This is one of a series of stories we are sharing to show what's inside CubeSmart. You not only get a peek inside our customer's storage unit, but also a peek inside what is important to them. Thank you to Alvin, customer of our CubeSmart store in Philadelphia, for sharing his story with us.
Alvin Coleman spends a lot of time in bars. For the past three and a half years, the 28-year-old Michigan native has been working in sales for a major beer company. In July 2017, he was transferred from Omaha, Nebraska to Philadelphia when he was promoted to sales manager.
"It's been great to be in a big city. There's so much to do here and the restaurants are amazing," he says.
In Philly, Alvin is charged with overseeing the company's top 60 accounts in the region. That means making eight sales calls a day and working with his sales reps to ensure that all of the retailers—bars and restaurants—are running promotions, educating their wait staff and consumers, and merchandising to impact sales.
"Our job is to drive revenue and grow the brands at those accounts, which have the most sales volume of any in the city," Alvin says.
Coleman and his reps maintain three storage units at the 501 Callowhill Street facility in Philadelphia, filled with all manner of promotional items, from garnish and condiment caddies, to bar mats and neon signs to giveaways and guitars. Their daily work demands that they visit regularly to pick up their swag.
"We're basically targeting millennials and bringing in newer customers as they come of age," Alvin says.
As a millennial himself, Alvin understands what interests consumers. In college, he majored in sales and always enjoyed the nightlife. At his sister's encouragement, he followed her footsteps into the beer industry, which seemed a natural extension of his talents and interests.
"I realized what a cool job it was. You learn so much about beer and how it's made. And you also get to go to sporting events, entertainment events, meet famous people. At our national convention we had Lenny Kravitz playing by the pool," he says.
Mostly, Alvin likes his job because of his natural curiosity about people and what makes them tick.
"I like to get to know the different accounts and learn about how they think and make decisions. It's like pulling back layers, slowly," Alvin says. "At first sometimes you'll meet someone that can be standoffish but once they understand you are there to help them they can change into a different person… you break through. Helping them create value for their customers is really rewarding."
Alvin enjoys going out to his account bars on the weekends and helping support them while drinking his company's product—anything from an American light lager to an import to a cider.
Though he loves living in Philadelphia, Alvin realizes his career is young. Eventually he'd like to helm a region, but for now, the plan is to remain open.
"At a large company like this, you kind of go where you're needed. There are lots of different avenues my career could go and I might end up in California or down south next—it really just depends on where the opportunities take me."
We’d love to hear how self storage has positively impacted your life. Share your #HumansofSelfStorage story in the comments.