Tom Fox, our partner, is the founding partner of CM Profit Group. He is a former Vice-President of National Accounts and has worked with major domestic suppliers, importers, wholesalers, and retailers. Tom is always busy, as a workshop trainer, appearing on panels at national seminars and conventions and contributing to numerous national publications.
Tom shares some insights on the industry:
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I love helping our clients get better at selling, but I’ve learned it has implications far beyond business. That is the most rewarding aspect of my job.
Last year, when a client came up to me at a convention and mentioned our discussions/workshops on empathy saved his marriage, I was blown away. I never expected to hear that. It’s almost absurd how the beverage alcohol industry hasn’t valued selling skills like many other industries do – but it does offer all of us a huge opportunity/job security!
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever heard?
My dad gave me many nuggets of career advice. Here are my two favorites:
1) Managing people/family) Observe as much as you can, coach a little and overlook a lot … and have faith that all will be well. His faith was downright incredible. He was NOT a worrier.
2) Work HARD on identifying expectations for your clients (or boss) … then work HARDER on exceeding those expectations.
It was the # 1 key to his success. When I was a young man, getting started in the work world, and we talked about any issues I was having with my job, it was so easy to solve any problem.
- Did I know what my boss wanted (this was usually the problem – I needed to do a better job of clarifying)?
- Am I working as hard as needed to exceed those expectations? I usually was able to solve my own problems when pondering this. He was a pioneer in needs-based selling!
What was your very first job?
Paper boy at age 12. Learned the importance of customer service, communication AND accounts receivable – collecting was the worst – but necessary if you wanted to earn any $$$!
What are you passionate about?
Michigan football! I pray for strength to handle the result of any of their games they play. Without that, I’m not too much fun to be around, should they lose. Embarrassing, I know but you asked!