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He says that’s the biggest difference from his early days in the business. “It used to be that there was a lot more contact at the point of sports,” he says. “There was a lot more time spent having fun outdoors with your clients. Now it’s a lot more about dollars and cents.”
It’s a state of affairs that Al believes is totally counter-productive. “I’m constantly working on nurturing and celebrating the experiential side of the business,” he explains. “And that means getting outdoors with people and actually using the products we sell. On the one hand, it’s great for my soul, because I get to know people on a whole other level. On the other, it’s great for my product knowledge because I get to see first-hand what works and what doesn’t.” He laughs. “It’s a pretty simple equation for me — if I’m supposed to be selling outdoor fun, I better make sure I’m an expert at it.”
Although it might sound counter-intuitive at first, Safrata believes that therein lies the secret to his financial success. “I’ve discovered over the years that I can make a lot more money doing it this way than sitting at my computer and just concentrating on numbers…”
And even if that weren’t the case, he says, he’d still be way ahead of the game. “I truly believe that if I can share my daily smiles with family, friends and customers I will be much more satisfied than if I go grubbing for dollars. And to me, that’s the only bottom line that counts!”
For more information on the CAA and its affiliates, check out www.avalanche.ca.