Merit Gest has more than 20 years of experience working with companies to grow revenue, increase profitability and reduce turnover. Merit's work experience and certifications in both Emotional Intelligence and cultural transformation give her a unique perspective for hiring, onboarding, selling and retaining top talent.
Prior to forming Merit-based Professional Development, Merit was the Senior VP of Sales for a nationwide sales training organization and the youngest General Sales Manager for a start-up radio station in the country's third largest market. In her various roles as a business owner, trainer, coach, consultant and keynote speaker, she has worked with CEOs, business owners, entrepreneurs, sales management teams and professionals across a wide variety of industries including financial services, manufacturing, engineering, professional services, technology and even pest control.
Audiences appreciate her humorous delivery and engaging keynotes on sales, leadership and team productivity. She is an active member of The National Speakers Association, has been featured in Selling Power Magazine as an expert advisor and is a highly rated speaker for Vistage International & TEC Canada, the world's largest organization of CEOs.
Her presentation style is comfortable, authentic and interactive, suitable for large general sessions or smaller group multi-day programs. All of Merit's work is specifically designed for each unique client, yet based on The Merit-based Methodology for hiring, onboarding, selling and retention structures and processes that are relevant to many.
A true adventurer, Merit pulls business and life lessons from her experiences backpacking around the world on her own, bungee jumping, sky diving, ice climbing, scuba diving, paragliding and crashing. She's likely the only person on the planet who's broken a left foot in Israel and a right leg in Croatia, but somehow she's walked away from both with inspiring messages to share that allow people an opportunity to find their own personal strength and get ahead of the curve by being proactive in business and life.
Merit has a Communications degree from Michigan State University. Her husband David is an entrepreneur, real estate developer, expert skier and "Mr. Fix It." They live in Denver with their son Jake who is a math whiz, "Little Mr. Fix It" and a future Heisman trophy winner (or maybe just a really big football fan).
In her spare time Merit can be found at a day spa or a comedy club...in the audience or on stage!
- Winners Do the Extra Credit... Even When They Have an A -
What makes a person willing to go 'above and beyond' the call of duty? Why do some people consistently rise to the top and others cling to entitlement mentality watching them from the sidelines? The truth is that winners do the extra credit, even when they already have an A whether it's school, sports, entertainment, business or life. There is always extra credit that can be done and few people who are willing to bring an attitude of extra credit to what they do. Becoming one of those people ensures your success. You will laugh. You will learn. You will know exactly what to do when you leave the session. You will be in action before the next session. You will use your new Extra Credit Mindset everywhere and it will stick with you for the long term. This session sets off a culture of Extra Credit seekers and that can transform the future of an organization.
- The Secret to Crushing Your Sales Quota: Three Things That You Can Do Right Now -
This no-nonsense program is as funny as it is direct. It's what people who aspire to be top salespeople need to hear and what accomplished salespeople may do naturally that can be done even more deliberately to stay on top.
Some people strive to meet their quota and others to beat it, but in this session, it's about crushing the quota! You don't need to hear the same old song and dance about positive attitudes and call reports. You need more than that to crush your numbers. You need straight talk, creativity, innovative thinking and a few laughs to crush your sales quota year after year.
- In an 'Everyone Gets a Trophy for Trying' World, Be The One Who Earns It -
Kids get trophies for showing up to the game...and now they are showing up for work. The Trophy for Trying attitude is killing the workplace. In this session, your team will be excited to establish an 'Do the Extra Credit' culture and they will have the tools to do so. Doing the extra credit showcases the talents and strengths of everyone and allows them an opportunity to bring the best of themselves to every interaction. When people bring their A-game they feel good about themselves and they get the results they want. Turns out trying a little harder, even when you're doing well is the key to earning the trophy.
- Satisfaction: The Silent Killer of Success -
The Rolling Stones Can't Get No Satisfaction while it doesn't sound good, it may actually be the key to their incredible success. Satisfaction leads to stagnation and there is no possibility for momentum when you are stagnant. What happens when salespeople are satisfied? Managers? Customer service? C-suite? You guessed it... nothing happens. Satisfaction sounds like something to strive for, but when you get there any future forward progress is limited. Learn to use the positive aspects of satisfaction without putting the brakes on future results. Packed with stories from real world companies, your attendees will not only be inspired by the examples Merit shares from business, sports, entertainment and real life, they will be in action! Attendees in businesses of any size walk out of this interactive keynote with tangible ways to be satisfied, yet still strive for more.
- Real Teamwork Isn't About Playing Nicely Together in the Office Sandbox -
Kids in sandboxes all across America are being lied to. "Play nice together in the sandbox," we are told, but at what expense. When teams are too polite to call each other out, have tough conversations and allow a leader to lead, they are ineffective, they waste time and they can ruin careers and companies. In this session, we distinguish "playing nice" from "playing effectively." It's what teams need to hear in the way they'll be able to really hear the message.
- Cancer Knocked on the Door... Opportunity Answered - This session is appropriate for women's groups. It is not the same old cancer story, it's a story of taking control and how to do that in all areas of our lives. Attendees will laugh and maybe tear up, but they will leave knowing that they hold the keys to their own power and anything is possible.