Tom Fitzpatrick

With $20 million a year in electronics sales and a legendary knack for marketing, you’d think the managers at Stereo Advantage would have no trouble luring vendor reps into town to strike a deal. Except the town, despite being one of the 50 most populated U.S. metro regions, is Buffalo. Maybe it’s the city’s reputation as a struggling post-industrial metropolis. Maybe it’s the weather. Whatever it is, Stereo Advantage CEO Al Walters still has to talk out-of-towners into the merits of his market. “Vendors say to me, ‘What am I going to do in Buffalo?’ And I tell them, ‘You’re going to have

When his boss suggested opening a cafe in the store, Tom Fitzpatrick, a long-time salesperson and system designer at Stereo Advantage in Buffalo, NY, was skeptical. “I was like, are you kidding me? All I could picture was people spilling coffee on the TV’s. Liquid and electronics don’t mix! But now I get it, it’s actually really great,” says Fitzpatrick, who, in his 22 years at the store, has embraced a myriad of changes in sales strategy. So, when the boss suggested obtaining a liquor license (just beer and wine) at that in-store cafe, Fitzpatrick was on board immediately. “That’s

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