Amerlux Interviews Hossley's Mike Virag - Hossley Lighting Associates

Creative tip for getting product info to clients by Amerlux

Mike Virag, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for Hossley Lighting Associates, Inc., an employee-owned company covering two-thirds of Texas, has solved a lot of unique problems throughout a lighting career that expands about 25 years.

In fact, he ranks problem-solving as his No. 1 day-to-day motivator.

“It does not matter whether it is a lighting problem, a delivery problem, a service problem or a pricing problem,” Virag said. “I just get excited about getting people to where they want to go.”

But the trials that unfolded when the COVID-19 global pandemic struck presented a slew of new challenges neither Virag and nor his colleagues had ever experienced.

“One problem, in particular, was getting our clients relevant information,” Virag said. “We needed to solve the problem of getting product information in the client’s hands.”

The solution resulted in breaking open a bottle—virtually.

“We started what we call the Hossley Happy Hour. Sponsored by various manufacturers, clients log in once a week to hear various lighting manufacturers like Amerlux give their product pitches,” Virag said. “It’s a fun, lively environment. We effectively pivoted from getting information out from sales calls to doing it through virtual events.”

It’s been a relevant, quick and impactful change,” he continued, adding that the end-of-the-week events traditionally generate up to 120 attendees. “It would take us weeks to make sales calls to 120 people. Here, we connect with that many people in 30 minutes or less, and the demand is strong.”

Virag said he had noticed the development of two lighting trends. One is COVID-related: More clients are asking about spectral disinfection capabilities. Another is code-related: More clients are interested in lighting controls, Power over Ethernet (PoE) included.

“Code has been driving mass adoption of lighting controls in our marketplace,” he said. “Because we’re starting to see the next generation of controls come out, we’re also starting to see some of those job orders come into fruition. It’s exciting to see the migration of controls going from code compliant to beyond code compliant.”

Hossley Lighting Associates, headquartered in Dallas, has offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Lubbock, Tyler, San Antonio and Austin. The company, Virag said, “thrives on authenticity.”

“We thrive on being ourselves and doing the best we can,” he added. “We do not necessarily chase what the competition does. Instead, we work to be our own kind of group, and we do that very well.”

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