Name: Dave Weiss
Job Title: Director of Strategy & Culture
Years in the Industry: 15
Education: Bachelor of Business, Western Illinois University
Name: Dave Weiss
Dealerscope’s 40 Under 40 Honoree 2021
Describe your current role.
My goal as Sherman’s Director of Strategy & Culture is to align our marketing message, customer experience, and employee experience. On the surface, marketing and human resources are an odd pairing, but we’ve discovered that aligning the two gains efficiency and helps us be more authentic. We don’t want any employees or customers feeling duped or saying, “Whoa, this isn’t the place I thought it was.” That authenticity helps us create real brand ambassadors.
What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
Professionally, I’m most proud of helping Sherman’s grow in mature and competitive industries. We independent retailers are always under attack from giants with greater resources. The odds are infinitely more stacked in their favor. Yet we thrive because we adapt and find ways to better serve our customers. We go where the giants are too slow.
When I started my career at Sherman’s 15 years ago, we had 40 employees, and we’re currently closing in on 200. Through this growth, many of us have worked hard to develop a culture where we can truly improve our employees’ lives. I’m grateful to be a part of it and have experienced a resulting gratification that few get the opportunity to know.
Personally, I’m most proud of co-parenting and helping raise my kind, creative, and curious 13-year-old son. He is truly my greatest accomplishment.
What do you like best about your job?
I enjoy how much my work challenges me. I’m forced to learn and stretch daily to stay on top of it, but I’m addicted to the fulfillment that comes from climbing those mountains. I also love the feeling of being on a high-performance team that doesn’t stand still but rather works tirelessly to achieve our vision.
What career advice would you give to people just getting started in the CE or technology industry?
I think, like any new career, there will be a steep learning curve. My advice would be to absorb everything you can, but keep in mind that there is no shortage of bright, shiny objects vying for your attention. When overwhelmed, step back and think about what truly matters to your customer, your salespeople, and your stakeholders. Many of those needs are timeless and can help guide you towards the right solutions.
Also, develop the skill of taking complicated subjects and translating them into ordinary language. Oh, and start your own dictionary for the 52,476 acronyms you’re about to learn.
What, in your opinion, is necessary for the CE/technology industry to thrive in the next five years?
As an industry, we need to keep focusing on making it easy for consumers to implement and engage with our products. More importantly to me, though, I believe that as a channel, independent retailers need to better own and embrace our digital presence. There is no denying that consumers have spoken with their wallets, and they enjoy shopping for our products online. We need to stop treating that as bad news and find new ways to meet our customers where they prefer to be met. No doubt that we offer the best buying experience possible when they visit our showrooms or they invite us into their homes, but we will never get those chances to impress if we don’t first capture their attention online. The giants are currently winning this battle, but we can band together to ask for more support from our vendors and push our eComm partners to better deliver for all of us.