Ask Debbi Golden why she still looks forward to coming to work after 35 years as a sales representative for Imperial Coffee in Toronto and she has a simple answer: “Every day is a new day”.
“We combine old fashioned service with the latest equipment and technology, so the product almost sells itself, says Debbi, who began her career with Imperial as a 21-year-old “fresh off the boat from Winnipeg.”
That was back in the days of glass pots and burners.”But everyone wanted one,” recalls Debbi. After all, Imperial Coffee pioneered office coffee in Canada more than 40 years ago.
Debbi says one thing that has never changed is the compan’s commitment to excellence and customer service. So her sales philosophy is to never burn a bridge.
“If a prospect doesn’t buy today, maybe they ll buy in six months or two years,” explains Debbi, who handles corporate sales in Toronto. Another thing that hasn’t changed very much over the years is one of Debbie’s main sales tools: offering a free trial. “I just say ‘would you like free coffee for your office for 5 days?’ Who can say no to that?”
Debbi says that she enjoys getting dressed professionally and meeting all kinds of people. She emphasizes the importance of being a good listener.
She credits much of her success to keeping up to date with the latest beverage trends and the changing neighborhoods of Toronto. For instance, she noticed the Don Mills and Lawrence area is booming with new construction. So she made it a point to be on top of things, even going so far as to approach construction workers about who she might talk to.
Debbi says specialty coffees and green teas are now a much bigger part of the product mix than they were just a few years ago. There is also increased interest in Imperial’s socially conscious offering, like Cafe Feminino, which helps impoverished women in South America build better lives.
She sums it all up this way:
“I’ve had a lifetime of happiness.”