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Founders who train their employees to quit

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[dropcap]C[/dropcap]raig Handley and Tony Ricciardi started a company that speaks their customers’ language — literally.

Their business, ListenTrust, is a bilingual, live-agent, English-Spanish sales and customer service company. When consumers need help in English or Spanish, there’s a good chance a ListenTrust agent answers the phone and fixes the problem in either tongue.

In a decade, they’ve generated over $1 billion in sales for clients. They’re on track to boost revenue by almost 60 percent over the next two years. And when disaster struck (twice), they saved the company from the brink—thanks to unbelievable hard work and perseverance.

ListenTrust employs more than 1,000 agents who speak Spanish, English or both. Clients source ListenTrust to handle sales and customer service calls—and ListenTrust is good at selling their clients’ products on these calls. “

The result is happy customers for ListenTrust and its clients. So happy, the company is on track to do an estimated $17 million in revenue this year, a substantial increase from the $13.5 million achieved in 2016.  That revenue comes from the money ListenTrust makes on a per minute, per hour, or performance basis for each call.

How has the company come from nowhere to dominate this market, despite experiencing every challenge in the entrepreneur’s playbook? Their secret is a laser-focus on culture, both that in their company and of the Spanish-speaking market.

Training employees to quit

ListenTrust’s company culture starts with a simple, and shocking, premise.

“When we hire you, we tell you exactly what we’re doing: training you to quit,” enthuses Handley. This isn’t some corporate policy that employees secretly roll their eyes about. Handley, Ricciardi, and upper management work directly with employees to chart where they want to go in their lives and exactly how to get there.

The program targets six pillars of personal development from career goals to intellectual growth. The result is a clear blueprint for each employee on how to achieve their dreams and how ListenTrust fits into that picture. Employees then receive one-on-one mentorship, online training, and live events to get them there.

READ: How to turn failure into success – the Chinese way

The result is positive and pragmatic. “People see that the fastest way for their dreams to come true is to master our sales process and become an expert,” says Handley.

The program is called DreamTrust internally, and it has created market-beating success. ListenTrust today averages a “save rate” (preventing a return or cancellation) of 15 out of every 100. The competition averages one or two out of every 100.

With one client, ListenTrust outperformed significantly less expensive call centers in India and the Philippines. Even though they had a higher cost than those locations, they created enough revenue to add several million dollars in additional profit to their client’s bottom line.

When ListenTrust moved into English-speaking call centers, they continued to dominate. The company took a campaign from another center doing $8 in revenue per call and within a month ListenTrust agents produced $24 per call on the same campaign. (entrepreneur.com)

SEE ALSO: Kenyan startups that could win Sh155 million
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BT Correspondent
BT Correspondenthttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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