Influencing success Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010
Finalist
Business Services

The difference between a four-man basement operation and a global force is an entrepreneur — someone like Andrew Jacobs.

It starts with intelligence and thoughtfulness instead of a flashy sales pitch. Jacobs attended Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan Law School before landing at the New York law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell. While practicing, he became acquainted with the real estate business and decided to start his own investment opportunity in retirement housing.

But his entrepreneurial spirit wasn’t satiated just by launching a successful retirement real estate business. With the itch to explore other endeavors, Jacobs sold part of the business.

His awaited opportunity came in 1994 when he found a small 20-employee call center run by four men out of a basement in Lincoln, Neb. Jacobs began working with those four men and decided to fund a new 150-seat call center for them. Ultimately, he became majority holder of Influent Inc. and now serves as president and CEO.

He’s continued to grow the company by building more call centers in Kansas, Panama, the Philippines and Dublin, Ohio. But it’s not just the company’s revenue, head count and global footprint that are growing — Jacobs is trying to grow employee commitment and motivation inside the company, as well.

The call center industry often faces high employee turnover and a generally unmotivated work force, not to mention government restrictions on call numbers that make the job even more challenging. Jacobs’ philosophy revolves around “hard work with constant attention and repetitiveness.” While that commitment to hard work and attention to detail drive the company’s success, he also offers aggressive compensation plans aimed at rewarding successful sellers so they don’t fall into the high turnover rates.

With all of his success, Jacobs plans to start a charity for child education.

How to reach: Influent Inc., (800) 856-6768 or www.influentinc.com