When Dan Meyer graduated from Denison University with an economics degree in 1985, he knew very little about technology and even less about the office dealer industry. In fact, the only reason he landed his first job selling Savin copiers was that he knew someone who worked at a dealership.
But the president and co-founder of Impact Networking built a $140 million empire in Lake Forest, Illinois, during a 20-year stretch on the strength of the old Zig Ziglar aphorism, “You don’t build a business—you build people and then people build the business.” Meyer, along with CEO and co-founder Frank Cucco, fostered a culture of employee development and rapid career advancement at Impact Networking, knowing that as team members go, so does the fortunes of the dealership.
There’s little arguing with the results. By recognizing extraordinary behavior and results while developing and enforcing an activities-driven sales process, Impact Network has been able to maintain 27% year-over-year growth for 20 years. You won’t find a Bart Simpson-type among the staff, as adding and developing overachievers is the dealer’s secret sauce.
“Recognition is a key component to this,” said Meyer, a 2020 ENX Magazine Difference Maker. “We’re constantly on the lookout for employees going above and beyond. And it’s in all departments, not just sales.”
It is that activities-driven sales approach, however, that keeps representatives on pace. “Our sales process tracks daily activities and holds everyone accountable to what is important—new, qualified opportunities,” he added. “The standard practice is to manage the process, not the results.”
These are not mere foot soldiers who have contributed to the dealer’s success. Many team members have started out as entry-level employees who rose through the ranks and attained partner status with Impact.
Not surprisingly, it is Cucco who has impressed Meyer with his penchant for thinking big, weighing risk and reward, investing heavily in growth initiatives and bringing new ideas to the table. Cucco’s clear vision is shared by Meyer and continues to drive the firm forward even during the most challenging of circumstances.
Meyer and Impact Networking has benefitted tremendously with the company’s shift from a traditional office equipment business model to managed services. The managed services portion of the pie stood at 7.8% of overall revenue in 2015 and grew to 35% in 2019. Managed IT grew organically 142% from 2015 to 2019, and Impact Networking’s managed marketing team (ES99) grew 147% from 2016 to 2019.
Even with the pandemic, Meyer is anticipating growing managed services to 41% of 2020’s total revenues and expects that figure to exceed 50% in the coming year. With a long-term $1 billion revenue target, Meyer seeks to develop a world-class training system through the Impact Leadership Institute while continuing to overachieve SLAs in all services. With bold numbers sought moving forward, continuing to perpetuate a culture-first approach will be essential.
“We need to practice our process, be open to new ideas, provide structure, improve training and keep culture a priority,” he observed. An avid golfer and fisherman, Meyer enjoys taking in live sporting events. But what he most enjoys is taking employees on company-sponsored trips, and in the years prior to the pandemic, Impact Networking averaged four to six trips around the world per year. One of the adventures is an all-company trip to Mexico as a reward for achieving the company’s annual revenue and profit goals.