ABOUT TODAY’S EPISODE | COLTON HORN
In just over 2 years with Cutco/Vector Marketing, Colton Horn distinguished himself as an amazing leader and an inspiration to many. As a Branch Manager, he was responsible for every aspect of a Vector field sales office, from recruiting to training to development of the team to admin and financial controls. His team finished #1 out of about 300 Branch offices nationwide in the Summer of 2019. Now, as he prepares to graduate from Northwestern University, Colton and his father, Dr. Gerald Horn, have co-founded their own company, BRÈINFÚEL, which is seeking to create a new category in the beverage industry.
Q&A WITH COLTON HORN
Q: Tell us a little about your background leading up to when you first got started with Cutco/ Vector.
- The summer going into my senior year of high school I got my first sales job cold calling businesses to sell them promotional branded flash drives.
- The following summer I graduated and my friend was working for Cutco/ Vector and set me up for an interview and everything just fell into place.
Q: What were some of the early lessons you had as a sales rep?
- The first is the importance of conviction. Believing in the product of course, but also in having conviction in yourself and the mission you’re on.
Q: What were some of the challenges that you experienced?
- I was told by a lot of people close to me that there wasn’t much opportunity to shine in a company with so many college students.
- I learned to turn frustration into fascination. So I started to get curious about how I could make my Cutco experience bigger than I had ever imagined. I decided that whatever I do I will strive to make an impact and I will strive to be epic.
- Another challenge at the beginning of college I didn’t have clarity on the type of life I wanted to create for myself.
- Most students don’t ask those deep introspective questions until they’re forced to.
- Part of my personal mission in life is to help empower others to forge their own path.
Q: What made you decide that you wanted to be a Branch Manager?
- Branching was a great way to up level my personal development that I wanted to work on while also making my dream of being an entrepreneur that much closer.
- Branching also gave me the opportunity to do something bigger and more meaningful than anything else I had done before.
Q: Tell us about your first Branch summer. What were some of the experiences you had?
- I set a big goal of doing $200,000 in sales for my Branch office and a lot of people expressed their doubt in that goal but that was just the fuel for me to work harder.
- I also approached developing an Assistant Manager staff differently. I brought my girlfriend and best friend, neither of which had worked with Cutco/ Vector before and a rep who was around $13,000 in sales and trained to be an AM. I poured a lot of love into those relationships because I believe the AM staff is the engine of an office.
- The AMs are also the megaphone for the leader. The reps won’t do what the Branch Manager says, the reps will do what the AMs do!
Q: What opportunities did you see you could do better going from the 1st summer to the 2nd summer as a Branch Manager?
- The first thing was just learning what would work and what didn’t work.
- I started to fill my mind with content, mainly reading, to help me become a better leader.
- Our team created a list of over 1,000 people that we could reach out to and potentially recruit them as sales reps.
- Another important thing was going to meet Andrew Evans, the Branch Manager who holds the all-time Branch sales record, and his advice was invaluable.
- Andrew said, “Don’t prioritize CPO (sales), prioritize people.”
- The journey is far more rewarding than the destination.
Q: What goals did you have going into your 2nd summer?
- My personal mission statement going into my 2nd summer as a Branch Manager was to create a legacy that revolutionizes the perception of Branching and raises the bar for the future of our company and community.
- When my mission was aligned with my values, that’s when I felt inspired.
Q: How did you communicate your goals to your team and enroll all of your new reps into this mission so they would be inspired to be part of something?
- I lived my mission every single day and it wasn’t about competing with anyone else, it was about competing with ourselves.
- Simon Sinek says, “when you compete with everybody else, than everybody wants to see you fail but when you compete with yourself, everyone wants to help you succeed.
Q: What qualities do you feel like you brought as a leader that led to your success as a Branch Manager?
- I tried to be real and just be me. I also reached out to other managers in the company and learned things from each of them but I only implemented the things I felt were aligned with who I am.
Q: So, what does the future hold for Mr. Colton Horn?
- I’m still figuring that out at the moment. I might go work for a big tech company or I might continue with Cutco/ Vector but part of the reason I’m in Italy right now in a program where I literally know nobody is so that I can learn more about myself and what I want to do.
- I love that he started with the idea of expanding your comfort zone.
- It was amazing hearing how Colton prepared to run his office. The reading and the growing to prepare for the challenge ahead.
- Stop prioritizing profits and start prioritizing people.
- The power of visualization that Colton shared is a critical process to put us in the frame of mind for our experiences.
- Take what you want from the coaches in your life. Jim Rohn says, “don’t be a follower, be a student.”
- CPO- a number used in Cutco/ Vector to describe the revenue generated from Cutco sales upon which a representative or manager is paid.
- SC2- Summer Conference (1 & 2): a sales conference designed around competition (push period trophies are awarded), education, and inspiration.
Show Notes provided by Carlo Cipollina.
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BRÈINFÚEL is a new beverage co-founded by Silver Cup Cutco alum Colton Horn. This is NOT an energy drink, but instead is a scientifically derived blend from coffees, teas, collagen, and antioxidants. BRÈINFÚEL uniquely puts your brain and body in the zone, prolonging mental focus, sharpening alertness and decision-making, and protecting your brain from burnout.
Be Smarter. Think Faster. Live Beyond. Go to Breinfuel.com and use the code “CLSK” at checkout for 35% off your first order (unlimited quantity!).
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If you like wine, but sometimes get a headache from drinking it, you need to try Good Weather Wine, founded by legendary Cutco/Vector alum Mark Lovas. All their wines are sugar-free, low in sulfites, and with no additives. You can get a monthly shipment of 3, 6, or 12 bottles, and they’ll make it super easy by making the selections for you based on your preferences. It’s like having your own wine buyer to help you pick.
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