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Check out the points below to learn more about payroll systems with Jonathan Gallagher. And for even more details on each point, listen to ALL of episode 522 of the Sell or Die Podcast on your preferred streaming platform!
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Jonathan moved to San Diego and had a technology job that had gone bankrupt, this was when he joined ADP. He recalls that ADP had one of the best sales training programs in the world, there were a lot of things he loved about ADP. However, they had such a high volume of customers. When this happens, you will always run into a population that has had a bad experience. After a few years, Jonathan got frustrated by this and he had a good friend who invited him to join him over at Sallie Mae creating a subsidiary business, SLM financial, offering unsecured loans to tutoring centers and other organizations. The friend’s father was also CEO of Sallie Mae. Jonathan found this opportunity interesting as he could have a direct lineage to a Fortune 500 CEO, alongside this being an easy sale as you’re offering money to tutoring centers.
Jonathan did leave ADP for this opportunity, within 5 years they grew from 200 million to over a billion in loan volume. They had very rapid growth, and he had a lot of success in this organization. However, since he was young he always had a dream to own his own business. His older brother had started a payroll company in Virginia called Dominion Payroll while Jonathon was at ADP. When Jonathon left ADP, at the end of his career at Sallie Mae doing well and was just not challenged, he talked to his brother. As he talked to his brother, he suggested starting his own payroll company. In 2006 he and his good friend, Craig, decided to embark on this idea together. They owned a house and would eventually sell at top dollar, this allowed them just enough money to get the business going, which would eventually become official in 2007.
ADP pays 1 in 6 Americans, they have close to 700,000 customers. That kind of volume is HUGE, but what happened is that for the first time in their history, they were forced to send their employees home like every other American company due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the first time, they had 700,00 customers calling in within a week. What Jonathan heard from a lot of local businesses is that the big businesses weren’t there to answer the calls, with 5-6 hour wait times. For Jonathan, that was the opportunity he saw.
When you look at Wells Fargo, Chase Bank, a lot of them were unable to be there for their small business clients. That was the opportunity behind Coastal payroll services, Jonathan shares that he saw how they could offer more availability and educate. That was the genesis for Jonathan to spring into a sales opportunity. Ultimately they were able to leverage the first stimulus, FFCRA, to be a source of information for southern California and all California businesses. This has led to a lot of sales opportunities.
Reflecting on 2007, this was one of the best times to be in business. Jonathan remembers tons of cold calling and in the beginning, when you don’t have a lot to offer, you often find yourself settling on a price and trying to save the customer’s money. At that time, nobody was interested. It wasn’t until 2008 that this concept started to resonate with people. There was some price settling in the beginning for Jonathan and his partner, but ultimately, he built his brand around quality service. He remembers for a year and a half he was freaking out about the decision to start his business. He had the drive to get revenue by selling low, and they worked nonstop to offer the best service possible.
What he sees now is that there’s a race to get the customer’s attention. A lot of people feel left behind by their trusted partners, many small businesses would go to the bank and they weren’t there to help. They look to their local leaders to help and allow them to survive. The banks say they can help but then don’t. When he realized this was their opportunity to be there for customers, unlike lots of other big businesses, they decided to hold town hall meetings every single day from 11-1. They wanted to be a source of information whether they were a customer or not. This was almost like a wildfire that allowed them to enhance the brand in their community and gain customers who were frustrated by their current vendors.
With the concept behind a payroll business, it can be challenging to think about how to go about retaining employees when a lot of the time people are calling in upset or frustrated. Jonathan suggested making a goal to be the client’s number one business vendor. Jonathan’s team set that goal a long time ago and realized the way to get to remarkable customer service is through having a fantastic corporate culture. Remarkable business is all founded on corporate culture, and at the time Jonathan’s core values were reliability, integrity, and accountability. It was only words. There was no substance to it.
From this point, Jonathan wanted to dive deeper and better understand his employees and what they thought would be meaningful when it comes to core values. He shares that he put a box in the break room and gave everyone a month to share ideas. After the month, they had collected about 90 different suggestions. The first core value was to respect others and embrace diversity. When you look at what’s happening in our world right now, the best thing Jonathon felt he could do was to make Coastal Payroll a utopian environment. They hold themselves accountable to living their core values every day and it’s the foundation of their culture. This has allowed them to be one of the best places to work. In 2015, Jonathan’s company was San Diego’s number one company to work for. In 2016, they were in Fortune Magazine as the 29th best small business to work for in America.
Jonathan has grown his team to over 13 people and they are currently seeing some remarkable results. The future looks very promising for both him and Coastal Payroll Services. During this time as we handle the pandemic, keep in mind that people are not looking for solutions, they’re looking for answers. You have to provide them. There’s opportunity everywhere, you just have to be willing to be of true value and help like Jonathan.
To hear more about payroll systems and Jonathon’s story, don’t forget to tune in to episode 522 of the Sell or Die Podcast.
Thank you so much for listening to Sell or Die! We hope that this episode has helped you to transform the way you think, given you new ideas, and provided a new perspective on the sales and business challenges you face every day so that you can win the customer to the bank.
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Known as the King of Sales, Jeffrey Gitomer is the Author of 16 best-selling books including the Little Red Book of Selling, the Sales Bible, and his newest book Get Sh*t Done. In 2008, he was inducted in the Speakers Hall of Fame – the highest award in the speaking industry. His world-class list of clients include companies from Fortune 500 companies around the world. His digital Learning academy and signature course, The Seven-Figure Sales Formula, offers individuals and teams real-world sales strategies they can implement immediately.
Jen Gitomer gained her prowess in NYC as both a salesperson and award-winning sales leader for a Fortune 500 company. She is the best-selling Author of Sales in a New York Minute, CEO and Founder of Breakthrough Business Babe and a master business growth coach.
Jeffrey and Jen thank you, Diehard, for helping Sell Or Die achieve more than 2 million downloads!