Employee Stories

Justin Tunstall: Running a Marathon, not a Sprint

Justin Tunstall, corrugated sales team member, comes by his knack for sales honestly.  With a grandmother who presided over Tupperware sales on the west coast, and parents who started their own distribution lines, he grew up a proper “Tupperbaby”. After a relatively brief foray into electrical work, the family profession called him back, and he accepted a job at Ideon Packaging in 2012.

“When I tell people that my profession is selling boxes, they’re always surprised that that could be a job,” he says, chuckling. “But I always say, ‘Everything in this room was in a box at some point, right? My job is to make sure that the things we rely on every single day make it from Point A to Point B safely.’”

With that clarity of intent and colourful way of expressing himself, it’s no wonder Justin has always been a key corrugated sales person at Ideon—and now Great Little Box Company. He’s deservedly proud of the book of business he has grown, and he’s clear about how he did it.

Man standing with corrugated sales display
Justin Tunstall shows off Corrugated display.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You want to get business by building a relationship, not by dropping prices. When you drop prices, your competitor will just retaliate, and then it’s a race to the bottom. You want to be the person that other people want to deal with. That takes time but it’s more sustainable.”

As a seriously relationship-oriented individual, navigating the COVID-19 pandemic was challenging. But he found creative ways to keep strengthening his bonds with customers.

“I kept going out on the road. I’d meet with people outside; I’d have tailgate parties with clients. And going through all of that together has only made those relationships stronger.”

Over the ten years he’s been building those relationships, he says the nature of his work hasn’t changed much—even if everything around him has.

“The territories have shifted, the budget has grown, but the job hasn’t changed. There are just bigger accounts. It’s been fun to be part of such major growth. I remember when we had to move our company meetings from the lunchroom to the plant floor because we needed more room for the team. That was exciting.”

A person as talented as Justin appreciates having room to grow, and that’s a need Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging (GLBC) has always met.

“We’re in a situation where everyone is a leader without a title. We have the power to make decisions. Management trusts us. When we want to develop ourselves, they support it. If I said, ‘Hey, there’s a seminar I want to take next week; here’s how much it costs,’ they’d be like, ‘Go for it!’”



This is part of a series of posts celebrating our team members on the occasion of our 40th Anniversary. GLBC’s story is all about people who care about their company and a company who cares about people. Read more here.

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