Jeff Skemp, client operations manager at Gro Alliance, shares the secret to working with new clients and how to uncover opportunities with existing clients.

Seed World: No.1 music genre?
Jeff Skemp:
Country music.

SW: Favorite sport?
JS:
As a former college basketball player, college basketball is the best sport!

SW: Any new year’s resolutions for 2019?
JS:
I struggle to put my phone down and be present, especially when I am at home with my wife and kids, so it is my focus to work on this going forward.

SW: What was your first job?
JS:
My first job was baling hay in small square bales and stacking them in barns for dairy farmers, which was a cash paying job. My first job where I actually got a check was working at Foot Locker as a sales associate.

SW: What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish for 2019?
JS:
We continue to uncover opportunities with our clients to be an integrated supply chain partner. It is my goal to see the current projects through, and provide our clients with the resources and support they need to make the projects successful in 2019 and beyond.

SW: Why did you decide to work on both educational committees for ASTA and IPSA?
JS:
I decided to get involved with both committees because, while I had some experience in farming, I did not have a background in the seed industry. I wanted to serve the associations, network, and broaden my understanding of the industry while learning from people who are veterans in the industry. At the same time, I wanted to work to ensure the educational opportunities I’ve benefited from are available to future generations of seed industry professionals.

SW: What’s your secret for working with new clients?
JS:
I think it is critical at the early stages of working with a new client to develop a relationship, and through that relationship you will build trust and a better understanding of each other’s businesses. The trust that builds will lead to mutual growth, new opportunities and the ability for us to work together for the long term.