Sales Hustle is now Sales Transformation
Oct. 15, 2021

#173 S2 Episode 42 - From Employee #6 at Bomb Bomb to Chief Evangelist with Ethan Buete

On this episode of the Sales Transformation Podcast with Collin Mitchell, he's joined by Ethan Buete, Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, author of many books, and former VP of Marketing in Colorado Springs.

They talk about a number of things that can help grow a salesperson in terms of improving video emails and making it a form of connection that is way more personalized. Not only that, they geek out on how important the movement Ethan is trying to create with his peers is, what's the movement about? Listen on to understand more of Ethan and what he's all about!


01:19 How it all started for Ethan and how he transitioned to his new position which is Chief Evangelist at BombBomb

10:55 How to NOT miss an opportunity in terms of video emails

22:44 The "Holy Grail" and debunking it in the world of sales

35:00 The default go-to is not good enough, Ethan explains what it is and why

43:50 How to contact and connect with the movement Ethan and his team is trying to do


12:19 "Whether it's someone you've never met, like you and I call going back and forth before we got on this call. I don't know when I'll meet you in person. I hope to one day, but in the meantime, I still feel like I know you, and whenever we do meet, I'm going to feel. Like we've already met. I've had that happen so many times with people."

19:50 "One line of text minimum to compel them to play the video. It's either a promise of value, something fun and provocative, a reason to click to play. And then when line underneath the video to drive the call to action just to make it more approachable. But don't just send a video for them to watch it but give them a reason to watch it."

23:25 "Stepping out from your cloak of digital anonymity and presenting yourself and being who you are and introducing yourself to other human beings as we would at any kind of a social function"

30:38 "The machines know that that person 14 times through their behavior said, 'I don't care what this person has to say...' So the person has made that decision, but the machines are going to increasingly choke your opportunities to reach that type of person ever again in the future. And if you're blind to that, you are not set up for success tomorrow."

39:21 "We need to start thinking about the people before we design all these things. If it's designed to serve them. The last thing I do draw out is the relationship between environmental pollution and digital pollution. And I'll end on this kind of back and forth between the two, just as poisoning our air, water, and soil. We're poisoning ourselves." 

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[00:00:00] In the world of sales, you either sink or swim or breakthrough to the next level. My name's Colin Mitchell. And this is sales transformation, a new kind of sales show designed to bring you through the epic life-changing moments of elite sellers. So you can experience your own sales transformation.

[00:00:24] All right. Welcome to another episode of sales transformation. And of course, I've got a fantastic guest. This is somebody I would have wanted to have on the show for awhile, and we are finally making it happen. So today I've got Ethan Butte, he's the chief evangelist over at BombBomb. Uh, what the heck is the chief evangelist or.

[00:00:42] Learn about that. He's also the host of the customer experience podcast and has an awesome book. That's coming out called human centered communications. And rehumanize your business. So Ethan Butte has spent his past decade, helping people communicate, connect, and convert more [00:00:59] effectively using video messages, which you guys all know I'm a big fan of video.

[00:01:03] So Ethan, thanks for coming on the show, just for the invite. Colin has been great to connect, uh, virtually. It's great to see you on screen today. Yeah. Awesome. Uh, really appreciate you coming on. I got to experience using BombBomb recently for the first time. And, uh, it was a pretty good experience and we exchange a few videos back and forth and it was kind of fun.

[00:01:22] And now we can get, you know, get to learn a little bit more about you, uh, what you do as the chief evangelists. I hope we can talk about the book a little bit and then maybe we'll save a little bit of time to geek out on. Okay, let's do that. So tell me kind of, you know, where, uh, where it all sort of started for you, uh, you know, at BombBomb or what you were doing prior to.

[00:01:43] Yeah. I think something that not very many people can say is that I've been at the same software company for a decade. My 10 year anniversary was like a couple of weeks ago, which is just nuts in hindsight. And, uh, so prior to joining the team, I ran marketing inside local television [00:01:58] stations, um, in grand rapids, Michigan and Chicago, and out here where I am now in Colorado Springs.

[00:02:03] And I was just bored of that work. And so I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. And I met the two co-founders of BombBomb just really liked what they were up to. So this is like 2009, 2010. And, um, started doing project work for them and joined them full-time. So I was the first and only marketer for a couple of years.

[00:02:21] Um, brought on our COO Steve Pasinetti. Who's an awesome guy. And I knew him for a little bit, but before he even joined the company. And so we built the team out together, built the marketing function and, uh, at some point. About two years ago, we realized we needed and wanted a chief evangelist. And so that was just, I was the guy for that.

[00:02:40] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, w what was the, what was the team like? Like what were you employee number or what over at BombBomb? I think six, um, and by attrition now, maybe five, uh, and, and again, we, uh, I was doing project work for them part-time while I was still [00:02:57] working. Full-time I think a lot of, a lot of listeners to a show like this, probably know what that's about.

[00:03:01] Like, I'm doing this thing, but I'm also doing these two other things. I was doing project work for like four or five different companies, just to kind of figure out what I really enjoy doing what I was good at, what skills were transferable, because I've been doing about the same work for a long time.

[00:03:16] I'll be in a couple of different markets and a couple of different dynamics in a couple of different cities, but, um, You know, as, as doing a lot of work for a lot of different people. And so. I just really liked what they were about and I liked what they were doing. And I saw the vision for video messaging, which fortunately for you and me and everyone else that's participating in, it has finally come to pass and it's like, you know, broken through.

[00:03:38] And I hope that we've had, I know that we've had, uh, some part in that, uh, but we still have a long way to go in terms of video messages. So, um, certainly employee five or six. Something like that maybe had a couple hundred customers and maybe half of them were paying us something. And here we are now as [00:03:56] a bootstrapped organization with about 150 employees and about 70,000 customers active right now.

[00:04:02] Um, we've certainly brought more than that on over the years, but in any business, there is some churn. Uh, and so not all of them are with us today. So it's been, uh, the, the main thing about it is that it stayed fun and interesting and challenging. I have the same title for. Many years, but it was never the same job for more than six to 12 months at a time.

[00:04:22] Not even close. Yeah. That's probably part of the reason you've stuck around for 10 years, right? Yeah. I mean, two dynamics in particular, one. The company has changed and evolved dramatically over that time. Um, and in that it meant new challenges, new opportunities, not just for me, but for the other senior leader, the other senior leaders on the executive leadership team, um, who I meet with every day.

[00:04:47] And we do deeper dives every Tuesday. And, um, you know, a lot of us have been some of them, there were like four of us or five of us that have been together [00:04:55] for that decade. A couple of more like Steve who've been with us for seven years or so. It's like this core group of people that. The whole thing has just evolved and we've evolved and learned and grown throughout that time together.

[00:05:07] And then the other one is of course that the, the spaces dynamic when this company was legally founded, the iPhone didn't even exist. And we were about a year and a half away from the first iPhone that had a video camera in it. I mean, that's how early the vision for using videos to. Thank you to follow up on appointments, to do contract renewals, to do birthdays, to do all these other, like little simple, nice things that are better done in video than they are in typed out text.

[00:05:33] Like. Um, and so that the idea that that visions come to pass is awesome. And so we went through kind of like two phases of Martin. Status or something. And obviously this is very crude, but I'd say like for my first five years, um, it was us in some early competitors. Most of whom are a [00:05:54] debt because.

[00:05:55] Internet connections were garbage. Most people didn't have video cameras, this ability just to like live, record a video on the fly and send it instantly wasn't yet a thing. We didn't even have a live recorder. When I started with the company, it was like record the video and then, you know, do some kind of processing and then upload it into the system and then send it out.

[00:06:12] Um, so this, like we all have right now to do it in Salesforce to do it in Gmail, to do it in Zendesk or outreach or wherever else, you know, BombBomb. And some of these other tools work is like that didn't even exist. The market wasn't really there. It was really like super early pioneers. So we do have some customers who even, um, uh, outdate me in terms of their start date with us as customers who like absolute visionary.

[00:06:35] So the first five years of. Who's using this. When are they using it? Why are they using it? What were they doing before? Is this an addition to what they were doing or replacement all that, like, just that learning that I was able to do as a marketer to try to, and, you know, learning from our salespeople who are connecting with these people directly every day to [00:06:53] learn from our customer success, people about where people are struggling, falling off all these other things and kind of just that learning and growth like that first five years.

[00:07:00] And again, most of our competition in the early days did not make it. The most recent five years, uh, up to today, as we record, this is a whole new set of competitors that are fortunately like it validates the space backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital, which means that in the brand name, VC firms too, like the best brand name VC firms in the market, um, see the potential in this space to use video in a more personal and human and direct way.

[00:07:30] And so. The past five years has been a different style of competition. It's not so much an existential competition. Like can we survive this situation where we find a market? Um, um, although we did hit the Inc 5,000 list in that, in that window, but this back half is just a different style of competition, which is.

[00:07:48] It's an it's far from commoditized. I mean, there's so [00:07:52] much room to run here, but we have a lot more competitors today than we did even three years ago. Um, and some of them are just pop up competitors, so, but it validates the whole thing and makes again, adds a different layer of fun and interest and challenge to the job I do every.

[00:08:08] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, wow. There's a lot to unpack there, but I mean, the fact that you've been there for 10 years. Awesome. I mean, there's most asks a lot of SAS companies don't even make it to 10 years and to have people that have kind of been there from the beginning still there, having fun is huge. I mean, I definitely, wasn't thinking about video 10 years ago and I sure wouldn't have the patience.

[00:08:32] Take a video, like let it process and like figure out how to even use it or send it. We used to have to argue with people about their, like, why do I need you? I can just record a video and offloaded onto my laptop and then upload it to YouTube and market as private and screenshot the video and put the screenshot into the email and LinkedIn [00:08:51] screenshot over to the YouTube video.

[00:08:52] I was like, dude, I sent 130 videos in an afternoon. Last. Like, you're not to that a hundred and third, it's just brutal. Like, it's, it's funny that you, that you harken back to that because people like, some people used to do that. They're like, well, I don't need to pay, you know, for a service. Well, no, you don't, but what's your title.

[00:09:12] Yeah. And how many videos did you send last week? Two in that zero, right, right. Um, I mean, but the thing is, is I think even that long ago, people. Thinking of using video to build relationships in the sales process. Like when did you see a big shift? When more people were jumping on board, realizing that like video is the way forward, like video is a way to stand out.

[00:09:42] Video is the best. I mean, we, I don't even like typing emails. Like my emails typically are scripts for [00:09:50] my video, you know? And I'll leave. I'll leave the text there sometimes if, and typically I'll say here's a video. If you hate reading long emails, as much as I do. And, and, and whatever is below was the script for my video.

[00:10:06] So when did you see a big shift of people like being more open and wanting to use video? And when did that happen? Yeah, I mean, we've had. Really good growth continuously throughout it. There's still, again, in my mind, I think maximum, maximum, maybe a half a million people doing this somewhat regularly.

[00:10:30] Hundreds of millions of people here on earth are doing work that would benefit from mixing some video messages in with all the other faceless, digital communication that they're creating and sending. And so we're still super early. I think that we're like, if you look at the standard tech adoption curve, um, I think we're still in the early [00:10:49] adopter phase.

[00:10:49] We're not even getting to like the early majority. Um, we're maybe somewhere on that cusp. And I think a lot of different factors are in play where it could tip quickly. Certainly the pandemic accelerated that a little bit, but I think if you see this as a, as a fill in, when we temporarily can't get face-to-face with people, you're missing the opportunity that this represents and the opportunity is.

[00:11:12] Every single time, you type something out and hit send that's an opportunity where you may be, could have added a video in place of it or an addition to it to make it better. And by better, I mean, I'll just give you, give you three pieces here. Um, and then I'll also speak to the way you structured that video email, as you're talking about, like using the script, the body of the emails, the script of the thing that the three main things like if anyone listening is honest with themselves, And they think about the emails, text messages, LinkedIn messages, and all these other things that they're typing out and sending sometimes punching in an emoticon to try to like [00:11:48] add some personality or to make clear what you intended by the way, research shows that emojis don't make things more clear.

[00:11:53] They're often more confusing in part because of, yeah, because of the cross-platform thing. It's like, wait a minute. Is he joking? Or is he passive aggressive here? Like, what's that smiley face about anyway? You're going to see opportunities to do these three things. And if you just focus on these three things, you're gonna see that you have three to five opportunities a day to save some time and make a bigger impact by sending a video one personal connection.

[00:12:19] Whether it's someone you've never met, like you and I call going back and forth before we got on this call. I don't know when I'll meet you in person. I hope to one day, but in the meantime, I still feel like I know you, and whenever we do meet, I'm going to feel. Like we've already met. I've had that happen so many times with people.

[00:12:35] I swapped video message. I mean, even just to cut you off for one second, there even just the few video exchanges that we had back and forth before we hopped onto record, like many times I [00:12:47] record with people and it's the first time we've ever actually seen each other on camera. Um, but just a few exchanges of video that we had prior, leading up to this set, the tone, where there was already a little bit of trust and rapport built, where we just naturally just jumped into conversation.

[00:13:01] And we're almost having too much fun where we, you know, we're going to run out of time to record. We're like, we gotta do this thing or else we're just going to sit there all day. Right. Which is a perfect example. Yeah. And the neat thing is for, for like salespeople who are listing. You can create that one way parasocial relationship.

[00:13:17] Even if they don't send videos back, you're going to get on these calls or show up for the meetings and there'll be like, oh, Hey Colin, right. They're going to greet you. Like they know you, it starts the conversation in a completely different place. The other thing too is people you haven't seen in awhile, you know, we've all broken up.

[00:13:31] We don't get in front of our teams as often as, uh, as we might like to, um, or we don't get in front of our customers as often as we might like to. So anytime. You want to like establish or reestablish personal connection? That's number one, number two is emotion and tone in this [00:13:46] goes both positive and negative.

[00:13:48] Obviously. Positive is thank you. Good job. Congratulations. Like these positive things that we want to emote toward people faceless, typed out texts with a little, you know, party emoji. Thing is, is fine. It's better than not saying anything at all. People love to hear. Thank you. Good job. And congratulations and similar.

[00:14:07] But when you do it in a video and you actually mean it, it's a whole different experience and you get replies that say something like I loved your email, which none of us ever gets, unless there's a video in it or. Oh, my gosh, that totally made my day or that turned my day around, or I so needed to hear that today.

[00:14:23] Right. And now creeping into the middle, which is like, I was thinking about you or I was sorry to hear, or I was happy to hear. Right. But then the other negative side of it. We're all human. We're all imperfect. Um, sometimes our systems mess up. Sometimes we mess up. Sometimes our team members let us down, all these things happen and we need to break bad news to customers or team members or prospects or anyone [00:14:45] else, or sometimes we need to apologize.

[00:14:47] And when you do that in a video, you're owning up to it, especially if you're sincere actually exclusively. If you're sincere, if you don't actually care, don't send a video cause people can tell the difference. When you need to break bad news or make an apology doing it in video, let someone else know that you actually mean.

[00:15:04] I can't tell you how many times is a marketer. I've sent emails that people didn't want to get. And I get these angry replies. So I replied back and was like, Hey man, I am so sorry. It does me. No. Good. And I know it doesn't do you any good send you emails that you don't want to receive wanted to let you know that I personally unsubscribed you in both of the systems that we use to send emails.

[00:15:25] It will not happen again. I got to tell you if you ever want to do, um, you know, what I'm doing now is reach out to people in a more personal and human way. Just reply back. Let me know. I'd be happy to resubscribe you in the meantime. Apologies again, have a great afternoon. 60% of the time it works.

[00:15:41] Classic quote. Um, you know, and [00:15:44] by that, I mean, some people are just, like I told you, I want to hear from you and they don't care, but some of these other people are like, oh my God, like, there's another person on the other end of this thing. They actually are sincere in their message. They actually are sorry, or they're making it good.

[00:15:57] Or the broken bad news to me. You know, telling me how they're working on getting back on the right track videos. Great. For that one personal connection to emotion and tone. Three is detail or complexity. This is best done often with a screen recording, whether you're walking through a report or a proposal or backend analytics.

[00:16:15] Or a contract or something like that, disability to kind of show and tell and video brings these things to life in a way that helps people understand detail, nuance, complexity, incentive, sending that six page documents saying, Hey, the documents attached. Let me know if you have any questions like screening.

[00:16:33] What do people normally reply back and wonder about when it goes through legal, what gets redlined and why? If you negotiated something with someone and you put it in that [00:16:43] contractor proposal, point that out, and you're not going to say this explicitly, but when you do that, what you're saying. Hey, man, I listened to you.

[00:16:50] I know what your needs and interests are. And I have accommodated those right here in this contract for our mutual benefit. Right? So, um, detail or complexity is another one. And so when you look at those three categories, you have multiple opportunities every day in email, in slack and LinkedIn and text messages and all these other channels to be better, to help people understand, to make people feel connected to you, to get the right emotion and tone and all these other things that the visually and emotionally impoverished.

[00:17:18] Digital communication that we've somehow come to rely on as normal and acceptable over the past 30 years, faceless, typed out taxed. Like we've come to accept that as good enough, but these are our most important and valuable messages. Like why wouldn't you go through a little bit of trouble to look at a couple platforms, pick the one that you like, get through your discomfort on camera and learn to serve [00:17:42] people as yourself.

[00:17:43] It's going to be a huge benefit to your career. Yeah. Yeah. Well, well said, I mean, those are three great opportunities, uh, to figure out like, where should I use video? Uh, I like to use video in all interactions at, you know, biggest question that people say, well, what stage of the sales process should I use video?

[00:18:02] And I like three, one of them that has friction or confusion or an opportunity to make a bigger impact. Yeah, all of them, right. Another, just one more money use case. Um, after the appointment, after whether it's a discovery call or like a second or third appointment after that, typically what a, what a good rep will do is kind of like type up notes and send them over as far as a kind of.

[00:18:23] Capturing a reminder, maybe with the next step call to action, do that with a video. And when you do that, use their language back to them. If they're coming to you out of panic, cause something's on fire and you're going to help solve it, or if they're coming to you because everything's awesome and they want to make it super awesome.

[00:18:38] Those are different conversations. Meet them [00:18:41] where they are emotionally. And from that point, which you can do in a video. Draw them to this amazing future where a year or two from now, after they make the commitment, these things are going to be even better, or this problem is going to have disappeared or, or whatever the case may be.

[00:18:54] And the neat thing about doing it in that way is that you're giving them something they can easily forward to people who weren't in the meeting. Yes. And now those people who are going to influence or even make the decision who were not in the meeting, they know who you are. You are now the trusted authority.

[00:19:09] You are the one who is speaking their language. Emoting and meeting them where they are talking about the next step, drawing out this potential future. And it's now all associated with you. It's easy for them to forward. And this is wait, why it's so much better than a traditional. He gets to see how many times the video is playing, how long people watch the video.

[00:19:29] So as soon as you send one of those and you see it go from, you know, two views, which one was all the way that was the, that was the person you sent it to. And maybe another 25 or 50% view, they were just [00:19:40] checking out another part of it again, when that bumps to five or eight or 12 views, you do not have a stalker.

[00:19:46] You have someone who forwards you to other people. And now. You don't have to rely on them to carry the opportunity forward. You get to carry out. You're never going to do the way you want them to. Yeah. So, so it just so many winning plays here and I didn't get this on my last one is the structure of the email.

[00:20:01] I love this idea of, I think text should go with every video, whether it's in LinkedIn or email or another channel, one line of text, minimum to compel them to play the video. It's either a promise of value or something fun and provocative, a reason to click. And then one line of text underneath the video to drive the call to action.

[00:20:20] Um, just to make it more approachable, but don't just send a video and expect people to watch it, give them a reason to. Yeah. Yeah. And I even ran a little bit of an experiment. Um, geez, must have been about three, four months ago where, cause, uh, there's a lot of people that say, you know, when do I use video?

[00:20:38] [00:20:39] You know, specifically if we're saying like prospecting, um, And a lot of people say don't use video in the first touch and I disagree with that. And so I wanted to, and you know, it highly depends on you gotta have your own experience. Number one, like, I don't know who you're targeting. I don't know what your role is.

[00:20:55] I don't know how optimized your profile is or isn't like, there's a lot of factors, um, that are going to. Determine how successful it is for you. Um, but you know, I, I, I went on LinkedIn and my goal and it was right around the time when LinkedIn changed their, um, you know, how many invites you could have used to be able to have like 500 per week, way more than anybody needs.

[00:21:18] And they reduced it to like, oh, Right. So everybody was kind of freaking out and I was like, I want to run an experiment of booking meetings with video and I'm going to send video. And, uh, and so what I did was I sent, I sent a video on the first touch, so I would Santa connection. And not personalized, no personal loan, [00:21:38] just connect that's it.

[00:21:39] And so what happened is I got less connections, but the first interaction that they had from me, if they accepted was a video 32nd video providing value and inviting them to have a conversation, if they wanted to talk about that particular thing. And so I got 50% connect, you know, accepted the connection request.

[00:21:57] Um, and then, so then I ran the same experiment. For four weeks, uh, sending a personalized note and I got more connections, uh, but I sent texts in that first interaction, right. So I send them to two sentence, two lines in order to get them to connect kind of saying something similar to what I would have said in the video, if that was the first touch.

[00:22:17] And so 60% accepted the connection request. Um, and then I sent a video. As the second touch. Uh, but here's what happened is I got 30% less meetings when the video was the second touch. So when I sent no personalization on the connection request and video was the first interaction I booked 30% [00:22:37] more maidens, and I was booking five, six meetings a day.

[00:22:39] In some cases that's amazing. A, I love that you experimented with it. B I also highly respect your point that. Different people, different processes, different goals. Like everyone everyone's showing up on LinkedIn or listening to podcasts, like hoping to get that one nugget that's going to magically solve every, like I found the answer.

[00:23:00] There's a reason it's called the holy grail and people refer to the holy grail. It's at ain't. Nobody got. Yeah, it's out there and we're searching for it. And it's this mystical thing. It's all about action. So that's why I love what you did call. And I think a lot of people are sitting on the sidelines with this video opportunity.

[00:23:17] Um, and there are a variety of reasons why, um, and we can get into those if we have time for it. But the one thing I'll say about it, and for sure is that a lot of people are sitting on the sidelines waiting for. I want proof that this is different and better. I want proof. And it's like, you know, you just shared yours and we have some research of [00:23:36] our own, but the fact of the matter is someone that's sitting back with their arms crossed demanding proof.

[00:23:41] Yeah. Stepping out from your cloak of digital anonymity and presenting yourself and being who you are and introducing yourself to other human beings as we would at any kind of a social function, whether it's a kid's two year old birthday party, where we go meet some of the other parents or whether it's, you know, a formal event that we paid money to be at.

[00:24:02] Um, and it's a professional conference or event or whatever. Why wouldn't we do that in these digital channels, now that we have the opportunity to do it, and I don't care whether it's your first touch or your fourth touch, I guarantee it's going to be a net benefit to what you do. Um, and then just I'll leave it with one tip.

[00:24:22] When you pair, if you're looking at your touch points, I always like pairing a video message with one of the other touches. So if you're making, if you're leaving voicemails, um, Pair it with a video message [00:24:35] and in the voicemail refer to the fact that you're going to be in their inbox or their LinkedIn messages with a personal video.

[00:24:41] And in the personal video, say, I'm the dude that left, you have voicemail. And like when you can reinforce and connect those things, you're creating this. Like the whole goal is to have someone feel. That's a real dude. He seems to understand me. It sounds kind of interesting. And, uh, and I'm, I would be willing to at least say, yes, I'm interested.

[00:25:01] Yes, I'd get on a five minute call or yes, I jumped on a zoom meeting or whatever the case may be and they might not do it immediately. And again, different people have different styles. Some people like to draw this out and really build a legit relationship before they start asking for things. Other people prefer to ask upfront.

[00:25:16] If you're not really interested, then. Maybe we're not going to have a relationship and neither ways really right or wrong, but, um, there's no question that video is going to be a benefit to your process, period. It just is, as long as you're sincere and you're not just looking to take [00:25:34] from. That's the key right there.

[00:25:37] Um, and, and I think, you know, like I mentioned, it's really important for you to have your own experience, you know, because there's just so many variables to determine, like, whether it's going to be successful for you. And, you know, I've seen people where. I sent a hundred personalized video and I got no meetings and it's like, okay, well, it really matters.

[00:25:57] Like what you said in the video. Like that's not an indicator that like using video doesn't work and you're now going to take a hard stance on that. It's like, You know, throwing up with a sales pitch in the video, like, what were you saying in this video? Um, you know, so it highly depends like in what you said really matters is you're really adding value and not just like trying to get them to like book a meeting.

[00:26:22] Yeah. When people throw video out, like the way that you just described, and I've heard that happen over and over again, they're definitely taking their crappy [00:26:33] scripts or their cat crappy copy and paste, LinkedIn connection, request followups. You know, that three paragraphs with two links and we do all this amazing stuff.

[00:26:41] It's like, I can't tell you how many times I, as someone who came up in the marketing team and now serves as chief evangelist have been pitched, like it serves. Or cybersecurity, and they're not even asking, can you introduce me to the right person? They're just trying to sell me this crap. So anyway, you can't just take that stuff and put it in a video and expect it to work.

[00:27:01] But then the other layer on this is that you're throwing video under the bus when also up for scrutiny are, this is just a shortlist. What is the list? How did they get on there? How good is the criteria? How relevant is that criteria to what you're actually communicating? How good is the subject line?

[00:27:20] Did they give anyone a reason to play the video? What did you do with the thumbnail or the automatic animated? Pre-vis that BombBomb and some of these other services create like there's so many factors at play here. Um, [00:27:32] That people just want to say, nah, and here's the thing. I don't blame them because there are some people who are both practitioners and companies that are selling and supporting video on kind of a short myopic view, which is it's all about attention.

[00:27:49] Um, it's all about top of funnel. And, and it's, it's just about being different and getting attention for that. And the missing link there is, congratulations. Someone gave you their absolute, most valuable, most precious asset, their time and their attention. What did you do? Yeah. You know, and then, and then that bags, then what's the content of the email.

[00:28:11] What's the content of the video. Um, and is this actually helpful or interesting or provocative or personal, is the list like broad and generic? Um, or does it actually feel relevant to the person? Because you can do a video once and send it to dozens or hundreds of people, but I prefer that in that scenario, [00:28:31] You're going to go into your system and say, these three criteria are true.

[00:28:34] These two numbers are between these ranges and this criteria is false. Um, and that's my list. And then you can speak to that person, even if you're not going to speak to them by name Colin Mitchell, you can speak to what you know about that person based on those. I think I just made up six things, three trues of false, the two numbers in between ranges.

[00:28:53] Um, yeah. But most people don't have the discipline for that. We're often playing the numbers game. We're taking the industrial approach where we're just like very, very focused on efficiency. We, we high five when we can boost the conversion rate, let's say we boost it from 2.4 to 3%. Congratulations. 25% improvement where geniuses.

[00:29:15] But we ignore the 97% and what's happening in that population of the 97%. Some of them are just like another crappy email swipe delete, but there's some of those people in there that are unsubscribed abuse complaint. If you're a superhuman user, not only can you [00:29:30] block that rep you can block that entire domain.

[00:29:32] That person is no longer reachable by anyone in your company today or forever. Right. And then there's those people. We all love that. Cause I know your LinkedIn guy. We've all seen that post where someone, if they're polite, they'll blur out the face and the name, but they'll say, can you believe this crap?

[00:29:47] Right? And then there's the other negative word of mouth. And so I'd caution anyone who is. A niche market that has a limited total addressable market. You got to know that in that 97% you are burning down opportunities that you haven't planted or harvested before you ever have the chance to plant or harvest it.

[00:30:08] And so we just need to be careful about what we're doing. Uh, because not only are people making these decisions, increasingly algorithms are going to make these decisions for us. You and I call let's just say you have a lot more LinkedIn connections than I do, but let's just say we were connected to the exact same 2006.

[00:30:25] Just pick a number. We both log into LinkedIn [00:30:29] at the exact same time. Your feed is going to look different than mine and your feet is going to be based on whose stuff you've liked, who stuffed you've commented exact same people, but it's going to all come in a different way because of the way that we've behaved against it.

[00:30:40] And so we are fooling ourselves. If we think. Drop someone into a 14 touch sequence, run it automatically. And, um, and expect not to have negative consequences when they don't engage with any of it, because it's not targeted or relevant. The machines know that that person 14 times through their behavior said, I don't care what this person has to say.

[00:31:02] This person is not interesting to me. What they're sending is not valuable to me. So the person has made that decision, but the machines are going to increasingly choke your opportunities to reach that type of person ever again in the future. And if you're blind to that, you are not set up for success tomorrow.

[00:31:18] Yeah. And, and even on the flip side of that, if you're chasing likes and comments, Which so many, it's so easy to fall into that trap. And I've definitely [00:31:28] fell in it too into it myself. It's human psychology. Right? And you're posting content. That's, you know, entertaining, engaging, peaking people's interest, but not the right people.

[00:31:41] That's hurting you right in. This happens a lot in the sales world. Like salespeople are supporting sales people's content. And if you don't sell to sales people that is not serving you at all, it's working against you. Yeah, it might feel good, but you're, I see that all the time, one of our early markets years ago, uh, was real estate.

[00:32:03] And I would see that all the time now their preferred platform at the time was facing. And I would see it all the time. It's just this echo chamber effect of like, I don't think I see any buyers or sellers in here. You know, I see the same thing on LinkedIn and, you know, at some level it's a sin, you can build a community and you can, um, you know, get tricks of the trade again, all, I think a lot of people aren't [00:32:27] promising or expecting to get the silver bullet or the.

[00:32:30] Pillar potion or whatever. And that, again, it doesn't exist the best people on LinkedIn, in my opinion, no matter who's following and engaging are the people that are doing what you did, Collin, which is I had an idea. I put a little framework around. I did it this way for this amount of time or with this many people.

[00:32:47] And I did it that way for that amount of time with that many people. And I came to a conclusion for myself and until something else tells me to change, I'm going to do it this way. And when people share that stuff, like that's interesting. And that doesn't mean, oh my gosh, I'm going to do exactly what Colin does.

[00:33:02] And I'm only going to use video on the first touch. It just. That's interesting. It's inspiring. Gosh, I should probably be testing some of my own assumptions based on the way that I'm consistently behaving everyday. Like that stuff can be good. Yeah. Yeah. I mean it, you know, and, and I think it kind of goes back to like, you really, you really got.

[00:33:24] Question what you're doing. [00:33:26] You got to have your own experience. There is no silver bullet. What works for, you know, you, Ethan May not work for me. You know, we target different people. And so for me to think like, you know, somebody else has the answers that I'm, that I'm looking for that are going to work for.

[00:33:41] What I'm trying to accomplish is silly. Yeah, absolutely. It is. And so, um, There are tons of ways forward. Yeah. So I want to spend a little bit of time. Tell me, tell me about the book. What can people expect in the book? Uh, let's dig into that a little bit and then let's let them know where they can find the book.

[00:34:03] Awesome. Thank you. So the book is called and it's on my wall because the publisher fast company press was nice enough to send it, send me like a framed version of it, but, um, it's called human centered communication. Subtitle is a business case against digital pollution. Um, Our first books. I co-authored it with my longtime friend and team member, Steve Pasinetti, our

[00:34:24] And [00:34:25] um, our first book re-humanize your business was kind of like the, what, why, who, when and how a video emails and video messages. And in this one, we go much wider than video email, and we go much deeper into human connection and we approached it with a few like absolute truth. Um, that we wanted to recognize and work through.

[00:34:43] One of them is that in the future, we're going to be doing more selling and serving and connecting and communicating in digital, virtual and online spaces. Not less, no matter what happens with the pandemic and cultural acceptance and willingness to get together face to face people, no matter what happens over the next couple of months, a couple of years, we're going to be doing more of this digitally, virtually and online now.

[00:35:03] That's a fact. Number two, these spaces are nor noisier and more polluted than ever before. And the noise and pollution will only increase that's number two, number three, our default, and we are already hit on this. So I want to explain it. Our default go-to is visually and emotionally impoverished in these spaces.

[00:35:21] Faceless, typed out texts. It's not good enough. [00:35:24] So with this in mind, what does that draw out? It means that it's going to become more and more costs. To remain visually, emotionally impoverished to fight against the tide of, of noise and pollution. It becomes more difficult and expensive to get attention.

[00:35:40] Therefore, we have to value it more, uh, in order to build trust and to create engagement and ultimately. We need to be known and respected and appreciated by knowing and respecting and appreciating other people in order to get into that positive growth loop that promotes relationships, reputation, and ultimately revenue in these digital virtual and online spaces, because trust is harder to form and trust is more fragile in these environments.

[00:36:10] And so we sought to take that off. And we roped in 11 experts to help us. I'm a listener to a podcast like this would probably recognize some of their names. I won't go through all 11 of them. [00:36:23] Um, but they include, uh, several sales leaders and sales experts. It includes a marketing futurist from Salesforce.

[00:36:30] It includes the sixth employee and first sales person at HubSpot. Uh, it includes a three-time Lang LinkedIn tap sales voice, who is a video, uh, prospecting. Uh, master, we got an emotional intelligence expert with seven us patents in the analysis of facial coding data. And, um, gosh, I'll give you one more, uh, uh, some, this woman is awesome.

[00:36:52] Her name's Julie Hanson. Um, she was in a sales role and then a sales management role and looked around one day and felt like she didn't feel as confident as everyone around her. So she thought, how can I get more confident in myself? And so she decided to take acting and improv classes and eventually became a professional actor while still doing some selling had roles on Broadway, had a role in sex in the city, which is a classic HBO show.

[00:37:20] Um, and now she teaches [00:37:22] people to use classic acting and improv techniques to be more effective in all of their sales motions, but in particular, on live video calls and recorded video messages. We roped all these people into this. And so the opening chapters, we break down digital pollution. What it is, how it costs us all, whether we're creating it or not.

[00:37:40] It is a costly phenomenon that tears it, social fabric. And again, damages trust. Even if you're worthy of trust, you're not going to get the benefit of the doubt tomorrow. Like you did yesterday in these spaces, because you know, on the far end of pollution, we have cyber attacks, phishing schemes, ransomware malware.

[00:37:59] Is this link safe to click? Is this email actually. Says it's from all this other stuff. Then we get into human centered communication, which I don't think we have time for here, but I would love to have that conversation. And then we get into these individual profile chapters with different people and their perspectives, their philosophies, their strategies, their tactics in how to connect and communicate with [00:38:21] other human beings more effectively when we're stuck.

[00:38:24] In these limited digital virtual and online spaces is a live call like this, that we're doing right now in an awesome platform called Riverside better than doing it blind over audio alone. Yeah. It's definitely better, but it's not the same as you and me sitting across the table from each other with like nice microphones doing it together in person.

[00:38:42] Right. So how can we close that gap? Right. You know, get done all the things we need to get done, knowing that we need to operate in these spaces. And so, um, and then we closed by making all the people and chapters talk to each other strategically. Where do they agree? Where do they disagree? Then there's another chapter on kind of the tips and tactics.

[00:38:59] Where do they agree? Where do they disagree? Fun fact, there is some disagreement about virtual backgrounds, uh, calls, video messages, and then the last chapter is a look to the future, which starts very dim. Um, but then ends up. Um, so we're not nothing in this book is saying, stop doing this, start doing that.

[00:39:18] It's it's, let's [00:39:20] restore the balance and start putting people in their proper place. If you're designing systems, processes, messages, and experiences in order to engage other people, we can't leave all of that. Two assumptions and automations and efficiency. We need to start balancing some effect effectiveness.

[00:39:38] We need to start thinking about the people before we design all these things. If it's designed to serve them. Last thing I do draw out the relationship between environmental pollution and digital pollution. And I'll end on this kind of back and forth between the two, just as poisoning our air, water, and soil.

[00:39:57] We're poisoning ourselves. When we poison and we pollute the digital, virtual and online experiences of our potential customers with lazy selfish, un-targeted unsolicited irrelevant stuff that doesn't put their needs and interests. First we're only diminishing our total addressable market. We're only diminishing [00:40:19] our target lists.

[00:40:19] We're only hurting our ourselves ultimately. And unlike environmental pollution, when companies foist pollution out onto the public. And oftentimes don't have to pay for it. You are paying the costs for what you're doing. Um, and all of us pay the cost for it too. So anyway, that's that, uh, I'm really excited about.

[00:40:39] I'm excited to get it out in the market to get some feedback, to get some pushback, to get some discussion. I think there's a lot to be done here. The more conversations I have around it, the more I realized that we're just using our specific language and filters for things that a lot of people are thinking and feeling.

[00:40:54] Um, and even you reflected a lot of that two column in the way that you talked about. Yeah. Well, I'm excited about the book now. Um, so I would love to know where can people get the book when it's available? Give us all that good. Awesome. By the time this thing releases you can get the book. The book is called human centered communication, a business case against digital pollution.

[00:41:14] I, you can learn more about it at It's just [00:41:18] M B B O M You can check it out, uh, by searching at Amazon. Of course, I did create a LinkedIn page for it. It's just called human dash center. Communication. So human centered is connected by a hyphen. Um, I've got a bunch of the content, like of course we did deep interviews with these people.

[00:41:34] So I'm putting up clips there and other things to kind of bring the, bring the message to life a little bit. And it's more than a book. It's more of a movement, dude. It absolutely it is. And I know this is insanely. But when I think about the absolute, very best case scenario, I think about what, what HubSpot did with inbound marketing.

[00:41:54] If you think about when they released that book, inbound marketing and what that meant at the time, a, it was much bigger than their product. I mean, they were a marketing automation platform at the time, but they were talking about how to do all this stuff. Hey, you know how we've been doing it before.

[00:42:07] That's not going to get us to where we want to go tomorrow. Inbound is the way here. It's principles. It wasn't even about their product, which by the way, speaks to [00:42:17] evangelism. And here we are, you know, more than a decade removed from the onset of that movement. And it's evolved. It's taken on its own life.

[00:42:25] It's getting into employee experience. It's getting into customer experience. It's way beyond the bounds of a sales, CRM, and a marketing automation platform and their, uh, their kind of customer success platform. All of which is freemium. They're freemium models and extension of the inbound philosophy. Um, and so, you know, I, I don't suggest that, that we have the reach, um, or momentum that they do, but I hope that in its own way, we create some positive change in business culture.

[00:42:54] By gathering these voices, publishing them in this beautiful physical package, you can also get it digitally. Um, and then. Starting a conversation about it. So anyway, I appreciate you using the word movement and we did try to make the book and experience, uh, as well by bringing, uh, some of the people featured in the book on the live sessions where people can interact with us and them and all of [00:43:16] that.

[00:43:16] So I love that you even created some space for debate. Absolutely. I mean, cause there was a light bright past everything you start there, there was a lot to be settled here. What does this mean in real. Right. Like this book is not like all high level moralistic again, stop doing this, start doing this, do good, stop doing evil that everything is gray.

[00:43:37] And it's been a theme in our conversation here. Collin is like, there's no one right way to do it. We just want you to think about it differently and all, by the way, throughout this conversation. There here's how some of these other people are doing it. Here's how some of these other people are thinking about it.

[00:43:52] Here's what they're actually doing about it. Here's some of the outcomes that they're enjoying. Um, and so you can take inspiration for N from any, or all of those people and make some of these ideas, your own. Yeah. Well, awesome. Ethan, thank you so much. We'll drop the link there for the book in the show notes.

[00:44:10] So people know where to get it, um, and really enjoyed the conversation. [00:44:15] Uh you're I can feel your passion through the screen. So, and I think this is probably the longest episode we've done. So there's tons of value in here. You might need to listen to this episode twice. If you did enjoy the episode today, please write us a review.

[00:44:29] Share the show with your friends. Uh, it really does help us out. And as always, we're listening for your feedback. Hey, you stuck around that tells me you're serious about your own sales transformation. If you're tired of doing things the old way and want to get started in your journey with other people on the same path, head over to sales,, and crush your numbers on your leaderboard.

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