Businesses fall into the trap of loving their products too much that they forget about their customers. As a result, they create products that people don’t need and want. Moving you from a product centricity model into customer centricity, Dr. Diane Hamilton talks to Dr. Mary Ritz, owner and founder of Almenta International, as she takes us into the insights and wisdom from her book, Customer Centricity: A Sense Making Framework for Developing Economies. She discusses the importance of accounting for how customers are always changing and evolving, affecting your products in return. She then shares about the customer cycle, the differences in customer experience in other economies, and the ways to navigate your business in this current COVID-19 environment.
Putting your business up on social media is one thing. Reaching anyone online—no matter what level they are at—is another. This is one of the many struggles many businesses encounter when setting up their online presence. In this episode, Dr. Diane Hamilton brings over Dan Portik to help you do just that. Dan is the President of BVS Film Productions and the co-author of Fill Your Funnel: Selling with Social Media with Tom Hopkins. Taking us deeper into the online world, he shares with us his new book, The Secret Online Door, where he outlines in detail the successful online techniques he has used over the years to reach and negotiate with anyone at any level of success.
I’m glad you joined us because we have Dr. Mary Ritz and Dan Portik here. Mary is an international facilitator speaker and consultant and Dan is a bestselling author and President of BVS Film Productions.
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From Product Centricity To Customer Centricity With Dr. Mary Ritz
I am here with Dr. Mary Ritz, who is the Owner and Founder of Almenta International, a training and consulting organization. She is a John Maxwell-certified teacher, speaker, and coach. She has a PhD focusing on customer-centricity. She’s also the author of Customer Centricity: A Sense Making Framework for Developing Economies. It’s nice to have you here, Mary.
Thank you for having me.
I think a lot of people will want to know where you’re from, what your background is, and how you got to this point of writing this book and owning this company.
I’m originally from Zimbabwe, which is a country in the Southern parts of Africa. I did all my high school there and to pursue my MBA, I moved to the United States. I went to High Point University where I did my MBA in International Business. After qualifying, I wanted to go back home but the economic situation did not allow that so I took a detour and moved into South Africa where I started my own business. Initially, I worked for the Bank of South Africa and another retail company there, but my heart was always to do customer service training and development. During my MBA, my stay in the United States, I had worked for American Express and Verizon Wireless and I was at the forefront of customer service. When I went to South Africa, after working for a while in the corporate world, I saw this gap where everything was not focusing on the customer so I jumped in. That’s how I started Almenta International in 2008 and I haven’t stopped since then, but it has evolved yet.
I do some work with Verizon. They have a new CEO who’s focused on developing curiosity. I love to hear stories of companies of what’s worked and hasn’t worked. It must have been fun to work for American Express. It must have been interesting because those are big companies. Were those good experiences?
There were good experiences and what I liked about those experiences is that I didn’t start at the top. I was a customer service consultant. I was on the phone and got to interact with the customers to understand their pain points. I then appreciated how American Express would listen to the feedback and make the changes that we were proposing as consultants on the phone, which was a great experience. It was around the early 2000s. Organizations were not differentiating themselves around the customers. It was pushing products and we see some of that even these days, but at that point, it was quite refreshing to see that we had leeway in servicing the customer in a way that we found quite appealing as consultants.
There’s a big gap in what I’ve seen. There are many companies that don’t recognize the importance of the customers and tying into asking them what they want. I was talking on another show about this a little bit about how Domino’s did that. When they reinvented their pizza, they went out and asked their customers what they want. What do you think is the problem? Why don’t we get more customer-centric?
We have two business models, the one model talks to product-centricity. We love our products. We identify a need on the market and we find the solution that changes people’s lives. After that, we look at the performance of the product. Is it giving us a lot of return investment? Are we making great profits on it? We love our products and our systems and the business model are curated in such a way that it focuses on the product, but what we forget is that the customer is changing and evolving. We forget sometimes to go back and recheck to speak with a customer and also to realize that the customer is crazy about the product, but they’re crazier about the outcome and the convenience of the product. As organizations, we obsess about our innovations and creativity, but sometimes we forget that the customer has got a cycle. Not only are we focusing on this customer but are we focusing on the right customer and what does that mean?
What you’re bringing up is a lot of what I talk to companies, it’s about developing the ability to ask questions and observe different things. When I’m working with leaders and companies about the value of asking questions, about developing curiosity, sometimes employees and leaders have a different idea of what should be done. Do you find that there’s a disconnect at all of how they feel about reaching customers?What can be perceived as inappropriate in one context is appropriate in another context. Click To Tweet
There is a disconnect. The disconnect is that the person at the front line is not driving the business strategy. The upper management believes that the organization should go in a second way and there’s nothing wrong with that because you started the business thinking that way or having identified that there was a need in that. What you have is that you’ve got a workforce that is interacting with the customers. They know what needs to change and when they provide that feedback to the upper management, it becomes about profitability. It becomes about the measurable metrics that we use that necessarily sometimes do not enhance the customer experience. In other words, it becomes costly for the upper management to invest in anything that changes the customer experience or customer service.
Do you think employees need to make a case for it? How do we change this?
It takes a paradigm shift. It’s realizing that if we keep on this trend, we will enjoy the benefits in the short-term, but not for the long-term. As an organization, sometimes it’s good to forgo the short-term for the long-term. Let’s talk about Blackberry. At one point, that was the smartest phone ever. Does it compete that well? Maybe it does, but we’re talking about other products. That’s what happens when we don’t listen and we don’t get the feedback that we need to be more creative. It’s a competitive world that we’re living in and the product-centricity is good, but we have to think of customer-centricity, which means that changing our whole business to be focused on the right customer. It’s scary, but it’s worth the try and the transformation for the long-term.
You’ve researched this quite a bit, having a PhD in focusing on that. What was your doctoral dissertation? What was your subject?
My subject was customer-centricity and understanding it from a developing world because I was living in South Africa when I did my Doctorate. What I had found on the market was that customer-centricity was being portrayed by a world developed economy. I wanted to understand if this framework that had been devised, which is a great framework, could stand the test in a developing world.
That’s fascinating because my work in perception is all about how these companies and working in different parts of the world is completely different. What did you find?
I found out that most, probably all our customers are generic. The customers in Zimbabwe are almost experiencing what you and I are experiencing because of technology, but the cultural nuances make a difference. In an organization, when they go in, they can take a framework. Let’s assume maybe Gulati’s framework from the United States, but they cannot implement it in Zimbabwe or South Africa. My finding is that as comprehensive as customer-centricity is if you wanted to work, maybe in a developing world, you need to take some pockets of it. Maybe not the entire thing because you’re dealing with a different culture. You’re dealing with a different infrastructure altogether. When we say great customer service in these two worlds, I perceived differently. Those are the different things that you have to take cognizant of to say, “We’re talking customer-centricity. It’s a business model. It is quite rigorous to apply it, but how then you decide to apply it in a developing world is quite different from how you’d apply it in a non-developing world.”
I’m curious what the cultural differences you’ve seen are from being in Africa, South Africa, your experience in general versus the US in how they do business. What are some of the major differences that you’ve witnessed?
One thing I also experienced myself is the whole fact about building business relationships. When I did work in South Africa, I knew on the first instance, whether I was going to do business with a certain person or not because it was a referral or a cold call. When I moved here, I realized that it’s staggered in relationships. There’s fundamental importance that’s placed on relationships, “Who do you know?” I’m not saying that it’s not equally important in my experiences in Africa, but I remember going into Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and into new different markets. It was easier. I didn’t know anybody, but I could go and knock at doors. They respected the fact that I was there. I managed to do some great projects without knowing anybody. In this country, I’m sensing that the relationship is highly important. That’s why my work with John Maxwell helps. He talks about influence and relationships. I think it’s highly prioritized in this country. It’s very different.
My work is curiosity and I’ve put in different universities from Forbes School of Business to the University of Zambia or UNZA. As I look at these different areas of the world, there’s so much difference in the culture of whether we ask questions and are we allowed to think or do things a certain way. What you’re talking about is a lot of networking and it is big here. Where does networking place there? Is it growing? Is it becoming more important?
Africa is big so if I was thinking of Zimbabwe, there’s little networking that’s going on there in terms of making it a system of different networks. That was influenced by what’s going on in the economy. If you look at Zimbabwe, it’s 95% unemployment so people are looking at the closest to deal. Networking becomes secondary. That story could change when we go to South Africa because it is a more stable economy, so you can start to see nuances of networking, but it’s not as aggressive or rigorous as it is in the United States, in my experience.
It’s different that’s why it’s challenging when you open branches here or do different things. I’ve taught a lot of ethics courses and a lot of my students, you ask questions, like, “Do you use the code of ethics we have here in the US if you open a branch somewhere else or they maybe grease palms and they do different things? It’s a challenging time to know. Do you find that the way they do business here is unique from other countries in terms of ethics?
It is different. I worked for a client of mine in South Africa. I opened operations for him in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, and South Africa. Both countries alone have got different ethics. If you’re going into Tanzania, they were a socialist country before. The way they work and their paradigm towards work is different. The expectation of ethics is different as well. Going into Zambia, that’s more of a British Colony so they are more capitalist, similar to Zimbabwe, but then the ethics are also quite different. The way that they do business, the way that they conduct business is quite different there. You can imagine sometimes you have to navigate that because what can be perceived as inappropriate in one context is appropriate in another context. It talks to your values as a consultant coming in or as a business coming in, what are your ethics that point? Sometimes your processes or your initiatives are delayed because you’re not conforming to some ways of doing business.
It’s a challenging thing because ethics is subjective. It’s a fun thing to teach, but it’s a hard thing to live with in the real world. Don’t you think?
It is hard to live in the real world, but because I’ve had the experiences, what I go back to, and what I encourage leaders to go back to is their moral compass, purposes, values, and beliefs. What are you going to compromise to get that deal to be able to enter a certain market? Sometimes some things are not worth the money or success so coming back to the true self.
A lot of questions are being asked of how we do business with COVID and everything going on. It’s such an unprecedented time and we’re teaching how to do things in new ways. We’re trying to make our customers or employees safer. What are you seeing out there? What are organizations doing to be successful? What advice would you give them?
First of all, I would advise them to realize that this is a change that is different, especially in terms of the pandemic that we were not expecting a lot and I get it, but I encourage us to say, “We’ve been through the World War II, Hiroshima, and a whole lot of others.” The first thing that I’ll say is that if we keep doing what we need to do to keep focusing on the big picture, we’ll come out always. The price is on the other end of it, but we need to get the right mindset to get there. It’s about embracing the change that has been forced upon us that is happening so fast. Don’t move too quickly to making haste decisions. You would rather move slowly because, at the beginning of the crisis, you’re scattered. You’re trying to make headway of which way to go, but somewhere in the middle of the crisis, it all starts to make sense.
At this point, where we’ve realized, “This pandemic is here to permanently change our lives and whatever else is going on in the social context.” This is where your curiosity comes in and our creative minds to say, “This is our new reality. What are our new ways of winning?” I then encourage leaders to not limit people’s creativity to us than to go to push borders. For example, when I started, I was a more face-to-face business than a virtual, but as soon as I realized that the tide was changing, I had to think quickly. It takes you a moment to think about that so that when you make a decision and start to implement, you’re not repeating mistakes. You have to move quickly and start to take the opportunities that the pandemic is bringing because there are opportunities here.
For organizations, leaders, go back to your purpose, what are you in business for? What does it take you to survive the pandemic so that you’re still relevant? Take your team with you. Understand that they are going through some challenges. There’s a bit of empathy that you need to show in that regard, and then ensure that they are okay emotionally, physically, and mentally, because those are all realms that people break and then forge your way forward by a game using curiosity and being creative to find winning ways to move forward.Sometimes your processes or your initiatives are delayed because you're not conforming to some ways of doing business. Click To Tweet
You said a lot of important things there and I’m thinking of some of the foresight I taught. We all want to be proactive. We want to be crisis ready unless you analyze the Bill Gates TED Talk or something to know that in five years, there was going to be this big pandemic. It’s hard to determine everything. I liked that you mentioned pivoting because we try to forecast and have these ideas, but there are some things you can’t always predict. It’s challenging. Empathy is a huge part with employees and that’s why emotional intelligence is critical. That was interesting when you are studying emotional intelligence, how much of CEOs are starting to have lower levels than some of the other people. I think a lot of that is they’re being connected to people around them. They don’t have the deep conversations that they used to have and we need to open up a lot more of these conversations. As I’m thinking about your work with a customer-centric type of work, with the book, who are you aiming this at? Is it the leader? Is it everybody in the organization? Who gets the most value from reading this?
The leader gets the most value because that’s where it starts off. It’s all a paradigm shift. What I’m making a case for is, “Could you consider customer-centricity instead of product-centricity with this new instance? Product-centricity is still profitable, but it has cracks inside of it. We can tell what has happened to some companies that focused on their businesses or their products. They’re not in existence anymore. For that, customer-centricity is changing the whole engine of the organization, if not customer service, it’s not customer experience. Those are the nuances of customer-centricity. It is changing a business model so the systems, the processes, the people that you hire, the culture that you build as a whole. Even understanding that customers are not equal. The 10% or 20% of the most profitable in customer-centricity is our jam and gold. That’s a paradigm shift that has to start at the top and then cascade down. You then begin to influence the entire organization to be more focused on the customer in terms of customer service and customer experience. As leadership, you should make the business case and the commitment to change the entire model for the long-term.
You brought up many important things and a lot of conversations I’ve had about companies like Blockbuster, who lost to Netflix because they were stuck with their way of doing things with their products and not thinking about what the customer wanted. That’s an important change model. A lot of people could get a lot of value out of the work that you’re doing and as they’re reading, they’re probably wondering how they could follow you, get your book, or find out more. Is there a link or something you want to share?
You can find me by emailing me at Mary.Ritz@AlmentaInternational.net. You can also find me on my website, which is www.AlmentaInternational.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @Mary_Ritz2015.
You’ve got some important things you’re working on and I was looking forward to having you on the show, Mary. Thank you.
Reaching Anyone At Any Level Online With Dan Portik
I am here with Dan Portik, who is a bestselling author and President of BVS Film Productions. He’s worked with some of the largest companies in the world, developing marketing programs and campaigns that have garnered measurable results. He’s partnered with Tom Hopkins to coauthor the bestselling book on prospecting and selling with social media titled Fill Your Funnel and his latest book is The Secret Online Door. It outlines in detail all the successful online techniques he’s used over the years to reach and negotiate with anyone at any level of success. It’s nice to have you here, Dan.
Thanks so much. It’s great to be here.
I was looking forward to it. Tom‘s been on my show and he’s such a great guy. I was always a fan of having guests being raised in Arizona and working in real estate. It’s hard not to know who Tom Hopkins is. I’m curious how you met him, but I want to get a little background on you to know how you got to this level of success.
Over the years, I’ve owned ad agencies. We went through a little change around 2009 like everybody else and reinvented ourselves. We came back as a video production company and that grew to a substantial size. We found nice niches going in between small video groups and large ad agencies where we can go in and meet with some large customers that have a need for video production. That’s how I’ve gotten into that approach of this business with BVS Film Productions and that also branched off into things like content marketing and whatnot.
What state are you in? You’re not in Arizona, are you?
We’re in Cleveland, Ohio.
I’ve only been to Cleveland once, but I got to see the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It was beautiful when I went and that’s interesting that you got into video production because I have interviewed people here, Marianne Guenther has been on the show. She’s the head of the SNEAKY BIG Studios that we have here in Arizona. We talked to her and others about video production, there’s so much that could be done in that area because not everything can be done in Hollywood. There are many areas to have maybe fewer unions and things. How is that business now?
It’s good. Everybody got hit with the COVID situation, however, it’s different and it’s changing every day. What I’m finding is these large companies have internal video production groups that they can’t get projects done. They go to outside sources like our group and they say, “I need something done in a week where I can’t even talk to my internal group on the project for a week, which may take another three months to get done.” All these groups have to have a turnaround. That’s been a nice niche and I’m seeing that happening more in our industry here. These small to medium-sized businesses are popping up. They’re doing video production and putting it together with big companies, which is a unique and pleasant surprise.
I did a video production with Verizon in New York before the COVID hit. I got back in time from that. I believe it was their own internal people, but I’ve worked in different companies, even in education, where we had people to do certain things, but then they would be booked that they needed outside partners. I could see that that would be a big niche. I’m curious about your writing and your books because we started off talking about Tom Hopkins who is a legend. Tell me a little bit about how you were able to work with him and create a bestselling book with him.
This all started back when I first got into business many years ago. He was a mentor of mine through all the tape programs. We had tapes and we would listen to it all the time. I built my businesses over the years from his techniques and sales from prospecting all the way up to closing. Years ago, I started noticing everything going online. Everybody was communicating via email, web versus going to an office, and presenting a proposal, the normal process that it used to be. I was taking the same techniques and putting those into emails and any online communication. I said, “I think I’m going to want to try to reach out to this guy and say, ‘Why don’t we write a book together on this? I’m using your techniques and I’m closing sales without ever speaking to a customer B2B.’” It’s been as much as $20,000 with these are big companies that I haven’t met them or even talked to them until I picked up a deposit check, which at that point, I’m like, “Something has got to be set on this.” I reached out to him on LinkedIn and it was unique. I was saying, “What have I got to lose?” As you’re doing it, you’re going, “Will this guy ever answer my call? He’s a great salesman. How dare I?” All these things go through your head. I forced this email through LinkedIn and I said, “I’m going to send it.” Within a day, he got back to me and said, “I’m interested. Why don’t you reach out to my VP of Marketing? Talk to her and she will do an analysis of everything and let you know if it’s something we want to move forward on.”
I did. I give her a little bit of information and told her a little bit about what we’re doing. She said, “Let me look into it.” Probably a week went by and they got back to us and they said, “We’re interested in doing this.” I was like, “I now have the honor and privilege to do this with my mentor,” which was nice. We created an agreement and we put it together. The next step was, she said, “Give me a brain dump, send me everything in your head on this.” It was nice because they took all my ideas. I never wrote a book before, but I had all these ideas in my head. I sent them 20,000 words on the subject and they took the whole thing and put it into a beautiful book. Tom puts all his parts into this manuscript. At that point, we said, “Let’s go shop some publishers and see who’s interested in this.” They sent it to some large and small ones and this one group said, “We’re interested in doing this immediately.”
We entered into an agreement with them and put the whole thing together and got it into launch with their group. Probably within three months, we did a couple of unique promotions and it became a bestseller right away, which was nice. It helped me to get into a different level, but I was also honored to be able to do this with the person that I looked up to my whole life and taught me how to sell. It got me into that career so I’m putting books out. That’s the next thing I’m doing.This pandemic is here to change our lives permanently and whatever else is going on in the social context. Click To Tweet
You are working with them now. I’ve had people ask me to make documentaries on what I do and I’m curious about this because I understand you’re doing a documentary on him. Tell me a little bit about that.
After this book, he’s announced his retirement. At that point, I said, “There’s more that I liked to do with this gentleman and really for him for what he’s done for many people. They need to know about this. I asked his VP again that I was working with. I said, “I’ve got an idea. I want to film a documentary with Tom and put something out so everybody knows what he does.” She said, “He’s not going to be doing any more projects, but I will run it by him.” At first, he was reluctant, but finally, he came back and his whole group said, “Let’s do it.” I entered into an agreement with him on that and we’re partners in that. I’m creating this documentary and it’s almost done. What surprised me about this is all the notable people that have said he has changed their lives. Sharon Lechter is the one.
I imagine there’s a lot, especially in Arizona, in the real estate industry. He changed the world here. He was the Zig Ziglar to me. I’ve always looked up to Tom and was excited to get to know him. He’s down to earth when you get to meet him and he’s so normal.
Some of the people in it are Russell Gray and Tom Ziglar. A lot of the people in the Arizona area are starting to come into it. It’s hard to catch everybody because they’re like a moving target, but a lot of them do their own recordings in their own locations, but it’s been nice working with them so far.
Is a lot of them from the real estate industry or all-around and sales?
Some with real estate, sales trainers, executives for different corporations, and different people, but some of the stories are unique. It’s funny because I have a Millennial that works here, that’s my son. He got excited about hearing all these different closes which he’s never heard before. That got me excited as well and I’m like, “This is a whole new generation that hasn’t heard anything about that sales process.
His techniques were timeless. It came naturally. I remember being at dinner with him, my husband and I were talking about him because my husband didn’t know him as well. He was a physician and it wasn’t his thing to know this. He was talking about how he got on stage and the first time, it was an accident how he got on there and killed it. He was an accidental kind of speaker, did you get that impression?
The main speaker was stuck in LA traffic and he went on stage and gave a speech on The Ten Words You Don’t Say in Sales and it blew people away.
When you’ve done a lot of this on your own as well. I want to talk about your new book, The Secret Online Door because you detail online techniques, which is challenging for a lot of people to reach people and negotiate. What kinds of things are you helping people do?
In that situation, I outlined several different techniques on exactly how to reach certain people, anybody online. People don’t think this, but many of the people that are at a higher level are accessible if you know the techniques on how to reach and to go through these doors to get to them. It starts with your profile. Step one, for example, you have to have a profile that is believable and that’s the key behind it. Most people don’t realize it. They look at their online profile and they go, “It’s okay for me to have a can of beer and chasing my dog around in the backyard. I know I’m successful.” That’s great, but first impressions are everything. It starts with that and it goes through the whole process of how to get through the gatekeepers and the people that get in the way of you meeting them. Another thing that’s important is having something interesting enough for them to want to hear what you’re saying. There’s a whole process involved with it and I talk about how I got to Tom Hopkins and how I dealt with him. It goes to that whole scenario.
It’s a lot different writing your own book than writing with a coauthor. I’ve done it the other way round. I wrote all my books alone and I have a co-author for my next book on perception. It’s a good experience to do it both ways. What do you think is the biggest difference?
I still use some of the people at the Tom Hopkins group to help me write this. I use ghostwriters that help once I get the information. It’s similar to the way I did it before, the only difference is I’ll take that information and give it to them and we go back and forth a couple of times until it’s the way we need it. You then get to proof it again and so forth.
Ghostwriters do some amazing stuff. Sharon Lechter did a lot of work in the Rich Dad Poor Dad series. You don’t think of her name so much when you hear some of this stuff, but there are many great people who have all this knowledge. It’s fun to look behind these books to find out what it takes to have a big success and the bestselling campaigns and all the things out there. You talk and write about how to reach these people. How hard is it? What if I want to talk to Elon Musk, Tony Robbins, or some of these names that are difficult to get ahold of? Do you go to that level or do you talk about getting CEOs of companies if you’re trying to sell? Where do you touch in these strategies?
There are several different ways to look at this and I touched on quite a few different ones. It depends. For example, if you wanted to reach Elon Musk or Dolly Parton or anybody for that matter, you have to have a reason and something that’s going to create an interest for them right away. That’s part of it, but it’s part of that process of having the profile. One thing you remember is anybody of any notoriety has an assistant. In many cases, even the assistant is difficult to get to, however, they’re not impossible to get through. They may even have an assistant. In many cases, I’ll go through LinkedIn, for example. I can get to people through LinkedIn by punching in what group they’re with or whatnot.
They may have 50 employees in there and sometimes, I’ll send messages to all 50 of them. I know someone’s going to get back to me. That’s one way. The other way is, let’s say, you’re looking for a job. If you wanted to reach someone to get a job, to get past that pile of electronic resumes, find the owner of the company and use the techniques in The Secret Online Door to reach that person that’s making the decision. That’s an option. That’s something that would work there. Another one is, for example, you have problems with an appliance or whatever it might be, you can’t get through to them, there are ways to go past the initial contact for someone in customer service, where many cases are paid by the hour. It’s not their top priority to make you happy, it’s to get through the day for the most part, but if you use the techniques in this book or similar to, you can get past to the next level because there’s always someone that has a lever that can give you what you want.
If you get there, back to your other discussion, how do you sell $20,000 worth of services without ever talking to somebody face-to-face?
I’ve created a process in the sales world that I sell everything with videos. Before a customer even talks to me, they can go online and find out. Almost every video I have will handle every objection that they may have for calling me, for talking to me. That ranges from who I am, what rough pricing could be, customer testimonials, speaking to that effect. When they reached me, they’ve already had all those questions answered.
What are the top objections you hear?
A lot of times, it’s not budget, for the most part, it’s whether we’re going to do it or not. That seems to be one. It almost becomes an order taking process if you develop the videos correctly. They’ll come to you. For example, for the larger order we talked about that I was working with, I had the VP contact me from our initial video. That was a little teaser for 30 seconds and he said, “I’d like to know more information about you.” I sent him some customer testimonials and videos relating to his industry and we kept going on the email world. The next thing you know, I got a PO for $20,000 and he said, “Let’s set up a meeting next week.” I think a lot of it has to do with doing all that legwork upfront in the world of video and online so people can make a decision prior to meeting you.Anybody of any notoriety has an assistant. In many cases, even the assistant is difficult to get to. However, it's not impossible. Click To Tweet
Getting into the videos, I want to go back to your documentary thing because you were making those videos and documentaries, but where do you sell those? Where are you promoting those? Are you trying to go to the networks? Is this something for YouTube? I’m curious where you do your documentaries or maybe your first one.
This is our first and I figured, “Let’s just jump in and let’s do it.” We have a publisher that has some ins with some different distributing groups for the video, but it’s going to be sold in a couple of different areas. First, it can be put onto YouTube as an actual paid product, but then also we’re going to create a commemorative version of this with a DVD or a stick, depending on what level we’re going to be at. That’s going to have a little more information and it’s perceived value. This is something that is more of a commemorative-type of situation. That’s kind of the directions now.
Who’s the customer for that?
I would think almost anybody that’s in the business world because everybody’s a salesperson. They need to know that these techniques are timeless and if you incorporate them, they’ll do make a difference.
Have you ever worked in real estate? What other sales areas have you been in?
Primarily I’m in advertising. That’s been my world. From doing entire campaigns for companies to primarily video and video marketing.
I’ve sold many different things from pharmaceuticals to computers to real estate to lending to get loans on that type of thing, but there is no better foundation for any kind of job than having sales training. Don’t you think?
It’s sad that I don’t see it as much, especially with the online, because everybody’s sending emails every day. You get 50 or 100 of them and there are no techniques in those. Many of them are automated. I get these automated messages almost every day. One thing about them, they’re impersonal. One day, I’m like, “Let me click on one and see what happens.” I clicked on it and it took me to another automated message. I tried one more time and it’s another. None of them meant anything except they’re trying to get you to their website or whatever it might be. I was like, “I’m interested. I want to buy something and I couldn’t do it.” Everybody’s looking for that shortcut and it’s not that.
I’m not a big fan of sending out a blanket email to people. I know that’s what you’re supposed to do, but I don’t even know if I have 20,000 yet. Whatever I have, my followers on LinkedIn, it’s a lot of new people. There are a lot of people that have been on the show and I’ve interviewed thousands of people. You’ve got all these names. I noticed when I’m on other people’s shows, or if they’re on my show, all of a sudden I show up on their email sometimes, on their list. I guess they always talk about send something of value and you give them things, but when you’re getting 500 of them a day, that’s hard. How do you connect with people without spamming them and giving them all that stuff?
In the Fill Your Funnel book, we talked about that quite a bit. What’s been most successful for me in my business and for some of my customers are developing a short brief message and adding a video link to it with a small call to action. Nothing too out there, but something like, “How about if I reach out to you next week?” and sending it to a specific group within LinkedIn, for example. In some of the paid versions of LinkedIn, you can drill down to some specific people. We do the cut and paste, but it’s specific to certain types of industries and we personalize it with their name. That’s been successful for us because you’re still personalizing it and then make sure you follow-up on everybody that reaches back to you with something more personal that’s yourself versus anything automated.
The automated thing can be problematic if it’s automated. A lot of people want to feel like there’s somebody on the other end. I kept wondering where the chatbots and all this stuff were going. I thought we’d seen more than we’re even seeing so sales are fun to watch to me. I’m interested to see what the next big thing is. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on emotional intelligence and its impact on sales performance. I think fundamentally emotional intelligence plays such a huge factor because we’d have to develop empathy and be able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and you can’t automate that well do you think?
I agree completely. That’s where video comes into play because you can see the personality of the person that you’re selling to.
When I was selling loans, being in pharmaceuticals, and all the things, I was all person to person and in front of their face type of sales. I did phone sales after that. Usually, people go the other way around when they start off. I was a little concerned if they couldn’t see me, if it would be good. Fundamentally, it was about the same because people get these sales skills that you’re teaching, people know who you are and they trust you and get to know you. That’s important for all industries. I hope your book, your documentaries and everything you’re working on do well. I think a lot of people want to get to know you and find out more. Is there some link or something you’d like to share for how they could follow you?
The easiest way is to go to DanPortik.com and that’s everything.
You’ve got a great site. I went to it and I hope everybody checks it out. Thanks for being on the show. It was nice to meet you.
It is my pleasure. Thanks for having me.
I’d like to thank both Dr. Mary Ritz and Dan Portik for being my guests. We get many great guests on this show. If you’re looking for more information about Cracking the Curiosity Code or the power of perception, and some of the things that I’ve been working on with behavioral issues, there’s so much on my website. You can take the Curiosity Code Index, the Perception Power Index and everything to deal with curiosity and perception. It is all there, but you can go straight to CuriosityCode.com if you’re interested in becoming certified to give the Curiosity Code Index.
I want to make sure you had those, but everything is at DrDianeHamilton.com. You can find it through all the different dropdown menus. Make sure you go down to the bottom on the first page because you can sign up to get a free course to help you learn more about curiosity. This is something that’s sold all around the world, but I’m offering it to people free if they go to my website. It’s a complete, massive open online type of course to give you a whole background on the importance of curiosity and how to develop it. I hope you take some time to check that out and scroll down to the bottom on my website to find that. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I enjoyed my guests and I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
- Dr. Mary Ritz
- BVS Film Productions
- Customer Centricity: A Sense Making Framework for Developing Economies
- Bill Gates TED Talk
- @Mary_Ritz2015 – Twitter
- Fill Your Funnel
- The Secret Online Door
- Tom Hopkins – previous episode
- Marianne Guenther – previous episode
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
About Dr. Mary Ritz
Dr. Mary Ritz is the Owner and Founder of Almenta International, a training and consulting organization founded in 2008 in Johannesburg, South Africa. She moved to the US in January 2014, where she re- established the same business model and company. She is a John Maxwell certified Teacher, Speaker, and Coach. She holds an undergraduate degree in Marketing from the Institute of Marketing Management, Johannesburg South Africa. In 2002, she graduated from High Point University in North Carolina with an MBA in International Business. She also holds a PhD in Business focusing on Customer Centricity from Da Vinci Institute of Technology, Johannesburg South Africa. Dr. Ritz is the author of Customer Centricity: Creating a Sense Making Framework for Developing Economies.
About Dan Portik
Dan Portik is a Bestselling Author and President BVS Film Productions. Dan has worked with some of the largest companies in the world developing marketing programs and campaigns that have garnered measurable results. Dan has partnered with Tom Hopkins to coauthor the bestselling book on prospecting and selling with social media titled Fill Your Funnel. His latest book The Secret Online Door outlines in detail all the successful online techniques he has used over the years to reach and negotiate with anyone at any level of status.
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