Been Working on Some Stuff

For those that know me I have a hard time with biting my lip, I have been working on it and it’s hard. I have been around this industry since 1983, I have developed rhino skin, I am opinionated and have no problem sharing my educated opinion about the industry. Chewing on my words before I spit them out has been a project, it can be frustrating for me but honestly it has helped.

My hours at the office since March 19th have been very few, maybe 10 total, 15 minutes here 1/2 hour there. Visits to customers, zero, visits with business partners, 3. COVID-19 has hurt, professionally, personally and financially, it has hurt us all. Zoom calls, conference calls, Microsoft teams, virtual conferences, 100’s, for someone who is not known as technically savvy person I think I have done okay. Little help now and again, thank you!

Much of my time since March 19th has been spent on two fronts;

  1. My role as TTSAO President. For something that is suppose to be a part time gig it has been nothing but full time most weeks since early March consumed with calls with Serco, MTO, other industry associations, members phone calls, emails, updates, board calls, media calls. Extraordinary times on the TTSAO front. I have enjoyed (almost) every minute learning so much. Our weekly calls with The Minister of Transportation, Minister Mulroney have been very fulfilling for me, very rewarding both personally and professionally. What goes on behind the scenes like  calls, the lobbying, the negotiating, the positioning, the development of relationships, I have enjoyed it! Thank you to the TTSAO for allowing me the opportunity to be your be your President.
  2. Our team at TransRep has been really busy on many fronts. We have some pretty cool changes to a couple of our services at TransRep. Our Executive Placement business has had some major changes, all for the better. Quietly, our executive placement has been good to us, it is a perfect fit for who we are and what we do. At the end of the day we love to help people and businesses succeed, human capital, great human capital is critical to the success of any operation. We have had our share of great and our share of bad, thankfully there has been much more of the good. I’m a firm believer you can’t run an A class businesses with C class talent.  Timely, Effective, Reliable. 3 key words that have been driving our team since we started the process of the new plan. The TransRep team is excited and we’re looking forward to our new innovative approach that will embrace technology and people as we move forward to meeting and exceeding our customers expectations.

As I rap up I want to thank all of those who have continued to stick behind the National Recruiting & Retention Symposium.  All of our sponsors have remained on board along with the delegates and with strong hope and optimism we will be a go at the end of October. Thank you!

A Thrilling Day This Summer – Ultimate Exotics

I am so fortunate that I get to meet so many awesome people daily. I mean, I’ve definitely met some dough heads too, but for the most part there are some really cool people in our industry.

Geoff Joseph is one of those people I am fortunate enough to have met. What makes him cool? Most importantly, he is a Bruins fan so we connected instantly when we met a few years ago. Also Geoff is now a customer at KRTS and Transrep and our people like doing business with him and his people because of his great personality . As a serial entrepreneur he has fingers in a number of pies in transportation but it is what he is involved in away from trucking that is interesting as well.

Geoff is a partner of Ultimate Exotics in Stoney Creek. Ultimate Exotics is billed as the ultimate driving experience. I can tell you first hand it is just that. My beautiful bride of 30 years surprised me with this experience for our anniversary recently. I must tell you it has been a major highlight of summer and I would highly recommend that if your a car buff and want to drive really neat cars and like to go fast and enjoy a terrific day with that is run by some really good knowledgable people give Ultimate Exotics a call.

Let me give you some of the highlights of our experiences off the day.  First the cars I drove in my five plus hours; Tesla S90, Nissan GTR, Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder  and a McLaren MP4-12C. Simply a smorgasbord of some of the greatest sports cars on the planet. This ride wheels you through some of the prettiest backroad highways in the Niagara Peninsula escarpment and wine country. For me I didn’t have to get in the passenger seat so I drove everyone of incredible machines and pushed their performance (and Lisa’s nerves a couple of times) to the brink. Your excursion stops half way through as you park your car in VIP parking at the KEG in Niagara Falls for a great lunch with stunning views of the falls. After lunch you continue your high pace cruise with a combination of backed road curves and turns along with some expressway cruising.

Ultimate Exotics is the leading top rated exotic car experiences in Canada and was recently awarded the trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence from 2016. Besides the views and cars what makes Ultimate Exotics special is their people. The entire staff was great but two guys that stuck out to me was Steve Luangpaky their Marketing Manager and Dennis Williams their General Manager. These two gents understand the meaning of customer service. If your looking for an amazing experience that is affordable, fun and exciting check out www.ultimateexotics.ca you will not be disappointed.

I hope you are all having a terrific summer!



It’s Here! Mandatory Entry Level Driver Training (MELT)

Years ago when MELT was first being kicked around I was fortunate enough to meet with one of Minister Del Duca’s assistants at an industry function. She asked if we could meet the next day so she could get my opinions and thoughts about the announcement the Minister made the night before about pursuing MELT in the Province. Two hours later we were still talking about the Pro’s and Con’s, who the players should be at the table and what the goals and objectives would be.

The Value of Attending Industry Events

There are so many events happening in our industry, it’s impossible to get to them all. For myself and our people, it is really important that whatever events or conferences we attend that there is an opportunity to bring value back to our businesses.

Spending Real Time with Customers

In my almost 30 years of being in business I have learned so much about the sales cycle and promoting and marketing what you sell. I have seen all types of sales people and I am not going to get into styles and what is the best way to sell. As a matter of fact, in my mind one of the best ways to sell is to not sell, or don’t worry about the sale, at least not upfront.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. Many years ago I went to lunch with a mentor of mine and he was very keen about getting this account. His company had done a little business with the company of the person we were going out for lunch with, but he wanted more of the business – I think if memory serves me right he wanted all of the business.

When we picked the person up, he told them the afternoon was theirs to go where they liked or to do what they liked, as he had nothing else planned. I found out afterwards that who we had lunch with was only part of the decision making team but I learned quickly from my mentor that this was very important. They had influence and they would talk about the lunch, but more importantly they would about my mentor, his company and service. During lunch there was zero talk about business. There was talk about family, baseball, hockey, TV, community, food – everything except business. Seriously, not a word. When we dropped the person back off at their office my mentor said, “I will give you call next week and we can talk about maybe doing a little more business with you if it is going to work for you. If it’s not that’s ok, we’re happy to have you as a customer”.

This has been a lesson that has stuck with me ever since. I asked him about his approach once the door was closed and the customer was gone. My mentor didn’t give a long explanation but it is sure a good one – people do business with people they like and trust and that takes time. Afterwards I thought “What a simple approach”. Now, keep in mind, you still need to have the product, service and great people in your company to have that kind of confidence. Within our family businesses and our team, we certainly have that covered. Our core value is people and quality, service, and reputation is our brand. It is what people rely and count on and have for three decades.

I thought about my old mentor the past couple of weeks. My son Matt and I were on a business trip in the U.S. not long ago. One of our awesome customers was there so we arranged dinner, just the three of us. No talk about business, everything but. It was an amazing evening with great company. The intent was not to create more business but to continue to solidify our relationship and our friendship.

A week after our trip to the U.S., a customer we will be entering into a bigger business relationship with soon invited my wife Lisa and I away for a couple days with some of his family and other friends and business associates. We had two fabulous days of getting to know each other better, great conversation, great meals and events and really no talk of business. Just time spent to build trust and develop our relationship.

You have heard me talk about a mentor throughout this. Who is your mentor? Do you have one? More than one? I have had a few over the years. You can’t do it all on your own, you certainly don’t know it all. You learn from great mentors and great people. I have. This industry is full of them. I am fortunate to be mentoring a few people on my own now. One of the first thing I suggest to those I am mentoring when it comes to sales and growing their business is to take your time, build relationships, build trust, earn your customer’s loyalty and most importantly remember people do business with people they like and trust. That takes time, so spend some real time with your customers.

Have a great rest of the summer!