February 3

Darin Dawson on How to Increase Revenue with Video Messaging

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Darin Dawson is the Co-Founder and President of BombBomb, a Human-Centered Communication Platform that enables users to use simple, personal video messages to leverage their best asset themselves. Darin leads all sales, marketing, customer success and product development at BombBomb, a fast-growing, Colorado-based software company.

He’s on a mission to re-humanize the planet and he wants to start with your business communication. He believes that human beings have intrinsic value and that every person deserves to be seen, heard and understood. That’s why he co-founded BombBomb.

EXPERT TALKING POINTS:

  • Going up-market from B2C to B2B, from VSB and SMB to Mid-Market and enterprise
  • All things real estate and prop tech
  • Customer experience and its impact on customer lifetime value
  • Discovering and refining ideal customer fit
  • Growing from $0 to $20M in annual recurring revenue … and beyond
  • The role of a clear mission and core values in building a team, company, and community

[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:01
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone! My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you, do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed, not only remove it, but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you to much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes, click on it to find out more. All right! Let's get started.

Umar Hameed 0:41
Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the No Limits Selling Podcast. And today, we have Darin Dawson here with us. he's the Co-founder and President of BombBomb. Welcome to the program.

Darin Dawson 0:52
Thanks so much for having me. It's great to hang out with you for a while.

Umar Hameed 0:55
So Darin, do you feel like you're cheating? Because we're using a different video platform here? Do you feel?

Darin Dawson 1:02
No, I don't know, this is this is different, right? It's different than we what we do. But we I love these these platforms for doing this type of work is awesome. Anything that's face to face. And more human is what I'm about.

Umar Hameed 1:16
So brilliant. So first off the thing that I'm finding the most joyous in our compensation so far, because we were chatting before we went on the air. Is your kids on the swings in the background? Yeah. You know, we're organic and with our families, and would be human doing that. And it probably makes you a much more effective leader. You know, having your kids right in front of you, right?

Darin Dawson 1:39
I hope so. I mean, yeah, I want to be that, that's my best job that I have is being a dad, bar, none. It's my favorite thing to do. So one of the things I've learned during the pandemic is how much I need that in the US. I was traveling a lot, I was 100,000 miles a year, and gone a lot during the week doing work, right. And then what the pandemic taught me is how much more of a balance I need for that. So I was thankful for that get to spend time I was taking them to school morning, walking in the school, getting them ready for school was kind of a transition for me, but it was a very good one needed one.

Umar Hameed 2:13
So a friend of mine, he runs a company and he said the first two weeks of the pandemic were awful, having the kids there, he's there. But he said after the two weeks, he shed all the old way of being and just embraced his family and his kids. But it took it wasn't like an instant This is great. But it took her two weeks to get all the BS out of his head. Like what's really important because we talk ourselves into work is really important. What I noticed about the pandemic is this is that before the pandemic, people like you and I, if we were chatting, you know, families the number one most important thing and the answer was bullshit. We're working on it.

Darin Dawson 2:48
We weren't actually execute, we would definitely I would have said the same thing I just said, but it means something different to me now.

Umar Hameed 2:54
Yeah, because we're actually living it breathing it. And I was talking with this professor of sales at Northwest University. And he was telling about his latest crop of students. And he was saying, you know, these students are, and in my head, I was going lazy and titled no good SOPs, not what he said. He said they're the most hardworking, dedicated, people we've had in a very long time. And I went, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, tell me more." He says, "Because when they were about seven years old, in 2007-2008, the people were losing their homes, people or am I going to eat tonight? Are my parents going to be together?" So they grew up in a depression era mentality. And so they're basically, it's up to me, I'm working hard. I'm doing it." And what I'm thinking is your kids going through this pandemic, where in the past it was like, families number one, but now dad's home, mom's home, we're all together. I wonder what they're going to be like as adults where they'll actually live it breathe it.

Darin Dawson 3:53
[Garbled] I have said that it's been like often my children are just off camera, right? while I'm working and so it's...

Umar Hameed 4:01
Yes.

Darin Dawson 4:02
...take your kids to work year, right? It's been, they've been here and my son often will I'll get up. How many more means you got today? Dad, I got three more. And he'll ask me questions about whatever the last thing was. Now, he's not sitting here right now. But usually he is. And he's asking me about this, that was fascinating, my daughter's will say, "Why did you say that to them? Or were they in trouble? Or why were you upset or," it's just interesting, right? So it's, it tells me about mirror image of myself of how I'm coming across [garbled] sometimes.

Umar Hameed 4:34
True. And I bet you when they're adults, they're gonna think back to that time and some of their leadership skills is going to come from eavesdropping on these conversations.

Darin Dawson 4:41
Yeah. So pros and cons both good and bad perhaps.

Umar Hameed 4:45
Absolutely. And before we get started into like our main topic, I noticed your T-shirt, it was rehumanized.

Darin Dawson 4:51
Right.

Umar Hameed 4:51
And I think we live in this world right now. That once again, we talk about carrying and all that stuff, but it's almost like a checkbox and very few people actually live it breathe it. So what does rehumanize mean to you and to BombBomb?

Darin Dawson 5:06
Yeah. It's, it's about a state of mind so our book was called Rehumanize Your Business and that's what our product does for people, it helps people in their business to be more face to face, more people that matter to their business, right? But what we do at BombBomb, why you work at BombBomb, why you make sales calls, why you are in customer success and marketing. The reason we exist is to help rehumanize the planet and I know that sounds huge, but we just believe that people matter that human beings have intrinsic value and we're trying to enable that. And our goal is, that we enable a human human connection in the millions, not just in this business category. But as example, if your nonprofit, we give you BombBomb, you can have it for free, especially if you're rehumanizing the planet as an example. We support locally, we spend time there we, we do events with these people, it's called Dream Centers here in Colorado Springs, it's a great organization, they actually have a free health care clinic for women. So free health care, unlimited, they take care of you checkups, all that good stuff. Then they also have a program where they're getting homeless families off the streets to me,

Umar Hameed 6:21
Nice.

Darin Dawson 6:21
if you if you can't get health care, if you can't be taken care of you're being dehumanized, right? like, you need to be taken care of, we need a community to take care of us. Also, if you're living out of your car, with your kids, your dehumanize, we need to help these people, I feel a corporate responsibility. When we started the business, the whole reason we started it, this is a longer story. I won't do it all. But Connor, my business partner and co-founder had gone to Africa and he had seen a huge need there. And he said, "Man, I just got to do something about this." And we'd always always tried to start a business that could support this community in Africa. We never found one that was brave enough until BombBomb. And so we are able to do that we also support a community in Africa, of widows and orphans who we have, there's now an orphanage there, there's a school there, that's K through 12. We've built tilapia farms and lots of other things and make it self sustaining. So we're not just shoveling money, we're being entrepreneurs to help dehumanize people get back on their feet and be productive in their lives and get after the things so they can be entrepreneurs. You know, if you're looking for food every day and trying to figure out we're gonna get clean water, you can't be an entrepreneur, and tons...

Umar Hameed 7:32
Oh, absolutely.

Darin Dawson 7:32
...of things are entrepreneurs that can change the face of their business, their country. So we want to be people who do that. And that's why you work at bom, bom.

Umar Hameed 7:42
So Darin, when BombBomb started and you sent out video messages, what was a way that you thought was really effective of sending a video message to start the first meeting? And how is that different today like, was it 10 years later?

Darin Dawson 7:57
It's not different. But the...

Umar Hameed 7:59
Nice.

Darin Dawson 8:00
...thing about that, I think the idea behind it originally was we were in sales and marketing and we wanted more ways to connect with people at scale, right? So I was a sales rep or I was an account executive and I had a book of business but I realized that I only had so much time. Let's say I was working on a television station actually so what would happen is they would give us a a promotion, they want us to go sell. And I had these people that have [garbled] balance so much time, I had like 100 customers, how am I supposed to get to all of them with this thing. And I also knew though, that was better in person that I liked. I've always been able to build relationships, you know, I'm a, I'm a business development person at heart so I want to send myself over video. That was the idea that Connor I had like, and so we did one, we did one Connor sent it out to his 100 people. It was a simple video was just like, "Hi, I'm Connor McCluskey, there's anything I can do for you. You know, please call me and my personal line," kind of points in the number of years, we hosted that video on a server in a closet.

Umar Hameed 9:07
Nice.

Darin Dawson 9:07
Because there wasn't like now you can just host video anywhere kinda. YouTube was private, there wasn't a camera on your iPhone as long time ago. And everybody was like, "How did you do that? That's amazing." So what we found there is yeah, we were right human to human matters and that's why it hasn't changed. The messages are different, but I give you, I know some of the best messages I still I did it this morning. I spend every Friday I try to send gratitude messages, trying to encourage people those are the best. And so that message might not be for a sales focus, but for me it's internal BombBomb people I know I've heard about throughout the week who have been doing great work. We're still remote right? I'm here in my basement still. So I'll send a message of gratitude to them saying thank you so much, listen, so and so told me about the work you're doing. I just want to tell you thank you matters to me, I see you, you're important. This is how I retain the folks at BombBomb I want them to still see me. So simple messages of gratitude, this can be the customers. Once we sign a new customer, I send them a video, I introduce myself and say, "Hey, I'm the co-founder, the president of business. Listen, you're in great hands, people you're working with whether there's anything I can ever do for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me. Here's all my personal information. Thanks, again, for trusting us with your business." Simple, it's just the simple messages. If you met them, you would say that right? And but we don't have the ability to but or do we? And it says something like that as lost in a text message, I believe or a or an email, it just, it loses all of who I am. And I believe that we have abilities as salespeople as customer success people as people, that technology just can't replicate.

Umar Hameed 11:00
Brilliant. I'm not sure if Ann Landers is still kicking, but she would love this. This the best way to say thank you, better than a handwritten note.

Darin Dawson 11:07
We we've been doing that way for millennia. I think we feel all consumed by the digital stuff, right? And but before this, and it wasn't that long ago, let's be honest. It's like, the 90s is when it's really started, like email shows up. And then we get YouTube we get we get social media and the 2000s. It just hasn't been around that long. This has been around since we began, right? This face to face interaction has been around since we began. Frankly, the state of our world I think is in the chaos in points and it is because we do less of this last of having empathy and hearing each other and sharing ideas and different viewpoints in wrestling with them as people, we need to do that better. So I just want to create a way to do that in business and in life, and that's what BombBomb is.

Umar Hameed 12:06
Brilliant. So BombBomb, if I remember correctly when you employee number five, even though you're a co-founder.

Darin Dawson 12:13
I was I mean, so I was employee too. So you know, Connor is my best friend, we grew up together and known him. We're from the same hometown in Michigan. So I know his sister. I know his mom and dad. He knows mine, right? We're tight. We've done other businesses together. But yeah, he he's the one that quit his job first, and jump in the deep end of the ocean. I was like, "No, you can have my money, but I'm gonna keep this job. I have children. You don't," he wasn't even married.

Umar Hameed 12:41
Yup.

Darin Dawson 12:41
I was just life circumstances. But yes, I was employee number five. By the time I quit my job, we'd hired our CTO, we had a third co-founder, Kevin Dibble, he's still a partner but he's no longer you know, we're managing partners in the business is how we kind of think about it and I think we had a marketing person. And we had Joanna, who was our graphic design and web design and stuff like that. So yeah, small team.

Umar Hameed 13:07
So one of your star employees is Ethan and I've interviewed him on the show as well,

Darin Dawson 13:12
Yup.

Umar Hameed 13:13
and he's someone you worked with. So bringing him over was an easy decision. No commodity, trusted, talented.

Darin Dawson 13:20
Yeah.

Umar Hameed 13:20
So when you're...

Darin Dawson 13:21
Right.

Umar Hameed 13:21
...hiring new people that you don't know, because everyone looks pretty on the first interview. So what are some of the techniques you use to really make sure you're bringing the right person into the organization?

Darin Dawson 13:33
Yeah, Ethan, I've known for 15 years, he worked with me at the TV station. And what I knew about Ethan was he was smart, and he worked hard. He's super smart, right? He's a smartest person I've ever known still to this day, I love that guy, I just talked to him 10 minutes ago, and he is a unique person. But to answer your question, early on, we adopted a process, it's called the who process. Because I think a lot of times we do is we hire people according to our gut, or what our experiences or or we tend to hire people like us, frankly, and you you have to have more diversity in that mindset. You have got to have diversity in the big, ideally, I think startups and we were, we are we fell to this. You hire people that, you know, frankly, they're the only ones that will work for you. Because it's too risky in the beginning.

Umar Hameed 14:22
Right.

Darin Dawson 14:23
But if possible, hire diversity early. And the only way you can do that is by getting this, you know, everybody has to go through unconscious bias training these days. I wish if you're a startup, you should think about that for yourself. What are the conscious biases I'm making? I think that this person is good at this because why? Because they look like you or act like you, don't do that. Like challenge yourself to think about it differently. But we did feel, we did, I think again a startup like literally they risked as much as I did just going to take a job doing this thing. Then Ethan surely,

Umar Hameed 14:58
Right.

Darin Dawson 14:59
right? versus now now it's this is a job, it's stable, you're not gonna miss any paychecks, like that kind of thing. But I think there's a challenge there. But the who process really helps us get rid of our gut thinking on that, and go through a just a systematic way of how we do, we do a screening interview and then we do a who interview where we go elaborately with deep, very deep, they have questions that they help you think through how you ask people things about their career and what they're doing. But what I'm always looking for is still smart, hardworking folks, and in smart doesn't necessarily come from the university, in my opinion, I look for hardship and people,

Umar Hameed 15:40
Right.

Darin Dawson 15:40
Gonna like what you said about kids that came up through that era of the housing crisis. I love that because...

Umar Hameed 15:48
Yes.

Darin Dawson 15:48
...if you don't have hardship, you don't have a level of what heart is, or if your level of hard is, is too easy. You'll, you'll have some hard time in a company like this and a fast growing SaaS company. It's very hard, and it's very, you have to be flexible, and things change all the time.

Umar Hameed 16:08
What's interesting is that the way you are pronouncing hardship is frickin' close to heartship. And I think you get a bigger heart and more courage when you go through tough times.

Darin Dawson 16:17
That's right.

Umar Hameed 16:17
So it's not an accident that they're like, pretty close, then I'll homonyms but close.

Darin Dawson 16:21
I do not believe that success is gained without failure. It isn't, it just never has for me, I guess it can happen. But ultimately, if you ever experience any kind of failure or hardship in your life, it's hard to grow. So I use that I want people that got perseverance, right, perseverance, what does that look? How do you hire perseverance? Well, look at what they've done. Look at the stuff they did in their life. And what do you do in high school? What kind of stuff are you into? You know, our CTO, self taught guy was that guy was coding at 14 or something, right? He just loved it. He loved it so I think that's interesting stuff. And so can they do it? Can they do the job in like, hire people take, hire people for who they are going to be, not what the resume says in their potential to be that. I think is so important that we get so wrapped around why, well, they never done that job before. Yeah, but do you think they can do it? When you talk to him? Do we all think that they can, because I kind of think that she can do it? I mean, she did this and this and this. I mean, if, right? you need to train them on your thing and your process and how they do it. That's why smart, hardworking people typically gravitate to that and crush it.

Umar Hameed 17:42
Absolutely. And it's, uh, I was reading this book by Marcus, Marcus Aurelius. He was an emperor of Rome. And he had this one book that was kind of interesting. Like, you know, business people will screw you over, and terrible things can happen. But he's punchline was, "At least you're not dead," then he talks about family and politics. And that was his message. And I think when you go through hard times, you realize that you didn't die. When you're going through it, you feel like you might die. But on the other end, it's like, "Wait, I didn't die," so I can do more courageous things, it just gives you the ability to do that. So Darin, companies get to a certain place, and then all of a sudden they Springboard, it's almost like viral videos, they need to get to a certain level then all of a sudden, they get found more. Where do you think that's going to be o r has it been for BombBomb coming up to where you are right now, was there a point inflection point where you guys started expanding really quickly?

Darin Dawson 18:36
Yeah, I mean, I call it a beachhead.

Umar Hameed 18:39
Yes.

Darin Dawson 18:40
It's a go to market philosophy, right? So you, you've got to find a customer, your ideal customer profile that your business solves a problem for them the best, right? Now you because you can solve a lot of problems but it's not the best so because in BombBomb, for instance, our product would work for basically everybody but who really do we really help moreover than others. And so in early on in BombBomb it was it was so early in video, the the beachhead that we discovered was in real estate, in in mortgage professionals, title professionals,

Umar Hameed 19:22
Nice.

Darin Dawson 19:23
realtors, and that really helped us Springboard I think, we went from you know, maybe having 500 customers of 5000 very fast because they they've extreme word of mouth, they connect with each other very connected individuals, they work all on the same kind of thing. But they have to be relationship-driven in their business and how they speak to potential clients and things like that. So for us real estate was a huge category still is a massive category that we participate in we have relationships with every major real estate coming in the world. So they know about BombBomb, they have users of BombBomb and that And then we have the top 10 mortgage companies in the world that use BombBomb, and then the title companies all use BombBomb so we've done really well there. Now, as video has matured, definitely as this work remote has matured, we've gotten far more market, it's a bigger organizations are adopting video all the time. And they're using that to connect with a call, they get a personalized buying experience, right? So here's the deal, we all feel the same in the inbox, it's homogenous.

Umar Hameed 20:31
Yes.

Darin Dawson 20:32
All all emails kind of look the same and I think everyone's kind of doing the same tactics where they definitely have been through the pandemic. And through the pandemic, we just said, well, we'll just send more emails. So I'll give an example, I just saw a statistic from a study that was done, we're seeing the cost to acquire the customer, post pandemic has gone up 20%, that's a big deal. That's a very big deal, it's very expensive. To think about that your cost to acquire a customer goes up 20%, it's hard. What we got to do...

Umar Hameed 21:02
Oh, yeah.

Darin Dawson 21:02
...is that, right? We got to think about a better way to attract that customer, maybe maybe less than the volume of the outbound engine, but make it more human in the way you deliver it. So it's like a more of a personalized buying experience. And the buying experience isn't just sales, it is the expansion of that customer or the lifetime value, do I buy more from you? do I increase the amount that I'm spending with you with through the lifetime that you're with me, right or I'm with you, that's the idea that. The most important analytic in any business is to grow the amount of revenue a customer's giving you?

Umar Hameed 21:40
Yes.

Darin Dawson 21:40
Either from from the beginning of that customer, or later on, through them, you know, repeating, coming back, extending their contract, being with you for years, adding more seats, you know, whatever that might be, but that is the key metric. And I really believe the only way you can stand out if you have competition, is in the experience you deliver through your people, to to these customers. So how are you gonna do that? How do you make it feel different to work with you, right? Well typically...

Umar Hameed 21:40
Yeah, it doesn't naturally.

Darin Dawson 22:15
Right. Well, I'd say email isn't the way texting isn't the way like, I'm robo calls isn't the way, I call those things, digital pollution. And it's just because...

Umar Hameed 22:26
Yes.

Darin Dawson 22:27
...it [garbled] a hand. And what we deliver is what we call human-centered communication. And it's a part of this, again, personalized buying experience. So that if I'm competing for the business, and our products are very similar. So let's say you were competitors, Umar, like you have a product, I have a product. But we're very similar May we have the same features, maybe have a feature, you don't but and you have one that I don't. But at the end of the day, the product is there, then people are going to decide to go with you or me based on what the...

Umar Hameed 23:02
[Garbled]

Darin Dawson 23:04
The experience that you provide, while I'm interacting with you in the buying process.

Umar Hameed 23:09
Yes.

Darin Dawson 23:10
And for me, so what I want to do is I want to get my people engaged with the customer as much as I possibly can, as humans face to face. I want them to see them, I want them to feel what it's like to work with BombBomb. And I think other companies you need to help them feel what it's like to work with you.

Umar Hameed 23:29
Brilliant. So Darin before we part company, two quick questions. Number one, what's a mind hack you'd like to share with our audience that would make them more effective or happier?

Darin Dawson 23:38
Well, I don't know if it's a mind hack, but I definitely have a a process that I follow religiously, leaders or readers, you you got to find that thing. But for me, I work out I think that I learned that I had to work out and helps me focus, it brings energy to my life. And it helps me...

Umar Hameed 24:00
Yes.

Darin Dawson 24:00
...really work on the things that need to be worked on. If I don't work out, I feel more tired, frankly. And so just physical activity. I have a buddy his name's Jared James is he's a great real estate coach, actually. And he has a mantra, "Did you sweat today?" is his mantra. And so,

Umar Hameed 24:18
Yup.

Darin Dawson 24:18
I would encourage you ask yourself that, did you sweat today because it helps it helps free stress. When you're building the business, stress is a part of the thing. So how are you leaving that? You know, the job can take years off your life, we didn't have to though, work out a little bit, did you sweat today? That'd be the thing I give.

Umar Hameed 24:37
Absolutely. And last but not least, what two books would you recommend people read? One's going to be yours, so tell us a little bit about that and another book that you'd recommend?

Darin Dawson 24:47
I think it just depends, you know, it's like kids depends what age they are, what book you read. And that's I think about business too, but I'll give you one and thank you for a shameless plug, Rehumanize Your Business written by Ethan Beute in Steve Pacinelli. Ethan's our Chief Evangelist and Steve is our CMO. You know, this book is really fundamentally some of the things I've been talking about. About why being face to face is better matters or how it could change your business so check that out for sure. We have a new book coming out, called Human- Centered Communication, should arrive around November, so look for that. But the other book I'd recommend is called Growth IQ by a woman named Tiffani Bova. And it really outlines these different growth strategies that all businesses must be doing some of them. There's about seven of them in the book, but they're very interesting partnerships, there's one your sales process, what you know all about go to market strategy. And so if you're struggling with that, I definitely recommend reading Tiffany's book Growth IQ.

Umar Hameed 25:51
Brilliant. Darin, thank you so much for being on the show. It was a pleasure having you and I can't wait till our next conversation.

Darin Dawson 25:57
Thanks so much. It was great to hang out.

Umar Hameed 26:04
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.


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