Annually, the Starnet Dream Team Celebration recognizes the dynamic selling relationships between Starnet Members and the Starnet Preferred Vendor Partners. These teams exemplify the power of partnering for success to deliver exceptional customer experiences and produce outstanding business results.

Tierra Maesch, senior account manager, Jack Laurie Group in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Erik Pedersen, sales representative, J+J Flooring, have been working together for eight years, but they say the relationship wasn't always the easiest.

"When we started out, we butted heads a lot," Maesch said. "It just seemed like, no matter what we were doing, we just weren't getting on the same page."

At first, the communication about jobs fell through, but over time, the team developed strategic plans through critical thinking that helped them drive new business while holding each other accountable to their goals.

"I work with end users, primarily, and it really helped having a good manufacturer, a good vendor, to go to to help me out with specifying to help me out with technical questions, and we built our relationship very slowly," Maesch said.

Quarterly planning by channel has increased sales nearly 800%. During these quarterly meetings, the team narrows down opportunities, shares information, and plans collaborative events, such as a networking social during the NCAA Tournament where Maesch and Pedersen shared contacts and made new connections. 

Expanding their category focus is helping to diversify sales. For example, a focus on event centers helped to increase LVT sales. They also work on schools, multifamily, car dealerships, public transportation and religious facilities. 

The Ellsworth multifamily project was one the team was able to save because of teamwork. Communication was key throughout the project. Pedersen let Maesch know that J+J was going to be on this bid. They were able to submit and got an introduction to the architect to build a strong bond right from the start. They knew the general contractor who informed them that the project was over budget. 

"They let us know that the owner didn't want to sacrifice the quality and didn't have a specific style they were set on," Maesch said. Pedersen met with the architect to find value-engineered products. 

"As a result, we were able to successfully install 80,000 sq. ft.—five floors—of multiple types of flooring," Pedersen said. "Being over budget can be risky in bid situations, but we were able to be proactive to stay within budget and without sacrificing quality."

At the team's annual review this spring, Maesch and Pedersen each committed to growing the business by 20% in 2023. 

"As a company, we have four core values that we try to stick with it, the acronym being IACT: integrity, accountability, candor, and team work,” Maesch said. “It’s about relationships and building those those blocks for a good future.”