Coaching Toward Multi Cultural Selling Transcript
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Your company has a multicultural marketing strategy, but how knowledgeable – and adaptive – is your sales team to the needs of your target customer groups? ...

Your company has a multicultural marketing strategy, but how knowledgeable – and adaptive – is your sales team to the needs of your target customer groups?

In this program, we hear from coaches who are experts in multicultural marketing and how they help organizations build winning multi-cultural sales strategies, and how they help sales teams to develop winning strategies with diverse cultural groups.

Guests

* Jeff McFarland, Executive Director of Multicultural Marketing, Verizon

* Earl Honeycutt, Professor of Marketing and Sales Management, Elon University

* Michael Soon Lee, President, EthnoConnect

* Shelley Willingham-Hinton, Founder & President, National Organization for Diversity in Sales and Marketing

Summary

The National Organization for Diversity in Sales and Marketing (NODSM) defines multicultural as women, African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Indians, People with Disabilities, the LGBT community, multicultural youth, those with diverse religious beliefs, and Baby Boomers. However NODSM points out that multicultural is more than ethnicity and race – it’s a state of mind,
lifestyle, and perception.

According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), multicultural markets have not only grown, they have become increasingly complex. To align with this trend, successful organizations have taken multicultural marketing beyond creating and promoting a single, standard message to a specific group, such as African Americans or the LGBT community.

How have consultants, coaches, and other outside experts helped corporations develop strategies targeted at these various groups?

What are the challenges in implementing them, and how are coaches helping marketing and sales leaders overcome them?

Our guests address these questions and more.

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Coaching Toward Multi Cultural Selling Transcript Document Transcript

  • 1. Insight on Coaching Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript Prepared for: Prepared by: Insight Educational Consulting Ubiqus Reporting (IEC)
  • 2. Time Speaker Transcript 0:01 Tom Floyd Hello everyone, and welcome to Insight on Coaching. Insight on Coaching explores the many facets, flavors and sides of the emerging professional coaching field. I'm Tom Floyd, I'm the CEO of Insight Educational Consulting and your host for today's show. This week our topic is Coaching Toward Multi-cultural Selling. We'll provide an overview in terms of what we mean by the term multiculture, we’ll discuss how organizations are responding to the trends in various multi-cultural populations and the challenges in developing multi-cultural marketing and sales strategies, and we'll also talk about how coaches who specialize in multi-cultural marketing and sales are helping corporations today. With me today to explore this topic are four guests, so let me give you a quick overview of who we have with us today. Our first guest, Shelly Willingham-Hinton, a seasoned sales, marketing and diversity professional, is the founder and president of The National Organization for Diversity in Sales and Marketing™ (NODSM). NODSM works to help Fortune 500 corporations capitalize on the increasing purchasing power of multicultural consumers without using stereotypes and being offensive and to help corporations diversify their sales, marketing and advertising personnel. Welcome to the show, Shelly. Our second guest, Dr. Earl Honeycutt, is a Professor of Marketing and Sales Management at the Love School of Business at Elon University in North Carolina where he teaches courses in cross-cultural sales and global marketing. Earl is also the co-author of Selling Outside Your Culture Zone and Sales Management: a Global Perspective. He has conducted years of research as well as written countless published articles, papers and abstracts on the subject of multicultural marketing. Welcome to the show, Earl. 2:08 Dr. Earl Pleasure to be with you. Honeycutt 2 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 2 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 3. Time Speaker Transcript 2:10 Tom Floyd Our next guest, Michael Soon Lee, is the President of EthnoConnect, a company which provides seminars, training, consulting and coaching on how to sell more products and services to multicultural markets in America. He is the author of six books on marketing and selling to multicultural customers. For over 14 years Michael has spoken around the world on how to increase sales to Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, Middle Easterners and other multicultural customers. Over the past 20 years Michael’s clients have included: Coca-Cola, General Motors, State Farm Insurance, and over a thousand other companies. Welcome to the show, Michael. 2:45 Michael Soon Thank you, Tom. Lee 2:46 Tom Floyd And our fourth guest, Jeff McFarland, is executive director of multi-cultural marketing for Verizon. Jeff is responsible for the execution of all marketing, advertising and sponsorship activities in the African American, Latino, Asian, Russian, people with disabilities, and the gay and lesbian marketplace. To protect and grow the Verizon brand, Jeff leads a team that ensures the most effective targeted marketing and branding across the entire Verizon multi-cultural footprint. Welcome to the show, Jeff. 3:13 Jeff McFarland Hello everyone. 3 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 3 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 4. Time Speaker Transcript 3:16 Tom Floyd As we always do, I'd like to kick off our show today with some data that our research team collected to set the stage. Some interesting statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. The Latino population in the United States grew 38.8 percent to more than 31 million, and had a median income of $28,330 (2000). The number of Latinos is expected to reach 44 million by 2010. This Latino segment is a young group, with more than half in the prime spending years between 18 and 49. Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) are outpacing the Hispanic/Latino and African-American sectors. Since 1990, the API population grew approximately 43 percent to 10.8 million. By 2010, this segment is expected to increase to 15 million, with the highest median income in the United States. Also according to the U.S. Census Bureau, The combined buying power of the Hispanic, black, Asian and Native American communities is currently in excess of $1.5 trillion. In a recent October 1st, 2007 article within the business section of the Denver Post, Andy Vuong writes, “Companies across the country are finding that marketing to diverse cultures is good for business. Indeed, many companies say 2000 census figures spurred their growing efforts. Those numbers showed minorities represented 31 percent of the nation's population, up from 24 percent in 1990. The Census Bureau projects that minority groups will represent 49.9 percent of the population by 2050.” Michael, I'd like to start with you. First question, (A) how are these statistics landing on you, and (B) can you just set the stage for us in terms of what the demographic and makeup of various multi- cultural groups in the U.S. is looking like today? 4 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 4 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 5. Time Speaker Transcript 5:10 Michael Soon I think one of the things that we need to recognize--and I just want to add a couple of Lee other statistics to what you've already said--minorities in the United States buy over $2 trillion worth of goods and services, which is more than all but the nine largest countries in the world. So this is a huge and growing market and I think a lot of businesses are beginning to recognize this fact. While they're doing that, large companies are marketing to the multi-cultural consumer, we have to remember that it's not good enough just to do multi-cultural marketing. You have to remember that if people aren't treated with sensitivity to their culture when they come into your store or office, they're still not going to buy from you anyway. What my company does, is we try to help salespeople to become more culturally competent, which means treating people with sensitivity to their culture and basically treating people the way that they want to be treated. 6:11 Tom Floyd In terms of a little bit more of a definition in terms of what we're talking about in terms of the various groups that fall within this category of multi-cultural, Shelly, I noticed a definition of how your organization defines multi-cultural within your website, the National Organization for Diversity in Sales and Marketing. Can you tell our audience a little bit more about who we're talking about when we say multiculture, or multi-cultural? 6:44 Shelly I think in a lot of cases it really depends. Willingham- We found some companies, when they talk about multi-cultural, it may be focused Hinton around ethnic minorities. Our organization, when we say multi-cultural, we mean not only ethnic diversity, but also gender, sexual orientation, ability. We also include the whole multi-cultural youth division, baby boomers and diverse religious beliefs. So we understand that when we talk about multi-cultural, it stands beyond just race and culture. 5 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 5 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 6. Time Speaker Transcript 7:17 Tom Floyd Some of the information that I shared in the beginning was specific to a few groups. When I took a look at your website I noticed it contained facts about a lot of different groups. Can you elaborate more on some of the other facts about some of the other groups? For example, I saw that women-owned firms employed 19.1 million people and generated 2.5 trillion and sales. Not only did I think that particular fact was astounding, but that's just fantastic. Can you tell us a little bit more about some of the other trends and facts that are going on within some of the other groups that are out there as well? 7:59 Shelly Definitely, like you said, the women's market is booming and it's huge and it's a great Willingham- opportunity for marketers wanting to capitalize on that group of consumers. Hinton But also the GLBT segment, the gay/bisexual/lesbian/transgender segment is also a very, very growing segment. A lot of companies are starting to recognize that and understand that that group has a lot of money to spend, especially in financial services and travel. I read an article in the New York Times about Las Vegas really wanting to market more to the GLBT segment because they are recognized and they have a significant amount of purchasing power to spend and they want to go after and get their piece of the pie. As more of these numbers come to effect and people start to recognize and see that these groups do wield a lot of purchasing power, I do believe that more companies will begin to market to these different segments. I would say that with the Census Bureau, and maybe the next time it comes around we'll see a change, but I know that the numbers for the GLBT segment may not necessarily be that accurate. I know this was the first year that they asked, not necessarily if it's a gay household, but if there are two people living in the household of the same sex, so it's not very specific. But as we get more sophisticated in that type of information, I'm sure the numbers will definitely increase. 9:21 Tom Floyd What have been some of the specific things that have really caused some corporations, organizations, to start to recognize the need to market some of these groups? Has it been a louder voice from each of these various groups or communities kind of making themselves known and making people realize, “hey, maybe I need to pay more attention here and change some of my efforts?” What are some of the things that really caused some of the growth here? 6 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 6 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 7. Time Speaker Transcript 9:47 Shelly I think that definitely the Census Bureau information contributes a great deal to that. Willingham- I get this question a lot when I speak to students. Hinton They ask, well, why should a company really focus on multi-cultural marketing if they're already profitable, and that's a valid question. But if you start to look at the numbers and the demographics and the changing face of America, by 2050 what are considered minorities will be the majority and forward- thinking companies are starting to recognize and understand that if they don't capitalize on this group that they're putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage. 10:20 Tom Floyd In terms of the percentage, just to get a sense of how many companies are starting to do that, what's your best guess in terms of, if we talk about the Fortune 500, for example, in terms of the percent of companies who are really starting to make greater strides there? 10:35 Shelly I wouldn't know an absolute percentage. Willingham- I will tell you this year our organization partnered with Fortune Magazine on the list Hinton for the best companies for diversity and we added a segment around the best companies for multi-cultural marketing and Verizon made our list for doing a great job in the multi-cultural segment. I can't give you an exact statistic, but I would say that a lot of companies definitely have a multi-cultural segment. I think where you'll find the most forward-thinking companies are the ones that really break down the segments beyond just African American, Hispanic or Asian, and really try to go beyond those kind of obvious differences to try to make more of an effort in the different segments that are sometimes not equally marketed to. 11:23 Tom Floyd Has it mainly been something that pretty much the larger, like the Fortune 500 or 1000 corporations are looking at, or are even small businesses and sectors like that starting to respond, too? 7 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 7 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 8. Time Speaker Transcript 11:36 Shelly In my experience, because we deal mostly with the larger corporations, I would say Willingham- yes, because marketing budgets are getting tight all across the board. So for Hinton companies to invest in a multi-cultural marketing strategy they do need to have a significant amount of revenue. I think for smaller businesses, we haven't really done much research in that area, so I'm not really sure if they're specific. But I think that companies that are in local areas and recognizing the emerging growth of Hispanics in the marketplace, or Asians, or maybe in their neighborhood the African Americans, are definitely doing multi-cultural marketing and don't even realize it. 12:11 Tom Floyd Earl, can you tell us a little bit more about what led you to write Selling Outside Your Cultural Zone; and for that matter, can you tell us a little bit more about what a cultural zone is? 12:22 Dr. Earl Basically I have been working in sales. I used to work for a company called TRW Honeycutt that got purchased by Northrop Grumman, and I used to come to L.A. and do a lot of work out there, mainly selling electronic components. But what I noticed is that we were doing a lot more business, actually global business, and we were having to deal with a lot of buyers and we were having to deal with a lot folks who were different cultures, different language groups. One fact that you didn't give out, today in the United States more than 110 languages are spoken in the country. That's a tremendous cultural diversity. I think Shelly and the folks have really come up with some good explanations for what's happening in the United States. From my perspective as a business-to-business person, there are a lot of engineers, a lot of buyers and a lot of owners of businesses that come from different cultures, and when you go out there trying to sell to those folks, as the panel has already said, if you don't understand and if you aren't able to be sensitive and to communicate with them in the proper way, you're going to make a faux pas, a cultural blunder, and you're probably not going to make the sale, so it's really important. And Michael, I thought, stated it very concisely and well, but I use the three R's, which is to recognize the difference in cultural differences, to respect those cultural differences, and then to reconcile your behavior with the buyer. 13:53 Tom Floyd I'm still just sitting here with my mouth ajar to 110 languages spoken across the U.S. That's astounding. I've never heard that before. 8 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 8 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 9. Time Speaker Transcript 14:03 Dr. Earl There are a tremendous number. Honeycutt A lot of people don't realize there in California, one of the largest Asian groups is Filipino Americans. Most people think of Chinese or Japanese, but the Filipino American group is quite large for a consumer group. I do a lot of work with the Filipino American community and so therefore I'm a little more sensitive to that. What I'm trying to teach my students at Elon University in the Love School of Business is, that when they go out in the world, if they don't understand multiculturalism and if they don't understand cross-cultural behaviors, they're going to be at a great disadvantage and they're probably not going to be as successful in the future perhaps as they would have been 20 or 30 years ago when it was more of a mass market and more of dealing primarily with white people, which that's not the U.S. today. 14:56 Tom Floyd It's funny when you mention California as an example. I live in San Jose, it's where our business is based too, and I love how diverse it is here and how different it is here. When I moved here seven years ago I felt like it opened my eyes a lot. It's interesting now when I see people come and visit for business, or it could be friends or family, it's almost like they go into cultural shock when coming to the Silicon Valley. It's just really an eye-opener. I definitely think it's encouraging to hear that more businesses, and just across the country in general, people are starting to realize that there are so many other groups out there and we have to sensitive and respectful to them. 9 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 9 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 10. Time Speaker Transcript 15:45 Dr. Earl Absolutely. Honeycutt I don't think we can be an expert on every cultural group, there are just too many. But again, I think some general lessons to be able to recognize. Starting to recognize someone else's culture is to understand your own, so that you don't stereotype and so that you don't engage in ethnocentrism, where you feel that your way is the right way. So if we can do that, again, if we can recognize and then respect and then reconcile, something along those lines. Those are just three words that we chose for our book. It can be stated a lot of different ways. It's important that we be respectful no matter who we're dealing with. 16:27 Michael Soon I just have a quick pet peeve. Lee 16:32 Tom Floyd Sure. Go ahead. 16:33 Michael Soon Because you and I both live in California, and what I've found over the years doing Lee this kind of training for cultural competency of front line staff, is that people in California tend to believe--and other places like New York--tend to believe that because we all live in such multi-cultural areas that somehow automatically we know how to treat people with sensitivity to their culture, which is obviously not true but is a prevalent belief in many areas that have large numbers of people from diverse cultures, as well as people who are new immigrants. We just have to keep in mind, no matter where we are in the country, we're not born with the knowledge of how to treat people who are different from us with sensitivity and look at it from their perspective. 17:18 Tom Floyd Great point. 17:20 Dr. Earl Excellent point. Honeycutt 10 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 10 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 11. Time Speaker Transcript 17:23 Tom Floyd Earl, one quick last question. I noticed in your book there was a chapter on stereotyping, for example. Can you talk to us a little bit more about why people stereotype and how those stereotypes can impact the way that companies market? 17:40 Dr. Earl Stereotyping is basically a positive or a negative generalization that we apply to all Honeycutt members of a cultural, racial or religious group. The unfortunate thing about stereotypes is that they're inflexible. We tend to believe that all people behave in a certain way when that's just not true and if we fall into that trap as we're dealing with customers, advertising, promoting, selling to them, we make some pretty bad mistakes. Because even within a group, even though they may be religious or they may be frugal or whatever that we might somehow stereotype, there are great variations. Some people may or may not be religious or they may be slightly religious where other people are very dogmatic. You make a terrible mistake or blunder when you start to stereotype people because everybody is going to be different depending upon their socioeconomic status, perhaps they are professional or worker, or perhaps where did they come from, did they grow up in a large city or a countryside, are they younger or older, how long have they lived in the current culture or current country, and then obviously the time period, whether you're interacting with them in an emergency or just a very stressful period. Stereotyping is very dangerous so you certainly don't want to do that 19:10 Tom Floyd Certainly. Jeff, I want to turn to you. We definitely want to focus on what some companies like Verizon have really done to address and market towards the various multi-cultural groups across our country, and for that matter, the world as a whole. An initial question based on the article in the Denver Post that I shared at the beginning, in terms of your experience has data like this not only captured Corporate America's attention, but really has kind of set the stage for changing the way that companies are marketing today? 11 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 11 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 12. Time Speaker Transcript 19:56 Jeff McFarland I think this data has caught the attention of marketers all over Corporate America, but this data is not new. This is census data that was started in the year 2000. So we know that by the year 2010, African American and the Hispanic segment will have buying power well over a trillion dollars. I believe it's about 579 billion for the Asian market. What we've done at Verizon, is we recognize that all of our customers are important to us. We also recognize the importance of communicating in a way that's relevant to them, and that's acknowledging their culture. So there are some things that we'll talk about on how we market to them, but we take it a step further. It's about having that sales and that service center so that you can really meet their needs and give them solutions that make their life better, and we've been doing that for about ten years. 12 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 12 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 13. Time Speaker Transcript Welcome back to Insight on Coaching, I’m Tom Floyd. 24:00 Tom Floyd Today the topic is Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling. With me are Shelley Willingham-Hinton, Coach, Founder and President of The National Organization for Diversity in Sales and Marketing, Dr. Earl Honeycutt, Professor of Marketing and Sales Management at Elon University and author of “Selling Outside Your Cultural Zone,” Michael Soon Lee, Coach and President of EthnoConnect, and Jeff McFarland, Executive Director of Multicultural Marketing at Verizon. Well we set the stage in the first part of our show in terms of what multiculture means and discussed how the landscape is looking in terms of some of the trends within various multi-cultural groups. In this segment of our show we'd like to spend some time talking about how Corporate America has responded to these trends, especially from a marketing and sales perspective. Some more data to set the stage. According to Entrepreneur.com columnist Rachel Meranus writes, “All business segments have an opportunity with multicultural markets. But the categories that tend to do the best when engaging in multicultural marketing efforts are: food and beverage, automotive, apparel, personal care, entertainment, sports, telecommunications, health care, banking and finance, and insurance.” According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), “Multicultural marketing is no longer new; it is not an add-on nor should it have a one- dimensional approach (i.e., have a single message for all African Americans or all Hispanics). Many progressive organizations have incorporated multicultural marketing into their overall business models. Meanwhile, multicultural markets have not only grown but have become increasingly complex. There are issues of acculturation. Multiracial marriages are blurring the lines between distinct segments, and the ethnic population is no longer concentrated in just the major markets. Shelly, I'd like to start with you. What are your thoughts on some of the information from Entrepreneur.com? Do some business segments engage more effectively in multi-cultural marketing efforts than others? 13 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 13 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 14. Time Speaker Transcript 25:44 Shelly I think that from our experience, what we found is the companies that are really Willingham- starting to do it well and do a good job at it are the companies that are selling Hinton business-to-consumer--and maybe, Earl, you can talk a little bit more about the business-to-business piece--but I think that's where there needs to be a little bit more work done, on the business-to-business piece. Business-to-consumer, it's obvious to see that your sales force or your message needs to get straight to your consumer to make the difference. So I think the companies that are selling directly to the consumer base are really doing a good job of that and starting to recognize that that's needed. But from a business-to-business perspective, I think there needs to be some work done. And maybe, Earl, you can elaborate a little bit on that. 26:32 Dr. Earl I agree, Shelly. Thank you. Honeycutt I think we see that consumers are out there and they have different needs as far as food products, beauty products, clothing, we could go through a number of consumer goods, and companies are providing different goods based upon their culture and things like that. In the business-to-business, we're talking about machinery and other types of goods that are used to produce products. A lot of people have not recognized yet the importance of multi-cultural, that there are a lot of women businesses, African American businesses, Latino businesses, and dealing with these folks, it's a different ballgame from just going in and talking to a European American. It's not the same concept, the same way of communicating, the same way of approaching, the same way of assuring, is not going to be the same, and so a lot of the business-to-business companies need to start doing more in this way to train, hire adaptive salespeople and do what's necessary to approach and serve the customer the way they want to be served. 14 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 14 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 15. Time Speaker Transcript 27:42 Michael Soon What I've found is that the longer and deeper the relationship needs to be, the more Lee important it is to be culturally competent. When you're selling a car certainly the relationship has to be deeper and longer than if you're just selling socks over the counter. Which, by the way, if you are culturally competent, you can sell a lot of socks, too, but it doesn't have the same kind of profit margin when you're selling insurance or you're selling a home to someone. If you don't build the relationship in a way that's comfortable to the customer, obviously they don't feel comfortable enough to buy from you or make that next step or that big investment. So I've seen the longer and deeper that relationship needs to be, the more people need to be culturally competent. 28:28 Dr. Earl It's about establishing trust. Honeycutt And if you establish trust, again it's being respectful, doing what's best for the customer, communicating with them the way that they want to be communicated and they feel like they've won at the end of the transaction or the end of the business buy, then they're more likely to come back because they know that you'll take care of them and do what's right. 28:51 Michael Soon The sad thing is though that a lot of businesses insult, especially people from other Lee countries and other cultures, they insult folks the minute they walk in by trying to shake their hand when they don't want to, giving them eye contact when they don't want it, standing too close or too far away. Not on purpose and certainly not discrimination, but just not being aware that there are these cultural differences that can build trust more quickly, and if you're unaware of it can really break trust very quickly. 29:20 Dr. Earl Let me just give you a quick example. Honeycutt One of my friends was a European American and he had an auto dealership and he had a lot of Asian Americans coming in and they always brought their father with them. And so he realized very quickly that the grandfather or the father had a lot of influence, and so he would bring his father in, who was about 75, on the weekends, and the first thing he would do is he would introduce the Asian family, “oh, this is my father and he helps me here and I always listen to him”, and right away many Asian customers felt more comfortable because his father was there. 15 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 15 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 16. Time Speaker Transcript 29:58 Michael Soon That's beautiful. Lee 29:59 Tom Floyd That is fascinating. What's the best way, just in general for the average person out there, what's the best way or resources or places where someone can go to become more multi-cultural sensitive? Are there multi-cultural workshops out there? What is the best way for people really just to learn more so that they're making some of these mistakes less frequently? 30:28 Michael Soon I think it's quite simple. Lee If you're really serious about increasing your sales to people from other countries, other cultures, there's plenty of resources out there. Shelly has a great conference that goes on every single year. Earl has a book. I do seminars. There are plenty of resources if you want to find them. So that's not the challenge. The main challenge is that people have to just stop assuming that people want to be treated in any particular way, that they want to have their hand shaken, that they give you the normal eye contact that Americans are used to, and start letting the customer determine how people should be greeted. 16 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 16 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 17. Time Speaker Transcript 31:09 Jeff McFarland I agree with that. It's important that you understand who your customer base is and how they want to be communicated to. I know here at Verizon, for over ten years we've had service centers set up--my business is a little different. Because although I have some stores that are brick and mortar, the Verizon Plus or Experience stores, we even have wireless stores. The majority of our customers for local telephone service and broadband service will call us over the telephone. We handle millions of calls per month. So it's important for us, especially when we're dealing with our Hispanic and Latino customers or our Asian customers, that even in the Asian market we don't just group them all into one market because they're not all the same. So we found that it's very important to reach that customer and give them a way to reach us in a culturally relevant way, where we're acculturated and we understand their needs. We've got over a thousand employees that are committed, skilled, and they go through training and they're part of the community that they're serving and we've found that that's been very successful for us. 32:16 Michael Soon Are you finding that the cultures that are more collective, the Hispanics, the Asians, Lee the African Americans, tend to prefer that face-to-face contact as opposed to phone or internet? 32:28 Jeff McFarland No. I think when you're speaking to somebody that's of your culture, they can have a relevant conversation, they understand your needs. T he needs for the African American segment may be a little different when you're talking about a broadband product than the Asian segment or the Hispanic segment. So when you've got somebody that's trained and understands your culture, those can be very comfortable conversations over the telephone. 32:52 Michael Soon So it all comes back to that cultural competency training that you provide. Lee 32:55 Jeff McFarland Correct. 17 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 17 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 18. Time Speaker Transcript 32:57 Tom Floyd Can you talk more about your experience with Verizon as well, and highlight some of the things Verizon has done to support its sales team to develop multi-cultural strategies? 33:14 Jeff McFarland Yes. Our employees are trained in the centers. But one of the things we do, we don't call them service centers any longer. They're called solution centers. Because our employees in all of our centers, but especially the multilingual centers, they are trained and they understand that we provide solutions for our customers. But we've got to understand their culture and what their need is in order to provide those solutions. 33:39 Shelly Can you talk a little bit about the Realize Campaign that Verizon did? Willingham- Hinton 18 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 18 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 19. Time Speaker Transcript 33:45 Jeff McFarland Yes. The Realize Campaign was a campaign we started 18 months ago. It was very successful in the African American community. It all starts with customer insights. We spoke a little earlier about you can't approach a segment and just assume that everybody in that segment is the same. The target that we were after were those folks that have the entrepreneurial spirit. In the African American community a lot of folks wants to be entrepreneurs. We came up with the campaign Realize, which was all about realizing your ambition, realizing your dreams, realizing the possibility, but how you can use Verizon products and services, mainly broadband services, to help you realize those dreams and possibilities. It was a 360 approach because everything is not done in print and on television. There were grassroots marketing programs. There were sponsorships. There were ways that were developed to reach the African American community so that we could get this point across, but also give them an opportunity to experience our products and services. One of the parts that made it very successful is we used real folks from the community, our consumers, our customers, as they told their stories about what dreams and realities they wanted and how Verizon products helped them reach those. 35:03 Shelly I think that was brilliant and I think it speaks to the point, when people are going to Willingham- start a multi-cultural marketing campaign, it's not okay and it's not enough--and I'm Hinton sure Michael can attest to this too--it's not okay just to put an Asian face in an ad or a black face in an ad, your same mainstream advertising and put that into ethnic advertising and think that's your Asian marketing strategy or African American marketing strategy. You have to really go much deeper and I think Verizon did an excellent job of that with the Realize Campaign. 35:33 Jeff McFarland That's one of the things that we realized, the old days of just putting somebody in a print ad that looks like me. That was the start of diversity and that's about representation. Multi-culturalism takes it to that next step, where it's not just representation, but you're communicating me to me in a relevant way, something that I can relate to. 19 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 19 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 20. Time Speaker Transcript 35:54 Michael Soon I think that also brings up one important thing. Lee We talk about not stereotyping, but we also have to let our audience know and remind them that, for example, Hispanics are not just one culture called Hispanics, there are at least six different groups that call themselves Hispanics, including the Mexicans, which are the largest group, but then you've got South Americans, Central Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and of course people from Spain, and they're all very different. Asians are 17 separate different cultures that all speak different languages, have different foods. And when you say don't put an Asian face up there if you're trying to attract Chinese people, you definitely don't want to put a Korean face up there because Chinese people know the difference. 36:39 Jeff McFarland You're absolutely right. One of the things that we do at Verizon, we've got a website that highlights our broadband products and we have it in Chinese and in Korean. In our call centers, we not only handle just Chinese, but Mandarin and Cantonese, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese. So it is a difference. 37:00 Shelly One other thing I'd like to just point out is, for the African American segment, there Willingham- are a lot of companies that think, well, because African Americans speak English we Hinton can market to them the same way and don't take into account the cultural differences within that segment. Yes, African Americans speak English, but the culture is very different. Maybe, Michael, you can add onto that as well. A lot of companies often struggle with that. They put money into a campaign that's about language, but when you talk about groups of people that speak the same language, really digging in and understanding that there are actual cultural differences that you need to take into account outside of just language. 20 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 20 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 21. Time Speaker Transcript 40:18 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching, I’m Tom Floyd. Today the topic is Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling. With me are Shelley Willingham-Hinton, Dr. Earl Honeycutt, Michael Soon Lee, and Jeff McFarland. In this segment of our show, I’d like to focus on how organizations are using coaches to help build multicultural marketing and sales strategies. Some data to set the stage: Now according to one of our guests on today’s show, Michael Soon Lee, “Multicultural marketing is not enough to sell to Latinos, African Americans and Asians in the U.S. To sell to minorities in America, your sales staff must be trained to provide culturally-competent sales presentations and customer service or they won’t buy from you. Questions to ask include: How can companies increase sales to multicultural customers? What do companies do wrong when it comes to multicultural marketing? What is “cultural competence” and how does it affect salespeople? Michael, to start with you, just a general question first. What are some of the typical challenges in developing or rolling out a multi-cultural marketing strategy? 21 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 21 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 22. Time Speaker Transcript 41:29 Michael Soon I think the first thing one has to do is recognize that you just can't place ads. Lee Because if people come into your store or office and aren't treated appropriately, they're not going to buy from you anyway. The second thing you've got to recognize is you've got to help your front line staff, whether it be cashiers or salespeople or others. What is their own cultural lens? What assumptions do they make about certain people? What words do they use? Because some words can be very, very appropriate with some groups; some words can be very inappropriate. Let me just give you one example. If you're working with an African American customer, for example, the word quot;uniquequot; or quot;specialquot; could be very attractive to them. Again, we don't want to stereotype anybody, but you're going to look at the words that they use, and if you hear them using similar words, those are the features that you want to emphasize with that particular consumer. Whereas with other groups, such as Hispanics and Asians, they're a little more collectivist, they tend to want to fit in or belong or be part of the group, so you wouldn't want to use quot;special,quot; quot;unique,quot; quot;one of a kind.quot; You might want to say things like “this is our most popular model”, things of that nature. So just being aware of the words you use, your body language, things of that nature, can really help you to be much more sensitive to people and they'll trust a lot quicker. 42:55 Tom Floyd How are coaches typically able to help address challenges like this with organizations, or with individual leaders within organizations for that matter? 22 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 22 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 23. Time Speaker Transcript 43:05 Michael Soon With the individual leader you want to make sure that everybody is being provided Lee with cultural competence training. Anybody who is going to have any kind of interface, and that's not just with salespeople, we tend to assume that's the place to go, but it's also people who ring up the register, cashiers, people in the back office who might answer the telephone, service personnel is a whole other issue, but you've got to make sure that everybody who has interface with the consumer who might be different has that kind of training. A coach can help coach these folks to be aware of their own cultural lenses, their own biases, their own prejudices, and just to help them be aware that differences are not wrong, they're just different. How people do things that might be a little different from the way you might do things is just different and it's not wrong and don’t' let it put you off or hurt your sales. 44:00 Tom Floyd When you've worked with some people from a coaching perspective, what are some examples of goals, or are there typical goals that you helped clients put in place for developing or improving their multi-cultural sales and marketing efforts? 44:17 Michael Soon I think the first mistake that a lot of people make when coaching is they kind of get Lee very vague and general, quot;I want to be more culturally sensitive.quot; How do you do that? As a coach you know that you need real specific and measurable goals. What cultures do you want to learn more about? Would you like to learn more about just how to make people feel more comfortable? Do you want to build trust quicker? What are the specific areas that you want to work on? One of the best ways to find that out is to do a cultural competence survey, many of which are available online. I've got one on my website at EthnoConnect.com. There are many, many other resources, but find out first of all, what are your areas that you might need improvement on and then which ones would you like to work on, and that's where a coach can really help you to improve yourself and hold you accountable. 45:06 Tom Floyd What are some of the methods or categories within a survey like that that the data really targets? 23 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 23 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 24. Time Speaker Transcript 45:13 Michael Soon It's, number one, adjusting your sales presentation to meet the needs of other Lee people, the words you use, your body language. Everything from A to Z. Just how can you be more sensitive to people's culture, how do you meet them, how do you build trust, do you get referrals, and how do you approach that process. Because that's a crucial issue. People from collectivist cultures like Asians and Hispanics love giving referrals, and as Jeff knows, this is the absolute best way to get business, but we don't always know how to ask for those referrals in a way that someone from another country or another culture would feel comfortable and obligated to giving you a referral. Those are all measurable issues. Anything in a survey would be able to give you those rubrics. 46:02 Jeff McFarland I kind of build it up as relationship building. You've got to be able to build a relationship, and in order to build a relationship with a multi-cultural customer you've got to understand them. 46:17 Tom Floyd Really understanding what they're about and what's important to them can only help build that relationship and take it further. 46:26 Jeff McFarland Correct. If you don't understand what's important to them it's going to be hard to communicate to them. 46:32 Tom Floyd A question that I wanted to ask about coaching at Verizon. Has Verizon or did Verizon use outside coaches or other resources in developing its overall multi-cultural marketing strategy? 46:47 Jeff McFarland When we look at our multi-cultural marketing strategy, I look at coaches, as some of our advertising agencies that are external. They helped us to build some the marketing strategies and campaigns. We also have extensive internal staff. When we look at our sales force, we have an internal training department that works with all of our sales and solution consultants in the company. 24 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 24 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 25. Time Speaker Transcript 47:13 Tom Floyd From your perspective, what benefits could a coach offer leaders of your sales team, or just sales teams in general if you're speaking to other leaders out there in Corporate America? 47:26 Jeff McFarland The thing to understand in the multi-cultural marketplace is that it is ever changing. The way that you communicated to African Americans five years ago is not necessarily the way you communicate today. I look at my household personally. A lot of my purchase decisions are based on my 17-year-old teenager. I didn't get cable or television at my house until my teenager said it was time. I didn't get broadband services until my teenager said it was time. So a lot of decisions that we make in the African American marketplace may be based on the children in the household, families with children. When you look at the Hispanic segment, it may be based on the rest of the family, how do we communicate with the family or how do we keep the family in touch with each other. But these cultural insights are changing all the time, so therefore you've got to go outside sometimes and make sure that you're up to date with that relevant information. 48:24 Tom Floyd It's really keeping the pulse up to date and making sure you're understanding how each group is changing. 48:30 Jeff McFarland Exactly. 25 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 25 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 26. Time Speaker Transcript 48:31 Shelly One of the things that our organization does, the way we approach diversity and Willingham- multi-culturalism is just strictly how it affects the bottom line, so how companies can Hinton leverage diversity in their entire business strategy to positively impact the bottom line. One of the things that we definitely work with our partners on is ensuring that when they institute a multi-cultural marketing campaign or decide to spend millions of dollars on this campaign, that it's not getting diluted when it hits the field. As Michael was talking about, having that cultural competence. You have to make sure that your field sales team and your other front line people know what's out there being marketed to make sure that your external and your internal communications match up. There have been several cases where there have been wonderful multi-cultural marketing campaigns so you definitely got the attention of your consumer, but when they got to your store or your bank or your dealership, as Michael said before, they weren't treated right so you didn't make a sale. A lot of companies will take a look at that and say, “okay, multi-cultural marketing doesn't work.” It does work, but you have to make sure that you have it implemented throughout your entire business structure, definitely at your front line so you can see the results of the actual campaign. That's something that we really try to drive home with our marketers, is to make sure that you're not going to be able to judge the effectiveness unless you make sure that the people that are delivering it are culturally competent enough to do that. 49:56 Jeff McFarland That is so important. Because if you've got a campaign out in the marketplace and your sales force doesn't know about it or doesn't understand it, when the phones start ringing or people start visiting your location, you're going to lose that opportunity for the sale. 26 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 26 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 27. Time Speaker Transcript 50:12 Tom Floyd Another question related to the sales force in the field. Where do the needs for multi-cultural marketing come from? I see different scenarios out there. I see situations where the field communicates back to corporate: We need more training on this, we need more education on this, help us. I see other situations where it could be marketing or HR or other groups determining: “We think you, the field, needs training on this, so you will go through training on this.” How does that normally work for multi-cultural sensitivity and things like that? Is the sales force within various companies typically realizing, “we need more training on this”, or is it more internally the organization realizing, based on metrics and changes in the marketplace, things like that, “I need to get my people up to speed more on things like this?” 51:13 Shelly From our experience it's really kind of been driven by recruiting. Willingham- We have built a lot of our relationships around diversity recruiting and helping Hinton companies find more diverse sales and marketing talent. Because if you think about putting together a multi-cultural marketing campaign, if everybody in the room looks the same how are you really going to be able to deliver a creative and insightful campaign for a particular group. So recognizing that as corporations they need to definitely have their workforce be as reflective as they can of their consumer base. In a lot of cases when we get involved with recruiting a division, or diversity recruiting teams, is when we're able to filter through the rest of the organization and they can kind of see the disconnects sometimes between your sales force and the marketing divisions and the light bulb kind of comes on, “okay, if we're going to have this diversity recruiting strategy then maybe we need to take a look at how we're marketing to these different consumers.” 27 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 27 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript
  • 28. Time Speaker Transcript 52:11 Michael Soon I would agree that a lot of this is driven by HR and trying to find people of diverse Lee cultures. The challenge is, number one, there aren't enough people to go around. For example, in the National Association of Realtors, only five percent of their realtors are currently people from diverse cultures and over a third of our country today is composed of people from other cultures. But also recognize the fact that while it's a great thing to try and bring a few people from your target audience into your staff, in the meantime while you're doing that, recognize that people from other cultures don't necessarily have to or want to work with somebody from their own culture. Many people, in fact, look deliberately outside of their own culture because of privacy issues and other kinds of things, where they may not even want to work with somebody from their own culture. Which is why most of my work for the last 15 years has really been in the area of training Caucasian salespeople on just how to be a little more culturally sensitive and they're finding that it works very, very well; in addition to trying to bring in folks from other cultures as well. 53:22 Tom Floyd Interesting. Earl, anything that you would add? 53:26 Dr. Earl Yes. Honeycutt I agree wholeheartedly with everything that's been said because I think good salespeople have to be adaptive. You can't match up certain cultural groups with the people that are going to sale to them, or vice versa, salespeople and customers can't be matched up precisely, so we have to have adaptive salespeople who are, again, accepting, respectful and willing to sell to people the way they want to be sold to. 53:55 Tom Floyd A huge thank you to the four of you for joining us today. And always, a big thank you to our listeners as well. For more information about our show you can look us up on the Voice America business channel, you can visit our website at www.ieconsulting.biz , and you can always feel free to drop me an email at tfloyd@ieconsulting.biz . You can also access the podcast version of this show as well through Apple iTunes. Thanks everyone, we'll see you next week! 28 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 28 Coaching Toward Multi-Cultural Selling Transcript