LAS VEGAS, NV — Tom Wittman’s business card lists his occupation as “coach.” The senior business trainer at International Service Leadership (ISL) is comfortable with that title, as he takes his role very seriously. Wittman led some of the sessions at the group’s recent Las Vegas meeting with an infectious, enthusiastic style, urging contractor members to take an active leadership role within their companies.

Rather than concentrate on his career, which began 20 years ago sweeping shop floors and eventually led to business management, Wittman wanted to talk about ISL and what it meant to the members who invested their time and money into the group.

“In the beginning, ISL picked 27 people from around the country to become a part of its training program,” he said. “They asked me to become a sales coach. We built up the coaching staff and eventually developed a sales program with sales coaches. We are now asking those coaches to also add business development skills.”


Wittman believes that businesses join ISL because they want to improve their overall business plan and improve their profitability. And he said that some companies join the group in need of immediate help.

“We want to fix what is broken with businesses,” he told meeting attendees.

“We stop the bleeding right away and develop building skills along the way. We immediately look for things that businesses can do every day to improve gross margins. We give solutions on how to minimize non-productive calls and generate cash flow immediately. Then we begin the building process.”

Wittman wants members to understand and establish a “break-even point” for their businesses. He said that a break-even point would be exemplified by what time of the month a company pays its invoices.

“We’d like to move that break-even point earlier in the month, giving businesses more time to make money,” he said.

Wittman said that the information available to ISL members is “topical and needed at the time.”

“This is not an offer to make an instant flash-in-the-pan spike in sales.”

Wittman outlined five building steps:

1. Make the phone ring.

2. Establish proper pricing.

3. Improve sales performance.

4. Tighten up operations.

5. Track results.

He stressed that he wants ISL members to have a solid business structure that they can build on. “We are not here for short-term gains. We are here for long-term success,” Wittman added.

“There needs to be a tactical business plan for each business, which leads to a course of action, utilizing the best business practice solutions and offering the best training available.”

Publication date: 09/09/2002