SALES MANAGER, LA QUINTA INN AND SUITES PLATTSBURGH Hometown: Constable, New York
Education: B.S. Integrated Marketing, Ithaca College
Community Involvement: Malone Chamber of Commerce Board Member, Relays for Life, Winter Carnivals, and Community Fundraisers.
La Quinta Inn & Suites culture places a strong emphasis on the success of its employees and backs that up with tools and resources to help ensure success. That commitment is important to Casey Degon. He explained the company’s two core values are integrity and accountability and those characteristics are also important to him. “My sales style has always centered on them. It’s very easy to sell for a company that values the same things you do.”
Casey is active in his community through the Chamber of Commerce. He was a co-founder of the Malone Comic-Con, participates in Relay for Life, Winter Carnivals and community fundraisers. While working for a technology firm in Boston, Casey was chosen to introduce a product in Europe and Australia.
As a sales manager for La Quinta, Casey works to grow a culture where everyone feels involved. He corresponds with sales leaders at LaQuinta properties around the country. “I bring new knowledge from them to our market and from ours to theirs. They love the Adirondack Coast now as much as we do.”
What’s the single most important characteristic for success?
Being approachable. Many of my clients tell me that I have a way of putting them at ease during the conversation and I know this is what has caused me to be so successful in any sales position I take. Also in sales, believing in the product is critical. If you don’t believe in what you are selling, your clients can easily tell, especially the more they get to know you.
What’s your dream job?
The current one I am in, and I didn’t know it until I found it. I have done sales my entire professional career and sold everything from insurance, to radio, to tech software — even chimney cleanings for a brief period. I always enjoyed sales because it reminded me of my swimming background – you get out as much as you put in. The hospitality industry is an amazing place to work and La Quinta’s culture perfectly aligned with the type of work environment I was looking for. My goal is to continue to move up within the company and continue to exceed monthly budgets and goals.
What important lesson have you learned in your career?
When you make a mistake the easiest thing is to own up to it. Nine times out of ten people are not going to be upset with you. They just want to know that you are doing everything you can to remedy the situation. I never try to deflect blame, and sometimes even take blame for situations I have no hand in so we can move on from the issue sooner rather than later. I always tell our team I never care whose fault it is, all I care about is what we are doing to fix it.
How do you contribute to the culture of your company?
I take my job very seriously but not myself. Our profession centers around customer service and I preach this to our staff on a consistent basis. I spearhead our “Everyone Sells” culture to generate additional revenue through in house guests. Everyone on the team can make a difference and I try to make coming to work the best part of our team’s day. I also try to instill in everyone that we should take ourselves seriously but not too seriously.
What is something that no one would guess about you?
I can play a mean version of Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” on acoustic guitar.
Write a note to your younger self…
Hey Mr. Know It All,
How are things going? Chances are you are stressing out because you are 23 and not CEO of a company yet. I know. You are way behind the ball. You need to stop stressing over things out of your control and instead enjoy the ride. You are too busy getting to your next step that you aren’t enjoying the scenery. Life isn’t a movie or TV Show. It takes time and experience to get where you want to be. There are no shortcuts. So in the meantime, focus on family and friends. Collect memories, not things. And you are exactly where you need to be right now. Everything happens for a reason.