The Herjavec Group
"About 15 years ago, a guy named George Frempong cold-called me to try to sell me something. He was sincere, passionate and amiable on the phone. He was so good that I pretended to want to buy what he was selling. At the end of the conversation, I asked him to come meet me, and I hired him.
"There are a lot of things that make salespeople great. But I think one of the most critical factors is adaptability. George is a guy you could blindfold, tie up, put on an airplane and drop in any location in the world. He would figure out the rules of the game — and how to win — wherever you put him. I think that this chameleon-like adaptability, the ability to change your colours depending on your environment, is the most crucial thing."
Premiere Executive Suites
"Her name is Jackie Stewart, and I hired her away from the competition. She's retired now. Jackie was always classy, respectful toward everyone — including office staff — and she had a tremendous sense of humour. That goes a long way in sales. And Jackie loved her clients. She would usually go to see them with a small, usually edible gift. The amount was insignificant; it was more the thought that mattered to them.
"When I hired her, she and I went to every client she had, about 20 of them. We pulled 90% of that business away. It was an experience for me to observe someone who was so well respected and focused on her clients that they were willing to switch companies to follow her."
Founder and Executive Chairman
Harry Rosen Inc.
"I hired Steve Pawlak to replenish our stock and clean up at my store on Parliament Street in Toronto. He was attracted to working with customers, and when I saw his confidence I let him go ahead, even though he was very young for our trade. Right off the bat, he had very strong support from the customers he served. They'd come back and ask for him.
"The reason is he has this great knack of reading each customer. Steve never groups people into a batch; he'll deal with them individually. Early on, he started keeping a card on the tastes, work, recreation, holidays and colleagues of each customer. They loved that he knew them so well. Right now, he's serving people in the fourth generation of some families he sold to decades ago. I never cease to be amazed by this man's capability."