Title: Founding Partner
Company address: 10532 N. Port Washington Rd., Mequon
Company Web site: www.vistelar.com
Industry: Marketing and technology, specializing in the area of customer interaction management (CIM), which is a discipline we defined to fill an enormous need in the market.
Number of employees: Five — all founding partners.
Education: Bachelor of science degree in business administration at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo; associate degree in occupational studies – computer programming at Bryant & Stratton Business Institute (now Bryant & Stratton College)
Family (spouse and children’s names): "Pat is my wife of almost 27 years, and we have three children — Teri, Robyn and Todd. We moved here from Buffalo, N.Y., 11 years ago, and the Milwaukee area is now considered home."
What’s new at your company? "Customer Interaction Management (CIM) – The management of targeted, personal, two-way communications between a company and its customers and prospects. Companies haven’t taken advantage of the advances in technology to make the sales and marketing departments more efficient – something that has happened in just about every other department within companies. Our goal is to help the sales person grow sales and profits by helping them be more efficient, by giving them back more time to be spent selling and building relationships."
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year? "Listening to what customers were saying and developing the discipline of CIM."
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year? "I see no need for significant capital investments in the next year, but we may be double our size (in employees) by this time next year."
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?: "Mainly, getting the word out about CIM, which is what you’d expect when you introduce an entirely new discipline. No one else in the country is addressing CIM that we’re aware of."
What aspect of Internet marketing is most misunderstood by businesses? "That reaching customers and prospects over the Internet is efficient, cost-effective and not difficult. Today, it’s not just about selling products from your Web site. With the affordability of tools today, it is easier than ever to market and prospect over the Internet as well. Of course, anything done in the areas of sales and marketing should first take into account the principles of CIM to maximize effectiveness and ROI."
Do you have a business mantra? "Yes, that targeted, personal, two-way communications with customers and prospects are the foundation of all sales and marketing. You must be clear on the unique value proposition that you bring to the marketplace – why people choose to do business with you. Then develop a way to communicate that value through an ongoing dialogue with your customers. If I could throw in another one, it would be to test everything in sales and marketing to determine its effectiveness."
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to? "I respect people who, with little to no experience, start a company, and when the going gets tough or market conditions change, they adapt, making the necessary adjustments to stay successful."
What was the best advice you ever received? "Be true to yourself. When it comes down to it, we all need to be able to go to sleep at night."
What do you do like to do in your free time?: "Weather permitting – golf. Weather not permitting — golf. Seriously, besides golf. I like to spend time with my family and friends, reading, watching TV, bowling and playing Sheepshead."
March 5, 2004 Small Business Times, Milwaukee