Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the 33rd Annual National Sales and Marketing Awards Program put on by the members of SMEI Akron. Over 400 members and guests attended the gala dinner to honor 11 outstanding individuals in the community who were presented with the Distinguished Sales and Marketing Award.
One student from the University of Akron, Sara Eddy, was recognized as the "Exceptional Sales & Marketing Collegiate Award" recipient.
SummaCare President, Martin P. Hauser, was recognized as the SMEI Executive of the Year, and received proclamations from the Governor of Ohio and the Mayor of Akron.
I was quite taken with Mr. Hauser’s acceptance speech when he touched on the subject of ethics. He reinforced the concept of determining the boundaries for ethical behaviour in advance, knowing that our values are tested when we go through hard times. Not only knowing where the boundaries are, but staying well back from them will help to keep us from the temptation of crossing the boundaries and "selling out on our values" he said.
As a true sales and marketing professional, Mr. Hauser does not view SummaCare as strictly insurance or managed care. "We often tell our staff, and every new employee, that we’re in the education business," he says. "We educate our consumers, providers and employers. We tell our staff that on any given day, one of 190,000 people will be calling us, not because they want to, but because they have to, and they need our help. Usually, they are in need or a crisis situation, and our job is to serve them. I believe that we’re selling or marketing ourselves in everything we do. The most important things we sell are integrity and credibility. Every day, those are the ultimate products that we have in common."