Global Ecommerce Sales

In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, our guest speaker was Ray Ziganto. Ray is the CEO of Global Business Development, 3D CityScapes. Moreover, he is also the co-host of MFG OutLoud and Manufacturing Unicorn at Linara International.  Ray has been involved in international business for over 20 years.

When it comes to enhancing your global e-commerce sales, it is always good to have a few pointers to point you in the right direction. This is particularly why we had our chat today.

In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, our guest speaker was Ray Ziganto. Ray is the CEO of Global Business Development, 3D CityScapes. Moreover, he is also the co-host of MFG OutLoud and Manufacturing Unicorn at Linara International.  Ray has been involved in international business for over 20 years.

The conversation of this episode, started when Curt introduced Ray to the show. After this, Curt asked Ray about his journey and how he got linked to Alison. Answering this question Ray said that when he first met Allison DeFord it felt like he has met his business counterpart.

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After this, Ray talked a bit about his podcast with Allison and how it was running successfully. Moving on, Curt asked Ray about his leadership styles and how he has them. To this, Ray said that he learned more from his scars than his successes and that is what has made him into who he is today.

The conversation then shifted to global e-commerce sales and how to nail it.  Ray said that the key thing that everyone who is in manufacturing doesn’t understand is that you are sitting on more innovation and resources than you notice.

According to Ray, this is a better-known fact. Moreover, Ray said that if you don’t bridge the gap between sales, marketing and operations you can never get to global e-commerce sales. He also said that you have to listen to all parts of your company and then make a decision.

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Further, into the conversation, Ray busted some myths regarding global e-commerce sales. He said that usually, people think going global is expensive. This according to Ray is completely untrue.  The next myth he busted was that people think their company is too small to go global.

This too is completely untrue according to Ray. He said that in global e-commerce sales, it doesn’t matter what the size of your company is, in fact, the smaller your company is, the more it is away from bureaucracy.

Therefore, Ray said that to have global e-commerce sales you have to think global and stop believing in these usual myths. By the end of the conversation, Ray answered some questions from the audience.

Get the most value for your business by understanding the process and preparing for the sale with information here on our Selling a Business page.

The conversation ended with Curt and Damon thanking Ray for his presence.

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allison, customers, ray, people, international, global, business, resources, manufacturing, manufacturers, company, kurt, damon, linkedin, client, talk, big, unoriginal, ecommerce, phenomenal


Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson, Ray Ziganto


Damon Pistulka  00:00

I’m going to get Ray up here on the ray is on the stage, you need to turn your camera on Ray and your mic. There we go. We got you. We couldn’t get Ray’s camera working today. So we get to look at this pretty face. We got him. We got him going, though. So I’m gonna get us live on LinkedIn. And we’re gonna get started here.


Ray Ziganto  00:22

All right,


Damon Pistulka  00:23

let’s do this people.


Ray Ziganto  00:24

All right.


Damon Pistulka  00:34

All right, everyone. Welcome once again to the manufacturing ecommerce Success Series. I’m here with my arm Damon Pistulka. First of all, I’m here with my co host, Kurt Anderson. And I am just jack for our guests. today. We’re talking about going global with e commerce man. And we’ve got a legend, legend. But I’m going to turn it over to Kurt. Right after we do a little special mention here. Let’s talk about this right here. We are now. Manufacturing trailblazers. Thank you so much, Alison to Ford. Awesome t shirt. Got it. Gotta love it. And I got to tell you, Kurt I don’t know if you notice this. But the little special touching this. She’s actually got her logo in the back this. Yeah.


Curt Anderson  01:28

And you know what Val? Val has? Greg has a shirt so guys get to put your guide put your Trailblazer shirts on today and where I’m proud. Thank you. Thank you to our dear friend Allison got what a blessing and gift she is. So Alright, let’s let’s dig right in guys. So Kurt Anderson, Happy Friday. Welcome. Big Greg says thank you. So Greg’s wearing his shirt. We might have to pull up everybody when Ray’s done. Let’s pull everybody up and we’re gonna go Alright, so raged on so stick around, Greg, hopefully you don’t have to run. Alright guys, let’s for those of you. Let’s dig in a razor guy know for a minute, man just re what an app.

So and now we lost this picture. He’s on vacation. He’s he he’s blessing us with his presence today. So let me re while you’re doing that, man, let me rattle off a few things he’s done in Florida. He’s got his flip flops on he’s Yeah, he was fishing this morning. So here’s Ray’s career daymond Check this out. And if you’ve read, you know, notice a career that this guy has built.

Sales Engineer, vice president of marketing business development. Corporate sales manager then moved up to Vice President of Operations in China, Singapore, Malaysia. He’s built business in Mexico. He was the senior vice president of global operations and then moved up to President of biolink. And President It was a 1500 as the word he uses, it was a 1500 person job shop. So I mean, there’s a little bit more than a job. President of 1500 people so when we caught when we have the manufacturing unicorn in the house, he is truly the authority Ray. Welcome. Thank you for joining us today my friend.


Ray Ziganto  03:15

Oh man, thanks, Kurt. Thanks, Damon soul thrilled to be here today. As you can tell from my lack of dexterity with getting getting my picture up and running here. You know, I’m a I’m a results guy, not necessarily a tech guy. So to make this work today, I wouldn’t, wouldn’t panic.


Curt Anderson  03:38

That’s part eight. No, we’re you know, dude, we love you. So you know, however, we don’t care about the technical side. We’ve got all your fans here. So great. So I also want to share so guys I dropped raise. Dan bigger made it man. So I’ve got raised LinkedIn profile, please connect with Ray with my next my next thing I want to bring up is Ray, if you haven’t heard this, I man I don’t know where you’ve been if you’re in manufacturing.

They have the best podcast on the planet for manufacturers. MFG out loud. I have it in the chat box. If you guys haven’t checked it out, you have to check out right. How on earth did you and l first let’s take it step back. How did you connect with Allison to Ford? How did you two even How did your paths cross


Ray Ziganto  04:23

it was it was LinkedIn. It was purely LinkedIn. It was pretty recent in my journey off on my own to start my own advisory firm and just you know, I like looking for interesting opinions and thought leadership and stuff like that. And what resonated about Allison was, you know, I felt I had met my my business counterpart, because here was a marketer who got manufacturing and oh and my.

The unicorn status that she bestowed upon me, is because I’m a manufacturer that gets marketed So so we kind of, we fill in each other’s blanks, you know? So we connected there and, you know, talked about big plans and the way things ought to be, and eventually convinced ourselves, you know, we ought to do a podcast. And then it was like, Well, why aren’t we? And then after another year, a debate in our infinite wisdom, March 17 2020, we decided it was a good time to launch a podcast. So 50 episodes later, here we are. Yeah,


Curt Anderson  05:30

that is absolutely awesome. We welcome Bobby I saw Jean on the program. So welcome, guys. Thank you for joining us today. And I’ll tell you, Allison is just absolutely amazing. She I know she’s our soul sister, keeps us all in line in rate, how to talk a little bit like what what inspires you guys to get the podcast going? Like, what was that trigger? Who said it first? Or like, what, you know, how did that come about?


Ray Ziganto  05:55

Yeah, it was, it was one of those things. It It was, it had kind of a long gestation period, Allison, and I knew we were we kind of got along, and we set up a standing appointment once a week, we would do a zoom with each other, and just talk about what projects were we working on? You know, what were clients up to? Have you ever seen this or seen that? So it was, it was kind of like a structured brainstorming session for a while. And, and eventually, it just started to narrow down where it was like, man, we kind of got a lot of notes here. And as I would share something Allison told me and vice versa, people were going, that’s kind of interesting.

So, you know, we started and the Genesis was, it was just the two of us. And we figured out after about three episodes that we were kind of honest, say, you know, not not that we didn’t have opinions, but it’s like, boy if we don’t start engaging with a broader audience, and that’s where we met you. And and and Mark Roberts, and, you know, and man, and there’s just so many Damon, you know, so many cool, folks. And it really what revealed itself is that this is a community and, and the pie gets bigger to the extent that we engage with each other. And that’s, that’s really what this thing has been all about. It’s not going to cool people.


Curt Anderson  07:14

I think the chemistry between the two of you is just absolutely phenomenal. She you know, Allison has a gift we’re like she’s the one person that you can, you know, you’re reading something on the keyboard, make sure that you don’t have anything in your any liquids in your mouth.

Because when you’re typing, you’re spitting it right on your keyboard. And, you know, I think you guys have such great chemistry on your podcast, amazing, incredible guests. You know, I learned something new every time from Bonnie to you’ve had different job shots. The gentleman you had a great, a great guy from Michigan. Yeah. Darren Mitchell. I’ve learned all sorts of new new terms. So for folks that haven’t heard this one, Ray, yeah. Can you explain what is commission breath?


Ray Ziganto  07:57

Mike Roberts came up with that one, that’s kind of the Allison has a different spin on it. And I think it’s what is a desperate is creepy. You know, and it’s, it’s just the if you It’s when you lose sight of, you know, Mark’s big thing is sales is an act of service. And if you lose sight of the fact that you’re providing a service to the other person first, that’s where the commission breath kind of comes in. So, God, we love yours, and


Curt Anderson  08:26

that one that is hysterical. And what I absolutely love, you know, you brought up Mark Roberts, if you guys aren’t familiar, you know, phenomenal guy. And he he taught me a line that I use all the time, you know, people are longing for a sell was a an educator or a trusted guy disguised as a salesperson, right? And what I love that you described yourself as you’re the manufacturing guy disguised as a consultant, and I love that you know, in your your, when you look at your track record, your leadership is just bar nine man, I just, you know, I know we kid around a lot, but I just you I have such respect and admiration for the career that you’ve built.

Truly, you are an international guru, we’re going to dig into your presentation here in one second. But on your leadership side, there’s how you describe your leadership. My leadership style is collaborative inclusive, of I can’t read my writing and embraces people of all cultures, talents and abilities from the shop floor to the boardroom. And my hat’s off to you that is just such a powerful one sentence statement describing your style. Talk about like, you know, you’ve been in business for a year or two, how did you how did you build up that leadership style?


Ray Ziganto  09:34

You know, it’s it’s Baptism by fire? Any anybody that’s, that’s running a manufacturing shop. I mean, you end up with, you know, what is it I have to do today? And, you know, it’s an old thing, you know, I’ve got friends that have been in the service, you know, I need a volunteer and everybody steps back. And there you are. So, like, a lot of things. You just kind of figure it out and it’s like, you know, you know, hey, we’re all on LinkedIn, and Want to put the best foot forward? And I got news for you, I learned more from my scars than I did from my successes, you know along the way, and anybody that says otherwise is


Curt Anderson  10:11

That’s right. That’s so I don’t have any hair left. So anyway, but on another note, so let’s, let’s take it. So guys, I dropped raised a LinkedIn profile, I dropped a link to MFG out loud, strongly encourage you check out his podcast, we have john john, my buddy from New Jersey, he’s on the program, of course, then bigger I said, Thank you guys for joining us. And this Tuesday, you’re doing an incredible presentation for Temple University. Can you talk a little bit about that, and I’d love for you to go ahead and jump into your new you’ve got a little program here for us today.


Ray Ziganto  10:44

Yeah, I do. And the way I’m trying to do with the program with temple is same thing here, today is the light version. Because obviously not going to be able to go through everything that’s there. But I really want to, you know, dispel some myths about international business, you know, discuss the kind of the, give people some confidence, they probably are sitting on more resources than they’re aware of, or they’re closer to them than they think, you know, and kind of take some of the the fear and the misinformation out of the way.

And then really my approach on it is, again, you know, I’m not the ecommerce guru that you are occurred, but but what I do know is, is that e commerce in an international role is an amazing tool, provided the manufacturer has taken the right steps, develop the strategy, develop some tactics, get their team involved in it in I mean, it’s like, and I’ll talk about that a little bit today. It’s, it’s so important to lay the right foundation. And as Allison says, you know, once you know, the why the how becomes clear, right? And too many people skip to the skip to the tactics. And that’s a that’s a short road to burn a lot of money.


Curt Anderson  11:58

Yep, great point. So if we’re technically getting through things, if you want to go ahead and hit share, and I know you’ve got a few slides that you want to share with everybody, and we’re gonna we’re all gonna be global experts in the next 20 minutes, man, I don’t know. 30 years of experience coming at you right now. So seatbelts are strapped on, pencil sharpened. And here we go. See?


Damon Pistulka  12:21

Well, and you know, the funny thing is, Kurt, is when I saw a race profile on LinkedIn, I didn’t get past manufacturing unicorn, I said, hell, if somebody is gonna call themselves a manufacturing unicorn, I want to meet them. The only reason honestly,


Ray Ziganto  12:36

oh god, why didn’t call myself that, hey, there’s a slide coming through. Are you saying? All right, that’s my ugly mug there. So the key thing I want everybody on here that’s in manufacturing, is is to realize, right now, no matter how tough or challenging, you might see things, right now, you’re sitting on more innovation, resources and growth potential than you realize, okay, it’s, it’s a fact. And I’ve seen it time. And again, I’ve shared it with Damon, it’s like there isn’t a manufacturing facility on the planet that isn’t sitting on 20% more upside growth with customers they already have. And that’s a, that’s a minimum, we’ll talk about that.

So the unicorn status that’s been bestowed upon me, by Allison, I don’t, I don’t come up my own nicknames. You know, I help manufacturers bridge that gap between sales, marketing and operations. Because if you don’t connect all of this growth stuff, all the way back into the factory, a couple of people in the office feel good, and everybody in the plants manager, and you’re not making any money. So I’ve had the great good fortune to get involved in that, domestically and internationally. Like I mentioned, the prospect of going global shouldn’t be overwhelming or scary.

And a lot of people are still walking around with some notions and myths from the way it was 30 years ago. And it doesn’t have to be that way. You know, the key thing, I know what you’re thinking, it seems overwhelming. And part of the challenge is you’re not lacking data or stats. I mean, my God, you can you can slide down a, you know, a surfing rabbit hole online, and find a zillion statistics and you think, you know, the whole world is so huge, you know, every everything’s growing, what’s going on with me, I’m drowning, and all this data what’s going on, don’t get stuck in the starting gate is is really the first point. It’s like, Don’t panic. I know there’s a there’s a lot out there.

You know, one of the the number one reasons that I see businesses delay or ignore exploring, taking their business global, they’re weighed down by bad or incorrect information. somebody knows somebody that tried to do something in Mexico in the 70s. And boy, did they have a bad time so I’m not gonna go there. You know, or, you know, the the person at the networking event that has a bigger leg. townsman you do, you know is the go to expert on things even though, you know, he ships for air, she ships within a three state region. It’s like you really get, you got to kind of you know, check yourself there, there’s no shortage of opinions, but what you really need are some facts.

And you need to be talking to some people that have been there or have, believe it or not, there are organizations out there that have a vested interest in you being successful internationally. Okay. And, you know, let me get rid of one of the first myths right off the bat. All right, going global is expensive. No, it’s not. The short answer is no, it’s not or perhaps the more pointed answer, it doesn’t have to be. And again, some of the old thinking is, man, if I don’t get a big four accounting firm involved, or Baker, McKenzie is my law firm, you know, and a, and they put the vacuum cleaner in my wallet, you know, there’s no way I can go global, not true.

That’s not the way it is today. That’s not to say you don’t need some resources at some point. But if the first place you go is to call a lawyer and accountant ain’t doing it, right. Okay, first place, you really need to be going, where there are some outstanding resources. And this is a fraction of what’s out there, what I wanted to do is just share an example of some organizations that can tell you what it’s really like out there. Everything from the marketplace, companies like Alibaba, that engage with manufacturers of all shapes and sizes.

Shopify is a phenomenal platform, the American Chamber of Commerce has offices and chapters all over the world, where you can engage with American companies doing business in the market, you want to be in and get some information, US commercial services, eximbank iMac is one of the big MVPs, based in Illinois, that does an exceptional job of getting good information to manufacturers that are looking to do some stuff is the international development organizations, I do a lot of work with the government of Malaysia to help with foreign direct investment over there.

And it’s remarkable, the amount of help and resources that are available for you. And for the most part, nearly everybody, I’m here, to have a conversation, get some research, get some information, do some research, free, isn’t gonna cost you anything. It’s all the information is there now, information and facts by themselves.

You know, it gives you the context, you’ve still got to decide where all of this fits, you know, in your business. So in terms of cost and resources, it’s like, it doesn’t have to be a zillion bucks, you know, depending what you want to do. The resources are there. So you know, guys, if any, anywhere along the way, if there are questions that are jumping, that are coming in, at any point, fire them at me and let’s let’s pick them up as we go.

Okay, sure. So again, you know, Myth number two, my company’s too small to go global. And, you know, really, there’s, there’s a three word response to that, which is wrong wrong, and you’re wrong. The real reality is I’ve been doing global business since 1985. And yeah, it was a hell of a lot different than you didn’t have the online marketplaces, you really needed to have a footprint somewhere. Yeah, it was a six, seven figure, you know, investment, if you want to put a manufacturing facility someplace else, a lot has changed, much, much different today. So So you got to take that one off the table, change that mindset.

And a big part of it is why smaller companies kind of have an inherent advantage here is you don’t have the layers of bureaucracy, you know, you’ve got the the owner, you know, everybody’s kind of wearing a lot of different hats. Which is, which is awesome. Because during the time when you’re building a lot of processes and things that need to scale, you’ve got people that understand purchasing, as well as receiving and shipping, and then probably the order entry and customer service. So there’s, there’s a lot to be said, for having that. Having that small, very nimble team available for you.

And as, again, I think there’s one of the only stats that I’ve got out here, 97% of us exporters or small businesses. There’s there’s plenty of signals out there that say you really need to be doing this. But that inherent advantages, you’re not burdened by layers of bureaucracy, it’s easy for you to pivot and iterate. Because one of the things I’m going to get through here is, you know, this isn’t a Cowabunga move. If you’re doing your homework, right, you’re kind of doing a test in tune. You know, it’s not like Well, we’re gonna go from serving the Midwest to being in 40 countries overnight.

Suicide move, don’t do that. You know, there, you’re gonna there’s a lot you’re going to need to learn As your goal, and it’s a heck of a lot easier for smaller companies to be able to do that, than for large ones. Plus, you’ve got the opportunity in a small company where more members of your team, get a front row seat to what’s going on. Okay, think about that. If you’re international strategy and tactics is something that comes out of the conference room and get sprung on everybody in the company, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Okay, it really is an organizational effort enough to explain line a couple of slides, because you it is going to challenge you to change and modify some of your current ways of doing business. So there’s, there’s, there’s a little bit of a change management effort coming your way as well. Okay, but, you know, resources are their size isn’t us resources are there, it’s not expensive. It’s, you don’t have to be huge to be able to pull it off. In fact, we’ve got some advantages, you know, being smaller, which is like, what gets me to the why. And, and this is key, you’re really got to nail down Why is it? You’re looking to do this international thing?

You know, what it is? It isn’t a growth, is it part of your growth? strategy? Are you following a customer somewhere? That’s that’s doing something, you really need to spend some time answering that question. This is one of my favorite quotes about strategy strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. True, true back three zillion years ago, you know, it’s it’s true, it’s true today, you really got to spend the time thinking about where you’re going. This is not an instance, where you want to just kind of jump in and see what happens.

In our domain, this is a, you know, they’re ready fire aim approach or like today, what’s popular with a lot of data and analytics things? Well, let’s just collect the data and see what it tells us. If you don’t start this journey, with a business case or a business reason in mind. On the one hand, I envy you for having the money just to burn. But no, if you are your shareholders, your employees are counting on a return for your effort. Have a plan, you know, put some put some effort into that. And anything else is just an expensive fishing trip? at all. Any questions at this point?


Curt Anderson  22:32

Yeah, we do. Right? We have Dan bigger has has an awesome question. He’s asking, and maybe we’ll get into this. But where do you start? Where do you recommend as far as choosing what countries to start in North America and expand Europe? So I mean, is there you’re kind of like a ecommerce or an econ? Is there like a going global checklist? Or is there a place that you recommend to start? Is it just always a depend kind of an answer?


Ray Ziganto  22:57

Well, it’s a, it’s an excellent question, Dan. And I’m glad you brought it up. And it’s, it’s right, what’s on this slide here, you start with your current customers, you know, because they’re really going to be your best indication of, you know, figuring out what is your sweet spot, you know, and really, this is that, that first place where you do some analysis about the customers you have, you know, and this is just doing some, some structured, but some basic things, and what I’m talking about here is you want to gather, you know, qualitative as well as quantitative data, okay?

Because it can’t just be all my customers love me, because I asked them, you know, it’s like, come on, you know, dig in a little a little deeper than that, you know, find find some stuff out about him, you know, and things you look at that first, kind of that first phrase talking to your current customers. Man, that’s the richest most accessible unquantifiable source for information you have.

Get in there, I encourage you, if you’ve got a big list, if you’ve got a couple 100 customers or something like that, work with a local community college or if you’ve got a marketing firm or something like that, find somebody that knows something about putting a quick survey together, chances are, you’re probably doing something like that, to meet the requirements of your ISO. Put a little more thought and effort into it. And and run a survey to try and understand get some feedback about what your customers think of you, you know, how are you doing?

Don’t ask them just what they love about you all Oh, that’s nice to hear. And you get the dopamine rush. But ask them where and how you can improve it. Oh, that’s, that’s one. The other thing to do is when was the last time you really did some serious online research about your customers. I mean, I’ve gone through this exercise many times in my in my career, and all and it’s it’s surprising how many times you find out where it’s like, Hmm, I didn’t know they also owned this company, or they also had this division in this location.

I got news for you. If you have a vendor number in one location, you’re lightyears ahead of anybody else that’s going in cold at that other location. You don’t I mean, so sometimes those international things, it’s just a matter of, hey, give me the buyer for that that’s, you know, that’s based in, you know, in in Shanghai are going Oh, give me the buyer that you deal with in, you know, in Dusseldorf, or wherever they’ll give you the names, you’re doing a good job, especially, they’ll give you the names.

So starting with your current customers, if you’re if you’re the boss, or your, you get a chance to go with those one on one customer meetings with the customers, bring, bring the boss with get there, get the fanciest business card you can and your company to come with you to meet with your, your clients, and let them know that you’re interested in doing more to serve them.

You know, and if you want to see, you know, somebody come out of their chair, it’s like, all of a sudden, you’ve invited them into your process. And you’re telling them, hey, we want to optimize our business. So we can do an even better job for you talk about getting a seat at the table. So part of it is you talk to that current group of customers talking to the customers that you want, you know, you need to have that profile. Okay, here’s who we are, here’s what our company does really well. These are the kinds of companies that kind of that really, you know, run with what we search and engage with those other organizations. You know, come that,


Damon Pistulka  26:38

yeah. Similar to,


Ray Ziganto  26:41

you know, how do I, you know, how do I, you know, you know, the fish you want to catch, what kind of bait are you bringing, you know, to the, to the table. So, that’s where you start doing the research, it gets a little trickier, internationally, because it’s hard to find the, the the Thomas, industrial guide, you know, of Southeast Asia. It’s not organized that way. But it’s not impossible to find, you know, there are sources and it’s not expensive, but do the homework, you know, you can find those things. You know, they’re out.


Damon Pistulka  27:14

Yeah, we may want to explain what the Thomas industrial guidance is some people on the call. Know, that’s a paper book. Thank you have a phone book.


Ray Ziganto  27:28

But here’s the cool thing, if you look them up today, because it’s what Thomas Thomas dotnet. Yeah, if you look them up today, they did a phenomenal piwik they’re basically a data company and information services company, doing what they did 30 years ago, but on frickin steroids. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re right, you know, so it’s, but but that’s, again, we’re fortunate to have that type of a resource in our backyard. Yeah, finding those things in other parts of the world, take a little digging.

So that’s, you know, that’s, that’s all part of it. The other thing is, you know, do some homework on your, on your competition, you know, not just, well, we’re competitors, and they’re jerks, and we’re fine. You know, get over it.

You know, really, really the important thing to take a look at is listen, no, no, what your customer really wants, really interrogate who you are and what your value proposition as as a competitor and do some homework about as a as a company and do some homework about your competitor. And, and the money shot is at these points of intersection. Yeah, where you’re going to make all your money is where your value proposition intersects in a unique way with your customer. Because nobody can talk. Nobody can touch you there.


Damon Pistulka  28:49

I love this. I have not seen this one before set like this. That unoriginal portion. Yeah, put like in there. If someone says oh, we produce high quality product that we ship on time that goes right into the unoriginal part, and it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. Daniel is really


Ray Ziganto  29:04

your commodity, the only your meat. The only way you’re going to win business there is price. Yeah. Okay. And if your competitor happens to do something that you don’t, or they do it better, don’t bring it up, you can’t play there. You know, it’s going to be a capital expenditure for you to play in that area.

So, you know, that’s a completely different decision. Yeah. And if there’s an area that you do get out with your competitor, that your customer doesn’t need, nobody cares. It’s like, don’t waste any time there. Okay, so So to me, this is the one Why are you doing all that research right here. figure this out. When you know this the rest of its gonna, gonna sort itself out for you. Okay. So, I’m gonna I’m gonna blow ahead I had a I had a fancy multimedia presentation I was going to share but technology at the back Roughly


Curt Anderson  30:00

wait Ray, Ray, go back that video real quick if you could. Yeah, just go way go back one. I just want to point out for anybody that doesn’t know Ray, yeah. Get back on your video if you can. Yeah. Best moustache and down. So when you look at like those three circles that Ray just had like his mustache is in that sweet spot. There’s no, there’s not even anybody. So I’m sorry, Ray, I didn’t mean to digress. Please continue, but I have mustache envy so bad.


Ray Ziganto  30:38

I have a very understanding wife. Listen, listen, here’s the deal with distance. And the guy that pointed this out to me the best where it really resonate a friend of ours, Andrew Deutsch. If he’s not on today, anybody that’s listening. Find him on LinkedIn, Android fangled tech Comm.

Yeah, not only is a freakin riot, but he’s a genius on international type stuff. Yeah. And he was one that that pointed out, I’ve lived this before, but I didn’t articulate it as well as he did. And it’s like, you know what you kind of you kind of forget that, you know, 5000 miles away in another market, there’s probably another another you, there’s probably a company over there that already does something like you do. So with distance, you’ve got a couple problems. One is volume. They may not hear about all the cool stuff you’re doing over here.

Just because your SEO and everything just at a very fundamental level, they may not have access or even know about you, you know is is number one. And number two, what I like about this any students of history, what this guy is doing during World War Two is listening for aircraft for enemy aircraft. It’s his job and his life depends on hearing that enemy aircraft as soon as he possibly can. I got news for you, your your potential customers in another market aren’t getting up every morning wondering Hmm, I wonder if there’s an injection molder somewhere in the US? You know, they could they can help me it doesn’t happen.

You’re not on their radar. Okay, so part of it is, you’ve got to figure out and find a way to be to be heard over there. So you got to work on on the volume, you’ve also got to work on the fidelity, is there a language issue, or something that you need to overcome. The other thing is, you know, all of a sudden, and I’ll roll back here real quick, all of a sudden, this, this unoriginal thing, this zone with distance kind of expands. So your your value proposition is closer to the top of that section, you’re not I mean, you really better be able to bring the goods.

Otherwise, if they’ve got to buy from you long distance, and there’s a suitable substitute close by your Eaton freight, you know, I mean, so you really got to be smart about it. Andrews got a great example of a client he had that was doing strapping tape for skids. And long story short, his competitive client in the US was able to sell internationally, because they made stuff that would go into automated lines, they didn’t make the general the generic stuff that anybody in their brother could make, you know, in a garage, you know, somewhere else. And because of that, they were able to, you know, expand and experience, you know, global markets.

So you got to really think, with distance, you really, really better be bringing the goods, you know, and you better be thinking that you know why they do things differently over there. And I love this one, you know, they put the kenites English as a second language class has been canceled. Think about your audience. You know, one guy’s whistling, everyone else is kind of looking at their shoes and checking their watch. It’s like, man, you’ve got to be able to get through, you know, and communicate to people.

So, up to this point, I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’ve said next to nothing about e commerce. What I want to get across is the importance of Don’t let bad information stop you. Before we even get started. There are more resources than you think size or lack of size is not a disadvantage, it could be an advantage. There’s a remarkable amount of resources available for free, that can help you get going. But the reality is, you better know why you’re going there in the first place. Okay. Any questions? We had to jump to a real quick?


Curt Anderson  34:24

No, we’re looking good. So Kevin had it as a jump. Kevin, thank you for joining us wish you a great weekend. He’s from Gen alpha and gals with us today. And so and just real quick, I’m going to drop in. Again, I’ve got rate rate and I can’t wait for your program on Tuesday rate. So let’s keep rolling.


Ray Ziganto  34:41

All right, we’re gonna we’re gonna go I’m gonna keep jumping in. You don’t have to digital genies out of the bottle. The reality is, you know COVID kind of changed all that beforehand. It was a bit of a convenience and the forward thinking people were doing more and more stuff online. Now. It’s, it’s a necessity if you’re not doing something digital or eternal. commerce related, you’re behind the curve. Here’s my simple definition of where e commerce is. And, again, I look at it from what’s the result, it’s a system tool marketplace that allows your customers complete the entire buying cycle cycle from your company online from any device at any time.

My friend, Kurt Anderson had said, if your customers aren’t able to buy from you at midnight on a Friday, and they don’t have to wait for you to come into the office Monday morning, you’re doing it right. Okay. That’s, that’s, you know, that’s kind of the essence of the e commerce world. It’s a system that’s intended to bring convenience to your customer. If it doesn’t provide a smooth, buying experience for your customer ain’t doing it.

Right. Okay. And part of that first step on that audit, and you’re like Dan had brought up, man, everything goes back to the customer, start at the customer, and work your way back, from initial inquiry all the way through, you really need to map that journey that they take and look for the points where they are waiting for a reply or for engagement from you or somebody on your team before they can move further. All right, because those are the things where, if you’re online, and it’s and it’s got us, it slows them down, or they hit a roadblock, they’re gone.

If they’re, you know, if they’re working with you, if they’re a current customer, and this is the way they’re engaging, now, picked out one of those points, look at it, like you’re taking a bump out of the road, you need to smooth those touch points on along the way for your customer, because that’s what’s going to, that’s what helps them really enjoy the buying experience, take the friction out of the process. And that’s where once you start looking if if you know who you are, as a company, your competitors, the market you want, you know, the customer journey and those types of things.

Now, you’re in the position to start having a meaningful conversation with Alibaba with Amazon with Shopify, you know what the hell you’re supposed to do. Instead of like, I don’t know, I got a storefront and nothing’s happening. Okay, you know, that’s, that’s kind of why you really got to do the homework about where your customers are coming from. On the international side, it’s identify the markets, understand the challenges of international e commerce, I get to that in a second, localize, determine payment methods, activate launch, a lot of that mechanics aren’t that hard.

And there’s, there’s a lot of ways you can get help in that regard. top mistakes people make with global expansion, is they spend all the time they invest upfront. He or they excuse me, they, they don’t spend time validating whether they resonate or not. I mean, before you get going, it’s like, he better make sure they watch it, you know, and that there’s some sign that they need you. There’s lots of ways you can you can figure that out, even if it’s like, well, how do I know if they want my product?

If I’m not there, go to your website, and look to see where your searches are coming in from, you know, if you’re getting a lot of poles from Japan, you know, or somewhere else. It’s, it’s a rough measurement. But damn, it’s a start, you know, to least understand what’s going on. You’ve got to know what’s going on with regard to landed cost. And get Matt dialed in shipping fees, door to door Import Export duties. Listen, there are plenty of plugins. And there’s plenty of resources you can get from the third party logistics companies.

The marketplaces can help you with a lot of these types of things to understand that, don’t take them for granted. Because you can get stuck real quick. If you don’t have somebody advising you on what is the correct way to handle, you know, your DDP or ddu? How is it coming in? You know, are you shipping from a local warehouse? Are you building custom from here? You know, are there import duties because I make, you know, I’m doing a food product, can I import that?

What are the requirements there, all of that stuff can be can be sorted out, and you can figure that out as well as the legal and tax considerations. There’s bigger risk and cost after the fact than there is upfront. You know, spending a few bucks upfront to make sure you get you get things set up correctly, is gonna save you 10 times what it will cost you down the road. If you made a mistake, you know, localized localize everything, here’s, you know, again, another stat up there 75% of shoppers won’t consider buying from a site that isn’t in their language.

Good news is majority of the world. You know, you can communicate in English, it’s a courtesy show, you know, give them access, you know, to your to their language, you know, that’s, that’s a huge step in the right direction. The key is create the illusion that you are right next door to your target customer. Keep that in mind. It’s you know, you’re in, you’re in their country, you’re in their home, how do you make it feel like, like you’re a local to, you know, and that’s such a key thing to do. And and again, the marketplaces can help you with that.

The resources that I referenced before can help you with all that stuff as well. You know, so that that’s, that’s kind of the big stuff. Ecommerce is the, it’s, it’s a tool for you to use to execute better on your strategy and tactics. It is a tool today that you cannot ignore, you’re not too late. But if it isn’t already, if it isn’t part of your planning, and your strategy, get started, because it’s, it’s not hard to get going. And if you’re not moving, you’re your competitors are. Okay, so that’s, you know, that’s kind of an important one to think through. So, where we’re at right now, just kind of the last shot at any any questions, thoughts, comments? I mean,


Curt Anderson  41:06

well, dude, first off, there’s just so much. Now first off, yeah, this last image is my twin. So I just went, there’s my there’s my twin right there, Dr. Evil, so they’re supposed to that. I know you did that for me. Right. That’s my that is my, that’s my profile picture right now. But man, raid, this was just beyond, I had super high expectations, this was just so phenomenal. so helpful. And what I loved is, as you talked about how it’s so overwhelming, it’s daunting. You know, my goodness, trying to go international, there’s so many barriers, I’m just not going to do it.

I think Allison calls it you know, the chief resistance officer, I know, somebody’s always gonna get in the way. And you just dispelled that when you’re talking with one of your clients or folks that you’re working with. And you run into that chief resistance officer? What’s what like, how do you how are you breaking that barrier? Obviously, you just went through a great presentation, but what are the first things that you’re going to tell them to break that international barrier down?


Ray Ziganto  42:06

Well, you know, part of it is, I’ve been there and done it. And it’s like, it’s easier now than it has been before. But all of that being said, if you really don’t want to, or if the owner is is afraid, all I can do is is kind of coach them through it. And it’s like, tell me what you think it’s one of those things is there is there a fact pattern I could share with you that in your mind would cause you to think differently? And if they say no, then it’s like trying to talk somebody out of their religion, they’ve just got this deep seated belief, they’re never going to, you know, it’s never going to be any different.

I can’t change their mind. If they’re, if they’re not sure, because they’ve heard some bad information, I can coach them through some facts, it’s still their decision, it’s their money, you know, is is the thing, but I can point them to the, to the the source of the data sources, and how to do the research correctly. And I can do it alongside them. You know, I never do a project or an engagement, where it’s like, here’s the magic binder, just do this, and you’ll be fine. There’s something always comes up.

So it’s like, you know, man, if we if we start picking up some speed, and we hit a speed bump, don’t worry about it, I got you. You know, that’s what I’m here for, I’ll sort this stuff out for you. So if if the if the roadblock is at the very highest level, maybe it’s just hearing from somebody, you know, I come at it from a manufacturing standpoint, I come at it from a CEOs perspective, if this isn’t gonna make my company better, and grow, you know, at or above plan and make us more profitable, I’m not going to do it. You know, so if I can help make it you know, I come at it. Like, if there’s a compelling reason, then you really should consider it and take it in stages.


Curt Anderson  43:55

Right, man, this guy, this was so good. I’m Ray, I’m dropping your once again, guys. So you know, gal Greg, you know, a bunch of us are consultants out there any of your clients there? Anytime that international global conversation comes up? This is your man, you want to contact Ray Schumann note on LinkedIn just Hey, Ray, could could we have a chat? I really dig a little bit deeper into this. Could I pull you in on a conversation with a client? I want to check out his podcast Of course, I want to be mindful of everybody’s time rate.

So I want to get back to the table so they have a chance to talk to you one on one or any any last. You know, I’m going to ask you one last question. And I like to ask this every week and then and then Damon. I think you know, you got to pull up Greg. You got to pull up veil because we got anybody else. Anybody that has that manufacturing Trailblazer t shirt, you got to we got to pull them up on the stage.


Ray Ziganto  44:51

Allison Allison gave me a manufacturing unicorn shirt and I’m wearing it today and I might


Curt Anderson  44:59

take a picture of Texas But so since since we’re since we all love Allison, this is the question we ask every week. There it is great, Greg. Greg’s on on the stage about veils veil out there, and we get veil on the stage. I think she got a T shirt. So Ray, Allison constantly talks about how do we make that our customer, the hero of our story, right? love all the time on your podcast every time I’m on the phone with her, how do you make your client that hero of your story?


Ray Ziganto  45:33

Oh, man, I’m telling you, I have such a soft spot for manufacturers, every one of them’s a hero, that I see whether you’re that one person shop, you know, you gotta you gotta bridge port a wave grinder and you do some, some welding or whatever. It’s like, I get it. You know, so it’s like, they’re all heroes to me, in terms of what what they’re doing what, and it’s tough because every day we talk about, you know, working on your business instead of in your business.

And, and that’s an easy conversation that consultants that Take it easy, and don’t worry, you know, it’s like, Hey, you know, that’s where, you know, me and my son, Greg Damon, you know, you guys, you know, come in, and, you know, what we try to do is take a little, take a little load off their plate for a while, you know, get something new working for them, that that isn’t, you know, high stress or require 10 more employees to keep going and, and leave them better than you found them, you know, so that they grow and start to get a feel for it, and then call you back and you help them get the next you know,


Curt Anderson  46:39

phenomenal answer. And that’s, I think, you know, we have a great group here. You know, on Fridays, we have a great group that we’ve been working together. You know, we collaborate with each other. We’re just so passionate about helping manufacturers and I think that’s why we all get along. Here’s Ray, I know can you guys see that? Right there? Absolutely love it. Damon, so we need a big thank you to Allison. I’m gonna take a little screenshot of this. Here we go. So we’ll have to we’ll have to send that to Allison.

So I’m gonna I’m gonna we’re gonna wrap things up, man. We send god dude, we just we love you, man. Such an awesome guy. You’re just such you’re a man of integrity. Great family, man. Since day You had me at hello. unicorn thing. But we just we can’t thank you enough for taking time. I know. You’re super busy. I think you’re actually on vacation. Thank you for taking time to join us and to share your expertise. guys catch Ray on Tuesday at Temple University, the Small Business Development Center.

He’s gonna be crushing it even further. Reach out to Ray anytime you want to. And yeah, I might get down on my knee and propose and so next week game, we’ll have our bro man shirts on next week for you guys. So guys, wish you all a phenomenal weekend. We thank you so much for taking time and get out there and crush it, man. Just keep crushing it, Ray. Thank you, dude. God bless. Thanks,


Ray Ziganto  48:05

everybody. Go get them so much.


Damon Pistulka  48:07

Awesome Ray. Cool stuff. Again. We’re gonna go back to the tables here. I’m going to shut us down on LinkedIn live. Hey, if you weren’t listening to us on LinkedIn live, you know, you can jump into a demo on our link every week and get in here and get into the conversations after that. So remember that we will be back again next Friday. And we’re going back to the tables on remote. Doo doo doo doo doo

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