Colorado's Most Powerful Salespeople: Karl Heidgen
Karl Heidgen, 46
Vice president, custom sales, Pactimo LLC, Denver
WHAT HE DOES: Oversees and manages the entire sales teams in the U.S., United Kingdom and Europe and manages day-to-day operations of the custom division of Pactimo.
SALES PRODUCTION: Beginning with a sales base of $1.9 million in 2007, Heidgen’s annual percentage sales growth year-over-year since then has been 38 percent in 2008; 17 percent in 2009; 14 percent in 2010; and 22 percent in 2011. His sales for 2011 were $4.2 million, up 123 percent in the four-year period from 2007 to 2011.
KEY POINTS: Heidgen has led the sales team for the past seven years, during which Pactimo has experienced double-digit growth year-over-year and named to the INC 5000 fastest-growing companies list for three of those years.
THE PACTIMO STORY: Pactimo started in a basement about 10 years ago and today is known for some of the most innovative custom technical cycling, triathlon and running apparel in the industry.
SALES TIP: "Listen before you talk … which can be difficult for many salespeople," Heidgen says. "Find out your potential customers’ needs and make sure you and your products can offer them a solution BEFORE you try to sell them. Sales is relationships, so the conversation must go both ways."
HANDLING A ‘NO’: "No is only acceptable when dealing with your CFO, and even then you should look for a solution," Heidgen says. "Always be humble and maintain a good rapport no matter what the customer’s response may be. Things may change quickly, and your professional reply to a ‘no’ may earn you the same business you have been chasing."