Coast to Coast Difference Maker Alan Schwartz Molds Career to Fit his Authentic Self

Alan Schwartz, Coast to Coast Computer Products

It remains to be seen whether Alan Schwartz is a new-age salesperson. An artist at heart and a creative teacher at his core, Schwartz certainly doesn’t fit the mold of the traditional account representative, and that is purely by design.

Schwartz winces at the idea that sales is a numbers game. He’ll be the first to say that selling is all about leveraging people-handling skills, although not in the manipulative sense. Honesty and trustworthiness are traits he picked up from his father, thus Schwartz is showcasing his authentic self when dealing with clients.

That’s not to say that salespeople generally struggle with transparency, but the success Schwartz has enjoyed during his time as a senior account manager for Coast to Coast Computer Products (CTC) in Simi Valley, California, is refreshingly organic. Perhaps it is that art student and teacher within that drives him to define the role on his own terms.

“I absolutely love my clients. The relationships I’ve built with clients over many years have evolved past simply solving their professional problems and fulfilling their business’ product needs,” said Schwartz, a 2021 ENX Magazine Difference Maker. “While I take pride in helping significant organizations to achieve their goals and helping them to reduce their carbon footprints, my real joy is connecting on a human level, and really getting to know people.”

Schooled in fine art and landscape design, Schwartz loves creating through many mediums, including painting and photography. He has taught art and worked as a family portrait photographer, and his ability to connect with people generated a high volume of repeat business.

New Beginnings

When Schwartz’s wife, Gina, wanted to move from Portland, Oregon to southern California, to obtain her master’s degree, he reluctantly agreed. A Los Angeles native, Schwartz embarked on a career change when his older brother offered him the opportunity to work in the toner telemarketing industry.

“I begrudgingly accepted his offer and soon found out that there was also an art to sales,” Schwartz observed.

He also found the same connective qualities that united people through the artistic brushstroke could be parlayed into problem-solving, creating bonds that went beyond fulfilling a business need. But Schwartz also possesses that one overarching quality that is a must-have in this line of work.

While having an interview/lunch with Coast to Coast founder Rick Roussin and with a proven sales track record to his credit, Schwartz was asked about the secret to his success. Without blinking an eye, he told Roussin, “I can put up with more BS than most people.”

Not that Schwartz has been irrevocably hardened by his experiences. In the early days of the pandemic, he brokered a deal to provide a client with 10,000 free hand sanitizers and helped quarterback a campaign to provide free masks for nurses. CTC acted as a significant repository for hand sanitizer and dispensers, temperature-scanning devices and various forms of PPE when need was most keenly felt.

Schwartz has set the goal bar high, seeking to grow CTC from its $60 million position to the $200 million plateau. “As an employee-owner, I have my sights set on expanding our account managers’ technical understanding by continuing to organize training events, as well as systematizing an internal technology product educational certification program,” he noted. 

Time management is the biggest hurdle Schwartz seeks to overcome, as chatting with clients can be both an asset and a time burglar. Joining Professionally Speaking Club—Toastmasters International is one way he hopes to hone his ability to be more succinct.

“I know I am less efficient than I could be, but I love connecting with people on a deeper level,” he said. “I’ve been told ‘less is more’ by so many managers that it’s become a mantra, and I know I have plenty of room for improvement.”

Alan and Gina Schwartz have been married for more than 20 years and have two children, Avery and Wylee, two puppies, a cat and a gecko. Art still plays a significant role in Schwartz’s life. He owns Fine Art of Alan Schwartz and loves painting, writing, photography and public speaking. An avid hiker, he loves to enjoy all the fresh air and scenic vistas that the northwest has to offer.

Erik Cagle
About the Author
Erik Cagle is the editorial director of ENX Magazine. He is an author, writer and editor who spent 18 years covering the commercial printing industry.