Sara Hafeman
Dealer Development

I love the partnership feel – the face to face, long term lifetime relationships that are built over time just like my dad did with his customers. We want both partnerships to be successful. We trust each other and we are loyal to each other. This is important.

I was in high school when my dad, Dale, and brother, Mike, started Time Investment Company back in 1981. I remember going into our basement and seeing the old desk, typewriter and the box filled with index cards that were hand written for each account holder. I would sometimes ask what they were doing, but it sounded pretty boring to me at the time!

I was never really interested in working for the family business when I was just fresh out of college and it never occurred to me to be an option to consider. When I graduated with a business marketing degree, I was more interested in sales and upon graduation I decided to follow in my dad’s footsteps and try my hand at direct sales. I sold fire protection products to homeowners, a job that I very much enjoyed. I really liked meeting and learning about all of the families I was about to protect from fire. I was passionate about wanting to help them. That first job experience has helped me today with our customers, because I understand the time, money and effort that it takes to make a direct sale.

When I was 26, my older sister, Mary, had just taken a new position at a golf resort in St Augustine Florida. Mary is a golf teaching professional and was begging me to come work for her in the pro shop. It sounded like a good deal to me. Move to Florida and lay on the beach! Of course I said yes! I worked in the pro shop for about 3 months, but was quickly promoted to the Hotel Sales department. I spent the next 12 years of my life working in Hotel Sales, 2 years in Florida and 8 years at a Marriott Hotel in Milwaukee. I absolutely loved my job. I loved to work with my customers, getting to know them and their needs and then making them happy. I always knew that the secret to repeat business was to create a great relationship by giving outstanding customer service. This is the same philosophy I also tried to instill in my staff and as a result of living this philosophy, I created many lifelong friends.

I married in 1994 and left the hotel business to raise my two wonderful sons, Jack and Sam. During that time, I started my own meeting planning business, but I also worked with my husband in our Landscape business. This opportunity was great for our family as I was able to work out of our home and take care of our two sons. It also allowed me to get very involved with our son’s school activities, as well as, a variety of committees which I served on during those child rearing years.

In 2010, my brother Tom mentioned to me that TIC wanted to create a new position. The position was to help build relationships with brand new dealers who wanted to do business with TIC. I had never really thought about working for the family business until that day. The position sounded like fun, but I also knew there would be a learning curve between selling hotel services and finance. The toughest part for me was learning the lingo and the products that we provide. I continue to learn and grow everyday as we are always looking for ways to improve our customer experience. I was happy to be involved with our programmer in developing our first on-line paperless system which has given me lots of insight into the IT world. I appreciate any opportunity to learn and grow, and am thankful our owners, my brothers, are big advocates for growth both personally and professionally.

Currently I am in charge of Dealer Development and I love what I am doing. My job at TIC is to help brand new dealers transition smoothly, ultimately becoming long term partners of Time Investment Company. To this end, I take the majority of all inquiries or referrals, and work with each and every new dealer personally before they get their in-house training. I enjoy this process because it allows me to be in contact with every new dealer and I have the first opportunity to introduce them to TIC. I feel that if they like and trust me, they will love working with the rest of our staff.

Throughout the years, I have developed many relationships with our dealers and I do love the partnership “feel” and spending time to get to know our dealers. I am also especially passionate about helping our dealers to be successful in their businesses as a result of incorporating financing options to their customers. And after all these years in my many different roles, I still believe that the secret to success is to provide the best service that we can, listen to our customer’s needs, and try to go out of our way to be the best we can be in our industry.