Building Businesses by Building Trust

22 days ago   •   4 min read

By Amanda Avutu

Every single day of his 11 years in the U.S. Air Force as a medic, former Staff Sergeant (SSgt) John Bristol relied on one crucial tool: Trust.

“When you’re out in the field trying to help someone who’s been injured, you have to earn their trust before you start poking and prodding them,” Bristol explains. Now a SpotOn Account Executive providing technology solutions to restaurants and business owners in the Minneapolis, Minnesota region, the veteran has found that trust is a crucial tool in his civilian career, as well.

Whether stitching up a soldier in a helicopter or demonstrating to a restaurant owner why they need a new point-of-sale system (POS), Bristol says building a relationship is key.

“If you’re going to ask someone to perform the equivalent of a transplant by changing their POS, you have to be able to listen, ask the right questions, and demonstrate that you are uniquely equipped to solve their specific problem,” he says. “More than building trust, it’s about building a relationship around the shared commitment to growing that person’s business.”

One door closes, but a browser window opens.

When Bristol connected with Natalie Everhart of The Grind Specialty DoNats, she told him how devastating it had been to lose the brick and mortar family bakery due to COVID. Natalie, the second-generation owner, told Bristol that she was pivoting the business to focus on delivery and needed a way to accept payments.

Prior to shutting down their brick and mortar location in the wake of the COVID pandemic, Minneapolis foodies @foodieapolis, @minneapolis.eats, and @eatdrinkdish_ were taking notice. With SpotOn Order, Natalie is able to deliver on the donut hype, literally. 

Bristol set her up with a SpotOn Sidekick for taking payments on deliveries, but didn't stop there. Knowing there was additional opportunity for Natalie's donut business, he asked her if she’d considered offering online ordering. The two discussed how SpotOn Order would work, and by trusting in Bristol’s vision for her company’s growth, Natalie opened up an entirely new revenue stream.

“The day I turned it on, she was absolutely overwhelmed with orders. The uptick in their business since they started offering online ordering has been so positive that they are considering looking for a physical space to move back into,” Bristol reflects. “That’s why I love working with SpotOn, because maybe this bakery comes back from its COVID shutdown even stronger, maybe it passes down one more generation. When I can solve a problem—especially a problem that someone didn’t even realize they had—I feel helpful and that makes me happy.”

The veteran connection.

Bob Dittel of Car Buyer’s Advocate, relieves people of the stressful responsibility of buying a car by negotiating the sale for them. When John met him, though, Dittel had no way to accept payments on the spot.

Bristol not only got him hooked up with SpotOn’s Virtual Terminal, but asked him if he’d considered marketing tools as a way to nurture loyalty with his customers.

"Veterans have this thing about them—they want to get the job done and they want to get it done well,” Dittel explains.  “When I met John, even before he told me that he had served in the military, I could sense his honor and integrity. We've been working together for over a year now, and my first impression that I could trust and depend on him has proven to be absolutely accurate."

Dittel was helping clients buy about one car a week when Bristol first met him and now he's up to 6 to 8 cars a week.

“I love the e-mail marketing capabilities SpotOn offers me by keeping it simple,” Dittel says. “I'm not a big fluffy person. I'm pretty straightforward. I'm going to get you the deal and take care of you. SpotOn's email marketing makes it easy for me to share that message with my customers."

Veteran or civilian, restaurant owner or business owner, Bristol approaches every day as a new opportunity to create connections, earn trust, build relationships and grow businesses.

“I’m grateful for every day, every sunrise that makes it possible to support people and help them grow their businesses. It’s a huge honor,” Bristol says.

In honor of Veterans Day, SpotOn has an exclusive offer for veteran business owners to help them begin building their own business: save up to $500 on a new cloud-based point-of-sale from SpotOn through the entire month of November. To learn more, please visit our special offer page here.

Interested in joining the SpotOn sales team? Visit our career page here.

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