Continued from Confessions of a Serial Salesman, Episode 53: Part 5!

Steve Nudelberg: That’s a very difficult thing to do. I understand that. But statistically, there are more CEOs who are investing in their own personal brand. You know, which is a total change, CEOs usually wanted to be behind the scenes.

Josh Cohen: When you say investing in their own personal brand. You mean putting themselves front and center?

Steve Nudelberg: Yeah, because their brand leads you to the company brand.

Josh Cohen: Dana White.

Steve Nudelberg: Dana White is a great example.

Josh Cohen: Dana White looking for a fight. Dana White’s twos in a contender series, Dana White is the de facto face and voice of the entire UFC.

Steve Nudelberg: He made that whole thing happen.  

Josh Cohen: Which by the way is not even owned by Dana White. It’s owned by William Morris Endeavor, IMG.

Steve Nudelberg: Right. But, that’s a really good example of a guy who got out in front of it. He took all of the advantage of being the guy. And then once you saw the guy, you said, “Alright, well what’s he doing?” And “Oh, he’s doing UFC? I want to follow that guy.” That is happening at every CEO level.

Josh Cohen: So CEO’s, I mean, like I did the charity event in March with Tim Keating of Boeing, he’s a guy that puts his personal brand ahead of them?

Josh Cohen: He may not, he could, you know, because it’s a growing trend. You are talking about the biggest change.

Steve Nudelberg: Is it protecting yourself because if the company doesn’t need you anymore, doesn’t matter cause, where you go, must be it?

Steve Nudelberg: Yeah, that’s an interesting take. I never went there. I look at it as, you know, it is each of our responsibilities to market ourselves, including the CEO. So, if the sales department is supposed to not rely on the company to deliver leads, which is the world we’re in, then you know, show me how to build my brand. And you’d be the biggest-.

Josh Cohen: Well, your brand can’t be a, you know, solely the company because A: if the company really screws up and then you look and you’re them and B: if they get rid of you, now what?

Michael Ralby: Oh, for how many years was it that the company that was on the business card was bigger than the person’s name and now the person’s name is now bigger than the company’s?

Josh Cohen: The person is now bigger than the company.

Steve Nudelberg: Correct

Michael Ralby: “Buy the brand. Buy the brand.” Now the advisor’s name is larger.

Josh Cohen: Because there’s a difference between “working at” and “working with.” And I try and tell these young women who say, “Well, I work at so-and-so,” and I say, “No, no, no, no, no. Your brand is your-I mean you’re in management on the retail side. Don’t tell people you work at that store; you tell them that currently, you are working with or that you are currently with,” because then you’re elevating your own brand and words do matter to the perception. It’s a partnership. It’s not peanut butter sandwich, a little bit of jelly, it’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and together bam. 

Steve Nudelberg: And so you have it dead on. So, even at the corporate level, that executive is a person first and then the CEO of the company. So, the more they’re willing to open up and let me know who they are, what they are, you know everything about some CEOs and others are really behind it. The more-.

Josh Cohen: Branson and Virgin.

Steve Nudelberg: That’s a perfect example.

Michael Ralby: Perfect.

Steve Nudelberg: I was just thinking, that’s a perfect example of a guy who has built his own brand that does not affect Virgin at all in a negative way, and it helps them in a positive way. It’s not egotistical, it’s not nothing, but he takes who he is and makes that a part of the Virgin brand. It comes to life.

Josh Cohen: And it’s also, you know, good job security in the sense of say, Dana White, UFC no longer needs him. Doesn’t matter, if he goes to a different fight organization or creates one. Well, his name is above that, in the 80s in the movies we would call them with the name above the title, right? Schwarzenegger and Stallone and the movie title would go underneath it.

Josh Cohen: But Dana White’s positioned himself. And if people go, who’s this? The UFC ultimate fighting championship was a mixed martial arts company in the year 2000 it was sold for $2 million. $2 million. Not a lot money. Well for a lot of us it is, but $2 million. They bought this fight organization when they sold it 16 years later to William Morris endeavor IMG for $4.3 billion, which is to this day and probably forever will be the greatest return on investment in the sporting space. I mean, it’s almost inconceivable.

Steve Nudelberg: Have you been to their facility in Vegas?

Josh Cohen: I’ve been through it, but not in it.

Steve Nudelberg: It’s unbelievable. I was fortunate enough, my friend, she was in Vegas. She said, “you gotta come visit it.” And it’s really a city. It is built specifically for, you know, that brand. You know, you expect that brand to do stuff like that. And so you know when we talk about change, you know, Michael comes from the financial place where that’s the last bastion of where they’re controlling individuals, what they can say, what they can’t say. And so it’s very compliance driven, and that’s crushing the individuals that work for the big name houses. They don’t; they’re lost. They’re like, “how do I get into the dance party?” Because I asked this question at my trainings. “You ever been to a dance party?” “Yes.” “Who has fun at a dance party?”

Josh Cohen: The people who dance. The ones who actually get on the floor.

Steve Nudelberg: Right, exactly. So there’s this dance party going on called social media and the ones who are dancing, Joe Maulings is a perfect example of a CEO, who absolutely blasted through all of the old school, you know, paradigms. He has embraced it, and everybody I’ve told to follow this guy loves the content he’s putting out there. And he doesn’t talk about his business. He talks about him, his perspective of how to run a business, his perspective of the challenges of travel, of social, everything he has an opinion on. And it just sort of leads you to his company. He’s in medical recruiting. Um, his podcast, we’ve just got huge numbers on him.

Michael Ralby: He was incredible.

Steve Nudelberg: You know, and I don’t know if you’ve seen some of the follow-up videos that he did. Oh, he did a behind the scenes video. Yeah. You actually showed up, pretty handsomely.

Josh Cohen: Really?

Michael Ralby: Yeah, It was really sweet.

Steve Nudelberg: Yeah. You were looking good.

Josh Cohen: What was I doing exactly? What exactly was I saying, now I’m concerned.

Steve Nudelberg: Oh no, not at all. No. I mean it showed us, you know, real life, you know, and that’s what people want. So why is reality TV so popular?

Josh Cohen: It’s the soap opera inside drama, voyeuristic entertainment, if you will, of this generation. So CEOs, salespeople like me, why does someone care that I’m in the Detroit airport and having a hot dog going somewhere? I share and document what I do. And people are like, “Wow, man, you lead a pretty cool life.” You know? Well, I’m not showing them when there’s no air conditioning on the plane.

Josh Cohen: Right.

Steve Nudelberg: When we’re delayed

Josh Cohen: Or in 34B.

Michael Ralby: Last week he gets on the plane to fly back. There’s no internet.

Steve Nudelberg: No Internet. I was in the exit row, Jet Blue. I almost jumped off. I said to the lady, I go, “You don’t want me sitting here because you just cost me three hours of possible work.”

Michael Ralby: I’m leaving.

Steve Nudelberg: The lady next to me said, “You’re going to be okay?” I was like, “No!“

To be continued in part seven.