The broad field of mass communications is obviously important to him, but interpersonal relationships are paramount to Chamber Board member Larry Weiss of ACG Telecom who encourages people to get to know the guy behind the voice.
Larry has enjoyed a long career not just spanning, but merging the arenas of broadcasting, advertising, Internet and telecom. And his close affiliation with the POB Chamber has become a natural conduit to new friends, colleagues and, ultimately, new clients. “I joined the Plainview Chamber to get involved with people in the community where I live and work, not necessarily to muster up business, although that’s been a nice fringe benefit” he begins. “The most valuable element of my membership has been serving on the Board and getting to know my Chamber peers – and allowing them to get to know me.”
On par with his personality, Larry’s marketing strategy is down to earth. “I think people are numbed out by conventional advertising, and are most comfortable buying from or hiring people they know – or who their colleagues, friends or family know,” Larry observes. “Most of our new business is from referrals: The direct result of being a genuine, reliable, honest, creative professional who supplies excellent service.”
His networking philosophy is equally split: It is not about elevator speeches; exchanging business cards; self-promotion; or talking to every person at a crowded event and hoping to leave with sales leads. It is about letting go of all expectations and getting involved for the joy of it. It’s all about relationships – growing to know, like, help and respect those in your networking community as friends, colleagues and eventually as trusted business resources. After investing time and effort to become involved with people and “paying it forward” without the expectation of reciprocation, “the referrals just seem to come, especially when you least expect them,” he says.
Larry’s award winning career began in the ’60s at Long Island radio stations WGBB and WGSM and he then went on to a variety of broadcasting, advertising and technical accomplishments, both on and off the air. In the ’70s he created the award winning advertising program for Crazy Eddie, writing and producing over 3,500 radio and television commercials that are universally recognized as advertising classics today. In the ’80s, in addition to advertising work for names such as Raceway Park and Chuckie Cheese’s, Larry also pioneered the telecom technologies of voice mail and interactive content by phone. As a result, with the breakup of AT&T and his newly developed technologies, Larry’s company became a content provider contractor with NYNEX and other regional “Baby Bells.” If you ever dialed the weather (976-1212) or the time (976-1616) it was Larry’s automated services you heard. With the consolidation of what became Verizon, along with new developments in Internet and VoIP technologies, Larry formed Atlantic Computer Group, Inc. and developed ACG Telecom – a boutique telephone company offering small businesses, professional practices and small offices a personal, solutions-oriented alternative to behemoth phone service providers. ACG prides itself in providing a multitude of innovative services and solutions from basic phone service to sophisticated, highly creative interactive call routing solutions. Among the many problems ACG has solved are inexpensive virtual office scenarios (employees working remotely or from home, but part of the corporate phone network), providing local phone numbers and presence in any of 1,000 North American markets and 60 foreign countries, providing a professional phone presence for those working in SOHO settings, even the ability to protect privacy by making calls from a cell phone yet showing the business Caller ID, or simply providing second, third or multiple numbers for people who conduct business only by cell phone. Larry gets deeply involved in creating just the right phone presence and solutions for ACG customers large and small. Indeed, it is likely Larry’s broadcaster voice you’ll hear when calling many of the area’s local businesses – as well as many businesses worldwide.
With Larry’s unique broadcast, advertising and telecom background, ACG knows just how to help businesses optimize their phone presence – not just for communications efficiencies, but also to help their businesses grow; all for a fraction of the cost big phone companies charge for basic service alone. But the most important feature of ACG is Larry himself. Larry makes it a point to develop relationships with ACG customers, to understand their needs and quirks, and how their businesses run. That personal service, coupled with “out-of-the-box” thinking, creative solutions for unusual scenarios, suggestions, advice and even coaching “makes all the difference in the world”, says Larry. “People often ask me the difference between ACG and other phone service providers. I always answer, ‘the difference is – you get me!”. ACG customers would agree and have appropriately dubbed him “Larry the Phone Guy.”