Can you tell us a little about your background?
I now work in sales, but I wasn’t a ‘natural born salesman’. Far from it. I started my working life in the technical office of a small electromechanical and electronic manufacturing company. I suppose the best way to describe my role there is I was the one that had to ‘do a little bit of everything’. We all have to start somewhere!
As my role progressed, I became more involved in supporting the company’s designers and dealing with our suppliers if they had any technical issues. I enjoyed this ‘customer’ focused aspect of my role so much, it seemed to naturally transition into joining the sales team. I must admit though, it was a little painful at first. I didn’t know enough about the practical element of sales. That was easily remedied, however, with training and ‘on-the-job’ support.
As a salesman, the first projects I became involved with almost straightaway were in airport lighting. Firstly, in power supply solutions, then remote control systems. I then moved on to the whole wide range of airport ground lighting equipment – apron floodlights included!
Why did you decide to join Midstream?
My first contact with Midstream was actually as a client. I was impressed, not only with the outstanding quality of Midstream’s products of course but especially the team and the way it worked.
After completing several projects with them, our paths crossed again last year, and we were both looking for something new. I was looking for a new role and they were looking for a new salesperson to join them. The result? We’re working together again, but as colleagues now!
How do you think Midstream differentiates itself from the competition?
As an ex-client, this is an easy one to answer. Midstream has developed an amazing range of sector-specific products. That’s not all though. The company knows that ‘off-the-shelf’ products won’t do. That’s why they work so closely with clients to deliver tailor-made solutions for their needs.
What is your role at Midstream and what excites you about it?
I’m working as a Sales Area Manager alongside Beppe, our Country Manager. My areas of responsibility include the centre, south, and our Italian islands such as Sicily and Sardinia. I’ve worked in these areas before in my previous airport-related roles. So, it will be great to meet up and work with all my old contacts and colleagues again.
I’ll also be working across our other key sectors – sports, maritime, and horticulture. I’m sure this will be challenging to start with, but it’ll be a great opportunity to learn new things and skills too.
You’re used to working closely with partners, dealers, distributors – how do you plan to use this experience to help Midstream grow?
By maintaining and expanding my ‘network’. Creating a network – whether on a personal or work level – is massively important when it comes to business. Having friends and colleagues to support you, and who you can support too, can make achieving your goals so much easier. Without a network, doing your job and getting results isn’t impossible, it takes a lot longer though.
What has been the most memorable project you’ve worked on?
There are so many different moments and projects it’s difficult to pick out the single most memorable one. I think I can summarise them by saying it’s all been about experiencing and being part of the pioneering transition to LED lighting across Italian airports. Just like Midstream, I suppose.
What do you do in your spare time?
With the COVID-19 lockdown leaving us little to do apart from being at home and working, I’d have to answer that going to the beach is my main pleasure at the moment. I love reading too – so that’s an escape from these awful times.
What I can’t wait for though, once we are all allowed to get out and about properly again, is being able to visit the cinema, art exhibitions, museums, and our beautiful cities again with my wife Donatella. It seems such a long time since we’ve been able to do any of these things.
I hope everyone gets to do what they love as soon as possible. We all need it! So, stay safe and well until then.
Massimo Forlani - Sales Area Manager Italy at Midstream Lighting
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March 11, 2021