Here at storEDGE, we put a strong emphasis on helping our employees grow and develop in their careers, whether they’re a recent grad, first-time manager, or learning a new skill set. Our commitment to continued progress in both our products and our people is just one of the reasons why we’ve been named one of the best places to work in Kansas City. It’s particularly rewarding to champion the growth of team members for whom storEDGE is their first job out of college.

Chris Lasiter, a Business Development Executive on storEDGE’s sales team, graduated from Kansas State University in 2015 and started working at storEDGE shortly after. Since then, he’s proved himself as both a star salesman and an expert source of knowledge for our self storage technology products. In his Meet Team storEDGE interview, I talked to Chris about the most important thing he’s learned working in sales, his studies in criminal justice, and his secret night life.

Name: Chris Lasiter

Department: Sales

Started at storEDGE: January 2016

Tell me about your career path so far. How did you get into sales?

I worked a lot of different jobs in college. I refereed basketball games, I did landscaping on farms, I worked as a bartender, and I did outside wine sales to nice Manhattan, KS restaurants and wine bars like 4 Olives. There were things that I loved and things that I hated about all of those jobs. But regardless of what job I was working, I found my days flying by if I was just talking to somebody. If I can just engage in a conversation, it never feels like I am really working. Bartending and wine sales were both very social jobs that I enjoyed. They got me thinking about potential careers that could be somewhat similar. I knew there was no future for me in bartending because I hated getting off work at 4AM. The wine sales job was a little more realistic, and made me think that if I could find a career where I get to engage conversations on topics that interest me, then maybe the “real world” won’t be so tough after all.

What’s your role at storEDGE and what does that entail?

I work with the sales team. I’m on the phones all the time, and I’m constantly answering emails and following up on interested leads. From the moment I get to work until the time I leave, I’ve got my headset on and I’m talking to people in the industry. I get to show off all of the cool things that our incredibly talented engineers create for our management software and marketing website products. I like to think of my role as the guy who introduces current operators to what is new and cool with storEDGE technology. Anybody can demo a self storage management software that can track units and balances. That has been around forever. I like to meet with owners and operators and show them things they didn’t even know existed in the industry, such as a text message pop-ups in their software, the ability to track the number of calls their website is generating, or the ability to send a signable lease via text or email.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your role?

I do the majority of my business over the phone, but occasionally I get to travel and meet clients at trade shows. It’s super rewarding when you finally get to meet someone face to face who you’ve been working with over the phone for the last year or more and shake their hand. I also really enjoy getting to sit back and have a beer with them and listen to their feedback on our products. It’s rewarding to hear that our team is having a positive impact on real, hardworking people and making their lives easier in a big way. I feel proud to be a part of a team that has that kind of impact on people.

I heard you were a criminal justice major in college. How does your investigative side help you make connections with someone you’re working with during the sales cycle?

I was drawn to criminal justice from a young age because I’ve always had a lot of compassion for survivors and families of victims of serious crimes. I wanted to be someone who helps people in that situation find closure, but my personality strengths led me to a career in sales instead. In sales, it’s definitely a different kind of investigating. When I’m investigating in the software world, I actually do most of it through Twitter. People love to complain on Twitter. I search our competitors and scroll through their mentions, and usually you can find people complaining about various aspects of the technology that are making their lives difficult. You can find trends on social media that tell you what features your competitors are lacking and what features people are dying to have, and if your product excels in that area, then you can use it as ammo when you go into a cold call or a demo for somebody using that product.

What would you say is your favorite memory in your time working at storEDGE?

I love going to trade shows and mingling with people in the industry, and whenever we successfully finish up a big trade show, our CEO Dan always takes us out to a super nice restaurant for a celebratory dinner. After two or three days of continuous hard work, networking, and meetings, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment to sit around a table with the storEDGE team and have a nice meal and some cocktails and reflect on everything we have worked on.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far in your career?

Sales can be a roller coaster. I’ve had many months where I felt like I’ve really killed it, and I have had plenty of months where I fell short of my goals. In sales, if you dwell on a missed opportunity you are going to waste a lot of time. You have to just put it behind you, and meet the next challenge head on.

What else do you like to do outside of work?

I enjoy playing in pickup basketball leagues, and I go to a ton of alternative and indie rock concerts. My favorite band is Pinegrove. I listen to a lot of random music when I work. I stream from a website called Audiotree.tv that's for discovering new music, and that’s where I found them. They were in Lawrence at the Bottleneck about a month ago and I got a chance to go see them and it was my favorite concert I've been to. I also like to travel to new places when I get the chance. This year I went on a lot of mini vacations to places like Minneapolis and Miami. I also got to spend a full week in St. Croix USVI, and it was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. I rented out a small house in the city of Christiansted and lived among the locals. It was a great cultural experience.

What is something you’ve always wanted to try but been too scared to?

This is a hard question for me because I’m outgoing and don’t shy away from much, but I have a seriously irrational fear of doctors, dentists, and needles. I sat by Adam England at lunch one day right after my dentist appointment and I think I was still shaking, so he can attest to that. We had the flu shot lady in here yesterday and I was 100% too scared to even look in her direction, so I guess that counts, too.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I’m the biggest night owl there is. If I didn’t make myself go to bed at midnight, I would stay up all night. I like to stay up late, have a glass of wine, and watch documentaries on Netflix or HBO. I watch a lot of random stuff to learn about new things. I recently watched a documentary called “Tales from the Organ Trade” about black market organ transplants. I’m always up late, and my brain doesn’t function before coffee. Thank god we have a barista. I get a double shot vanilla latte every morning.

What’s your go-to drink?

I’m a wine guy. My favorite red is Immortal Zin Old Vine Zinfandel, and my favorite white is The Ned Sauvignon Blanc. I even took a wine-tasting class in college. By far my favorite college class. I got an A.