Women of Industry | Meet Ville St. Laurent Territory Sales Manager, Josée Verrette
Hercules SLR celebrates women of industry at work and on our blog—Check it out and learn more about our Territory Sales Manager Josée Verrette, and her role at our branch in Ville St-Laurent, Quebec.
WOMEN OF INDUSTRY, JOSÉE VERRETTE | Tell us about your educational/professional background and your work experience before joining Hercules SLR?
Well, I had two businesses before I joined Hercules SLR—I was worked in armed security for residential and commercial properties.
Eventually, my partner and I sold the security business and I went into a catering business with my boyfriend. The catering industry wasn’t quite for me, and decided it would be better to separate my personal life from my work life.
I started to think about what I liked doing in my previous jobs, and how I could use that to look for the next role in my career. I realized when I owned my own business I enjoyed taking care of clients and customers the most—So I decided to make a shift to a customer service role, and it’s a perfect fit. I should have done it sooner!
WOMEN OF INDUSTRY, JOSÉE VERRETTE | Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?
I decided I wanted to work for a company that did something industrial, but most of the openings I saw expected you to have a lot of technical experience.
I stumbled across Hercules SLR and they weren’t seeking technical expertise—They had a lot of employees who knew the industry and product well, but were looking for personable employees who could lead with service and pick up the technical information as needed. It was a totally new industry, but I enjoyed it because it was a challenge to learn.
Another aspect of Hercules SLR which I thought was honestly very cool was CertTracker! I was particularly excited since I was taking on a service role, and CertTracker complements service perfectly.
For example, if a customer calls and asks which equipment they have under-the-hook or when their next inspection is, I’m able to tell them right away and it’s all in one convenient place.
It makes organization a breeze, too. I can pre-program CertTracker to send reminders to myself and the customer that inspections are approaching, and offer them spots to pre-book (inspections fill up fast!) The client doesn’t have to think about inspections or paperwork—This truly makes Hercules SLR a one-stop-shop!
WOMEN OF INDUSTRY, JOSÉE VERRETTE | Where have you traveled during your time at Hercules SLR?
So far, I’ve travelled to head office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. When I was hired, there was no Sales Manager here in Ville St-Laurent, so I did my interview with Troy, from head office and Mourad, the Quebec Area Manager.
After I was hired, I travelled to head office for some training.
I’ve travelled quite a bit throughout Quebec during my time with Hercules SLR because I had a large territory to cover—Around 1 1/2 hours from my place. Since last-month actually, my territory has gotten smaller, and now I just cover part of Montreal which doesn’t take me quite as far!
WOMEN OF INDUSTRY, JOSÉE VERRETTE | What kind of training have you completed at Hercules SLR?
I’ve completed a lot of internal training, something I love that’s available to us at Hercules SLR. I’ve completed the Fundamentals of Rigging course, Sling & Rigging course and Fall Protection training in Montreal with Ame, an Engineer at the Montreal branch.
When I came for my very first interview, I basically knew that Hercules SLR was a crane company.
WOMEN OF INDUSTRY, JOSÉE VERRETTE | Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?
You know what? Right now, I enjoy being here in Ville St-Laurent!
WOMEN OF INDUSTRY, JOSÉE VERRETTE | What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?
Well, when I first arrived at Hercules SLR the branches team had gotten smaller, which made it difficult to complete as much service as the branch was used to.
When I started making calls, I would tell prospective clients “Just try me—The worst thing that happens is you don’t like the service, but if you do, we’ll continue!”
A big success for me was a client that had chosen to have their service done by a different company—Which I saw as a challenge. I love a challenge! I offered to provide them service, and made sure to check-in with them and track their progress. Eventually, our branch was able to do their under-the-hook inspections and supply them slings.
WOMEN OF INDUSTRY, JOSÉE VERRETTE | What’s something you love about the securing, lifting and rigging industry?
It might seem funny, but I realized I enjoyed an industrial environment while operating my armed security company. There, we would install the trim-wiring in houses—When you purchase a new house, it contains all the wiring for an alarm system and you install it, so we worked alongside workers from the construction industry.
I love strapping on my hard hat and steel toes, and working alongside so many people with tons of technical knowledge—I learn something new in the securing, lifting and rigging industry everyday!
WOMEN OF INDUSTRY, JOSÉE VERRETTE | Give us some advice for young people who work, or want to work in an industrial environment:
I think experience in sales is a huge asset for working in this industry, and my role in particular. Here in Ville St-Laurent, I have a variety of roles day-to-day—From being on the road visiting clients, to working in my office, I love the freedom my role at Hercules SLR gives me. Sales experience helps you tremendously with customer service.
It allows you to learn the technical knowledge and deliver excellent valued, customer service. For example, I’ve worked with many crane technicians that have a lot of technical knowledge, but don’t always want to transition into sales. If you already have experience delivering great service and are eager to learn, you can go far in an industrial environment.