PODCAST - "Birds Eye View" of your Business with Nicole O'Sullivan
Podcast Interview - Building your business with Sarah Troy and her guest, Nicole O’Sullivan, the Director of Birds Eye View Consulting.
Nicole says “I have been in the travel industry now for 13+ years and over that time I have been very fortunate to be exposed to many opportunities that have allowed me to help others with growing their business and strengthening their relationships with their customers. I have lead many teams to success over my career and have found that the secret wasn’t about shoving KPI’s down our people’s throats, but by really connecting to our people and getting curious with their motivators as to what drives their behavior. This is how I have successfully turned businesses around dramatically.
So after my journey in both Australian and the USA I decided now to branch out on my own and work with small travel companies who may be scratching their heads as to why their businesses are not turning over a profit or growing year over year.
I am qualified in DISC, EQ and personal motivators and use assessments to help pinpoint areas of growth for their team. Combined with my knowledge of the industry and come out of the box thinking ideas I can confidently say that when we invest in our people, the results organically grow!”
I have always had a passion for travel – so after I living abroad in Belfast for a year after University and getting my degree in Graphic Design I ventured back to Melbourne Australia to peruse a career in travel. In the beginning, I really sucked at sales and didn’t really “get it”. But after about 6 or so months it finally started to flow and I realized very quickly that the key to success wasn’t about the sale…but connecting with the customer and finding out they’re why.
I became an assistant manager of a store after one year with the company and was successful in being apart of a team that got recognized 2 years in a row for the most second most profitable store in the country. So after riding the wave, I was asked to manage my own store. This was one of the toughest things I did as I felt as though I wasn’t ready for this challenge. I had a difficult team who all had their own ideas about what it took to run a business, so I had many moments of self-sabotage convincing myself I wasn’t cut out for this. It wasn’t until I sought out for some mentorship and got given some amazing pointers and advice about keeping the vision simple and easy to follow. So proudly I can say that in my time as the manager of this branch I was able to get this team to be celebrated for turning the business around $150k in profit over a 2 year period.
After that, I perused my passion for the USA and got a transfer within the company to open up a wholesale team in Las Vegas. I worked out very fast that to be successful here I had to take a bit of control and almost sales train the travel agents who would call me with no clue on how to properly qualify their customers and wonder why they were not getting the sale. I became the number 2 agent in the country in less than 6 months by guiding my travel agents to success. Little did I know however that my calls were being listened too and I quickly got offered a role in New Jersey as a sales coach. This is where my passion and my purpose grew – helping others see their potential! I learned so much in this job and also helped not only change the way agents were thinking and feeling about their customers but in also influencing their personal development as well.
After 2 years in the perfect role for me the company, I worked for decided to change direction and close this sales coaching department down. So I was now left with an opportunity to lead 3 businesses in the online space. This department of online travel was suffering big time and we’re losing money more than they were making it. So I was begged by the Director to see if I could do anything with it and turn it around. So I worked with every single team member around their beliefs and feelings about their customers. Within 6 months these teams went from the worst-performing teams in the country to the number 1 most improved in the country. All it came down too was some structure and influencing the way they viewed our customers. Influencing their belief system and rewiring their day to day behaviours!
After that, I was sent on another project to open a 24-hour emergency assist team that could help customers abroad with any kind of emergency but also sell to customers who wanted to transact at all hours of the night. within 1 year this was a booming business that had 12 remote agents that worked for me and became the superheroes within the organization overnight! I loved that team and am extremely proud that to this day are really making a hell of a difference. Now that I had a proven track record of my turnaround success and that I really know a thing or two about sales coaching I was asked to lead 4 states in the USA (total of 11 businesses) to see if we could turn some businesses around. As glamorous as this sounded (great FF points) I struggled with the directions given from my leaders.
You see – when you put your people first above everything but are told to put numbers first, my values started to be compromised and I personally struggled with this style of leadership. I found myself being a human shield to my people and didn’t want them feeling any fear about their jobs if they were not always hitting numbers. But doing this for a year ended up destroying me and all my confidence, self-belief and personality. I became a shell of a person who lost motivation and didn’t want to continue doing what I loved best. SO I decided to pack up and move back home to Australia. I left the travel industry for a few months to regroup, get my passion back and recharge.
I got back into the travel industry – but this time leading 12 cruise businesses in the state of Victoria. We focused on how we could make the biggest impact with customer service and how we could really build our repeat and referral business. Within only a few months we became the number 1 most profitable cruise team in the State of Victoria. No brainer that this was all down to our belief around our customer and our self-discipline in our day to day business practices. I got my mojo back and so after many years trying new things, riding the highs and the lows I gathered up the courage to try something on my own. It helped that a close friend who I worked within the USA asked me to help a business he was managing who were converting only 5% of their leads and needed some drastic sales assistance.
So while working in my current job I trapezed into a small travel business in California to see if I could help. Within a month of my training and recommendations, this team had the BEST ever revenue month in the company’s history and grew that conversion to almost 10%. I have since been out 3 other times within a year and can proudly say that they are at a 20% conversion and 70% up year over year. So in a long-winded nutshell – I thought I was a sales coach. It has now morphed into a business/sales/leadership coach to help unleash the business potential by identifying people’s individual potential and not cookie cutting a one size fits the best approach. Everyone is different in how we act and behave so by really elevating this and deep-diving into every single person in the team’s drivers I am able to give them techniques to try that are comfortable for them to be set up for success. If our people are happy then revenue and profits will organically grow! My business is named – Birds Eye View Consulting – Seeing Results and Redefining Growth.
Right now I am working with my business coach around what my exact offerings are. At this stage, it will be based around DISC/EQ/Motivators assessments both as an individual and from a company-wide view. By understanding the people within the organization and how they think, act and behave I am confident that I can assist in growing results within the company and also build customer satisfaction even higher.
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