Hunting for new opportunities: an interview with Jean Dallaire
Jean Dallaire, Director of Business Development at Alithya, has been working in sales for more than 30 years. Over the course of his inspirational career, Jean has touched on just about everything as a greenhouse grower, a production manager, a computer store owner, and much more. His atypical background has provided him with the experience necessary for evolving in the business world, particularly in technology.
In speaking with Jean, it’s immediately evident why he still loves his job at the age of 74. He is a very independent person, but keenly interested in human relationships that advance the pursuit of new opportunities. And, as you already know, generational differences are viewed as an asset at Alithya! In the interview that follows, you’ll learn more about this thoughtful and reliable individual.
What are you most passionate about in the IT sector?
Information technology is a constantly and rapidly evolving field. No matter what industry you look at, most companies require skilled people with knowledge of how to support IT activities in the workplace. When you become a technology professional, you are also asked to solve complex problems, and I love being surrounded by creative people.
What is the biggest change that you have seen in IT over the course of your career?
Definitely cloud computing. The cloud makes it easy to access applications and data from anywhere in the world, and from any device with an Internet connection. I should also note that I am a veteran of the punch card computersauras era, so I have witnessed many changes in the business world!
You describe yourself as a hunter. Can you tell us more about what that label means?
Hunters are known as doers. In sales, their energy is fueled by the “hunt” for new customers and opportunities. They are best described as independent people, with great initiative, who are also solution-oriented. They tend to focus on big projects, and they are eager to move on to the next one as soon as they can close their current sale.
Can you describe a typical day?
Each morning, I monitor LinkedIn and Les Affaires. As director, I am responsible for driving Alithya's business by increasing its revenues, identifying and developing new business opportunities, and strengthening and expanding the presence of the company and its services.
How has the pandemic affected your work?
The biggest change was in respect to business meetings, which I often conducted in person. As I mentioned earlier, hunters are go-getters who are on the ground in pursuit of new sales opportunities. That being said, as a tech lover, I have leveraged all available methods at my disposal for maintaining relationships from a distance.
What are some of the indispensable qualities of your profession?
Being organized is probably one of the most important qualities. You need to know where to find the prospects and opportunities that are of interest to the company. Human contact is also important. The importance of knowing your customers on a personal level should never be underestimated, because integrity and trust are fundamental values. And, of course, patience is a virtue!
What do you credit with ensuring the successful path of your career for so many years?
My social skills, my ability to listen, and my positive attitude. Those things are the foundations of sincere communications with my clients. Verbal communication is a lost art. Not only does it lead to clearer expectations, but it also creates enduring relationships - and revenues - that can be relied upon year after year.
When do you plan to retire?
I like working at Alithya because of the company’s values and respect for its employees. As long as I feel that I’m useful, then I’ll remain active.
Your career is very inspiring. But now we want to know what you do in your spare time!
I would say that I’m somewhat of a homebody. I enjoy playing video games, rollerblading, and gardening around my house. The calm and serenity really help me to refocus, especially during this very challenging year.
I also spend a lot of my free time painting. My paintings capture the emotions that I can experience, and it’s an avenue that delivers great creative wisdom.
Follow Jean on Instagram.