At first glance, one might think the employees at Clegg, a 25-year-old maker of products that light up and make fun sounds, are party animals. Although it's a Sunday and the company is closed, a crew of more than two dozen, led by chief party animal Michael Bistocchi, senior VP of sales, has gathered at the company's Gardena, CA, headquarters for a margarita and pizza party. Everyone's wearing leis and having fun, but even in this atmosphere, it's clear that the company means business.
Take a stroll down the center hallway of Clegg and you can't help but get a sales tip. A chalkboard with the words "Daily Priorities" hangs on one wall with an underlined bullet point that says in bold, "Know My End-Users." Another sign asks the question, "What cross-merchandising am I doing today?"
And in Bistocchi's office, yet another chalkboard lists key tactics some of the company's salespeople used during the past week to close big deals. Bistocchi is vigilant about this kind of idea-sharing. So vigilant, in fact, that he holds twice-daily meetings with the sales team so each member can say what was working, and not working, for them that day. "I'm still learning stuff, so I know my team members can, too," says the industry veteran," who left Clegg in 2001 but came back to take over the sales helm in 2008. "If someone really wants to be successful in this industry, they have to keep learning."
And though today is clearly a party day, a few employees in the marketing department can't help but swap a few stories about some of their recent successes, which included giving out Clegg-emblazoned water bottles at a recent trade show. Bistocchi is more than happy to join in.
"You get about 25 people in a room sharing ideas, and you really have no idea what you'll come up with," he says.