ABOUT TODAY’S EPISODE | TREY KETCHAM
Trey Ketcham is a dynasty builder. For Trey, building is a noble pursuit which begins with enrolling people in a vision, then involves giving his best effort to truly take care of the people in his organization. This is what recruiting is REALLY about. Trey is a 20-year veteran of the Cutco/Vector business, who worked closely with Vector legends Matt King and Larry Manley. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Trey moved to Atlanta where he quickly took over the leadership of the Greater Georgia Division. He has become the #1 recruiter in company history (1028 recruits in 2020!), and in this conversation, he shares his inner motivations and his strategies for success.
Q&A WITH TREY KETCHAM
Q: I want to hear a little bit of how you got started in the Cutco/Vector business.
- I wasn’t looking for a job at the time.I actually was hanging out with my buddy Craig.
- Back then, there wasn’t social media, there were the traditional means of advertising. So it was a newspaper ad, and the job classified section happened to be in the back of the sports section of the newspaper.
- Craig’s mom yelled downstairs to get a job, and the newspaper was sitting next to me. I opened it and said to Craig, here is a job. Let’s call and find out what’s going on. He didn’t want to call. So, I said I’ll call and see what’s up.
- I remember talking to a girl named Amanda. She talked to me and told me a little bit of what we did here. I said my buddy Craig is a little nervous to come in, but I’ll come check it out. I’ve got a job, but it can’t hurt to see what’s out there.
- I showed up to my interview with cargo shorts, a polo shirt and flip-flops. Luckily they didn’t prejudge me and I got the position. The rest is kind of history.
Q: Tell us some of your key experiences and lessons from the early part of career.
- Everyone remembers their 1st Everything is new, kind of exciting, challenging and difficult at the same time.
- I remember being nervous, and to prove a point, Matt King made a phone call to one of my recommendations pretending to be me, to give me confidence. I saw him book the presentation right in front of me, and that kind of woke me up.
- After that I got a lot better with the phone and learned to love the phone. That 1st Vector summer taught me the skills of being self-driven, having a no excuses mentality. I also learned how to not use simple adversities to hold me back. I learned how to connect with people. I learned what it meant to have a great mentor.
- A defining moment for me was X-Mass Eve when I was 19 at the time. My dad actually passed away then. We were in a church service and my dad never made it. He was coming back from being out of town. He ended up passing in the apartment he was renting. That was a tough time for me.
- I remember making 2 calls, one to Matt King and the other to Larry Manley who was the Division Manager. I let Larry know I wasn’t going to make it for that first day of training for the winter break prep.
- The way both of them reacted, and showed me love and compassion and concern, honestly made me want to work even harder, made me to appreciate the business and made me appreciate them even more.
- That was a defining moment for me because there are lots of traditional sales jobs or companies where that wouldn’t have been the case. There would have been a different conversation.
- The compassion they showed to me really stuck, and I came back with a vengeance because I remembered the year before, my dad told me work for nobody but yourself. You always have job security when you’re working for yourself.
- That ingrained in me the importance of being an entrepreneur. The importance of going out and staking my own claim. I wanted to honor him ever since that moment.
- As a businessowner, we are able to spend time with family, able to coach kids sports, able to be there for dinners and birthdays.
Q: You moved up very quickly as a manager. You were promoted to District Manager in 2005 in Georgia, then in 2006, you took over the Georgia Division. Tell us about that path.
- I didn’t know anything about Atlanta. I didn’t know a lot of things, but I knew if I believed and cared about my people, I’d get what I wanted in the process.
- The path I’ve always seized, big development and big recruiting. If you got those 2 things happening, the sales report tends to go with it.
Q: Well you’ve become such a great recruiter. I’d love to get into your head on why? What has made you such a great recruiter in this business?
- I’ve always being fascinated with building.
- Whether playing sports growing up, I was always fascinated with how assistant coaches for great teams got their talent.
- I always loved the concept of building an army, a village, an empire. To take over and be united for a common goal. Part of that is what drives me.
- I love helping people, impacting people. Because I believe in what Vector has done for me. How I grew up in the company, Larry was my 2nd father figure. I want to provide that to as many people as possible.
Q: You talked about offering the opportunity to people. Tell us about your mindset around doing that.
- Vector isn’t for everyone. We don’t work with anybody. We want to work with the right types of people.
- The 2 biggest skills I try to look for are loyalty and work ethic. Everything else is teachable. We look for people that are hard workers and have loyalty.
Q: Let’s take about some of the tactics you use in recruiting. You’ve had the lion’s share of the biggest recruiting summers in the history of the company. Tell us what you do to make that happen.
- I like to think in order to have a massive organization, you’ve got to have generals, lieutenants, people that are there with you.
- We look to develop people in the early stage. Give them the opportunity to shine. We work with our key leaders to replicate, duplicate our organization.
- What I found if you’re naturally going to attract people like you, you build a team of assistant managers, recruiting assistants or receptionists. You’re going to build an organization with a bunch of people like them, and they come from all these different walks of life, but are people just like them.
- You’ll see them act and talk as they do and it’s a lot of fun. We talk about loyalty and work ethic to our staff. We also talk about making it fun. When you do that, they will want to build.
Q: Tell us a little bit more about this idea of how you leverage your team.
- There is this quote, if you want to be a leader of many, you’ve got to be faithful and loyal when the numbers are small. That really stuck with me.
- In order to build a large organization, you’ve got to start at the grassroots level. When things are just getting started. When things are small.
- Give them opportunities to shine. That’s how you add more people. You’re taking care of people. Being a great recruiter is taking care of a lot of people. You come work for us in school, and you’re going to be set for life! We make a commitment to them.
Q: What are some of the ways you have people use their social media specifically to spread the word about what we have?
- We obviously give them some content, the videos, the cool graphics.
- Some of the most effective posts we have right now are just people taking pictures of what they’re doing. They may be working from home, sitting on their desks or might be working on a vacation.
- It’s people living their authentic lives and just sharing that with sincerity and excitement.
Q: We’re in a unique position as a company this summer, as we have virtually unlimited opportunities to be able to help people earn some income during this time and keep themselves busy, learning and moving forward. I’d love to hear your perspective on the position we’re in with the chance to help many others this summer
- I think about our company and what we provide for people. We’re doing more of the same, but in a different way.
- The reason why I love this job is the good income, it’s the fun environment, it’s the good resume experience and it’s the flexibility.
- I think all of that has been put on a turbo boost with what we’re doing right now.
- We have a product line everybody is using more than ever. People are at home more than ever. Our customers are using our products and they are more available than they ever have been. The opportunity for making money is greater.
- From the flexibility standpoint, I think what’s more flexible than getting work done right from the comfort of your room. I think the biggest thing is the skills for the future.
Q: What are some of your whys for being a great recruiter?
- I want to be a great mentor.
- I’ve had great mentors in the business. My greatest mentor was my dad. I remember what he did for me. I learned a lot of good lessons from him and my mom. I learned my work ethic from my mom and the ability to connect, care for people from my dad.
- My biggest why is I want to be a great leader, a great father, a great husband, a great manager.
- Cool to hear Trey’s story. Losing his dad at the age of 19 was a transformational experience in his life. His dad imparted him the wisdom of working for yourself. Being in business for yourself. Being able to rely on yourself for your own job security.
- Trey also talked about how he loved building things, building an army, building a village or even building an empire. That he loves helping people. Those were his key motivations.
- He also said somebody who’s a great recruiter views themselves as being of service to as many other people as possible. He mentioned that work ethic and commitment are attitudinal aspects, and are the key things he looks out for in determining who is in his team, but everything else is teachable.
Show Notes for this episode were provided by Brian Njenga.
To learn more and get access to all episodes, visit our podcast page!
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