Daniel Smeltzer’s Rise From Warehouse Shipping to Global Sales Director

Do you dream about a career where you’d be working with different people and no day is quite the same as the last? For Daniel Smeltzer, Global Sales Director at Pegasus Logistics Group, that’s his reality. When Smeltzer started college at California State University, Long Beach, he had dreams of becoming an FBI agent with every intent in majoring in Criminology. However, once he started school, he quickly changed his major to Finance.

Taking Initiative

Then fate intervened. A career fair was taking place on his campus, and what better way to make yourself stand out than to dress to impress, research your top four companies, and try to convince them that you’re the best person for the job?

That’s precisely what Daniel did. He landed his first job working in a warehouse shipping iPod cases, which was his first introduction to the world of logistics. He admits his schooling helped him excel in these roles. However, it was his post-graduation jobs that helped him focus on building strong relationships with his customer base, developing razor-sharp critical thinking skills, and understanding the value of being a dependable team member that has helped him become successful in this industry.

Now Daniel oversees the import, export, and foreign logistics, of millions of dollars of merchandise from Italy, Germany, Spain, UK, and Hong Kong to name a few. The foreign logistic services can include air and ocean freight, warehousing services and customs brokerage, and advisory services. He’s always on call when it comes to a client’s needs, even if that means those calls are coming from China and it’s 4:00 AM on a Saturday! Most situations can be resolved in 30 minutes or less. If there’s an issue, communication is the key to reducing stress.

When entering sales or trade and logistics fields, students can expect to work entry-level positions such as a customer service operator, or as a purchasing, warehouse, or shipping coordinator. In terms of salary, they can plan to make around $48,000-$50,000 per year depending on their experience level.

Set Yourself Apart

Daniel gave insight into how potential or new employees can stand out. He recommends strong customer service skills, being overly polite and respectful, and having the ability to nurture relationships. When working with global clients, being knowledgeable about their business needs can create new opportunities to build business partnerships. Understanding cultural differences, accommodating time differences, and strong communication skills won’t hurt you either. And with a career like this, you can always expect to be learning new skills.

Want to get a head start with developing your sales and interpersonal skills? Daniel recommends reading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. This book may help you build the self-awareness needed to help you prepare for a position similar to his. Furthermore, the book teaches you the ability to self- analyze and de-escalate a situation, which is essential in business.

All in all, people who are more prone to success in sales careers tend to be “a challenger,” which means someone willing to push people out of their comfort zone. If hearing “no” makes you want to try harder, this may be the career for you!