Jorge Alvarez: Always on the Go
Nutramax rep Jorge Alvarez’s relentless work ethic has led to a successful career in sales.
Jorge Alvarez’s love of sales can be summed up in one word – motion. “I don’t like to sit still,” said the Nutramax territory manager. A typical day involves an early start to make sure his schedule is set, then he hits the road with the goal of visiting 10 clinics. Those visits either involve lunch-and-learns, dropping off important information about Nutramax products, updating veterinarians on the latest industry trends, problem solving, or just listening to the clinic’s day-to-day challenges. Whatever it is, “I want to make sure that I stay present with these clinics as much as possible,” Alvarez said.
After the events of 2020, he doesn’t take his face time with clinics for granted. Alvarez came on board with the Nutramax sales team in January 2020. It was just enough time for training and visits to a few clinics before the shutdowns due to COVID-19 occurred. “That was rough,” he said. “At least I got out there and met some of my top accounts and distributor reps. But right after training in March, everything shut down. It was hard to build relationships with people. It was hard to help grow my clinics and grow my territory, because we couldn’t have those traditional face-to-face interactions with hospitals.”
But Alvarez didn’t sit still. He found a way to interact with his clients by creating events for veterinarians and their staff. He and his distributor rep partners scheduled ice cream and snow cone trucks to stop by and provide the clinics with a welcome reprieve from the pandemic stress. Team members and veterinarians alike would come out in the parking lot and meet with Alvarez as they enjoyed a break.
“Their responses were great,” Alvarez said. “Because they had been stuck inside their clinics, they loved these events. They appreciated the break that they got during the day to just get a treat, and saw how we appreciated everything they were doing.”
Alvarez maintained those visits throughout the pandemic. Even if all he did was drop off information and wasn’t able to see anybody, he was still able to stay relevant in the eyes of his clients. “We just wanted them to know that we were there, and that they had our support during the hard times.”
Working his way up
Alvarez could empathize with all the hard work veterinary clinics were putting in and the struggles they had to overcome because he’s had to overcome his own share of adversity. As a kid, Alvarez and his family emigrated from Cuba to the United States in 2001. He, his dad, mom and sister didn’t know the country or the language. But they were willing to work hard. “You have to start from wherever you can,” he said.
While he and his sister learned the language and put in the work in the classroom, his mom and dad started with small jobs and worked their way up in their careers. “My dad started out cleaning houses and then moved to construction,” Alvarez said. “Now he’s a superintendent for a construction company. That work ethic my parents instilled in me has been the biggest thing that has carried me through my career so far.”
Prior to taking the position with Nutramax, Alvarez was a veterinary hospital manager for a one-doctor practice. After graduating college with a degree in business management, he worked at the veterinary hospital for about three years and got hands-on experience with just about every position the clinic had. He did inventory, managed staff, completed payroll scheduling on the practice management side, assisted with surgeries, did blood draws and other tasks typical of a veterinary technician. “I gained a lot of experience from working there,” he said.
After three years, a discussion with Nutramax’ East Zone Sales Manager Sean Brennan led Alvarez to make the jump from the clinic side to territory manager. The biggest learning curve was time management due to traveling, he said. Alvarez’s territory includes everything on the east coast of Florida from Boca Raton to Port St. Lucie down to the Keys, with Fort Myers and Naples on the west coast of the state. His territory also includes Puerto Rico, so Alvarez makes several roundtrip flights a year to the island to work with veterinary hospitals there.
While an on-the-go schedule differs from his time managing a veterinary practice, that in-clinic experience helped lessen the learning curve in a lot of ways, he said. “It’s always good to come from a clinic into a role like this because you know about the inner workings.”
Judging by his success, Alvarez is a quick study. Each year he’s tried to advance in skills, experience and success. In his first year he earned Rookie of the Year. His second year, Rep of the Year for the East Coast. This year he is hoping to be among the top reps for the entire company. For Alvarez, a career in sales never stops. “It’s just a matter of continuing to grow with Nutramax and continuing to move forward.”