The Reynolds and Reynolds Company, which is celebrating 150 years in business in 2016, is a leading provider of software, business forms and professional services to automotive dealerships in Canada. While some aspects of its business have changed overtime, its employees continue to deliver on long-standing hallmarks of the Reynolds brand: delivering great products through great teamwork.
To help accomplish these aims, Reynolds is committed to employee development from day one. Reynolds offers long-term career development, in-depth mentorship, and advancement opportunities to help its employees succeed.
To gain an idea of how the company helps employees grow in their job roles and achieve their individual goals, we interviewed an entry-level Account Manager as well as a senior-level Regional Sales Director to learn how their careers have advanced at Reynolds.
If anyone can attest to the longevity and advancement a career with Reynolds and Reynolds can offer, it is Gerry Santoianni. As the Regional Sales Director for Eastern Canada, Gerry is in charge of sales for the entire region, a role that he has held for 16 years.
As a Regional Sales Director, Gerry leads a team of Account Managers who are responsible for selling the company’s software and services to dealerships. He talks to his team members throughout the day to discuss what new business they are working on and provides coaching to help them become better in every aspect of their role. He also supports his team on the road, travelling an average of three days a week to visit different clients and give them hands-on help to improve their operations.
Although he has been with Reynolds for many years, Gerry’s first day with the company was like any new recruit’s would be. He felt excited, was a little nervous, and knew he had a lot to learn.
Looking back on his very first day with the company, Gerry notes he spent a lot of his time reading up on the services the company had to offer and the many ways Reynolds helps dealerships grow their businesses. He also spent time in the Reynolds call centre, where he learned more about how Reynolds’ teams work together to support clients.
To acquire the perspective of someone who had years of experience in the industry, Gerry was initially mentored by Account Managers and other Regional Sales Directors, learning from their experiences with the company. Today, Gerry says his success as a company leader is due in large part to the mentorship and training he has received over his career.
“I’ve had several mentors in my time with Reynolds and Reynolds,” says Gerry. “These relationships have helped me to be a better presenter and speaker, and have encouraged me to succeed and model myself on other great achievers who I admire.”
Alongside hands-on learning experiences, Reynolds also offers online training courses for employees. Through these courses, employees can learn more about the company’s products and develop their skills in all areas of business.
Even as a senior leader with Reynolds, Gerry continues to learn more about his field. To keep building his knowledge, he participates in continuous training on new products, sales techniques, and the automotive industry.
This commitment to long-term training and mentorship has made an undeniable impact on Gerry’s career. Along with stronger sales and presentation skills, an encyclopedic knowledge of industry terminology, and a deep understanding of the business world, he has also developed strong relationships with his co-workers and clients.
At the end of the day, Gerry has enjoyed a rich and rewarding career thanks to the professional development opportunities Reynolds offers its employees. While many of the greatest lessons he’s learned over the years have come from his training, others have come from experience, providing insights that he can now pass on to other employees.
1.Take the training process seriously, as your industry knowledge will play a major role in your future with the company.
2. Get to know the company’s products and believe in them so that you can sell them to someone else.
3. Come to work with an open mind to be able to adapt to any situation that is presented to you.
As an Account Manager with Reynolds and Reynolds, Connor McCardle’s days are packed with different learning opportunities, all of which have aided his career development. For him, a regular day includes visiting clients to help ensure they are satisfied with the company’s products and services, identify ways to help them run more efficient, profitable businesses, and uncover new sales opportunities.
After graduating from Laurier University with a Business degree, Connor was looking for a career in Marketing or Sales with an established company. It was important that he find an organization that delivered quality products and made a meaningful difference in clients’ daily lives. He was hired by Reynolds, a company that surpassed these requirements.
“I didn’t want to promote and sell something I couldn’t believe in myself. Reynolds and Reynolds really does offer me that confidence,” says Connor. “In this role I get to see the difference in the way our clients operate before and after the implementation of our solutions. It’s rewarding to hear the feedback first hand from the people using our software.”
Finding a career where he could make a difference and see the impact of his work was just the beginning of what Connor has gained from working with Reynolds. From his first day, he has benefitted from career development opportunities, mentorship, and even the opportunity to travel across Canada.
“This job is a great opportunity to see our beautiful country!” he says, pointing out an unexpected benefit of his role in Sales at Reynolds.
For Connor, one of the greatest aspects of his career is the opportunity to meet and work with talented people from many different fields. He notes that a team player mentality and a collaborative attitude are staples of Reynolds’ company culture. On his first day, when he was understandably nervous, he was introduced to everyone at the office so he could meet other employees and learn how different departments contribute to the company’s success.
Connor’s career development has been enhanced by mentorship opportunities; he started out by learning from other sales representatives and leaders in other departments to learn about all aspects of the business. In addition, he has formed relationships with people all across North America through his role with Reynolds, including clients and people he’s met at company events and during his training abroad. He has learned lessons that have enriched his professional life and influenced him personally.
“From this career, and from my co-workers, I’ve learned perseverance and resilience. You have to bounce back if you don’t win a sale and learn how to keep your head up when the going gets tough. These lessons aren’t just useful for your career, but they’re also good for your personal life,” he says.
For Connor, the relationships and collaborations he has formed through his career have contributed to his success. He has been able to learn from his clients, many of whom are inspiring entrepreneurs who share their business advice. Within Reynolds, he has made connections with Vice Presidents, Regional Sales Directors, and many of the company’s top sales reps.
“These people are motivational; they want to help you be successful,” says Connor. “You will be recognized by them if you work hard.”
In his jam-packed days, Connor is able to work on many different projects and experience a range of areas, such as sales, negotiation tactics, customer service, and relationship building. While it could be overwhelming to learn so much at once, Reynolds provides employees with documentation and other resources. Employees also can count on their co-workers to help answer questions.
With the advent of exciting new technologies like connected cars and electric vehicles, it is an exciting time in the automotive industry. Developments like these also can offer opportunities for growth for Reynolds and at Reynolds. Connor noted that when he was starting out, he mainly assisted other Account Managers, whereas now he has a roster of clients under his responsibility.
“There’s always opportunity for growth,” Connor says.
No matter what changes the industry holds, one thing is sure: Reynolds is helping its employees build their careers, now and for the long run.
1. Work hard and work smart by prioritizing important tasks.
2. Take the time to do things right; don’t be lazy.
3. Always find a way to de-stress. Let problems roll off your back and don’t take things too personally.