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Development Group, Inc. is dedicated to providing the best service and support for all of our partners and customers every single day. What enables us to provide that service and support is our team. Our philosophy is to put the right people in place to give the customers what they need. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to introduce you to some of those key team members so you can see the faces and ideas that contribute to the success of our customers.

 

Meet the Team: Natalie Slocum

Meet Natalie Slocum, Senior Sales Account Manager

Natalie hails from Fresno, California, and has been with Development Group, Inc. for more than two years. Her background in technology solutions is extensive—she’s been in the industry for more than 10 years. That experience allows her to bring a lot of knowledge and strong relationships to the table for her DGI customers. Here’s what makes Natalie tick.

A Different Approach

One of the biggest benefits of working with DGI is that it allows Natalie to leverage her capacity for building strong relationships with her customers. She values taking the time with new customers to get to know them, their needs, and their challenges before even starting to discuss solutions.

According to Natalie, “If I’m meeting with a prospective customer, I don’t like to put a lot of pressure on them. I want to learn about their business and take the time to understand what’s important to them. If I learn about their role, what they’re trying to accomplish, and what roadblocks they’re hitting, I can be their partner and not just an account manager. I need that relationship before I want to sell something.”

Her connections with customers and partners are incredibly genuine. She’s much more than just an account manager with many of her clients. She even goes camping with one of her longest-standing clients and their entire IT department, families and all.

Natalie shares, “[Some customers] become good friends over time. I know their families, they know mine.”

Taking a Deep Dive

Natalie’s approach to building customer relationships goes way beyond what she gets out of it—in fact that’s the last thing she’s worried about. Her goal is to help her clients with their issues first and foremost.

“I [worry] about whatever is keeping [the customer] up at night. Having a partnership with them, being a trusted advisor, building that strong foundation allows me to take a deep dive into their business and helps them to really open up to me so I can get to the bottom of their issues faster and help them on a deeper level than I would be able to if I just had a surface-level understanding of their business.”

One of the benefits of building those relationships is the ability for Natalie to provide better, more comprehensive, and customized solutions for those organizations.

“If my customers need something, it’s easier for me to help them because I understand how their business works, what their budget cycles are, when they’re busy, and what their priorities are. This allows me to have a kind of a shorthand approach that facilitates faster solutions.”

A Holistic Approach

One of the reasons that Natalie enjoys working with DGI so much is the holistic approach we encourage for our entire staff. She appreciates that DGI’s standard for working with customers is much more about their entire structure and operations, rather than just a surface-level conversation about one piece of technology or one issue they’re dealing with.

“Now that I’ve been at DGI, [I’ve worked on] much more complicated projects. I think that’s where our approach is really different. It’s taking a couple steps back and analyzing it from a higher level instead of jumping right in. It’s the planning phases that have really impressed me.”

She was immediately excited by the culture and approach that DGI has instilled into the organization and the impact it has on her ability to provide those solutions for her customers.

“Instead of selling [my customers] piecemeal, it’s taking time to sit down and understand what they are trying to accomplish. I was already comfortable selling technology. Working with DGI has allowed me to understand how to approach it from a business side and work with entire architectures.”

Natalie also enjoys the family culture that exists at DGI.

“The team is very dynamic and close-knit. People don’t just clock in and clock out for their jobs. We actually know about one another, our personal lives, and our families.”

Additionally, the lack of bureaucratic obstacles that many IT professionals face simply don’t exist at DGI. This is another benefit that Natalie leverages to drive better results for her clients.

She jokingly says, “It doesn’t take an act of Congress to get things done – here I can get things done much faster. It’s one of the benefits of working at DGI. I can just go to leadership, and they will help me move the project along so my customers can get the benefits.”

A Few Tidbits

Natalie lives and works in Fresno, CA, with her husband and two children. Her husband is a firefighter and member of the Urban Search-and-Rescue Team. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, alternating between Orange Theory and yoga. She and her family love to travel, with adult-only trips throughout Asia and a recent family trip to Paris.

You can reach Natalie at nslocum@development-group.net to start building that relationship and getting her valuable input on how to accomplish your organizational objectives today!

Much of the success DGI has experienced in our ten years of operations results from having amazing team members in place who work tirelessly to help our customers find the right solutions to business objectives. This series is designed to introduce you to these team members and to get a peek behind the curtain to understand what makes our stellar team tick.

Meet the Team: Jason Jones

Meet Jason Jones, Senior Account Manager

Jason celebrated his fifth anniversary with DGI on April 1st, 2019 and his path to a customer-facing role with DGI is somewhat unique.

Jason’s background is in sales, but he started out selling luxury cars. As a manager for Lexus Mercedes for more than a decade, Jason learned the ins and outs of building long-term customer relationships, working with high-end products, and leading teams in successful projects.

When a position with DGI came became available, Jason jumped at the chance to dive into the technical world.

Jason says, “I’ve always wanted to be in the tech industry. I’m a geek at heart. [Working with DGI] was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

He spent his first few months at DGI diving into the background of the technology, reading books and watching videos so he could understand how to translate his customer needs into the solutions DGI creates.

It’s Not About What Jason Says

In fact, Jason probably isn’t doing the majority of the talking in any given meeting. A strategist at heart, he is a firm believer that the less he talks and the more he listens, the better the results he’s going to get for his clients.

Jason acknowledges, “I’m pretty quiet. I don’t talk much.”

In fact, you’re much more likely to find Jason taking notes.

“I’m not super technical, so if we get deep into the weeds, I will say, ‘Excuse me if I take notes.’”

That is actually one of the keys to getting his clients to open up to him. This different approach frequently brings the walls down with clients. Instead of showing how tech-savvy he is, Jason spends his time listening and documenting his client issues so he can come back with a solution that meets their needs.

Building a Relationship

Jason’s first step in getting clients to open up to him is to remove the common barriers between account manager and client. Jason does this by a forthright approach that involves mostly listening. He’s more interested in getting to know his customers, their needs, and what keeps them up at night than doing all of the talking. But there is something to be said about getting the conversation rolling.

Jason shares, “I give a story, I get a story. So I come in and tell my customers a little bit about me.”
This connection is what helps his clients to open up about their issues and problems.

“I’m not going to blow anyone away with a PowerPoint or whiteboarding. I mean, they get that every day. What they need is someone they can build trust with to help them move forward on large projects. I take a different approach. I ask, ‘How can I serve you?’”

He is interested in learning about what the customer is looking to accomplish and how he can contribute to that mission. He digs in to find out what they think about the next trend in technology, and where they’re running into road blocks.

And whether it’s a new organizational objective or helping his clients come up with the perfect marriage proposal idea (true story), Jason wants in on the action.

Go Big or Go Home

A luxury car sales manager-turned tech pro is not about to back down from any challenges, so Jason gets really excited about the big jobs.

Jason shares, “I think large projects are the most fun because they’re the most complicated. They take the most trust, and you have to build the relationship fast because they’re trusting you to get something done and with their future.”

But it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. In fact, he recently heard from a customer that their firewall was down, leaving them vulnerable to security issues. They needed a replacement immediately, something they were told couldn’t happen by the manufacturer. Jason jumped in, and soon his connections within that manufacturer were personally taking the item to FedEx to overnight it.

This is just one of the examples of how Jason likes to go big—it doesn’t have to be a big effort, but his commitment and service delivery are going to be huge every time.

He’s In It for the Culture

A big part of Jason’s success is the fact that his service-first philosophy is shared from the top down at DGI. He appreciates the teamwork culture, the shared credit for successes, and extra helping hands during big projects. It starts with using the same process, one that is results-oriented and customer-centric.

As Jason put it, “It’s definitely a team effort. It shows our customers that they can call on anyone on the sales side and get help. They can tell by our process that we really care.”

A Little Bit about Jason

Jason is a fantastic single dad to his 24-year-old daughter in law school, his 22-year-old son studying engineering at San Jose State, and his 17-year-old son who is bound for San Diego State in the fall. He has spent a lot of time coaching his athletic kids in many different sports, and the family enjoys fishing, wake surfing, and hiking together during their down time. Jason also likes to dabble in art – he’s even given a few tattoos (although it’s not a hobby he currently practices).

Reach out to Jason via email at jjones@development-group.net with any questions or interest you may have in using his skills to get your technology in check.