Podcast: Interview with Zoë Hartsfield of BombBomb

Join us as we chat with Zoë Hartsfield from BombBomb. In this episode we talk about the power of video, LinkedIn do's and dont's, building relationships and a wrestling dance off.

Luis: All right. Welcome to the Sendlio podcast. My name is Luis.

Brandon: And I'm Brandon.

Luis: And today we have Zoë Hartsfield. How are you doing today, Zoë?

Zoë: I'm well, guys, thank you so much for asking.

Luis: Awesome. Well thank you so much for being with us. Why don't you give us just a short background on yourself, what you do, and, you know, what you're currently working on?

Zoë: Yeah so um like you said my name is Zoë Hartsfield. I currently do community marketing at a company called BombBomb. We are a video communications company. So, if Zoom is synchronous video communication BombBomb is asynchronous. So, think video messages within LinkedIn, email, text, other social platforms, things like that, and our whole goal is just to help you get face to face with your clients and prospects more often so you can close more deals faster. That being said, I am sort of newer to the SAS world and the tech space. I started working at BombBomb two years ago, and, um... also I'm so sorry if you can hear my dog. The mailman just came and they're freaking out...

Luis: no worries 

Zoë: Yeah, I started reading about them two years ago as an SDR (Sales Development Representative) so I came in a sales role and fell in love with the product, with the company, with the team, and just with tech in general. It's so interesting. It's such a cool space to be a part of right now. And, I loved starting conversations out of thin air. So I decided, you know, I'm not so sure I want to be an AE (Account Executive) when we were talking about career growth, and things like that. I was like, that's just not where I want to head next so I thought, how can I continue to start conversations with strangers, but at scale? And that was where marketing came in so I was able to get a promotion into our marketing team, and join that team. It's been really really fun, and now I get to have conversations with strangers all day every day, and it's the best.

Luis:  Yeah that's pretty cool. So, what in your background, kind of, do you think gives you a strength in that? What did you do before you got into this space?

Zoë: Oh yeah, so, um, this is the story I always like to tell, like, every classic, you know, 18 year old trying to get their first job, I worked in retail. It's like retail or restaurants like, right, you kind of just end up in one of them, and I worked in retail. So I kind of cut my teeth opening credit cards at Banana Republic, and just, like, helping people pick out clothes, and then, you know, pitching them a credit card. And it made me super uncomfortable at first. I did not like trying to sell people anything. I was just like if you're here and you want a thing you can have it and I'll just, like you know run the register, it's fine. But I loved having conversations with people, and it became much more natural as I got comfortable talking with people that i… I found sales as more of, how can I help you, you know, like how can I offer you value? And it made pitching credit cards 100 times easier. So what I did was instead of trying to memorize the pitch and trying to like push through the three no’s that they give you at the register, I read the entire pamphlet, you know, that pamphlet that they give you when you sign up for a credit card, I read the whole thing cover to cover, and then I googled the hell out of the credit card. Just, like, what do people think of it? What are the reviews? What's the average credit hit? So I knew everything there was to know about this credit card. So anytime there was a question, I could answer confidently. And it it just gave me the assurance I needed to know when it was a situation that it was going to help someone, and when it might not. Not all situations are created equal. If my 18 year old sister walked into a department store and they pitched her credit card, she'd have no clue what that would do to her credit, or how that would affect her, and I would honestly be kind of frustrated if somebody tried to, like, take advantage of that. So, just understanding different situations and being a little bit more selective, trusting my intuition, that's where I got started. And then for whatever reason, this was probably a mistake on their part, they promoted me to a manager after like eight months... after eight months because they were like, you can open credit cards, like, you open so many credit cards. And that's where I actually fell in love with, like, leadership, and coaching, and training. So now, in my current role, I get to do a lot of coaching around LinkedIn, social selling, brand building for an individual as well as, like, how to use your individual brand to, kind of, echo or promote or emulate the brand that you work for and it's been really, really fun.

Brandon: You had a couple posts about, you know, turning the whole company, like all of the employees, sort of, into ambassadors for the brand.  Is that kind of, like, what you're talking about? Just sort of getting everyone on board?

Zoë: yeah the more aggressive charm I use is I weaponized all of them, but yeah. i, um, just just trying to explain to people hey being active in communities, regardless of whether or not it's LinkedIn, if it's Instagram, if it's, you know, Facebook, whatever, be where your customers are, and be yourself there. And naturally people are going to see, you know, my tagline on LinkedIn Zoë Hartsfield: BombBomb mascot, and then they click on my name and they see I work at BombBomb they're like, oh, what's that? So there's, sort of, this, like, proxy thing that happens where they see your brand, when they see you but it really is most beneficial for the individual, and the benefit of the brand is, sort of, the byproduct. So it's easier for me to sell the team saying, this is going to be good for you in the long run, like, when other companies are looking for somebody with your talent, to have that visibility on a platform like LinkedIn or Facebook or Instagram or something, where they can find you. Like, that's only going to help your career. And now obviously I hope everybody stays at BombBomb, works there until they're dead, but if they did, you know, want to move on and do something else, I think it's going to benefit them. So, when you show people what's in it for them, they're way more, uh, accepting of something that may be, you know, also benefiting the brand.

Brandon:  how do you, like, put a measurement to that? I mean, it's not a very quantitative sort of thing to go out and start conversations with people.

Zoë: Yeah, so right now um... anyone listening to this if you have a software that can measure this stuff for me, like, I'll give you all the money. I've been looking for it for forever, but right now I use a spreadsheet. And we kind of have a slide that has, like, wins so basically anytime we get a win, which is usually very qualitative, people slack me and I'm keeping a running tab of these are opportunities that started off my LinkedIn post. This was a person who saw your post who I've been reaching out to, and they responded to me because, like, you mentioned a problem that they have, and so they then trusted me to answer their question, or, you know things like that. I had a BDR (business development representative), uh... slacked me the other day and she was like, Zoë, I was so discouraged about LinkedIn. I've been doing this for six weeks and nothing has happened, and then this morning I woke up to like 30 connection requests, and one of the prospects I've been reaching out to for weeks messaged me on LinkedIn and said, hey I want to start a team of five to six. Like, no discovery call, nothing. They just wanted to start a team with this person because they saw them on LinkedIn, and they saw them as an authority around this problem that they needed solved, even though they got no traction via email. They won that opportunity through LinkedIn. And, so I'm trying to keep track of those things as well as... like, I love getting messages from people who are like, I just like got a BombBomb account and I sent my first video, and like do you want to see it... like, do you want to see what it looked like? And I love those messages, and I watch them all day, and I give feedback, and so it's, um, it is really qualitative. It's hard to track the quantity, but I do have some metrics and some... like I'm tracking certain deals that I know are sourced directly through LinkedIn just so that I can prove a little bit of roi (return on investment). But a lot of it is just, there's a huge influx in everybody's stories saying like, this person  found us because of this post, or this person sent me this really kind message about, like, about video strategy because of this. So, um, hopefully someday we can turn that into, you know, this is exactly how many dollars and cents we brought in because we're going… but right now I don't have a tool that does that, so...

Brandon: Sure. Sounds like a pretty impressive spreadsheet then.

Zoë: Oh my god, it's a nightmare. It's, like, it's cool... like it's cool to see the the victories and the wins and see everybody. Like it's not just me, it's the team that's having all this success. Um… but yeah the less spreadsheets I can operate out of the better.

Luis: Well tell us a little bit about BombBomb because, uh... just familiarize a little bit about what you guys are doing over there, and, you know, what's getting people excited about you guys.

Zoë: yeah of course so BombBomb in a nutshell is a video communication tool make it really easy, so you can record, send, and track simple short videos, um or you can make them long, I just wouldn't recommend you do that, uh, to whoever you want, be it a teammate, be it a client, be it a prospect, and the whole goal is that it helps you start more conversations, build stronger relationships, and close more deals faster, because it's the human centered approach to sales. And that's actually something we've been really focusing on the last year, is how do we be a more human-centered company? And that goes beyond just video communication. There are a lot of companies doing this well, like, uh I think Mendozo is really doing that effectively, um I think Drift just recently wrote about, uh, being more human in sales, Gong also does this really well. It's like, how can you be a person talking to another person? Because, I mean, like, you guys we operate b2b (business to business) for the most part and you know it's easy to lose humanity when you're business to business, but at the end of the day businesses are just made up of people. So how do we present ourselves as people first, because you want to do business with a person. You don't want to do business with a robot. You don't want to do business with like an entity. So it's just, this ideology of, how do we lead the charge using video, but also highlighting other companies that are doing it well not using video to, just, create a more human experience for people?

Luis:  Why do you think video is so powerful? What is so powerful about that medium?

Zoë: Yeah, so, I would argue a couple different things. There's a ton of psychology around what happens in our brains when people see a human face. Like, there's just something really magical that happens. Like, our serotonin and dopamine go up when you see another human being's face, like, especially when you see somebody smiling. It makes you want to smile, so there is a logic to it of just, like, okay I'm reaching out to somebody cold who doesn't know me, or reaching out to somebody who does know me, if I can put more of myself in my communication, what's the feeling I'm gonna leave them with? So there's that. But also, I think, just, on a really basic level, like, it's still kind of untapped. I don't think it should be, and I think in the next few years it won't be, but right now it's not the majority. The majority of people are not using video in their communication. It's a lot of text, and so it helps you stand out, honestly. That's, like, the simplest answer I would give somebody. Like I could argue it's a better medium all day long, but if I'm talking to a BDR they're like, yeah but, like, I just want to book more meetings, so like is it better in that way or is it better just because it's, you know, more human? And I would say it's both, because, you know, if you're sending a video, and the other 30 BDRs that are reaching out to your same prospect are sending text messages, you know who's going to be top of mind, who's going to stand out, and when you utilize video it's like… video isn't the silver bullet, but when you use it in the right way, in a human approach and you use video to build rapport and familiarity, it helps you win in other channels that you're using. So like, I don't exclusively use video, and when I was a rep I didn't exclusively use video it was a video touch, and then a phone call, and then a text email, and then another video that pointed to my next phone call, then my voice message said, hey I'm not going to leave you alone, I'm going to send you a video email, I'll see you in your inbox. And then it sort of, like, helps you have this really authentic human conversation within your prospects inbox and it creates the familiarity that you just can't get with text. Like, they're no longer just seeing your name, they're seeing your face, and they’re hearing your voice, and um, it creates more wins in the long run and builds stronger relationships. Like, the one stat I feel like I can flex, was when I was a rep,  I had 89 percent hold rate, where industry average was probably, like, 67, and it was because I used video between the time that I booked a meeting and when my AE (account executive) had the demo. And my AE would also use a video so, think about it this way; this is just the most honest. You don't want to, like, stand somebody up who you kind of like, and you have met, and stuff, but it's really easy to ghost someone that you don't know, or don't care about. so by sending a video in between, and being really human, and being really friendly, and helpful, and then having my AE also do that, I would feel 10 times worse not showing up to that meeting. Like, it's just, kind of, that's the honest truth of it, but also I think it creates a better customer experience. So all that to say, it's the experience. Like there's, you know, tons of data to back it up, but at the end of the day it's a better customer experience, more human experience, and we like it. 

Brandon: I mean, I guess we've all had way more video in our lives over the past year. So, I mean, do you think like… what kind of effect has that had on, sort of... you know, you talked about the technology around video and the use of video being more prevalent...i guess like how does Covid factor into all of that? 

Zoë: Yeah, for us, personally, like, it blew us up a little bit. Because now you suddenly have people who can't, like we... we've been effective for sales teams for a long time. We were able to tap into the field sales, sort of, sector because of Covid, because people were no longer going out building these relationships face-to-face, you have to schedule these new meetings, so how fun to be able to send some, like face-to-face time to someone unscheduled, unprompted, very serendipitous, and continue to build that relationship and get more face time with your clients and prospects. So that was... it helped us. I think it's also made people more aware of the problem that they faced. So, originally the problem we presented as, you know, your inbox is flooded, it's hard to break through, video helps you stand out, but at our core we believe in rehumanizing the planet and eliminating digital pollution so we believe the video is a better way to to build relationships now. Not everybody cares about relationships, unfortunately, some of them are like, I just want to book more meetings, I just want to close more deals, and it will help you with that too, uh, but it'll help you with that because it is such a good relationship tool.

Luis: But, so you know what it's interesting about that... so I think most people don't realize that during this time since so many people are using these mediums now, and everything is digitized, the idea of creating that human interaction, you know, situation online now, or on the line as Brandon likes to say, right, so, it's made people more apt to do that. So do you think that, you know, people, since they're lonely, they're needing more of a human interaction, it's really kind of gearing people to accept more of these technologies right now?

Zoë: Oh, 100 percent. I actually, we just conducted a customer interview not that long ago, and they were like, we had zero interest in using video, like you guys had reached out to us a couple times and we had no plans on using video ever, because we thought it was dumb. But then the pandemic happened and it was like, oh no we need video. So, I think for some people, who were on the fence, that pushed them over the edge. I think for even some people that far over, who were just saying like, no I'm never going to do video, it's adapt or fail kind of a thing, you know. People had to learn how to do interviews on Zoom and, you know, have important, really tough meetings over video or on the phone, and, you know, how do you create a more human experience so that we remain connected? And so, yeah, I think it actually helped a lot of people who are, sort of, lagging on the video adopt it quicker. And I think, unfortunately a lot of the people who are like, we're still not gonna do it, they struggled for longer or or didn't recover. And like, I'm not saying video is going to save somebody's business from the nightmare that is a pandemic…

Brandon: But it could...

Zoë: It helps some people. Like, I mean, there's some things that have just been so tough about this year that I'm not going to be like, BombBomb would have saved everybody. I do think that like being able to adapt, and not even just with video but just digitally, companies that were like, well we're just going to figure out how to be remote entirely… like that was really important for businesses to be able to make that adjustment and I think businesses, they couldn't adjust to be more digital, uh, they struggled.

Brandon: I guess a lot of them are keeping those sort of, uh, policies in place, you know, post the pandemic. So, you think you think a lot of people will continue their the high use of video, like now that they've gotten over the line…?

Zoë: yeah, you know, I think so. And part of it was… I remember talking to somebody who was outside my industry who was like, do you think this is just gonna blow up during the pandemic and then when everybody goes back to normal, you know, it's gonna die off again. I was like, I don't think anybody's going back to normal, at least not the way that we knew it before, and you're right. Even our company who loves like... we have this really tight-knit company culture we love being together. We have happy hour on friday. We are big fans of being in person, and we didn't really have any sort of remote culture before the pandemic, but everybody is like, hey, uh, we kind of like being remote, we're crushing it, we are, you know, hitting all of our numbers and we're still managing to stay in contact with everybody, can we keep doing it? So they're actively looking at you know how can we let the office be open for people who want to be in the office, but let people be remote who want to be remote. So it's going to be this really hybrid style. I don't think we're ever going back to the way it was before, and I think a lot of other companies are in the same boat.

Luis: that's fantastic

Zoë: Yeah, awesome. 

Luis: You know who doesn't want to be able to do that? But I think it's also, you know, as an entrepreneur, right, think about how many more meetings you're able to have, right? You're not having to go to places, you're not having to meet somebody at their office, you can schedule things on Zoom. The amount of people you can meet in such a short period of time globally, it's blown up for everybody.

Zoë: Oh, well, so that's actually how BombBomb got started. So the two founders used to sell billboard ads. Uh, and they would go, you know, door-to-door, meet with clients in person, they'd go to businesses, and our founder, Connor, was like, man, if I could just get in front of more people I could sell more stuff, and so that's where he came up with, like, the whole video thing. He's like, this is a way for me to scale myself. I can't be in two places at once, but I can record a video for 35 seconds, and then record another one 35 seconds later, and send it to two different people. And that was where BombBomb was born. And so it came from a sales person just trying to get in front of more people, more often. And it's just blown up into this thing where he was, you know a door-to-door, or like in-person sort of salesman, uh, but now I mean, in the b2b space where people are sending emails, it's just a great way to level up your email game or your LinkedIn message game, as well.

Luis: So let's jump into LinkedIn for a little bit, all right. So, because, you know we see you're doing a lot of LinkedIn stuff, you know, that's how we got connected, you know, what are some do's and don'ts that you would see as far as somebody who's trying to network on LinkedIn, what is something that… give us a couple of each if you want… some of the more prominent ones

Zoë: So, number one must do, if you are trying to get active on LinkedIn, like, I don't care if you post, or comment, or message, or do anything, make sure your profile is updated. If your profile is a ghost town…  you gotta think about, like, when somebody adds you or tries to connect with you what's one of the first things you do? For me, I click on their little face, and I go to their profile, and if there's nothing, if they haven't posted in, you know, six years, and they have, like, four connections, I'm like, cool... are you just connecting with me so you can spam me with something, or pitch me or whatever. If they're not actively contributing to the community in any way my assumption is you just want to pitch me. Which is fine, I know, like go on LinkedIn to pitch people, like, that's what I used to do. But I think there's a better way to do it. And when you have… it kind of like legitimizes you a little bit when your profile is up to date. So I would say make sure you've got a background image that isn't the standard, like, gray LinkedIn one. Make sure you have a profile picture that just shows your face. Doesn't have to be super fancy just… got your face. And I would make your about section tell me a story, like, tell me who you are I can look and see what company you work for, I can, you know, google all of that stuff, that's not really what I want to know. Like, I don't know who are you from that and like what sets you apart from other people, and, um, those are the most exciting people for me to connect with. So, I would say that's step one if you're looking to get started on LinkedIn. Overhaul your profile, and then I would also say just start commenting. Like, there's no need for you to jump into original content if you're feeling overwhelmed. There's tons of great content out there, and just start engaging. In fact that's probably going to grow your network faster than if you're just posting your own original content. You should start engaging with people who are already super active on the platform, add value, ask questions, um, just jump into the conversations that are already happening. So those would be the two. Definitely do them, update your profile, just start commenting. Great place to start. What I would say you shouldn't do is, don't pitch slap people. Don't immediately connect with them and then hit them with your crappy pitch that they did not ask for, because nobody likes it. Like, I kind of find it fun because I used to be a BDR and so sometimes I'll respond to people and be like, hey, like, I liked this about your pitch I didn't love this part, why don’t you try this next time, like, best of luck, happy hunting, I'm not your decision maker anyway. But I in general it's just not really very welcomed when you just get hit with a connection request that's like, do you have 15 minutes to talk about, you know, my pyramid scheme. And it's like, no, I don't have a few minutes for that. So don't do that. And then I would also say um… I would just be really, really respectful. You know, it's hard to say that, like a lot of people are doing things that are crazy on LinkedIn, because they aren't, but one thing that I've noticed a trend that I am not a fan of is if somebody pitches you on LinkedIn and you don't like it then you screenshot them and you put their name, like, in your post and you're like, this BDR sucks. Like you're, like, doxing these reps I've seen. It's slowing down but, like, if somebody does something you don't like, you just, you know, tell them you didn't like it and then disconnect with them. Like, there's no need to publicly shame people. It doesn't look good for you. 

Luis: Yeah, that's nasty. I haven't…

Zoë: You haven’t seen it?

Brandon: I've seen a couple of those.

Luis: I haven't seen that at all. Oh man, I think I would lose my cookies, bro. If somebody did that, I'd be like, oh that's it I'm hatefully emailing you now. 

Brandon: Oh no...

Zoë: It's so sad because people are just there trying to do their job, you know, and like, yeah, people have bad outreach sometimes. It's not great, but there's just no need to shame people publicly, so that's my one tip. It may be less obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people decide that's a good idea.

Brandon: Man, I don't know how you, um, I don't know how you have, like, the self-discipline to comment on stuff. I always, I go on to LinkedIn, and I'm like, you know I'm gonna go and engage. I'm gonna find some posts that are interesting and see what's out there, and then I just end up getting stuck in the news feed, just scrolling, and before I know it I've gone through, like, everything there is to see, and I'm like, I didn't even pay attention to what I was reading. 

Zoë: So, I give myself parameters, right, like every day and this… you can make this number whatever the heck you want but, um, every day I try and post five meaningful comments on posts. And that's just, like, once I've hit five, like, cool, I can be done if I want. If there's more interesting stuff that I want to engage in I'll do that. Um, also if you post something, like, any original content, I try to respond to at least 10 comments. Like if it gets past that, it gets a little bit overwhelming, um, and I'll still try and keep up with it but, yeah. I give myself a number, if it's five comments on a day-to-day basis, try and connect with three new people, you know, I just set goals for myself and I stick to it, and that way it doesn't get too crazy. And I also stay focused,  because there's days where I won't go on LinkedIn, and then there's days where I'll waste, like, two and a half hours on LinkedIn, and I need that structure in order to stay focused, and also accomplish all the other aspects of my job. 

Luis: I tell you, you know, what I've seen, like, a trend lately, and maybe, I don't know, it's the algorithm or something, but I'm seeing a lot of political posts now. And nothing, like, pisses me off more than…  it's like why is this here? I didn't come here for this, you know. I think that's a big no-no.

Brandon: That's a quick way for me to unfollow somebody.

Luis: Oh my god, I don't care where you are politically, why are you here talking about it?

Brandon: Go to Facebook.

Zoë: It’s started to get really reminiscent of Facebook, yeah. I'm not a fan of the political post, like, obviously I keep up with politics but, like, I've got the news for that, you know. Like, I don't I don't need LinkedIn to be that and, you know, there's there's a lot of ways to do LinkedIn, and things that I like and don't like, and things that I do then I'm like, was that the best idea? I don't know, but I think the best way to approach any sort of original content is are you adding value, or are you inviting engagement? Those are, like, the two pillars of posting content that I think matter. Are you adding values to the community with, like a tip, or a thought, or something, instead of just, like throwing out random stuff all the time. Are you trying to add value, or are you welcoming engagement? So are you asking a question, are you opening up a platform for people to share an experience or a story, which also adds value by proxy but, um, those are the two things I try and think about when I'm posting for the most part. Sometimes I post something kind of dumb. Like, uh, I posted something about Teslas not that long ago. It was a joke, and some people got very offended.

Luis: Don't mess with Tesla.

Zoë: Oh man, I was like, I was making a joke, because a friend of mine was going to buy a Tesla, and it was going to be... like their payment was something ridiculous, and they were like, I really can't afford a Tesla. I was like, no. Like, are you contributing to your 401k? They were like, what's that? So we talked about it, and I wrote a post that was like, my 401k is sexier than your Tesla, and people got mad.

Luis: You know what, I saw that post. I thought that was dope, why would people get mad about that? I don't get that.

Zoë: I think people were like, I have a Tesla and, like, it’s like whatever. I'm like, dude, you can afford a Tesla. Good for you. They're amazing cars. Like, I cannot afford one right now, so that was the point, but it is interesting. You're not going to win everybody over. Like, the more you post the more people will find things to argue with you about, and I just try not to argue. I try and be light, and value add, and every so often I still manage to step on somebody's toes, so...

Brandon: It's funny how so many things, and business, and life, and marketing all can kind of be reduced down to that one concept of, um, if you're providing value or not, right. And even personal relationships outside of business, like, if you're providing value to other people, right, that's really the core of everything, every kind of relationship.

Zoë: Well, I think it just attracts people to you like it's… it was Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, and how like leading with positivity is what draws people to you. If you're negative all the time, if you're complaining all the time, if you're not engaging all the time, like, people don't want to be around you, but if you're adding value, if you're encouraging people, lifting people up, calling out the good things that you see in the world and in others, it's like, the law of attraction you know people are going to see that, and want to be a part of it, and want to join in. So my whole goal is how can i, like, create a table that has stuff, you know, accessible to people on it and then also be pulling up chairs so that more people can join? Because I want to create opportunity. I want to create community, and I want to bring value, but I also want to make sure that people... sometimes you can see something, you know, you can see something over there and you're like, oh all those people are having fun but, like, I'm nervous I don't really know how to join in, and it's nice when somebody's like, hey you over there, like, do you want to come sit with us? And so that's kind of how I think about my content when I'm asking questions, or when I'm inviting or challenging someone. I'm pulling up a chair, like, come sit with me kind of a thing.

Brandon: It's like a big cafeteria… a big lunch room.

Zoë: Yeah, it's a big disgusting cafeteria.

Luis: So, I think… you know, what's funny too about LinkedIn is that… and any kind of like social media group, or I guess we could take it even further with just groups of people… people really only see success, right. They only see, like, those successful moments or the successful, whatever, hurdles that you've managed to accomplish in the past. What are some of the things that have led you that people maybe haven't seen that you've gotten to this point where you are right now where you're able to connect with people so easily?

Zoë: Yeah, um, well that's that's a good one. I actually did share this, like a little bit of this, not that long ago on LinkedIn, but I saw a couple different things. Number one, last year right before the pandemic, I had just, like, a rough season, and, like, sales just can be brutal, and I started a new role in sales where I was purely outbound, and I was not good at it, and I was really afraid of making cold calls, um, to the point where I just stopped making cold calls. I was only sending emails, and I was, like, avoiding it. And one day my boss pulled me aside and was like, hey, Zoë, this is kind of job avoidance, and, like, you could lose your job for that. And I was like, oh my god, like, how have I let it get to this point... how have i, like you know, and I was crushed. I felt so bad. That was not what I was trying to do, actively, but I was just trying to get out of my cold calls as much as I could, and I was afraid, and I didn't feel equipped. And so what did was, they came alongside me, and they gave me extra training. My team lead, Devon, would practice cold calls with me every day if I wanted her to. My manager, like, provided me extra resources our VP of sales, Johnny, like, had a meeting with me every week and he's like, let's work on your confidence today. And so people saw me at this sort of low point where I was not succeeding, and I honestly probably wasn't even putting the effort I needed to to succeed, and they were like, Zoë, we see so much in you, like, we're gonna come alongside you and encourage you, because we believe that you can do more. And everything turned around. I started booking way more meetings, and seeing a lot more success, and being more confident in my skill set, and building more relationships. I think I thought I had to make cold calls off a script the way that everybody makes cold calls, but you're a person and so when I started taking an approach that felt more like me I got more confident. I wasn't, you know, reading off a sheet of paper or trying to make a cold call like my teammate, Clarissa, or trying to make a cold call like my teammate, Mick, I was making cold calls like Zoë. And everything turned around. And that is also why I feel so passionate about, like I'm not a BDR anymore. I haven't been for a while. I've moved into marketing, but because our tool is video and we work with so many BDR teams, and because I sat in that seat, like, I feel so much gratitude for all of the value I got from from people on LinkedIn, and from my team, with like tips, and encouragement, coaching… I just want to give that back. And so that's a lot of why I post what I post on LinkedIn.

Luis: Nice, so just messages of positivity, trying to give back, trying to influence people to, you know, uplift themselves to a better place. 

Zoë: Yeah, these, like, practical actionable tips or... hey, like, I posted not that long ago... I was like, if you're an SER and you want to practice your LinkedIn pitch on me, like invitation's good for the next day. Send it to me, and I'll give you video feedback. It was a lot. It was really interesting though, right. So, like, probably… I don't know 50 to 60 BDRs connected with me, but then probably only 30 to 37 of them actually, like, reached out and pitched me and tried. And so I gave them all one-on-one video feedback. I think I still have, like, two or three left that I need to do, uh, that are in there, because it just got a little bit overwhelming, but I'm going to get back to them. And it was so cool, because when you put an invitation out there like that the people who respond are the ones who want to get better, and they want to learn, and they want the feedback. Like, I'm not… it's the people who want to help themselves, you know, so it was really positive. I didn't have a single negative interaction, and some of them were really good. I was like, you don't even really need, like, much help or coaching, like, this was almost perfect. If I'm being hypercritical, I would tweak this line, or I would start with this first, or whatever, but it was really fun. And I have a lot of confidence that every rep who took me up on that has a really bright future in sales, because they're the people who are looking to improve, and looking to get better, and that's who I was, you know, at that point in time when I had that pivot. Which is; okay, how can I absorb as much coaching, and knowledge, and read books, and spend time with leadership who's offering me their time, like, how do I maximize the value of this? And, so, I just want to give a little bit of that back,and it was cool to see people take me up on it. And, um, it was fun building relationships with those people because then, you know, we're having a conversation back and forth. And they're like, oh, I love that idea what about this, and, yeah, they're just more friends

Brandon: Nice.

Luis: So just creating the environment around you, essentially, having people like-minded, and you know you never know. Business is such a small place, right. I mean you don't know who you're gonna run into, and how you're going to run into them, or what avenue is going to lead you to another success, you know, so…  

Zoë: Yeah, I mean I have one person, from a company that one of our BDRs was outbound into, who saw that post and was like, Zoë, I love that you're, like, offering this to BDRs. We've been thinking about a video too, um, you know, do you have any BDRs on your team who could use an extra opportunity for the month? And I was like, I do indeed. That I could, kind of, connect them, and now there's demo happening, and that's fun that that gets to happen. It's not why I'm doing it, um, but it is a fun by- product.

Brandon: So you, uh, I guess you talk about  sales strategy in marketing, marketing strategy in sales. What's all that about?

Zoë: Yeah, so, I mean I started in sales, so I think like a sales person, but it's also helpful to be a marketer who is in sales, right. Like, you kind of need both. When I was a BDR my goal was to attract people who had never heard of us to, like, try our product or service, or have a demo with us and that's, like, much more a marketing muscle, I think, to really, like, not cast a wide net, but, like, find your target audience, and get them interested in you, and introduce them on a really high level, and work them down the funnel, so that they're interested in, you know, maybe buying. And, so that was like my first taste of marketing was, like, writing sales copy, writing sales sequences. And in some organizations that falls under a marketing category. In ours, we were just starting our outbound muscle, so, you know, our boss was writing some of the copy, and then we were writing a lot of the copy ourselves. So, I got to dip my toe in that, and then when I came over to the marketing side of things I get to think about marketing in terms of, okay, how is this providing value to our existing users, but also how is this attracting new, potential users, and how are we approaching… you know, my world is a lot of, um… it's evolved into a lot of things, but I started just managing our social media, and so we used to spend a little bit more time on Facebook and Instagram because our users used to be on Facebook and Instagram. We sold to a lot of solopreneurs, uh real estate agents, mortgage brokers, that kind of a thing. And they spend a lot of time on those platforms, because they're very B to C, but when we decided to move B to B I was like, I don't I don't think the mid-market B to B companies of the world are spending all of their time on Facebook and Instagram. And that's where I stumbled upon upon LinkedIn, and really doubled down on that, because the idea is, you know, where's your ICP? Go be there, and go do that. And I don't necessarily think of our efforts as, you know, we're not selling necessarily on those platforms. Like I'm not actively out there writing posts that are like go buy BombBomb it's $29 a month. Like, it's not like that, but we want to be the digital billboard on somebody's morning commute, you know. If they're driving to work, if they're spending their first 15 minutes on LinkedIn I want them to see three BombBomb employees before they open up their email inbox, because even if they're not ready to buy our solution right now, we will be top of mind when they are three months from now. And, so that's kind of the way that I'm thinking about it is, how can we turn our efforts, you know, and provide value, but in a really strategic way that turns into revenue.

Luis: So, I know we danced around this a little bit, but talk to us a little bit more about human-centered communication.

Zoë: So, human-centered communication is just this idea of, you know, people want to do business with people and not robots. And how do we bring things back to a more human and relatable and relationship-first kind of way of doing things? And so I am currently working on a project called relational revenue actually, where I'm talking to BDRs and STRs about stories that they have where they led relationship first. It wasn't… let me fire off like 150 emails and see if I can get one person to bite, it was like, let me let me send 10 really personalized emails, and start a conversation, and provide these people value, and see what that turns into three weeks from now instead of three days from now. And, so it's just a it's a little bit slower, it's taking a step back it's removing some of the automation, and the robots, and just, like, the thoughtless spam, right. I think we all like to think like my product is going to change the world and it's going to make everybody's life better, so of course they want an email from me from my marketing team that we wrote and blasted out to the 10,000 people. Like, no, nobody wants that from you. So, how can you be more targeted be more intentional lead with more value and be a person, you know? I think some of that is writing a little bit more like a human, not quite so much like a business. Like, can you be a more conversational in your email copy? Can you use video and, like, come into Zoom meetings camera on? Can you send video messages and voice messages instead of just plain text messages? Can you send, you know, physical gifts to people, and create a positive experience there? I think it it really comes down to what is the experience and the feeling you're leaving with people, because people don't usually remember what you say to them. They do remember how you made them feel, and if they never ever open your plain text email they won't remember you at all. So how do you create a memorable experience, and a human experience, and interaction and really build a relationship? And that's kind of the crux of human centered communication. Can we move away from the spam, and the automation, and, like, all the worthless emails that end up being deleted anyway, and create a more meaningful connection with our audience?

Brandon: So I got a, um, kind of serious question for you here.

Zoë: All right.

Brandon: So if you were a wrestler what would your entrance theme song be?

Luis: I like this one.

Zoë: Oooh.

Luis: And why?

Zoë:  what would it be and why? Ooh, I mean, I feel like it would be the macarena, if I'm being honest.

Luis: As a wrestler?

Zoë: Yeah, it's like.. I just… okay this is a key note about me; I take my career very seriously, I do not take myself seriously at all. And, so I think I would just do the macarena out, and then somebody would be like, this person's a joke, but I'm actually a very good athlete… or probably… 

[Laughter]

Brandon: Like your opponent is just, like, what is she doing? It just throws them off their game completely like, I can't even do this.

Zoë: They'll be so confused. They'll be like, who is this chump, and then I'll come out and just wreck them.

Brandon: Or they just start doing the electric slide and then you don't know where to go with that.

Zoë: Then, like, what do we even do? We just cancel the match and everybody goes home.

[Laughter]

Brandon: Awesome. So, Zoë, I guess, uh, we'll probably wrap it up here. Is there, you know, how can people find out more about BombBomb? Is there anywhere you want to direct folks to online?

Zoë: Yeah, so, I mean, bombbomb.com/trial you can try it for free if you want. I think some of the best ways to learn about videos is just give it a shot. I would download it, and then send an email to a colleague or friend or to me, you could send me a video. I'm on LinkedIn Zoë Hartsfield I have two dots above my e, so you can find me. But, yeah, I really... wherever they want to find me or BombBomb, we're here for anyone who wants to explore video or human-centered communication.

Brandon: Well from what we found they shouldn't have a problem finding you, so…  

Zoë: That's right, yeah it's like a nightmare of me being everywhere, yeah. Sorry about that.

Brandon: Great, well, Zoë thank you so much for being with us today we really appreciate it. 

Zoë: Thanks.

Brandon: And, uh, so that's it for the Sendlio podcast and you can find more about us at sendlio.com, and find all of our episodes.

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