Meet Marisa Deluca
2018 RSPA honouree - Central Canada
When Marisa Deluca, a sales consultant at La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries store located in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke, sits down to talk to Home Goods Online about being selected for a very special award, she expresses surprise at being honoured, mentioning that it’s the first time something of the sort has happened in her 38 years in the industry.
In addition to receiving the Retail Sales Professional Award for the Central Region – which includes both Ontario and Quebec – the jury also selected her as Canada’s Retail Sales Professional of the Year for 2018.
Deluca was one of just four recipients in the second annual edition of the Retail Sales Professional Awards (RSP Award), whose presenting sponsor is Zucora Home, the added-value goods and services specialist based in London, Ontario. The award recognises the outstanding achievements and accomplishments of experienced sales professionals who are also leaders when it comes to delivering sales and exceptional customer service.
To be selected, a sales person working on a retail floors selling furniture, mattresses and/or major appliances must be nominated by either their manager or their peers before its reviewed by an independent jury appointed by Home Goods Online is collaboration with the sponsors.
Like other 2018 honorees, Deluca has been working in the industry for quite some time. However, she wasn’t born into the world of furniture. She fell into it somewhat serendipitously and has, much to satisfaction of her colleagues, managers and customers decided to make it her career.
“Originally it wasn’t my idea [to get into the industry],” Deluca told HGO during a video interview taped during the Canadian Furniture Show, adding that her love of people and the products themselves inspired her to stay. “It was my partner’s – who ended up being my husband – idea. We were surrounded by people who were in the industry, so we ended up opening a furniture store. Once I started doing that, I realised this is exactly where I should be doing because I love dealing with people and furniture makes me happy. I love doing room settings and it just seems I feel good in that space.”
Deluca’s colleagues seem delighted she embraced the industry. “Marisa may be scheduled a five-day week, but she is always at working helping ensure her sales get delivered perfectly,” Jeff Gold, vice president of sales for La-Z-Boy. “She has an incredible memory for customers. Being tops in sales volume usually means the fabric protection sales would suffer. Marisa closed Magi (a brand offered by Zucora Home) at 94%.”
And even though she has a proven track record and, it appears, great results, she still wasn’t expecting or anticipating any kind of award. For that reason, the nomination and eventual selection came as a pleasant surprise.
“It’s a huge honour for me,” Deluca said. “I know I’ve been selling furniture and have been in this industry for a long time. I’ve never had anything like this ever happen to me so of course I’m very grateful and thankful. I think it’s great and again, it’s a huge honour.”
Deluca says while it’s hard to say how or if being named the RSP Award for both the Central Region and Canada will change anything, she sees it as a sign she’s on the right path. “I guess it reinforces my beliefs and how I love this business. It will just make me more aware of how nice and how big this business is. There are so many avenues that you can get into versus just selling. I think it just reinforces that outlook for me.”
Deluca hopes other people receive the same honour going forward, as the show of appreciation is meaningful. “I think people should nominate people from their programs, stores and businesses because it just reinforces someone who loves doing this job, how great it is and being honoured is always a good thing.”
As for her own future, Deluca is happy where she is and plans to excel in the store she’s called home for so many years. “At this point, my career ambitions are to just keep doing what I’m doing and getting better everyday at what I do and just keep selling the furniture. I love it.”
For the up and coming salesperson, Deluca has some simple advice: genuinely care about your product. “The advice I would give another sales professional to be more successful [would be] if you love the product, if you learn about the product, if you know the background of the product and understand it, that’s going to be your biggest support in making better sales.”