How To Build Your List: Generate Millions With Brandon Bornancin From Seamless.ai
Everything you want in your life is one list away. The best strategy to build your list? Use Seamless.ai to get direct access to decision-makers with real-time data verification! Chad Burmeister welcomes Brandon Bornancin, the CEO Seamless.ai. Brandon talks with Chad about how you can get the life you want if only you can identify key accounts you should build relationships with.
At its core, Seamless helps you connect to every single person in the world that could fundamentally change your life forever for the better. All this power is at your fingertips! Tune in and start building your list.
Listen to the podcast here:
I'm here with Brandon Bornancin. He has got .ai in the name of his company. We were two of the early adopters and launchers of artificial intelligence in sales. He wrote a book called Sales Secrets, another book called Whatever It Takes and Seven Figure Social Selling right there in front of you. I'm so excited to have you on the show, Brandon. Thanks for being here.
Chad, I'm super grateful. Thank you for having me.
You and I have a similar passion for life because it's all about work ethic. A lot of people have great visions of grandeur, and then they wake up and wonder why they didn't get there. It's because they didn't take one foot, put it in front of the other and just do it. Before we dive into the AI-related questions, what's your advice for someone reading? Maybe they are stagnant. Maybe they feel like they are not doing exactly what they should be doing. What would you tell that person?
You've got one life and you’ve got to maximize it and maximize like the people that you are trying to impact. I would say like, "What are you truly passionate about?" Set a big goal to go after that passion and then do whatever it takes to get there. I'm not here to pitch the book. I wrote Whatever It Takes because I wish I had the ultimate guide to success and maximize my potential. A lot of people don't teach you what are the strategies, secrets, and habits that you need to maximize your success in business, relationships or life. I wish there was that ultimate guide and playbook.
Success is about beinggrateful for whatever your situation is and never being satisfied. Always shootfor the moon.
I wrote it from all of the mentors that I interviewed in Sales Secrets, like Chad and other sales experts and mentors. I’ve got to interview some of the world's most successful billionaires, millionaires, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs throughout building Seamless.ai from selling hundreds of millions of dollars in sales, from raising $100 million in venture capital, from building Seamless to other ventures, from speaking on hundreds of stages across the US.
Everyone has got different secrets in the success that they've got. My number one thing is to figure out what you are trying to do and achieve. Set a big goal. Do whatever it takes to hit it. Also, pick up whatever it takes on Amazon because that will help you go from unstuck to realizing like, "Do whatever it takes to get to the next level."
What you said there is brilliant also because if you define what it is you love, take money out of the equation. If you could build the most ideal happy situation, what house would you walk out of in the morning? Who would you want to partner with through life? I've got an amazing wife named Tracey. That lined up perfectly. I've got the two most amazing kids. Visualize it all first.
Once you have that solidified goal, it's amazing what you can do in the world and you just have to do it. I like to help our audience get to know you by going back. I rewind the tape and say, think about when you are 5 or 6 some of your first memories because you are a successful entrepreneur. You have impacted hundreds of thousands of people. How did it all start? What was your passion when you were younger that you could remember? What are some of your first memories?
I’ve got lucky to grow up super poor with my dad just getting into sales and why I love that experience, getting made fun of in grade school for having garage sale clothes and hating to go home because my mom would buy freaking and used a million coupons. We would eat a shitload of food. All of our food was out of a can. She would go to Marc's, the cheapest grocery store at that time. They didn't even take a credit card. She would use 50 million coupons and buy all of this canned foodstuff.
My dad got into sales, getting out of retail. Working retail all day, you don't make a lot of money. My mom worked at a bank. She didn't make a lot of money. They were the low blue-collar, grind-per-hour type of people. I appreciate it because they worked their asses off. My dad got into sales and our success skyrocketed. Our life completely changed but for a decade growing up, I had the garage store closed and the food was shitty.
I used to go to a babysitter thing in the ghetto of Cleveland. It was this woman's house. She would watch 30 kids. My mom would drop me off there, and then she would go work at the bank. My dad was traveling Sunday through Friday. I never saw him for the first ten years growing up because he was getting into sales at CA Technologies. We would sit there and play with each other with this 30 kids thing in the ghetto. The babysitter person that was running this would walk us to this baseball field in a soup kitchen.
We would use food stamps. We would give them the food stamp and they would give us this salami bologna wrapped sub sandwich, a milk carton and that was it. You never forget all the kids that had everything. I remember as a kid growing up, "I wish I had the Nike shoes. I wish I could buy and go through the lunch line and buy food versus my shitty half-made lunch back thing, whatever you call it." That ingrained in me at a very young age, "I hate my life and the situation I'm in. When I grow up, I will never be in that situation again."
A lot of people reading would say, "Maybe I'm not living on the street going to the ghetto with 30 kids but maybe I'm not where I want to be." They are like, "This sucks." That's what's brilliant about the book and books, and all the people you have talked to. I love that because you’ve got to understand what it could be to understand what it ultimately could be. It's good to have the differences.
I had it tough but there are people with parents that are drug addicts living on the streets. Some kids don't eat for days. When we go back to you talking about like, "You've got some of that stuck. How do you get them unstuck?" Also, start being grateful. Back then, I was grateful that I had a house over my head, heat, and water. My mom was feeding me. Even though it was pretty shitty, at least I was eating versus people that may be starving or grew up in a foster house. That stuff is brutal.
Although it was bad, it could always be a lot worse. A lot of my success is being grateful and happy with whatever situation I'm in but never being satisfied and always shooting for the moon. You don't want to be on this hamster wheel where you start achieving the things that you want to achieve, and then you are never happy ever in your life, which is what I have gone through. In my 20 to 30, I was never happy because I wanted to get to the next level. I would get there and I'm like, "I need to get to the next level."
I'm never happy as I level up in the video game of life and success in sales, business and entrepreneurship. I realized early in my 30s, "Get your head right. Be happy with where you are at and the situation and things you've got but never be satisfied. I need to build a $1 billion company than a $10 billion company. I need to positively impact a billion people, and then multiple billions of people and half of the global population."
As I'm impacting millions and hundreds of thousands of people every day, be happy with that because you are changing people's lives. It could just be one person that you have a positive impact or whatever. Whatever you do, your mission and vision in life are, be happy with where you are at and never be satisfied because it could always be a lot worse.
Your company has been around for how long now?
I had the idea in May of 2015 and I worked on developing it for three years. Anyone that's in sales or tech thinking about starting their own company, will get paid 10X less and work 10X more. I highly recommend if you are passionate about your gig to do that thing because building a tech company or an AI company takes years of R&D and development. While years of that are going on, you are not making any money. To get to the point, for a few years, we were working on building the product. February of 2018 is when we launched the product.
What does Seamless.ai do? Where does AI play a role in what you do?
I'm fortunate enough to work with 300 geniuses at Seamless. All of us are on a mission to help the world connect to opportunity. We believe that you are one list away from the life, family, cars, vacations, customers, commissions and income you want. Everything you want in this life is one list away. The only way to build that list is with Seamless.
At the core, Seamless helps you connect to every single person in the world that could fundamentally change your life forever for the better. We find cell phones and emails for every single contact in the world. We also help you identify all the accounts that you should build relationships with and sell to. It's a way to automate all of your list-building, prospecting, and appointment-setting from hours a day to minutes a day using artificial intelligence.
The whole point of that is a lot of salespeople, marketers, entrepreneurs and recruiters spend so much time, money, effort, and energy hours a day building lists and looking for people to reach out to and serve our products to. You've got an amazing product. If you do not connect with the people that could leverage your product and be changed their life forever for the better because you don't know who they are, the accounts, contacts, emails, cell phones and insights, you lose.
The customer loses. The customer's customers lose. That's a negative million-person impact like negative compounding interest. My mission is to get you connected with every single person that you serve that could leverage your products and services to change the world and ideally, ready-to-buy decision-makers with a credit card in hand.
I have talked to a lot of Founders and CEOs. One of the former top IBM Watson guys was talking about "Will AI displace reps?" After 100 conversations, the answer is very much no is what I have heard. It seems to me that when your product is applied properly, it opens a new opportunity. Talk to me a little bit about the elephant in the room, which is, "Does AI disrupt a lot of people's jobs in sales or is it additive?"
It would be like if you come out with a product and you are like, "I could just sell it with product-led growth and do a ton of marketing. I don't need salespeople." When you have salespeople on a product-led growth company or when you are leveraging marketing to sell your SaaS product, high-ticket product, or consulting services, PLG, Product-Led Growth, which means no salespeople convert at anywhere from 0.5% to 3%.
Sales assistive, which means you bring a salesperson in to sell your products and services to either inbound leads or outbound leads, appointments and opportunities, converts at 20% to 80%. The multiple on conversion is 20 to 100 acts with a salesperson involved. I do not believe artificial intelligence will ever replace salespeople, marketers, entrepreneurs and recruiters. If they did, you would have an AI engine automatically start a company, prospect a pitch and close deals.
I do believe that you could use AI. I came from IBM and Google. I'm working on IBM Watson and so did my product team. We know IBM, AI and IBM Watson very well. We believe that you could use this powerful technology to help augment the skillsets, results, and success of the drivers, which are reps, marketers, entrepreneurs and recruiters. It will help them do the core things that they need to do faster and eliminate the things that are mind-numbing dumb.
I almost want to change the name of the show from Artificial Intelligence for Sales to Augmented Intelligence for Sales because that's truly what you are talking about.
It will never replace salespeople. It will only help them perform at their highest level.
Artificial intelligence willnever replace salespeople. It will only help them perform at their highestlevel.
Where do you see the industry headed? When I talk to companies and founders, a lot of times, the very first thing they are talking about is AI in what you do, data. "Finding the right people, who do I call? When do I call them? What's their cell phone number? What's their LinkedIn URL?" That's the baseline. It's like when Salesforce CRM came out and then LinkedIn Navigator. Now, there is Seamless. It's the third layer. You've got to have the data at the base of it all. If you fast-forward five years from now, what has AI done to the sales industry in a few years?
We envisioned taking and leveraging AI to maximize the success of companies, reps, salespeople, marketers, entrepreneurs and all these teams. We foresee it as, "I want to leverage artificial intelligence to automatically tell you all the contacts and companies that you should be selling to and give you all the insights and possible data in the world aggregated automatically on those contacts and accounts. I want to be able to tell you what to say and how to say it to these people."
If I'm in a conversation and Chad says, "I'm not interested," I’ve got 50 ways right in front of me on what to say. It's pretty much like playbooks in real-time being shown to the rep so that they can overcome and address those concerns and objections, and then get the deal closed. I envision AI constantly reminding you, almost like my Apple Watch reminds me to go work out. My Apple Watch tells me, "Brandon, you've got a 1,000 calorie goal. You are at 800. Get your ass off the couch. Stop watching Netflix. Go downstairs to your gym. Go run a mile or two and hit your goal."
I believe that we can use AI for sales to always remind people like, "Where are they at in the stage? What is the relationship? What do we need to do to move that deal forward? Is the deal dead?" It's pretty much a lot of management automated that a VP doesn't want to do anyways but they’ve got to look at the data, and then manually do it.
A lot of the things that the SDRs, AEs or management VPs do that they don't love are constantly using artificial intelligence to automate all of that or help them maximize their conversion rate at that stage. If I'm in a pitch, I'm serving up data to help you pitch and close. If I'm prospecting and I get a connection, I'm serving up data intelligence and playbooks to help book and hold that appointment. VPs, what is the intelligence that I can leverage to get all of my reps to quota-crushing their number?
I was in Orlando. I rented a car. While everyone was asleep and we weren't driving rental cars, I upgraded them. I was in this car. All of a sudden, I was swerving out of the lane a little bit and bounced to me right back in.
It jerks you hard, too.
It was nice, though. I was safe. Like you are talking about, when a salesperson starts to go out of the lane and says, "I'm going to do something that doesn't actually help me close the sale," we’ve got to serve you up exactly the right thing at the right time, "Here's what you say and send." You will be able to assign a larger quota to reps and it has already been happening.
That would be amazing because of all the intelligence out there and the support. I didn't even think about the quota increase. They will be able to identify, contact, close and manage more deals faster. It was genius.
Think about some of the technology that we have been deploying to people, which lets you build a virtual assistant to do your LinkedIn outreach, let's say. I could have 2, 3, 5 or 10. I'm going to turn on as many as I need to get me a full calendar and I'm doing a nonprofit business on the side half of my time. Now, it's easy to tune the knobs and say, "VA, I need you to get me this kind of meeting. VA number two, get me that kind of meeting."
That's where I see the world going where it's like, "I show up. My calendar is fully booked with fifteen meetings a day. Five of them are podcasts. Five of them are with prospects and five of them are with other people. It's easy." There are a few tools out there and there has been some consolidation in the lead gen space that you play in. Why would I choose Seamless compared to anything else that's out there? By the way, I have since February 2018.
I appreciate you and all of the support, and advice along the way as we built the platform to maximize all revenue producers and the results. Seamless is growing as, if not faster, than Salesforce.com in the first five years. We are doing what the old-school databases have done in many years and we are using AI to do it in a few years. If you are looking to find your total addressable market, have the highest accuracy and coverage, be able to build lists of thousands of people in minutes, if not seconds, and then get it all integrated into any platform or use it wherever you are working on top of any platform, website, social or Gmail. That's why Seamless is so powerful.
We leverage AI to research everyone that you need to sell to. We find all those people and companies instantly. We have researched, validated and verified all of that data instantly in real-time. We use it for a ten-step AI engine, which was inspired to me by the team that I’ve got to work with at IBM Watson and also Sergey Brin and his wife, the Founders of Google who are investors in the company.
I can't wait for you to get out of it. If you have the opportunity, join Seamless.ai for free. I'm excited to hear the number of opportunities and people you get to connect with. Once you make 6 or 7 figures in sales, this is the seven-figure award, you apply at PresidentsClubAward.com. We ship you the President's Cup Award. You get to go to the annual President's Club Conference and party once COVID opens everything up. This is why we do what we do to get every single person in our network on the platform in the President's Club and maximizing the success of their customers.
Everybody needs one of those and everybody can do it. That's the thing that people need to walk away from. It's in your books. The technology is right there at our fingertips. In the past, we would have had to write a check for $35,000 to get access to a platform like Seamless.
I was spending $1 million on three different old, expensive and outdated databases when I was selling for Google and IBM. They were missing 90% of the people I needed to sell to. Of the 10% that they had, 50% had wrong emails and phone numbers. We were dropping $2 million to $3 million a year on data. It was terrible.
It gets outdated. The fact that yours does real-time refresh, that's important for people to understand. It's like when you go to Home Depot and you buy the paint. They don't have it sitting on the shelf in magenta. It's white and you add a little bit of this color and that color. There's your paint. The same thing goes with contacts. If you look up my CRO from December 2020, it's probably going to say, “He is still my CRO and he is not.”
When you have real-time analytics and are powered by AI with the ten-step process you talked about, that's the difference in a big way. Tell me the direct numbers piece. That was always a challenge to collect. It sounds like you guys have cracked the code on that. Can you share your secrets on how do you collect all that direct dial information?
It's like Google. We are real-time searching for the data out there about people and companies. We have gotten extremely smart with the technology of where it's at. We've got hundreds of thousands of users that also let us know, "Is this accurate or not accurate?" Everyone wants to make sure that they've got the best data in the world. Our search engine got so smart year-over-year. It’s because we use AI, it keeps getting smarter, so you get more cell phones. You go from 50% coverage to 70%, 80% or 90%. My goal is to have cell phones and emails for every professional globally.
Let me tell you why that's important, too. I did a study and it was smack dab middle of COVID. We did a quantifiable test. We called a couple of hundred people on a switchboard and we had about 50 to 1 dial to connect. Surprising to us, we called the direct dial number. Right at the beginning of COVID, they didn't necessarily have that forwarded to their cell phone yet.
That was 70 to 1 dial to connect. In the past, direct would outperform a switchboard. The magic bullet comes in when you have their mobile number. It’s 12 to 1. Why would you dial someone 50 times to talk to one person on your list when you could use Seamless and all it takes is twelve dials to talk to one person on your list or less, in some cases?
I still prospect all the time with our team. I'm talking to someone every 3 to 10 dials. It depends on the industry. I'm doing calling for recruiting, customer success and sales. Half of it is cold. Half of it is hot. I ran a recruiting campaign and I was talking to someone every 4 to 6 dials for sales. It depends on your audience as well. I sell to salespeople. Everyone is picking up their phones. I've got a higher connect rate than when I was selling to marketers at Google. For Google, marketers don't pick up their phones a lot. It would be more like a 1 to 8, 1 to 10 or 1 to 20 connect rate. That is based on, "Am I going after a CMO, VP or Director?" It will always depend on the audience.
Everyone wants to make sure that they've got the best data in the world.
Chad, you nailed it. You’ve got to get the connect dials and mobile phones. When you get the connects, be trained to know what to say and how to say it because you don't want to go to the championship game and not know how to swing the bat or throw the football like Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. I don't watch baseball. Whoever the top baseball players are, you are practicing a shitload every day before you go up to shoot the ball to win that game. You’ve got to know what to say and how to say it when you do get the connections.
Brandon, it has been great talking with you on the show. If someone wants to trial your product, how would they get in touch with you? How do they trial Seamless?
Thanks so much, everyone tuning into the show. Please go to Seamless.ai. Get it for free. We give up to $1,000 in free credits for you to use it. My goal is to connect a lot of opportunities during that free trial. It's so successful for growing your company, you upgrade, and then eventually, you join our President's Club Award winners at PresidentsClubAward.com. Join Seamless.ai for free. You only need a work email. Also, you will get the free newsletters that I do daily throughout.
Brandon Bornancin from Seamless.ai, congratulations on all your success. Thanks for being on the show.
Thank you so much. Everyone who is reading, I would love to connect with you guys on LinkedIn. Chad and I are posting all the time on LinkedIn. Connect, follow and chat with us there. We would love to hear from you.
LinkedIn - Brandon Bornancin