PHASE Seminar’s Founder and CEO celebrates 20+ years of practice as a Hearing Instrument Specialist.
Vincent began dispensing hearing aids in October of 1992 with Beltone, Hearing Aid Sales & Service, on Genesee Street in New York. He was hired by Nathan B. Miller a long standing and successful Beltone dealer in upstate New York, who took a genuine interest in Vincent. “Mr. Miller always stressed the importance of being involved with the IHS and learning as much as possible about the hearing dispensing industry.” Mr. Miller supported the NIHIS distance learning courses (at that time only available through the mail, via correspondence courses) He enrolled Vincent in these courses immediately, and began the tedious work of training Vincent as an Apprentice. For months Vincent wasn’t even allowed to speak to a patient regarding any subject matter, and was instructed that if he did have a questions they would be asked privately and never in front of, or within earshot of the patient. Under the close tutelage of Mr. Miller, Vincent quickly became a skilled dispenser earning awards like Beltone’s “Master Hearing Aid Specialist” and received several “Pacesetter” awards for outstanding performance within the district.
Shortly thereafter Vincent earned another credentialing of becoming “Board Certified” accredited by the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences (NBC-HIS). This designation represents his successful completion of a psychometric examination compiled by a panel of experts who are Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences (BC-HIS) and by doing so, demonstrated an exemplary level of knowledge, skill and expertise in his field.
Vincent migrated to a warmer climate and took a position with a Beltone dealership office in O’Fallon, IL owned by Brad McMillan, where he worked on-the road as an outside sales representative covering 10 counties. Looking for opportunities to come in from the road, Vincent was enticed by Miracle-Ear Franchise owners Bob & Shirley Lammert, with an offer to manage a Sears location in Fairview Heights, IL. He accepted the position and was able to improve sales dramatically making the Fairview Heights location a formidable competitor among the corporately owned Miracle-Ear stores in the surrounding territory. The Lammerts later decided to sell off their franchise, due to Bob’s declining health. The Franchise was then sold to a group of banking investors. Vincent stayed on during and after the transition.
After sometime news of corporate positions with Amplifon, USA, in St. Louis, Missouri had become available. Intrigued by the potential advancement opportunities, Vincent began to pursue a license to practice in Missouri. Vincent passed the Missouri licensure requirements and applied for employment on the corporate side of Miracle-Ear/Amplifon USA.
Miracle-Ear Inc. hired Vincent immediately and quickly recognizing Vincent’s leadership abilities promoted him to District manager for 7 locations in the St. Louis Missouri territory. Vincent received the territory at a time when corporate structuring had changed conditions surrounding compensation and workloads; consequentially replacing nearly the entire staff. He also helped to train new dispensers by becoming a Supervisor for the State of Missouri in licensing new dispensers. Under Vincent’s management the St. Louis market was able to achieve many awards and competed in national contests. One of which was for specialists to earn a all-expense paid trip to Milan, Italy, and tour the Amplifon Headquarters. One of Vincent’s personal hires achieved this award.
Amplifon continued their concept of increasing market share by buying up other growing business, with that came new developments like the “Owner/Operator program” which created opportunities for the current District managers of the corporate stores to become franchise owners of their own territory. A program which offered Vincent the potential to purchase the St. Louis territory. “However, after careful scrutiny and some God intervention, we never saw that come to fruition. The numbers I ran across friend and former franchise owner Bob Lammert explained, that I would have become a franchise owner, but a franchise owner with a great deal of debt.”
With all of the preparing for the Franchise purchase Vincent realized that he had everything he needed to open his own business. So he did. With some significant success he opened first a location in New Baden, IL; a small suburb outside of Belleville, IL where he helped some 120 patients to hear better again. Vincent opened a second location in Swansea, IL. However, premature growth and financial burdens caused certain failure for success, and consequently Vincent experienced a devastating loss of his business and his home. “The hardest most humbling part for me; was explaining to my family that we had to move out of our home. This was a hard lesson to learn, but failure isn’t permanent unless you stop getting up after you’ve been knocked down.”
Vincent landed a manufacturer’s Sales Manager Representative position with Bernafon USA. His territory would be in the south portion of North America, handling over 250 accounts encompassing 14 southern states, from Texas to Florida. Bernafon relocated Vincent and his family to Flower Mound, Texas where he would begin his new job.
“Unexpectedly, a call came in from a small manufacturing company that I had applied for but not heard back from and so I originally considered it a dead end. However, I was somewhat excited when I learned that the CEO had been out of country when my email and resume was placed on his desk weeks earlier. He called me in for an interview and made me an offer, which I accepted. A few short months later Bob appointed me Chief Operations Officer.”
Bob Bare, CEO of Hearing Haven, L.L.C. used Vincent’s organizational skills and networking dynamics developing the Medicaid side of the business; where Vincent implemented strategies and protocols which catapulted revenues from $750K per year to over $2.1 million in gross revenues. After 2 years of steady growth and confidence that the MBP program had been established, Bob commissioned Vincent to re-direct his attention on new start-up company “New Perceptions” and the “Hearing For Life” program. Relocating Vincent to an Irving TX location. Vincent turned over all oversight of Hearing Haven’s Medicaid business and armed with a $250,000 budget began to work on the new nationwide endeavor.
New Perceptions a great concept similar to a hearing aid leasing program was catching on quickly and projected growth revenues were estimated at over $240 million by the end of the 3rd Quarter of the 2nd year. Locally New Perceptions was having moderate success. “Things were shaping up nicely, but then in February of 2010, Bob came into my office to inform me that the calculations they had made had over spent revenues in other areas and my quarter of a million dollar allotted budget was diminished, and now the focus was keep the existing business afloat. There would be no use for my position in expansion with no budget available.
It was during this time of unemployment that Vincent established his own company P.H.A.S.E Seminars, L.L.C. (Professional Hearing Aid Sales Education) and developed the first Texas approved “Online” courses provided by a Non-manufacturer CEU Sponsor offering online continuing educational credits for not only Texas but Internationally. (A First, for Texans trying to gain online CEU’s) Vincent became an IHS approved CEU sponsor also and provides course for all IHS members. Individuals from anywhere in the world can take online courses through P.H.A.S.E. Seminars, L.L.C. Continuing education credits are available everywhere with the exception of Florida who maintains a state controlled CEU licensure program.
In June of 2012 Vincent published an article in the professional trade magazine The Hearing Professional entitled “The 12 Step Closing Process & Handling Objections” for the June 2012 “Soundbytes” issue. He currently is maintaining his licensure and keeps up with dispensing to patients as a Licensed Fitter & Dispenser in the North Texas area.
Vincent continues to be involved communicating directly with customers taking online courses. When he is not dispensing he is creating new course material for State and IHS approval. Join me in celebrating 20 years of dedicated service. Congratulations Vincent!