President’s Club Elite Spotlight
Welcome to another post in the ongoing series, The Elite Spotlight. In this feature, winners of President’s Club Elite status share their perspectives on what it takes to perform at a consistently high level—no matter what.
Next up, is a 2021 President’s Club Elite winner who has been working for Summit Idealease in Memphis, Tennessee, for nearly 23 years. In that time, he qualified for the President’s Club 10 times and was the inaugural Salesperson of the Year for Summit Idealease in 2017. His track record is impressive, to say the least.
When he takes a break from leasing trucks, Jeffrey enjoys spending time with his family and being outdoors hunting, fishing, and hanging out at the lake. He also serves at his church as a deacon and Sunday school teacher, among other roles, and shares the gospel in his community as well as on international mission trips with his family.
Idealease is proud to introduce you to Jeff McDermott. Jeff, welcome to The Elite Spotlight!
What is the biggest challenge for your business as the pandemic continues?
The biggest and most glaring challenge we face now is the ongoing supply chain issue. This has had a domino effect on several key aspects of our business—Service, Rental, Operations, and Sales—and hampers our ability to service our customers with the responsiveness that they have come to expect.
We downsized a rental fleet early in the pandemic when utilization was low and then when demand rebounded, we were unable to secure new equipment to meet that new demand. Sales have been strong, but the ability to provide interim vehicles is also strained with a diminished rental fleet.
We have also seen production slots continue to push out, and this delay in production timelines has created a challenge for some new business we’ve won from the competition. These are customers who may have unique specifications for their vehicles and will now run past their contracted term with their current provider. When the customer’s current provider is unwilling to extend the customer’s leased trucks, we must go to extreme measures to ensure that we have interim equipment in place to meet those customers’ demands.
Collectively, all these challenges are present but as a team, we have found ways to overcome and deliver.
Have there been any unexpected benefits or surprising silver linings?
That delay in production has driven conversations earlier in the sales cycle for both replacements and new business, and these conversations have accelerated sales and spurred new growth.
The pandemic has also created new ways for us to connect with our customers, both internal and external, through video conferencing. We can share documents and connect with customers and prospects in multiple markets at the same time while bringing other team members such as product engineers and truck specification experts into the sales process. This ability has allowed us to showcase our strengths earlier in the sales cycle and to a broader audience.
Do you have any tips or advice you’d like to share with the rest of our team?
Keep your foot on the gas and keep selling! The landscape may have changed but the customers’ need for our products and solutions has remained. Also, maintain a sense of urgency for all your prospects and customers and be persistent in your drive to exceed their expectations—success will follow.
Which Idealease Core Value—Expertise, Responsiveness, and Stability—do you feel you leaned on the most this year, and why?
I believe that responsiveness is always a key to success. When we show a sense of urgency in
responding to our customer's needs, we further solidify those relationships and strengthen the trust and confidence they have in our team. When adverse conditions arise for their business, they’ll know that we will deliver for them.
Our customers are facing many of the same challenges we are facing and any time that we can ease their burden by responding to their needs, in a timely manner, we are securing our irreplaceable value as a provider. Also, taking care of your customer at a consistently high level provides some forgiveness on those rare occasions when things don’t go as planned.
What’s helped you keep a Full Speed Ahead mindset as the year has gone on?
The demand for our services from our customers and prospects has not diminished in the least. On the contrary, that demand has forced us to take an even closer look at our customers’ businesses to better understand the impact the challenges of today have placed on them.
The more we understand their challenges, the easier it is for us to respond where our service meets their needs to help them overcome a difficult time. I believe to succeed, we must be intentional, remain humble and serve our customers to the best of our ability—the end result will allow us both to shine.
You said it, Jeff.