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November 5th, 2020

From Sales Know-How to Marketing Wow!

Host

Kathy Steele

CEO at Red Caffeine

Guest

Tom Lefaivre

President at Anchor Harvey

TOM LEFAIVRE

After having a few Zoom difficulties at the start of our session today, one of our attendees put it best: “Tom is worth the wait”! We learned so much from Tom about how Anchor Harvey has pivoted their business and now surpassed their initial 2020 revenue goal by nearly 25%. Below are some key takeaways from our time together; how can you incorporate them into your business?

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Crisis response is critical: contacting key customers first to determine their needs allows you to confirm material availability with your suppliers, ultimately keeping your staff working
  • Start today by planting seeds through your sales and marketing efforts; Anchor Harvey is now reaping the benefits from this choice 18 months ago
  • Digital enhancements to your sales process like Leadfeeder enable your sales team to focus on truly qualified leads; the change is worth it!
  • When times are tight, evaluate the impact your marketing can have; remember that efforts today will pay dividends tomorrow
  • Hiring in today’s economy takes innovative ideas; Anchor Harvey has used billboards and yard signs as a creative approach – and it works!
  • Support your local community as a company if you are able; having your team united around a common goal can strengthen your culture

Lisa: Let’s go ahead and get started, Tom. Do you feel ready? I know it’s been a little bit here trying to get you going on zoom this morning, so.

Tom: No, I’m good. I’m ready; I’m sorry for the delay, but yeah, let’s get this going because Anchor Harvey has kind of a very neat story of things that have unfolded pre-covet and then covet yeah so, we’ve been very fortunate so yes where would you like to start.

Lisa: We’ll go ahead and get started, so first, I will just say the official welcome to everyone for today’s “Business as Unusual” webinar. I didn’t mention it earlier, but I’m Lisa Behning, one of the account managers at Red Caffeine, and I’ll be the moderator for today’s session. So, thank you everyone for getting the chat started let’s keep the conversation going while we’re going through today please put questions in there for Tom or use the QA option I’ll make sure we answer those throughout as you can see everyone is on mute, so those are your options to get in touch with us as a note the session is being recorded, so you can listen back to it or if you need to step away to take a phone call don’t worry you won’t miss any of Tom’s great story as we go through today a quick shout out to our promotion that we’re doing right now so the first five registrants do get a 20 Grub hub gift card to order lunch from one of their favorite restaurants so as we do continue with this pandemic and our restaurants especially here in Illinois are shuttered again very hard hit we want to make sure that we are supporting them the best we can so our winners today were Julie H Matt, J John l, Rochelle R, and Gina B, so please check your email and look for something from Lisa at Red Caffeine that’ll have more details for you so with that we will officially turn things over to Kathy Steele, who is the founder and president of Red Caffeine as well as our guest Tom Lafayette, President of Anchor Harvey. So, welcome Tom and Kathy.

Tom: All right, thank you for having me.

Kathy: Yeah, absolutely, Tom; so great to have you on for sure I’d love you to just start by giving us a little bit of a history of your journey and then as well a picture of Anchor Harvey and the business journey there.

Tom: All right, at Anchor Harvey I’ve been the president for almost 18 years over the 18-year period Anchor Harvey has continually reinvented itself, and that just because of the nature of the business environment if you’re not changing your competition is you’ll be left behind most recently at Anchor Harvey we have gone to five one-piece, one-piece, through remember flow lines were ford shop as compared to a casting shop casting you melt metal you pour it four chops you heat it, and you squeeze it into shape so that’s a little distinction but when we went to the one piece flow what that did for us, it allowed us to produce a forging in three hours and the last process could take 12 to 24, but literally a park could get out the door within about two days prior to that it was 21 days before part left the building, so we forged aluminum anywhere from a couple ounces up to about 35 pounds we have a very unique monitoring system on all the key inputs into the forging process and that’s what makes Anchor Harvey unique so all the inputs are monitored and controlled, so the first forging will be just like the 1 millionth forging there’s be no difference because of all the monitoring that goes on the inputs so consistency is our claim to fame, so we’ve been around for about 100 years, and now we’re thinking okay what’s the next evolution, and we’re already beginning to work on that coming up this coming year, so we’re not seeing idle we’re going to move forward and more different materials different industries it’s kind of exciting time.

Kathy: Yeah, and I mean, I think you’re even being a little bit modest; it’s you guys have grown your revenues or sales top line by 300 during your tenure, working across a lot of the spectrum of manufacturing you do have a very highly technical facility, so really have invested in your operations, but about a year ago you started to think about your brand, and so as with many manufacturers we see a lot of investment in operation and perfecting their the way they deliver their product, but what made you embrace thinking about reinvestment in the overall brand?

Tom: Kathy, great question because internally at Anchor Harvey when we went to the one piece flow our operation had changed so much but yet on the web page and the building our literature everything looked like it was the old Anchor Harvey and Anchor Harvey had changed dramatically, so we’re like okay it’s time to get some help because we’re not experts on rebranding or a new web page so at that time we engaged with Red Caffeine in the fourth quarter of last year and that’s when the big changes came because we were completely rebranded a fresh look it helped us to find customers that value the value Anchor Harvey has to offer, and we had to make it enticing for them the goal was that when they walked into Anchor Harvey they would say this is the place where I want to have my four jeans made prior to Red Caffeine they wouldn’t have said that, so it started with the web page what they saw and what they read how he contacted prospective customers it was the total engagement with a different crisp clean message that has really made the difference here.

Kathy: Yeah, well, I definitely appreciate the plugs for Red Caffeine, but I think you had the groundwork laid, and I think going back to what you’d done as an organization operationally gave that kind of footprint of being able to differentiate your organization and be able to clarify your message in the marketplace and then how it would pivot to other markets I also want to talk about your culture a little bit I didn’t attend your brand launch, but I was in the office as they were pre prepping for it so talk a little bit about what you talked about the impact for the customers but talk about what it started to mean to your internal team.

Tom: We are pretty much employee-driven; our employees have a lot to say about the design of the products and what’s happening on the shop floor, and with that, we have a tight relationship with them because we like to celebrate the victories together, so one of the things that Anchor Harvey is we eat a lot we always cater in the food we have t-shirts, but when we’re successful we share it with them, we have town hall meetings with them every other week they know what’s going on with the business it’s just a unique relationship with them, I have an open-door policy many of them on the shop floor have my cell phone number which is interesting sometimes they can call me whenever they want, so we have that type of culture and relationship with the employees, and we cherish that.

Kathy: Well, I just remember some of the pictures coming back from that brand launch and the pride that I saw on your team’s face when they were wearing their new branded swag, and they got their business cards, and sometimes in some cases; it was the first business card some of your employees ever had so in any type of rebranding I think it is it starts first inside your organization and really in order to take shape in the marketplace you have to start internally first so congratulations for that so in terms of this year you started down a path we were invested in penetrating a new marketplace, and then that marketplace was it was really impacted by the pandemic so can you talk to us about sort of going back to earlier this year where you were at then it’s March 11th or March 13th what was that what sort of happened then?

Tom: We went down the aerospace world because finding customers that value our value is very conducive to aerospace, so starting last fall, the web page and how we’re using the using media were all geared to aerospace. We received our 9100 certifications and the second week of March just.

Kathy: Great timing.

Tom: Timing’s everything, just in time for Friday the 13th when the Illinois governor said that in the state would be closing down in about four days and at that point our book of business just got turned upside down we didn’t we weren’t even sure if we were going to be in business much less if we were at what level and all the certification all the excitement around it fell flat real quick so as a management team it was Friday the 13th when the announcement came out we were sitting in a conference room, and we’re like we got to figure out what we’re going to do here or is going to send everybody home we made a list of products that Anchor Harvey makes that would go to the government first responders police department and military work we contacted those agencies, and we got we received exemption letters which means we could stay open and produce product, so they’re like okay, so we have some orders we had other orders from car companies and major motorcycle companies that just got cancelled, but we had a pretty good book of business yet from kind of the ashes of what we had left next we checked with our raw material suppliers they were good so okay we got orders we got material next was the employees, and we implemented everything from the temperature checks to the masks to having social spacing we hired cleaners on each shift to be cleaning handles and doorknobs tables and chairs, and we implemented social spacing within our lunchroom, so we did that all within the first two three weeks to make our employees feel secure you come to Anchor Harvey we’re gonna do as much as we can to keep you safe so some orders raw material and employees and here we go we need more work, yet we were fortunate in that our marketing program had reached the point with the new web page we were accessing new and different customers because the web page is the way it was designed, and it has keywords involved in it so some plugs in aluminum forging Anchor Harvey comes up high it’s linked to other pages so if they click on forging on a different page up comes Anchor Harvey, so we were getting a good amount of traffic on our web page already what we did though is we brought in a gal from the shop floor, and she started responding with pre-made email emails and presentations to these contacts we use a software called lead feeder whoever hits our web page today we see them Tomorrow and on lead feeder you also see their names sometimes you see their email addresses, and you start to go after those individuals and little by little we started to generate work off of the web page and lead feeder we weren’t done we had a lot more work to go, yet all trade shows were cancelled no customers were coming here no customers wanted to see us, so it was getting to the point that if your web page and your marketing material wasn’t on spot wasn’t good you were going to have a problem, so we went into printed media we had many articles that appeared in different trade magazines I would have never thought of but it we got our name out there I’ve done some other podcasts that helped on LinkedIn we did mass mailings perfect time to do mass mailings all the engineers were sitting at home for a couple of months the open rate on the emails was extremely high because they’re uninterrupted maybe a little extra time on their hands, and they’re opening up our emails and who’s this Anchor Harvey, and then they went to a web page that just looked world-class and then lead feeder told us they went to the web page, and then we started sending them more material on our Facebook page too that got spruced up also because they’re going to go from a LinkedIn to Facebook they’re going to do that whole network trying to check you out, and so we upped our game in all those areas, and it really paid off so at the beginning we had the work we kind of always had, and then we added some of the same type of customers the second phase we hit was when there was a concern about meat processing plants, and they weren’t sure what was going to happen Anchor Harvey produces goods for hunting we thought for sure that industry was going to be down-and-out people weren’t working they’re not going to be buying equipment to go hunting well we were wrong the hunter stepped up if the meat’s not going to be good we’re going to go get our own that industry picked up that was followed by the near soaring or onshoring however you want to say it that was the next phase that hit as businesses kind of started to reopen they were like hang on a second I don’t want to go back over there to source my products, and we had gotten the word out about Anchor Harvey LinkedIn Facebook the web page the articles the podcast we started getting blueprints that had different languages written on them, and you could tell they were from overseas, and we did land some of that business which was awesome at this stage of the game now we’re I think it’s like a final phase where we’re beginning to see more of the requests for quotes and blueprints for new work for new models going forward but because we were aggressive, and we did all those steps we wanted to work in seven days a week and hiring 35 employees.

Kathy: So, that’s such incredible congratulations. I think that the point I want to make sure we clarify is that you’d invested heavily in building out a sales and marketing system and what we call a revenue system, and I think that ideally, we would have been able to go after the aerospace space market as planned but when you weren’t able to or if that was not the most advantageous area you had other options to reposition focus around and the system in place to react to so, interestingly, I’m sure that there was some talk about even cutting your marketing in those early days as we all were like thinking like what are we going to cut what can we live with, and what can we live without so was there any consideration to actually doing the opposite of what you ended up doing?

Tom: Yes, there was; it was the first full week back because the uncertainty was so large major motorcycle company was changing their forecast every other day, our biggest customers were shutting down, and we’re like we got to cut back, and that was the first thought let’s take this budget and just cut it the more we talked about it though our industry is you plant seeds today, and you harvest Tomorrow we will get new work from a new model product a new motorcycle is coming out in two years we’ll design for that somebody has a bad supplier we’ll get work for that they just don’t automatically come to us just because they want to well I want to try a forging it’s usually a strong need, so you plant your seeds today, and sometimes it’s two or three two three years later they pop, but you got to keep on planting, or you never harvest, and that’s been something we’ve done for years but now more than we’re planting a lot more seeds than we ever have we are all over the place.

Kathy: Yeah, I know, absolutely. I’ve been listening to your podcasts too, and they’ve been really fun. I always joke that you could actually work for Red Caffeine now you’re so savvy in terms of marketing and digital investment, so tell us, so this is really netted in some incredible sales results you’re where I think maybe in the early part of the year you might have thought that you were facing a downtrend what has talked about the role a little bit?

Tom: We were looking at 40-41 million in sales in January first part of April. We began to question whether we were going to get into the 30s, where we were going to wind up as eventually, we’re going to have layoffs, we have a three-shift operation would be a one-shift operation. We had all those concerns until the order started to roll in, so what’s happening now is we’re going to be a 51 almost a 52 million dollar business. As I mentioned, we heard 35 new folks out in the shop, and the bottom line is following with the top line, and it’s going to be a record year in a year that’s just been totally unreal. I don’t think we’ll ever see another year like this.

Kathy: Gosh, I don’t know. I kind of hope not, but I definitely think we’ve all learned a lot as business leaders this year, too. That has as made us think more innovatively and made us really question all of our decisions and double down on some areas, so I think you take the good with the bad in terms of the lessons we’ve definitely learned this year a little bit about that hiring because hiring 35 people is not that easy in manufacturing that’s talk a little bit about that aspect.

Tom: And you’re right that that game has changed especially for hourly folks you don’t put the ad in the local newspaper anymore and then Monday morning they show up you have to post it on your Facebook on your web page, but Anchor Harvey did some different things this time we put together many yard signs like the garage sale signs, so it was Anchor Harvey is hiring now not later now, and we would go, and we lined the streets of freeport with these yard signs a little hokey, but it worked we had a lot of folks that have been working someplace for many years and the business closed down but because of our signs they came in we got some really good candidates the next phase of that we moved away from the yard signs this past week, and we now have remember we’re in freeport, so pricing structures are a little different we have eight billboards up in the Stevenson county saying Anchor Harvey is hiring they look fantastic and on Monday there are so many people coming in here the billboards worked.

Kathy: Yeah, I mean, I think that’s impressive, and the fact is that we are like in the manufacturing community it is more challenging to employ people you’re running up against Amazon and Uber and other types of opportunities for hourly workers, so we’re not even competing against each other in terms of talent anymore in the manufacturing space we’re actually competing about against so many unknowns that we hadn’t had in past years, so I love the innovation around some of the thinking and really grassroots it sounds like the right mix of both digital and traditional thinking has also played a fact a role in the success of this year because at the end of the day if you don’t have employees, you can’t meet that growth objective either, so it’s a parallel path in terms of growth lanes with investment and team and investment and sales.

Tom: Yes, it is, and on the employee front, you have to find them differently, but I think what’s happened with everything that’s occurred this year is that even the sales game has changed because we’ve landed some major accounts and those customers never came inside the doors, and I have a sales manager he’s seen two customers the entire year, so everyone’s reluctant to fly, so your message is that you send out right now have to be very good, and that’s what they’re going to see first and make decisions off of I don’t know going forward how many sales engineers we’re going to have is it going to be less of these calling on them, and it’s going to be more zooming and just bringing sending in the prince models quoting the work I think the game has changed and might have changed forever because of this.

Kathy: Yeah, I would agree more. I mean, I feel like we’ve all been moving to a digital-first sales experience for a while, and the pandemic has just accelerated this, so those that have really invested or starting to level up the tools and technology and processes around sales and marketing from a digital standpoint are going to be the winners in this situation, so I couldn’t agree more, and I and I also love the fact that I always feel that when you’re putting it out there that you’re hiring and that also speaks to your stability in the marketplace so that even customers find that a good something good in terms of when they’re evaluating organizations they want to see that you’re growing your people count too.

Tom: The one last thing we’re doing this week, and this is kind of fun for our employees, we are giving them yard signs they can put in front of their house that tell an Anchor Harvey Rockstar lives here, and they are taking them, and they’re putting them on their front lawns throughout their neighborhoods, so kind of another way to advertise in the local area that to check out Anchor Harvey.

Kathy: Well, have them take a picture with their sign and post it on LinkedIn and Facebook too so that we can. The great idea is that that’s a traditional experience, so what is going to happen next as we look to 2021? Where are you guys focusing your thinking?

Tom: In a couple of areas we’re almost 100 years old and there are only about 700 companies that are 100 years old in the us, so we would like to in 2023 hit that mark it would be a pride point to do that so, but we got to keep on changing, so we are I think doing a better job of getting our message out there, and we’re selling the sizzle that Anchor Harvey has to offer, but internally we know we got to continue to up our game we forged different grades of aluminum we are now going into some more exotic materials that few ford shops in the country use just because of lack of knowledge, so we’re spending some money on some talent to get us to that level and also with our little I’ll call it the sales machine the lead machine we’re going after many different industries there are so many but the hottest one we’re after electric vehicles whether it’s cars or trucks or semi-trucks you read about Amazon they’re all going electric trucks so and those vehicles are so different and there’s no muffler clamps, but there are other applications for aluminum forgings on the vehicles, so we’re working that very hard right now.

Kathy: That’s going to be an exciting campaign. I can’t wait to see the output of that, so I want to let, start to open it up for some questions from our guests. Are there any questions that have come through Lisa?

Lisa: Not at this point yet, but I know Carrie wanted to share companies are now figuring out if they have the right talent for their company, and the candidate is also deciding if they’re right for that company, so times are definitely changing as Tom said, so thank you for sharing your hiring ideas and practices how you’re getting the word out I know Tom you and I when we have the chance to speak a couple of weeks ago before the webinar you had said to you one of the interesting parts that I almost we built a kind of, is that supporting your community in a crisis you mentioned earlier today Anchor Harvey loves to eat that’s definitely the way to your hearts you guys also put your heart out there a little bit and what you did to help support your community in freeport so could you talk a little bit about what you were doing because I think that also played into keeping the morale up of your team with that crazy seven days a week schedules.

Tom: Yes, we, we do like to eat and when the restaurants were shutting down there are three family-owned restaurants in freeport that has a company we use, and we use a lot for all of our big meals that we have in thanksgiving or Christmas there’s one that serves on all three shifts there’s nothing that brings in sandwiches we’ve got a great pizza place here and when that closure happened on Facebook the messages were so sad to see what they were saying so as a company we decided that we’re going to rotate one of these three privately owned companies every other day, and we’re going to start feeding people at Anchor Harvey, so this went on for three months it was hard to do with the hourly workforce because out there we would gather them together social spacing would be out the window so what we did instead is we gave them gift certificates to these three restaurants, so they could order and go pick up food so that was a way of getting the hourly people involved too, but we did it for three months all three restaurants are still here one of them just catered an event for us too and that was really satisfying and as we are coming out in businesses we’re opening before they’re closing again here we had a little event we had a bet on this in a production shop about making so many foraging between the plant manager and the production manager and somebody lost and the next thing we had sumo wrestling on the front lawn and betting was allowed but no matter who you bet on that money went into a pot Anchor Harvey matched it, and we gave 825 to the freeport humane society and our employees just love that because many of them live here in freeport and rumor off the shop floors or there’s a dunk tank in the works coming up here, and it’s going to be the same type of arrangement and the employees will tell us where they would like to direct that money from there so, and it’s just engaging them for their help, and they just love that because we’re doing well as a company let’s help out some other people it comes back tenfold it always does so let’s do the right thing it’s great it’s fun.

Kathy: Yeah, that’s incredible. I mean, and I think those kinds of stories go a long way when you’re looking to hire as well, so what about reshoring for next year? I mean, you’ve you saw, I mean, we’ve all seen things come back, and I could not be happier because I do feel like we as a society in the U.S. have limited ourselves to what we make here because we’ve forced our smaller organizations into these just unattainable price points in combative competitive competition with offshore teams so talk a little bit about resharing or what you think is going to happen in the next year a couple of years there.

Tom: What happened after about the first five or six weeks as we got it got further into this pandemic the restoring that we came across initially were huge volumes primarily from the automotive industry and Anchor Harvey will make 3.5 million forgings in a typical year here’s somebody asking us to make 6 million and that’s just not within our mix right I think they were so desperate to find domestic suppliers that they were just sending it out all over, so it took some time we had to filter out and once we kind of found the right customers in the right niche maybe 60 000 pieces a year that’s Anchor Harvey’s business then from there we started landing some work and then of course we look for their competitors, and we start contacting them, so there was a filtering out period going forward I believe we’re going to see more company into this country I spoken to some customers, and they’re a little bit reluctant to fly if they can’t even fly to go see a supplier on the other side of one of the big oceans so if the price is right on total cost or close there will be more work here in the United States.

Kathy: Yeah, it seems like that right quantity and mix of complexity is it just it makes more sense to do it in us, and so I hope you’re right. I hope we don’t again start to put ourselves in a position that we were in this year because it was pretty scary. It looks like we did get a question, and it sounds like you made the decision to pivot rather than retrench very quickly. What were some of the areas that you had to evaluate, and how did you execute that analysis so quickly.

Tom: Well, some of it came down to some businesses just closed, so that that made it very easy the other businesses that were very erratic in their forecast, and they were going up and down up and down, and we were picking up in other industries we just had the conversation hey listen we’re moving on to a different industry, and we’re not going to be able to handle your erratic orders, and so we very professionally and politely parted ways because the book of business was changing, and we had to change with what was coming at us so although maybe a good customer for five years they were too erratic for us, and it just wasn’t fitting in our mix, so there were some of those hard conversations, but they moved on I’m sure they found another ford shop that kind of matched up with them, and we found other customers that matched better with our niche our quantities we like to produce.

Kathy: Yeah, I mean that’s always a challenging thing to evaluate is where, where you are in a match any longer for somebody that you’ve worked with for a long time. I think all businesses struggle with telling you to know a customer that they’re not the right fit any longer. It’s a really hard thing to do, so I applaud you guys for being laser-focused on what you are really good at and then walking away from things that we’re going to either tax the team too much or just pull you off course into where you needed to have as a business.

Tom: Right, but Kathy, I got to internally what happens. I mean, sales guys love sales. They love all the sales, and they have the hardest time saying goodbye, but over the years, our sales manager has learned lessons that sometimes it is the right thing to part ways.

Kathy: It’s hard for any business to turn away sales. I mean, I think we talk about it too, but you’re right. It is when you’re like looking at everything, and everything’s a shiny object, then nothing’s going to actually get done, or nothing’s going to actually work if you’re not a little more pinpointed on your targets so.

Tom: Yep.

Kathy: Fantastic!

Lisa: So, Tom, speaking of your sales team and wanting all the sales, I’m sure for those that are listening live today and will be listing afterwards that the term lead feeder may be new to them, so I’m curious. I know this was a recommendation we had; of course, as you said, people, you can see who’s basically landing on your website to know to who you should talk. What did your sales team think of this? Because you’re taking an analogue group, you said that’s really driving, and now you’re adding in this new digital component, so what was the initial reaction? How have things changed since then?

Tom: Well, the initial reaction was here we’re going to go through a change phase with this but when they start seeing these names popping up they really start getting excited now we know who’s looking at us but the next problem that they realize is by the end of the week you could have 20-25 different names so how do you keep track of these names what do you do with these names do you just make a file and put on your computer you have to use them in some way, and we had some creative ideas with Red Caffeine of how to track those how to send out emails send up proposals that were well put together, so a customer would be impressed with what they’re receiving from us, so it’s getting the leads names are important but what you do with them next that’s so critical and a lot of the sales folks just didn’t get that, so we helped we help with that process of putting somebody in place Red Caffeine help with drafting these awesome letters and then we search of course for these competitors that have hit our page too, so it’s a little lead machine that is developed with lead feeder that’s where it starts the tip of the iceberg, but then we do more prospecting off of that, so it’s been good they love it now but at first I think they just felt to be a lot of work, but it was well worth it well worth it.

Kathy: Yeah, I do feel like sometimes in terms of just a space that we have a lot of subject matters experts in sales roles and so just giving them the tools to do what they do best giving them some templates giving them some road maps, they’re always you guys are really excellent at the process so just building a process to follow, and then they can nuance it and make it their own, but not having to start from scratch, and it does help people embrace technology and technical approaches to sales when they’ve got when we’re talking sort of the mystery out of how to use these tools too.

Tom: What’s happened at Anchor Harvey is our sales manager is very knowledgeable of the process and understands forging’s machining, but he was never the world’s greatest prospector, so he’s really out of prospecting now, and the machine does the prospecting for him, and as it gets to a point where they send in requests for a quote how much would this cost then we give it to him because now we got someone that’s hot on the hook, and then he is more efficient, so it’s turned out this to be a great little machine makes him more efficient so much better.

Kathy: Yeah, well, I mean too and putting the, his strengths in the right area and nobody likes to do what they don’t like to do, so it’s a lot happier from an employee’s standpoint to taking out of some of that busy work that none of us like.

Tom: Yep, so it really fits well here. It came together very well, and there’s more to come yet, too, as we go down this road, so we’re just in one way we’re kind of just beginning it’s working well.

Kathy: I think that that’s what we’ve seen with other clients, too, is once you start to automate things within your sales funnel, there’s more opportunity to automate, so we’ve done some interesting things after-sale in terms of customer satisfaction and being able to build on those types of internal metrics, quality control, and understanding how we’re doing and performing and what people value there’s so much you learn even after the sale I think those are also ripe opportunities for automation and technology to aid a smaller sales team or just give you more real-time data about how the company’s doing every day.

Tom: I couldn’t agree more. We had a major electric vehicle company that he told us one of the reasons he really liked Anchor Harvey was we were very responsive. He would call our email within minutes we were back at him, and he was like, oh my gosh, my other people that he was quoting with because wondering if they ever get a callback, but that type of information is just yeah, you had to have it.

Kathy: I think response times in especially in manufacture, but I think the expectation is fast response anyways we’re all used to this immediate gratification, and so that experience from a consumer behaviour standpoint has really weaved itself into the B2B space and so 24/7 or things that oh we’re closed for the weekend that that’s just not good enough any longer and so how do we stay communicating 365/24 hours a day seven days a week it’s there’s ways to do it that give people the sense that you’re being responsive and even when you may not be online or at the office.

Tom: Yep, we talk about that all the time that there really isn’t a vacation anymore if you have your phone with you, you’re not going to respond to that customer our salespeople I do we do respond to customers so then internally what we’ll do is we’ll we realize that it is a seven-day week job for certain individuals, so we count vacation days kind of sort of but kind of sort of not because the sales manager is working 52 weeks out of the year he’s on vacation now he’s down in Florida yeah I’ve seen his emails, and I know he’s returned phone calls so you as being a manager of that type of environment there’s got to be a little bit of leeway and give and take too, so you’re right it’s changed the response time has to be quick these people they’re looking for it.

Kathy: Yeah, I mean, we, I think even in terms of e-commerce and things where we’ve had conversations and clients have been like, but we’re never going to add e-commerce, and now it’s like well maybe we’d, sell this one aftermarket part in an e-commerce way and so or even giving that e-commerce like experience that you’re quoting their project rapidly some of those behaviours and expectations from the consumer marketplace I think Amazon’s changed our world, so we all expect to be able to order as we order on Amazon so just it’s where all the B2B play is headed, and I think you don’t have to go all-in, but you do have to start to level up that that type of customer experience.

Tom: Yes, you do; it’s Amazon, it’s the ATM, it’s automatic cash, it’s at your fingertips, and that’s what folks are looking for.

Kathy: Yeah, and I think reviews are coming next; we talked about this with a couple of people in the last few weeks. That now that people can check your star rating as a restaurant, this is going to be what’s going to come into play for the b2b marketplace as well and how can you start now building that 401k of customer feedback that other people’s prospects are able to see on your website or in something that you’re reporting on a frequent basis, so I think those are also tools that we’re going to see in 2021 and beyond used in marketing.

Tom: I agree with you because we’re being asked that question can we talk to some of your customers? I told it five years ago we never got that question, but now they want to talk to some of our customers, which is fine. We have some great stories, but eventually, you’re right. It will be right there. It’s going to be the yelp, or glass store has it’s going to be out there your rating of how you’re performing it’s going to be there.

Kathy: Yeah, it’s a great search engine optimization tool too, so those that are like jumping on to that kind of strategy now we are gonna see it pay dividends in, a year from now or two years from now that investment a couple of hundred good reviews for a restaurant could have that same impact for a beautiful business.

Tom: I agree. I totally agree, yes.

Lisa: All great things work on for next year, so we’re like Anchor Harvey 2021 taking over the world.

Kathy: So yeah, we’ll have to circle back this time next year time and see how what I’ll get activated and where you end up at the end of next year?

Tom: That would be great because I said we’re changing, and we have to change we like changing, and we’re doing it, so that’s a great need to survive this year. Our motto is we need to thrive and survive. That’s what we told our employees back in March, and they’re like yeah, we do because my house isn’t working or other members of the family weren’t working, and they’re like at anchor harbour, we need to thrive and survive I need a paycheck and it kind of brought us together, so it’s yeah we’ll see what happens it’s gonna be an exciting year.

Lisa: Well, I think you guys did that exceptionally well not only for your team but also by telling us how you helped support your community during that time. You’ve got your team on board with just continuing to give back when you’re in that position, but I think, too, Tom, great takeaways today. Plant the seeds now. Even if you’re not quite sure what that is, you guys definitely see the dividends of 18 months ago making that decision to do the brand refresh and actually get yourselves out there, and now it almost feels like you’ve got a bit of a snowball going that you’re getting the leads you’ve got the processes in place so start today don’t start Tomorrow start making those differences and then just how you really approach things you guys have been very innovative you’ve been great on podcasts jumping into those your restoring campaign incorporating tools like lead feeder just a phenomenal way to show that it’s never too late to learn something new.

Tom: It’s true, especially in this day and age, you have to be you just it moves so fast.

Lisa: So, fast, it does. Well, if for those of you that are attending life, or you’re listening later if you do have a question for Tom that you think of, we do have his email up on the screen as you can tell Tom is an open book and more than happy to chat so feel free to reach out to him use the subject line unusual, so he knows you’re coming from the webinar love the comments that are coming in our chat thank you to Tom for all of your time today both in preparing for this and also working through those zoom issues you gotta love the technical issues.

Tom: We made it; we got it.

Lisa: So wonderful. Well, for those of you looking to join us again in the next two weeks, I still have the date up here as of November 5th, but it’s actually November 19th so let’s jump ahead two weeks. We’ll be featuring Allison Grealis, who’s the Founder and President of the Women in Manufacturing Association, otherwise known as WIM. We are so excited to have Allison; we’re going to be focusing on what we’re terming, manufacturing 4.0, so different trends and topics as we move into 2021. Allison has also been part of an amazing survey the results are not yet released but really focusing in on diversity inclusion so different ways that you can support that within your manufacturing environment and then lastly navigating your manufacturing career so different tips and tricks that women in manufacturing have come up with for any individual not just women but wanting to share that with our audience knowing as we go into the next year especially in our core audience of manufacturers how we continue to survive and thrive and really develop ourselves into the next best version that we can be just to help next year go hopefully a little bit better, so you can go to www.redcaffeine.com right on the main page we have the “Business as Unusual” link you can click there to register for Alice in session which will be up by Tomorrow morning so stay tuned for that we’ll also follow up with those of you who registered with a link to Tom’s webinar as well as how to register for Allison, so you will all get me getting this recording if you’d like to share it with someone else this was your first time attending “Business as Unusual”. I hope you enjoyed listening to Tom and Kathy today and really diving into this topic. If you want to learn more about what Red Caffeine does and how we are growth consultants helping build badass brands that people want to work with and for, you can reach out to us at connecting https://www.redcaffeine.com/. Thanks so much, everyone, and enjoy the rest of your day.

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Catch Up On Past Livestreams

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