Cheryl Congdon | Crain's Las Vegas

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Cheryl Congdon

Background:  

Kre8 Media Outdoor Advertising is an outdoor advertising company based in Las Vegas and specializes in customizable digital and mobile billboards. The company will soon expand to include a new office in Los Angeles.

The Mistake:

The mistake is assuming anything – assuming a client knows best or doesn't know best, or they have a budget or don’t have a particular budget.

The thing that I have learned that has been the biggest lesson in my advertising sales career is that this is all about an education. I don’t have a philosophy that I'm a salesperson; I have more of a philosophy that I'm a solutions person, an educator of the particular medium that we have and then providing solutions.

I think the biggest mistake that could be made is assuming so-and-so advertiser doesn't have the budget or doesn't have the capability or doesn't have the vision when it's my job to have the excitement, have the vision and create possibilities.​

They could be my next best client or they could be my next best friend.

The Lesson:

In the very beginning of my sales career, I took the perspective that if I make a phone call to a prospective client or make a cold call, I'll never know who is on the other end of the call. They could be my next best client or they could be my next best friend. You just never know. So if you broke the ice with me, it created more of a partnership in the thought process than if I was strictly a "salesperson."

I had an account that started with me at Kinko's, and it was a really small binder job. Little did I know it was Harrah's corporate coming into the Las Vegas market and they didn't have a building here yet. They grew exponentially once they moved into the market, and I ended up working for the company and they ended up being my client.

You don’t know where and how your business will come – your relationships, your networking, when that person comes back into your life. It's all about relationships and business acumen to me. So I started with a binder at Kinko's many years ago, ended up working for the company, and they've been my client time and time again since then.

No one thing is a solution for all. If I had never taken that little-bitty binder job, who knows where my life would have led? They've been a part of my life in some way or form for years.

Follow Kre8 Media on Twitter at @Kre8MediaLV.

Photo courtesy of Kre8 Media

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