Team TDG: Shannon Riffle
About thirty-eight miles north of Kansas City is the tiny little town of Holt, Missouri. With an area of only 0.45 sq. mi., and a total population of 447 people, Holt is the kind of village where everybody knows everybody…and, as they like to say in rural communities, everybody knows everybody’s business.
Holt also holds a dubious distinction – on June 22, 1947, a storm rolled through the region and dropped 12-inches of rainfall in just 42 minutes. To this day Holt holds the World Record for the fastest accumulation of rainfall.
Holt is Home
Perhaps a more certain distinction is that Holt is also home to The DaVinci Group’s Regional Sales Manager Shannon Riffle. To his neighbors in this tiny country community, Shannon is simply that nice single Dad of three boys – Dylan (22-yrs), Cole (20-yrs) and Ethan (12-yrs) – who is always friendly…and ever-ready to help out by, say, volunteering to coach the local sports team.
But make no mistake, when it’s time to get down to business, Shannon – a longtime motorcycle enthusiast – is ready to hop on his Harley Davidson, get his motor running…head out on the highway…and spread the word about The DaVinci Group brands, TDG Audio and Vanguard Dynamics.
Perhaps it is fitting that Shannon actually started his career in 1992 selling 12-volt electronics with CPS Distributors. In 1997, seeing a trend favoring home audio lines, Shannon moved to Audio, Etc., an industry rep firm that represented about 35 lines for the residential market. One of those lines he represented was SpeakerCraft, which eventually came to offer Shannon a position as their Midwest Regional Sales Manager.
It was at SpeakerCraft that Shannon had the opportunity to work with Jeff Francisco, who a few years later would offer Shannon his current position with The DaVinci Group.
Back With the Team
“I wanted to be back with the team, especially Jeff,” Shannon said. “It’s all about people you want to do business with…and it’s all about trust. And I trust Jeff. TDG is a good team of people who work really hard every day.”
According to Shannon, the best thing about working at TDG is the products and the people…especially the dealers. “It’s not like I’m calling on ‘dealers,’” Shannon said. “It’s like I’m calling on friends…friends who happen to be business partners with me.”
Help Dealers Grow Their Business
Shannon has a unique approach to growing sales of TDG products in his region. To accomplish this, he says he tries really hard to help his dealers grow their overall business…not just cram in more TDG products into their back rooms.
“If I can help them grow their overall business, then my business will grow with it,” he said.
Shannon’s sales acumen came naturally, as his father was once the Vice President of Dr. Pepper in the Midwest in charge of sales. Somehow this all makes sense – Dr. Pepper is a brand with a quirky brand personality. And Shannon is a road warrior with a bit of a quirky personality as well.
So what are some of the challenges Shannon sees out on road during his travels on behalf of The DaVinci Group?
“I think the biggest challenge we have as a company is that our ideas are so new to people that they almost have to ‘live it’ to understand it,” Shannon told us. “Like the whole concept of how we put our money where our mouth is – the WarrantyPlus program. When I explain that to people they kind of look at me funny. I have to tell them, ‘No, I’m serious, if we make a mistake we’ll pay for it.’ That’s a new thing for people to understand. ”
Shannon is referring to The DaVinci Group’s popular WarrantyPlus Program, where the company will provide an uninstall allowance to integrators to offset their installation costs in a warranty replacement situation. The DaVinci Group created this concept that is now being copied by some of its competitors.
The Best Business Partner
“We’re just trying to be the best business partner that we can be with you – not just sell you products, but helping your business overall,” Shannon tells dealers. “We understand profits and losses, and we understand the custom installation world because we’ve been in it for so long.”
And to do that, Shannon is likely to mount up on one of his nine motorcycles to head out on the road.
“When I go out to call on dealers, I’ll take my Beamer [BMW motorcycle] because I can get more samples in it.”