May 15, 2014

Q&A with Chris Hollingsworth

Chris H JSChris Hollingsworth, Sales Director, Jetcraft
Location: Switzerland
[email protected]    +41 79 629 9168

How long have you been at Jetcraft?

I’ve been with Jetcraft for just over six years, starting off at our Raleigh headquarters in the US. I moved over to Switzerland around two years ago to join Jetcraft’s European office here in Zurich. Before working for Jetcraft I was the sales manager for refurbishments and maintenance at Gulfstream.

What are your responsibilities within the global Jetcraft team?

At its core, Jetcraft is a relationship-focused company. You won’t sell a single airplane if you don’t value relationships. I travel constantly to help build long-lasting relationships with customers, making myself available wherever my clients need me. I have experience in the both the US and EMEA regions and am adept at handling the sale of pre-owned aircraft between these two key markets. I also deal in new aircraft sales, having just completed a new aircraft transaction for a client in the US.

Describe a typical day or week in your role.

Working for Jetcraft is not your typical job. I probably spend more time in the skies than in my own office. In the past two weeks alone, I’ve been to seven different cities. For some people this might be too much, but I enjoy getting out there and meeting my clients.

What’s amazing about Jetcraft is that it’s truly a 24-hour-a-day operation. There is always someone working at Jetcraft; when the US is asleep, Asia is awake, and vice versa. Being located in Europe, in the middle of these two regions, means there is always plenty to catch up on 24 hours a day. My time management and people skills are constantly being tested in this environment, so I always have to be at the top of my game. I guess that’s why my friends nicknamed me the “Corporate Athlete.”

What do you love most about your job?

For sure the best part of this job is the client interaction. We deal with clients from all over the world, from all walks of life, and I love this. I mentioned it before, but relationships are a critical component to any successful deal. I find that if you have a strong relationship with your customer, meet their expectations, and guide them properly, then you will never just sell one aircraft to him or her. A satisfied customer will come back to you, as repeat business is built on a foundation of trust.

Describe the company culture at Jetcraft and what it means to you

I knew Jetcraft way before I started working with them because I attended university in Raleigh, North Carolina, the same town as Jetcraft’s head office. I was working on the ramp at the airport, fueling aircraft and at one stage had my own aircraft cleaning business on site. Back then Jetcraft was smaller and had a family feel about it. Jetcraft now has almost 50 employees, but that family culture has stayed with us, even as we’ve grown to become a global company.  We all work well together and we all love what we do.

What do you want your customers to experience when dealing with Jetcraft?

When I’m working on behalf of a client, I want to exceed their expectations. I want them to feel comfortable in recommending me to their friends, knowing that I will take care of all their needs. It’s also important that customers know they are hiring someone who listens. My goal is to have a customer feel comfortable enough to pick up the phone and call me about anything – even to discuss the football results! It’s also important to know that when hiring someone from Jetcraft, you’re actually hiring the whole team. Customers will have our global network working for them, which is a unique benefit.

Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

My parents, my brother and my girlfriend are a great influence in my life. I come from a simple background and they have always kept me focused on who I am and what I represent. I really enjoy sharing with them stories of my travels and making them proud. I also have one particular client, Keith Nadolski, whom I’ve known since I was cleaning aircraft in Raleigh. A year or so after I graduated from university, I got to work with him at Gulfstream. He has always been a great mentor to me and we still keep in regular contact. I learned so much about the industry from him.

Describe yourself in three words.

Loyal, determined and humorous.

If you were to buy a business jet, which aircraft would suit your needs and why?

It would have to be Gulfstream V. There is nothing else out there that offers the performance and reliability for the price!

What stands out to you as good customer service?

Transparency is an essential part of every transaction. There are always going to be obstacles that can sidetrack a deal, but having an open and honest relationship with a client builds confidence that tough challenges can be overcome. It also goes back to keeping in touch even when there is not a business opportunity at that moment. It’s important for customers to know that I am there when they need me.

Finally, what is your hidden talent or hobby?

About the only time you can’t find me on my phone is when I am either fly-fishing or playing soccer. I also enjoy helping other people in their pursuit of success. For example, I helped my girlfriend – who is a fashion designer here in Switzerland ‑ create a new line of personalized pocket squares for men. It has been a big success for her and truly rewarding for me.