070: Jermaine Edwards: Taking that particular step was a tough one
Jermaine Edwards Show Notes
Jermaine Edwards started his first side business working with a number of health and pharmaceutical companies. Quickly it became evident that the business was not going to be something that was profitable. Jermaine was conflicted and in fear of damaging some relationships. Once he received some key advice he was able to move onward and upward.
Jermaine is a London born basketball fanatic who grew up in a Jamaican family household with 3 younger brothers and a firm understanding of the principle ‘you have to work to eat’. Leaving home at 17 he went on to eventually to study applied economics and German at the University of Kingston in Surrey in the UK.
To keep things interesting he decided to live aboard in Germany to finish his studies. While there and speaking next to no German he almost became homeless and out of necessity started his first real business running a dance studio and marketing local student events.
This experience led to Jermaine’s passion to want to learn how to sell and pursue personal growth. After meeting his South Carolinian wife and having his first child he was headhunted for a role at an international publishing company. He kick started their first digital advertising website for recruitment in the print and packaging industry.
Forward more than 10 years he has 4 kids, has lived in 4 countries and has had a successful career in sales and sales management interacting with 1000s of professionals and selling millions in services. Currently Jermaine is starting one of his most ambitious projects to help 50 young fathers launch a business in 12 months.
He runs the company the Key Account Hack helping account management teams, managers, solopreneurs and businesses retain their key customers and grow massive sales from their high value customers.
Jermaine currently resides in London, England (with an eminent relocation to Colombia South Carolina) with his wife Heather and kids Sean, Kaya, Indiana and Emelia.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
“Everything rests in relationships.” -Jermaine Edwards Click to Tweet
“If you focus on the money first you’re likely to fail fairly quickly.” -Jermaine Edwards Click to Tweet
“If you focus on the relationship you’re likely to get there even quicker.” -Jermaine Edwards Click to Tweet
“Focus on building trust and amplifying that at every touchpoint.” -Jermaine Edwards Click to Tweet
“Find ways you can build trust that’s appropriate and acceptable to that person.” -Jermaine Edwards Click to Tweet
“There’s an internal conversation happening within customers at every interaction.” -Jermaine Edwards Click to Tweet
“Offer security to the external voice of creditability and the internal voice of feeling safe.” -Jermaine Edwards Click to Tweet
“Think of serving first and solution second.” -Jermaine Edwards Click to Tweet
“Choose the hard right over the easy wrong.” -Jermaine Edwards Click to Tweet
“It’s not about you, it’s about others.” -Jermaine Edwards Click to Tweet
“Go and look for people skilled in those areas that you aren’t and learn from them.” -Jermaine Edwards Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
Jermaine started his first side business working with a number of health and pharmaceutical companies. Quickly it became evident that the business was not going to be something that was profitable. Jermaine was conflicted and in fear of damaging some relationships. Once he received some key advice he was able to move onward and upward.
Advice for others
Think of serving first and solution second.
Holding him back from being an even better leader
Feeling that he needs to know more.
Best Leadership Advice Received
It’s not about you, it’s about others.
Secret to Success
I know when I need help.
Best tools that helps in business or Life
Having people you are accountable to.
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Click to access edited transcript
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Jim Rembach: Okay Fast Leader Legion I have somebody on the show who impressed me so much when we met through LinkedIn that I just had to have him on the show and introduce him to you. Jermaine Edwards is a London born basketball fanatic who grew up in a Jamaican family household with three younger brothers and a firm understanding of the principle, you have to work to eat. Leaving home at 17 he went on to eventually study applied economics and German at the University of Kingston in Surrey in the UK. To keep things interesting he decided to live abroad in Germany to finish his studies. While there and speaking next to no German he almost became homeless and out of necessity started his first real business running a dance studio and marketing local student events. This experience led to Jermaine’s passion to want to learn how to sell and pursue personal growth. After meeting his South Carolinian wife and having his first child he was headhunted for role at an international publishing company. He kick started their first digital advertising website for recruitment in the print and packaging industry. For more than 10 years he has four kids, has lived in four countries and has had a successful career in sales and sales management interacting with thousands of professionals and selling millions in services.
Currently Jermaine is starting one of his most ambitious projects to help 50 young followers launch a business in 12 months. He runs the company, the key account hacked helping account management teams, managers, solopreneurs and businesses retain their key customers and grow massive sales from their high-value customers. Jermaine currently resides in London, England with an imminent relocation to Columbia, South Carolina with his wife Heather and kids Shaun, Kaya, Indiana and Emilia. Jermaine Edwards are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Jermaine Edwards: You’re damn right.
Jim Rembach: Alright. I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can know you even better?
Jermaine Edwards: Absolutely. If my wife would see, shed asked me to give the cliche of my family and it is definitely my current passion. But as for business, it is my current business helping a lot of businesses to have proper conversation with their customers and grow their sales in a more significant way. And that funds my other passion which is the fatherpreneur network which is really helping a number of father not only to walk into greatness in their own fatherhood but also launch their own business to support their families.
Jim Rembach: One of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show is first of all, one, is I have the opportunity to meet with you. I was very impressed by—your young man, you’ve got four young kids, I got you by several years but I was very impressed by your poise, your understanding of things from a holistic perspective, your obvious resilience when you look at what you’ve been able to accomplish at that young age. But also when I start thinking about people who are even working in organizations they have to think a little bit more along those lines of solopreneur but working in a team environment. What I mean by that is we all have to compete for resources and when you start time of competing for resources in an ethical manner we have to essentially have our ideas are our projects, our goals and objectives—be something that people that are wanting to participate in because even if were talking about their time not even their money time is something that we can never make more off and it’s so precious to us that I need to be able sell internally in order for it to move everything forward.
So when you start thinking about people both inside and outside of an organization and that whole being better at selling, what’s one hump that you would say people really have to get over?
Jermaine Edwards: Ooh! That’s a great question and I think part of this is the comfort between commission and conversation. It’s recognizing that everything rests in relationships and if you focus on the money first you’re like to fail fairly quickly if you focus on the relationship you likely to get there even quicker.
Jim Rembach: That’s a great point. Because often times when I see folks who are essentially trying to create their business plan or business project or trying to sell that idea for senior-level folks to invest in they are doing just that, they’re looking at the money piece. And it’s, “Hey we can save this, you only have to spend that, here’s your ROI” this whole business case thing it seems to me like it just too focused on the whole piece. So if you were to say the relationship, what are two things that you see could immediately help people get their programs or projects solved?
Jermaine Edwards: I’d say focus on building trust and amplifying that at evert single touch point you have you’re your customers. What I mean by that is often we think of trust as something we do on this one scale of attention overtime we don’t really think about what that actually means practically on a day to day basis or in the interaction we have with the customers. So what I say in terms of amplifying trust you need to find ways where you can build trust that is appropriate and acceptable to that person. For that person you could simply ask a question, what for you is the most important thing with working with a partner? And based on that will give you the qualities they’re looking for and through that you can demonstrate those qualities and build trust very, very quickly by not just demonstrating those qualities but doing that often enough that they begin to build the brand of recognition that they need in order to feel comfortable making a decision with you.
Jim Rembach: That’s a very good point. Sometime for me I have to watch myself because people say that indirect, I’m know from being direct, get to the point. But sometime if I’m not careful I can overuse that, right? And so I have to soften it as much as I possibly can. But I think for me when I heard you saying what you’re saying is that you need to be direct in regards to what those people perceive they need. I think the key point is the perception that I need this in order for me to have trust. And again though I think that people will say that, well, I need to see the numbers, but is it really the numbers?
Jermaine Edwards: No. I don’t think it is. Each one has an expectation of what is required of our business. But the reality is that there is an internal conversation that is happening with your customers in every interaction we have and it has to do with how we’re made up as human beings. We’re looking to feel secure and this pose there’s so many who can deliver on what they say and so this connection between what I’m logically hearing as oppose to what I’m experiencing and feeling from this person. And so it’s important that as you’re even delivering the numbers that’s it’s delivered in a way that offer security both to the external voice around credibility as oppose to the internal voice of do you feel safe.
Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that. For me on the show we use quotes a lot of times to help us have some confidence and trust in the action that we’re about to take. Or maybe even trust in that the action we took was not the best one. Is there a quote or two for you that you can share that helps you feel more confident?
Jermaine Edwards: It’s a quote that was shared to me a little while back by a mentor it simply said, “Think of serving first and solution second.” I guess for me it offers a same sentiment of confidence is that there’s no pressure for me trying to sell something, I’m simply trying to help as much as possible. So, start with serving, seeing where the opportunity for me to help is without any monetary compensation and then move to solution, once we’ve agreed that I’m the right person. So I take the pressure off completely, simply focus on serving and that solution comes next.
Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that. I have this conversation often and I say sales, winning, many of the things that are the positive gains that we’re ultimately trying to obtain are really consequences. What I mean by that is consequences unfortunately has got a negative connotation wrapped around it because we talk about those in a punitive way, well that’s the consequence that you get for behaving incorrectly. However consequences can be good too and we have to focus on the fundamentals because the fundamentals create our consequences. And then the consequences could be, guess what? More sales. Your project gets approved you get a promotion all of those things are positive consequences, so thanks for sharing that. Now I know—leaving the house at 17 I think you even spent some time on your grandfather’s farm in Jamaica, you and your wife getting evicted when you had a child and then turn around and finding a better place and making some income fast because you are able to do some things that are very focused on moving things forward instead of living in woe. Gosh, you had a lot of humps to get. Is there a time where you can share a story where you’ve had to get over a hump and it really sets you in a much better direction?
Jermaine Edwards: Yeah, absolutely. The one that really sticks out in my mind is where I started making decision. I started my first side business working with number—health and pharmaceutical organizations. When I begin, it’s kind of part-time. My first, kind of want you to know, is doing some work that was meaningful and something that I saw I wanted at that time. And what I’d quickly become evident is that this specific business was not going to be something that was profitable. But I had a number of different clients that were really interested in still doing work with me but it just wasn’t sustainable. And so I had this real conflict between—do I keep doing it, kind of wasting time, and not really been profitable with this business? Or do I just cut it right now and potentially damage some of the relationships I’ve built in terms of the service I’m offering. And it got to the stage where I’m speaking with my wife and other people. I was given quote and I got to share this—a guy, somebody I know really well just—choose the hard right over the easy wrong.
And for me the hard right was the right thing to do was to say no to the work and not take the easy wrong which is to say yes to the work but actually not benefiting anybody in the long term. So taking that particular step, that was a tough one, and in fact you get to know exactly who you really in relationship with and who you don’t in those hard moments. But I ended up having to move that business on. As some of those relationship are kept and some of them haven’t but that was a really tough one to get over.
Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that. There’s something that stood out to me as you were telling that story because when you start looking at entrepreneurs, the ones that are successful, one of the things that they have the ability to do is shift. But here’s I think where the dilemma comes into play is that you also need resilience and you need to know when to continue to move on. So there’s kind of this crossroad that takes place at the point between—Okay, I’ve shifted or I’ve exhausted all my shifts and you know, I need to bail or push on. So for you, how were you able to come to the conclusion that, you know what, I need to quit this.
Jermaine Edwards: It took some time it didn’t happen right away it took a few months. But I think (13:41 inaudible) differently than perhaps other circumstances was that I sat down and I simply said, “What’s the worst that could happen? What is the worst that could happen with me making this choice and this choice? And so I said if I stayed I will lose money and I could potentially put my finances at risk because it just wasn’t a proper venture. But if I said, no and decided to leave then I could potentially lose some relationships but I’d probably maintain most and I’d be able to work on things that I love. And so it was fairly easy choice often they keep asking that question and then just taking action after that.
Jim Rembach: So for me hearing you talk about that you essentially were creating a decision matrix.
Jermaine Edwards: Absolutely. (14:35 inaudible) for making into that particular decision.
Jim Rembach: Funny you’ve even mentioned that too because that’s kind of how my wife said why she said yes when I asked her to marry her, is that she had a decision maker.
Jermaine Edwards: What’s the worst that can happen?
Jim Rembach: That’s what happen when you marry an accountant. I know you have a lot of things going on. You talked about—the helping 50 fathers start businesses, you’re talking about the upcoming relocation to where your wife’s from, in South Carolina, the four kids—goodness, you have a lot of things on your plate. So when you start thinking about all these things, what are some of your goals?
Jermaine Edwards: I think some of the main goals right now—the biggest ones for me is to impact 10,000 sales and account manages and in the next five years helping them have more profitable conversations. I’m really changing the landscape of around how sales professionals view and look at an experienced client relationships, such a big, big one for me. And the second is going back to the father’s pieces as having this business be successful and really seeing transformation of young fathers in my particular area in the city from the perspective of getting young guys to think of other really kind of practical alternative ways in which they can begin to support their family and create meaning and create success with significance at the same time.
Jim Rembach: I really appreciate what you’re doing with that work because there was a statistics that I came across a couple of weeks ago, it was talking about young fathers, or just young people and this we’re really looking at folks that are under 30 years of age, it was talking about the percentage of folks that started small businesses. And just recently, it’s like ten years ago, it was almost double digit this year in the state, double digit percentages of people who are starting businesses and now it’s down to like under 3%. So, there’s a lot of support and help that folks in that particular area in order for us to grow the overall economy, so Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best.
Jermaine Edwards: Thank you.
Jim Rembach: Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.
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Jim Rembach: Alright here we go Fast Leader listeners it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Jermaine, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Jermaine Edwards, are you ready to hoedown?
Jermaine Edwards: I’m ready.
Jim Rembach: Alright. What do you think holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Jermaine Edwards: (17:54 inaudible) that I need to know more.
Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Jermaine Edwards: It’s not about you it’s about others.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?
Jermaine Edwards: I know when I need help.
Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?
Jermaine Edwards: The tool I could say—I definitely would advocate just having people you’re accountable to.
Jim Rembach: What would be one book, and it could be from any genre, that you’d recommend to our listeners.
Jermaine Edwards: It was a brand new book, The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni, has fantastic insights around how you manage culture and lead successfully in it.
Jim Rembach: Okay Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/Jermaine Edwards. Okay Jermaine this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25. And you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you can only choose one, so what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?
Jermaine Edwards: Oh, Gosh! I think for me the one skill and knowledge—I think the skill I take back right now is the skill of building relationships, strategic relationships. The reasons for that is I’ve recognized most not every success that I’ve had in my life has been connected to some kind of relationships that I’ve intentionally gone out to look for. So I look at areas in my specific life and I think I’m lacking this particular area I want to find somebody who were really secure in that area and learn from them. I think that’s the thing I’d bring back to my 25 year old self and I’d say hey, go out and look for people skilled on those areas that you won’t do that and get to know them really quickly and learn from them even quicker.
Jim Rembach: Jermaine it was an honor to spend time with you today, can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?
Jermaine Edwards: Yeah, absolutely. Pretty active on Twitter and LinkedIn so it’s jsaedwards, and LinkIn Jermaine Edward and also my website, jermaineedwards.com
Jim Rembach: Jermaine Edwards, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!
Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader legion today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.
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