In the early years of Farris Marketing, we had a lot of retailers as clients. That’s because — before the age of international retail giants — the Valley had quite a few large department stores, and multi-location clothing, hardware and drug stores that were locally owned.
We produced tons and tons of newspaper, TV and radio advertising. The sales representatives of those media would constantly be after us to use their station or publication for our clients.
No salesperson was more aggressive and persistent than Mark Levy. We had a tough time turning down meetings with him because he was a family friend. Worse, he was selling radio advertising for a country music station. “Mark,” I would ask, “who listens to that stuff anyway?” Oops, that was a mistake.
Mark would launch into a passionate pitch about how loyal his station’s listeners were, and then whip out the Arbitron ratings and all kinds of facts, figures and charts. He put together cross-promotions with multiple clients across several media. In the end, we bought and were always happy with the result.
Today, this former jockey (yes, jockey) and part-time wedding drummer heads his own company, Revenue Development Resources (RDR). He lives in Dallas and runs RDR with his beautiful wife Holly, an accomplished attorney and former law school professor.
Mark rose to the top working inside his industry, and then decided to flip it and teach others how to do it. He was able to package his passion and use it to sell the service he believed in.
Can Companies Package Passion?
Sure, individuals can package up their passion and use it to benefit themselves and their customers — but can companies? Yes.
PM Kalco is a good example. PM Kalco is a small foundry in Wheatland, Pennsylvania. We did some rebranding, a website revamp and other projects for them. I was amazed at their service and their infectious company-wide “can-do” attitude. How important is a bar of nickel or stainless steel? “Very!” is the response if you ask Mark Spano, Gary Boigon, Tina Sherlock or any office, lab or plant worker.
Every finish on every casting is perfect. Every specification and product meets the highest standards. And getting orders out on time for a customer is almost a religion at PM Kalco.
Packaged passion is the recipe for success in just about any type of business, industry or organization. Look at commercial real estate. Many fortunes have been made in that field. And of course, the Valley has plenty of well-known examples of successful real estate developers.
You can’t rent an empty storeroom or building three miles from another empty building or storeroom unless you have some passion for your chosen field. And a passion for taking care of your customers.
Chuck Bishara may not be as well-known as our two homegrown mall developers. But his success over the last 30+ years in development and construction is amazing — and something you understand when you see how passionate he is about developing quality projects. He gets excited about your success. And he always makes it clear that he will do whatever it takes to ensure that success. You can tell he has fun and enjoys his work. And that spills over. You want to work with him and rent from him.
Package That Passion
Passion alone won’t make you successful. Your passion must benefit others if you want to have a successful business. It can’t be a selfish approach.
But if you’re excited about your chosen field, flip it over and look at it from the customer’s standpoint. Package your passion and make it work for your customer. You’ll both be successful.