Frigibar President Shuly Oletzky joined host Eric Dye on the Entrepreneur Podcast Network to discuss personal, business branding and relationship building. Here is the full transcript of the interview.
Eric Dye: Frigibar is in Marine Refrigeration, which sounds like a very niche industry. How does Frigibar stand out in the industry?
Shuly Oletzky: “Frigibar has been around for about 45 years, and one of the things that we do to stand out in our industry is to provide exceptional quality products for our customers that not only enhance their lifestyle out on the water, but also helps them solve common problems that they come up against on their vessel.”
ED: Being an entrepreneur for you is about more than just running a business. You write for the Huffington Post business blog, exhibit at boat shows, go to networking events and conferences. Why are these types of efforts important for entrepreneurs?
SO: “You have to let people know that you’re out there. Getting out there, getting to trade shows, writing articles that are important to your consumers and partners — let’s them know that you exist. This is key in making sure that your business survives.
It also helps me meet new people and collaborate on new ideas and opportunities. In addition to that, I’ve found a lot of mentors by going to different events and conferences that have helped me in my business. “
ED: With a luxury product, something at the top price point in the market, how do you approach customer service and why is this extremely important for a luxury product?
SO: “Customer service is important because it makes people feel special. It makes them feel like you care, not only about their problems, but about their best interests. We provide customer service to a level that if we’re not the best product of fit for them, we will help them find that best product or fit for them.
We also know that there are a lot of companies out there that don’t provide customer service. We’re happy to do it because in addition to making people feel good, it also helps build our relationships with our customers.”
ED: For something like a refrigerator or freezer, how can you demonstrate it’s value over a product less than half of the price?
SO: “Consumer education is extremely important. Helping the consumers to understand why our products are different and why it’s specifically designed to be in the environment in which they’re in. Being on a boat is much different than being on land, and we build a product that accommodates that.
For example, we have a customer that is very hard on our units. We do our best to learn what it is that they need, and accommodate them by altering the products. They know that the general refrigerator that they can buy at a store won’t stand up.
That’s one of the things that we can also do for our customers, is customizing the products to meet the exact qualifications for their needs.”
ED: Partnerships are something valuable to every entrepreneur on the planet. Can you detail how you go about forming partnerships with other businesses and some tips for our audience of entrepreneurs?
SO: “I have to like the people I work with. Making sure that we get along, that we have some synchronicity, and that we can benefit from knowing and working with each other is key. When developing partnerships and relationships with other businesses, it’s important not only to complement our business, but hopefully give them some value as well.”
SO: “One tip that I like to share with entrepreneurs is to write thank you notes. People don’t write many thank you notes anymore. When you can share with a customer that not only did you value the time that they took to spend with you to learn about whatever product or service that you had to offer them, but that you remembered speaking with them and that you were there to help them when they are ready.
Be very careful to not try to sell in your thank you note. Thank you notes are just about being gracious and showing your gratitude for the fact that they took the time to inquire.”
About Shuly Oletzky:
Shuly is the President of Frigibar Industries, Inc., America’s foremost manufacturer of quality marine refrigeration products, including fiberglass cockpit freezers and refrigerators, deck and dock boxes, ice chests and refrigeration kits for boats and yachts. Frigibar is a family-owned company that has been serving the Miami, Florida community and beyond for over 40 years. Shuly also serves on the Board of Directors for Easter Seals Florida, is the Co-Vice Chair of Easter Seals Get Down to Business Lunch in Palm Beach, Boat Show Committee Member for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), and is an alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Businesses program and Leadership Palm Beach County (LPBC).
Learn more about Shuly Oletzky at ShareIdeaswithPurpose.com