In this interview with Jesper, we find out how a marketing expert who had a burning desire to start his own business and get back to staying in Denmark, started his digital marketing journey.
What did you do before life at WSI?
Before WSI I worked for the Kellogg Company for 16 years. I have an MBA in Marketing from Copenhagen Business School so working for Kellogg has been a thrill. I started working for Kellogg back in 2001 - at that point covering the Nordic countries Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. In 2008 I moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, USA, working for Kellogg on the USA market. That was something special as USA is indeed “the mother of marketing”. After 3.5 years in the US I was transferred to Johannesburg in South Africa. I spent 3 years in South Africa as the Marketing Director for the Kellogg Company. That was also an amazing experience. Finally from 2015 until end of 2017 I was located in Geneva, Switzerland as European Marketing Director for Kellogg Snacks.
What made you choose WSI as an opportunity?
After many years away from Denmark it was time for me and the family to move back to Denmark. My wife and I wanted to make sure our kids also got the experience of growing up in Denmark. It's a great country to live in as a teenager as its safe and you can pretty much do as you want. Further, after many years in the corporate world it was time for me to try something new. I think I have had the title of “self employed” bubbling inside me for some years. Given my long marketing background choosing WSI made so much sense as I was moving back to Denmark and wanted to start something on my own.
Who was your biggest influencer in helping you decide to buy a Digital Marketing Franchise?
I have had two people influencing me the most. Right from the start my wife has been hugely supportive. She knew it was time for me to start something new and she so much believed in my ability to be successful with WSI. Secondly - I have an uncle that has been my career mentor for more than 20 years. I was meeting with him at some point - approx some months into my discussions with WSI. We were discussing different business ideas, opportunities etc. When I told him about the opportunity with WSI he immediately said something like this…..”Jesper - that's the best idea you have shared with me today. You have all the skills and capabilities to be successful at WSI. As I see it you should go for it”
What attracted you about owning your own business?
A number of factors attracted me. Firstly - the idea of being the captain on the ship. After many years in big corporate there's always a manager and a managers manager to report to. It's not like I’m a rebel or anything, but the idea of being the boss of my own business was very attractive. Secondly - starting up a new business is exciting. Being able to start something new and hopefully see it grow and prosper is a bit of a dream for me.
What was your first day of training at Home Office like?
Beyond being a bit jet lagged I had a wonderful first day at the training session in Toronto. The warm welcome from the whole team made me feel as part of the team from the beginning. I have to call out Luana and Raj. They are an amazing training team. Luana is on top of everything and is the perfect host. Everything worked out as planned during first day - and the rest of the week. Raj is a great trainer. I really enjoyed his style - very knowledgeable but always ready for some fun as well.
What was the biggest thing you learned at Home Office?
I guess I really learned why WSI has existed for more than 20 years. Whether it's the WSI value proposition, our services, how we sell, or how we service our customers you really learn that everything has been tried, tested and continuously improved. . You really understand that you should then just go and make it happen - basically follow the instructions !
Do you keep in touch with your training class? With the training staff?
Yes. I'm still participating in the QSP program so we are still in contact. I’m sure we will stay in touch even after the QSP program has ended
What impact has this decision had on your life?
It’s still early days for me as an IC for WSI. However already now I can truly say I enjoy my new career as a business owner of a WSI franchise. There seems to be a true need out there for the services I bring - and I feel competitive being part of the WSI network
What’s something about your country that others may not know?
As said earlier - I live in Denmark. Denmark is a small country in the Northern part of Europe. Only 5.5 million people and 44 sq km in size. Further no mountains and completely surrounded by the sea so winter is usually more mild and rainy than what people think of a country in the northern part of Europe
What skills do you bring to your business that you are excited about?
Having worked in Marketing for more than 20 years makes me think I have a good foundation as a digital marketing expert. Secondly working in different countries and with different cultures gives me a good broad perspective on many aspects of life.
Do you have any other partners/employees in your business?
As of now - no. However I do expect to need additional resources as my business grow
What plans do you have for the next 12 months?
My plans for the next 12 months are pretty much clear. I have built a strategic plan covering the essential areas I need to focus on. Building awareness of WSI and myself in Denmark, prospecting to get 12 IBAs per month, build a supplier network, continuously grow and learn and finally ensure my business is in good financial shape.
What would you tell other people who are considering joining WSI?
As my experience so far with WSI has been very positive I would indeed encourage them to consider WSI as an opportunity. However - they need to be ready for a ride of challenges and barriers to overcome as they start their own business.
What’s something you take pride in with your business?
I really enjoy helping people. Neal Lappe told us at training that a salesman's finest job is to help customers fix their problems. I think that is so true. I want to help my customers fix their problems and as part of that help my customers be successful in whatever they do.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 years?
I hope that I have established myself as a leader within digital marketing in Denmark. That my WSI business is the go to place for businesses in Denmark when they want first class services in digital marketing
If you share one piece of information with the audience today, what would it be?
I’m an introvert person. One might say that successful sales people are usually more extrovert. However - I have found that my introvert personality makes me likable and credible and helps me build a good rapport and relationship with prospects and clients form my first meeting
What type of holidays do you like to take?
I like holidays where you go to do and see something. My favorite is Skiing. I just love that. The activity, the scenery, all the fresh air and being with family and friends. Perfect recipe for a great holiday.
If we went to happy hour, what would you order?
I might be boring but I don’t really drink alcohol anymore so I would go for a Coke or whatever local non alcoholic drinks they serve in the bar.
If you could be anywhere other than here talking to me - right this minute, where would you be?
Hands down - I would go straight to Kruger Park in South Africa. I just love that place. This is the closest I have been to Nature as it was intended to be. Kruger Park is huge in size, almost the size of Denmark, and you can drive around in your own car without meeting other people for hours while you experiencing all the wild animals. Absolutely amazing place.