One of My Favorite People in the Sales Universe, with Ralph Barsi [Episode 871]

Ralph Barsi is the the VP of Global Inside Sales at Tray.io and one of my favorite people in this sales universe. In this episode we talk about Ralph’s music career. As in rock and roll. His band has been together for 30 years. They toured in the past, still play gigs, and are getting ready to record a new album. I watched some videos online and they rock!

No conversation with Ralph ever takes place without talking about books. Ralph reads as much as I do. And he always has interesting book recommendations. I share a few of my own as well.

We then segue into talking about sales. Ralph shares some of his management processes. We talk about Team Tuesdays and prospecting day. A day during which most business units contribute to the pipeline. Company wide prospecting. Very cool.

Ralph shares his process for effective communications; Using his weekly updates to manage up and down the chain with clear, consistent communications.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul: Welcome back to the show.

Ralph Barsi: Thanks, Andy. It’s always great to be here.

Andy Paul: So we have tried to count, I said, if you do five, you get the blazer.

So just like on Saturday Night Live, except the blazers, one of mine that I’m not using anymore, coming out of my closet.

Ralph Barsi: You don’t happen to be a 40 regular?

Andy Paul: I actually am. Yeah. So depending on the cut, either 39 or 40 regular, so I’m sure it’ll fit.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah, that’ll fit like a glove. wait.

Andy Paul: There you go.  First of all, you said you celebrate 24 years of marriage this summer.

Congratulations.

Ralph Barsi: Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Andy Paul: And what’s your wife’s name?

Ralph Barsi: My wife’s name is Catherine.

Andy Paul: So my wife’s father grew up in Hungary as well. His parents sent him to the U S in 1938 to avoid the Nazis. But yeah. She’s half Hungarian.

Ralph Barsi: There you go.

Andy Paul: Funny how that turns out.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah. That stuff’s pretty accurate.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah, mother’s some generic waspish type thing. And then dad was, yeah. Ashkenazic Jew from Hungary.

Ralph Barsi: Let’s put it that way which makes my wife even more unique and special.

Andy Paul: Very much very much.

Ralph Barsi: Right.

Andy Paul: And yeah, the big news for me was that, and this is, this was news altogether. I, if you had told me before, I apologize for not giving mine, but you’re a member of a rock band that’s been around for what? 30 years?

Ralph Barsi: Yes. For some time now we started in 1994.

Andy Paul: Almost 30 years.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah, almost 30 years. It’s a comprise of high school and college buddies of mine. And it’s just straight ahead. Rock and roll.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Good stuff too.

Ralph Barsi: Good times, man.

Andy Paul: And so do you guys still gig? I You,

Ralph Barsi: Yeah. It’ s  not much beyond a house party, or some get together in a col-de-sac these days, we’re all getting up there .

you

Andy Paul: Oh, come on.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah. I know it’s all mental, right. But there’s been a lot of us traveling over the last several years.

This is obviously pre COVID, which has just kept us from any consistency in rehearsing or performing. Our heyday was really, 96 through 2000, we were just gigging, like crazy doing. 50 to 60 shows a year, all in California, Northern California and Southern California managed to release a couple of records that, were on iTunes and Spotify, et cetera.

But all that said, we’re trying to dust off the instruments and get back into the studio to record a new record. And so you would think we’re in our mid twenties again, we’re all everybody’s fired up about it.

Andy Paul: Understandably. So what a rush to be able to go out and perform in front of people like that. You guys said when your hate is again, I think it was on your website or somewhere. I was finding online.

Ralph Barsi: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. It was the whole nine yards. We weren’t messing around and I swear to you, there was a window there where I thought that’s what I was going to do for a living.  But it’s funny, we’re talking about Kate because she was the one who was like, ah, yeah, no, that’s not going to happen.

You’re not going to be on a tour bus  all year going from gig to gig.

Andy Paul: Well, how big of venues did

Ralph Barsi: Most we would play to is maybe six to 800 people.

Andy Paul: That’s still a pretty big size.

Ralph Barsi: Oh, Hey, we’ll take that, on a Thursday night doing a 90 minute to two hour set it was a blast. Loved it.

Andy Paul: Wow. That’s a lot of people I was thinking like, back in the old San Francisco, yeah, great American music hall or one of those places, but they’re smaller than that.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah.

Andy Paul: A big room,

Ralph Barsi: Yeah. Yeah, we’ve played, did some pretty good crowds. And then of course, on the other end of the spectrum, we’ve played to a crowd of three before as well. It goes with the territory.

Andy Paul: All right. So when you were at your heyday and you’re dealing with the promoters, do you have any like crazy demands you guys placed on you had on your contract? No blue, M and M’s or something like that.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah, no, we were so stoked to even get the gig that we were very cordial and accommodating probably more than we needed to be. But it’s funny, you bring up the m&ms because I’m listening to running with the devil right now by Noah monk about the whole van Halen story, because I grew up Total van Halen nerd, especially the David Lee Roth era.

Andy Paul: Yeah, me too.

Ralph Barsi: As that was one of the criteria and in their in their rider for backstage, no Brown, and which is an awesome story too, just to make sure that, promoters and managers were paying attention to the detail.

Andy Paul: Absolutely.

Right. I

Ralph Barsi: That’s

Andy Paul: love that.

Yeah. Yeah. Poor Eddie just passed away a couple of weeks ago now.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah, one of my favorites of all times. So I’ve been revisiting and reliving my love for that band in those early days. And  it’s been a very fun book to listen to I’m plowing through it. They just, boy they were true. Rock stars.

Andy Paul: Yeah, have to have to take a look at that. Cause I, I like van Halen as well. And I’ve for a long time, even though it was Sammy Hagar Friday, but yeah, 51 50 is

Ralph Barsi: great.

Andy Paul: Great

Ralph Barsi: Great record. I saw that tour. It was great. I’m a huge Sammy Hagar fan, but I prefer his solo work. There’s a couple of gems that he performed with van Halen, of course, but I’m just a bigger fan of the David Lee Roth fan him. Yeah.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah. Very interesting.

Ralph Barsi: How are you, Andy? What’s the latest?

Andy Paul: Yeah, not much short door. Keeping on, more great conversations on the show with people like yourself. And we were, you got into a whole book topic cause we don’t talk unless we talk about books. So you’re talking about that and do you have another book you’re reading?

Ralph Barsi: Derek Sivers. Yeah, Derek Sivers been a long time fan of Derek Sivers since first hearing him on Tim Ferriss podcast and Derek is most known for starting and leading CD baby. So he’s a musician. He wanted to sell his own music online. Turns out he, he figured out an efficient way of doing that enough to attract other musicians who wanted him to sell their stuff as well.

And long story short, he ended up,  really blowing up that company in a good way ended up selling it for tens of millions of dollars. Most of which he contributed right back to.  Music, schools, and music programs all over the planet and some other cool charities. And I’ve just been a huge fan of his writing for a long time.

And he just, he published and then re published a book called your music and people. The one you just mentioned, I just plowed through that as well and highly recommended it’s essentially. It’s almost like a, how to win friends and influence people approach, but it’s to it’s written for musicians, but obviously it applies to anyone and everyone.

Andy Paul: Yeah. And it’s not very easy to find as I was researching it. I think your base, I have to buy it from his website.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah. You have to buy it from his website. Pretty simple and straightforward and right on that home page, you’re going to find that book and you can read it digitally for free, or you can buy a hard copy from him. But what’s unique about his style is literally every chapter actually has a footnote to it, which is a URL where you can go and read that chapter online.

He’s a big believer of showing your work.  He touts the book by Austin Kleon of the same title and just feels look. If you’re producing and contributing it, it’s really not tangible unless it’s tangible, unless we can see it online. And again, you and I have talked about this. You’re leaving behind that trail of breadcrumbs so people can pick up, what you’ve been putting down.

And I’ve just always loved that style.

Andy Paul: Interesting. Yeah, no, I’ll definitely check that one out. Certainly the Knoll monk as well.

Ralph Barsi: Oh man. Both great.

Andy Paul: Excellent. Okay. I have been, I’ve been reading business books mostly.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah. Are you into a new one right now?

Andy Paul: Yeah, for the show, I read a lot of books. Yeah, just read interesting book by Mike smart Glo who’s a VC based out of Texas he had run a company called service source for years in the Bay area called Mr. Monkey and me about self-doubt and entrepreneurs can Besides sheriffs his mindset and he crashed, he calls it a share or shape, excuse me.

And yeah, interesting. He’s got a great voice and a lot that applies directly to sales too, in terms of being authentic and seeking help when you need it being vulnerable enough to seek help and lessons that apply to entrepreneurs or in start mullet or sales, salespeople, or sales leaders, even.

Ralph Barsi: That’s beautiful. I love that, the, those. Those traits and those reminders always come to the surface over and over again, help people out be a good person, serve, know that you’ve got resources out there to help you out. If you needed, you don’t have to go it alone, et cetera, et cetera.

I love that.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah. I find myself more and more when I see things are going on in the world, even outside of business and yeah, that’s how I judge people now. It’s Good person or not good person just some basics, that, yeah. You’re there to help you there to serve there to, have empathy.

And, but other people it’s just yeah, for me, it’s my world is, as I get older, world’s getting simpler, good people, not good person.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah, it’s pretty black and white sometimes.

Andy Paul: It’s pretty black and white. The other book I’m. going back into which I’ve first went through a little while ago. And then there’s the book nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass, Sunstein,

Ralph Barsi: Oh, I’ve heard of it. Haven’t read it.

Andy Paul: And I decide to go back to it cause I’d heard it mentioned on a podcast. They’re going to start with this service called tally, which is about how people make better financial decisions and improve their credit scores and so on. And, but in the book then it’s really Really interesting concept about they, they talk about in the context of helping people to learn new decision habits in terms of how do you frame choices for people.

But I think it really struck by, cause I think it applies to sales as well as this concept, they called a choice architect.

Ralph Barsi: Okay.

Andy Paul: So if you think of yourself as a seller, Yeah I divide sales into two parts. The first part is the customer is making a choice about how they want to solve their problem.

And the second part is. Who they’re going to solve the problem with which vendor. And so the there’s been a lot of research on about decision-making Paul nut is this I think it was a house state university professor. Who’s written about this, as he says, yeah, people always make a choice before they make a decision, the choice being, how am I going to solve this problem?

They evaluate, they create alternatives that choose the option that they want to pursue. And then they make a decision about how to. How to go forward with it. And this idea of a sales is that’s really what you’re doing is you’re helping your customer make a choice about how they’re going to solve the problem.

And if you do that, and in that process, they don’t really think about it in terms of what’s the brand, who’s the company. And so on. I’m focused on how am I gonna solve my problem. And and so I think this idea of a choice architect is really an interesting construct to think about it in a sales context.

That’s why, what you’re doing is you’re structuring your interactions in such a way to be able to influence the choice the buyer makes.

Ralph Barsi: I love this. And I also love that term.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, I’ve been thinking, I’m thinking a lot about that. So that’s why I was diving back into that book.

Ralph Barsi: That’s a good one. I’m going to have to check that out and it, yeah, a hundred percent applies to sales. We, as salespeople have to be guides or Sherpas, trusted advisors and, we have to help our prospects and customers arrive at the answer.

Andy Paul: Yeah. And hopefully the answers you, or some version of you. Yeah. Everybody’s experienced this in sales is, they’re working, I think they’re working the account and the customer says, okay here’s our final spec. This is what people to bid on. And it’s Oh that’s got my competitor written all over it.

Ralph Barsi: That’s not good.

Andy Paul: And the competitor was the choice architect. You weren’t.

Ralph Barsi: That’s right.

Andy Paul: So you were too busy trying to persuade the customer to buy your product and they weren’t at that point yet they were still making their choice.

Ralph Barsi: Thinking about yourself.

Andy Paul: Yeah

um, nudge So new book for people who haven’t read the series, if you’re in a series is like I am Ian Rankin is a British author Scottish author, maybe Britain the series about a detective named John Rebus, a Scottish detective, maybe 25, 26 books in the series. Read them all. This is his latest one.

So if you’ve ever read any of those, which are fantastic as well,

Ralph Barsi: Andy what’s this latest one called?

Andy Paul: A song for dark times. But if people haven’t read any of the John Rebus mysteries, start at the beginning, read through them that sale, you grow with the customer, with the with the protagonist.

And the latest one he’s retired, just like the Bosch novels. Harry Bosch has retired now and working, cold cases pre similar.

So like you’ve always got three or four going at the same time.

Ralph Barsi: Yep. You got it. You’ve piqued my interest now.  Usually veer away from fiction, but I’ve gotten a lot of flack for doing that from. Some of my really good friends who are avid readers, Barsi, you’ve got to check out, like this spy novel.

Andy Paul: Yeah I will qualify that by saying my wife reads very serious fiction things on the bestseller list and she’s an avid reader as well. And yeah, I’m, I’ve got to admit I’m not doing that. I love my, I love series. I said, I’d love to fall in love with the character and read everything the authors written about them.

And then now I’ve got like probably 15 series that I, waiting for the new book to come out in the series that I track.

Ralph Barsi: So cool. And now do you think these books are partially ghost written ?

Andy Paul: Yeah, these guys are serious authors. This is not like a, Oh, what’s that one guy. That’s got a partner. That’s writing all of his books now. No.

Ralph Barsi: it’s not Patterson. Yeah, it is Patterson.

Andy Paul: Yeah.

Ralph Barsi: He does a pretty good masterclass by the way.

Really good. Yeah. Really solid.

Andy Paul: Yeah. I’m sure is. It’s just.

Yeah. His books never been I’ve tried them just not for me, but yeah, of course. I’ll probably get hate mail on that, but whatever. So let’s talk some work.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah, sure. Let’s talk about it.

Andy Paul: All right. Now you do something called Team Tuesdays. Now, what is that?

Ralph Barsi: Team Tuesdays are designed at least at Trey where I am specifically for our sales development team and the purpose is ultimately to help SDRs connect the dots understanding, how the company is comprised. If you’re going to look under the hood at the engine of the company, you get a much better understanding of each piece of the puzzle. And so every Tuesday, a representative from a different business unit across the company will speak during the lunch hour from 12 to 1 and talk to them about that function in particular. And it primarily helps our SDRs get an understanding. Like I said, about a connect, the dots in terms of how our company works. But as this is immediately going to translate to the conversations they’re having with our prospects, that way. They’re familiar with, what systemic impact there could be if this prospect leverages our offering or not to various business units across their enterprise. And they could speak with, that STRs can speak with certainty and knowledge because, they’d been immersed in our team Tuesdays.

Andy Paul: No, I love it.  Remember back early in my career. I think it’s one of the first, maybe not the first Starbucks. I, the second startup I had been with as the VP of sales. Yeah. Taking me around, meeting everybody in the company and in an instructional way, right? Yeah. This is what this person does is what their role is.

And I did develop relationships and this, I start carried that on because I so valuable, not just for building a team structure, which I think is crucial from a cultural standpoint, but yeah, somebody. Asks the sales personnel. How does your company make money?

Ralph Barsi: That’s right. That’s right. I learned about it. I was first exposed to team Tuesday at service now the then CMO Dan Rogers had introduced the marketing team to team Tuesdays. So it was a large enough team where we had to hear from different facets of just marketing. And I basically took that concept into my role at Tre but obviously centered it on sales development and all the different business units across the company.

Cause we’re, we’re a fraction of the size of service now. So we’re able to do it, able to pull it off and it’s just a great, it also breeds out learning culture, because we have the, what we ask the SDRs to. Arrive prepared, have some great open-ended questions where you ask the S the speakers or presenters to go a little deeper here or there.

And everybody learns as a result. Of course, we record it, Chronicle it, catalog ads for reference as well as for onboarding of new hires. People from other business units are catching wind of it and asking if they could participate, but also. They’re pulling from our now online repository of recordings to learn for themselves.

So everybody’s winning.

Andy Paul: No, I love it. I think that also gives sales and appreciation of the fact that everybody contributes to their success.

Ralph Barsi: Exactly. And what’s fun is, one team or presenter of course wants to one up the last one who went, Oh, is that would is that what product marketing was talking about last week? Here’s what we’re doing in finance. Check this out, and that’s super fun too.

Andy Paul: I just always remember story one. A startup, but then with a little mature at that point, but a CEO of, one of our largest clients was showed up. And we’re only sure it’s pretty, pretty obscure in his messaging about what he wanted to talk about. So he shows up in the lobby of the building and it’s myself was running this division and CEO, and it’s  Yeah, Paul what can we help you with? And he said, I want to talk to Eileen. I’ve said. Aileen and customer support. Yeah. Okay. And this guy’s deal CEO of a $500 million company. I said, sure. So we walk upstairs and we walk through the cubicles and we find Arlene and we said, yeah, Eileen here’s Paul. And Paul turns to the CEO in me, says, just wanna let you know, she’s why we buy from your company.

Ralph Barsi: Wow.

Andy Paul: And I was like, Oh, okay. But it was the how fabulous lesson. I was like, yeah, we obviously weren’t paying enough attention to the account. Eileen was keeping us in the game and was probably insufficiently appreciated for them. And yeah, it was a real eye opener.

Ralph Barsi: Here, it was hanging on by a thread.

Andy Paul: Yeah. But it was like, okay. That’s when I said, okay, we got to get more involved with the entire company and so on.

It’s just, yeah. It’s such a value on that. All right. So then prospecting day, you have team Tuesdays. Now, your prospecting day.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah, another awesome event that I borrowed from my days at service. Now, this one was introduced by one of the marketing executives named Carolyn Cox. She brought prospecting day into service now, and I’ve used it at tray as well. This is. Really cool where we can a day a month or a day, a quarter where any, and all teams that can contribute to generating pipeline contribute.

And it’s, deep focus for one, one dedicated, committed day where all you’re doing is, pinging your network for potential referrals. You’re phoning dormant leads. You’re talking to closed, lost opportunities from six months ago, et cetera. And you’re. Breaking up the day and do rounds. You’re, you’ve got serious competition going on throughout the day, internally killer awards and prizes for winning teams, winning individuals.

And it runs the gamut, largest opportunity. The first meeting and an existing customer, only a different business unit. It goes on and on. But it’s super fun.

Andy Paul: Now do you create cross-discipline teams that work together or?

Ralph Barsi: We do indeed. Yeah, we do. Indeed.  This last prospecting day that we hosted at tray, each of the teams was led by a sales development rep and there were maybe six people representing different teams, different business units on each respective team. So a lot of the teams that aren’t typically on phones or reaching out to prospects are wondering, from a tactical perspective.

Okay. How do I invest this day? And so our SDRs and our sales development leadership we’re starting to share more and more practices if you are a marketer, for example, or if you’re in our channel or any other department outside of sales, development and sales. It’s a blast and it gets, everybody gets everybody focused on, okay, you need X pipeline generated for each segment.

And we could be doing better in topping off the respect of pipelines. So here’s your chance to contribute. And if you fall on your face, the next prospecting day is four weeks from now.  Learn from this and, really prepare for the next one. And. You’d be surprised what you can win and how many people are going to benefit from your hard work and preparation.

Andy Paul: No, I love it. Absolutely love it. And I think it also builds empathy for within other departments for really how hard it is to sell, especially for the SDR. It’s the job SDRs do is thankless in many respects.

Ralph Barsi: thank you. You’re Correct. It is very much.

Andy Paul: And yeah, to have the rest of the company, appreciate just the effort. The part of themselves, they have to invest in that job every day.

I think that’s really important.

Ralph Barsi: That’s right. Yeah. That’s that’s also something that we’ve seen and of course that’s not the primary aim of it, but that’s some of the. The goodness that comes from it. And of course I’m partial, I’m going to argue all day long that, the sales development reps work is the toughest or among the toughest gig in the house.

Andy Paul: Yeah. It’s very hard to argue with that.

Ralph Barsi: That’s tough.

Andy Paul: It’s tough work. When I started my career and I had this conversation with other people on the show is yeah, I had to go out in order to be trained, to sell. Big computer systems, which is what I was hired to do, had to go out and sell a bunch of small stuff first which required a ton of prospecting, in the East Bay area, went from Fremont to Fairfield was my territory.

Yeah. Find a business park, parked the car and go troll for the day. It was like, I wanted to get through that period as fast as I can.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah. Yeah, I’m familiar. I’m familiar with that long corridor. That’s my neck of the woods. But also with that approach, I come from the old school and used to do that as well in the healthcare industry. So sometimes I was walking into. Full-blown hospitals doing right up to the receptionist, trying to get a meeting right then and there with certain executives.

And that was no easy feat. I worked every now and then, but it wasn’t fun.

Andy Paul: Yeah, no. Yeah, that was never fun. And. Dad was always surprised  when I got a meeting.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah. Same here. Oh no. Are you sure? Okay.

Andy Paul: Yeah. I’ve told the stories. I wanted this one company. They were a fairly large home builder in the Bay area. And I cold called the CEO. This was actually, I was starting selling computers at that point because construction industry was, or it could be my patch. And I asked for the CEO and really I’d almost started.

Walking out the door and the receptionist. Oh he’ll be right out

Ralph Barsi: sorry.

All of a sudden You’re on tall. Let’s go.

Andy Paul: And so he comes out and he’s this very sort of old school, very nicely dressed, slacks and expensive golf sweater and so on.

And takes me into his office. And his desk is about the size of an aircraft carrier, but it was completely clean on top. And he said, so what can I do for you? And. Mike Guinea, newly trained sales rep by launch into my spiel. And he listens to her just a few seconds, holdups with hands or one hand.

Yeah, stop. I said, okay. Yeah. Opens this top right in the hand dress drawer and pulls out the stack of business cards. Like two inches high. It takes spreads at I’m out on his desk, or like a deck of cards. And I can see all my competitors as well as probably everybody had worked in my branch office in Oakland in the last five years before that. And he said, these are all the computer salespeople that have called on me in the last year. And I haven’t bought from any of them. So why should I buy from you?

Ralph Barsi: Oh boy. How’d you answer?

Andy Paul: Pretty awesome. I don’t know, but he wasn’t talking about why should I buy from my company? He was not, why should you buy from me? And I was extremely fortunate cause I. Surf. That’s my default thing. It’s just sad. I don’t know. Is this guy started mentoring me a little bit and talk about a year.

I got an order from but that’s what I talk about. You can learn how to sell from your customers. This was one of several instances in that point in my career where I learned from my customers. But yeah, sometimes we don’t ask to meet with people. You’re not going to meet with them.

Ralph Barsi: That’s true. And you’re right about the customers. I know you and I have talked about this before, even stack ranking some of the primary sources that can enable you to sell better. And number one, I think on both our lists was customers.

Andy Paul: pretty

If we had more time, I could tell all sorts of stories about that.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah, same here. I’ve been walked out of stores before,

Andy Paul: Oh?

Ralph Barsi: That, not fun. Yeah. Just next thing I knew I was standing on the sidewalk with the prospect and they’re like, yeah, you have a great day, bud. All right. Thanks.

Andy Paul: My, my best one was selling to a large public company in the Washington DC area where we are. Doing a custom development for them and the communication system. And yeah, we were that’s that? Yeah, we’re going with you. We are, I went out to negotiate the contract with the guy that was part of my team and we’d been there like, I guess it was the end of the first day and we’re making some.

Pretty big progress. And this was yeah, like $4 million deal. This was in today’s dollars, like a $12 million.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah, no.

Andy Paul: And I got a call and not this pre cell phone. So secretary comes in and says, this is a call from Mr. Paul sounds great. Took him to the private room. And it was one of the co-founders of the company and our CEO.

And I said, how are things going? I saw it. Pretty good. We’re making good progress. I think, we’ll wrap this up tomorrow, isn’t it? Oh that’s great. We got a little bit of a problem. Oh really? What’s that? We had a spreadsheet air when we were doing the quote and the deal was they were gonna pay us, a million plus dollars to develop a product and then buy the product from us.

Is yeah, we need to basically double our price so that we don’t lose money on the deal.

Ralph Barsi: Oh, my goodness.

Andy Paul: I’m like, yeah, in essence. And not just on the development, but also on the production. Production was like a 50% increase, but the double on development. And so I had to go out and tell this guy who was a senior VP of a publicly traded large publicly traded company that yeah. I’ve got some bad news. Yeah, basically.

Ralph Barsi: Price is two acts.

Andy Paul: Yeah. So basically a security server walked us out the door.

Ralph Barsi: Thanks for playing here’s the door.

Andy Paul: I got the deal. I got the deal. I didn’t, it took a couple more days longer than I thought it was going to. But once I got the guy peeled off the ceiling and yeah, full transparency. Here’s what the mistake was.

Here’s you know here’s the story. And no one was any help at all.

Ralph Barsi: Right.

Oh yeah. We can go for days on that stuff. That’s a great story.

Andy Paul: Yeah. That was one of the great negotiation stars.

Ralph Barsi: So fun.

Andy Paul: But yeah, we had demonstrated tremendous value the business, it didn’t fundament. They were gonna make so much money off. It didn’t fundamentally change the business case for them. Yeah. Did. And the big thing was the seat, the senior VP was embarrassed more than anything because he was gonna have to go back to his, to the board or whoever approved this executive committee and ask for more money.

Ralph Barsi: Sure. You’ve got a reputation to preserve,

Andy Paul: Exactly. Yeah. And we put a dent in that.

Ralph Barsi: Oh yeah.

Andy Paul: Oh whatever you know. Sir, speaking of which, so last thing I wanted to cover, as you talked about. How to help companies prepare for our catalyst event, for startups, whether it’s an IPO and acquisition investment. So what was on your mind there?

Ralph Barsi: Sure. I talk about that a lot internally, especially when you know, you’re on a certain, I don’t know, stage of the maturity cycle as a company, you’re living for this. Catalyst event to occur. And like you said, it could be, you could be going to the public market, you could be acquired, you could be acquiring a company.

There’s a number of different options as we know. And I’m typically sharing internally with those who want to listen to me that. We have to prepare for this catalyst event, this day of judgment or scrutiny that’s going to come. And I always liken it to, a group of investors or let’s say shareholders parachute in assess our battlefield.

And let’s just say I’m leading sales development. They might look at me and go, Hey, Barsi let’s take a look at your blueprint for how you’re running this ship. And are you running a tight ship? And so I hand over this big thick manual, they start flipping through pages and I want to make sure that they’re impressed that my leaders and I are running a buttoned up operation.

And so therein lies the approach of working more on the business than in the business from a leadership standpoint. And then, for the the individual contributors on our team, it’s a matter of running their business within their business. Their business within dub business so that they’re adhering to complying with processes that we have in place.

They understand the strategy and can articulate it. If asked, they understand that our objective is to drive, for example, the revenue pipeline, as well as the talent pipeline. So this is what they’re doing to prepare, living and working by our standards of excellence. And that way the investors, shareholders, parties.

That’d be are thumbing through this manual going all this one’s good to go. Next department. Let’s go check out this one down the hall. So I’m always working towards that catalyst event to take place and, Andy, whether it happens or not, the point is that it’s, it makes sure that we’re buttoned up in what we’re doing.

Andy Paul: Yeah. And I’ve worked through that do or where we had very specific opportunities that we had identified as Nyssa necessities to have in place before the the catalyst event in order to really to get a valuation that we wanted.

So yeah, I buy, yeah, very fond memories of negotiating deals.

Knowing if we don’t get this. Yeah. We’re not gonna get the valuation we want and the catalyst events not going to happen.

Ralph Barsi: Exactly. And so when you have, as for the most part sales development reps in particular they’re generally new to their professional careers. And if they’re not there. Generally new to sales. And so it’s it’s important to coach and teach on this very topic, because what happens is you start to drive that collective effort.

You really get true teamwork and comradery going in a good way. And you start to build real healthy momentum because everybody gets that, Hey, this catalyst event could happen at any moment. We got to be buttoned up and I just. I L I like w when we’re all flying in formation like that.

Andy Paul: It’s a great expression. Yeah. Flying information. I love it. Good. Ralph as always a pleasure.

Ralph Barsi: Oh,

Andy Paul: a lot of territory.

Ralph Barsi: Same here. Andy loved talking with you.

Andy Paul: We’ll do this on a regular basis. We’ve been doing a regular basis recently.

Ralph Barsi: We have, yeah, this is number four or five. Why stop now?

Andy Paul: I know, but it’s been like three this year. It’s, the pandemic has brought out the best and Ralph Barsi.

Ralph Barsi: Let’s keep the train rolling. I look forward to the next visit.

Andy Paul: All right. Thanks for coming.

Ralph Barsi: Yeah. Thanks Andy.