11 Feb Interview with Dan “Patio” Dalton
Because Dan “Patio” Dalton is our remote sales-professional who lives in the lap of luxury and warmth in sunny Southern California, we never see him in our own CTW Chicago office, only hear his voice every Wednesday morning at our all team meeting.
For those of us who haven’t met Dan face-to-face, but just know him by his famed alias “Patio”, I decided to interview him and find out a little more about Dan, as well as get some inside sales tips.
Q: Tell me a little about yourself Dan
A: Well, I’m a Chicago Native. North side, I went to St. Peter’s, then Notre Dame High School. Went into the Navy, they asked me where I wanted to go, I said sunny California but ended up going so far West I went East. Ended up in Tokyo for two years.
Q: Why do people call you patio?
A: You know I branded myself. And it worked. Riverside Press Enterprise moved me out to Redlands, near Palm Springs. I’ve got a custom pool house built in the late 70’s. It’s a right angle ranch house. Doesn’t look super nice from the front but there’s a patio out back with a pool and spa. So I created this image, this brand, of me working on my patio in 75-degree weather. I branded myself. Even the logo, people recognize the image of me on my patio. You know at a conference, I was talking to this guy, and then he looked back down at my nametag and recognized the image and goes “You’re Patio!”
Q: How did you get into sales?
A: Oh I’ve been selling things ever since I was a kid. I would go and sell door to door. Seeds, catalogues, shoveling snow, paper run.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being a sales man?
A: The best thing? The banter, the back and forth, finding out what’s really going on. The Worst? It’s a double-edged sword, the people are the worst. It depends what you get because the banter can be great, or, the people can be terrible to deal with.
Q: How Long have you been with CTW?
A: Let me check in this box over here… 2003, no 2004, February 2004.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about working for CTW?
A: I like that it’s the news, I’ve been involved in the news for years.
Q: What do you think of the news and publishing business now in its current state?
A: Platforms canvases are always gonna change, always gonna change state. Someone still has to craft a story.
Q: What do you think about the Internet?
A: It’s fascinating. Not clearly defined yet. And it’s really interesting that it was created for the Department of Defense. How much do they really know?
Q: How do you like California?
A: Well, I heard that California was populated by nut jobs. And the people there perpetuated this to keep people away from the state. It’s like watermelon in a boa constrictor; all the baby boomers are retiring and looking to move to the south-west, but there’s not any room for them.
Q: What’s a typical day for the patio?
A: Well, now because of the Internet and iphone, there’s no typical day. I’m constantly interacting with folks, bantering. Now, I’m always tethered because of the Internet and the iphone, so everyday is different.
Q: Any sales tips for a beginner sales man or woman?
A: The art of selling is a billion plus dollar business. It’s easy to break down: The more doors you knock on, the more likely you are to pop something. It’s funny, it’s odds populated by odd people.