Making It Happen

Abel MariotSince I first joined AWISCO almost six years ago, I’ve been doing everything I can to grow myself and the company. I began my career as a warehouse rep in our Maspeth, NY branch. I dedicated myself to the job and six months later, when a counter sales position opened up, I jumped at the opportunity. I spent five years working the counter in Maspeth before earning another promotion last fall. In October 2009, I became the branch manager of AWISCO’s West Orange, NJ, branch.

The transition from counter sales to branch manager took some work, but it wasn’t overly difficult. I was the senior salesperson at my previous store, so I already had quite a bit of responsibility. The biggest thing I had to get used to is the amount of paperwork that goes with the position.

I’ve been on the job for just over four months now and I’ve really hit my stride. Traffic in the store is up quite a bit since I got here. When I first started, we had about 20-25 customers every day. Now it’s up to about 45-50. I think a big reason for the increase is my ability to communicate with our Spanish speaking customers. They appreciate having someone who can relate directly to them.

It’s not just the Spanish-speaking customers, though. I try to relate to every single person who comes through the door. Especially in this industry, we’re often faced with different cultures and different demands. The key is figuring out how to best serve each individual. The trick to pulling it off goes back to the golden rule—treat your customers the way you want to be treated. It doesn’t matter if you’re having a bad day, you have to check your baggage at the door and stay positive for the customers.

That’s what it all comes down to. Everything we do is for the customer. That feeling you get when a customer walks out of the store happy, with exactly what they need, it’s why we do what we do. If I can convey that same attitude to my employees, then I’ve done my job.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Abel Mariot Meet the Author
Abel Mariot is branch manager of AWISCO’s West Orange, NJ, branch. The Maspeth, NY-based company can be found on the Web at