I sold my very first ad before my website was even live, I sold that ad while standing in my kitchen wearing shorts, slippers, and a t-shirt. My kitchen served as an impromptu office, my cheap laptop perched on a small table against one wall. That was the sale that started it all, I later used that meager $400 to buy much needed groceries. It was exciting and a bit intimidating all at the same time, but even then, I knew it was going to work. I then proceeded to spend countless months burning the midnight oil, building a wholesale directory that would become GetThatWholesale.com.
Laugh at the haters because let’s face it, they are hilarious. I remember one of the first times I heard some negative noise coming from the competitive peanut gallery. This was somebody I used to work with, same industry, etc. They called GetThatWholesale a “flash in the pan”, I’ll be honest, at the time it bothered me but now looking back I realize they had no idea how determined I was to succeed, they were totally clueless. Over the past 15 years I cannot tell you how many times we have laughed at this comment, so thank you very much! (you know who you are A 😉)
It’s just business, it’s not personal. After 15 years of doing business, we developed some very strong relationships, some clients become very good friends, you learn about their professional teams and their families, Christmas cards are exchanged, all is great and then one day they just leave. It can be hard not to take this departure personally but clients come and go, even when the service is great you can expect some clients to leave. We handle this situation the same way each and every time, wishing them all the best and hoping to reconnect in the future. How you end a relationship can be just as important as how you start one, we have had clients return years later and tell us how they really appreciated the way we handled things.
Some people are just unhappy all the time. Unfortunately, no matter how nice you are to some people, some people are just jerks. These folks really test your professionalism and sometimes even your contracts. We learned early on the best way to deal with these folks is to fire them, yup cancel them out of your life. Clients like this are not worth the money, it won’t matter how many times you bend over backward for them they will just keep complaining. They will demand concessions, argue promises made, and generally all-around suck. This type of client will ignore emails and calls for weeks and then act like you never reached out. Save yourself the headache and tell them goodbye.
Never bad mouth your competition even when they bad mouth you. This rule can be tough to follow sometimes, especially if you have a competitor that constantly slings mud in your direction. We have experienced this ourselves, competitors that hate our success and the fact we are taking even a single dollar away from them. Well, for any of those mud slingers reading this…it’s more like MILLIONS (shhh… don’t tell anyone). I remember walking through an airport once and running into a competitor, we had a brief conversation and they pretended like they didn’t know us. I thought that was odd since they talk about us all the time. Maybe it was the face-to-face thing that got them confused? People do seem to say less in person, I’m 6’2, 275 lbs., proud father and husband, the proud owner of several businesses, state president of a motorcycle club, covered in tattoos, earned two black belts, and walk with confidence. Just remember to keep the focus on your business and all the reasons why a client should choose your business over another, leave the mud outside where it belongs.
Remember it will hopefully all be worth it. If I knew then what I know now, I sure would have had fewer sleepless nights starting out. But honestly, I believe those sleepless nights were part of the success, it gave me goals and provided me with motivation to keep working harder. All that effort eventually instilled a tremendous pride in my product, that pride shines through in the thousands of satisfied clients we have worked with over the years.
So here we are, present day, I’m semi-retired now and find myself laughing a lot, I don’t take myself too seriously, I spend lots of time with my family and our 3 dogs, I ride my Harley often and I enjoy all the little things in life. I wouldn’t change a thing, it was all worth it.
Vice President of Sales, GetThatWholesale.com – Robert Light