Dennis Armstrong, UtilityAPI’s new VP of Sales, is about to lose some weight. Approximately 5 oz of it — the size of a standard kidney. If all goes well, come July, Dennis will donate one of his kidneys to a friend of his since their University of North Texas days. This is one gift that can never be returned.
The pandemic found Dennis scrolling through Facebook one day, where he happened upon a heartfelt posting from an old friend’s wife, looking for a donor for her husband. Dennis immediately got in touch to see if he could help. He was a perfect match.
Portrait of a Future Kidney Donor
Like many of you, Dennis — a four-sport athlete who hails from small town Texas — found fellowship with his peers through sports. But he also ran with the smart kids at school. Because of his ties to both camps, he was able to bring people together. “I knew the first and last names of every person in my high school,” he recalls. “To be fair, this was a three-stoplight town, with about 5500 people in it, and a newspaper that came out once a week.”
He took Abilene Christian University up on their offer of an athletic scholarship, but didn’t stay there the full four years. “Our first opponent each season was the University of North Texas. After each game, we would stay in the Dallas/Denton area for the weekend because the school was so fun, as opposed to making the long, boring trip back to Abilene.” He transferred, and then stayed.
His junior year of college, he interned locally at IBM, and then never left the area. That small town kid made a life for himself in Dallas that — pre-pandemic — included cooking for friends, eating tasty food, and spending a lot of time outdoors. Dennis, wearing neoprene waders, chest deep in a lake, is a happy man. “I’m an outdoorsman. I spend ten days every year in the mountains at 13,000 feet hunting with my friends.”
Not Just Racking up Transactions
Dennis' job at UtilityAPI is not to sell you stuff you don’t need. His job is to sell you stuff you do need. He describes his primary focus as “ensuring mutual benefit, slanted toward the customer.” It’s more important to him that you, the customer, comes out ahead than making a sale. Not every company appreciates that approach. But we do.
Above all, he wants to solve your problems, whatever that takes. “I have been known to pass on sales if it’s not beneficial to the customer, even if that’s not the best thing for the company. I would rather create real relationships for long term collaboration, not just rack up transactions.”
His path to sales took him to engineering, first. But his willingness to do public speaking and close deals — not just talk about them — brought him to the attention of executives who recognized his potential. They encouraged him to switch over to sales. He hasn’t looked back.
Hope over Fear: Welcome to Fighting Climate Change
His most recent past work in cyber security was important, but fear-based. That can wear a soul down. When you’re working to fight climate change, then the work you do is hope-based.
At UtilityAPI, Dennis sees optimism, activism and action, which is why he decided to come work with us.
All blog posts are to help UtilityAPI users connect with their customers and successfully collect their utility data.