Meet John Leonard, owner of Leonard Auction and Featured Business Owner at SCORE Chicago this week. Learn his story and what tips he has for your success.
What is your company’s elevator pitch?
Leonard Auction connects a global market of buyers to our curated catalog of auction lots and makes it easy to buy and sell quality items.
Who are your clients and give an example of how you served that person or business?
Leonard Auction serves professionals and individuals who have estates or quality antique and collectible items that they wish to sell. We recently helped an executor of an estate sell a large collection of rare cameo glass. Through our research, marketing and connections with collectors, we were able to achieve a sales result that far exceeded the client’s expectations.
What is your most successful sales strategy?
Our most successful sales strategy has been word of mouth. We work extremely hard to ensure that each customer has a positive experience and auction result with Leonard Auction. Our customer focus has greatly rewarded the company as our clients are constantly recommending our services to their friends and family.
Who is your Mentor and how they have helped you in your business?
Gerald “Jerry” Folz is my Score mentor. Jerry has provided great mentorship with focusing the mission of the business and establishing systems and procedures for a smooth business workflow. He has provided assistance looking into our finances and analyzing what is working well with the business and what areas need improvement. Additionally, Jerry has been a great resource for referrals to professionals who have helped Leonard Auction with everything from marketing to telephone service.
What is the most important lesson you have learned in business that might help others?
The most important lesson I have learned is to really focus the business. Before working with Jerry at Score, the business was barely surviving because we were trying to do too many things for too many customers. Jerry taught me to focus not only on the services that we offered but also on the customers and situations that we are able to best serve. This focus has resulted in a streamlined business that is thriving because all of our resources and energy are behind the people and services that make the company grow.
At the milestone of 11 years in business, we continue to do well and grow. We were up 19.88% in 2016 from 2015 and this year we are on pace for 15-20% growth as well. We recently completed the success auction of a large vintage Barbie collection that generated sales 101% higher than the appraised value.
What is your website for further info?
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Disclaimer: SCORE Chicago helps small business owners manage and grow their businesses. We help startups write business plans and launch. Nevertheless, our involvement should not be considered as an endorsement.