What consumers want.
The famous movie from the 2000’s, What Women Want provides inside insights into the mind of women…and it’s the same super power retailers wish to possess.
In this throwback episode from 2021, Mark Kinsley and Mark Quinn interview, Jesse Kostuhoski, Vice President of Retail Development for the Furniture and Appliance Mark in Stephens Point, Wisconsin. He is a 25+ year industry veteran, spending more than 15 years in retail stores and almost a decade with Serta. Based on his unique perspective, it’s clear he has a pulse on the consumer and what their core needs are. If you think engagement, trust and advocacy aren’t the first things on a customer’s mind, you may need to think again.
They also chat about hiring and the current issues with finding good help. Lack of help is a pervasive problem that is currently affecting every industry, and they discuss how hiring an employee goes beyond their skill set, but must also include a discussion on goals and dreams–both for the employee and you as their employer.
Mark Kinsley: We are gonna take a little jaunt up to Steven’s Point, Wisconsin on the show today, and we’re gonna talk about the three things every consumer wants and you may not know about them. And hey, wait a minute. How is hiring all about dreams and goals? The Do Marco Show begins in 60 seconds.
Mark Quinn: We are here. This is very exciting. We’ve got Jesse Kajaki. We’re not gonna talk about him just yet. We’re gonna introduce him in a second, but there he is on the screen. Jesse, welcome. We’ll get right to your brother. Hang on a second. Kinsley, you know, Miranda with the Cena Mawi Foundation sent us an email and guess what’s coming?
Mark Kinsley: Uh, I 24. I 24.
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Bingo
Mark Quinn: night, baby. Exactly. October 27th, 8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central. Uh, and you can go to the scene of Maggots Facebook page and check it out, but guys, go do it. It’s a great charity. Mark and I have been involved with it for a long time. They are the front line on fighting pancreatic.
Roger’s gonna be there, Gary fio, past CEO of, of Mattress Firm. And, uh, I, you know, it, it’s, you can wear a costume in Kinsley on this bingo event, and it all goes to a good cause. And Miranda told me that she might be doing like the Wizard of Oz thing, like Tin Man, you know, cowardly Lion stuff. So I, I, I might just show up to see what she, she comes on the screen with.
Mark Kinsley: But yeah, I like, well I’m, Hey, I’m wearing a costume today myself, but,
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Tell me about
Mark Quinn: that. I see the shirt, which by the way, I don’t even have one of those. So like, how do you have that? Like, what is it? Why are you holding out
Mark Kinsley: on me? Yeah, it’s more of a uniform now and you’re gonna have to get on board with wearing the uniform.
Uh, but for those listening, I’ve got the Dose Marco Show the Galaxy’s Greatest Mattress Podcast shirt. This is one of a kind given to me as a birthday gift from my good friend. Dakota is so thoughtful and sweet, and she is, she’s brilliant and she’s really compassionate and she’s such a good gift giver and she’s very artistic as you can see.
And she’s a fan of do Marcos. And uh, she actually wanted me, but she’s our youngest fan. Yeah. And I think she wanted me to kind of have this in just a little bit, give you a hard time for not having,
Mark Quinn: You, you know, Dakota, I got to talk to you on a FaceTime call with your mom and dad who are fantastic people.
And boy, if you ever have extra craft hour time, I’d love to have one of
Mark Kinsley: those shirts. And you know, Dakota has her own podcast for the sugar gliders. Okay? That’s their homeschool pod. And she hosts the podcast and she interviews the kids. And I was lucky enough to be the opening voiceover guy for. And to produce that whole show for them.
And they’ve done a fantastic job. And obviously her talents go beyond the microphone, as you can see with this shirt right here. And a guy whose talents go beyond the screen that’s in front of us right now is, uh, Mr. Jesse, you are doing a great job saying it right?
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Absolutely.
Mark Kinsley: How’s it going brother? Now Jesse, you’re with Furniture and Appliance Mart and Ashley HomeStore in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and we got hooked up to, uh, with you through Chad Fisher, our mutual friend. Chad is a nationwide marketing group, and we’re so excited to talk to you about the three things that every consumer wants, and you’ve actually done research that goes beyond just the research that happens within our four walls.
So, And we’re gonna talk about hiring and how that’s about dreams and goals. And we’re gonna get into some of the things that you think the industry should be talking about. But I, but before we get there, what’s that smell? Quinn and I do You have, there’s like fire around you.
Mark Quinn: Yeah. The, so I had to put this one out.
You know, I, because Colonial, um, sent us these awesome candles. Can you see that? It’s beautiful and it’s got one of the wood wicks to it. And so, I , I couldn’t wait for the show where we talked about it. So I started, I started, uh, burning it and I’m gonna tell you, man, this thing burns forever and it smelled incredibly good and it’s got our, our company logo on there.
And, uh, so anyway, they did a fantastic job with these, and they’re great gifts because candles are awesome anyway, so, For all of your needs. I know, Kim, you got another one here, but this candle was a, a really great way to dis get your brand and it’s been sitting on my desk, so if this had your company logo, it would be sitting on my desk for the last two months because I’ve been burning it.
So it’s a really clever gift
Jesse Kostuhsoki: to give,
Mark Kinsley: didn’t you? Well, and that’s one of the hallmarks of doing business cl with colonial promotions.com is that they source quality goods and just like you said, you’re burning this great smelling candle with your company logo. If you have an employee appreciation program, if you have gifts you want to give in a kit to some of your top customers or any customers, high volume time, definite product distribution, the Colonial promotions.com team is there to help their consultants, their sales consultants.
They help companies grow. They help with employee appreciation, and they source really good quality goods, kinda like this. Uh, little spa kit here, shower gel, bubble bath massage. Uh, this is just super sweet and this would be a nice thing to show up on somebody’s desk. I don’t know about those two guys’ faces on it, but outside of that, this thing’s money.
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Well, you
Mark Quinn: can, you can even get your company logoed shirts from Colonial, which is a huge deal. I know Englander does that. I gotta, I gotta hit Wes and, and Tim, those guys up. So anyway. Yeah. Awesome stuff. Love colonial Jesse. Uh, we’re loving you too, man, for taking time with us. Thank you. And so you are, um, you are involved in the retail business.
You used to work with Serta. I know that, um, you guys are currently, uh, wrangling, uh, 14 stores. Tell us a little bit. Yourself and, and kinda what’s going on with you
Jesse Kostuhsoki: guys right now, going, uh, 25 years in the industry. So as I mentioned to, uh, both Mark earlier, uh, I started young, so I’m not necessarily old, right.
Uh, but we’re very blessed, love, loved the industry, and, um, done a bunch of it in the retail side. You mentioned Serta did that for nine years and went back on the, the retail side. and really just trying to see life from the gas perspective, regardless of the position I’ve ever been in. And as a company, we continue to grow, uh, and we’re growing because our company’s why is all about improving the quality of people’s lives by making amazing rooms together, helping people improve their lives.
Not just our guests, but everyone in our companies and throughout our communities. So that’s a little bit about our, our company, a little bit about myself, um, but it’s really
Mark Kinsley: about putting people first. Well, you said one of the, before we talked, um, we talked ahead of time, you said one of. The biggest opportunities for our industry is understanding our guest and their journey.
And I love how you talk about your company right out of the gates because you’re giving it meaning, you’re giving it purpose. And you also talk about it with language that’s very, uh, community oriented. Meaning, yes, we’re gonna do this together, we’re gonna make these rooms together. I love that language.
Go, go into this a little bit more and talk about the biggest opportunity for the. is understanding the guests and their journey and what you and your team have done to better understand the guest in their
Jesse Kostuhsoki: journey and what Yeah, a absolutely. So, so we, we’ve done a ton of research. So the, the goal is to kind of think beyond yourselves in your own scenario.
Obviously, we can collect the data from our guests, right? And we can talk to the people that work in our stores and what their experience. But we’ve reached out to other retailers across the country, wholesalers across the country. We’ve gone on other people’s websites, read and reviews. We’ve read other people’s blogs.
and the idea was to really start to understand where’s the consumer. And as, as I mentioned, uh, to, and when I talk to a lot of people, we kind of live in what I would refer to as a little more archaic industry and we need to move to the now. And the best way to do that is to understand what the consumer is asking for us, right?
So, uh, in that journey, the first thing we need to understand is usually by the time they come into a brick and mortar store, they’ve been doing it for months, they’ve been on the journey. . And as we looked at that and understand that when they have gone on that journey, when they finally come into a brick and mortar store, understanding what they’re looking for, and I’ll give you three key words.
It’s engagement, trust, and advocacy. See, so you wanna be an advocate for them, right? So they want you to be an advocate, they want you to trust, and they want you to engage with them in the right way.
Mark Kinsley: All right, so let’s, let’s dig into each of those. Okay. So engagement, trust, and advocacy. That’s what they.
When after months of searching and shopping and thinking and talking, all of a sudden those double doors open and they walk into your store. Ta talk to us about what does engagement mean? Give, give us some meat on that bone. What do people mean by engagement? They wanna, they wanna be rushed at the door and like accosted with all the specs speak, that’s gonna fall outta your mouth.
Like vomit. That’s,
Jesse Kostuhsoki: that’s engagement, right? No, that, that’s engagement. It’s, it’s more like they’re being attacked. So I guess it’s engagement, but it’s the wrong kind. Um, so it, it’s just that, right? So when they’re walking into a store, remember they chose to walk into our store even though they had the opportunity to both learn and purchase online.
and that would be the first thing I need people to understand. So the reason I share that is when you realize that, then you have to lean on your strength. So when that customer walks in your door, it’s gotta be visually wowed. What I mean by, wow, it’s gotta be way over. Wonderful. So it’s gotta make sure it speaks their eyes and they feel it, right?
Your product’s gotta be set up in a way where they feel like they’re being welcomed in it and they can engage, whether it’s to sit down on a sofa or lay down on a mattress. . But to your point, it’s not about walking up to that person that’s saying, Hey, my name’s Jesse. How can I help you? That’s not what they mean by engagement.
They wanna exchange names. They want you to get to know them. They want you to find out where they are in their journey and give them credit for it, right? So truly engage. So welcome them. Talk to them, get to know them before you move forward. Don’t just talk about product, don’t just talk about price, talk about them.
Talk about you being the.
Mark Kinsley: Uh, you know, one of the things I learned a long time ago from a guy named Craig Brace, who is a mentor of mine and a boss, uh, when we would sit down and debrief on my journey and how I could grow, uh, he said, you, you, you want to get things done, and that’s good, but it can come across as being too efficient with people.
And I think that speaks to what you’re describing when people come. if you’re just treating them like another up, that you’re trying to move in and out the door as fast as possible and you know, get a sofa on their truck or a mattress on top of the station wagon that’s being efficient with them. Like you said, give them credit for their journey, the work that they’ve done, and understand that this is a big transition in their life and you’re there to Yeah,
Jesse Kostuhsoki: I, I would, I love, I absolutely love that.
I’m kind of a tactician myself, so I can relate to this to, to what you learned as well, making sure it’s not too brisk. So, um, in that journey, it, it’s not something we only know, it’s out there, right? There’s these things called form questions, right? So Form is an acronym. It’s, you know, family, occupation, recreation, and Motivation, right?
So you have to understand that form questions build relat. , right? So it’s not just finding out what size mattress they need. It’s not just finding out what they need for their living room or anything like that. It’s making sure you build a personal relationship, allowing you to understand that form questions are just as important as product questions.
Mark Quinn: That, that makes me think of a saying that we’ve heard on this show. And I think Brett Thornton, uh, actually Kinsley is the one who brought it out and it was a conversation he had with Craig Macand is, which is be more interested. Then interesting. And so by showing empathy and engaging them on the form questions that really dig down and show them that you’re interested in them, it’s a great way to build trust.
And that’s the second one here, because trust is critical, right? So if trust isn’t there, there’s no foundational element for you to then be acknowledged as their guide. Mark and I talk about trying to be a guide and that how important that is. We’re reading a book, right? Uh, building brand stories. They talk about being guides.
So trust is like critical for that, don’t you think? Yeah. Trust
Jesse Kostuhsoki: is massive. It’s actually when I did all of our, when we did all of our research, so me and the P team and the company I worked for, when we did all of our research, it’s probably the one that broke my heart the most. Cause how they describe trust was really asking quality questions but actively listen.
and, um, mark Kinsley mentioned that on one of the last, uh, shows that you guys had about how important it’s to actively listen to somebody right. And meet them where they are. And that’s continuous to what we found in our research that they’re looking for, right? So ask quality questions, but listen intensely listen with your heart, right?
Make sure that you’re then intentionally responding and give them credit for what they’ve done, right? So what, I’ll give you an example of that, right? What we found was most customers are coming in and they weren’t being asked about what have you done so far in your journey to finding that perfect night’s sleep?
Right. And they’re not being asked that. And when they are, we’re not actively listening in most cases. And what that should sound like. Like that’s awesome. It sounds like you put a lot of hard work into figuring out that that’s what you’re looking for. That’s the kind of mattress that you want. Give them credit for that.
That doesn’t mean you can’t still take them through your process and still help them in the way as an. , but give them credit and actively listen. And it’s as simple as whatever they say, repeat it back to them and give them credit for it. But be intentional. It can’t just be the questions like, Hey, what size are you looking for?
Right? It can’t be those basic questions cuz they already know what size they’re looking for, and you could find them the perfect night’s sleep and figure that out when you’re writing the invoice, right? So just make sure that you understand that trust to the consumer today means that you’re asking quality questions, you’re listening.
and that you’re going to give them credit for whatever
Mark Kinsley: they say. You know, MATTMAN does a podcast for us. You mentioned, you know, uh, just stories with bt. Uh, great podcast of it, fam Do News. Um, MATTMAN, Andrew Sch Lesser also does a podcast with us on fam.news, the Adventures of Mattman. And he, I don’t know if he’s actually done a podcast about this or if you told me this in person, so we’re gonna have to get him to do a full episode of not, but he talks about, um, a book that he read.
called, never Split the Difference. And this guy was like a hostage negotiator. And one of the things that he talked about that was a really good process flow for getting people to talk, um, was a very simple repeat, repeat, acknowledge the emotion. So, and, and I’ve talked about this on different episodes and I’ve given speeches about it, and the speech is around this idea that open-ended questions are your secret super.
But, but how do you, how do you give people enough space whenever it seems like they’ve stopped talking? And there’s a little technique you can use, which Mattman has described to me, and I think I’ve seen some other people use very effectively and empathetically, and it’s something like this. If somebody comes on your sales floor and they’re like, and, and you say, you know, what’s going on with you and, and they say, you know, I’ve got, I’ve got some back pain.
And they just stop. How do you handle that? Well, you could just. back pain and all of a sudden they’re gonna keep talking. Yeah. I’ve just, you know, I heard it a few years ago and, and it’s just been been giving me a lot of trouble. A lot of trouble. Yeah. It, it really has been. And, and you just give them a little more space and time.
And, and all of a sudden then they say, yeah, so I’m really upset. So it sounds like you’re frustrated and you’re trying to fix this back pain. Let’s, you know, let’s help you out. And we can talk more about that as we go along here. Yeah. But sometimes it’s just pumping the brakes and mirroring what somebody is saying and it gives them space and time to think a little bit more and it takes the pressure off.
So anyway, I. Kind of thinking about these ways that you could show somebody you care, give them some space and ask good questions in a way that gets them talking.
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Yeah, I,
Mark Quinn: yeah. Get ’em. Yeah, get them talking.
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Yeah. Another thing I would say,
Mark Quinn: so. Jesse, you missed it. You missed it, Jesse. He was playing me. What you were supposed to do was take his last sentence, repeat and go.
Jesse Kostuhsoki: keep, keep them. He’s playing me, Jesse. Anyway, I’m messing with you. That’s all good. That’s all good. I’ll, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll give you another, another little rule thumb for everybody watching it would be if you asked a question you didn’t receive information that allows you to actually do something with how they respondent ask a probing question so you understand, so you can truly move.
right? So if you say, you know, what brought you in today? What was your motivator for coming in? And they said, back pain, and that’s all they said. You’d say, tell me a little bit more about your back pain. Right? And, and pause. And they’ll tell you more. But you have to make sure you add those probing questions because if you ask that question with intent, with purpose to help that person improve their life through a better night’s sleep, then you need to get the information in order to pay that forward and deliver
Mark Kinsley: it.
Great tip that. Excellent. What is being
Mark Quinn: a good. What does being a good advocate mean? Let’s get to the third leg of that stool, right? Ab
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Absolutely. So, so here, here, here’s the, here’s where we’re gonna break all of our industry’s heart. So we all know where the supply chain problem, right? So what our consumer feels like typically, and that’s not just our industry, but the consumer feels like because of the supply chain happening to the world right now, is we basically sell them and we let them go.
And what an advocate does is they continue to take care of that customer after the purchase. So if somebody comes in and buys something from you, and let’s just say you have it set up for delivery two weeks later. and all of a sudden you find out one week later that it’s not gonna come in. It’s calling that customer up and just informing them.
It’s little things like that. It’s after they buy and after they got that delivery. After they got that delivery, you’re gonna call them up and thank them. Ask ’em how it went. But I’ll give you one step forward because I want, I want everybody to understand the reason they’re coming into a brick and mortar store, because they want people content, and you can deliver something online, can’t, and it’s because you have a heart.
So here’s what I mean by this. When it comes to that customer, they come in and you fit them and you find them that perfect mattress, whatever brand you have in mind, right? You find them that perfect mattress for that guest. And one of the reasons when you found that mattress from is cuz hey, they have shoulder pain and you made sure you found ’em a mattress that reduces that shoulder pain.
So they do less tossing and turning so they can wake up more refreshed to take on the world. Call them 60 days later. I said that. Call them 60 days later and say, Hey, how’s your shoulder? That’s being an advocate, that’s making sure they understand that it’s not just one and done on the purchase, but you’re there for the long haul.
Either making sure that if something happens in supply chain, you’re gonna inform ’em ahead of time and take care of ’em. It’s so to make sure that you call up after deliver to make sure that everything went well and just to make sure that whatever you fit them for, the solution you found for them actually did that.
And if it didn’t get them back in and find a way to solve that. One of the things that we do that you are gonna separate yourself. , every competitor you ever had, and you’re gonna get more, repeat, more referral business than you’ve ever seen. That’s the, the advocate that the
Mark Kinsley: consumer’s looking for. You.
You’re absolutely right. We just did this, uh, webinar with podium where we talked about how do you make the sale, the beginning of the relationship, and how do you make sure that you’re a part of their transformation? And you know, you, you said, you know, let’s recap the three things that every consumers want.
You guys went out and did your research, engagement, trust, and advocacy. And one of the things I kept thinking about, . Well, people want an assurance of an outcome, but that is advocacy. You’re advocating on their behalf to assure a positive outcome for them and calling them 60 days later, which scares so many people, they don’t want to do it because they don’t wanna reveal a problem is actually part of that transformation process.
And you being part of that advocacy. And like you said, when you do that, all of a sudden I’ve got a guy or a gal, they’re my person. , who am I gonna recommend? Jesse or whoever from Jesse’s team called me to make sure my shoulder pain was fixed. Yes. So, okay, so here we are. So we’ve done the three things every consumer wants, the engagement, the trust, and the advocacy, and we dig into some great details there.
One of the other things, um, you know what, I don’t want to go to hiring yet. I want to go to what is nobody talking about in this industry? They should be talking about. Oh. You’d mentioned the bridge between the guest and how they would prefer to shop and how they spend their money.
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Yeah, man, that, so how they spend their money is, is, is really about, well gimme a little bit more so I answer your question correctly.
I wanna get, I wanna make sure I hit the way you’re, well just
Mark Kinsley: go with your gut here. What, so you, you said our industry is archaic and it Yes, and in many ways it is. So in this industry, in its current, What should we be talking about that we’re not talking about? What, what is, what are the, where are the landmines out there?
Where are the threats? What do you think about, what keeps your team up at night?
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Well, I would say what keeps our team up at night is excitement for another day to improve people’s lives. And I’m not saying that, um, it’s just a line. If you walk into our store, um, you’ll feel it. You’ll feel the difference if you come to a meeting and I welcome you to join us that.
you’ll find an energy and a confidence level that’s next to none because we connect everything to their dreams and goals. And I’ll save it cuz that was the next part you’re leading me to. But I really believe we’re on our, what our, what our industry really needs to understand is, is their position in that customer’s life.
And it, and it’s, it’s, we have to stop trying to sell them products first and foremost, right? We have to start selling them solutions or better than selling, finding them solutions. And we have to focus on the end game. So we’re not just trying to sell somebody a mattress, we’re trying to help them find a better night’s sleep so they can wake up more, refresh, take on the world and do whatever their dreams are, right?
That makes a difference. So really, I think the biggest thing our industry needs to do is really take advantage of education and information. And this, this is true. If somebody’s not listening to this podcast, and if you know somebody on your team, people listening, invite them to watch this podcast.
That’s a start. Read a magazine. Watch YouTube videos. But I will tell you, and I just had this conversation with, uh, two leading, uh, either C-suite or vice presidents from some leading companies in the last three weeks, and I literally said, education is the future of our industry. The, the, the, whether you’re in wholesaler or retail, who’s ever educating their people to take care of their guests better will win in the future.
Because regardless of how much business goes to online, if you’re living in an omni. and you are the people that are primed as the experts because through education, you’re able to give more, do more in, be more. That guest will never leave your side or ever look anybody else up. They’re gonna just come to you.
So my one word would be education. What I
Mark Quinn: love about what you’re saying is that it’s education, but it’s education with purpose, which does take us into the hiring, the the new hire thing. I’ll take us there, but I really like what you’re saying. So Mark and I talk about it quite a bit, and we talked about it in our book, come Back to Bed, which is Serve people, right?
So if you’re in the game of selling products, that’s one game, but if you’re in the game of helping people solve problems and improve on the problem that they bring you, then that is a different game. And so there’s a connection and that builds a trust, which takes us back. , uh, the three things that are, that are most important, but so one of the things that you and I talked about before we ever did this show was your, the way you bring people into your culture, right?
So Dr. V tells us culture is what you create or what you tolerate. Yeah. And so you bring people into your culture, new hires, and you want them to, to right from the beginning understand the purpose part of what you do. So talk a little bit about number one, how you find the right people, and number two, how you make them successful inside of your organization.
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Absolutely. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna give a little credit to the CEO o of our company. So, um, we rebirth this year as a personal development company that just so happens to sell furniture, appliances, and. and I’m gonna give him all the credit. He sends us emails 365 days a year and he is done it for three and a half years about how to be better.
Mark Quinn: And who is that? All personal. Let’s get his name on there so we can get you a good review this year.
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Yeah. So that’s Bill. Bill Fonzi. Right. So he’s our ceo but does an amazing job three and a half years. And it didn’t, it didn’t happen overnight, right? So we just this year called it the year positivity and.
and that’s when we launched out. We are a personal development company and that lean heavy into the education part that I was talking to you. And so when our, when our recruitment team, when we’re out there hiring, when our, our teammates right, are out there at a restaurant and they see somebody they think that they’d want on their team, we make sure we tell them we’re a personal development company.
We, we make sure to tell them that for us. We put their dreams and goals ahead of our bottom line. I’m gonna repeat that. We put their dreams and goals, that means our employees dreams and goals ahead of our bottom line. And so when somebody comes onto our team, they already know that we’re a personal development company and they already know that we’re about their dreams and their goals.
And part of their day one training, we have two structured weeks, um, but they’re day one. They’re day one. After they meet the people walk this door, we get their dreams and. and we speak to their dreams and goals and we connect the education to how they’re gonna accomplish their dreams and goals. And we can talk about they make more money, but we know money’s not the most important thing.
It’s like rank number eight on the top 10. But that money is what gets them that car. The financial freedom, paying off their student loan, taking their family to Disneyland. You can tell you get passionate about this. because when you get those texts that night saying, I got my car, I’m debt free, right? I went to Disneyland.
Here’s a picture. Right? That’s what moves you as a person, and that’s what allows them to go out and say, come work for us. And we actually don’t have a hiring problem. I know we’re not gonna get down that, that journey today, but we don’t have a hiring problem. We literally have a list of people that wanna come work for us because we care more.
Mark Kinsley: differentiator, right outta the. Is the fact that you know your employees and your team members hopes and dreams. That alone. How many people that you work with do you truly understand, know, and get to participate in the transformation of their life? But you gotta know first.
Mark Quinn: You know what, mark, that is so funny that you say that because as you, as you were saying that, I’m thinking to myself, I wonder if you had CEOs not like Bill, bill, bill giz it obviously, and I love that he, he called this year the growth, the year of growth and leadership and positivity and whatever that was.
That’s pretty cool that he did that, but. You know, you, you could, you could say to CEOs of any company, Hey, so what are the goals and aspirations of your people? They look at you like, uh, I have no freaking clue what those things are. But as you, as you listen to Jesse explain it, it’s so obvious why it matters, like, I mean, if I’m an employee that comes to work for you, and one of the first things you ask me is what are my goals and aspirations?
It tells me the same thing that you’re trying to tell the customers that come into your story is, I’m gonna pay attention to you as my sole focus. I want to know, miss customer, what are your goals and aspirations for your home? What are you trying to accomplish while you’re in the store, but you’re, you’re taking a play outta your own playbook and applying it to your own people, creating a culture.
That builds trust and engagement with them and gets ’em hooked in with your company right from the beginning.
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Yeah. Yeah. I’ll, I’ll, I’ll tell you one, so my, my people hear me say this a lot, right? Because it’s, uh, it’s something that’s important. But I always say, you know, our, our why dimensions improving the quality of people’s lives.
And what I always tell people is we’re not actually a customer first company, cuz that would mean we are at least. . We’re a people first company, so that means is we’re gonna make sure that we help our employees accomplish their dreams and goals. And when we do that, they’re gonna be better suited to make sure that we accomplish our guest dreams and goals.
And as our company’s successful, we’re able to give more back to our community and improve the community’s lives. So when you do the right thing, you actually improve all. So we’re a people first company, and, and it’s, and it’s exciting to work for . Jesse, I’ll tell you what. Hey,
Mark Kinsley: you’ve, you’ve helped us.
Oh my gosh. Did I just go off and I’m back? You just helped us achieve one of our dreams and goals, which is to serve this audience with really great actionable information that helps them transform their businesses, helps them transform their employees, and the people that walk into their store and their communities.
So thank you for taking us down a. That that has some good structure to it too. I mean, go back and watch this podcast again or listen to it with pen and paper in hand. Like I have right here. Like I’m jotting stuff down like you’re Wow. Your form Questions, hiring about dreams and goals. What Bill is doing with the daily emails, 365 days a year.
The engagement, trust, and advocacy, it’s all there. So thank you for helping us accomplish one of our dreams and goals. You truly are a people first kind of. No
Jesse Kostuhsoki: doubt. Well, thank you guys.
Mark Quinn: Well said Kinsley. And, and before we bounce out here, Jesse, you gotta tell us one thing. I wanna know, uh, you said that you get those phone calls every now and then from people that come to work for you, and they say, Hey, I accomplished Michael.
Can you, can you share a story? You don’t have to share a name because they may not want this story shared, but can you, can you share a quick story with us about a time that happened and how it touched you? Because you got to be part of that, that that objective in their.
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Yeah. Ha. Happy to share their story.
So this, this one almost ends in a, in a, in a very happy, sad scenario. So, um, sometimes their dreams are to go and not work for your company. Sometimes it’s to open a business to their of their own, right? So we had this, uh, guy that worked for us and we figured out how to make sure that he could go into his own business.
He started his own gym. It’s a cross-train gym, and he went into it, made enough money, was able to go into his gym, own it, free and clear, going in and live out his. So, I mean, that’s just one. So when they say what their dreams and goals are, if it’s, if it’s a future where they wanna have their own gym or they wanna make sure they do anything, we commit to their dreams and goals.
There’s no question. So sometimes we love them so much and help them so much, they move on and that’s okay. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s their betterment, right? But we know that they’re gonna send their people to us and we’re gonna take care of their gym and we’re gonna go to them. Um, but that’s probably one of ’em that moved me the most was when somebody can actually say, wow, this company cared.
So, that they actually helped me start my own business one day and leave and move on. And so, Jesse,
Mark Quinn: real quick, because we didn’t get to this number, and it’s an important one. When you bring in new hires and you take ’em through your training program, what do they normally do for you? Like what, what is the success rate with that
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Yeah, so, uh, so we have, we have a longer training program, but, but really two formal, intense weeks of educat. and, and these are some stats that I’m really, really proud of our company for being able to put out. So I’m happy and excited that you asked the question. So I will tell you anyone that graduates our two weeks, without getting into too much specific, but if they pass our two weeks and there are tests in our company to make sure you can be there for the guests, we have a 92% retention rate of anyone that passes those two weeks through education and those.
after they’ve hit the floor running, the average one rates $942,000 a year. So they’re almost a million dollar writer out of the gate. We actually celebrated somebody this morning. Um, they started our company, uh, in February in training. Um, and yesterday they hit their first million and they weren’t their first new hire this year.
That hit one. So, uh, it’s a real deal thing. And, and again, I’m gonna be repetitive. It’s through caring about them, but it’s also through massive amount of education, education,
Mark Kinsley: education. Invest in it. It is the difference maker, and you’ve made a difference today for us. Mr. Jesse Costa Husky. Say it with me, folks.
Costa Husky. Uh, Costa Husky Furniture and Appliance Mart. Ashley HomeStore, Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Brother, thank you so much for being. Dropping some knowledge on us, sharing your passion for this industry, and, uh, you know, if somebody wants to check out your business online, what’s the url? Where should they visit?
Jesse Kostuhsoki: Yeah. So, uh, I’d say go to our furniture and appliance mart.com. We have a career page. If anybody wants to move to Wisconsin, we’re always hiring , right? And we’ll improve your lives. But guys, always open. I’m on LinkedIn, I’m on Facebook. Feel free to hit me up there as well. Um, always happy to help the industry and the people that live within it cuz I really care about people from, uh, coast to coast. So if you’re from California, Texas, or Minnesota, Hit me up in LinkedIn. Happy to discuss something with you. Let’s make it a better place together