Dave has been in the Waste and Recycling business since 2011 managing teams in South Carolina, Utah, and Arizona. Prior to that, he was in the home and office bottled water business serving customers throughout the Carolinas and Virginia. Before deciding on a career path in sales, Dave was a commercial driver delivering five-gallon bottles of water to over 1000 customers on his route in downtown Charlotte. Dave now lives in the Salt Lake City area focusing on developing both the Utah and Arizona markets for Atlas Disposal.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Atlas Disposal Industries was established in March of 1998, by a group of property owners, in response to the new recycling mandates that were passed by the State of California. Quickly, Atlas Disposal became the best choice for waste management in Sacramento and has held onto that throughout our 20 years by supporting the communities our employees live and work in; and our strong purpose of environmental preservation. With origination and business philosophy curated from Utah, Atlas Disposal decided to spread its wings and get back to its roots and started operations in Utah in September of 2018.
With a highly active team focused on educating local businesses about their traditional and organic recycling potential, Atlas Disposal emerged as the fastest-growing waste management and recycling removal company in the area. By concentrating on being progressive stewards of everyday discarded resources, Atlas Disposal is one of the largest waste management and recycling service providers in the Sacramento & Salt Lake Valley areas. We pride ourselves on being independently owned, locally operated, and aimed at preserving our spaces.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Every day is different and full of new challenges and that is what I love about this business. With an ever-growing sales team, I try to spend as much time in the field as possible, both working with the reps and interacting with our customers.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Truly engage all members of the team in the decision-making process. This gives everyone buy in and allows you to hear ideas from all angles.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am excited to see a trend towards more sustainable waste collection vehicles.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Always be 1st! If you are 1st to any new opportunity, you gain the prospects respect and trust while putting your competitors in the position of chasing you rather than developing a true solution for the prospect.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Aside from the advice on which women not to date, I would say to follow your dreams and take as many chances as possible while you are young. Take some big swings and if you miss it’s ok.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Bo Jackson’s 1st professional HR was not as a member of the Royals. It was when he played for the Memphis Chicks, and it was against the Charlotte O’s. I was strong enough at 10yrs old to win the wrestling match for that baseball. Never thought to get it signed or authenticated but we played with that ball all over the neighborhood that summer.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
In moments of decision always put the customer 1st.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
No matter how big we get, we are committed to having local customer service. From our account managers to our customer service reps answering the phones, having that local knowledge differentiates us from our competition.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I started a private label bottled water business selling to resorts, golf courses, etc..I wasn’t able to keep up with the new product orders because I wasn’t able to collect fast enough from my customers. I then decided to shift into home and office 5-gallon sales.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Bring true Southern BBQ to the Western US. When I moved from the Carolinas to UT I was amazed by the lack of options for slow smoked goodness.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I would say a new telescope for my 12-year-old son. He has taken an interest in Astronomy and it’s something we can enjoy together.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Pretty much every CRM that I have used and there’s been a lot. I’ve always worked with the developers to make it user friendly. I want any CRM to truly be an asset for the sales rep rather than a baby-sitting tool.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Pulling Together” Rules for High-Performance Teamwork
What is your favorite quote?
Shut Up and Sell!
Contrary to popular belief, to be a successful salesperson, it doesn’t matter how much you know about your product or service. It also doesn’t matter how much of an industry expert you are. It doesn’t even matter how great your mother thinks you are. The only thing that really matters to be successful in selling is your ability to shut up and listen.
- Schedule time to self-reflect more often.
- Everyone needs a reset to get back to basics occasionally.
- Time moves fast in our business.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.