Doing it right the first time

Since his upbringing in Woburn, Massachusetts, Joe Garrity (pictured below with his wife, who is the CFO of the company) has always been taught to do it right the first time. He executes this value today as CEO and founder of Phoenix-based American Powersport Recovery, Inc., a repossession-services company with clients throughout the United States. Since Garrity acquired the company in 2004, he has raised the level of customer service, accurate reporting, and damage-free repossession services with a finely tuned staff that, he says, “get the job done right the first time.” Garrity reveals the strategies he applies to running a competitive business with average yearly sales of $3.5 to $5 million.

“In my experience, if you are not in the position to ask for the sale or service then do not ask. Do the job right the first time. Treat everyone with respect—clients, their customers, your agents, your employees.”—Joe Garrity, CEO & Founder

I monitor and make decisions with the field agents in regards to difficulties with repossession, fly and train some agents in the field on power-sport repo, approve fees accrued to pick-up units, and monitor the day-to-day activities around the office. However, I have a very competent staff and really do not need to be in the office. My forte is traveling across the US and meeting with new lenders, keeping up rapport with existing clients, and making sure lines of communication are strong. I also make sales calls to potential clients and try and coordinate meetings to generate new business.

We build on the company’s success by staying consistent with our stats, keeping our client relationships strong, and keeping the levels of service that our clients deserve. We also plan on acquiring new business across the US with new lenders; we can do this with confidence as our agents have performed incredibly well for us. I have no problem saying that we can handle double the business we have right now due to the effectiveness of my staff, my drivers, and my agents’ overall performance. They have been with us for years; we have very low turnover.

In my experience, if you are not in the position to ask for the sale or service then do not ask. Do the job right the first time. Treat everyone with respect—clients, their customers, your agents, your employees. Maintain the highest levels of integrity. I grew up in Woburn, Massachusetts, graduated high school and went to computer school, community college, and maritime school. If I could do it again I would have opened my own business right out of high school. My wife [CFO and cofounder of the company] had the most influence on my decision to go into my own business. She knew that while I was working for others to generate their success, which they did, I was not climbing with them, so it was time to move on. I learned most of my career knowledge from others in the industry.

My dad always said, “Do the job right the first time, or don’t do it at all.” My mentor at one job I had, John Campion, said the most important part in sales, or service is the ability to listen. How will you know what your client wants if you don’t listen? Too many people try and tell the prospective client what they need. If they listened to that client, instead, and just scripted what they heard on a notepad, they would be in position the next time they spoke to “ask for the sale” or the business service, whatever the case may be. Sales 101.