Always set much higher sales goals than anyone else thinks you could achieve or the business will be able to handle.
Peter Gillett is CEO of Zuant where he drives product development and client roll-outs of the company’s award-winning mobile lead capture app across US corporations. He is also CEO of Marketpoint Recall, a global recall and crisis management company.
A pioneer in database marketing since the late 1970s, Peter is a serial entrepreneur. He created the world’s first web-based CRM system funded by Lucent Technologies in the 1990s. In 2010, Peter launched the first CRM applications for the iPad. CRM, lead generation and follow-up are still the focus for Zuant and its network of NACCENT call centers around the globe.
With four decades of experience in marketing and sales, Peter is a highly sought after thought leader on hot-button topics including mobile and GDPR. He writes a regular monthly column series for Target Marketing Magazine called, Around the World, where he explores what’s new in marketing and sales from a global perspective. This column focuses primarily on technology innovations and the impact they are making in helping companies achieve their growth objectives. Around the World includes Q&As with digital innovators making an impact in the marketing and sales industry.
Today Zuant and Marketpoint are Peter’s sole focus, but he is as excited as ever by innovation, as more and more new technologies enable highly visual and cost effective versions of the ‘original databased marketing’ concept to be offered to world leading, global companies.
Where did the idea for Zuant come from?
It was a logical development – we were running a network of call centers around the world to handle responses from all types of marcom activity, and lead capture at events was just one of those; in those days paper-based with business cards stapled to each sheet – hopefully! It started about 15 years ago with a touchscreen tablet PC which was web-based, and then this morphed into the iOS application as soon as the iPad was launched. The name Zuant is derived from the Anglo-Norman word, suant, meaning fast and light, and symbolizes the ease in which leads are able to be captured on the go and fed into a CRM system for fast post event follow-up!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I have a simple formula – get up early before no one else and get a couple of hours of quality, productive time in, completing work and planning the rest of the day. Then I can cruise along with minimal stress!
A few miles running to unwind precedes a good breakfast, which can see me through the rest of the day if I don’t have time to eat.
How do you bring ideas to life?
This has always been my biggest challenge – There are plenty of good, new ideas, but choosing the best ones to focus on can be really difficult.
In my early days, I ended up trying to run four companies, all at once developing a variety of new products and services. This ‘shooting star’ syndrome, can result in not mastering any of them. How does Elon Musk do it?!
Even today at Zuant, the desire to do everything can be a problem because of the growing list of new products enhancements and features. Regardless of the number of technical developers we have in house, it’s really frustrating not to be able to push these through faster…
The key therefore is clear prioritization and focus of resources to deliver a finite number of new features within the same sprint program.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Amazing that the movie Minority Report, a classic Tom Cruise thriller, came out in 2002 – I have always loved futuristic ideas such as responsive on location advertising; so nearly two decades later I’m fascinated to see how AR blended with facial recognition might be utilized this way and applied to our own products to solve real customer issues…
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Focus entirely on what you’re good at, and hire top talent to handle the rest. Not easy, but enjoy the process of building and retaining an extraordinary team. These people must understand the mission of your company and share your passion for delivering the ultimate customer experience. Also, be open to outsourcing some of the skills required, which will allow your company to grow and adapt to changing market conditions.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Focus on fewer things and do them really well!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
What a question!
Always set much higher sales goals than anyone else thinks you could achieve or the business will be able to handle. Why? Because if your team is strong, they will rise to the occasion and achieve or exceed your objectives or at least set the vision to do so.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Attend a good time management course and then incorporate a professional Time Management System to reinforce your learning – This is worth its weight in gold over your lifetime, both personally and professionally.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The ability to conduct business online is a direct result of todays’ advanced technologies – There is virtually no need, even in b2b sales, to meet face-to-face, especially during the early stages building a relationship. As a result, we have developed a successful program of researching decision-makers in our target market and conduct web meetings on a global basis.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
For sure, trying to find the right top level partner or partners to work with in the business.
I’ve come to the conclusion that this is as hard, or possibly even harder due to the amount of time you would spend together, than finding your own life partner!
Therefore, don’t worry about it and be happy pushing along on your own, and fill the void by doing business with people you want to do business with.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There are plenty; I’ve always been bored by the look of CVs that come across my desk, and have often wondered why there isn’t a web-based CV service that allows one to see what an individual’s personality and background is in a much more colorful way…
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Love these questions!
A new Ryobi rechargeable electric screwdriver – why on earth didn’t I buy one of these years back!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
It has to be the latest Zoom meeting software. This is the fourth system I’ve used in recent years – each one has been better than the previous, but I think Zoom will take some beating.
I’ve recently stopped taking a laptop around with me on my travels and rely solely on my iPhone and iPad Pro, both of which will run Zoom with a full range of web meeting hosting facilities that I’ve never had before on the iPad – at last client presentations can be made ‘on the go.’
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Disrupted” – a journalist’s insider view of Hubspot, which allows you to question more traditional business models!
What is your favorite quote?
JFK’s ‘What you can do for your country’ speech. I have always been fascinated by this man, having seen him in person as a school kid back in the UK – and so soon after I was utterly shocked by his assassination.
• Be time efficient almost to the point of obsession.
• Don’t be afraid of the loneliness of the ‘Long distance entrepreneur.’
• Focus entirely on what you’re good at and delegate the rest to other pros.
Peter Gillett onTwitter: @GillettPeter
Peter Gillett on Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/peter-gillett-673a0a5