0:00:00.0 ANNOUNCER: So you want to know the ins and outs of managing your money? Well, lucky for you, you’re just in time for another episode of Master Your Finances with certified financial planner professional, Kurt Baker. Kurt and his panel of experts are here for you and will cover topics from a legal and personal standpoint. They’ll discuss tax efficiency, liability, owning, managing, and saving your money, and more. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider offers continuing studies programs for adults who need flexibility. Want to add new skills to your resume? Take a continuing studies course at Rider University. Now, let’s learn how we can better change our habits with Kurt Baker.
0:00:48.4 Kurt Baker: Are you genuinely confident in your comprehension of business leadership? Are you enthusiastic about exploring diverse facets of business, including sales, marketing, advertising, and finance? Are you interested in acquiring knowledge on hiring exceptional business professionals? Your search ends here. Allow Peter Weedfald, a renowned sales and marketing leader, to provide you with valuable insights on business leadership and effective selling techniques. With his extensive experience as the senior vice president of sales and brand marketing at SHARP Electronics Marketing Company of America, he has successfully leveraged various platforms for implementing diverse business strategies. Today, he will underscore the significance of relevance and creativity in the business realm, empowering you to become a true champion in the field of business. Thank you, Peter. I appreciate you very much for coming on the show today, and I know you have… That’s not a… This is an understatement. You have a long list of accolades and credentials over many, many years, so I appreciate you coming on and helping us a little bit. So, what got you interested in marketing in the first place? It’s a kind of an interesting field.
0:02:03.3 Peter Weedfald: Well, I think that the… I like to say the king of all instruments at an orchestra is the piano. The piano’s got 88 keys. It’s got the ability to stop and go, and it is the melodic centerpiece, in my opinion, for any orchestra, and I also feel the same about sales. Now, you asked me a question about marketing, and notice how I move to sales right away, and the reason I go to sales right away is because you can market your brains out, but if you don’t sell anything, then you don’t have a company, you don’t have a fiduciary opportunity to drive revenue and profit. So, if you look at sales, though, it’s not a solitary art form. The way I view marketing and the way I got interested in marketing, which was the question, was I started to realize that all of business, I don’t care if you’re a plumber, I don’t care if you’re a bank, I don’t care if you’re a major corporation, I don’t care if you’re a startup, it sounds like this. It’s a three-legged stool. At the top of the stool is your brand, is your products, is your services, and underneath the stool are three legs: Sales, marketing, and then distribution. So, if you look at it from a social standpoint, if you were going to do a social posting, well, you have a brand and you have a bucket of products. You have a unique editorial franchising position that will be driven by what?
0:03:28.9 Peter Weedfald: The ability to articulate demand, to build a distribution of people who come in, who you can market to, and eventually sell to. And that’s the same in any business. I don’t care if you’re Facebook, General Motors, with cars, Nike, whoever it might be. So, I became very interested because I realized that sales is not a solitary art form, neither is marketing, neither is services, neither is distribution. And if you don’t unify them and build a congener between it all, then you will have the largest museum of failed products on the planet. You’ll go quietly into the night and you’ll blame somebody else for the failure and absence of revenue and profits.
0:04:12.8 Kurt Baker: Yeah, that’s awesome the way you stated that. One thing I always found interesting, and maybe you can speak a little bit to this, I mean, we hear about these brands that were around 100 years ago that no longer exist. And it seems like they always kind of lose sight of parts of that stool, so to speak. Do you want to speak to any of those that maybe you can think of that would kind of exemplify why this process is so important and why you have to continuously kind of reinvent yourself as a company and really focus in on all those pieces, otherwise that will lead to your demise at some point in time. I mean, some that come to my mind are things like Sears that was just dominant at one point, and now they don’t even exist. Hardly exist, I should say. They still exist, but in a very different way.
0:04:52.1 Peter Weedfald: Yeah, it’s a great example. I would pick on Toys R Us.
0:04:56.9 Kurt Baker: Okay, there you go. Okay.
0:05:00.0 Peter Weedfald: A couple of things. The first thing that comes to mind, my mind is an interesting grotto of a lot of information, a lot of rejection in my lifetime, knocking on doors and trying to sell in market, but the first thing that comes to realization when you said that was risk never sleeps. So if you want to take it at 30,000 feet with Sears, the first thing you say is risk never sleeps. Heavy hangs the head that wears the crown. Sears owned the crown. In case you don’t know about Sears, and this is very interesting to me, I studied it for you. Now Sears, when they were so powerful, Kurt, they were such a powerful weapon for all manufacturers and brands, that actual retail malls, they used to say to Sears, “If you’ll come in here and you’ll take 150,000 square feet, we’ll charge you a dollar square foot in perpetuity for the rest of,” whenever the lease goes forever, “never will we raise your rate.” And you could look that up on the Wall Street Journal. The reason that that happened was the people who own the retail complex knew if Sears was there, they could sell all the other stores in the mall easily, because they know that the store traffic distribution, circulation, into the traffic, into the stores would drive it. But let me just say this to you. Brands are promises, and they’re very fragile. And consistency, frequency, size, color and location’s very, very, very important, as you know.
0:06:31.3 Peter Weedfald: As an example, it’s very simple. If you stop foiling your brand and stop foiling your products and stop foiling your services, and you allow your competition to run you over, then over time you will lose, number one. Number two, the best champions in leadership and the best brands compete against themselves, not somebody else. They sit in a room and they go, “Wow, let’s attack ourselves and see what happens.” That’s the best way to do it. But let’s go back to Sears or Toys R Us. All the way to the right, all the way to the right, polarized, is complexity is the refuge of the unsure. All the way to the left polarizes consistency is the refuge of the unsure. So somewhere through the process of Toys R Us or Sears, it became very complex, yet very consistent. And the sin a sure of complexity and consistency is opportunity. So there was a time when Sears was right down the middle of the road. Everything was perfect. Their products were perfect. Their messaging was perfect. Their articulation was perfect. The stores were perfect. Everything else. And over time, it waned away. As an example, when Eddie Lambert came in, who is the CEO, you will read about the Wall Street Journal. ___ They were refreshing of the stores every year. So that money was going back to the bottom line, and they were not refreshing the stores the way they might have done it before.
0:08:05.9 Peter Weedfald: Hence, the store experience is part of the brand. It’s part of the selling experience. And over time, it goes away. I would suggest for Toys R Us as an example. And I’m representing this for myself, not the company I work for. So these are my thoughts. For Toys R Us, I always found it interesting when I go to Toys R Us and I didn’t feel it. Brands are about emotional capital, emotional capital. When I walk into Toys R Us, I want to feel like I just walked into the Disney experience. I want the music playing. I want people smiling. I want the cashiers going, “Thank you for coming. We’re going to have fun today at Toys R Us.” I want Geoffrey the Giraffe to have a happy, beautiful voice that all children would love. When they hear that voice, that voice is the mantle of Toys R Us. That’s stepping in the store. Can you imagine moms and dads and kids, they wake up, it’s a Saturday, they go, “Oh boy, we’re going to Toys R Us. We’re going to… What’s going to happen to it?” And you get there and there’s just a bunch of boxes everywhere. So you have to be careful. That claims do pay off. “Hi, we’re the happy clown retail store.” And you get there and there’s no clowns and nobody’s happy. And there’s no excitement and there’s no energy and there’s no party. Well, guess what happens? You walk quietly into the night and you go somewhere else to shop.
0:09:35.0 Peter Weedfald: So these are very fragile discussions. And when I read these articles all the time, Kurt, I never read what I just said. All I hear is, “Well, they lost this much in millions. They lost this. They lost that.” They never talk about selling. They never talk about marketing. They never talk about the esprit de corps of the retail environment.
0:09:57.3 Kurt Baker: One thing that constantly baffles me as a small business owner is how do these large companies with all of this expertise, how do they miss this so often? It just seems like as a group, more of them, they get… And we saw GM do it. All these big companies over time, they’ve come to these points where they were on top and all of a sudden you think they’re going to go bankrupt. And eventually some of them wake up and come back. But some of them don’t. As you point out, Toys R Us, it just went away. It’s just to me, it’s kind of mind-boggling. They have all those resources, all that expertise, and somehow they lose sight of what they’re trying to accomplish. Any thoughts on how this kind of drips away from what they really need to be doing and how maybe they can bring it back? How people can try to keep that from actually happening to them no matter what their size?
0:10:44.5 Peter Weedfald: So, there’s someone and a group of people called The Pilot for the Storm. The Pilot for the Storm. And I would suggest if you asked a thousand people and you said, “In a company, who is The Pilot for the Storm,” they’d all say the CEO. But, Kurt, one of the things you don’t read in the articles about either the positive or demise of brands or companies, you don’t read too much about the person’s background. You go to interview for a job and everyone wants to know every job you ever had in your bio. But in the articles about the demise of a company or the company growth, there’s never like a half a page about this person’s background. So, I’ll give you an example, Kurt. So, I, Peter Weedfald, they believe, went to college to become a pharmaceutical engineer. I get out of college and I worked for Glaxo for three years. I moved my way up. I’m now the manager of engineering for pharmaceuticals, right? Great. Hey, I get a call from Hercellanese. “Hey, Peter, we got a role as director.” I leave, I go there as director. Now I’m the director. Then I go to another place, I’m VP of pharmaceutical engineering. Oh my God, I move up to senior VP and then two years later, I am the president of this major pharmaceutical company.
0:12:01.5 Peter Weedfald: Now, I have a meeting with the attorneys who report to me, the social media who reports to me, the marketing people who report to me, the sales organization that reports to me, the backend supply chain, distribution, the customer-centric group. Wait a second. I can’t tell anyone in the company that I have no idea what the hell they’re talking about. I am an engineering pharmaceutical guru. I don’t know how to go out and sell. Market? No, no, but you can’t tell anybody. So it all comes back down to human capital. It’s the human capital that created the vision and the mission. It’s the human capital that created the benediction of where we’re going in the creed. It’s the human capital says, “No, we’re turning left, not right. No, we’re not going to spend like that anymore. No, this is my friend, I’m bringing them in a company.” So I can’t answer the question as to why the demise has took place. I will say that it wasn’t… These are not companies that were created by robots and are going through a computer logic system. These are human beings that are either driving success or not driving success or mediocre down the middle of the road, in my opinion.
0:13:20.0 Kurt Baker: Yeah, no, that’s awesome, Peter. We’re going to take another quick break. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. We’ll be right back.
0:13:24.9 ANNOUNCER: This is Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, certified financial planner professional. Learn about tax efficiency, liability, owning, managing, and saving your money and more from Kurt and his experienced panel of guests. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider University offers flexible education for adult learners. For more information, it’s rider.edu/nextstep.
0:13:57.0 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. I am here with Peter Weedfald, and we were talking about marketing and sales and some of the companies that haven’t done it, didn’t do it very well or not doing it very well, but let’s talk more about like what to do right. What’s the right way to do this, Peter? You want to tell us the right way to do it? That’s probably more important and let’s avoid the wrong ways.
0:14:16.2 Peter Weedfald: Yeah, but I just, from the first time we spoke a little while ago, let’s be clear. It’s multimodal. You can’t just say stores didn’t refresh themselves and that’s why they failed or Geoffrey didn’t talk like a little baby and the experience in a store wasn’t that good. The problem is, is that we’re going through accelerated change. The internet is Darwin on speed. It’s the fastest unionization of push and pull on the planet. __ , as you know, I can return to it. It’s just an incredible machine. So as time goes by, I’m reminded that back in the steam locomotive ages, when a man might’ve owned a glove manufacturing company, you know, creating gloves and he would create 10 leather gloves a week by hand. And they were great gloves, man. They were best of breed. Then the locomotive engine came out and they could create machines and manufacturing machines. And some guy down the street could now produce 150 in a day. But this guy said, “No, no, no, I’m not getting those machines. I do hand quality.” Next thing you know, he’s gone in a year. Why? Because he didn’t keep up with the changes that are happening in the marketplace. So one of the big changes is I’m watching a very different sort of esprit de corps of how we handle customers. You know, Kurt, you know that I’ve written a lot of articles and done a lot of interviews about how to be a leader.
0:15:43.4 Peter Weedfald: If you want to be the leader, act like a leader. You want to be the leader, your brand promises everything under the ribs of the umbrella of what your products and services are. But it really has changed a lot. For example, in the stone age, that’s you and me, Kurt, we used to pick up the phone from the company and have someone say, “Hi, thank you for calling ABC company today. How can I help you?” Now you can’t. Now if you call a retail store, this is what you hear, “Hello, thank you for calling ABC. Please listen carefully. For jewelry, press one, for… ” And then you find out that number 20 is for pet care. And all I want to do is buy some frontline. So finally, 20 comes, you hit 2-0, phone rings 15 times, no one picks it up.
0:16:39.7 Kurt Baker: Yeah, I feel like they’re training us now. I feel like there’s no longer they’re serving us, I feel like they’re trying to train us.
0:16:45.4 Peter Weedfald: Right. You will pack your own goods in the store. You cannot call us up. How many internet websites are there that people are transacting and you can’t call them up?
0:16:54.3 Kurt Baker: There’s no phone number at all, right? You’re right. No phone number whatsoever.
0:16:57.5 Peter Weedfald: I think the scariest part is people are putting their hard-earned dollars into banks online that you can’t call them up. “Hello, my ATM is not working. Thank you for calling. There’s no one here.” What? So I think with intense sobriety, it would be unfair to say that things haven’t changed dramatically. That Amazon, Jeff Bezos didn’t change the world and say, “Wait a second, don’t run TV commercials and say, ‘Hey, what do you think about this brand of product? Don’t run radio, but we’ll do it all together on our site. You come to our site and you look for any product and we’ll give you a video on it. We’ll give you comparisons. We’ll give you impressions from consumers and reviews. We’ll give you a price point that’s damn good and we’ll ship it to you the next day.'” That was a game changer. That’s the metaphor for the glove example I used. And so the question is, what are you going to do about it? And one thing we learned from Vince Lombardi is once you start quitting, you can’t stop. Once you can’t come up with the right idea, you can’t keep going. And one of the things that I notice in all the times I’ve gone out to purchase something is the opportunity to sell and the opportunity to earn the right to ask for an order indeed is dismissing itself.
0:18:19.4 Peter Weedfald: When’s the last time you went somewhere and someone actually convinced you to do something and then asked you if you want to go ahead and play similar? Rare indeed.
0:18:31.1 Kurt Baker: It is rare. I mean, the only thing I can think of is sometimes I’ll go to a fast food restaurant and they’ll say, “Would you like a dessert?” That’s about as far as it goes sometimes. [laughter]
0:18:39.8 Peter Weedfald: The problem is, and…
0:18:41.7 Kurt Baker: But not much beyond that.
0:18:43.5 Peter Weedfald: We’re not really good docents anymore in sales and marketing. It’s all sort of blurb. So for the example is, I’ve always said, and I’ll give you the example of what they said, “Would you like dessert,” right?
0:18:56.0 Kurt Baker: Right. Yep.
0:18:57.3 Peter Weedfald: The real way to sell is to sell the dream, not the thing. And I work with real estate brokers sometimes, I work with all kinds of people and they constantly wanna sell me the thing.
0:19:09.2 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:19:09.9 Peter Weedfald: Sell me the dream. And the way to do it only takes a few more seconds. “Looks like you really enjoyed your meal today, you know what? If you really wanna feel good, you got to taste this. Just taste it, don’t eat it. Taste this ice cream and it’ll change the way you think about ice cream. Can I go ahead and get you more?” That’s different than, “Do you want dessert?” But we’re not promulgating that, Kurt. That’s an absolute lost art. Now why is that important? ‘Cause the best doctors in the world are the best salespeople, the best lawyers are the best salespeople, the best negotiators are the best salespeople. And sales is kind of a dirty word. When you think of sales, everyone’s turns to the used car salesman. No, it’s a way of articulating yourself. It is a way to get past no. It is the way to build your personal brand. It is sad to me that so many people don’t worry about how smart their logic is. Selling is a very logical process. It’s the dignity of knowledge smashed together with the relevancy and creativity of what you want to accomplish in that moment, that day, that year. And part of leadership is the ability to articulate demand. Part of leadership is the ability to understand that risk never sleeps.
0:20:31.7 Peter Weedfald: Part of leadership is to understand the cradle of reality is that we’re gonna win and we’re gonna lose, but we must reconstitute 24 hours a day, change, focus, speed: Change what we’re doing, refocus on what we’re doing, and speed it back up constantly…
0:20:48.3 Kurt Baker: And I think you point out something really important in the middle of that, which was awesome, is that, is it sounds that you’re listening to what the customers want, so you’re actually providing them with something that they really want. You just have to explain to them why they want it and remind them that they really want this and that’s part of your research, of knowing your clientele. So you take your restaurant owner, you know that most people do enjoy their dessert at the end, and they know that you have a good dessert. So why would you wanna miss out on this wonderful opportunity to have while you’re here in the restaurant? Don’t forget you have this opportunity to enjoy this and don’t leave without finishing this off correctly, right? And just like with the house, right, I mean, there’s a reason you wanna live in a certain home because of the experience of living in the home. And there might be the view, the neighbors, the whatever, the wherever you are and whatever’s unique about that experience of living in that particular home. Otherwise it’s just a structure that you come and go in. But what’s it providing you while you’re there? Why do you enjoy it so much over another place to live?
0:21:45.7 Peter Weedfald: Yeah. Another way to say it, I’m gonna use a little economy of language on what you said with such __ use creativity plus relevancy equals won, W-O-N. Creativity plus competency equals won, W-O-N. And the example of the dessert, the very best restaurants, they know that you’re planted, you’ve got in the car, you dress pretty, you’re all fired up, you’re actually hungry, you’re looking for the experience in the restaurant. That’s why you’re gonna pay an extra $15 for the same rigatoni you would’ve gotten down the street at the pizzeria, and that’s not to be insulting. I’m sure it has better on top of the sauce. But the point is, is that the really great and smart restaurants, when you come in, say, “Let’s start with dessert menu.” “What do you mean?” “Well, let me show you the dessert menu because it’ll help you make your selection on dinner.” Now that’s a presale and that’s you saying relevancy. Relevancy is, “You’re really heated right now, Megan. You can’t wait to taste the __, place your order, get that glass of wine.” This is the best propensity to pose you on dessert. And the second part is it’s really creative, ’cause most restaurants don’t think that way. Most restaurants at the end go, “Do you have room for dessert?”
0:23:00.7 Peter Weedfald: And that’s like almost selling against yourself. Of course I do not have room for dessert. Didn’t you see me eat a bread, a basket of bread? So for me, it’s always very sad because if we don’t continue to train and be a docent in the opportunity to sell and the opportunity to optimize selling and marketing and creativity and every touchpoint we have, then we will be… Have the largest museum of failed products. And that’s what leadership is supposed to do. Leadership is supposed to hire heroes and drive those heroes by teaching them the very best strengths to be successful.
0:23:44.5 Kurt Baker: Yeah. That’s just awesome the way you said that. And it’s funny ’cause we were just at a restaurant on Saturday. Trisha and I, my wife and they actually told us, “Hey, you can get free delivery,” because we had some little card. And we go, “But we don’t want delivery. We come here for the experience.” That’s literally what we told them. We come here because we enjoy coming here and seeing everybody and having an experience of eating. When you send it to us at home, we miss all that. It’s just food now, here it’s an experience. So it’s a totally different thing. I mean, unless we have to, but no, you hit the nail right on the head. I mean, we go play and just like any kind of shopping, right, you’re going there not just for the product, but for the actually the experience of purchasing that item.
0:24:19.4 Peter Weedfald: I mean, you just told the tale of Toys R Us. Toys R Us forgot who they were. They forgot that they should own a thousand percent of the toy business. And over time, they gave it up and they said, “Well, we can’t be successful because Walmart’s doing toys right now.” What are you talking about? You’re the king, queen, and nobility. Compete against yourself. What are you doing right? What are you doing wrong? When I walk into that grotto, I want an experience, just like you said about the dinner, I’m here for the experience. I can buy your toys anywhere, man. I can buy a Barbie doll anywhere. I can go online and have it at my house in an hour. But I’m coming here for the experience and you get there and the experience is a dud? Bye-bye now. Bye now.
0:25:06.8 Kurt Baker: Very true. We’re going to take another quick break. You are listening to Master Your Finances. We’ll be right back.
0:25:13.0 ANNOUNCER: This is Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, certified financial planner professional. Learn about tax efficiency, liability, owning, managing, and saving your money and more from Kurt and his experienced panel of guests. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider University offers flexible education for adult learners. For more information, it’s rider.edu/nextstep.
0:25:46.4 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. I’m here with Peter Weedfald, and we’re talking about businesses, right? So what do we want to get to next? Now we get into relevancy, right? So how do we make ourselves become and stay relevant in this new, very fast-moving AI world of everything changing pretty fast? And it’s going to just keep accelerating.
0:26:09.3 Peter Weedfald: Well, yeah, we live in a world of hyper-changing short product life cycles, hyper-changing businesses, new apps coming down at the speed of sound, things that you didn’t know, and changes everywhere. But no matter what the changes are, the golden rule is relevancy plus creativity in business equals won, W-O-N. Relevancy plus creativity equals W-O-N, and it’s pretty simple. If you’re highly relevant with your products, your services, your advertising, your marketing, but you’re not creative, you’re not going to win. If you’re highly creative in the way you build products and technology and price them out and you’re not relevant, you’re going to lose. So the way to make sure you win is to understand that sales and marketing must be one team, not two. And that’s been a long age of, you know, you asked me earlier, why did I get into marketing? I think part of it was that the marketing people I met with didn’t really respect or understand or care about sales at all. Agencies, whatever it might be, it’s all about marketing and branding and advertising and marketing. What about selling the product? “No, no, no. I’m not in sales, I don’t know what they do in selling.” And so what I heard for decades was when I’d asked somebody in sales to tell me about advertising, marketing, communications, internet, social network, and they’d look at me like I was a deer in the headlights.
0:27:31.7 Peter Weedfald: “I’m sorry, my title is sales. I don’t know about that.” And you do the opposite in the marketing department and they go, “Oh, yeah, sales. Do you realize my title is marketing? I don’t know.” So when you disembark and you keep them separated, it’s an opportunity to fail. When you can unite, just think about it, creativity and relevancy. Relevancy is that’s the customer, customer is number one. I want to make sure we give them what the closest we can get to what they want and what they need to asking questions and studying with the dignity of knowledge, the faster I’m going to get there. But I can’t get there if all I do is be relevant. I need to be highly creative because we live in a competitive world. So it’s about the emotional capital. It’s about selling the dream. But you can’t sell the dream in a solitary art form called selling or solitary art form called marketing. You’ve got to pull them together. And I’ll show you a great example in my humble opinion. Two things. Number one, please remember always that brand is the refuge of the ignorant. What? What did Peter Weedfald just say? Brand is the refuge of the ignorant. It’s in my book, Green Reign Leadership, which by the way, is sold now in 14 countries. It’s been a bestseller on Amazon. And by the way, as you can see behind me, there is a copy of it in Mandarin.
0:29:00.1 Peter Weedfald: So it was translated in Mandarin. And you can see the stamp from Asia that I received from that stamp officially saying it is a published book. And so when you think about that, I say brand is the refuge of the ignorant. What do I mean? Well, I meet you for the first time. I have no idea about your brand. I don’t know if you have any mettle, M-E-T-T-L-E and so on and so forth. But I’ll give you a real example, Kurt. I’m going to fly you to Japan this afternoon. And I’m going to put you on a jet plane. But I’m going to let you choose what engines you want on the plane. Would you prefer to put poo-poo head engines or General Electric? So you’re going to choose General Electric because brand is the refuge of the ignorant. You don’t want to think about jet engines and speeds and beads and torque. But you’re going to choose that brand. So many times in business we forget that the fiduciary opportunity is about building the brand, the brand of every single individual in your company. How they answer the phone. How do they treat a customer. Do they get there on time. So on. But more importantly, when you think about the brand, is the experience of the brand. So I’m going to give you an example of what I believe is one of the world’s greatest brand builders of all time that unites relevancy and creativity in a way that offers them productivity.
0:30:15.3 Peter Weedfald: Increases in productivity deliver increases in profitability. Say it again. Increases in productivity deliver increases in profitability. So, I’m going to go buy a brand new t-shirt. I think I’ll buy two new t-shirts today. So I go to a sports-minded department or store. And I’m standing there and I’m really informed. I know everything about it. You can’t pull one over my face. So I’m looking at this one brand. And it says it’s 100% cotton, peanut cotton, whatever the hell peanut cotton is, brands, the refuge of the ignorant. And it’s made in Vietnam. And I look at another brand and it says, “Peanut cotton 100%, manufactured in Vietnam.” One t-shirt. And the both of them are white. They both look really good. Right? Good cotton. And one is only $12.99. And one is $19.99. Now, do you know why I’m buying the $19.99 t-shirt? Because the $19.99 t-shirt is a Nike t-shirt and sells the emotional capital, if I buy this t-shirt, I will run faster. Or I will play basketball better. Or I will be able to shoot pool better. Or I will be able to… Why? Because Nike is so smart at taking relevancy. Relevancy is you’ve got to have a high quality product. And creativity, they spend billions of dollars to put that swoop; basketball, NFL, baseball, everywhere. And that becomes consistency, frequency, size, color, location.
0:31:47.5 Peter Weedfald: And I start to build a relationship with a swoop. And guess what? I spend an extra $7 because I’ll play basketball better. So that’s really what it’s all about. Under the ribs of the umbrella of any brand is a personal brand. And it’s the ability to articulate demand and navigate against your competitive set, subjugate them, supplicate them, go out there and make and take a market. How do you do it? When you combine relevancy and creativity and you really keep a keen eye on your brand promise and the people who work for you brand promise, you will have an opportunity to take a big market share. Just like Nike.
0:32:27.8 Kurt Baker: Yeah, that’s really… You’re right. You’re 100% correct. It is pretty amazing how when you’re not sure about a decision, you automatically default to the one that you know, only because you know the reputation and you know the brand. You go, “Okay, I’m pretty sure that’s going to work because everything else they’ve ever made seems to work. So this will probably work, too.”
0:32:44.6 Peter Weedfald: So it’s pretty amazing. And I think that capturing emotional capital, it’s difficult if you’re not involved in sales and marketing and the entire product and services and support. So you asked me again earlier, why marketing? Because what I realized is I’m in sales and I’m waiting for product management or brand marketing to tell me, “Here, go do this,” as opposed to me having a seat at the table and saying, ” Here, let me explain… Woah, woah, woah, let me explain the marketplace we’re trying to serve. Let me show you the risk and the reward that’s available. Let me show you the delineation between these different channels and what their expectations are. This particular place, they like having low price products. This place is high products. This place really works for the builders and the architect.” So all of that is relevancy. But you’ve got to be highly creative. And without it, again, you’re just… I don’t know how you can win if you don’t have both of them.
0:33:43.9 Kurt Baker: So how do you go about making sure you stay relative and you’re creative amongst your clientele that you’re actually targeting? So what are some ways to make sure that those pieces become and stay in place?
0:33:54.1 Peter Weedfald: Teacher, the answers are out there.
0:33:56.7 Kurt Baker: Out there, okay. [laughter]
0:34:00.8 Peter Weedfald: The answers are out there. There’s no answers in your conference room. There’s no answer at your desk. There’s no answers across email. You will have to go out and get the dignity of knowledge on who and what you think they’re going to serve in a marketplace so that you can be successful. So, being affable about what you want to do or saying you’re the padron, that doesn’t really help. And that’s sophistry. Sophistry means that you’re going to use what you think is inside your grotto or cave, you have to go out in the marketplace and you have to ask the retail store people, “Why do you sell more of these than this?” They have the answers, which will prevent you from making a mistake when you decide that you’re going to tool to a manufacturer product.
0:34:42.9 Kurt Baker: Well, I remember… That reminds me of a story of Sam Walton used to stand in the parking lot of the Walmart stores and survey people on the way out. Did you find everything you need? What do you think about your experience? We just ask them some really basic questions. I ran his little jet, his little plane from store to store and area to area and just find out what they were thinking. I mean, there’s no… I mean, it’s simple, but it’s important. But we seem to miss it sometimes, right? Don’t we seem to miss that piece of the pie?
0:35:07.5 Peter Weedfald: Yeah, but the jet stream of frustration really lives and breathes in the type of company you’re providing. For example, if I am Facebook or, I don’t know, they call themselves Meta now, but if you think about it, I can make a change to a web page. I can make a change to a message. I can make a change to the back end and front end structures so much faster, so much cheaper, so much quicker and more diligent. And if I go and I pay a half a million or a million dollars per tool so that particular hardware products that once it’s done and tooled, the color of it, the cosmetics, the design, the features of the product, that’s it. It comes out. If I didn’t do the dignity of knowledge, if I didn’t go out and ask the marketplace I’m trying to serve, what do you want? What would you lean in and buy? I’ve now got this product sitting in the marketplace that I can’t change as quickly as you can change a paragraph on a web page. So literally every business is the same. As I said, the three-legged stool. You’ve got to bring in a circulation, distribution of people who have the will, the need, the means to buy your product. And with that, you offer a product and with that, revenue and profit is generated.
0:36:32.3 Peter Weedfald: But it’s very difficult if you make a mistake in building a product because you’re going to just have to keep cutting the price and cutting the price and cutting the price and cutting the price, in the physical world. In the cloud world, you can make changes pretty quickly.
0:36:49.9 Kurt Baker: That’s awesome. We’re going to take a quick break. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. We’ll be right back.
0:36:55.6 ANNOUNCER: This is Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, certified financial planner professional. Learn about tax efficiency, liability, owning, managing, and saving your money and more from Kurt and his experienced panel of guests. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider University offers flexible education for adult learners. For more information, it’s rider.edu/nextstep.
0:37:28.7 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. I’m here with Peter Weedfald, and we’re talking about the importance of the brand, the marketing and relevancy plus creativity equals won, right?
0:37:42.3 Peter Weedfald: W-O-N, W-O-N, yes.
0:37:43.8 Kurt Baker: W-O-N, right? So, yeah. So how do we implement this?
0:37:49.3 Peter Weedfald: Well, rule one is I mentioned earlier in our segments that it’s all about human capital, right? You asked me, why does a company fail at the top, et cetera, et cetera? Well, the most important part of this entire discussion is to make sure we’re hiring the right people that can actually articulate and navigate our mission, our vision, our products, our market, our brand, all the things that we spoke about. So I have a rule about that if it’s in the book, Green Reign Leadership, and that rule is hire thy heroes. Hire thy heroes. Now that’s a nice fat claim, but the rest of it is burden. If you hire thy heroes, then you are responsible to lead. And this is a true story. Everyone that I’ve really ever hired, I’ve said to them, “Look, this is your fourth interview. I’m going to make you an offer, but let’s be clear. Your job is to either get me fired or get me promoted, and I’m gonna go either way.” It’s a true statement. And what does that mean? If I’m not good and I’m not a great leader and I can’t help you and I can’t support you, then you should shove me out of the way, and the company needs to have you take over the role. But I’ve been saying that for almost 35 years, and thank God nobody has ever gotten fired or kicked me out. But I should. The rule is I should go quiet into the night if I’m not adding value to the process.
0:39:12.3 Peter Weedfald: So hire thy heroes. Now, the important thing to think about is something Shakespeare said. “He speaks, but says nothing.” So the real idea is when you do an interview with people, you need to really understand what are the key points that you’re going to ask them and think about. What is the rules for hiring people? Okay? I’ll give you my rules. They’re pretty simple, but they’re pretty straightforward. And my rules say that, one, I’m going to ask questions and find out how creative and how relevant they are about this company and this position and the growth here. So I want to know how creative they are. I might ask them, “Tell me the most creative thing you’ve ever done in business to help success.” That’s a really important point. I also need to, of course, make sure they’re relevant, but I need to check their business judgment. I need to check their critical thinking, their sales motivation, their sales comprehension, their ability to give us profit and performance. And most importantly, a checkup from the neck up on their passion, their personal passion to go and win, their personal passion to show up every day with the best of themselves. So those are the things that are really, really important. If you find those individuals, you pay for talent.
0:40:31.1 Peter Weedfald: If you have to pay an extra $3 an hour or an extra $20,000 a year, believe me, 80% and 20% on productivity, those 20% super leaders and heroes are going to articulate and give you back more than you ever thought you could get by hiring the wrong person.
0:40:51.7 Kurt Baker: Yeah, no, that’s so correct, right? You hire the person, you can always teach them the skills, right? Once you get them, if you have the right people, the rest of it, you can train and then get them on board as far as your culture goes. So that talks a lot to the culture of the company, right? And the culture of what you want. If they don’t fit your culture, then they’re not going to work, right? One bad employee can bring down 10 good ones if you’re not careful.
0:41:15.8 Peter Weedfald: But cultures to me, and that’s a really very important point, but cultures are interesting. I can remember when I was still in high school or even in college and I worked for certain companies, and there was no culture. There was just some guy who was the owner who didn’t give a damn about anybody in the company and it was all about the pennies and he’d scream at you, he’d curse at you. That’s why you leave, right? The culture is not right. So, culture is a very, very interesting thing. I almost laugh at all of this, “Let’s be nice to people, let’s treat people right, let’s take courses on how to be a leader and how to… ” I’m like, “Whoa, whoa, it’s very simple. You hire heroes and you leave from behind. You better keep studying, you better keep learning personally, you better make sure that when they come to you, you can help them, you can answer their questions with the dignity of knowledge, or you got to get out of the way.” So it’s not that difficult for me. I don’t care if you’re tall, short, I’m just looking for heroes. Heroes that will help us in sales, heroes that will help us in marketing, heroes that will help us in supply chain and product. And that is a philosophy or a creed that goes between sincerity, honesty, and truth and justice and caring about people, generally speaking.
0:42:39.3 Peter Weedfald: So caring about people is as important in leadership as worrying about hiring thy heroes because you have a responsibility not to snooker people to come into your company. They have to really know who you are and they have to believe in you and your company and your mission.
0:42:56.6 Kurt Baker: That’s absolutely correct. I agree 100%. Any other tips on how to hire the right people, how to bring the right people on board and integrate them?
0:43:04.8 Peter Weedfald: It’s not easy. It’s not easy. I could tell you stories all day long, but when you find them, hold them and make sure that you give them a path so that they can be successful and they can feel good. I’ve always said there’s three things that I want my team to do. I want them, number one, or I dream for them to do. I can’t say want. Number one, I want them to wake up in the morning and go, I can’t wait to get to work for them. I cannot wait to get to the office. I can’t wait to get online. I love what I’m doing. Life is good. Number two, I want to make sure that they’re making good money because they could be happy about coming to work with, if they’re not making good money, that’s a problem. And number three, I want to build an environment where people feel like they’re part of a real team. That there aren’t outsiders and insiders and what, but everyone has a seat at the knights of the round table and everybody has a stay. Everyone who says and does is as important as everyone that doesn’t. When you put that environment together, people feel like they belong. People feel like what they have to say, their opinions matter and they feel good about coming to work as long as they’re making the kind of money they can take care of themselves in advance.
0:44:17.1 Kurt Baker: That’s awesome. Any final thoughts before we wrap up today, Peter? It was awesome.
0:44:20.4 Peter Weedfald: I appreciate it. The only final thought if you see Green Reign Leadership, let me declare that every dollar that I have ever made on the book, and it’s been out now I guess maybe 10 years, goes to a charity. A children’s charity, youth sponsored charity that I really, really believe in. And one of them is Attitudes in Reverse, also known as AIR. And that is an organization that really is all about teaching and being a docent and giving that information about mental illness, suicide prevention, in many happy ways. I mean, creativity and relevancy. Imagine bringing dogs into schools where the kids run up and they go, “Wow, I love this doggy,” and having an opportunity to talk about to the mothers and the fathers and the teachers how we can prevent this terrible disease called mental illness. So that’s what I do. That’s what I do. I published a book not to make money on it. I published a book so I could find ways to give back. And that’s really important in leadership. In leadership, it’s all about giving, not about taking. So thank you for the time today, Kurt.
0:45:25.2 Kurt Baker: That’s just awesome, Peter. Thanks again. You’re listening to Master Your Finance. Don’t forget to go to masteryourfinances.us and follow us there, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Have a great day.
0:45:37.4 ANNOUNCER: That was this week’s episode of Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, certified financial planner professional. Tune in every Sunday at 9:00 AM to expand your knowledge in building and managing your wealth. Missed an episode, no worries, you can subscribe to a free weekly episode of Master Your Finances to listen to on your favorite podcasting platform, Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, whatever. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider offers continuing studies programs for adults who need flexibility. Want to add new skills to your resume? Take a continuing studies course at Rider University.