It’s been a week since regional sales manager and family man William “Bill” Zoller lost his battle with cancer, but the lessons he taught those who worked alongside him live on.
“There’s the technical salesman, the entertainment salesman,” says Jeremy Boggs, one of Zoller’s closest friends and colleagues. “That certainly wasn’t Bill. His approach was honesty. Fight for the customer and make sure you’re working in their best interest and that’s how I try to model myself.”
Boggs’ first encounter with Zoller was on the golf course. Growing up in Lenoir, North Carolina, Boggs went to school with Zoller’s son and worked on the golf course where Zoller spent most of his time.
“Bill was 21 years older than me,” Boggs says. “I worked on the golf course and I knew of Bill, but I didn’t know him personally other than he was always nice to us caddies.”
In 2007, Boggs joined the sales team at WEIMA America, a shredding manufacturer based in Fort Mill, South Carolina, where Zoller worked as a regional sales manager for more than 15 years.
“I didn’t know Bill worked there,” Boggs says. “I got together with him and it was a good friendship right from the beginning. He wrapped his arms around me, took me traveling, taught me how to deal with customers, helped me learn the equipment and to be honest.”
Boggs was Zoller’s guest member at the golf course for the past 12 years. It was on the course that Zoller taught him everything he knows.
“Because he had been in the business, he talked about how to handle certain projects,” Boggs says. “He was very knowledgeable. He was just an honest salesman and a good man. Basically, early on he told me don’t lie to these people. Tell them you don’t know the answer and then go find out the answer.”
Zoller lost his battle with cancer Oct. 29 at age 62. He was surrounded by friends, family and coworkers in his final days.
“Its been really hard for me to process,” Boggs says. “I knew he was sick, but rather than make a big fuss of it he didn’t really tell anyone. For me and everyone else, it seemed quick. You see someone a few days prior to their death and you think everything is okay.”
Zoller worked up until the last days of his life.
“That’s really just a testament to how tough he was,” Boggs says. “The day before he was in the hospital, he was meeting with customers at WEIMA.”
Zoller was more like family to the people he worked with. Boggs says he’ll continue to be the kind of salesman Zoller taught him to be.
“I try to model myself just like him,” Boggs says. “That’s my approach with customers, with projects. When something goes wrong, don’t run and hide. That’s what he taught me.”