"You're In Charge" with Glenn Pasch
"You're In Charge" with Glenn Pasch

Episode 142 · 1 month ago

How to Gain Customer Trust and Loyalty with Matt Murray


Who do you trust as a consumer? Why?

If you are looking to gain your customer's trust how do you do it? We ask Matt Murray, CEO and Founder of Widewail, a company that focuses on leveraging reputation management to help businesses stand out. 

A great conversation focusing on this topic and how to build a company who delivers on this promise for their customers. 

Matt has been a good friend of the show and looking forward to you hearing his thoughts. Great conversation

Don't forget to review, share and subscribe to the show. 

About Matt Murray

Matt spent 6 years in the US Navy and went on to hold roles as the VP of Enterprise Strategic Growth and Retail Solutions at Dealer.com/Cox Automotive and GM of Automotive, SVP of Strategic Accounts at Podium. Today, Matt is founder and CEO of Widewail, located at Hula in Burlington, VT.

Outside of work, Matt is married to his beautiful wife Angi, Dad to 4 great kids, coach of youth sports and an extraordinarily average guitar player.



About Glenn Pasch:

"Everyone finds themselves in charge at some point in their lives. Yet many of us lack the skills to generate consistent results. My goal is to help you learn the skills to adapt and grow in your personal and business life.”

Glenn Pasch is CEO of PCG Digital, a full service digital marketing agency that specializes in helping businesses create and deliver customers raving, recommending & returning for more. He is author of 2 books including "The Power of Connected Marketing" and has spoken and educated audiences throughout the US and internationally.

Let’s Connect:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glennpasch/

Personal Website http://glennpasch.com/

Company website: https://pcgdigital.com/

Support for this episode comes from PCG digital. As a business owner, you want to surround yourself with people who can help you achieve your goals when it comes to digital marketing. That's what PCG digital does best. If you want a true partner helping connect your message to more customers than you need to reach out to PCG digital. Maximize your marketing dollars with PCG digital. Go to PCG digitalcom for more information, and don't forget to mention D you're in charge podcast. Who Do you trust as a consumer? It's an interesting question. There're been studies to say that Consumers have lost trust in organizations, big businesses media and are really relying on strangers to make decisions. So I pose this question to my good friend and founder of wide whale, a reputation management company. His name is Matt Murray, and we dive into why reputation management is so key, not just to attract new customers, but in Google search, because Google, as Matt says, is a recommendation engine, meaning you ask it a question, it's going to recommend companies to solve your question. The question is you, as a business owner, are you making your self recommendable to Google? So let's dive into that conversation with Matt Murray, founder of Wide Whale, on this episode of you're in charge. Now what? All right. So, Matt, thank you so much for being here. Appreciated the the the idea that I wanted to pick your brain on today because I've known you for a long time and you've worked at large corporations, but you went out on your own and you've built a successful company. So I want to walk backwards a little bit and talk about this idea of I came up with a concept, came up with an idea, then I started to execute on it. And how did you build this? And we'll talk about scaling and things of that, but that initial thought of how did you go from idea to execution to create your company? That's such a great question. So for for for me, and there are there are founders executives who are much more talented than I am, I had to spend, you know, fifteen working years gathering the tools, industry, expertise, the network to then become successful. So thank you. Yeah, you see, founders you can use like a Zuckerberg if you want, folks who create something entirely new that doesn't exist with very little experience in the business world. It's almost like invention versus innovation. You know that that kind of discussion right. I I'm certainly not the inventor, but through years of observation, great connections with folks like you and Brian over the years, where I've been able to learn so much about operation, dealership operations, you know, understanding two, three, two and one, working at platform companies where I was exposed to many different types of technology, strategies, tactics. That builds up over time a certain amount of expertise and confidence, frankly, that I really did know what I was doing right. The more that I spoke to dealers, to manufacturers, to technology partners and collected the vocabulary and the expertise, the more confidence I got then myself as an operator. And you get to this, this point where you say, wait a minute, I know how to do this, this is something that I'm passionate about. I understand the inner workings, you know. And and frankly, the final piece for me was looking at my wife, we have four kids, where, you know, we are what you would call later stage founders, and saying do we have the risk tolerance for this right. You never know where you're going to end or I'm playing. So that that's kind of how it came together early and we said, you know what, at the time it was two thousand and eighteen when we watched the company. I was thirty seven. You know, we only get to do this one climbs, you know, I know. He said, yeah, we're going to do it, we got to do it now. So so talk to me. And what I loved about that is that idea of it took time to gather the knowledge. A lot of people, you know, they do jump in and some people it works for but a lot of times people will fail because they have a they have an idea of what they think it is, but they don't surround themselves with the right people, asked right questions to build up that confidence to say now, I've been doing this for a long time and I've been very successful at things and and I can I...

...do know how to take on projects and deliver and end result. I do know how to present ideas and and and building that skill. I thought that was, excuse me, very important. But then how did you come up with the concept of why will, I mean how, out of all the things that you've been exposed to. As you said, you've been exposed to tons of technology and processes and marketing and strategy. And how did you decide on that? Where did you see the need for this product service idea? I mean, we all know the breadth to services are offered by dealercom. Right. That wasn't place one hundred at deal it our coome. In Two Thousand and seven card of my time. I dealer ocome, I started by managing dealerships at about a hundred twenty dealerships in my portfolio. But I would work with on things like the website presence and could be basic stuff like the spite map. Are we presenting the right pages to Google and for our customer, like really Nitty Gritty, and then we would start talking about digital advertising and then, naturally, maybe some chap. What are we doing in organic search? Dillercom's platform expanded and we were able to start talking about reputation management. Right for me and to two thousand and eleven, reputation management, you know, kind of lit my brain on fire, like this idea that we were going to extract positive stories from customers and share them with prospects in order to continue the momentum toward purchase made all the sense in the world, right, in a world where digital marketing metrics are often focused on things like impressions of this whole aggregate and anonymous group of maybe customers, I felt like reputation management was more about the real connection, right, the real, measurable daily Interaction of the past customers with the dealership. Now, mind you, two thousand and eleven or twelve, it didn't take off in the industry. So in this this niche specifically that the original pitch sounded something like Hey, Mr Mrs dealer, you're a four point two on Google and the store down the street is a four point six. You're losing. That's an ego right. That's a great based pitch. I mean, yet can you get people to sign up with an EGO based pitch? You can't. Sure you need to get more volume. They're beating you. Involve all you, they're beating you and score, but it's not sticky enough. There's no demonstrable Roi essentially beyond Hey, your star rating. So actually talk about this with old colleagues of mine. We never really saw reputation management do better than ten or fifteen percent of any network. So Toyota would launch a program. Is the first one I worked on. We launched a reputation management program for Toyota. Less than ten or fifteen percent of the dealers ever bought into it. Right, because again, that the ROI issue. Fast forward two thousand and sixteen. So I ended up leaving cocks two thousand and seventeen. But in two thousand and sixteen a woman named Rachel Botsman, who is absolutely brilliant. She's a trust fellow at Oxford, really studies sort of the impact of technology on trust creation. HMM, and she does for everybody watching. If you're interested, you really want to kind of work out with me, you go go find her. Ted Talk. It's called we've stopped trusting institutions, we've started trusting strangers. It's amazing. It's seventeen amazing minutes and she points out that we've seen more destruction of institutional trust in the last call of twenty years than in any other time in our history. It used to be that people trusted brands because of their palatial headquarters or are they're super bowl at right. Basically, these these demonstrations of capitalism could create trust because people would think wow, well, it's Nike, look out, big they all. I got to trust them. Right, right, or you might have had a good experience with them. But it's that constant messaging of how great they are, that idea of well, we should trust them. To your point is, I see them everywhere. They're spending all this money there into they must be good in order to be that big, and I think that was the the leap or connection between the people and the product. That's yeah, right. So we would generate trust that way and brands. And then, you know, frankly, with the financial recession of two thousand and eight nine, we've had huge corporate failures across every vertical. I think of the VP oil spill, hacks at Nike, Yahoo and target sensitive, but we could talk about diesel gate. We're the fortune five hundred plus. Fifty percent of the fortune five hundred list...

...has turned over since I you're I mean we're in such turbument. That's pretty that's pretty big. If you really take a moment to think of the top five half of the top five hundred companies are no longer listed in the top five hundred companies, are they just they just don't even exist. Where they don't exist. Right. Yeah, and then, and then, you know, I share this in our our pitch deck. Americans trusted media is at the lowest it's ever been in our history. HMM, we have a trust issue, like who do people trust? That's a that's a really important question. And then you have the explosive growth of networks, market places and platforms that serve to connect everybody. So now I don't have to listen to your advertisement. I don't, you know, I don't have to be I don't have to make a judgment based on your relational headquarters or your displays of capitalism. I can pick this thing up and find out what your last tenzero customers thought of buying that pair of shoes. Right, that's right. That's how I gained confidence. Other people like me, aggregate and anonymous, are saying, yeah, you should go to that restaurant, you should buy that call. This dealership is great. That's now how we create trust. So that two thousand and sixteen back got me extraordinarily fired up. and then through seventeen to two thousand and twenty one, there's just been, you know, studies and publication after publication that are tying reputation management to local Steo. Oh absolutely, and and you know, it's a conversation that I have with some of our clients as well to remind them of how they interact as a consumer. You know, if they were taking their wife, husband significant other somewhere away for a weekend, you wouldn't just chill up at a place and hope for the best. You would do research, and the key would be most of your research, even if you went to that website. A lot of times they don't, but let's assume they went there. They're going to the trip advisors, they're going to the YELPS, they're going to the review platforms for validation of your marketing claims, and that that was always the key. Is I can market and say whatever I want, but I need validation and the validation has to come from your customers, and that's the key. And I think you're that it's such a important topic. Important part of a business is portfolio, but it has to your point. I remember reputation. Imagine, been talking about it early on. People looked at me like I was strange, like why, nobody's going to listen. They'll going to listen to me. I'm the expert and then eventually it was this this flip where all of a sudden people woke up and said it's the customers that they're going to listen to and if I don't want to have a system in place to extract that consistent information from my customers and it's good and supporting my marketing claims, and were willing and I want to dive into this because they think this is where I'd love to where to sort of a little pivot with this local I see. Know, how much are you learning as a business owner from what your customers are saying, liking or not liking? We can conceptualize, conceptually, think what we think is working, but it's our customers that are really giving us feedback on how we should run our business. Yep, Yep, I mean two thousand and twenty. For the first time ever, in June of two thousand and twenty, google reviews outranked the location of the searcher and local search. Hmm, and what that tells me? Maybe we all know how powerful the voice of past customers are, friends, family, what have you. Like there's nothing more powerful. But you know inside wide way we talked about Google now is a recommendation engine and it's not a search engine, and I say that because you know, page too is where a business goes to die. But you need to be recommended by Google. But if Google says, for instance, if I take my family cap cock for vacation and one of my children, you know whatever, gets an abscessed tooth, let's say, just one of those things you can't predict. We're far away from home, I'm going to go to Google and say give me the best dentist near me. If I go to that that that first business, apparently that dentist is the best near me and I have a terrible experience. I had lost confidence in Google right. So, for the first time ever history we're seeing the voice of the customer as a primary driver of search results, which I think is fantastic frankly. And combining that impact, we talked about our life, combining that impact on search with my own passion now for everything that I learned from Rachel Botsman, everything we learned in early days of reputation management. We dealcom. Now we had something we could execute, get on and really...

...go to dealers and say look, we understand there's an operational challenge here. How do you get reviews how do you respond to reviews? Now we're on the topic of getting customers to leave videos for the dealership, so their waste, right, they are from there for user generated content for use in marketing. It's all about building trust and and our ability to tie that back to digital marketing performances. It's so exciting for us. So how are you tying it backs on that then? How are you tying back so so a client of yours says sure, Matt, we're going to go with you and you provide the technology to make it easy for them to aggregate and get the video. So let's assume that they're using the tool or working hand in hand with you and everybody's happy in the creation or deliverables, that we're getting consistent reviews, because I do remember a study that said it's not just the number of reviews now, it's the consistency of reviews. Right. We don't want something to spike one month, which is what dealers used to do. Spiff everybody, give everybody bonus and they get a hundred reviews one month and then they wouldn't get anything for months after that, and that was a trigger, one to Google, but also to a consumer to say what happened? You? You had great reviews. You don't have any reviews. So so. To my point is that was a little side dot. But for this conversation, let's say we have a good partnership in their generating the reviews for you in the videos and working hand in hand. Tell me why it's important to local searche. Tell me how it is and what that impact really is for a dealer's business, or any business, I should say. It's not just dealerships. Yeah, yeah, or, fortunate enough, now this is personal curiosity and I we're working across multiple verticals, which has been really fun. So, and actually it's helped me appreciate the auto industry even that much more, thankfully so. But to your question. So, volume, frequency, quality and response. These are the tenants of repetition management. When you look at your competitive landscape. Let's say I was a toy a point here in Burlington. They know the store knows who their competitors are and often times a dealer will ask me like well, am I doing well? And I say well, can you tell me what's your competitors are doing? What's their score? What's their volume and frequency of reviews? Does it look from the outside like they're transacting more often in creating happier customers. Most of the time that question can't be answered on the first call because the awareness isn't there. Right. But whide, well, yeah, wide welcomes in and says, look, we're going to make sure that happy customers have a voice. Why? Because today, on our initial assessment, it looks like eighteen percent of your reviews, let's say, are negative every month. Eighteen percent of your reviews. That's it's not good. You know, one out of five reviews seen by a prospect then is negative. Right. So one of our core value propositions is to help drive down the volume of negative sentiment. I upset customers are always going to lead reduce. Happy customers do not. So Ho I think of, you know, West her or cruins or any of the groups that work with US driving down the total negative sentiment to under ten percent per month. First store means that less than one out of ten interactions that a potential customer has and that consideration of the store is likely to be negative. Right. And to that point I want to I want to make sure people are listening to this and those of you listening understand what Matt just said is that if it's one out of five, it's not. It's not trying to ignore a negative review. Negative reviews, from my research, validate your positive reviews, because we've all seen something on Amazon or somewhere and it's eight thousand five star reviews. You're going, wait a minute, you're telling me there's not one birds and that didn't like this. Right so, but to your point, it's one. If you don't ask happy customers to leave a review, they most of the Times they might, but most of the time you don't think that. You're just happy everything is working out. But number two, it is everybody who would read those reviews and see one out of ten would go that makes sense because, though they're always is. Everyone in your everyone who's listening to this, knows of someone in your family that's cranky. Right, and is would be. You're like, oh, that's my uncle so and so, he but it doesn't stand out as much because of that balance as you're saying. There's nine happy people, one cranky person for whatever reason, and you go that makes sense. I continue moving forward because I'm not nothing's distracted me from wanting to do business with them. Yeah, and dealers who don't have a strategy. Again, I mean we've seen stores with upwards of fifty percent of the reviews on a monthly basis are negative. Show that's a that's a really difficult place to be and that happens during times of let's...

...say your your gem turns over. MMM. We had a story at three GM's in the span of less than twenty four months and didn't ever review strategy. They were just they were just getting hampered, like the store was in disarray. They didn't have great leadership and it's showed up in the reviews and we said, look, you're still doing a great job taking care of service customers. Right. You're closing a hundred all ros a day on some days. Let's say. Let's make sure that that happy customers have a voice here and balance some of this negativity. So our some of the knock it out of the park store stores that come to us. You've never had a strategic Glen to take a store from a four point one, let's say, with six hundred reviews, to a four point six one, one hundred reviews, to watch their GBP metrics go. You know, let's say it increase to forty to sixty percent in terms of visits and search visibility. You start to see twenty percent more calls from the GBP. On a monthly basis. We can actually measure Google's Infinites in the store and the GBP based on visibility over time. Now we got it. Now we got a great conversation why there's no better property than the GBP in terms of lead creation. Once you get somebody to that GBP, they are you know. They're either calling in frankly, how's my right? How's my car? Is it off the lift? Or they're coming to contact. Your close rate on GBP traffic is extraordinarily a conversion rate is unlike any other property. They searched for you or your product in your market. You showed up well and and and again. I loved what you said before and I want it bears repeating. Google is a reputation or a recommendation right. So again there's two parts to it. I search, meaning I ask Google a question. To your point earlier, the dentist, Google goes through its file cabinets. You know, I always use the image of somebody has and I got to go through the file cabinet. And who should I recommend so that and can selfish on Google's point is so that somebody will come back and use Google again or versus. Now I don't like them, I'm going to go to Savari, I'm going to go to Ducco, I'm going to go somewhere else. Right, I'm going to use some other search, I'm going to go some you know wherever. I'll go to tick tock for all I care. It's selfish on Google. So the key is all you have to think through this, and I love this conversation, is am I putting myself in a position that Google's going to recommend me? And where you're telling me is that what is now? A key component of that is are your customers recommending you to their network, which in turn let's Google go. This is pretty safe. If they got one hundred people going and most of them are saying recommending to their network, Hey, this is a great place. I feel safe recommending it to strangers. Hence Google then goes, I'll recommend it. I love that and I really hope I want to take a couple seconds on that because that explains why this is so important. Yep, and and back to a comment you made about that store that product that has eight thousand reviews and they're all five stars. Everybody should be familiar with review gating. We've probably bang this drump too much, but the days of sending your customer the first email or text and saying did you have a good experience, yes or no, and sending the person who says no to a private feedback form and the person who says yes, I had a great experience off to Google to leave review. Those days are over, right, they have to be. The policies at review sites prohibit this activity. Right. The FTC is out there issuing warnings and it's some cases fines for the selective solicitation of positive reviews or, you know, any process essentially that hides negative reviews. And this isn't an auto industry news item, but Fashion Nova beginning of this year. This is a an online retailer. They were fines four point two million by the FTC. So let's go back to review gating. Yeah, so we defined it right. You try to get people who didn't have a happy experience away from Google and what you end up with is a GBP that's got a thousand reviews and somehow you're a five star company. First of all, nobody believes your second of all, that activity is completely prohibited by terms of service at Google, facebook, pick to pick the review site. But maybe more importantly, today the FTC is now protecting the consumer by going out there and letting businesses and review platforms know that they're watching. Right right, that's important. That's important to protect the validity of the reviews, holding people accountable to that. And I know there was a time...

...where if somebody received something to give a review, you know, somebody sent the product to them for free to review, they had to disclaim that also in the review, that I received some compensation, I was a paid reviewer or I received the gift or something. That's right, and that's that's still very much in play. You can incentivize people for so, let's say, a video review, but you absolutely have to disclose it. And, and you know, part of what we're doing today as helping the dealer collect video that's not incentivized. We think it's just as important to disclaim that something was not incentivized. Right. It's a potentially more important because everybody's instinct is so they must have gotten paid. That's right. Obviously not always the case, so let's talk about what's next. So for you as as a business leader, right, you started this company. You you know. I remember when you started it. It was you, your wife, a couple people, boots on the ground, you even we even talked, or initially, and you were telling me how you were doing things and I said this is great and I was trying to understand how you're going to grow this. And you've now grown this. So so talk to the business owner who is in that startup phase, or even someone who's running a project or team. How do you focus on maintaining current quality and standards for your customers while keeping one eye down the road on innovation? How do you how do you balance those two? The people you surround yourself with, this a little bit Cliche, really are a great way to predict your future success. So I was fortunate enough to come in to deal calm and create relationships with really brilliant people. The list is too long, but even on our board today, Rick Gibbs, my claim, a couple of the founders from do it accomplish there on our board today. Those folks took took the time, frankly, to not just sort of direct the action but to help folks explore their own careers and explain why certain decisions were made so that you could start to build sort of this library of experience to call on today when you ask about how we we, you know, focus on both sides of the ball, if you will. HMM. In the in this truly early start up phase, the first year, my wife and I didn't make me money. There's plenty of stress, you know there was. There was nights where I certainly felt overwhelmed and it's a classic that's the Classic Counter Story. Right. But I can always just lean back on core questions. Are we taking care of our customers? So we responding to reviews? Are we generating reviews? Are we generating video? If the answer to that is yes, we're okay. Is The team happy? Are we taking care of our employees? If the answer is yes, everything's okay. Right. Occasionally, for me, occasionally, anxiety was almost, you know, created for no purpose, no real purpose. Right, have to ground myself in these core questions. Are we delivery that in the early days. Again, that really helped me manage manage my own stress level right, and I could lean on I could lead on Adam Burnett, our CTO. Right. He's brilliant, so much smarter than me, especially in the areas that he manages directly. There's so much confidence for me in that right. I know that Adam knows how to manage his team. We've set priorities together. We're checking in every two weeks at the close of a sprint for every quarter on the road map. These think that there's a process, a constant process of just reviewing where you are planning the future, and that that cycle is is very, very important. It needs to be habitual, all right. I mean some people talk about how there's too much process. For process take sometimes process is extraordinarily important, right, and that's that's an example of one. We have to constantly be looking for for improvement and scheduling our time, listening to our customers and taking those requests, prioritizing them against the backlog. These things just become a motion that we go through on a regular basis, and that sort of repetitive nature of some of that motion also provides you stability. Right, you know this. This is the scan, this is the steps I'm going to go through to help keep quiet way of moving in the right direction. When you have a nice repeatable structure that you can count on, process that you can count on. That, for me, is what frees me to be able to think about the future. Confidence in today allows me to think about tomorrow. HMM, if that, if that makes sense now, I think that's absolutely makes sense and I think again,...

...for everyone who's listening, I think you have to take care of today. So to ask those questions about do we have a process in place that is repeatable to take care of our customers? That's our primary goal it. Do we have a process in place to interact with our team to make sure they're happy, right and whatever, even if you said, listen, nothing's going to change for a year in terms of innovation or whatever, but what is our goal for the end of the year and where the checkpoints? And then, within that structure you're building those repeatable processes so that your team feels comfortable, they know what they're doing every day. I think that is one of the biggest mistakes, especially for new founders or people coming into business. It's every day is reactive and I don't think you can be reactive and be successful, because no one wants to work in an organization where every day it's what the Hell's going on today. There is some of that in as a start up, but your goal should be a need to lock down this. And what I loved about that common that comment of belief in consistency. Consistency frees you up, right. So I was an actor for a long time and I remember, you know, there were actors are like, Oh, the directors cramping my creative style, and a director said to them one day, if you understand that, if you know where you're supposed to go, when you're going to say a line, because it makes sense and you know where you have to go, actually it will free you up. The more constrained you are, the more free you are. And it's counterintuitive, but to what you just said, the more I'm comfortable knowing what, one eye, my responsibilities are, number two, that the teams taken care of, the customers are taking care of. That frees my mind up, it gives it allows its space to expand. Asay, what else can we do? But if I'm bobbed down every day going to hope or customers being take care of, how's there we go. How can you think of anything other than that reactive state? So I love that it makes such complete sense and I'm such a I cannot be more aligned with that. I appreciate that. I mean as a first time founder. I have plenty of times where I say I don't I don't know what the right answer is. Hmm, I just I just don't know, and I'm again fortunate. Back to the network. Network is one of the most powerful resources that a founder has and I have no qualms with pulling the rip cord on any decision and picking up the phone and calling people who've done this more than I have. We've seen more than I have. Maybe I've consulted with multiple companies at different stages. There are best practices, right, every every journey, I think every founding. You know, every founder's journey is different, but there are absolutely best practices. But just like your first manager role, when you when you move from being an individual contributor to a manager of the team, nobody gave you a handbook. Right, hence the PODCAST. Well, right, and it's the same thing in this room. Nobody told me how to do this. I have to be able to go and reach out to people. And so how did you do it? Right, give me three or four inputs so I can try to make the best, most informed decision, and I think that's that's so important, is putting your ego aside to say I want to go ask and say I don't know, I need help. It's so important because one you'll move faster to you have so many people around you who want to see you successful. It's a weird thing. Sometimes people will say, well, if I call them up, they're not going to tell me the right thing. Well then you have the wrong people around you. Most people want to help and want you to be successful. But to your point, I would say that most of these journeys, to your point, they may look different, but if you strip the personality or the product away, there's probably very similar mile posts or stages that everybody has to hit. Some you know those. The time between stages might be shorter, might be longer, but there are, as you said, things you have to pay attention to. And and that's the conversation. Did you think about this? Do you know this about your company? Do you know this about your finances? Do you know this about x? And I've had times where I would tell somebody later on while this is what I was thinking, and they looked at me and said why didn't you pick up the phone, I could have saved you a lot of stress, anxiety, grief, whatever it and you would have been more successful faster. So I agree with you. Network is so important. Call those people. People are willing to help, people want to help other people. I really think everybody moves through a position of goodness. So why wouldn't we leverage our friends and ask those questions? We just we need it. Fared empathy to you know, I didn't know, for instance, Steve Greenfield very well a couple years ago through microther who was, you know, our...

...leader at doorcom for a period of time, I met Steve and Steve's a great example somebody's got a ton of experience and is and will listen and will be sympathetic and empathetic to the current phase and will provide a couple of avenues. Without saying this is the right thing, but here are some of your choices. HMM. Being able to find people like Steve where you can just be yourself and and receive really thoughtful feedback is invaluable and for me anyway, taking stock of what your core skill set is and leaning into that as a founder and then plugging the holes with people more talented. Absolutely, I mean I'm a sales another thing and I think for you or for all of us, I know for me personally, sometimes reaching out and asking those questions. It's not that they're going to tell me something different, maybe they are, but sometimes just being reassured you're on the right path, where you're doing the right thing or what you're doing is yeah, I wouldn't, I wouldn't change anything you're doing is just as in poor as getting a solution to an issue that maybe you're unsure of. I think that also builds up that, to your point, building up that confident during those times of struggle or concern or worried that someone says no, man, keep going. You are. That is just it's so important to hear that, because the nights are lonely and can be stressful and the pressure of all the sudden, like you were saying, I only had to worry about me. Now I have x number of families depending on me. I had this conversation with my life the other day going you know, I got forty families depending on myself and my brother to continue to be successful, because that impacts all of those people that that that's a lot of weight. But that's the you know, we chose to do that and that's okay. But I think to your point is go and keep going back to that network. It's so important to help you be successful. So many people want to help. Yeah, and you know, just adding one of the most valuable things that my network has challenged me to do over time is verbalize for we want to be as a company. Most people say I want to start a company and they maybe that first milestone is get to revenue. Right, prove that you can sell this and that it's providing value. Great milestone. But then who do you want to be? Are you trying to be a billion dollar company? Because there are very specific steps that you ought to take and to achieve that you're going to need a lot of capital, for instance. Right, but you, but you have to start by saying it. Do you want to be the employer of choice in your local area? Because there are specific steps you need to take in order to achieve that. And you know, Mike and Rick and friends of mine very early on said, well, what is this going to be? Where do you want to take this? And we've landed on Hey, we want to have an extraordinarily stable profitable business that provides great value to customers is an exceptional place to work. You didn't hear anything in there about being a billion dollar company right that? That is not for me. That's furthest from my mind. That's that's not the goal and as a result, we've been able to make thoughtful decisions. We're very cash efficient, for instance. We haven't raised a whole bunch of money, you know, and added a hundred employees to the team, because that's that's not who who we are. We're allowing the industry to tell us how to improve our power products. We're taking care of our current customers to keep turned down, and as we continue to do that and develop the platform, we're building something that's very stable, strong profitable and you know, from what I can tell, the wailers love their time here at wave wail. We're on track well, I and I think that's such a healthy way to look at things, because I think it goes back to what you were talking about early on, which is take care of the customers, take tear of the people. Then we can start moving on right. But to your point, sometimes you go to work. We've all seen the stories of the companies that are chasing the revenue at the expense of the people, at the expense of customers, and well, my these customers aren't important anymore because I got bigger customers. And I think you're on the right track because one I think it will with that thoughtfulness and listen, I've known you for over a decade now and I've always thought of you as someone who is very thoughtful and very intelligent and smart, but at the at your core, it's always been about people, customers and employees, and I think that's a great place to start, because then the rest, in a weird way, takes care of itself, because your customers will recommend you, people will recommend you, you can go into other verticals and you can grow at the pace that you feel comfortable. Where it's going to end up. Hey, could...

...be a billion dollar company, and God bless I hope it is, but that's not your mission. If we get on that journey and we land, they're fantastic, but I want to enjoy the ride to wherever we're going versus leaving dead bodies, you know, on the wayside along the street where nobody wants to work for me or they feel like to have to work for me and the customers are putting up with me. Who Nobody wants that type of company. So, man, I'm just I tell you, I am just so happy for you, your family and all of the way alors. You have a great company, great reputation and and I just see great success for you. Thank you, blood. I was want to take a little bit of a sharp left because I was thinking about your podcast and preparation and thinking about some of my biggest failures going from an individual contributor to a manager, to a director, etc. That kind of growth up, you know, the organizational chart there. I was not a good manager for a period of time. So I spent all this time as an individual contributor, either as an account manager or director of industry relations. I did a training and then I stepped into enterprise solutions at the ORCOM, which was managing that relationship between Dolorcom and the OEM's, and then dealer track, doorcom in the OMS and ultimately five or six cocks business units. We talked about how nobody gives you that manual, HMM, to help you understand how to be a manager. Well, I enjoyed being an individual contributor so much that probably the first I don't know, couple of years that I was a manager. I neglected my team because nobody gave me this very simple piece of advice, which is no, you're no longer a player, you're now the coach. Right, and that mindset is extraordinarily and put it doesn't matter if you can go close a deal every month anymore. As a salesperson, your job is to get these ten people to close a deal every month. Right, and that, and and that changes the way you work. And I had to understand that the value I could provide as a manager was in direct, you know, connection with the team daily basis. We need to know each other, I need to know your family, I need to understand what your fears are, where your developmental edge is. What resources can I get to make you more confident and successful in your role? And I was. I was just not great at it. So I I don't know anybody listening to the podcast who's moving from that individual contributor to the manager. Le Remember that in some ways you're putting down the tools that you've used for years and picking up an entirely new set, right, in order to make the whole team successful. Now I listen. First, I love the fact had your your honesty to say that and number two, you're absolutely right. And you know I've coached a few people. Few people have reached out to me and said during that transition and and they said what, what? What should I expect? And I said withdrawal. I said it's it's a funny thing because I said, I'll give you my example. For a long time I was in the field working with people and coaching people and being right in the mix, and then they moved me to the corporate office and for four months I was bouncing off the walls because I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to direct my energies to be successful. So either I tried to micromanage from afar or I just was frustrated until someone talked to me, not in the company, someone else talk to me, and they said Oh, and he used the word coach. Oh, so you're coaching people now. I said no, no, I'm running this, I'm running this. I'm he goes, now he goes. You're having that impact on those hundred people through three people. So all he said was who's your team now? And that stuck with me and I was like, Oh, my team is three people, not a hundred people. So if I can work those three people to get them to do that job really, really well, I'll impact those hundred people. So you go through that withdrawal. Like you said, and I love the way you said it, you I got to put down my tool set of what I used to do to accomplish a job, to feel successful. I had to pick up a new set of tools and figure out how to use them to get back to feeling successful. But it's a completely different set of skills, job duties, responsibilities to help, assist, to get to the end. You're just not as close to that like you're saying, and you're not. You're not on the field anymore in that buzz, but you're on the sidelines. And remember, you're not in the upper office, hidden behind the desk way in the back. Your thought has to be I'm on the sideline, I'm close enough. It's just a different skill set. I so I really, really love that. Love that analogy. Really important for people. All right, so listen, I could chat with the you old day about all...

...of this stuff. So at the end of every episode I ask five questions. I call him the one, one thing, whatever comes to your mind first. So first question I like to ask I have. You know, my kids are in that ten eleven will now he's going to be a senior my older one. But in that I've been watching my children and in that ten to eleventh grade, fifteen sixteen year old cells, you go through a lot of different changes. So if you could look back at fifteen or sixteen year old Matt and compare himself to you today, what are what's a trait that's similar? You could say it's always been here with me since then. Number two would be if that fifteen year old Matt looked at you now, what would they be surprised about? I've always been a talker. Yeah, and and in some ways it was a negative thing when I was fifteen or sixteen. Right, Matt, you're too talking it in class. Right, always scout that, but that, that ability to talk to anyone at any time about almost anything as has been something that's always been with me and has served me very well professionally. Maybe not in school. Right, okay, fifteen or sixteen year old map you build. I built belief in myself through years of experience and I will never forget when I was fifteen or sixteen in the town I lived in, I had a huge plant and I would see what I assumed were executives and their fancy pm w's right and say like wow, that person made it. And I think there's Times on fifteen or sixteen year old mat would look at me today and say that potentially I've succeeded beyond what I thought I could be when I was fifteen or sixteen because of years of experience and opportunity. So I think fifteen or sixteen year old Matt would be proud of today's version, which is I appreciate that question. That's a good reflection. Good I like that answer. I'm glad he would be proud of you because there's a lot of people who are very proud of you and really cherish your being part of their lives. So understand that. Next question would be I know you like to travel and have traveled. Where's a place on your bucket list that you have not traveled yet that you want to go to? My wife and I need to go to Spain. MMM, I've never been to Spain. That's on my list to got to go to Spain and I have deep sort of Irish roots. I've still never been to Ireland. Okay, I feel terrible about it. So got to go do those bucket list. Those two. Something you're reading, watching or listening to that is inspiring you that you would recommend and will put it in the show notes as well. So Rachel Botsman's book and it's escaping me. Oh, I think it's just called trust. Okay, that that was the most recent reading that I did. My personal and drying right now is a show called shoresy, which is a little it's yeah, for all my hockey fans out there. It's more of a comedy, light, Light Watch, but but really, but perfect for the hockey fan. Great. Okay, if I put all of your friends in family, close people who really know you, and ask them to describe you in one word, what's the one word they would use to describe you? One word? The two words that popped up first were hard working. Okay, whether or not it's a good thing, I and I'm trying to do better at this. I know that at times in my career of prioritize my profession first, and I've got four kids. You know dangerous that can be. So I'm learning. I'm learning that balance today. Last question talked about a lot of different things. There was one thing that you would hope the people listening to this episode took away. What would the one thing be? It's okay to be vulnerable. You have to ask for help. Doesn't matter if it's getting at that promotion to management, doesn't matter for starting a company, you're starting a family, you're having your first child. One of the best things you can do is be really open and ask those in your network who've had the experience for help. The amount of source of stress relief that it can bring to you and confidence in your next steps is immeasurable. Great. I love that. Love that, Matt. This has been an absolute pleasure. Like I said to you before, I've you've been someone who I've looked up to and admired and I just love what you're doing right now. So happy for you. How can the audience connect with you? Find You, both the company and you personally, online if...

...they want to connect. Sure, wide wilcom, Wide Wail, we've always said to spell it Matt. Matt at Wide Wilcom, you'll find me, of course, linked in and at most of the social networks. Great, and we'll post all of those connections in the show notes as well. So again, Matt, thank you so much. I really do appreciate folks you should connect with. Matt truly will be someone you are lucky to have in your network and we'll be able to answer a call if if you need help as well. And you know how the show ends, please make sure that you think about someone in your network that could benefit from the conversation Matt and I just had. Please share it out. Please make sure you're right the podcast. Subscribe. That's the way we grow. So again, we talked about reviews. We like reviews as well. I'm so happy you're here. I know that there's a lot of places you can consume content, by the fact that you spend some time with Matt me means the world to me. Thank you so much again. As we've said, the reason we do this every single week is we are here to help you become a better leader a better person, both professionally what you're trying to do in business, through conversations with our guests, to provide you some tactical skills to answer those questions and be a place of help for you. So again, thank you so much. I look forward to seeing you guys on the next episode. Matt, I look forward to seeing you in person one of these days and maybe we'll grab some dinner. Appreciate you. Take care. Thanks. Letter.

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