[quote style=”boxed”]Relentless action. As people we have our ups and our downs. The days we feel good and the days we question ourselves. The key is to strategize, define your goal and then act relentlessly until you win. [/quote]
Sam Caucci is the Co-Founder of Sales Huddle, Inc. and has dedicated his entire career to the sports and fitness market. With hands-on experience across several sectors of the sports marketplace, Sam brings a wealth of sales experience and passion to the sports industry.
Prior to co-founding Sales Huddle, Sam spent his career leading high-level sales teams to execute sales of products/services for publicly held, private sector and franchised sports companies. He understands that in order to truly transform an organization’s sales production requires both a leader that is well-tooled and an organizational commitment to ongoing training/development. His understanding of how to execute sales strategy from all corners of an organization allows him to deliver unparalleled business insight for Sales Huddle clients. Sam received his undergraduate degree from Florida Atlantic University, a Bachelors of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.
What are you working on right now?
Sales Huddle is approaching its 2012-2013 seminar season this September. This is our 3rd season holding sports sales training workshops across the country. We will be holding workshops in Washington DC, New York City, Miami, Dallas, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Boston, London, Dubai (UAE) and at the 2013 NFL Combine in Indianapolis. These workshops deliver real sports world selling best practices to current and aspiring sports professionals, while also connected motivated candidates with opportunities across the sports industry.
Where did the idea for Sales Huddle come from?
The concept of Sales Huddle came from years working with the future of the sports industry. Every semester, with my previous organizations, I would coach and lead anywhere from 4 to 8 sports management interns in our sales division. Along the way I was shocked at how many students came into our program with limited communication skills, sales ability and understanding of what opportunities there really was in the sports industry. I would take pride in the fact that my internship program worked very hard to both prepare and place students in the industry. I realized very early that we were the only ones aggressively preparing, guiding and helping these students. I knew it was needed on a much larger scale.
What does your typical day look like?
I live with the understanding that we get 24 hours and I have to use as many as possible. Awake at 4:30 AM, in the gym to workout from 5-6 AM, and at my desk by 7 AM. The morning is always filled with my team huddles, most pertinent sales calls and all international business. My goal is to have a business lunch meeting daily to connect with potential clients or contacts. The afternoon from 1-8 pm is time for strategy sessions, working with clients and attending as many evening events that may be happening (dinners, fundraisers, community events, etc.). At the end of the day you have to know how to shut it down and spend time with family. My evenings are spend relaxing, reading and getting away from everything with an ‘on’ or ‘off’ switch.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Relentless action. As people we have our ups and our downs. The days we feel good and the days we question ourselves. The key is to strategize, define your goal and then act relentlessly until you win.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Job creation. People are working from the highest levels of government to private organizations to find ways to put more people back to work and keep them there. Hopefully that goal is realized.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
My first official job in the sport and fitness industry was when I was 17 years old at a local Gold’s Gym. I had applied to be a Personal Trainer, but was instead placed in a Front Desk position where I lasted 4 hours on my first day before leaving for a lunch break and never returning. I learned that I wanted something greater for myself and there was no way I was going to settle. The next week I was hired as a Personal Trainer at a nearby club.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Start quicker and approach market faster. When starting a business you find yourself “juggling many balls” and it can be intimidating to move too fast for fear that quality will be affected. What I found with time was I was prepared, organized and had a product that will always be developing. If you move slow you will also risk learning and responding slow. The best adjustment I made was to follow my gut and throw the ball down the field.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I talk to my team. It sounds basic, but is an action that most don’t do. As a smaller organization that is growing aggressively, you must have a pulse on how your team feels. Today more than ever we have hundreds of ways to communicate and I use every one throughout the month to engage my team members – text messaging, phone calls after work hours, email, skype, social media, Salesforce Chatter, etc. You have to ask great questions, listen to them aggressively and find ways to keep everyone on the team centered on the overall goal.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Asking for too much feedback. Whenever you create something innovative it is natural to ask for others approval, thoughts and criticism. While feedback is good, you must also figure out how to strike a healthy balance so as to not confuse wanting feedback with requesting approval.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Governing body/association for professional sports agents that offer continuing education, training and certification. Much needed.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
Elimination of discrimination against women across the globe. How would I tackle it? Well, I believe that anything can be accomplished through sports. That is why I dedicate my life to it. Working in the sports industry I understand and respect the value that sport can bring to a child’s life. At the youngest age we learn to play a sport and think its fun, all the while not understanding at that time that we are learning the most important skills about life that we will ever encounter. The impact sport has on kids can prove to build stronger values, communities and people. In approaching the challenge of discrimination against women, start with sport and use it to change behaviors. From the 6 year old girls soccer program in western states to the use of sport in communities across developing countries, sport can teach trust, respect and appreciation.
Tell us a secret.
The only reason I read 114 books last year was because I read an article on CNN that said President George W. Bush had a book reading competition with Donald Rumsfeld and the President beat him with 113 books. I knew that I had to beat that.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
Skype, Dropbox, and the TED app. I am definitely an Apple guy, which means that I own everything from a MacBook to an iPhone. So all my favorite tools have to work across all my devices and help me on the go. Skype keeps me connected for my face to face and group huddles with me team. Dropbox keeps me organized regardless of where I am. And, the TED app keeps me motivated and focused on something fun and interesting as I do my AM cardio workout.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela. What movement are you getting behind? What do you stand for? What are you leaving behind for the world? Read this book and it will help you define what a bad day really is.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
This morning my team and I watched the movie clip from Tommy Boy when Chris Farley blows the sale in the office and lights the model car on fire. Great scene! I have a daily rotation of movie clips that are required viewing for the Sales Huddle team before we begin our calls for the day. Reason being, you got to be loose and have fun. I believe that customers want to work with companies that are smiling.
Who is your hero?
Mom. Did everything she could every day to put me in a position to be successful.
What is your favorite quote that you think about daily?
“What you tolerate, you encourage.” As a leader, you know that the success of your business will be reliant on the performance of those around you – your team. The biggest mistake a leader can make, whether dealing with a sales team or a front line team member, is to be afraid to keep team members accountable to the organizations standards. Fear causes it. Do you tolerate improper action from a team member or do you enforce your leading practices/standards?
What keeps you motivated?
Family. I wake up everyday keeping in mind that the reason I go to work and spend time away from my family for 80% of the day is because I want to make their world a better place. I never lose sight of that.
The Sales Huddle’s Web: www.thesaleshuddle.com
The Sales Huddle on Twitter: @saleshuddle
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Sam Caucci on Twitter: @samcaucci
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.