Steffan Edward Bote was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta in Canada, where he attended Bishop O’Byrne High School. During this time, he excelled in basketball, playing on the varsity teams throughout both middle school and high school.
Steffan’s basketball teams toured the region to compete, often crossing the border to play in the United States in tournaments, but he views receiving several All-Star nods and an MVP award as some of his most significant accomplishments during this time period. In 2013, he led his team to win the city championship for the first time in their school’s history.
Around the same time he started his college career at Bow Valley College, Steffan was invited to try out to play professional basketball overseas. Although it didn’t work out exactly as he wanted, he maintains that just being asked to make the trip overseas for a try-out was a huge accomplishment. After graduating from Bow Valley College in 2018, Steffan Edward Bote began his career as a business development representative for Dilawri Group, Canada’s largest automotive group. After his first year of employment there, Steffan moved into sales at a Dilawri-owned dealership. He has since been promoted, and is now a senior advisor at one of Dilawri’s other dealerships.
What do you currently do at your company?
As a senior advisor, I’m the first point of contact for customers and their vehicles. I ensure that customers get the best service possible, receive the proper repairs to their cars, and periodically update them on the status of their vehicle. I also manage the location. What that translates into mostly is managing the technicians and making sure the shop’s workflow is efficient and effective in all areas.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
The challenge of sales is what inspired me. For a long period of my life, I wanted to be a police officer. But after completing college and receiving my degree in Law Enforcement Studies, that didn’t work out. So, I shifted gears and went into sales. A career in sales isn’t for everyone, but it is something that I seem to do well, and it’s something that I’m passionate about. I was thinking about this the other day, and the conclusion I came to is that selling a product or service for a living is actually a lot like being paid to be a natural problem solver; it is solving your client’s problems and helping people get what they want. That’s why I’m here, and that’s what inspires me to do well in this profession.
What defines your way of doing business?
I believe my approach to business is very versatile. I look at the company and client and cater my approach to their needs, problems, or wants. Each instance is a little different, of course. You have to be perceptive and gauge the position of the client in question, all the while keeping in mind the interests of the company. And you have to be adaptable in order to close the sale.
What keys to being productive can you share?
In my opinion, the best way to be effective is to be consistent. You can be motivated, sure, but that can often be short-lived. However, consistency and discipline are the bedrock of productivity. When you are consistent in what you are doing and disciplined in how you do it, success is only a matter of time.
Tell us one long-term goal in your career
I want to make a difference and help people and businesses. In management, I may support a team and its members to succeed in their careers. In sales, I could be selling a product to a company that will make them more effective. I want to do whatever it takes to make a difference.
How do you measure success?
To me, success is making a positive difference in the lives of people and in the day-to-day operations of companies, and then seeing the results of what I’ve done. I want to be a difference-maker, and help to produce a domino effect where everyone concerned will be successful.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
It goes back to consistency and discipline. There’s an expression that I live by and guides me in everything I do: “You have to be consistently good to be great.” It’s all about maintaining discipline in order to reach greater heights.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
Trust the process. In sales, you may encounter a lot of rejection, which is okay. It’s inevitable, actually. You have to remember not to take rejection personally and not dwell on it. In sales, the important things to remember are to be consistent and to focus on the customer—that’s what sets you up for success. And always keep learning new information and skills, as that will aid you in growing your career. You have to keep moving and not be stagnant.
What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
Other than basketball, I love traveling. I also enjoy watching boxing. I just purchased my own home, so I enjoy being at home watching basketball, boxing, and reading. I want to learn new things, and reading helps with that more than anything else.
How would your colleagues describe you?
I think my colleagues would describe me as persistent and likable. Also, that I stay true to myself. Anyone who knows me well would say that one of my core strengths is that I am detail-oriented and enjoy getting things accomplished. If I know I can complete a task on the same day, I will work hard not to save it for the next day. I think my peers would say I’m on top of my game.
How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?
One of the main reasons I left the auto sales sector after college is because I couldn’t maintain a proper work-life balance. Sales is mainly a commissioned-based job. Back then, I worked Monday through Saturday all day long, and I had to work really hard to meet my quota. After a while, I realized that preserving my mental health was much more important than banking a big commission. These days, I know that you have to make sure that you take time for yourself and stay on top of your health. When I approach my career now, I look at how the various aspects of it affect my physical and mental well-being. I believe if you take care of yourself, you are better able to help others.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
Something my pastor once told me has always stuck with me. He told me to pursue God, and God’s perfection shall be upon me. As a Christian, that is something I strive to live daily.