Matthew Del Valle
Owner, Stan Miller & Associates LLC Powered by Proforma
Bedford Hts., OH
1) What did you do before entering the promotional industry?
B2B sales for Staples.
2) How did you get started in the promotional industry?
One of my customers at Staples was Stan Miller & Associates Powered by Proforma. I had a great relationship with the owner, and he saw potential in me within the promotional industry. He also saw that I was getting burned out with my current position. He offered me a position in the company, and I took a leap of faith. I knew my opportunity for growth was limited in my previous job. I officially started in July 2012. Although I didn’t have the expansive product knowledge that others did, I relied on my work ethic and communication skills and hit the ground running. There were days where I would cold call and see 40+ businesses a day. I networked as much as possible. I built my portfolio of clients up and had continual growth every year. In 2017, the owner came to me and said he wanted to retire. He asked if I wanted to take over the business. With the help of Proforma and our legal counsel, we worked out a buyout and exit strategy. In April 2018, I became the owner.
3) What markets/industry does your business flourish in right now?
We focus on GEM – Government, Education and Medical.
4) What do you like most about working in this industry? What do you like least?
I enjoy the freedom and opportunity to service all clients with our expansive product lines. Whether it is promo, apparel, print or other branded merchandise, there’s pretty much nothing we can’t do. Proforma is a leader in the industry with a plethora of resources for us to be successful. I love our clients and working with them on a daily basis to provide new ideas.
As in any job, there is the pressure to perform at a high level. In our industry, deadlines are crucial. This is more of a microcosm of our society, as we want our products and services yesterday. Our company has a very high success rate of meeting events and deadlines. However, it can be stressful at times for our team. It’s a collaborative effort on all ends as I know our vendors feel the same way.
5) What do you think the up-and-coming generation of business professionals will bring to this industry?
Innovation and fresh ideas. There are untapped markets that the new generation of sales reps and owners will have tons of opportunity in. The technology is evolving and those who can adapt are the ones who will be at the forefront.