This episode of the Sales Transformation Podcast with Collin Mitchell features Brad Seaman, CEO of MonsterConnect. Brad’s product is a Team Dialling Service that helps prospecting teams work more efficiently by streamlining the process of connecting sales reps with executive decision-makers.
Brad talks to Collin about his childhood and running his own hemp bracelet business, and how he transitioned to taking over his family’s call center operation. The experiences he encountered and lessons learned in those days led to the development of MonsterConnect today.
Brad also shares his insights on cold-calling, why it’s become so much harder to get people on the phone, and how sales teams can do better. Quite correctly, cold-calling is not dead, people just haven’t uncovered the way to adjust their approaches to the modern customers.
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Collin: “There's all these people saying, 'cold calling is dead', 'you shouldn't be cold calling'. And it's still the best way to build pipeline. You're just not doing it right in a lot of cases. “
Brad: “When you think of prospecting, I think about a gold miner. Their whole focus is to just identify initial specks of gold. That's their job. That's the same thing as a prospector. They're trying to identify initial points of interest. They're not trying to sell.”
Brad: “When people pick up the phone, there’s only two things running in their mind: ‘Who the heck are you’ and ‘Why the heck are you calling.’ Now, people pick up the phone because they want something to be excited on the other line.”
Brad:“When I see the 'Not Interested' usually people try to double down and pitch -- it's usually because they're not the right person. It's not that they're not interested because you sucked, they're not interested because that's not what they're involved in.”
Learn more about Brad in the links below:
Learn more about Collin in the link below:
Also, you can join our community by checking out @salescast.community. If you're a sales professional looking to take your career to greater heights, please visit us at https://salescast.co/ and set a call with Collin and Chris.
[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. Sales transformation. I'm very excited for today's guest. I've got Brad seeming the CEO over at monster connect. Uh, we recently partnered with maltster connect. We've been using their product. I'm very excited to learn a little bit more about Brad story, the origin story of monster connect and everything in between there.
[00:00:42] Brad, welcome to the. Alright, Colin. Thanks. Thanks for having me. Yeah, man. We were having too much fun here before, so hopefully you save some of the good stuff for the live recording. Oh man. I did. I did. Uh, so just let's kick it off here and give us like, where did your sales story start? Where did Brad's sales story start?
[00:01:01] Yes. So I grew up in a family. I think it was very, it was very entrepreneurial. Uh, early on, um, you know, my first I can remember being in the garage, I was always coming up with like coming up with ideas and inventions and then trying to go out and peddle those to the, to the neighborhood, to the kids at school.
[00:01:21] I had a, I was laughing. I was having lunch with a friend of mine and he w we were bringing up names of people and he brought up two twins that were in our seventh grade class. And we started laughing because I ran a. Uh, necklace business. And I had set up all these channel resellers. And so I had three middle schools and I had, I had basically hip necklace dealers and all the middle schools and the two girls that ran up, I laugh, I call him that they ran the channel where Danielle and Nicole Spears.
[00:01:51] They were like the channel managers. So they were cheerleaders and they cheered. And so every weekend when they go to the middle schools, they would peddle the necklaces and get us new them. And Melissa Kelley would get us new, new reset. So I, I can remember my, I wanted to buy a pair of Birkenstocks really bad.
[00:02:09] And so I was able to, to, to sell enough hemp necklaces to buy by Bergen. And, um, so yeah, that's funny. You started early. I had a similar story where I used to sell the school. It's sell these little, uh, like, you know, people would want to put these little fancy, uh, like caps on the air valve, on their tires, on their bikes.
[00:02:31] We call them like ChromeOS or they had ones with school, you get skulls and crossbones or malls, or like all this crazy stuff too, that we thought was cool in like elementary school. And I was like, I can go buy these over here at the store. Um, and then sell them at school and mark them up. And I had different friends doing it and stuff like that.
[00:02:52] And it was like, it was all just to get, I needed some new sneakers. I just want a new sneakers. I grew up poor, like new sneakers didn't happen unless I could figure out a hustle. So, um, yeah, it's as funny. So you sold him Nicholas's I sold chromium and I had a couple of teasers fail. I liked, I liked the pebble, the t-shirts.
[00:03:14] Um, I, I don't think I was good at the t-shirts were hard to pedal. I couldn't get that PR they didn't handle awesome irons. They have. Now, if I, if I had access to. The it's like you go to a sporting event and they do the incident irons. I didn't have access to that. So my, my t-shirt quality was low and that affected my pedal.
[00:03:31] Yeah. I didn't figure out the channel partner. The channel partner stuff is early on as you though. I wish I had, I wish I had implemented it better in the software business. It was easier. The hemp or the hemp business? Pella hemp? Um, no, the, the hip, the necklace business was easy. I did these two girls, like my, they just kind of took it on and.
[00:03:56] And, um, so they just, they just stepped in and, and, and owned it. But, um, yeah, so that was kinda my first experience. And then I'll go off to college. Um, I'll come back and, um, come home for the summer and I will get, um, thrown into running, um, the F the family call center. So my family had a lead generation, uh, call center that did lead generation for mortgage.
[00:04:25] And this will start in the late nineties and, um, and, and go to about 2008. Uh, and at some point there's a, there's a F my, my dad and brother had started at, at some point, my, my brother will kind of step out and have his own, uh, call center that has, you know, four or 500 agents. And that's when I, when I, when I really got involved.
[00:04:47] So my high school job. Um, I would say we're, we're being in my early, early jobs or being in the call center. I would, uh, uh, do a lot of live monitoring. Uh, they taught me to run the call center software. Um, and so my directional path for my career was going one way. And then my brother comes out door. Uh, you know, it was, I was, I was probably July it's hot.
[00:05:12] Uh, he had started a. Uh, I got a new building and I'm outside doing landscaping. I have no interest or trying to be in the call center business. I'm just trying to buy some time before I go to grad school. And, um, he comes outside and says, Hey, I just fired the COO. And I need you to come in here and run this thing.
[00:05:31] And I can remember him spilling coffee on his pants because he was trying to keep the door open while he was why he was yelling at me. And so I came in and he said, Hey, look, I'm going on vacation. Um, I know, you know how to use the NIH. I know, you know how to run the call center product. Um, you know, here's, here's some of the updates that have come out, you know, here's how you restart the servers.
[00:05:53] And, um, I'm leaving like Wednesday is like, um, like a Monday maybe. And, um, he leaves and, and, you know, I ended up being in charge of 400 call center regions. And, um, it was a combination of running, running the call center and then running the software. And so from there, the mortgage market will implode, we'll get into appointment setting, uh, him and I'll step out and get into appointment setting for software and technology companies.
[00:06:22] And that'll, we'll get that up to maybe, uh, I mean that was just rocket ship growth and then the great recession happens and, um, why we're trying to grow and scale that business. Uh, it just got harder. It was really a challenge to hire a good. Um, and you really found yourself in this 80, 20, um, complex where you had 20% of your guys, you know, roughly 25, 30 guys that were really driving revenue and the rest of the guys were, you essentially had to have to, um, to hit your number.
[00:06:54] And, but the challenge, and I think this exists in any service business is, you know, the challenge with the service business as you're as good at. It's the clients you can get in the employees you can hire. Right? And the challenge is trying to get the right clients and the right employees at the right time.
[00:07:12] And, um, what ends up happening in a service business is that you end up getting into what I call peanut butter staffing, which is where you bring on a, if you're, if you're providing a service, uh, you bring on a bunch of clients and then you're trying to move your best people around. To solve the problems.
[00:07:29] Cause everybody's not, everybody's not made, you know, everybody's not an, a player. And so out of that kind of peanut butter staffing issue. Uh, that existed a monster connect, a software, all emerged. So I'll build a software while we're doing the appointment setting. Um, but then the idea of monster connect, lively transfers, where, where the family calls or the family business, really, it staked its claim.
[00:07:52] So we get somebody on the homeowner on the phone and we would transfer them over to sales person. And, um, I can remember standing, uh, And the call center one time. And that's still pretty common in that industry. Right? There's a lot of lively, lively transfer, you know, whether it's your insurance, that your mortgage, uh, real estate, um, all of that.
[00:08:19] Yeah. Calling somebody, whether it's an inbound lead, just making that, that transfer to another, to another party. Um, what, what the, when the lights came on for me, Was we introduced this thing. The product we used was called M cat it's long gone, but they had this thing called a verification agent. And the verification agent we would send the more, once you got to lead, this is in the mortgage space.
[00:08:44] And this is the mortgage experience is really where I get all of the experience that will eventually become monster connect will come there because there was, there were three, there was a handful of things that were happening. The first thing that happened was I'm going to watch. Um, I'm going to stand on a late, on a late night in the summer.
[00:09:03] I'm going to be standing there watching the verification agents take calls. And so what would happen is though I'd get you on the phone call in as a telemarketer and I'd say, Hey, we're going to check your, uh, you know, would you like to take, you know, like to take cash out, buy a fishing boat. You want to go on a family trip?
[00:09:19] Um, you'd say, Hey, I'm in a fixed, or I'm in a, you know, I'm in a, an, an arm and we'd go through the whole deal and I'd capture all your information. And then at some point. I would send you the loan officer. Well, the problem was without a verification, right? Um, things could go wrong from the handoff. So they would know in a recording, you'd hear the homeowner, tell the VIR, the actual agent, a bunch of information that when they got to the loan officer, all of a sudden that information changes for whatever reason.
[00:09:48] I don't know. Um, but information would get, or you'd have agents maybe say stuff that, um, you know, there'd be some discrepancies between, you know, what was, what should have been, or could have been captured on the, so we introduced these verification agents while the verification agents would sit in this little pod.
[00:10:05] And when somebody had somebody that wrote a transfer, they'd raised their hand and when they'd raised their hand, That hit the button and it instantly go. And I remember just watching, like being mesmerized, how quickly the calls would go from one side of the call center. I mean, instantaneously, like before you could even notify the person that call on one side of the call center is now on somebody else's phone.
[00:10:28] And I just remember thinking like, that's me and that's, that's an unbelievable 200 milliseconds, bam. Um, And so the second thing would happen is we take our call center agents and we would take the best four of them. And we'd say, Hey, call these mortgage companies. When you get somebody just hot, transfer them back to the back of the cost, effective to the sales team.
[00:10:49] So you get somebody and we landed. It's just tons of like a lot of really shrunk business with that process. So when we got to the appointment, see, I can see where this has going. So when somebody is like, how do you start it? What the reality was, it was a lot of different experiences. It wasn't like we didn't sit down with an idea, it evolved.
[00:11:08] And so we'll get into the appointments. I'll build a dialer at the appointment setting business, which will be the next phase. And then that'll run its course. And then I'll basically be sitting around trying to figure out what I'm going to do next stage of my life and I'll combine all these experiences.
[00:11:24] And it was really kind of an act of God. I mean, it was, it w it, I mean, the story is, you know, I think he told me to keep it, keep it tight, but it was really kind of an act of God that all this stuff would come together one day. And so, um, you know, just, I mean, I could talk on and on about that, but, um, Things, you know, the business model, these experiences, all converge and monster connect becomes a business.
[00:11:48] And, um, the, you know, the problem that it solved is it, it solved the idea. Uh, like at least the initial solution was, Hey, this is a way to take your already resourced, already trained sales rep, and then get them on the phone with more prospects in alleviate that 80, 20 peanut butter or staffing friction, because that's what I mean, even sales teams have peanut butter.
[00:12:11] I mean, you go out and you hire, you hire a group of guys, you've got two or three that are really good, and then you're taking your best guys. And you're trying to spread them on as much of a good accounts as you can. And, uh, this became a solution for that, uh, became a way to get your Mo the most out of your already resourced, already trained, already insured, um, reps and monster connect, you know, essentially allow you to have a whole day you could accomplish in a day.
[00:12:40] What are, or in an hour, what takes a whole day for somebody to do by them. So, so in, and so it sounds like, is, you know, all of your experience in the family business and the call center and the apartment setting, kind of seeing how that technology was worked, kind of operating that, seen some potential problems and things like that are basically what.
[00:13:00] I gave you all of those experiences added up to building. Correct. And my, my initial take was, I mean, there was a lot of stuff that I did. So, so the subjectivity that existed in the appointment, setting business from a personality perspective just drove me crazy. Like I just, I struggled with, you know, I wanted to have a product that was, that was the, when the, the wind came.
[00:13:25] Was black and white. We were either accomplished the goal. There was a hand or we didn't, and it was, it was more like swimming and less like Swan diving, you know, where it's all R where everything's on a boat, right? Like swimming's black and white. You either, you know, finish at a specific time or you did, you know, you either did it, or you didn't do it.
[00:13:42] Either broke the record. You didn't break the record. Uh, you know, if you do court. Uh, you know, some kind of, uh, whether it's figure skating or coordinating swimming, that's all judge, that's all judging based on somebody's opinion, right? It's not based on the reality of whether you accomplish it. And I was just yearning for a business model that allowed you to have, um, you know, a cut and dry.
[00:14:04] So monster connect allowed that to occur because in the business model, at least early on. Uh, do you know, the real focus was getting prospects on the phone for our clients through the, through the technology that we developed in the process, and then either got them on the phone with, um, Collin or bill or John or her the prospect was, or you didn't.
[00:14:24] It was really easy to figure out if you were doing your job. The interesting thing is like, You know, face value, right? It's having more conversations. It's building pipeline faster. It's doing a day's worth of prospecting in an hour. Like those are the things that like resonate and people get that. Right.
[00:14:44] But it's actually solving a much bigger problem that I think people just don't quite understand. Right. Which is like, it's the staffing problem. Hiring good quality sales reps is not an easy task. And I, somebody said something the other day made me laugh. It's never hiring good people. It's always hard, no matter what, no matter what market you're in, right.
[00:15:06] It's always hard to find good people. And, and, and so if you already have a team of, you know, great reps in place, it's really making them more productive as an alternative. To hiring more people, correct? Yup. And that's how I think about it. And I really think about the tool. I mean, it's a tool. I mean, you, you, and, and hopefully over, over time, we, you know, the tool evolve and it'll have more, uh, it will have more components, but you know, today really the primary focus is around the live live, die, like kind of live dialing or agent assisted dialing, however you want.
[00:15:43] However you want to think about it. Um, where we're combining, you know, early on it started out. You know, people dialing and then transferring calls through the application over time. It's evolved. So it's a combination of the people and the technology. So we're blending those two things together. So when we can use technology, we use technology.
[00:16:02] When we need to bring a person in, we bring a person in what that looks like for the client is every two to four minutes. Just like you show in your, in your live cast, uh, using our product every two to four minutes, you're talking live to a person. Um, and you're getting people's mind. Well, it's mine, it's mind blowing.
[00:16:20] I mean, and there's all these people saying, oh, cold calling is dead. Like you shouldn't be cold Kali, like doing not like, and it's still the best way to build pipeline. You're just not doing it right. In a lot of cases. Uh, a hundred, a hundred percent. Um, and I think a lot of people, I think what's now I'm going to kind of riff.
[00:16:37] I'm going to talk a little bit about that. What I think is actually happened in the market. So I think the one reason why. So I think it's really important to understand like the purpose of phone prospecting, because I think people get it confused. They get it, they get sales and prospecting, um, kinda meshed together.
[00:16:54] And I think it's really important that you keep those two things separate. Um, when you think about a prospect and think about a gold miner, their whole focus is just trying to identify initial flakes of gold, right? I mean, that was their, that was their, that's their job. And that's the same thing for a prospect or is your.
[00:17:09] Uh, identify initial points of interest. You're not trying to sell. That's not, that's not the place for, for prospecting. I think that's one of the big confusions that people get. And I think that they, um, they look at, uh, phone prospecting as a win-loss game based on revenue when that's like the store.
[00:17:27] Like you can't look, I don't believe that's where you look at that you look at the number of opportunities that you can create. And you're really looking at like turning, oh, I think I heard somebody say. Uh, prospecting is like, um, you're basically like it's identification, right? You're flipping over.
[00:17:43] You're trying to, you're sorting, you're looking at a stack, a haystack, and you're trying to get through the, to the needles. Right. You're trying to figure out who's. You know where the needles are. You're not trying to, you're not trying to sell with the needles. You're just trying to get to them. Um, people look at is like the goal is, you know, you go into it with the goal of like booking meetings, which okay.
[00:18:02] Yeah, it's sort of right. But when you go into it with that mindset, you're kind of setting yourself up to be disappointed. I agree. I agree. And I, and I think that's, I think that's super important is like, if you really think about getting somebody on the phone and really trying. Uh, build a relationship, build a relationship with that, identify, get information, you know, understand the buying process, understanding who makes the decision.
[00:18:28] You know, I find in most cases, like when I look through notes, um, of our, our calls and client calls, and when I see the not interested, typically people try to double down and like pitch it's usually because the person's not intro. It's like, they're not the right. It's not that they were not interested because you suck it's because they're not interested because that's not what they're involved in.
[00:18:49] If you're in, if you, if you own something you typically are interested in anything that's going to make you better at it. Yeah. And so I think people get that, you know, super confused, but here's what I think has happened. I think this is important for people to kind of understand what happened white. So 2005 at a super easy to get people on this.
[00:19:08] Okay. Uh, it's you, you know, you get people on the phone, there's a lot of receptionists. They want to help. They're not there. They're at navigating you around. Um, you call them and you're saying, here's what I'm trying to do. And we still see a lot of that kinda sales coaching, you know, maybe it's Aaron Ross, like, can you help me get in the right place?
[00:19:28] All of those receptionists are going to get. I'm going to get removed heavily in 2007, eight and nine. So voice is going to you. What you know about VoIP is going to hit them. Mark. IVF cars are going to hit the market. Receptionists are going to go away because the economy is going to tighten up. And now you have a new prospect in game.
[00:19:48] So now you have all of these technologies like IVR that have essentially now stopped the fo the hell, all the helpers that existed inside an organization that are gonna kind of guide you around are now. And that's what makes it so hard to get people on the phone? Not because people don't want to talk to you or solve their problems, like everybody's got problems and they need solutions.
[00:20:11] Um, you know, I don't think full prospecting is less effective than it was 20 years. It's just the, the game has changed and people need to change how they're approaching it if they want to have it to be successful. And so, yeah, I mean, I think that. The, um, P P people that are, you know, prospecting the way that they, they used to before.
[00:20:40] Yeah. It's not working, you know, and, and, and, and even see this in the live sessions, right? Like I'm just open to trying anything, right. Like we had David Walter come on and he's like, try asking people, how are you doing? And there's, you know, 50% of the sales coaches, consultants that you talk to will say don't ever know.
[00:20:57] Like don't ever ask that question. Right. And I'm more of the campus. Like you need to just test and experiment. Like don't listen to the gurus or the coaches or the people spout and stuff on LinkedIn. They probably haven't made a cold call in this decade and just get out there and go try and experiment with your own stuff.
[00:21:14] Like people are just too dynamic and who you're calling, what you're calling about. Um, matters. And so you got to test and experiment these different things and find what works best for what he said. So there was a lot of takeaways from that session that were really important. And I think one of them was, he said, Hey, you gotta be really careful that you're not changing your script on every call because all of a sudden he's like, you need to come up with something.
[00:21:39] You need to test it. You get reps on it. You can't like what? I think what people have a tendency to do is like they take one person. Call, and then it changed the whole script. And now all of a sudden you've got this script, that's designed off all these little micro interactions that you have, and it's like this Frankenstein script versus taking something and really working it and trying to figure out, Hey, is this going to work or is this not going to work over a period of time?
[00:22:02] I think, I think he was right. Reps are too quick to try to, to change. But I think the biggest thing, uh, And this is my, this is my belief. And I think it just comes to it. This is what I believe it comes down to. When somebody picks up the phone, there are, there are two thoughts going, there are two thoughts going through their mind and only two thoughts.
[00:22:22] Yeah. Who the heck are you? And why the heck are you calling me? Yeah. Okay. Now people pick the phone up because they want something exciting to be on the other. I mean, I just ask people, like, why what'd you think of this was going to be like, when you clicked over, like, what were you hoping to find over here?
[00:22:38] Yeah. Cause you're doing something else. I mean, when you pick that up, you thought you want it to be something. When you flip over and take a phone call, you want there to be something on the other line. And so, um, I think the better you can answer. Who you are and why you're calling the better the calls go.
[00:22:57] I mean, it's the difference between if I'm coming to your, if I come to your neighborhood and you've had a windstorm, that conversation is way easier for me to come up to your door and say, Hey, I saw there was a windstorm. Um, you know, w you know, can I take a look at your window? Versus, Hey, would you like wind?
[00:23:12] I mean, would you like some window maintenance repair insurance while the storm? You're not sure it's going to hit your, um, it's your house, but the better you can answer who you are and why you're calling. Um, I think the better, and I think that's why branding becomes really, really important when you call somebody and you have a brand that's going to make a matter of a better phone call.
[00:23:33] Cause you've answered that first question, um, already with. Uh, who you are. If I call you from LinkedIn, that's going to be a better phone call than if I call you up from link me up from Miramar, Florida, or sunrise, Florida. Um, you wake me up and somebody is going to get you in the, uh, get you blocked. I think that's a great point.
[00:23:55] Like the quicker you can answer those questions. Right. Um, because if there's, if those questions aren't answered or they're still thinking that it just creates no that's cause that's what you're thinking. When you call me and I don't know who you are now. I do think some of that friction is okay, because what happens is immediately when they don't know who you are.
[00:24:13] And I know that's what people are thinking because when they ask you, when they can't, when you, when you, when they don't know who you are, what did they say? Who'd you say. What'd you say your name was? I mean, you just told them other than it has to get, so that's, they're, they're like they're picking the phone up.
[00:24:26] They're changing gears. And now you're trying to get, you got to get them on the same, same place. Now. I know there's a lot of conversations around like interruptions and like trying to, I think you already had my, my belief is you already interrupted them when they picked up. We've already stopped. They already made it interruption.
[00:24:43] They were doing something else. And now you now they've clicked over. And I think there's a lot of games around the introduction and I think the biggest thing and why I like David's like, how are you? Yeah. I, you know, I think there's a lot of, you got to get the prospect talking. Right. But you gotta become, I mean, they got, you got to get them to tell.
[00:25:03] And, um, I think phone prospecting is like way out of sell. Think it's that complicated. You got to get to the data, you got to find some reason that you're calling, you got to call them and then you gotta, you gotta engage with them. And I think the other thing is like meeting people for most people is really uncomfortable.
[00:25:22] Like there's a, like anybody that I've ever met. Then I like admitted. I have some friends that I've met. I've lots of friends that I've met at trade shows. Rob met at like events or like people that I've met at like sports events. Um, those first 30 seconds, or a couple of minutes are always kind of weird while you're punching around, trying to figure out, you know, what to about.
[00:25:46] Yeah. Yeah. Um, well, this is definitely interesting. I mean, where, where, uh, we are doing it live every Wednesday, 10 to 11, thanks to a monster connect. If you want to see what we're doing, Brad, where can people connect with you and learn more? Yeah. So you can go to www.monster connect.com or you can come to LinkedIn and you can find me on, you can find me on Lincoln.
[00:26:12] Awesome. We will, we will drop the links there in the show notes for everybody. If you enjoyed today's episode, please write us a review, share the show with your friends. It really does help us out. And we're always listening for your feedback. You can go to sales, transformation.fm, drop us a voice DM, and I will get back to you.
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