Lakeland would like to welcome our new Senior Sales Engineer for LEECo MN, Jim Sorman. Although Jim has only been with Lakeland for a short time now, he’s been a part of the Lakeland family since 2001 when he was a manufacturers’ representative working with the Lakeland team. That was the start of building a great relationship with team which continued to grow throughout his other roles within the industrial automation industry.
Jim brings a wealth of knowledge to the Lakeland team with an extensive background in the industry, all while being focused on finding the best solutions for customers. “During technical college it was my goal to work in sales of some type of electronics but only after gaining some hands on experience first,” said Jim when asked how he got his start within the industry. “My interests and strengths were always solving problems – opportunities then directed me towards industrial sales.”
“People Buy from People” Sales Model
Jim is no stranger to going above and beyond for the customer. “Recently, I loaded-up my car to the gills to get product to one of my good customers immediately to keep them from having to shut down a couple production lines and sending people home during these difficult COVID-19 times,” explained Jim. “It was a small piece of all the efforts my team put forward – they were all heroes as far as I’m concerned (including the suppliers).” This is just one example of Jim being an outstanding employee and person.
During his last position as a manufacturers’ rep, there was an opportunity for a machine builder to create a new prototype for a large chip company and Jim got in on the ground floor of that project. “I contacted the engineering manager and offered assistance with software and start-up,” said Jim. “At first they were apprehensive but it’s all about building the trust and truly caring about the customer’s needs, not just the sale. “I started going up there a few days a week until the project was complete, I ended up collaborating closely with the team on other projects and ways to integrate certain products to make their processes more efficient. They even asked me to assist with training for them at their primary installations throughout the US – they turned into one of our largest customers.”
“Any good salesman, their number one motto is likely that people buy from people” said Jim. “I’m still great personal friends with many of my customers from years ago.”
Wealth of Experience – Seeing “Matchsticks to Hockey Sticks” Made
Throughout the years, Jim’s sales experience has brought him to companies and factories all over the five-state area, throughout other parts of the US and Mexico. “When people ask me what I do, I tell them I’ve been so lucky to have seen how so many things are made from matchsticks to hockey sticks and computer chips to potato chips,” said Jim.
Prior to coming onboard with Lakeland, Jim recently worked for IDEC, one of Lakeland’s suppliers. When a position became available at Lakeland, it was a natural fit to pursue Jim for the role. “The people are definitely my favorite part of Lakeland,” said Jim. “Everyone goes out of their way to help and assist me and they all work so well together. There’s a real team effort vibe and they are all professional. I can feel the positive culture and have always felt connected to Lakeland when I was a rep.”
Jim has extensive training and certifications on a number of components we carry, including:
- Photoelectric, Laser, Positioning & Proximity Sensors
- Temperature & Process Controls
- Industrial Heaters
- Motor Drives
- And a host of power distribution components
As a sales engineer and account manager, Jim meets with engineers, maintenance and purchasing professionals and more throughout Southern Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin and Iowa. “I coordinate with all the other personnel involved to assist with any issues, find solutions needed and provide support to ensure the customer receives the best possible solutions.”
Certified Scuba Driver and Avid Harley Davidson Rider
Jim stays busy being a father of 5 and grandfather of 17. “I have nine siblings – six brothers and three sisters (we lost my brother Mark last April) and I feel so lucky to come from a large family,” said Jim when talking about his upbringing. “We get together often for family functions along with my five children and 17 grandchildren. I was a hockey Dad for 12-years and now I am a hockey, baseball, football and dance Grandpa.”
Outside of visiting or assisting customers over the phone, Jim enjoys hunting, fishing, traveling and scuba diving. “I always wanted to try scuba diving and got certified in Cozumel with a friend,” Jim said when talking about his adventures. “The last training day I remember looking up and there was a large tiger ray right above us – it was beautiful.”
Jim owns a Harley Davidson Touring Bike and loves to go on long rides through the country with many other friends and family. “I took my son on a fly and ride to Denver one spring and we rode all over the Colorado Rockies, each of us on our own rented Harley,” Jim explained. “It was the first week of May and we had perfect riding weather. I surprised the heck out of my son by not making any specific destinations or times. We just studied the map and natural and scenic Colorado attractions every night and jumped on the bikes every morning until we ended up somewhere else. It was the best adventure and vacation for both of us.”
To get in touch with Jim, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.