Bruce gained his first sales experience at twelve working the quintessential job for a Midwest American boy in the 1980s: newspaper delivery. He started his paper route with 35 customers. When he gave up the job six years later to attend university, he had over 600.
Since the University of Michigan didn't offer sales as a major, Bruce graduated in political science. To finance his studies he held a wide range or part-time sales jobs. In 1991 Bruce left Ann Arbor with his degree in hand and moved to Vienna. Looking for a job, he quickly discovered that demand for American political science graduates was meager.
Drawing on his Macintosh computer skills, Bruce called Vienna's largest Apple partner and convinced the owner that he was a perfect addition to his team. It was a hard sell given that he didn't speak German. He was put on the telephone support hotline where he quickly learned German, and how to handle customer complaints. More importantly, he learned how to convert complaints into sales opportunities.
In 1993 Bruce caught the eye of Silicon Graphics and was offered a job in channel sales. He stayed two years at SGI moving in 1995 to Colorbus as Managing Director Central & Eastern Europe. Here he gained management and leadership experience. He learned that motivating employees is a different form of sales, requiring finesse, dedication, and exemplary role model qualities.
In 1997 Bruce returned to the United States as Xerox Channel Director for Colorbus and to play a larger role in the company's pending public offering. When it became clear that Colorbus would not achieve their IPO goal, Bruce moved to T/R Systems. At T/R he was proud to be a member of the most experienced sales team he ever worked with. In early 2000 the company listed on the NASDAQ.
In January 2001, Bruce returned to Austria and started working for Xerox Austria. He was consistently a top performer and successfully introduced the iGen3, the company flagship, to the Austrian market.
In January 2006, he made the leap into self-employment as a sales trainer and consultant. Since 2008, Bruce and Astrid Schilcher have combined their talents as Schilcher & Straight Consulting. They are also privately a couple.
When he isn’t working with clients, Bruce is a marathon runner. Running in large circles helps him generate new ideas. Training for races is also a valuable exercise in consequently working towards a goal.