2004 Sales rep of the year: Dustin Perry
by Mike Ralston
Passionate. Team player. Creative thinker. Tireless worker. These are just a few of the phrases that customers and colleagues alike use to describe Prince Sports’ Dustin Perry. And those are big reasons why Perry has been chosen RSI’s 2004 Sales Rep of the Year. As a sales territory manager for Prince Sports, Perry manages product levels in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, South Dakota and Illinois (except Chicago). He has a base of 350-plus clients for the Prince Sports brand, including apparel, footwear, soft goods and hard goods. “Dustin is immersed in the community,” says Ken Diller, western regional vice president for Prince Sports. “He is always looking for ways to service his clients better and is willing to take time away from his sales duties in trying to make Prince Sports a better brand.” Adds Perry: “I just feel it’s important to go directly to the consumer with product, and to ensure that it’s the best product for their needs.”
“Dustin is highly regarded for his creativity and work ethic and has done a lot of work to re-establish Prince Sports throughout the USTA Missouri Valley Section. For the past couple of years, he has helped sponsor our local USA Team Tennis (Youth) team for district, sectional and regional competition,” says Bunny Bruning, president of the USTA Missouri Valley Iowa District.
A native of Mattoon, Ill., Perry and Prince Sports are linked with several charitable organizations in the community, including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Miracle Match Foundation, a non-profit organization working to find a cure for leukemia and other stem-cell related diseases. Perry was also instrumental in implementing Prince Plugged In, a national grassroots promotional campaign that links all of the junior tennis academies across the country and provides resources to help market their respective programs and maximize player development for the long-term benefit of the game. “Our goal is to provide more assets to the academies, which will allow them to share information and techniques, and link them with national and collegiate coaches such as Jose Higueras, Craig Tiley, and Rodney Harmon,” says Perry.
The Mike Wolf Tennis Academy, a prominent junior academy located in Overland Park, Kan., served as the pilot program of the Prince Plugged In initiative. “It’s a great cohesive program that allows us to stay in touch with other academies and provides great exposure for our kids,” says Wolf. Other top professionals who have joined the Prince Plugged In program include Trent Tucker Tennis Academy and Doug Boswell Tennis Academy in Tulsa. “The Prince Plugged In program has been receiving great feedback in Tulsa,” says Boswell. “Prince Sports has been really supportive of the kids.”
The 2002 National Apparel Salesperson of the Year, Perry is also a member of the Prince Sports Shoe Design Team and will help launch the Viper III and T-10 in February. “I enjoyed the whole process,” says Perry. “I love the fact that, as a company, Prince Sports cares enough about the tennis player to let more than one person design something out of personal preferences. It was a complete group effort.” Sums up Diller, again using those catch-phrases that Perry tends to elicit: “He’s tireless in providing feedback and willing to go above and beyond to ensure the consumer is satisfied.”
Perry’s Tips for Success
- To make sure consumers get what they want, you need to listen to them.
- Always look for new marketing ideas to help promote the game.
- Get and stay heavily involved in tennis in the community. It helps you stay in tune with your customers and market.
- Be willing to change and make adjustments in plans, programs, etc.