the team in Everett, set up virtual meetings with my customers, and focused on what I could do and not on what I couldn’t do. I had to resort to different and inventive ways to produce some leads. Some were more successful than others, but I just kept pushing forward and knowing that it would all work out.

What advice would you give yourself 5 years ago regarding sales?

Persevere and don’t give up!

Always get out there and force yourself out of your own comfort zone as it allows you to learn and grow.

What is your favourite memory at GLBC/Ideon Packaging?

There are so many great ones – it’s hard to just pick one!

  • The box goal trips are always super fun as they give you an opportunity to get to know various people from other departments.
  • I’ve loved the charity days that I’ve got to volunteer for. GLBC is so fantastic in that they support charities that employees are passionate about.
  • The people at GLBC have made the best memories for me. The trips, the support, and the camaraderie are just incomparable.

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