Readers of this newsletter are familiar with a recurring feature called “Getting To Know A Fox.” It highlights our main asset: Our people. We talk to team members about things like business philosophy, career highlights and their personal avocations.
Our goal was (and is) to use this channel for you to get to know us a little bit better. We focus on one Fox Associates team member at a time, with a brief, engaging semi-biography.
In November, for our first installment, we started, appropriately, with our CEO and founder, Marlys Fox, the industry icon and pioneer who launched this company in 1968. With our February issue, we chatted with Executive Vice President and COO Steve Schwanz, who’s the longest-serving employee other than Marlys Fox herself. Now we’d like to introduce Tina Riley, one of our frontline sellers, who carries the official title of vice president and senior account director at the company.
Here’s Tina’s take on a variety of business and biographical details. As always, we’re pleased to share it with the extended Fox Associates family.
Fox Tales: I once heard that marketers prefer to work with sales teams that they like as people. I’ve often followed that premise as best I can. Tell us about your approach to relationship building, and whether you can quantify the value of it—in size of an annual spend, in lifetime value, in trust.
Tina Riley: I approach my relationship building with my clients with the premise that I must and will always earn their trust first and therefore their continual business. I believe in long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial, and I hope I’m liked for my efforts as a result.
Fox Tales: Another one of my sales observations: In the old days, a salesperson’s primary job was finished when the I/O came in. After that it was on to the production department, and it was a relatively light lift. Now, though, campaign management after the sale is much more complex and it can be tricky—there are an awful lot of moving parts, and often, marketers expect leads. Tell us about how that’s changed for you and your customers.
Riley: Passing the I/Os has not been my style—I like to see things through. I listen to my customers’ needs and offer my expertise. Based on what they’re looking to accomplish, I try to accommodate those needs and share pertinent information that will make their decision-making process easier.
Fox Tales: What’s the Fox Associates ethos when it comes to working with your customers and your customers’ customers?
Riley: We view our relationships with our clients (our publishers) as a strategic-business partnership and therefore we work diligently for them and their clients (our advertisers) equally.
Fox Tales: Tell us about yourself. Where have you lived, where do you live now and what do you like best about those places.
Riley: I was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, and migrated to Chicago at the age of 10 with my immediate family. I can say, I’ve lived in two beautiful countries and love both.
Fox Tales: How long have you been with the company?
Riley: Seven years.
Fox Tales: What are your avocations?
Riley: I enjoy cooking, baking, gardening, and most of all spending time with my family. I would like to travel more.
Fox Tales: Tell us something about yourself that is sort of surprising—a skill, an experience, etc.
Riley: Some years ago, I made the decision to go back to Greece and live like a citizen again, as an adult this time. This gave me the experience of a lifetime—I had an opportunity to teach English as a second language to high schoolers at a private school. They were the most amazing young people.