Chris Higgins’ enthusiasm and care for customers has been a running theme throughout his career—from his very first job to his current role as Sales Manager for Future Link IT. “I’m an advocate for my customers. I go to bat within the organization to make sure the customer is happy.”
“I like to solve problems in a way that brings people together, and doesn’t pull them apart,” he explains.
Chris spent the first 10 years out of high school in the restaurant business, making decent money and having a lot of fun. But working evenings, weekends and long hours during the holidays conflicted with his other passion: his family.
“I didn’t see my grandparents very often, maybe every other year. One Thanksgiving my grandparents were visiting, and I literally fell asleep at my plate.” Chris had been working 16-hour days, slinging pies at Bakers Square. “That was a defining moment. I thought, What am I doing?”
By that point, Chris had earned an associate’s degree in culinary management, but he knew he was at a crossroads. He knew what he didn’t like about the restaurant business (the hours) and knew what he liked: meeting new people and experiencing something different every day.
He also knew that he had an interest in computers. “My Dad worked for a major telecom company, so there were always parts around the house. I built my first computer, an IBM 286, by just figuring it out.”
Chris decided to go back to school and finish his bachelor’s in Information Systems. Taking that degree and going into sales was an option that came easy to him: “IT sales was a natural fit. You get experience with lots of products, you get to see different customers, and you get to work out solutions.”
He adds, “As long as you’re willing to ask people 200 times and hear ‘no’ 199 times, you can do well in sales.”
Chris’s first sales job was for MCC Technology, a company similar to Future Link but focused on smaller clients. Future Link brought him in to build a recurring revenue model. “Today, that subscription model for service is standard,” Chris asserts, “but back then, we were ahead of the curve. When I started with FLIT, less than 10% of our work recurred (basic maintenance, hosting , email) and now it is over 60% of what we do.”
As Sales Manager, Chris wears many hats. He reviews and evaluates all the tools that Future Link offers; researches pricing; determines the budget; and helps create sales and marketing collateral, basically building from the ground up. “I’m the jack of all trades—I do everything but the dishes.”
He is responsible for Future Link’s go-to-market strategy and for getting sales and service departments up to speed. In his 11+ years with Future Link, the company has increased sales 10%-20% year after year. “We got into managed services at the right time.”
Chris grew up in unincorporated St. Charles—now unincorporated Campton Hills—in a small neighborhood backed by cornfields. He has always been family- and community-oriented.
Family and sales have finally come together for Chris, in his current role. “I love that I can support my family and that Future Link’s become like a second family. I’ve received huge support over the years from Marty and Carl, the owners. When my mom got sick, they were there for me, both as a company and as friends.”
A Technology team working for you.
Future Link of Illinois has provided IT support for businesses like yours since 2002. Our staff believes in finding solutions that make your life easier. We specialize in fully customized hardware and software to meet your demanding needs.
Connect your business to the technology resources you need and the people who care. To learn what Future Link can do for you and your business “family,” schedule a call with Chris.