EECO Asks Why Podcast

245. Hero - Michael Hennings, Director Business Development at Hubbell Incorporated

February 13, 2023 Electrical Equipment Company
EECO Asks Why Podcast
245. Hero - Michael Hennings, Director Business Development at Hubbell Incorporated
Show Notes Transcript

Look for challenges and never be content.

That is what drives Michael Hennings and he shares about his amazing journey in this Hero conversation.  Michael is the Director of Business Development at Hubbell and is on the front lines of cutting edge technology daily.  His career began in distribution and has provided him tremendous opportunities to grow into the role he currently has at Hubbell.

Michael shares how the recent addition of PCX has changed the game in how the market is being served.  They are consistently looking for new and innovative solutions that solve the most complex items industry faces.

He shares insight into how you can enter the industrial world by proven ways that he's seen firsthand.  Learning how to ask questions is huge and for those wanting to pursue a career in sales his advice about being genuine is rock solid!

Michael is an elephant hunter in the world of sales and loves the pursuit of large business deals.  In his spare time he can be found on a baseball field coaching his son and is thoroughly enjoying that season of life.

Throughout this conversation you can feel Michael's passion for industry and the impact he's making is tremendous.  Sit back, enjoy and learn from our hero Michael Hennings!

Remember to keep asking why... 

Guest: Michael Hennings - Director Business Development at Hubbell Incorporated

Hubbell Website
PCX Website

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Host: Chris Grainger
Executive Producer: Adam Sheets

[00:00:00] Chris Grainger: Welcome to Eco s y. Today we have a hero episode. We'll be talking to Michael Hennings, who is the director of business Development at Hubble and Pcx. So welcome, Michael. Hey, Chris. Thank you for having me. I'm excited to have you here, sir. So excited to have you and I, I'd love to get these hero conversations going, just hearing about our hero's journey.

So can you tell me a little bit about your journey through industry? 

[00:00:26] Michael Hennings: Sure. Absolutely. Uh, so my journey really began back when I was in high school and college. Uh, my father was a general contractor. I wanted to learn a trade, started working as a carpenter's apprentice over summers, learning to swing a hammer, really learning about being on job sites.

From there, after a college and a master's degree, found myself in electrical distribution, uh, which was great, you know, uh, a, a company very similar to eco, uh, working in a warehouse inside sales, outside sales. And, uh, from there really started to realize I was. Knew a lot about everything, but wasn't a specialist in anything.

And as I was traveling with some manufacturers, I learned I really wanted to be a subject matter expert and made my way over to Hubble from there and was a territory manager, uh, in both Louisiana and Florida. And then Hubble provided me a lot of opportunities for growth in my career. Took on leadership role, managing sales teams, uh, across the southeast.

Then moved more into a technical sales role leading a team of market. That responsibility for our end user engagement. Go-to-market strategies, uh, technical standards for, uh, telecommunications data centers, oil and gas, solar, wind, really across the board. And, uh, have expanded that role, uh, across Hubble.

And then from there, uh, we brought Pcx into the Hubble. Which has been really exciting. So it allows us to take all of these great Hubble products and put 'em into more of a complete engineered solution, get closer to our end users, really work with data center owners and, and, and large commercial companies to design very specific products to help them scale and get the market faster on their large builds.

That's how, how we got to where we are today. That's, that's an 

[00:02:11] Chris Grainger: incredible story. It sounds like you've, so, have you primarily been calling on industrial. Customers 

[00:02:16] Michael Hennings: your whole career? Primarily industrial customers, uh, industrial and technology customers. Right. A little bit of commercial in there, but Absolutely.

[00:02:27] Chris Grainger: Okay. Well, I'm curious cuz I mean, we definitely served that industrial, uh, end user here at, at ecos y So from your experience, do you see any common challenges that these, these end users are facing 

[00:02:39] Michael Hennings: these. And it's finding new, innovative solutions that are also readily available, right? Mm-hmm. , you have, everybody wants the, the newest product that helps them be more sustainable.

It helps their product be more reliable. You know what, what we look for at Hubble are to be an industry leader that is competitive in price. Right. A lot of our, our Hubble products are an overall low cost of ownership. Mm-hmm. , but very high cost of. So we look to provide things that are, are very reliable, very safe.

That last the test, you know, that really stand to test time lasts a long time and, uh, don't require that as much policy, right? Very low cost of ownership, very high cost of failure. We want to be that most reliable guy in the market with something new, something innovative. Yeah. 

[00:03:27] Chris Grainger: I, I am curious, I mean, just how long ago was it that Hubble, did Hubble take that, make that pcx part of the offering?

Was it, was this, has this been pretty. 

[00:03:36] Michael Hennings: Yeah, pretty recent, about six months ago, it was mid, early, mid-July when we, uh, oh wow. Completed that acquisition and really rolled them into the, the Hubble family. And it's been really excited for us because there's so much overlap and our customers, our targets, um, and our, our growth projections, they've been, uh, they've been great and the people at pcx have been really excited about a lot of the new resources that Hubble has brought to them and giving them the ability to really scale and grow and expand on what they, what they're doing.


[00:04:06] Chris Grainger: I know for me, I used to sell a lot of Hubble, you know, I, when I was an outside sales rep, I sold to a lot of our, our aggregate, our quarries and things like that. So definitely Hubble has that heavy industrial brand. It's def it's definitely recognized there. So maybe when you think about Hubble, Is there something that, that people automatically think of that you, you like to take a chance to debunk and, or, or, Hey, Hubble is not just this, we do these different things as well.

I'll love to just see what your, your 

[00:04:35] Michael Hennings: thoughts are there. Oh, absolutely. I think when most people think of Hubble, they think of a wiring device, right? They think of a, a twist lock, a plug, or a separate connect to that connector. Cause that's where Hubble really made a name for itself. That's where Hubble started a hundred years ago.

But Hubble has grown heavily through, through acquisitions as well as organically. Over the last 50 years, we've brought a lot of other companies into who we are and what we do. From burnie's grounding and bonding and power connectors to acme transformers and other power control brands to, you know, cable pathway.

You know, your basket tray, your, your ladder tray started getting into conduit fittings and outlet boxes. Uh, you'd be really surprised if you went on and clicked on our brands. Yeah. 80 plus different brands you're gonna find under the Hubble name. You know, at Hubble, when we bring a family, we really believe in the brand equity that comes with these, these companies that oftentimes started as family companies.

And we keep that name, we allow them to still operate with a lot of autonomy. So people don't always recognize the, the breadth that Hubble has to. I think a lot of people would be surprised to go in and see just how many markets we play in and how many of the products they're touching every day that they maybe didn't realize were were Hubble products.

That's really 

[00:05:53] Chris Grainger: cool. I mean, I, I had no idea it was that number of different brands that, that Hubble represented, so that's incredible. Sounds like a awesome business model and also sounds like a great place to work. So if you, you got some listeners out there now, Michael, who are listening and they, they want to pursue a career in.

Maybe they're thinking about Hubble. What advice would you give 'em to get 'em, you know, started on the right foot, heading in down the, a career path 

[00:06:18] Michael Hennings: and industry today? Man, I'd say just the more, they just ask a lot of questions. Look for things that are innovative, look for things that are disruptors in the market.

Cause those are the things that are gonna continue to, to grow and, and challenge you. You know, don't, don't get content doing what you're doing today. Mm-hmm. , keep challenging yourself to learn more about a new. Learn more about the next product. Learn more about your, your customers and the markets.

They're not only serving today, but that they could be serving tomorrow. Mm-hmm. , 10 years ago, Chris, I'd have no idea how much time I'd be spending in a data center. Didn't even know what a data center was 10 years ago. Right. But the, the growth from industrial to telecommunications to to data. And the expansion it's allowed us to sell our products at Hubble has been really exciting and, and it's very exciting to me and led us down the path to, to having pcx as well.

So just, just keep asking those questions, keep looking for, for new innovative markets and, and innovative products. And when someone says, Hey, would you be interested in X Man? Say yes. And, and learn about it and just keep. That's right. 

[00:07:26] Chris Grainger: Lean into that. I mean, you, you have to get used to being uncomfortable.

And I love how you say, just, just, just keep moving forward and keep asking question and be, uh, you know, the, the, you can't ask enough questions these days to grow forward. So I am curious too, for, for Hubble or for you directly, you know, how, what is the take on mentorship? So if somebody comes in and they, and they, and they're growing throughout.

Through the company? Do they have mentors? Do, should they be seeking mentors? Do you have mentors? I just, I love to just see how different people, uh, what their take is on mentorship and uh, you know, so how that impacts their career. 

[00:08:01] Michael Hennings: Yeah, great question. I absolutely love mentorships. I had some great mentors coming up.

So at Hubble we have some very structured programs for mentorship. Mm-hmm. , uh, but primarily for. Young employees that are just coming in, you know, early, early career development, mentorship with senior sales, senior engineering, senior finance, and try to get them exposure to a lot of different parts of the business rather than just their, their specialty.

Right. Whatever that may be. But as we grow, it becomes less structured. Mm-hmm. , what I encourage people to do is look for those people throughout your company or other companies that, that have the roles you're looking to get into in the future. And ask them questions. Yeah, spend some time with them, you know, grab a cup of coffee, get on a, get on a teams call, make and invite them to join you on sales calls or in meetings to, to get a fresh perspective and to get other ideas on how to, how, how to push your career forward.

I had a really early in my career when I was in sales, I had a, a great mentor that had been in the industry for 20 years. And, uh, as I was following him around on, on sales calls, I started saying things and making the same jokes, teammates, and he kind of pulled me aside. He goes, Hey, when, when you wanna be in sales, you want to grow your career, don't try to be like me just cause I'm successful.

He goes, you still have to be you. It's gotta come off. Your jokes have to come off as genuine. Your stories have to come off as truly genuine and, and come from, you know, come from your experience. He goes, don't try to be. Make sure to be yourself in all these calls. Just learn from my experience and learn from how I interact with customers.

He goes, just be, be genuine. Don't try to, don't try to be me. And I always took that to heart and I think it made me a much, much better salesperson and a much better sales leader as I grew that wanted to develop as I started having employees working for me. I, I really work at developing their strengths, right, to push them.

In the best direction for them. Right. Don't try to mold them into me. In fact, I really go outta my way to try to hire people that are different from me. And then a, across my team, I try to hire guys that are different from each other. It's that they mentor and learn from each other, even in a non-structured program.


[00:10:16] Chris Grainger: that's incredible. I love that advice by just being genuine. We don't have enough of that out there, Michael. So, uh, sounds like the mentors you had were definitely pouring in some great advice to you. So, uh, last question on your career. When you had a great day, you crushed it. You come home, you're smiling, you're, you're, you're pumped up.

You're full of joy. What did you do that day? 

[00:10:36] Michael Hennings: Oh, man. I had a, I had a win. I had a big win. I love hunting elephants, Chris. Okay. I love tracking 'em. Spending months trying to find that big project, getting in early and then getting that big order, or getting that big, that big, yes. At the end of the day, at the end of the day, I love being an elephant.

There's, uh, something exciting. I don't want to take away from all the small wins along the journey, but that big project you've been chasing for two years, that, that you just closed on. That was, that was a good day. That was a good day. 

[00:11:07] Chris Grainger: That was a good day. I love it. Well, let's, let's, let's get off the career path a little bit.

Let's have a little fun here. Uh, get to know you outside of work. So do you have any hobbies, anything you'd like to do 

[00:11:16] Michael Hennings: for fun? I think I had two that really take up most of my time. A being a father, I, I coach my son's little league baseball teams and I ab absolutely love it. I have a blast out there.

Brings back to my childhood, getting to hit and throw and catch and developing these young, these young baseball players. And then personally for myself, I love the game of golf. You know, something about golf, it's just me and that course I'm not competing with anybody else. I'm just trying to be better than the last time I played 18 holes.

Right. Just that, that continuous development and, and one-on-one. Something about just, just love and continues to drive me to get out there and play again every week. 

[00:11:55] Chris Grainger: That's awesome. That's awesome. So got, I gotta ask you, so from a baseball stand, how old is your son? So what, what age are you, are you, are you coaching here?

[00:12:02] Michael Hennings: So my son, uh, is playing 12 U baseball. He'll uh, be okay. 12 in May. He's been playing since he was four. Cause I've coached close to 18 seasons I think, of baseball throughout the years from deep ball and coach pitch and intermediate through majors. And I loved every bit. 

[00:12:18] Chris Grainger: That's awesome. That is incredible.

So what, what position does he play? 

[00:12:22] Michael Hennings: So, it was a joke. He's really a utility player. His favorite position, he loves being catcher. He loves being in the middle of the plays. He loves talking to the pitcher, he loves getting that equipment on. But he's played just about every position out on that, out on that diamond.

He'll go wherever, wherever he needs to be. But his, uh, his love is definitely being behind the plate of. Okay. 

[00:12:42] Chris Grainger: That's good that he, that he can, can do that. Cuz I know too many players, man, they just, they get stuck in one position. They don't experience the different, the different, you know, areas out on the ball field.

So, you know, kudos for you. Sound like he's has a great coach that's, uh, encouraging him to do 

[00:12:57] Michael Hennings: that. , that's awesome. I had some, I had some good assistant coaches along the way, Chris, that helped, helped teach me . 

[00:13:03] Chris Grainger: We all do, brother. That's it. That's it. Well, hats off too, cuz we definitely need more men stepping up and, and, and coaching and, and leading their sons.

So that, that is awesome. Love to hear that. Uh, so how about for, for for fun, do you have any, do you, are you a podcast guy? Do you listen to, uh, any podcast? 

[00:13:19] Michael Hennings: Man, just the eco asks y Okay, well then, uh, now I'm, forget the name. Armchair one with Dak Shepherd. He's going, uh, arm, armchair, armchair, Kathy to listen to a lot.

I really enjoy. Oh, okay, okay. It's just entertaining. It's fun. It's, it's comedy. So past the time when I'm driving down the road. Alright, 

[00:13:37] Chris Grainger: well let's have a quick lightning round. I like to do this with all our, with all our heroes. Uh, we'll have a little fun here. Just a couple quick questions and we'll wrap this up.

So, uh, so just to get us going, what's your favorite? 

[00:13:48] Michael Hennings: Probably tacos taco. You can put anything into a taco. It's fast, it's portable. Nah, just everything wrapped in a tortilla is good by me. There you 

[00:13:55] Chris Grainger: go. There you go. How about adult beverage? Bourbon. 

[00:13:59] Michael Hennings: Good. Bourn. Okay. Amy, what brand? I've got a few, uh, my, my go-to's probably an Elijah Craig, my everyday sipping, but if I really wanna spoil myself, I'll probably go towards a, a Blanton's or, or really good eagle.


[00:14:12] Chris Grainger: Okay. Okay. Love it. What's your favorite app on 

[00:14:15] Michael Hennings: your. Game changer. That's, uh, baseball apps. When I'm traveling, I'm on the road. Game Changer allows me to see exactly what's happened in my, my kids' baseball games so I can see how every hitter's performed, every play that's happening, what the score is all in lifetime.

It's, it's the coolest thing for, uh, preparing the travels and every now and then, I gotta miss a game. 

[00:14:35] Chris Grainger: I don't have to. So who's updating it on the other end? Somebody at 

[00:14:38] Michael Hennings: the game, somebody on the team. So we usually have an assistant coach or a parent that's updating it like, you know, the old days where they had the scorebook and they're putting everything in my hand.

It's done in a app now and then it, uh, it summarizes the game. It tracks stats, but it allows me to watch the game if I'm on the road. And I'm gonna miss one if I never have to miss a baseball game or I hate again. That's 

[00:14:59] Chris Grainger: incredible. I did not, I have never heard of that app. Okay. That's. So what's, what is your favorite sports team?

[00:15:06] Michael Hennings: Florida Gators. Florida Gators, okay. S e c football doesn't get any better. 

[00:15:12] Chris Grainger: Okay. Go Tebow. All right, I hear you man. . Alright, give me, uh, how about a guilty pleasure? You got any guilty pleasures? Michael? 

[00:15:21] Michael Hennings: Uh, what is a guilty pleasure? You know what I, I, I hate to put this out there, but I'm gonna say the, uh, the food network Sunday mornings cup of coffee.

I don't wanna watch the news. I don't wanna pay attention to a movie. Food Network goes up, watch them cook and it just inspires me to get out. Grill, do something for dinner that night. I'd say that's a guilty pleasure for me. There you go. 

[00:15:42] Chris Grainger: Nothing wrong with that one. Now the last question for you, Michael.

Dogs or cats? 

[00:15:45] Michael Hennings: Dogs. All right. That guy, I love one. I can play catch, run around and play games. Love it. Love 

[00:15:52] Chris Grainger: it. There was only one right answer and you got it man. . So we're, we're good to go there. So we call it Ecos Wild Microwave. We always wrap up with the why. So if somebody wants to know what your personal why is, what are you gonna tell '

[00:16:03] Michael Hennings: em?

Man, my personal why is just to never be content. My personal why is I just always wanna be challenged. I don't wanna be bored. Uh, the only thing constant is change. And I just wanna welcome that change and everything that I. That's awesome. That's 

[00:16:16] Chris Grainger: awesome. Where, where should the listeners go to connect with you to learn more or, or Hubble and, and, uh, just to, where would you like to direct 

[00:16:23] Michael Hennings: them?

Well, you can find me personally on LinkedIn, but, uh, direct you to our hubble's website, to learn more about what PCX does. And they're, uh, their modular approach to the. 

[00:16:38] Chris Grainger: All right, well, we'll make sure we have all that stuff synced up in the show notes for you listeners.

And Michael, it's been a pleasure to get to know you, sir. Thank you so much for sharing your story here on 

[00:16:45] Michael Hennings: Eco s y. Absolutely. Chris, thank you so much for having me on all the sport eco shows, the Hubble and p cx. Well, you have a great 

[00:16:52] Chris Grainger: day, sir. Sir, thank you. I'll tell you what, Michael is a fun guy, right?

So he is a, he's got, he's a firecracker. He's got a lot of energy. He, he loves that change and always being at the forefront, and he's making a big impact in the industry. So it was such an honor to be able to sit down with him, hear his story. Hopefully you guys got some inspiration out of that. I definitely did a lot of just, just, I just like his energy.

He's just a fun, fun guy to be around. So again, check out the show notes. There'll be ways to connect with him. And you can learn more about him and the wonderful things that, that Hubble and Pcx are doing. Uh, definitely sounds like he has, uh, got a, a bright future ahead, doing a lot of things, and wishing the best of luck on that baseball field as well.

So, Hopefully you enjoy this one. If you did, give us a rating, five star, write a review, one or two sentences. Really that's all we need is just a couple sentences that makes all the difference in the world. Uh, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Uh, connect with the stairs, subscribe to this on your u on your podcast channel as well, so that you'll be updated for each and every week when we have these conversations coming out.

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[00:18:36] Michael Hennings: E C O 

[00:18:38] Chris Grainger: A s ks w h 

[00:18:40] Michael Hennings: