I have started this article six times. Every time I think I have gotten a handle on how to introduce this young man, I always wind up starting over – not because I have nothing to say about him but, because I have so much and I don’t know where to begin.
Chris “Pizz” Pizzi came to us in, October of 2021, and it has been a wild ride ever since. If you get a chance to talk to both of us together, you would get something similar to a comedic routine of Dwight and Jim from, “The Office.”
The first day Pizz started with us, we got into a “discussion” with our Production Manager about all of the new ways that The Sales & Marketing Team was going to go. We talked about things like monster trucks, a fire engine or two and how many new people he was going to have to hire just to keep up with the sales team. After us verbally “tag teaming” him for several minutes, Steve finally threw his hands up in the air to surrender and as he backed away he said, “I’m going back to my office just to get away from you two!” It was at THAT moment that I realized I liked Pizz and saw the potential, in not just him, but in US as a team.
Chris is brash, bold, thoughtful and clever. He has brought a breath of fresh air to our office and showed an old guy like me that there is more than one way to approach things. His welcoming demeanor is only over-shadowed by his quick sense of humor. I wish I could tell you that I have taught him many things about our industry but I am afraid he has taught me more about sales in general. What I found was that it’s not just enough to work side-by-side with someone, you have to know that the other members of your team have your back; you have to have faith in them as well. In some of my hardest moments Pizz has bragged about me, defended me and just listened to me; he fits well into this team at ServPro.
So, here you go “Probie,” thanks for teaching the old dog some new tricks.
Industry Highlight: Chris Pizzi
What Agency do you represent?:
ServPro of the St Croix Valley and ServPro of Stillwater, Oakdale, Mahtomedi
What is the Web Address for your office?
How old is your Agency?
What’s your position?
Business Development Representative, specializing in commercial sales
How long have you been in this position?
Since October 2021.
How long have you been in the industry?
2 years, then took a sabbatical, and now 4 years straight
How long have you been with this company?
10 glorious months
What’s your favorite thing about this position?
I get to talk to and with people that have problems or situations that I have answers for
What are you most passionate about in your job?
Helping my neighbors pick up the pieces after a crappy (sometimes literal) day.
What motivates you at work?
My daughter. Everything she see’s she says she wants, and everything she wants I see she gets. Gotta be able to write them checks.
In your line of work, what do you see as the biggest problem?
The biggest obstacle I come across is a client’s inability to see what COULD happen within their facilities, and how a conversation or business relationship with me isn’t such a bad thing. Often the answer I get is “we have a team for that” when our capabilities are heads and shoulders above what they are prepared for.
What can I learn from your successes?
I don’t speak about my successes, only my failures. Failure is the success that we learn from. But if there is anything to learn, it’s that there’s no such thing as good luck, just hard work.
What makes you unique?
I have an ability to approach a situation without emotion, and try my best to see it from the eyes of everyone else. I also can name every 90’s country song by just hearing the first 3 cords.
How many of Sketch’s cards do you have?
Everyone of them for the past 10 months, as well as super-secret access to his web catalog.
What’s your favorite card back?
“Fish where you want” and a couple others that were not cleared for distribution.
During your day, how do you “turn it around” for others?
I find it’s much easier and much more relaxing to laugh than it is to stress and get upset. I find humor in some of the darkest times and have a way of snapping everyone back to reality. My wife tends to say “why can’t you just let me be mad” as I’m turning her grey skies blue.
What things do you see mostly that need to be “turned around” in your day?
This job! I have had more doors slammed in my face than I care to count, and I hear the horror stories from our technicians on what they encounter and the situations they find themselves in. But, we all show up everyday with a smile on our faces ready to make someone else’s bad day better.
What advice do you have for others in your position to “turn it around?”
Remove any preconceived notions about a situation, remove any bias about a claim, forget about what may seem as something standard or typical in this industry, and remember that someone’s bad day is our emergency too. Meeting a homeowner after a house fire and explaining the next steps is very routine for us, it’s “our Tuesday morning” as we say, but for that homeowner it’s potentially the worst day of their lives. Have empathy, have compassion, be that shoulder and listen to everything they say and ask. BUT, be that beacon they need to get through it.