When John Kettler landed his job as a salesman at Wallside Windows in 1983, he was one of four people with the job title. Today, as he holds the distinction of the longest-serving salesman at the Taylor-based company, there are nearly 60 others on the job.
A lot has changed at Wallside Windows during John’s tenure.
“Now, there’s a lot of choices,” he says. “When I started at Wallside, you could buy our window in every color you wanted - as long as it was white.”
Over the years, John has earned the freedom to travel the world. Most recently he spent a month in Australia and New Zealand. He also enjoys part of the winter in Arizona every year, while still working the job he loves.
What hasn’t changed over the years is the company’s commitment to its employees and customer service, which are also key things that have kept John so devoted to his work selling Wallside’s high-quality, replacement vinyl windows.
Thinking back on his long career with the company — which began after earning a business degree at Eastern Michigan University and spending a few years in insurance— John says working for Wallside may be the best decision he ever made.
“Mr. (Martin) Blanck was really moral about customers, that’s for sure,” he says, “ always taking care of what needed to be taken care of, and that’s the way I always tried to be.”
To provide great customer service, John makes sure to follow up with potential customers after they receive their estimate. He also takes it upon himself to visit installations and the glass factories, so he has a clear understanding of what customers get with Wallside, from the factory build to installation.
“I think it’s important for a salesperson to go out and see the jobs. When you see the installer doing the work, it helps you,” he says.
He says it’s also important not to be disappointed when a sale doesn’t come through.
“You have to do the follow up. You cannot get disappointed as far as not selling. You have to say, ‘The next one’s going to be a sale,’” he says, adding that Wallside salesman have great products to stand behind.
Kettler says he closes 65 to 60 percent of his potential sales, compared to the industry average of just 12 percent. “It’s all about timing; it’s talking to the right person,” he says.
Even after more than three decades and what he estimates to be 30,000 sales, John says his work is still challenging, and that he maintains the drive to succeed. Every year, he writes out his goals.
“You’ve got to be motivated. You’ve got to be driven,” he says.
John is married with two adult sons and five grandkids, ranging from 2 months to 17 years old. He lives in Trenton, and loves to golf and travel. He hopes his next big trip will be a visit to St. Petersburg, Russia, next year. In the meantime, he’ll be visiting potential Wallside Windows customers and following up with current customers across Southeastern Michigan and beyond.
Considering new windows? Contact Wallside Windows today for your free estimate. Visit WallsideWindows.com/estimate or call 1-800-521-7800.