Matthew Pletzer, Lift Consulting LLC
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Matthew Pletzer, CEO, Lift Consulting LLC.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
I would say the most challenging aspect of my job is to help others self-discover what they need to do to improve their business. It’s easy to tell others what they should do, but when we do so we believe that they don’t own the solution and accountability to the solution goes down. If we can get our clients to self-discover the solution, the personal buy-in to that solution goes up exponentially, and results do, as well. This process can take some time and patience.
Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
Marcus Lemonis is someone who I admire. I do not know him personally, but I admire how he leads (or at least how I perceive he leads based upon what I see on television). I believe being a servant leader is one of the most important characteristics that great leaders share, and I strive to emulate this aspect of his personality. On the show The Profit, Lemonis is often portrayed digging in and doing the lowest paying jobs. To me, this shows his employees how to lead, and that actions speak louder than words. I also believe Lemonis is an expert at having crucial conversations. He does not shy away from tough discussions, but he handles them professionally from an “adult” ego state. He takes the emotions out of challenging situations, thereby diffusing them quicker than most.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
The high point of my career was when Lift Consulting passed the three-year mark. This is often when many organizations fail. It proved to me that what we provide is valuable for our clients and we are making a demonstrable impact, which is one of our core values. Typically at year three, referrals begin to become a bigger part of your business. Luckily, this remains true for us. Referrals are your best litmus test in regard to the value you provide your clients, centers of influence, and employees. Now that we are in year five, we are fortunate to have transitioned to greater than an 80 percent referral-driven business model.
Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Take more risk and buy real estate, or take the time to develop a business with a passive income stream. I’m an advocate for working smarter rather than harder. Early in my career, I found success in corporate America and made a good income. With that said, I was tied to the “golden handcuffs.” I was risk averse. I’ve since realized that those who take greater educated risks tend to be those who succeed. If you are going to bet on anyone, why not bet on yourself?
What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
Dane County is supportive and our “Dane Buy Local” mentality is amazing. In business, I often find who you know is a huge element of one’s success. In Dane County, we are such a tight-knit community, and many are open to sharing their network to others to help them in a time of need. That pay-it-forward mentality always comes back in the end from my experience. Our company would not be where it is today without the help of many in this community. We are very grateful for the givers-gain mentality of Dane County, and we do our best to emulate the same.
Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
This is a hard one. I’m pretty boring from this aspect. With that said, through our sales process I do believe in a way I’m able to “tell the future” a bit. In reality I cannot, but through psychology I believe we have a better indication of “what’s going to happen next” in the sales process more than most. It’s a blessing and a curse at times. I can tell when we are going to win a deal or lose a deal, and sometimes I do not like the answer. That said, I owe this all to Sandler Training. I did not have this talent before Sandler. The beauty of it is that it can be a learned talent.
What are your guilty pleasures?
One of my guilty pleasures is watching an animated film with my twin daughters. They are five years old and finally at the age where they watch movies that are geared toward kids but often have innuendos that are geared toward adults. On occasion, I’ll be really into the movie and it will be time for my kids to go to bed, but I will keep watching the movie without them. My wife thinks I’m crazy and a total dork (which I am), but I want to see how the story ends!
Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.