CSS Performance Testimonials

Click here for companies and associations that use and endorse our program.

Agriculture – Industrial – Outdoor Power

Troy Cripe – “hearing myself from the customer’s point of view gave me a different perspective and was extremely helpful.”
One of the many aspects about the CSS training program I found very enlightening was listening to my post-mystery shop call after I completed the CSS training. While I scored very high on the evaluation, hearing myself from the customer’s point of view gave me a different perspective and was extremely helpful.
Beverly Leavitt – “I would not hesitate to recommend Jim Facente…”
Jim Facente presented Creative Sales Solutions Sales Training Program to the Canada East Equipment Dealers in January 2009, utilizing “real” research he obtained prior to the presentation through mystery shopping some of the participating dealerships. This exercise and the results were tremendously enlightening to everyone and quite shocking to some. The sessions Jim presented were the cornerstones for the success of our event and far exceeded anything he promised to deliver.

Jim’s sales training was chock full of information that could immediately be applied by every salesperson in their “real world” daily circumstance. As a meeting planner, it is important to me that I retain presenters and trainers who do a good job. Jim did a great job and because he did, it made me look great, too. Thank you for that.

Equipment dealers and their sales staffs are a tough group to win over. The fact that Jim did exactly that with such ease and created so many raving fans out of the most highly trained equipment dealership staff speaks volumes. I would not hesitate to recommend Jim Facente to anyone who was interested in a great return on investment.
Beverly Leavitt
President/Chief Executive Office / Canada East Equipment Dealers Association, Ontario, Canada
John Schmeiser – “CSS’s program is highly beneficial to any employer…”
Jim Facente’s company, Creative Sales Solutions, provides high-quality training to employees. Specializing in mystery shopping employees and personnel, CSS reviews the impressions the business is giving to a potential customer, critiques it and provides training to improve the customer relations skills of employees. CSS’s program is highly beneficial to any employer who wants to train employees to become professional representatives of the organization.
John Schmeise
Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer / Canada West Equipment Dealers Association, Alberta, Canada
Cam Bode – “Jim did an outstanding job and kept the program extremely interesting.”
After the CSS training was completed, I polled our employees to see what they thought of the program. Following are employee comments:
• Very good experience. I would highly recommend.
• Very practical and easy-to-implement ways to dramatically increase sales.
• Needless to say, it is a very eye opening experience to go through the feedback provided by the mystery shopping recordings. Listening to my mystery shopping recordings was invaluable to me.
• Valuable tips. Positive experience. I’m already increasing my sales.
• Practical presentation of issues, received practical tools that can be easily applied in my department.
• Jim did an outstanding job and kept the program extremely interesting.
• A very different and refreshing approach to ensure we are looking after our customers, solving their problems and increasing our sales.
Wes Bollingmo – “…CSS training program showed us how to expand our skills…”
When I’ve attended customer service and sales training programs in the past, I often walked away feeling it was a complete waste of my time. With the CSS training program, I found real-life customer service and selling ideas that were practical and easy to implement. Our company has always had a very strong focus on providing outstanding customer service and the CSS training program showed us how to expand our skills in this area while, at the same time, increasing sales. Many of our employees who attended the training mentioned to me that they found real value in the program and it was well worth the time they spent attending the training.
Wes Bollingmo
Service Manager / Waconia Farm Supply, Waconia, Minnesota
Jennifer Carroll – “Our team not only embraced the training but had fun with it.”
We expected the program to provide our team with progressive sales techniques, engage us in the process of selling, and provide feedback and development tools to further the team’s development to increase sales volume and margins. Our team not only embraced the training but had fun with it. Within weeks, the program had employees working harder and learning more because of the anonymity of the training method. We are pleased with the development of our team and have increased sales as a result of participating in the program.
Jennifer Carroll
Chief Executive Officer / Arnett New Holland, Arnett, Oklahoma
Marvin Hoffman – “We definitely recommend this association program…”
Training provided by Creative Sales Solutions centers on building strong customer relationships to generate more parts and service sales. As a result of Creative Sales Solutions working with our employees, there is a noticeable difference in how our employees now handle phone calls – even walk-in customers – and we are getting the results we expected. We definitely recommend this association program to dealers who are interested in boosting parts and service sales.
Marvin Hoffman
Corporate Service Manager / Midwest Machinery Company, Glencoe, Minnesota
Harvey Schimke – “We appreciate the help and the professional manner…”
I can confirm the CSS training program made us look at some of the ways we were doing things in all of our departments. We have made changes in the way we approach and handle our customers by being made aware of how we could do things better. We appreciate the help and the professional manner in which the CSS staff and you enabled our company to look at ourselves through a new set of glasses.
Harvey Schimke
President / Key Agventures, Alberta, Canada
Wayne Feltz – “I am extremely pleased with the CSS…”
I am extremely pleased with the CSS mystery shopping and sales training program. The program motivated our employees to use basic fundamental customer service and selling skills that so often get overlooked during busy times. The training has resulted in substantial increases in our employees selling skills, which has translated to increased sales.
John Lockyear – “The CSS mystery shopping and sales training program has helped a tremendous amount.”
The CSS mystery shopping and sales training program has helped a tremendous amount. Just the increase in rapport I have created with my customers has made a world of difference. One area of the training that really helped was learning how to ask for the order. Not everyone says they want the part but learning how to ask for the order has really helped increase my sales.
John Lockyear
Parts Sales / Schmidt & Sons, Inc., Winfield, Kansas
Kenny Eaton – “I really liked the CSS training program…”
I really liked the CSS training program and found the program to be really great. The program has helped me a lot – and using the techniques I learned in the training, I have found that customers are much more willing to work and do business with us, which really helps our sales.
Kenny Eaton
Associate Service Manager / Hendershot Equipment, Decatur, Texas
Matthew Hicks – “Currie Management (Bob and I) strongly endorse Creative Sales Solutions…”
Currie Management (Bob and I)  strongly endorse Creative Sales Solutions and Jim Facente.  Our organizations have known each a long time and our work compliments each other.  We’ve seen firsthand the improvements made in organizations within a short window after working with CSS and Jim’s team.
Joe Leitner – “I really enjoyed the CSS training program…”
I really enjoyed the CSS training program, so many times you go to a training program and it falls really short of your expectations. The CSS training program was the most informational and practical training program I’ve attended because it gave me practical techniques I could immediately apply with customers. I see the program has us going in the correct direction to increase our sales and help our customers.
Joe Leitner
Parts / Valley Plains Equipment, Valley City, ND.
Stewart Matychuk – “I would highly recommend Jim Facente and Creative Sales Solutions”
We contracted Creative Sales Solutions to mystery shop all of our parts advisors by phone. I was happy to find out after the initial phone calls that my staff scored higher than average. However, there was still room for improvement in a couple of basic areas, such as asking for the sale or promoting our service department to do the work.

Jim Facente worked with my staff and reviewed their individual results and coached them on wh at they needed to do differently to take them to the next level. All of them were very appreciative of the advice and no one felt threatened by the process or the trainer. We immediately noticed an increase in sales as well as customer satisfaction by simply following the simple steps Jim gave them as part of their training.

I would highly recommend Jim Facente and Creative Sales Solutions to anyone that wants to take their staff to the next level.
Stewart Matychuk
Aftermarket Manager / Greenvalley Equipment, Manitoba, Canada
Mike Loscheider – “We’re definitely comfortable recommending Creative Sales Solutions…”
We feel we have seen a difference in our employees’ approach to customer service, the questions they ask and th eir over all level of professionalism since beginning our relationship with Creative Sales Solutions. The training is great and the mystery shops are very valuable. However, we may need to revisit additional training down the road to reinforce the process to make sure employees have taken the training seriously and remain focused. We’re definitely comfortable recommending Creative Sales Solutions to other association members.
Mike Loscheider
Former General Manager / Waconia Farm Supply, Waconia, Minnesota
Mike Hass – “I have noticed a big difference…”
The CSS customer service and sales training program has not only helped me increase sales but has given me a process to use to ensure that I get customer information,  find out if the customer has other problems besides what they ask about and establish how we are going to be paid. I have noticed a big difference in customer reaction when I answer the phone and not only state my name but ask how I can help the customer.
Mike Hass
Service Manager / Valley Plains Equipment, Valley City, ND.
Tim Carnagey – “I would clearly recommend this training to others”
The two biggest changes I noticed taking place during the training program was our employees used their names and identified their departments when answering the phone. Prior to that, you were lucky to get the department name. I feel that by stating your name it helps employees connect to customers. Additionally, if the customer needs to call back for some reason they know who to ask for by name. As I had hoped for in signing up for the training, I am witnessing carryover of the training to our walk-in customers. I personally have watched our staff make an effort to do add-on sales to walk-in customers.

I would clearly recommend this training to others. Too much of our training is spent on hard skills related to product and brand. We all tend to forget we are in a people business and strong soft skills in dealing with customers are highly important to our future.
Tim Carnagey
Corporate Aftermarket Manager / Ag-Power Inc., Higginsville, Missouri


Dave Firer – “The simplicity of the CSS training program is what resonates.”
The simplicity of the CSS training program is what resonates. I personally have caught myself selling over the phone or sending a proposal, for whatever reason, too busy, time restrictions, maybe I thought they really wanted to listen, you name it. Just taking those two ideas away is enough, but also establish credibility, investigating, present (in person) and closing. Great ideas, all done and packaged in a simple manner is what makes your system work well and be accepted by our sales reps.
Dave Firer
VP Sales / Paul Reilly Co., Mequon, WI
Dennis Abrahamson – “I would highly recommend the CSS program”
As one of the first dealerships to use the Creative Sales Solutions program, we found the mystery shopping program provided valuable information to our management team regarding opportunities to impro ve our employees’ skill levels. The mystery shopping after the training provides a valid metric to measure employee improvement, which is absent in most all other training programs. I would highly recommend the CSS program to any dealer interested in increasing customer satisfaction, sales and profits.
Dennis Abrahamson
Former Senior Vice President / Ring Power Corporation, St. Augustine, Florida
John Chism – “Jim is high energy professional”
Jim is high energy professional… I have personally witnessed his extremely successful sales training seminars, which are based on actual and varied “down in the trenches” experiences. I’ve witnessed the improved results of sales professionals who have been exposed to his mystery shopping and training. Difficult economic conditions make his sales training education a must for any sales staff.
John Chism
Former Vice President Acquisition & Development / KB Home, Los Angeles, California
Anthony DiNardo – “…it turned out to be extremely helpful.”
I’m quite pleased to see that I have gotten better in my sales calls. Actually asking for the order has benefited me (and the company) very well. Instead of the customer saying “I’ll get back to you” after I quote them, I’m a little more forward in asking what I can do to get this taken care of (discounts, free shipping, etc), and it seems to be working. To be honest, I thought the program was going to be a waste of time, but it turned out to be extremely helpful. We can only get better from here. Thanks again.
Anthony DiNardo
Parts Sales / Modern Group LTD, Bristol Pa
Hal Ingram – “Jim does a very good job…”
Jim does a very good job of a hands-on mystery shopping experience tailored to your industry. He was fair but candid with our associates and helped them understand how they could improve with follow-up coaching.
Dan McHugh – “We are extremely pleased with Creative Sales Solutions.”
We took advantage of the opportunity to have Creative Sales Solutions randomly call, record and evaluate the customer service skills of some of our parts and service employees. During a review of the calls, we noticed some gaps and contracted with Creative Sales Solutions to provide training to help employees fill in those gaps to build stronger relationships with our customers and increase sales. 

Following training, we created an incentive program based on increases of line-item sales. We experienced a sales increase as much as 30 percent on line-item sales. This shows employees not only embraced the training but applied the techniques they learned. 

We are extremely pleased with Creative Sales Solutions. Not only are we going to put new employees through the training but we're going to put all employees through a follow-up program to make sure they continue to apply the concepts they learned in training. We are a service-driven dealership and Creative Sales Solutions has become a trusted partner in working with our employees to make certain Vermeer North Atlantic provides exceptional customer service.

We are pleased to recommend Creative Sales Solutions as a training partner to any dealership.
Dan McHugh
Operations Manager / Vermeer North Atlantic
Lance Jones – ” …thank you for providing me with training from “Creative Sales Solutions.””
Hi, Vince,

Here is something I thought was really cool with our new customer, Tigercat International. We received orders on two new dock positions , along with the approach and construction ($107,500).

Upon receipt of the orders, Tigercat told me we earned its business on the very first phone call. The customer said our price was not the lowest; however, we were the only company with which he spoke that asked all the right discovery questions, confirmed an appointment, and that I was the only rep who did not ask him to send an e-mail to provide his contact info. He said we did our job on that first call. It’s pretty cool that we earned his business with a phone call.

So, with that said, thank you for providing me with training from “Creative Sales Solutions.” It was a great refresher about what I should do on every call. Following the course instructions definitely made the difference on this project and has helped me increase my GP this year by more than $100,000.
Lance Jones
Sales Rep / Southern Dock Products – Swanne, GA.

Materials Handling

Chip Gorham – “He helped us move into what has become a process…”
Jim helped us get out of the planning mode of improving the way we took care of our customers (primarily phone calls). He helped us move into what has become a process of working with all our people to help them communicate better with our customers, which has helped with every customer contact.
Chip Gorham
Executive Vice President / Thompson & Johnson Equipment Co., East Syracuse, New York
Jon Baker – “…follow-up training were well worth the investment.”
We used Jim’s training in one of our divisions. The data that came back and the subsequent follow-up training were well worth the investment. Our general manager that division felt the training helped him focus on key areas to continue to improve his business results.
Jon Baker
Chief Operating Officer / Wiese USA, St. Louis, Missouri
Al Eades – “I highly recommend for any business.”
Jim offers an excellent product that he has developed, which I highly recommend for any business.
Al Eades
Parts Training Specialist / Toyota Material Handling, Indianapolis, Indiana
Kevin Langer – “Jim’s programs are highly effective.”
Jim’s programs are highly effective. These programs are a great value at reasonable cost and produce noticeable results. You may be surprised just how much even your best people will benefit from this type of training. It can be a real eye opener.
Kevin Langer
Vice President and General Manager / Langer Material Handling, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia
Mike Reynolds – “Jim’s presentation was of great value…”
Jim’s presentation was of great value to both our sales representatives and our management team. He helped make our company more professional when dealing with customers. We still use these learned techniques every day in our business.
Mike Reynolds
Vice President / Toyota Forklifts of Atlanta, Athens, Georgia
Kyle Thill – “We are better for our customers and feel more confident…”
Jim worked with our parts department using the mystery shopper program. Through his analysis, suggestions and training, our employees were able to take their work to another level in dealing with our customer base. We are better for our customers and feel more confident in how we deal with all situations. With Jim’s insight into our work and his training we’re markedly better equipped to be more efficient, professional and productive during our calls.
Bob Pilon – “It’s some of the most valuable training I’ve ever received.”
Thanks for your presentation today. The feedback was extremely positive (see comment below from one of our sales consultants).

Bob, Just wanted to give some quick feedback on the CSS Training we received. It was great training and it provided me some great pointers/tips on how to approach future calls with customers. In the past, I would get stumped by some of the customers’ questions. But, after this training, I have a new confidence with asking/answering the questions that I will be asking customers. Just wanted to say thanks for this… It’s some of the most valuable training I’ve ever received. Thanks. Andrew Lak
Bob Pilon
General Sales Manager / Johnson Lift / Hyster, Los Angeles, California
Niels Ostergaard – “His commitment and dedication certainly show”
Jim conducts a very good mystery shopping program from beginning to end. His commitment and dedication certainly show in his training program.
Niels Ostergaard
Sales, Product, Parts and CSSR Training Manager / Toyota Material Handling, Indianapolis, Indiana
Bret Bruin – “Jim has a genuine interest in helping organizations”
Jim is a leader in the material handling industry. His extensive background in finance, operations and sales gives him instant credibility in front of equipment distributors and OEMs. Jim has a genuine interest in helping organizations realize profitable growth and deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
Bret Bruin
Former Manager of Dealer Development / Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc., Houston, Texas`
Kimberly Carl – “The Creative Sales Solutions training has helped me…”
The Creative Sales Solutions training has helped me to be more focused on the customers’ needs and getting the orders, and I have also seen a huge increase in the amount of sales I have been generating.
Kimberly Carl
Assistant Rental Manager / Toyota Material Handling, Hayward, California
Roger Troost – “Jim was able to connect with our people…”
Jim was able to connect with our people because of his industry knowledge.
Roger Troost
Chief Executive Officer / Morrison Industrial, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Tom Showalter – “I strongly recommend the use of the mystery shopper program…”
Jim prepared an in-depth analysis of Herc-U-Lift sales and customer service personnel. He was able to compare our results against industry standards and suggest strategies to improve any deficiencies. Jim, having performed many of the jobs our people do, was able to effectively train employees by using real examples from his dealership and sales experience. He truly understands the challenges our people face in the market and provided the strategy to improve our performance. I strongly recommend the use of the mystery shopper program to any dealership that wants to truly promote superior customer service. I have signed up for ongoing training.
Tom Showalter
President / Herc-U-Lift - Maple Plain, Minnesota
Liz Richards – “I highly recommend Jim and this program.”
With Jim’s extensive background and experience in the material handling industry, he is well suited to provide expert training and advice on selling to material handling professionals who interact with customers. The mystery shopping program available through Jim’s company, Creative Sales Solutions, offers an ideal way to evaluate and train your inside salespeople and technicians to en sure the y are uncovering all the potential business and sales opportunities from their customer base. I highly recommend Jim and this program.
Jim MacGregor – ” …it proved quite beneficial.”
Jim provided our dealership with the mystery shopper program and it proved quite beneficial. It’s amazing what your teammates say and do on the phone on a daily basis. Once they hear themselves, they are enlightened and behaviors improve dramatically, almost immediately. Our dealership conducts itself far more professionally and consistently via the business phone as a result of Jim’s program.
Jim MacGregor
Vice President of Operations / Toyota Forklifts of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
Ken Sharboneau – ” …I am extremely pleased with the results.”
In the beginning, I was not a proponent of the CSS mystery shopping and sales training program. Knowing this, our dealer principal put me in charge of the program. Now that our people have completed the entire program I am extremely pleased with the results. The CSS training program brought top-of-mind awareness to our people regarding basic fundamental customer service and selling concepts. The mystery shopping part of the program got our employees talking about these concepts, which created a high level of awareness to make sure they were implementing them with the customers. I am pleased to say all of our people experienced substantial increases in their post-mystery shopping evaluation scores. Our sales and profits are up and most importantly, our customers are extremely happy.
Ken Sharboneau
Corporate Parts Manager / Yale Materials Handling Green Bay Inc., Green Bay, Wisconsin
Stephen Ross – “Jim is a pleasure to work with”
Jim’s mystery shopping/training approach is unique. It’s the most effective process to improve your results I have ever come across. You learn the employees’ needs after they are shopped; the training is effective in sharpening their skills and then you can measure and hear the effectiveness of the training. In our current economic environment, this is a must to invest in with a quick return. A dealership needs to stand out above its competition… Success is a satisfied customer who purchases needed goods and services from you and walks away satisfied feeling they were properly served. Jim’s proven program can help your business stand out above your competition and improve your bottom line results. Jim is a pleasure to work with, he understands the needs of dealers and his follow-up and persistence will prove he lives what he teaches.
Stephen Ross
Former Director of Retail Operations / Komatsu Forklift USA LLC, Orlando, Florida
Mark T. Maechling – “I highly recommend Creative Sales Solutions…”
I highly recommend Creative Sales Solutions to increase customer satisfaction, sales and, most importantly, profit.
Mark T. Maechling
President / Cal-Lift, Inc. City of Industry, California
Vince Sullivan – “…excellent and meaningful training provided by Creative Sales Solutions…”
Thanks to the help our staff received from the Creative Sales Solutions training, I thought you’d like to know that 2012 was a record year for Southern Acquisitions. While organic sales increased more than 25 percent in a relatively flat market, we also experienced considerable professional growth among our sales and service employees. Many of our key employees have commented about the excellent and meaningful training provided by Creative Sales Solutions and the value of the training in performing their jobs and increasing sales.

Our top salespeople, many of whom I thought would offer some push-back, have been the most surprising to me. They have emphatically commented they learned things to give them an “edge,” and they have written business by using the proven concepts taught in your training and the individual one-on-one sessions with your trainers. Our employees have renewed confidence in what they do – and I believe their positive response to the training is their acceptance that we invested in training to help them achieve success.

Overall, we are working better as a team, which was our theme for the last few years, and your training has helped make this happen along with providing opportunities for sales growth. Thanks and best regards,

Contact Creative Sales Solutions today at 1(800) 539-1075

Click here for companies and associations who use and endorse our program.


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