ACW is home to a vibrant community of channel professionals from across the country. We enjoy getting to know them at our in-person events and are happy to introduce you to them in this recurring Membership Matters Q&A. This month, we’re getting to know Lori Cundy, Founder of Speedy Telecom, a telecom agent focusing on broadband infrastructure.
Cundy has been a successful professional and sales leader in the telecom channel for 34 years. Throughout her career, Cundy has sought to forge genuine, professional relationships with her customers and champions the “put the customer first” sales mentality. Today, she applies those values to the company she founded, Speedy Telecom.
Why did you join ACW?
I have always enjoyed the camaraderie of working with groups of like-minded people and am thrilled to see so many women in technology and the channel. I had the misfortune of starting Speedy Telecom shortly before the pandemic and lockdown, so I couldn’t get out and meet people as initially planned. Meeting these wonderful women who are so tech- and community-minded was precisely what I was looking for.
What do you hope to get from and to give to ACW membership?
I truly hope to gain knowledge of my new Southwest Florida surroundings and meet people who have been in this area and know its challenges. Having been in telecommunications for 34 years, I can offer knowledge, advice and mentorship and would love the opportunity to do so.
What difficulty have you overcome that impacted your career for the better?
My motto has always been, “Put the customer first. Do the right thing. Your commission will take care of itself.”
To this end, I have always tried to forge real, professional relationships with customers. Understanding their real goals, challenges and motivations is key.
Sometimes, though, doing the right thing isn’t enough: As a direct rep, I was working with a customer who wanted to work with a specific agent, but the rules of engagement precluded agent teaming. The customer wasn’t happy, and the agent convinced him that I was doing something nefarious to keep the agent out. Worse, the agent told the customer that I’d make a ridiculous amount of money from their account – which wasn’t true because we were just working on a renewal that paid me nothing. Nothing I could say would convince my customer that I was trying to do the right thing. The lesson learned is that occasionally, a customer believes the wrong rep. The hard lesson is knowing when to cut your losses and move on. Luckily, it’s only happened once!
If you were to give yourself advice when you graduated from high school, what would it be?
Embrace technology and everything it affords us, but don’t get lost in it.
What’s the best book – fiction or nonfiction – that you’ve read recently and why?
Uncle Tom’s Cabin – it’s the first book that brought me to tears. There is a chapter that particularly moved me in which a woman dealing with the loss of her baby helped a woman on the railroad who needed baby supplies for her child.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
My husband and I love traveling, particularly to coastal/beach areas. This prompted our move to SW Florida. Additionally, we have two pugs that we rescued and continue to raise and love.
What is one personal and one professional goal you have in the next five years?
I would love to build my business to a point where I can bring on my nephew, a network administrator, to run things day to day while I (at least semi-) retire.