Joining Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle podcast is Travis King. Let’s hear from Travis as he shares with us why leaders and brands should have a community. Additionally, he shares an essential piece which tying that revenue to that community.
Travis King is a Community Designer & Community Executive at The Community Builder.
In July of 2018, Travis had lunch with a guy named James Carbary. James inspired Travis to go on an adventure to learn more about why Community is essential and the impact it drives in our lives.
We’re more connected than ever, yet more disconnected than ever. 40% of U.S. adults report sometimes or constantly feeling lonely. It’s one thing to feel lonely, like you don’t belong. It’s another thing actually to know how we can help each other fix that.
Travis started The Community Builder because he didn’t know how to deal with the feeling of being lonely. So he moved into a new city, started a new job, and a new chapter in his life, all within three months. His body, mind, and spirit went through all types of shock. But, through the power of community, Travis found his way and realized he wasn’t alone.
Travis shares stories and lessons of people building world-class communities. You’ll learn tactics, habits, routines from successful community builders who are at Fortune 500 companies, startups, developing cities, local neighborhoods, and more. The goal is to provide you with material and ideas you can apply to help you in whatever stage you’re in on your community journey.
You can find out more about Travis Kins and connect with him on the links below.
Join the Sales Hustle Community! Text “Hustle” to 424-401-9300!
If you’re listening to the Sales Hustle podcast, please subscribe, share, and we’re listening for your feedback. Also, if you are a sales professional looking to take your sales career to the next level, please visit us at https://salescast.co/ and set a time with Collin and co-founder Chris.
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Episode 107 - Travis King
Welcome to the sales hustle. The only no BS podcast, where we bring you the real raw uncut experiences from sales makers across various industries. The only place where you can get what you're looking for. To up your sales game today's episode is brought to you by sales cast sales CAS helps sales professionals transform the relationship building process and win their dream clients.
[00:00:30] I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. All right. What is happening is sales hustlers. Welcome another episode, I've got a fantastic guest for you today. I'm going to be talking with Travis. King is a community designer, helping organizations and their people unlock growth and true potential all the way from New York.
[00:00:50] This guy is involved in more things than me and has a ton of knowledge and is going to be dropping nothing but fire Travis, welcome to sales hustle. Appreciate you call it. Appreciate you. And thanks so much for having me on man. Yeah. And so before we jump in what we decided we wanted to talk about today, which you're clearly qualified to talk about is why leaders and brand should have community.
[00:01:14] And we're going to talk about, you know, tying revenue to that community and why that's an important piece and, uh, and a little bit about, you know, keeping it simple and not over-complicating it, which is something I'm interested to maybe learn more about as well. Uh, but before we jump into the topics here, just give us the short version of like your sales story.
[00:01:32] Yeah. So, I mean, it actually started out opposite what most people would have wanted. Um, and it was opportunity came in from the ether. I got an email, they said, Hey kid, can you come to South Carolina? For what? For an interview. Okay. Oh, hi. You want, how you want me to get there? Oh, no, we're going to fly you there.
[00:02:01] What a fly me to South Carolina. You sure. So I got this opportunity to compete for a sales job. And this was like, after, it was like my first year after graduation. So this was 2013. And so I had worked after graduation. I did some like boot camps and fitness camps and. You know, parking lots with like a hundred people from the community.
[00:02:26] And then I was like, oh man, I want to, I want to work at a gym. I want to be a trainer. So I got jobs at two different gyms. I actually got fired because I was like three minutes late because it was pouring down rain outside. And that you literally couldn't see on the windshields. So my, the manager of the gym was like, you don't have discipline.
[00:02:44] I was like, Okay. So now the first job after that found me from indeed, they just saw my resume and was like, Hey, come down to South Carolina. So it was with, I think it was continental tire actually. And I ended up winning the competition prep for it. Got the job offer like 55 grand a year, uh, benefits. Pay for your car?
[00:03:10] Uh, relocation, all of that. I turned it down to go work for a solo entrepreneur. Wow. Most people would have jumped at that opportunity. So I'm curious why you turned it down and went to much more maybe riskier path. Yeah. So it's funny. My auntie Amy, uh, from Moravian she's, she she's literally been the person that's helped guide me from a career, I guess, mentor level since I was at Moravian.
[00:03:46] So the first thing she said, she was like, I couldn't even see you selling tires. And as simple as it is, I don't think I could either. And hard to get passionate about tires, the 18 wheelers looking right though. And it's like, yeah, but I don't know if I could actually be happy ride around across the country selling tires.
[00:04:13] So I chose to go work for a solo preneur. Yeah. And w and what was, what was that company? What were you doing there? What wasn't I doing there? The first, the first few projects we did. Um, one, we worked with a, um, she was a financial. Services consultant. And she sold annuities. I forget what the title was for her.
[00:04:43] Um, but she was local in Bethlehem and my job was to run her marketing and help with getting people in. So weekly seminars on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And so we did radio ads. We did placement ads at the diners I had, I think it was, I think one of the guys, his name was Bobby placemats or something. And I was like, my man, really I'm really out here looking at placemat ads.
[00:05:11] Wondered if we should get the full page placement or the half page placement. It Nikki's diner. Off of 90, 92. And the crazy thing was people would come from three hours away, four hours away to these seminars because it was about their retirement. So she had this like Susie Orman S vibe going for her.
[00:05:36] And her her marketing was right. She had the beautiful space with the awesome wood floors. She had like elegant chairs with like leather and the presentations. You have food. So you drove four hours. She gave you. Uh, our educational seminar about what you should do with your money in the different things you could do with annuities in her types of products.
[00:06:04] Because there was like, you know, all these, like Humana, Aetna, like all those different types of companies. So people were like, oh, I just want you to show me all my options. And so my job was to drive demand to those events on like Tuesdays, Thursdays. And that was just one thing, right on top of that, it was doing the social media.
[00:06:26] Man, the free food people will show up for the free food. Yeah. Learn something and get a free meal. We'll we'll get it done. But I think the main takeaway from that, right. Is like you had an offer for a, you know, comfortable starting salary benefits. Safe option, you know? Uh, but you took the riskier path because you know, what, what, uh, number one, it was, it sounds like it was work.
[00:06:56] You could get a little more excited about, and, and two, there was a lot of opportunity for you to learn things that you wouldn't in, just, uh, you know, corporate gig selling and tires. Yeah. And the other interesting part was that I got to manage interns at like 22, right? Like they came in and they're like, what were you doing in a trap?
[00:07:21] I was like, Hmm, well, let's see what do y'all think we should do? Right. And we learn together, but like the eight, they got a lot out of it. And it was, it was a good learning experience. And it's it's moments like those when you're 22 and you've got a chance to, to manage a few people. That you learn a lot about yourself and you really look at like, what are you putting out into the world?
[00:07:46] And I haven't got, if I go to, if I share my screen and go to my Facebook, I, I would probably be embarrassed of what I posted from today eight years ago, but I guarantee, and we used to have a thing in college where if you guaranteed something and you were wrong, you'd have to change your profile picture to like a trashcan for like a week or something.
[00:08:04] I really think we should bring that back at some capacity, though, on LinkedIn, on LinkedIn facts, can you say something wild and then someone checks you on here? Cause man, there's all kinds of people on LinkedIn throwing out stats that I know are BS. If you run a community event three times per week, your top line revenue will increase 100% with myself where best with this type of stuff you see on like yeah.
[00:08:27] Or, Hey, we drove, you know, 50 million in pipeline and four weeks with fortune 500 companies. Right. Yeah, me too. Me too. Me too. In my first job in tech, SAS. Yeah. I'm sorry if you're doing that, you probably don't even have time to post on LinkedIn. No. Th the part that just to touch on the SAS sales for one second.
[00:08:53] The part that crushes me is being like someone that went from Mo well, yeah, I went from a marketing age. Well, I went from the sales guy that I was telling you about. And then in a little startup spot doing all those little things, then I went to a marketing agency. In New York. So Bethlehem, small solo preneur, big agency, times square office, like way different levels.
[00:09:24] And then you go from there to the first SDR in an education technology, SAS company. And you just want to be an SDR because you think the name sounds cool. And. That's just what it was. But the thing that I figured out really quickly as an SDR, that like, I, I wish I knew and could share more of. And I don't, I'm like, you're way past that now.
[00:09:46] So like, w th there's no secret anymore. If you do one impactful thing all week and all of your buyers show up, you should have nothing else to do for work. Period. Give me an example. Give me an example. What's, what's an example of one impactful thing that you can invite your, your buyers to, to be able to, you know, build the sort of relationships that you're looking to build within your role.
[00:10:21] The first one to be specific. I'm going to, I'm going to flip it back to you real quick. Yeah. What is a market that you're either trying to get into, or that you're curious to learn more about right now. So, um, I mean, um, uh, market, you know, all right. So we were a nice market. Nice. Not really market, but, but, but more role, right?
[00:10:46] Like, like we're looking to manage more B2B sales podcast. Right. So, so I have a lot of salespeople on my show and those are the type of relationships that I'm looking to build. It doesn't make sense. Not everybody wants to start a podcast. Not everybody, we're not a perfect fit for everybody, but I do find a lot that we are.
[00:11:12] And so. You know, our whole process is inviting the types of people that I want to build relationships with and adding value to those relationships in a meaningful way. And at some point, sometimes it makes sense to do business together and sometimes it doesn't, but sometimes they might know somebody who makes sense for us to do business with, or if we hit the home run, maybe it makes sense to do business together and they have some referrals for us.
[00:11:44] Facts. So with these people specifically, are you going to get them all in the same room? Absolutely. Okay. So you know that that's something that can happen, like you're confident and you believe that that could happen. Oh yeah. Yes. So that that's the first step. So before you do anything people you have to believe.
[00:12:11] That you can get the people that matter in the same room. So I'll give you a different example. What normally happens when that question comes up? What's the most impactful thing someone could do as a seller, get everybody that matters to your business. Z same. Right. So, so, so you got to find out, so, so how do you get them to the same room, right?
[00:12:42] You need to know them extremely well. What do they care about most? What are their challenges? What are their problems? What are they trying to solve? What do they want to learn more about? Right. You need to go deep on that. And then get those placement ads in the diner to get them in the room. That's what I'm saying.
[00:13:04] That's this, gotta get them the Morton monster and the, the Tuesday special, all you can eat eggs and bacon. So you got to figure out what matters most to those people and be able to provide that. In order. And, and, and that in itself, like these events, whether they're live or virtual or hybrid, you know, who, who knows and, you know, things are, things are different today than they were before.
[00:13:27] Right. And events are different than once what they were before in, in India. Even doesn't have to be like super formal. Like it could literally just be, you've built a list or connections, and it's like, Hey, we're just getting together on a zoom to learn about this thing that I think you might care about and see who shows up.
[00:13:48] Right. It could be that simple. It's like, that's where communities start. Right? The very first episode of the community builder show that I did was with sessile Philip from Microsoft. And he's a cloud developer advocate, shout outs. So Microsoft appreciate you for guiding me and starting me on this journey.
[00:14:07] And the first thing that he said and taught me was that when you're looking for like a place or like you're in transition, or you're just like, you just know, you're not where you want to be. You just have to talk with one other human. We're not easing make up a character. I just do that all the time. I have like 17 Travis's I'm a Gemini.
[00:14:34] So I don't hide from the fact that like, you might get like football travel one day and then the next day you might get super real traffic. And then the next day he might get like crazy traffic. Um, I'm okay with that. And if I wasn't then like, you wouldn't see the real meal at the time. And that's like a huge, huge piece that people miss of being able to like navigate in like their communities.
[00:15:03] It's like, how do you help people show up while giving them what they need? And being the person that gave someone their favorite protein shake at the proper time, because you know, that that's what they do when you can be that person. That's like, yo I've really know that you're a runner and you don't hydrate well.
[00:15:28] So I'm going to order you, instead of getting you a water bottle, that's aluminum or a bamboo. Right. Get some, get, get an executive, a hyper vole. Think about what sort of things people are struggling with right now. And the thing that's crazy about this question, Collin. Everyone just has to look inside of themselves to find the answers.
[00:15:58] And that's a piece that from the leadership side of like community building and community design and being a community executive, the management enablement is non-existent. And if you're not familiar with what management enablement is. It's just giving your managers and people that are responsible for other humans in your organization, the power and courage to properly support their people.
[00:16:32] That's it, you put a bunch of people in an environment where they're stressed. They don't have enough nourishment. They don't have enough sleep. They don't go outside. So they literally don't get any thing from nature. And then you ask them to make your company another $10 million this year, or you asked them to push one more commit live, or you asked them to do one more podcast interview because you got this that's, that's not it like you.
[00:17:14] If you get all of your people that need help in the room. They go on to tell each other what they need help with. So you're talking about building community within the organization.
[00:17:29] It's the way I look at community building is in a few different dimensions. So I look at it. And what is Trev C. From his firsthand experiences, right? That's like layer one. It's like, all right. I seen all this stuff from all these interviews, from all these different people all over the world that have taught me all of these things.
[00:17:51] And then if I go one layer out to the people that they've learned from, and then I go one more layer out to like the universe that no one's ever explored too, because that's where we're. Exploring, like I'm sitting here thinking about how do I tie learning, how to make a beat, to putting out better marketing.
[00:18:15] Most people will be like, why are you even doing that? I'm like, I'm just curious. Like, if I wonder how to make a beat, that has seven sounds with like, 15 different layers in a hundred different sound effects. What happens if you asked me to post a piece of content for your blog? And that's like a whole, we can have a whole series just on demand generation and the things that if I were a VP of marketing at a SAS company, or if I were like, Hm, I'm a marketer, how do I get my job done faster?
[00:18:56] The first thing I would do is drop the computer. I wouldn't leave. You use my computer for anything anymore, bro. I'm serious. I, I can create content on my phone faster than I can create on my computer. So if I'm literally, I can lay on the floor next to my dog while we're eating dinner, watching Netflix.
[00:19:16] But we should be watching sales cast or, uh, whatever, whatever TV network this is going to go on in some future spot. And I'm creating content while I'm laying on the floor like this. Cause it's, it's a process, right? So like from being, uh, a researcher at heart and a learner at heart, I'm bringing that expertise to each community that I work with.
[00:19:45] So, if you, if you've ever been in contact with me, changes are I could send you a keyword cloud from our conversation. I could tell you what your mental state was like in certain points in time, just by looking at the words you said when you talked to me. So, so, so tell me, you know, for sellers, like what communities should they be involved in?
[00:20:09] When does it make sense for them to build somewhat of their own community in any capacity? Hmm, that's a great question. So the first thing I'd say is I would actually go to places where people have the same problems as me. So like a simple example of this is I live in Brooklyn, right? So if, if I want to get a dog trainer, there's only a handful of dog trainers in Brooklyn.
[00:20:39] That take rescue dogs. That's just one thing then on top of that, there's only a handful of trainers that take rescue dogs that are aggressive. I'm like, Aw man. So now my specificity just went down and like you would say like, oh, you could just join a community of people that need dog trainers. It's like, no, I need a community of dog parents.
[00:21:07] They have adopted dogs that have aggressive behaviors and characteristics that have not found the next level of training to take their dogs through. Um, because they were just broadly looking for a dog trainer. So if I'm a salesperson, I'm looking for people with the same problems in my industry that I'm going through right now and I'm solving them together.
[00:21:34] Cause if we like what's, what's your, uh, are you you're drinking mankind. I'm a non-drinker. Okay. So what is your, what is your favorite fruit mango? Okay. I just bought some mangoes this morning, actually mangoes, watermelon and grapes. So if I were to say, um,
[00:21:59] if I were to say, look, you're going to get. Mangoes every time you come and do this one thing for us,
[00:22:15] we mean mangoes. Every time I come and do this thing, what do you want me to do? Drive? I just want you to come and learn something and ask questions. Uh, are you sure? Yeah. Okay. All right, Colin, I'm not giving me the little tiny can of mangoes. I'm giving you a custom. Mango in the cm outline. So then I'm going to give you mangoes when you show up to the event or to send them to you, you're going to get them.
[00:22:43] And just because I know you like mangoes, I know that that's something that you will be happy to get when you get to the event. And when you're being very, very specific about what you're looking for, you're like, I want to go to events and experiences, the salespeople who also like mangoes or in this case.
[00:23:06] Also, we're looking for salespeople that want to do podcasts. Yeah. I want to go places where these people talk about their problems. Like yeah. It makes a lot of sense. I recently, I recently had Steven Schmidt on and he talked about like psychographics, right. And some of the tools that are out there of like really helping you align with the people that.
[00:23:25] Are most likely to do business with you. And most of that is people that are going to be attracted to Travis because you have the same sort of likes, right? Those are that you guys have the same sort of interests. Um, a lot of times people don't even know this. They think that their ideal customer profile is just people who live in this particular area are this particular revenue size and this particular job title.
[00:23:51] And that's it. And that's a really big net to cast, but you can get very granular of like, Hey, okay, that's part of it. But then they also have these interests and they also have these problems and they also, you know, care about these causes or whatever. So those people are. The people that you're most likely to build relationships with that are going to be meaningful and last, and most likely you're going to do business together.
[00:24:19] You know, if you can help in some capacity because you're aligned at such a deeper level.
[00:24:26] Yeah. And at the end of the day, business is exchanging value between parties. That's what businesses like, if you, if you just saw your homeys and you met up for the first time in like a week, you're like, oh, Hey, boom, that's it. That's this is what happens, a business handshake. And we out and like that. If we just simplify it by what people are doing in their jobs, just across the board and sales and create a more sustainable.
[00:25:01] Culture where this is what it is. Stop trying to go too deep to build relationships with your buyers, because this is another thing that people get misconstrued in community. Like when people talk about communities, right? Some people straight up don't want to go that deep. Everyone. Isn't trying to come to a Bernay brown.
[00:25:32] Mm. And like, it's hard to be the place that understands that some people need Bernay brown tonight and other people need Kevin Hart and then other people need Mick Foley. And then some people need correlated mail from Tik TOK. Right. You have four different needs in the same audience, but like, A lot of people really aren't thinking about the, the, the gaps in how they're positioning their experiences to be, uh, diverse and inclusive for all generations, because that's another, that's a whole other, that's like a whole other book.
[00:26:16] It's like, what, what are we doing to help prepare the next generation of salespeople? What sales training has been launched specifically? For the 22 year old sailor seller. I had said sailor, like what, who launched a training for a 22 year old? That's not Salesforce first outreach. Second, uh, HubSpot third, like, yeah.
[00:26:45] And don't worry. I'll wait. Cause I got a lot of sales trainer, friends, and I love everyone of them, but it's just not what, it's not where we're at. It's just, that's not what's happening. And so like when you're in the, the seat to be able to research. Dozens of communities every year and you get to see, oh wow.
[00:27:07] College students are way more depressed now than they've ever been ever. No, one's looking at that. Why w what's happening because of the mental health of college students right now? That are trying to get a job at your company that you're listening to right now. And they aren't getting hired. And their mental health is actually declining, which is going to make it even harder for when they start at your company in a year, because they're finally ready to work for you.
[00:27:43] Let's talk about that. We're not talking about that. No. So it's like, how, how do you, for me, it's always, how do you, how do you sit on the lines of, Hey, these are really big issues that people aren't talking about, but then how do you keep it? Yeah. And how do we support these needs that nobody wants to talk about?
[00:28:09] You can just put them in a Drake song.
[00:28:15] Um, yeah. That's yeah, that's uh, that's my 2 cents on. Yeah, man. Thanks so much for coming on and talking about this. Really appreciate it. Um, any final thoughts? Where can people find, you know, find out more about your podcast or anything else you want to share with them?
[00:28:33] Yeah, man, I'd say like final thought. How are you enabling the people around you to be better? Not at community building, not in marketing, not at sales, just in general. How are you? Exuding energy and vibes. And messages that when people receive them, they understand that this was meant for them in that moment to improve and level up.
[00:29:16] How do we think like that more and how do we provide space for people to bring up the difficult mental challenges that they're going through and how do you as yourself explore inside? What you can do first. Inside of yourself to be better, to help enable other people to be better. I know that was a big one.
[00:29:40] It's like look inside. And once you look inside the color changes, and once the color changes, people see that that color changes. And because they see this nice, bright blue on Chad's face and a smile, they're like, oh, he's happy. I should be happy. And the more we do that over, even just noticing that they're not happy, what are their needs?
[00:30:01] What needs aren't being met? How can we help them? How can we support them? How can we build community around other people who might have these same issues?
[00:30:15] Talk, talk about your problems. Stop hiding stuff. All marketers have the same problems. Different industries have different problems, but most salespeople have the same problems. Most it people have the same problems, most packets. Well, I think people are more just focusing on their professional properties and not really integrating or tying in personal, which, you know, too, too many people are thinking of versus separately.
[00:30:41] And they're kind of one in the same and need to be a little more integrated.
[00:30:49] But they're not because everyone, if they knew they had actual problems, they'd be trying to solve them, but everyone's running around. Like they're not real. And so they ignore it. But then when they show up half a brain, because they didn't eat for three days, they only had carrots, a peanut butter sandwich and no water.
[00:31:08] And they're like, I can't build this app. No. Yeah, fill in the blank because you're not taking care of anything else. So like you you're a hundred percent, right? Like you, the reason that people are struggling at work is because they're not taking care of their bodies. That that's it. We can do a whole, if you want to launch a show on health and fitness for salespeople and marketing, health and fitness for professionals, I'm in it.
[00:31:34] Like, um, awesome. Thanks Travis for coming on. Appreciate it. Where can people follow you? Find out more about what you're, what you're working on. Just hit me up. I appreciate it. Colin. Thanks for having me, you know, I can talk a lot, so I try to get as much in, uh, then I don't get interviewed often. So this was a rare occasion for me.
[00:31:55] So I appreciate it. Um, and check me out on LinkedIn at Travis, Andre king, um, Instagram at Travis, Andre king, and then working on some projects, which I'll have some announcements on, but, uh, stay tuned for some things in the works in colony. And we've got that show coming out. Appreciate it, man. Uh, if you enjoy today's episode, write us a review, share it with your friends, and we're always listening for your feedback.
[00:32:21] Thank you for tuning in to this episode of sales hustle. Are you a sailor? Professional looking to take your sales career to the next level. If the answer is yes, then I want you to go over to sales, cast.com, check us out. And if you feel that you are ready, set up a time to talk with me and my co-founder Chris, I'm your host collum Mitchell.
[00:32:44] And if you enjoyed this episode, feel free to leave us a review and share the podcast with your friends.