Is it the time to hire or expand your own sales force?
"Catalina Express, may I help you?"
Avalon, Catalina Island, California: With a population of about 3200, small business is all there is on this island. Yet, with over 14 million people just 22 miles away in the greater Los Angeles area, this quiet little paradise on earth is no secret!
To get out to the island, we first meet Greg Bombard, the founder and owner of the Catalina Express. Greg's high-speed catamarans -- we were on the Starship Express -- leave from San Pedro and Long Beach. Other people arrive by private boats, airplanes and even helicopter. Avalon Harbor (above) is just magnificent.
Greg Bombard's people handle in-bound telephone sales even though he could easily outsource this function.
He said he wants to control the sales process. The word, control, so often sounds negative and might seem as if Greg doesn't trust people. But we think Greg wants to manage the selling process because he has more confidence if the people who take the in-bound phone calls actually work at the water's edge. We saw the offices of Catalina Express and everyone can either see the ocean from a window or easily step outside to be part of the passenger loading process. Click on the picture above for more analysis
Even though all the businesses we visited on Catalina Island are different, they are all clearly in the same business -- the business of pleasing people. When you make people happy, they come back; and over time, you will build a business and a following.
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