Customer Service Speakers

Speaker, L&D


Tom Connellan

New York Times Bestselling Author | Expert on Building Traction and Momentum with Customers and Teams

Tom Connellan energizes and inspires audiences with actionable ideas that quickly build traction and momentum in teams or with customers. Founded on research and his experience as a CEO, entrepreneur, and New York Times best-selling author, Tom’s presentations deliver “rock-solid value”. His methods work because they’re based not on opinion but on research, testing, and real-world application.

Tom knows first-hand the challenges that businesses need to overcome to succeed: he founded a wellness company and built it into a network of 1200 instructors serving 300 hospitals and most of the Fortune 500 firms. More than 1,000,000 people participated in one or more of his company’s programs. He is also a former Research Associate and Program Director at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, where he was responsible for the design and implementation of 72 management development programs each year, and he was was the editorial director of four leadership and human resource magazines.

Because Tom’s world is one of C-level executives, business leaders, the military, and driven entrepreneurs, he is a straight-shooting keynote speaker who tells it like it is. Audiences sense his passion and enthusiasm right away. With his fast-paced, entertaining, and informative presentations, he keeps everyone fully engaged from start to finish. Within the first ten minutes, he regularly has virtually everyone in the audience thinking “This guy really understands our marketplace, my company, me, and what we’re facing”, and his actionable ideas will give you an unfair competitive advantage in the marketplace that is 100% legal.

His rock-solid value is why he was the only outside speaker at a global conference series sponsored by Fortune magazine; and rock-solid value is why he was named one of “seven tough talking and truth telling keynote speakers” by Selling Power magazine. It is also why Tom regularly keynotes meetings for organizations such as FedEx, Marriott, Canadian Tire, Sobeys, CIBC, Rogers, TD Canada Trust, Acura, GlaxoSmithKline, BMW, Lockheed Martin, Neiman Marcus, Great West Life, Midland Transport, Cascadian Farms, Irving Tissue, Home Depot, ASAE, and MPI.


Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences

Do you have a sense that today’s customers are tougher than they used to be?

Are you looking for ways to immediately do something about that?

This presentation offers actionable ideas put a lock on customer loyalty.  These recommendations are based upon research Tom and his partners have conducted on more than 110,000 customer transactions.

Tom’s basic premise is that your brand does not and cannot exist separately from your customer’s experience. As he puts it, “Your customer’s experience is your brand.”

In this session, participants see how creating an exceptional customer experience builds both a winning brand and a winning bottom line. They learn the five different levels of loyalty and what it takes to move customers from one level to the next.

Tom takes his audience behind the scenes at companies that create world-class customer experiences. He backs these examples up with the latest research on how to capture the hearts and minds of customers. He lays out what it takes to be a customer-centric company into today’s world.

He describes how a single internal factor directly drives customer loyalty and profitability. And he explains it in such a compelling way that everyone from engineering teams to IT departments, C-level executives, sales teams, manufacturing managers, and HR departments get it.

Key points include:

  • Why, in the eyes of your customer, your most ferocious competitors aren’t might not be who you think it is
  • How to capitalize on the one factor that stands out above all others as the largest single predictor of customer loyalty
  • How to retain at-risk customers
  • How to find out the real reason a customer stopped buying from you
  • Why customer satisfaction is a poor predictor of loyalty, and what to do about that

If you want to build more traction with today’s customers, this session will give you actionable ideas you can apply immediately.

Making Exceptional Things Happen in a Changing World

The scope, complexity, and rate of change is increasing in virtually every organization. Yet individuals at all levels must stay focused on producing results – even in the face of greater instability.

This presentation reveals insights about exceptional achievement that Tom gained from his research on performance difference between Olympic gold medal winners and those who finished fourth and hence won no medal.

He found that the difference averaged slightly less than 1%. For instance, in the men’s downhill at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, the difference between first place and fourth place was 1.08 seconds, or 0.9%.

During meals, observations, and discussions with coaches and athletes while at the USA Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Tom gained additional insights into the behavioral patterns that lead to extraordinary performance.

This presentation reveals those key behavioral patterns and shows how they can be applied to both work and life. Even – or perhaps especially – in times of stress and pressure.

Key points include:

  • How to immediately move programs and people from “stuck” to “unstuck”
  • How to quickly build team and personal traction and momentum from the get-go
  • Why trying to “motivate” yourself – or others – simply doesn’t work
  • Why even positive change can be uncomfortable, and how to quickly get past that
  • How to let go of the old and embrace the new

This presentation is for you if you’re looking for ways to help your team maintain strong forward momentum in unsettled times.

Turbulent Times Leadership

This presentation shows leaders how to keep everyone on their team fully engaged, highly motivated, and performing well in a challenging environment.

Because Tom has researched high performance for the past 20 years and has experience as an entrepreneur and CEO, he delivers actionable ideas that can be put to use immediately by your leadership team. Tom’s research on high performance has covered astronauts, CEOs, Rhodes Scholars, female world leaders, manufacturing operations, top students, top-performing sales reps, military achievers, and U.S. presidents. He has found that, through thick and thin, leaders of high-performing teams consistently treat team members differently in three skill areas. Based on this finding, his message to leaders who want to get high performance from their teams is to:

  1. Believe in them.
  2. Hold them accountable.
  3. Provide a supportive environment.

Tom’s research into sales managers, for example, showed that the managers of high-performing reps score 22% higher in those three skills than do the managers of lower performers.

Most leaders use some degree of all three skills, but even in the best of times, very few use all three in a way that consistently results in high performance. Normally, leaders tend to overdo accountability and underdo support, although sometimes the reverse is true. In turbulent times, this imbalance becomes even more pronounced, and performance slips rather than improves.

Tom’s message is that to get high performance out of a team, you can’t be out of balance on the three factors, and you can’t flip-flop between them. You have to go full throttle on all three factors, all the time.

Turbulent Times Leadership for Sales Managers

While this presentation contains virtually the same key points and core content described above under Turbulent Times Leadership, there is one key difference. Because it gives sales managers actionable ideas specific to boosting sales productivity, each participant walks out with a blueprint they can put into action the following day.

Without changing pay or commissions by even a penny, previous participants have used the tools from this session to take sales from 80% of target to 133% of target in less than 180 days in spite of declining economy, increased sales by commission reps by 18% in less than 30 days, bumped average order size from 6 to 11.2 items in less than two weeks.

They’re able to do this because their tool kit now has actionable ideas such as the five best steps to confront underperforming reps, how to use a no-cost tool that research shows is even more motivating than a performance – based bonus, and how to avoid the common feedback mistake made by close to 87% of all sales managers.

Making Exceptional Things Happen in a Changing World

Duration: Keynote, Half Day, Full Day
Target Audiences: Senior Executives, Sales Professionals, Customer Service Professionals

We live in an increasingly upside-down world. Individuals at all levels must keep focused on producing results – even in the face of greater instability. The difference between a good company and a great one is about 1%. While winners are almost never 100% better than their competition, they are almost always 1% better at 100’s of things. If you want ways to keep momentum strong in turbulent times, this presentation is a good choice for you.

We live in an increasingly upside-down world. To quote the great sage Yogi Berra, “even the future ain’t what it used to be.” The scope, complexity, and rate of change is increasing in virtually every organization. Yet, individuals at all levels must keep focused on producing results – even in the face of greater instability.

This presentation is based upon Tom’s latest book The 1% Solution. It incorporates some of his research into Olympic Gold Medal Winners. Tom found that in the men’s downhill at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, for example, the difference between first place and fourth place was 1.08 seconds or .9%. In all Olympic events, the difference between a gold medal and no medal averages about 1%. Between 1st and 10th place, the average is about 2%.

The difference between a good company and a great one is also about 1%. While winners are almost never 100% better than their competition, they are almost always 1% better at 100’s of things.

Whether it’s sales reps, manufacturing directors, engineers, entrepreneurs, or others, the key to building sustainable profits in an upside down world lies not in trying to be 100% better than your competition; it lies in simply being 1% better in everything you do.

Best of all, by researching Olympic athletes, Tom’s uncovered a unique way business leaders in a high pressure situation can jump-start performance within 72 hours. Tom coined the term “Behavioral Leverage” to describe this process.

If you’re looking for ways to help your audience keep forward momentum strong in turbulent times, let go of the old and embrace the new, this presentation is a good choice for you.

Turbulent Times Leadership

Duration: Keynote, Half Day, Full Day
Target Audiences: Senior Executives, Sales Managers, Managers

Managers of high performers score 22% higher than managers of low performers in their ability in three skill areas – to believe in them, hold them accountable, and provide a supportive environment. Based the New York Times Bestseller Bringing Out the Best in Others, this presentation shows your leadership team how to keep everyone fully engaged, highly motivated, and performing well in a challenging environment. This program delivers actionable ideas that can be put to use immediately.
Based upon Tom’s New York Times Bestseller Bringing Out the Best in Others, this presentation shows your leadership team how to keep everyone fully engaged, highly motivated, and performing well in a challenging environment.

Because he combines his research into high performance with his experience as an entrepreneur and CEO, he delivers actionable ideas that can be put to use immediately.

Tom’s research on high performance over the last twenty years has covered astronauts, CEO’s, Rhodes Scholars, female world leaders, manufacturing operations, top students, top performing sales reps, military achievers, U.S. presidents, and others.

He found that through thick or thin, leaders of high performing teams consistently treat team members differently in 3 different skill areas, and Tom’s three-part message to leaders looking for high performance from their team is to:

1. Believe in them.
2. Hold them accountable.
3. Provide a supportive environment.

His research into sales managers, for example, showed that the managers of high performing reps score 22% higher in their ability to practice those three skills than do the managers of low performers.

Most leaders use some degree of all three skills, but even in the best of times very few use all three in a manner that consistently gets the performance levels they want. The most common occurrence in normal times is to overdo accountability and underdo support – although sometimes the reverse is true. In turbulent times, this imbalance gets even more pronounced and performance slips rather than improves.

If you’re getting your leadership team together, put Tom on the agenda to show everyone how to boost performance within 24 hours by going full throttle on all three factors.

Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences!

Duration: Keynote, Half Day, Full Day
Target Audiences: Senior Executives, Sales Professionals, Human Resources Professionals, Customer Service Professionals

This presentation shows you why customers are tougher today and what you need to do about it right away. It’s tied in part to Tom’s Wall Street Journal Bestseller Inside the Magic Kingdom (which describes how Disney creates exceptional customer experiences and how you can do the same).

His basic premise about brands and customers is that “a brand does not and cannot exist separately from your customer’s experience.” As Tom puts it, “your customer’s experience is your brand!”
Participants see how creating an exceptional customer experience builds both a winning brand and a winning bottom line. They learn the five different levels of loyalty and what it takes to move customers from one to the next.

Tom takes you behind the scenes at companies that create world-class customer experiences. He combines that with the latest research to show you how to capture the hearts and minds of your customers. He and his partners have conducted research covering more than 110,000 customer transactions. This solid background assures that your participants will receive meaningful content they can use right away.

One important point Tom brings to your meeting from those 110,000 transactions is the critical employee satisfaction -» customer satisfaction -» profitability link.

He describes how a single internal factor directly drives customer loyalty and profitability in such compelling terms that engineering teams, entire IT departments, C level executives, sales teams, manufacturing managers, HR departments, and others regularly participate in this session.

Key points Tom covers include:

  • Why, in the eyes of your customer, your competition isn’t who you might think it is and what to do about that.
  • How to capitalize on the one internal factor that stands out above all others as the largest single predictor of customer loyalty.
  • How to retain at-risk customers.
  • How to find out the real reason a customer stopped buying from you.
  • Why customer satisfaction is a poor predictor of loyalty and what to do about that.