Those Who Sell Together, Stay Together

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’re featuring some of our husband-wife sales duos who have grown successful together! 

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Douglas and Sandra Shuff | Spokane, WA

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Over the past 20 years with American, we have taken several different approaches to working together. We found it to be challenging at times, but have worked at separating duties based on our individual strengths.  Together we make a pretty good team.  When you build an environment where you can enjoy work and play together what could be better than that?

We met because Douglas’ best friend and Sandra’s sister were dating. They introduced us and after just two dates we both knew that we were made for each other.  We were both in college and working at the time. It’s a fun story and in the end best friends married sisters!  Douglas was 19 and Sandra was 17 1/2.  We were married 18 months later at 19 & 20.  Yes, we were young, but looking back we felt  like we were so grown up at the time.  Feb. 18th will be our 38th wedding anniversary and I (Douglas) still consider Sandra my girlfriend!  We have been blessed.

For Valentine’s Day, we’ll be in Los Cabos, Mexico at one of our amazing resorts. We will be celebrating Valentine’s Day and our Wedding Anniversary with family and friends while there! A little spa time and some of our favorite pastime, scuba diving, are both in the plans as well.

Mike & Jodi Depree | Moorhead, MN

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Believe it or not, I (Mike) have been with American since 1983. Things can get a bit routine and business can become a bit lackluster. I brought Jodi in to work with me and focus on promotions. Her passion and enthusiasm is contagious to say the least and it motivates me every day.

Jodi and I are both still active members of the Air National Guard and that is how we met.  I handle all the military performers for the Fargo AirSho and Jodi worked in our military hospitality room. We clicked instantly!

She will probably read this so I can’t say what our Valentine’s Day plans are. I haven’t exactly done so well with this day in years past, so I’m trying to raise the bar this year.  Hopefully I succeed!

From Jodi- Mike has been doing this along time and is very good at figuring out a detailed plan on how things can work and working through the details. It’s a nice ying and yang combination in developing a business game plan! As for Valentine’s Day, this is the holiday where it is all Mike so we will see! I am a pretty content person so a little effort goes along way with me. I am sure he will do great!

Jay & Jill Harman | Lagrange, GA

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The benefits of working together are vast. We understand more about what the other is facing on a day-to-day basis and truly understand what it means to walk in each others’ shoes. When one of us is out of the office, we know that the other will cover what’s needed, since we are just as vested in the success of the business. We then get to offer clients the ability to choose who they prefer to work with, since most clients tend to gravitate towards one more than the other. The level of trust is far greater than in a non-related partnership. We get to travel together and have lunch together almost every day. So many people never get to share as much of their life together.

We actually met at an ASB sales conference! Every day is Valentine’s day with my wife-what is wrong with the rest of you? But in all seriousness, we’ll spend it with a nice dinner and lots of love– I love my wife!

Tom Keller & Livi Dalmau | Coral Springs, FL

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Working together has lots of advantages. We always have someone to bounce questions off. We have an immediate source for honest evaluations of presentations and we can work together on projects where two heads are better than one.  More recently we have been going on joint calls and the customer seem to love the fact that we both bring different strengths to the table.   This business can get pretty crazy with different products and vendors and multi-tasking and demanding customers. Having a spouse in the business means that we understand each other and all the pressures that our customers give us. It’s great to have a back up or someone to ask…Who was that vendor that makes that product with the bells and whistles?  We understand each other.

We both met while working at a printing manufacturer about 32 years ago and have been married for 30 years.  One thing that we try to do daily to help with the stress is to go to lunch together. We leave the office (house) and get out and we can discuss family, friends, scheduling and of course work.  It lets us get out and away for a while so that we can see a new perspective.

We don’t have big plans for Valentine’s this day. We usually go to dinner and a movie. We don’t have to make Valentine’s Day a big deal.  Since we work together, every day is Valentine’s Day!

Brian & Laura Wiedenmann | Boise, ID

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The best thing about working together is that we fully understand what each other does for a living. This way, we can work through strategizing and problem-solving together.

We met in 1992 in Portland, OR when we were both working in a sales office for Data Documents.

For the big day, we’re celebrating a week early with a trip to Las Vegas to see AC/DC in concert (rock on!) We’ll spend Valentine’s Day working, of course!

Mike & Tracy Higgins | Crystal Lake, IL

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We live in a fairly small town and were friends for years all the way back to our previous marriages. Our children were also friends and went to school together. Tracy sold office supplies to Mike’s envelope company. Not long after we started dating, our kids called a family meeting and told us they didn’t want to be the Brady Bunch. We felt that we would get eventually get married, but decided to wait until the kids were out of the house.  The youngest graduated from college 10 years later and then we married.

We each sell and have our own account base, but we help each other and talk about our accounts daily. We love the fact that when we go to conferences, we are together and networking with other ASB reps or vendors. Being too close is not a good thing though, so Mikes office is in the basement and Tracy took over an extra bedroom on the second floor.  We meet on the first floor for lunch.

Since day one, Tracy’s attitude was that Valentine’s day is amateur hour. As a result we have always had a special dinner at home.

Kevin & Roxanne Dilly | St. Cloud, MN

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We met when we were to go on a double blind date with another couple. They ended up not going out at all, and Kevin and I ended up getting married! We’ve worked side by side since 1985. We enjoy knowing what each other goes through in a day, both successes and struggles. Working in the same business, you can truly appreciate what your spouse experiences in the day. It’s also nice to have a “back-up” if one is gone! We’re not sure what we’ll do this Valentine’s Day…probably a supper out. Whatever it is, we’ll enjoy and appreciate being together.

American would like to wish all of our customers, employees and vendors a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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