197: Bill Gessert: The skills sets to be a leader are completely different

//197: Bill Gessert: The skills sets to be a leader are completely different

197: Bill Gessert: The skills sets to be a leader are completely different

Bill Gessert Show Notes Page

Bill Gessert was a highly successful sales rep and was then promoted to become a disastrous sales manager. Bill eventually realized he was not a bad person, he just didn’t have the skills sets to be a leader. But he learned them and went on to be a leading expert in sales, customer service and customer experience.

Bill was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and remains a die-hard Green Bay Packer fan due to spending his Sunday afternoon childhood days watching the Packers with his entire family.  His family watching those Packer games included his mom and dad and four sisters, three of which were older, one younger.  The entire Gessert clan remain devoted Packer fans to this day!

Bill started working early at age 15 as a stock boy for a dime store in Milwaukee.  His mom worked behind the counter in the bakery store right next door and her examples gave Bill a jump start on understanding the vital importance of customer service.  But little did he know most of his adult work life would focus on customer service.

Bill’s father was a quiet, but effective leader of the family.  His examples of leadership included clear and open communication, a great sense of humor, and fairness, and provided Bill with a solid foundation for the leadership roles he would earn during his work career.

Bill earned a Masters Degree in education and taught high school speech for two years before accepting the challenge to try his hand at inside sales….selling Sunday School curriculum to the church market.  Turns out, Bill was a natural and vaulted to the top of all sales reps working for the company.  And that started a life-long career working for organizations leading customer contact operations whether inbound or outbound.

In 1994, Bill decided to channel all he had learned about customer service and launch a consulting company.  That company succeeded for 17 years during which Bill and his company assisted companies like Macy’s, Nike, American Express, JP Morgan, Pfizer, Guthy Renker, GE Life Sciences and many more.

Today, Bill serves as the Vice President of Business Development for Premiere Response, a boutique provider of contact center services.  He is also the volunteer President of the International Customer Service Association.  And was listed as one of ICMI’s Top 50 Thought Leaders in 2017.

Through his many years as a consultant as well as working within organizations, Bill is most proud of the relationships he built with the people he came in contact with.  More than impacting their business results, Bill was most fulfilled by building sustainable relationships with the people behind the business.

Sadly, Bill passed away suddenly on October 3rd leaving behind his beloved wife, Lisa and four adult children and five grandsons.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to Bill Gessert to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet

“How can we improve those touchpoints?” – Click to Tweet 

“You cannot create exceptional customer experiences without focusing on touchpoints.” – Click to Tweet 

“If you don’t have engaged employees who are interacting with your customers you’re not going to create the customer experience you’re trying to.” – Click to Tweet 

“It all begins with employee engagement.” – Click to Tweet 

“You’ve got to treat your employees that way you want them treating your customers.” – Click to Tweet 

“Companies when they outsource their customer contact are now looking for organizations that create exceptional experiences.” – Click to Tweet 

“You need to view your contact center as a source of incredible data and information.” – Click to Tweet 

“The contact center should be the hub of business intelligence for organizations.” – Click to Tweet 

“The skills sets to be really good as a sales rep are completely different than the skills sets to be really good as a leader of sales people.” – Click to Tweet 

“Concentrate on getting your direct reports promoted.” – Click to Tweet 

“You’ve got to be your real self with people; let them see who you really are.” – Click to Tweet 

Get Your Updates & Offers

Get the latest and greatest content and offers first.

100% Privacy. We don't spam.

Hump to Get Over

Bill Gessert was a highly successful sales rep and was then promoted to become a disastrous sales manager. Bill eventually realized he was not a bad person, he just didn’t have the skills sets to be a leader. But he learned them and went on to be a leading expert in sales, customer service and customer experience.

Advice for others

Build long-term relationships based on authenticity and transparency with people.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

I struggle with my own self-doubt. It freezes me – so every morning I try to create a positive picture of what’s going to happen that day and that gets me past that.

Best Leadership Advice

My number one focus needs to be getting my direct reports promoted.

Secret to Success

Choosing to focus on the positive.

Best tools in business or life

Authenticity and transparency – you’ve got to be your real self with people. Let them see who you really are.

Recommended Reading

Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change

13 fatal errors managers make and how you can avoid them

The Customer Comes Second: Put Your People First and Watch ’em Kick Butt

Contacting Bill Gessert

Sadly, between the recording of this interview and its release, Bill Gessert passed away. The entire Fast Leader Legion is praying for his wife Lisa (https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisagessert1/) and the entire Gessert family at the loss of Bill. Please share this episode widely in his memory.

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work


Subscribe to the Show on iTunes (Quick and simple!)

  1. Sign into iTunes using your ID and password
  2. Search the iTunes store for “Fast Leader Show”
  3. Click on the Subscribe button. It’s in the upper left corner of the screen.

Give Me a Rating or Review on iTunes (Also simple)

  1. Sign into iTunes using your ID and password
  2. Search the iTunes store for “Fast Leader Show”
  3. Click on “Ratings and Reviews”
  4. Give us a rating. Thank you for going ahead and leaving a “review” as well
2018-11-02T10:35:38-04:00October 31st, 2018|Podcasts|0 Comments

Leave A Comment

Be on our Show?

Interested in being a guest? Great! Just call me at 336-288-8226 and introduce yourself.

Did you register for offers and tips?

We all need help to get over the hump...so sign up.