Deb Trout


Deb Trout

Director of Business Development for North America

r-pac International

 Women's Connections Advice from Deb

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am new to the apparel industry, just 2 years young. I joined r-pac International as the Director of Business Development for North America in April of 2016. The AAPN event was my introduction into the world of Apparel. My role at r-pac is to build a team of professional Global Account Executives that excel at exceeding customer expectation and delivering solutions to their ever changing landscape as it relates to trim and packaging. I bring with me 25 years of experience in direct sales and sales force management; combined experience in territory development, strategic planning, vendor management, product releases, sales force training, recruiting, and effective incentive/compensation planning. Diverse industry and management experience in communications, technology, printing, financial services, insurance, retail, entertainment, and manufacturing. My most recent experience was spent at Staples Print Solutions in sales management.

Tell us about your favorite AAPNetwork memory or success story. Why are you a member?

On the recommendation of Aaron Glatman, I attended my 1st AAPN event soon after I joined r-pac. I was on the edge of my seat most of the meeting,soaking everything in. I think Tony's presentation on Apparel IQ was the most enlightening--that was also when I realized I had a lot to learn, and I continue to learn every day. Which I find very refreshing.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
When you working as a Sales professional in a production industry it is important to be an excellent communicator; I work hard to anticipate the needs of my customers, I think you must be open and honest and show high integrity. My goal is to always under-commit and over-deliver. My Network is very important to me as is my reputation.

How would you define your professional mission?
My profession mission at r-pac is:

1. We are a team of dedicated, hard-working people that are committed to maintaining our customer’s brand, image and position in an ever chaining market place
2. We help our clients navigate the complex global market, we bring the world market closer to our customers and bridge any communication gaps
3. We help our clients envision and embark on an automated future where the ongoing struggles of brands and retails alike are a thing of the past
4. We are the partner with the answers our clients seek; we make them affordable; enabling our customers unfettered access to their future success.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?
In sales it is often said your accomplishments are measured in YOY Growth. At r-pac in the last 24 months my team has had two consecutive years of double digit sales growth and exceeded expectations. However, what I am the most proud of is the increased level of customer satisfaction, this was exemplified by one of our team member winning Supplier of the Year in HK last year at the Jockey vendor summit. This was a huge accomplishment, we had come a long way in 18 months.

What are some career challenges on your radar?
The ever changing retail landscape. The focus on lower cost, speed to market and supply chain transparency. I work daily to insure we continue to play a significant role in all of these initiatives for our customers.

What project have you worked on that you are most proud of? Why?
Bringing structure, process and intention to our sales team. Defining the road map to success for the sales team; it has been very rewarding as I watch them travel and win along the way.

We'd love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?
As a Business Management student at the University of Denver I worked on campus in development, fund raising for the University, that led me to a path in Telemarketing and on to Call Center Management, the bulk of that time with Sprint. After running call centers for 10 years it was clear these services were moving overseas and I wanted to move into field sales management, the transition form telemarketing to "carrying the bag" was challenging but I found a home that needed Telemarketing appointments set for field sales team members and I was able to build a solution that helped me make the transition. I have worked in several companies that were bought and sold and seen my share of force reductions. All along the way I focused on training and certifications that continued to add value to the next role. I am so grateful that the role I have today lets me use all of the skills and experience I have gained over the years.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it's the right fit for you?
After years of red tape, I love working at a flat organization where I can make a difference. I feel empowered to do what is necessary to meet my customers needs and grow our business while maintaining a focus on employee satisfaction.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Watching my team WIN every day. Hearing the satisfaction in our customer solutions.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into the industry?
Sales is a great please for women to have a real opportunity for equal pay and equal respect. When you deliver results and satisfied customers, door open in any organization...the key is finding your path to winning happy customers.

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?
I am committed to the success of my sales team. I work daily to teach my team members "how to fish" so they will always have success. I take great pride in the continued success of the hundreds of sales professionals and customers in my personal network.

What is your morning ritual?
Coffee and emails.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
No, I am lucky to work from home and after 10 years I have this mastered.

What is one piece of advice you'd offer working moms?
I had 3 children, 2 boys and 1 girl, I worked the whole time my children grew up. I stayed on top of what was important to them and attended ever sporting event or recognition event I could. If I was working out of town I always called for a download on the event from the kids. We ate meals at home as often as possible as a family. I think my boys have great respect for working women as a result and my daughter is very driven and plans to be a working mother (a doctor). It is hard to be a working mom especially one that travel for work, but if I had it to do over again I would not change much.

What is the best career advice you ever received?
"It is only a Job" what really matters is the long standing relationships you develop over your career. "The things that are making you crazy and stressing you out today you will not even remember tomorrow, do no sweat the small stuff".

What would you say your personal superpower is?
Vision. I can see the ideal future state which allows me to stay calm in stressful situations to navigate to a desired solution.

AAPN Women's Connections - November 1, 2019
From Deb .....

How to speak so that people want to listen (A TED Talk)

Have you ever felt like you're talking, but nobody is listening? Here's Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to's of powerful speaking -- from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy. A talk that might help the world sound more beautiful.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

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