Speaker: Find right people

May 1, 2008 By    

Gary Kunath educated, inspired and made his audience laugh. The keynote speaker provided an energetic beginning to the Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo on March 30 at the Georgia World Congress Center.


The Summit Group’s chief executive officer told about 350 attendees that “people superiority” is the No. 1 differentiator in a company. It trumps three other segments on which companies rely: Products and service, finances and price and brand strength.

“Propane’s propane, isn’t it?” he asked. Therefore, companies must work to separate themselves from the competition, and they can start with their own people. Companies can build relationships with their employees, and employees can build relationships with their customers.

Kunath said workers rank “open communication” as the top quality in their employer, and customers rank “courtesy” as their top satisfier in a chosen company.

“Things that people want are all things you can control, whether you’re a staff of five or 305,” he said.

Companies should try to create the “customer experience,” Kunath said. “It’s something as little as shoveling snow around a customer’s tank. It’s about thinking what matters to your customer,” he added.

Kunath said business leaders should be aware of which employees associate most with customers; drivers often represent the company in the propane industry. “In your world, it’s mission critical to educate your drivers,” he said.

Kunath closed the address with inspirational thoughts about life worth. “Everybody has a calling,” he said. “Your calling finds you, but make yourself available.”

And another: “Be interested and not interesting. That’s key for your customers.”

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