One-on-One with Tim Nass, Safti First's New VP of National Sales
August 25, 2011

By Sahely Mukerji

Safti First in San Francisco has named Tim Nass as vice president of national sales.™ spoke to Nass today about his new position, priorities and the challenges the industry is facing. Excerpts from the interview are below; look for an upcoming issue of USGlass to read the full interview.

USGNN: What duties does your new job include?

TN: My primary duties are with the outside sales force. Safti First is fortunate to have one the best sales team in the industry. When the executive committee establishes a business plan, it is my job to make sure that it is executed in the field. It must be executed consistently on a national, regional and local level.

USGNN: What are the top three things on your agenda for the new position?

TN: I don't want to sound like a presidential candidate here but, education is number one. Fire-rated [glazing] is a code-driven product, but also an application-driven product. We need to educate design professionals, installers and owners so they can specify, install and purchase a product that not only enhances the occupant's safety, but meets their aesthetic requirements, and, most importantly, their budget. As a company, Safti puts a tremendous emphasis on continuing education seminars and product promotion…

USGNN: What are your customers' most common questions?

TN: "What do I need here?" I don't mean that to be glib, but the truth is this is new territory for a lot of our customers and their estimators or project managers. One gentleman told me, "Every time I install a fire-rated system it is my first time installing a fire-rated system." I understand that not everyone deals with fire-rated glazing on a daily basis, our goal is to make it easy to understand, easy to purchase and easy to install.

USGNN: What is your biggest professional pet peeve?

TN: I am all for promoting the features and benefits of a product. Business is business, and I typically don't take things personally, but negative selling is straight out of the '70s. I don't like it and don't tolerate it.

USGNN: Where do you see the industry in the next five years?

TN: It won't be a "niche" product anymore, I can tell you that. Companies are competing for fewer projects; as a result, they need to grab as much scope as they can when they can. We are dealing with some major players in the glazing industry. It is fun and exciting, that is for sure.

USGNN: What advice would you give to someone just starting out in this industry?

TN: Go back to school and become a lawyer! You must be humble, because most of what is learned is learned through experience. You cannot be afraid to make a mistake or admit you just don't know the answer. Eventually, the pieces fall into place and it becomes second nature. The first week of my first job at a window company, a customer called and asked me about our glazing rabbit. I was too embarrassed to tell him I had no idea what he was talking about. Finally, I broke down and asked. He was referring to a gasket used in marine glazing of a sliding window. When you look at it in section it looked like two "bunny ears sticking up." I thought "give me a break!" There is no text book for stuff like that.

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