The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 1 year ago

Send Gifts That Leave a Lasting Impression w/ Chelsea Martin

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

You’ve just introduced yourself to an important prospect. It went well, but you want to make sure that great first impression resonates by sending a gift. It needs to be something unique that always sparks joy, like your family cookie recipe. Wait…why not the family cookie recipe?

Today’s guest, Chelsea Martin, Co-Owner of Noms Bake Shop, can help you do just that. She joins me on the show today to talk about how you can elevate your corporate gifting into something meaningful and memorable with cookies.

We discuss:

  • How Noms got its start
  • The art of corporate gifting
  • How to make a lasting impression

    Now that you know how to send gifts that leave a lasting impression, are you ready to master acquisitions as a growth strategy or learn the secrets to personalizing at scale? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

You're listening to the BDB revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to the BEDB revenue executive experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. Today we're talking about, wait for it, cookies. Now, those that listen to this podcast regularly know that I have an affinity for Harley Davidson's and for Jack Daniels and, just recently, whiskey barrel hed out beer, which I found a couple weeks ago, which is a new favorite. But I have been addicted to cookies since I popped out, and we're going deep on how cookies can impact your business revenue overall satisfaction in life. Today, to help us we have with US Chelsea Martin, Co owner of Noam's bake shop, the industry expert in the art of convenient corporate gifting that leaves a lasting impression. Welcome to the show. I have to am pissed that this is virtual, because I really could go for that smell, that cookie smell, right now. But one of them jump into like the first question we ask is people who know you through business only, what is something you're passionate about that those that only know you through business might be surprised to learn besides cookies, me personally or I yeah, first, well, interesting, I've never asked that question. I think something that might surprise people is I'm actually a competitive body builder. So I special or I'm very passionate about doing physique competitions and I do that as my hobby. So I guess it's like the ultimate balance of cookies is one hell of a balance. Yeah, so I'm actually that's been on my mind a lot too lately. I'm a about seven days out from a show and so I guess what? I'm not slinging cookies. I'm working with the barbels. That is that is awesome and it is the it's up ultimate balance,...

...ultimate balance. I am kind of taken aback. I've never had a bodybuilder on the show for that's awesome, very very cool. I gotta ask how you get into that. Oh Man, I think it's it's kind of a weird. I don't know. I guess introduction to it, but my husband and I were we moved about for and a half years ago. We somehow thought that we could work remotely in the forest on our company. So we moved to Durango, Colorado and lived there. It lasted about ten months, so we didn't last very long. But all we are there, we're just kind of up in the forest and I was just feeling in general kind of uncomfortable my own skin, but also like I really I've been athletic my whole life, but I've really craved some sort of goal to put push towards outside of well as an adult, because I hadn't been I'm not part of a sports team, I'm not doing any kind of anything like that like you do in school, and so I really craved that. But it wasn't I try to tryathlon and it just didn't really I didn't catch the bug, and so I hadn't really found a footing and and I knew a few girls that had competed before and I liked the idea because I'm a very independently motivated person. So I liked this idea of being able to really push myself. But I needed something that would scare me and being in a bikini on a stage is scary. So it's all my husband and I said, you know, I'm thinking about doing this and and he was awesome. So he showed me. I didn't even know really how to lift, so he showed me how to lift. He got me kind of set up on the fundamentals and I just took it and went from there. And after my first competition I caught that bug of wanting to bring something better and better and I really like loved it. So it's been about four and a half years that I've been doing it now and it's just something really cool on the side that I can wake...

...up early in the morning and there's, you know, a carved down amount of time that I'm really pushing myself towards something and then I give all of myself to work. So it's kind of Nice to have that type of thing and hold you accountable in the sense of you want to keep bringing your best to that. So that's kind of shot into it. That's awesome, all right, very cool, very cool. So right, so let's talk about the cookies. Yeah, so convenient in home, you know, convenient gifting. So everybody and it's funny. I was just talking to somebody else about the digital pollution that we're all trying to wade through right more, more emails, slack messages, text messages. I'm even getting marketing texts to my phone out, which I find highly invasive. And so there's all this noise. All right. And so how did you come up with this idea for noms? Where did this come from to kind of Pierce this digital pollution veil? Yeah, absolutely so. It was a series of fortunate events, or just a bunch of events happening at once, I'm not sure. But my husband and I and his family actually, we all kind of started this company together, and it started really with going way back. My husband has two sisters and while they were growing up, their father used to bait cookies just as a hobby on the side, and he would bring them to sporting events. He would make them during the holidays, just something for the neighborhood and it was really about bringing people together and as they grew up, their family, I mean the their dad, was really known as the cookie man, you know. He'd bring them to sporting events. Are they're bringing cookies, you know, and everyone had such a positive reaction to him. But I think that my husband and his sisters their standard was set high and they had no idea. So to them it was just normal cookies and everyone else is saying how great these cookies are, but it was just the norm and so I don't think that they really thought anything of making a business out of it. And then when my husband was older and we started dating, his dad actually...

...made like a care package of just baked goods when he was going on vacation with my family, and so he's just sent them over and just to be a nice gesture and everything, and of course my family went crazy, which was a normal reaction, but they did this the standard thing that I think anybody does when you're good at something, which is you should sell this, you should sell this, you know. And he's a retired computer programmer. He's not really interested in necessarily starting a company, but we thought it might be a really fun hobby to actually just bake them locally and sell them at different companies. You can go in as a vendor, so just like an onsite vendor for the month or something. So it was then that I think my husband, trevor, started to see the reaction of a lot more people and that they really loved this product. I think that's where they start to take it seriously, like, okay, these aren't just friends and family. These people don't owe US anything, but they're lined up to have these cookies every week or every month, depending on where they are, so there might be something here. So at the same time they're realizing that with this product. My husband and I, like my parents, own a company, so they get a lot of corporate gifts and it was around the holidays we'd go over to their house and they would have gift baskets just kind of lined up on the counter, which is great. I mean it was great for me. I'm like a little scavenger going through like but they all were the same and while it's a really nice gesture, I think it made us start to really reflect on the process of corporate gifting. So around the holidays, for example, you need to send the gift and you need to send it to it could be ten business partners, it could be fifty, it could be five hundred, but you need to send a gift. Well, how do you do that when you're one a business owner? So you're on a crunch for a time and to you have so many recipients. So how do I make this personal? Likely, I don't I mean likely. I am just picking a gift basket because I need to send something. I'm in a hustle. Well, that means you're sending a lot of gift baskets and you're likely...

...also receiving a lot of gift baskets. So, in seeing all of that, and especially seeing that the contents were all kind of the same, we start to brainstorm. How can cookies, how can these cookies, fit into the corporate gifting world in a meaningful way that is a step above that gift basket, and so that's how nom started to become more of a customized corporate gifting product. And so what we did is we actually really focused heavily on our packaging in addition to our product quality. So oftentimes you'll find one or the other. You find really amazing cookies, but they're in, you know, hand sealed with a sticker boxes that kind, and you know that's what they are. But yeah, as a gift, we really wanted the presentation to be amazing as well, and that's because obviously you're sitting up for the holidays, but also there's corporate gifting for so many different reasons, like prospecting and making it first impression, getting your foot in the door, and so we hyper focused on delivering a product that was polished and really appealing, and so we did. We worked on individual wrapping for each of the cookies to make them bright and to make the boxes shiny and Polish. But then also that customization component. We brought a bunch of equipment in house so that we could customize on site your logo or your messaging or personalize it with their name, and we could do it really fast so that you weren't waiting, you know, seven, fourteen, twenty one days for a personal gift, because with corporate gifting, time is of the essence. Of course, one you're busy, so you're in a hustle, like if it's the holidays, that's the last minute thing because you're wrapping up for the year. But if you're prospecting, if you just met someone, it's amazing to be able to send something that day or the next day that says hey, great to meet you, it was amazing spending time with you. I'd love to connect again soon or I'd love to meet with you you know, and getting that out, and and time is of the essence with that, and that's where we really...

...found our footing here. So that's kind of how nons came to be. That's all. That's a great story and I would love to have seen your husband's face when the light bulb went on, when all the people were like right, because you're right. A lot of people are hey, you're good at that, you should make money at it. Yeah, right, a lot more when it comes from a stranger, weirdly, because they don't have to be nice to you. Yeah, yeah, this is very true. It's very true. Something about being once removed. It makes a big difference. And so why do you feel like the focus on speed, the packaging, the product? Is that something that you feel like was a labor of Love, love, or something that you've felt like was necessary to set numbs apart from other solutions? I think it was both. So how we landed where we did was certainly a labor of love and it was certainly a I said that, you know, when I die, on my gravestone it will be this was a learning opportunity because we had made so many mistakes along the way. But to get where we were is definitely a labor of love, but from the beginning we wanted to elevate our gifting. We wanted to set it. You know, I know a lot of people use like the apple of or the Uber of when they're using analogies, but at first that was kind of our ideas, like can we be the apple of packaging in the sense that it's clean, it looks different, it's not a tin of cookies that gets right vibrated during shipping so that you receive cookie dust. It's not that. You know. The are our ideas that we wanted wow to land on your desk. We wanted something that you're you maybe didn't expect because if it was prospecting or even after a meeting, you don't necessarily expect a gift. And you know, that's something that I know we'll get into, but people are so used to the digital age. So having that tangible thing, having that wow factor, was really important to us, because we believe the cookies did. But we didn't want to just be grandma's cookies in the sense...

...of grandma's great first fall, because that's great, it's great cookies, but we wanted to have that just elevated, polished look about our presentation, because we wanted the gift to be an extension of you, and so we wanted that to really make your brand shine and give only a positive experience when the person receives it and unboxes it well, and that's I think that's the key words. The experience right. It's not only that, it's comes with the thought, but it's also the execution right. And then we all see. We've all had experiences where this was okay, execution was crap and that's what kind of ruined the thought around it. So interesting to see. I would have had no idea to think about all of these things, quite honestly, when you're going into it. But there was something in your advanced material that I kept coming back to that I have to ask, and it's this quote. Good cookies save marriages, friendships and lives. Now, anybody's listened the podcast knows I'm two divorces in. So so why did I know about this before? But why that phrase? Why that focal point? Well, I think you know one. We like to be playful in general. I think at the at the root of this, they're just cookies, right. We're so we're trying to lighten it up and be fun and we are kind of a family owned company and we're full of Sassy pants has here. But, but, but it also was about, at the very, very beginning, this all came down to cookies bringing people together. It was bringing people together in the neighborhood as my husband and a sisters grew up. It was bringing them together after sporting events. It's bringing people together for the holidays because you received the cookies and you're sharing them with your family and then you're also reconnecting with the person that sent them. It's connecting people that maybe haven't actually had the opportunity to connect because you believe that whatever service you provide, you can help that other person and you just want to have a meaningful, conform conversation, as I get that way down and but you just want to have a meaningful conversation and connect with them. And so at the route it's about the...

...connection and the human connection and that's what we're seeking out to do. And cookies make people's days. I mean, I have stumbled upon a few people that just say they're not their jam, but you know, that's okay. How but also, I can't imagine that my head around. that a different world, but ultimately, for the most part, you're making someone's Day, you're bringing joy to people and that's what we're seeking to do and so, you know, it's just kind of a playful way to say that we're helping it. were making your day, making your day a little bit brighter and helping you connect with other people, and I love it. It's more about the it's the why. It's the why are we doing it right? That connection, I think, is s crewel although I will admit I'm not sure. I'm not sure I share my cookies as much as I probably should, but fair I don't either. My husband and I own a cookie company and I'm still hiding them from him in the freezer. I'm like that. I actually got lost on your website yesterday when I was putting together the material. I literally started scrolling through and I'm just like, all right, I know what I'm doing. Don't hope. No, none of my clients are listening to this, but I know what I'm doing for my clients this year, because it just such I mean, it just looks so amazing curious. How did you go about that customers issue? Is this all done in house or is any of this out? You mentioned that the packaging and stuff se inhouse, but how do you keep the recipes and do it at scale, because you know we want was always run into that issue. Yes, so that's an excellent question. My husband has what I call, and I'm not sure he loves this, but I call it Goldfish Syndrome, and that is when I was younger. I hope this is true because I've just been saying this, but when I was younger I was told at least that goldfish grow to their environment and so when you have a small little goldfish bowl, the goldfish stays but then you get a bigger one and it gets bigger, and so my husband has that. When we started, we started out of the home, like any small company would, and we had that kitchen and then we...

...ended up renovating kind of a back room into a secondary kitchen and when we started to get close to out growing that, he went, you know, one, two, six straight to a commercial kitchen, and so we have a beautiful, amazing commercial kitchen. So we're able to we're able to scale up significantly and produce the amount of cookies necessary for huge Hue Georgers, but we also started at first by what we made a lot of mistakes with our packaging. So one of the mistakes we made back in the day was we had two styles of packaging, which you probably saw on the website. One is what we call our classic gift box. It's a white gift box. It's beautiful, it has color. It's a full color with our branding on. It's magnetic closure and you can upgrade it to have a fitted sleeve with four panels of full color of branding. So you could have your logo, their their name on one side. You could do, you know, the icons of what your services are, whatever you want. Skies the limit. So we have that as one option. But when we were younger, when we were smaller, we wanted an extra tier, just something that would command a higher price point, because there are times that you're thinking, I want to spend, you know, maybe sixty eighty dollars on something nice, sir, for maybe a VIP or like a large scale donor of a organization or something. So we created these custom wooden boxes. They're really nice. They have slide top openings that have like at laser etching on the top. Yeah, well, we I don't know what we're thinking, but we decided that we would put our logo on all of those and we just thought, okay, there's the classic white box and there's the wooden box. Well, nobody wants our logo on these cookie boxes. So we had them for I want...

...to say a year and a half or so and we were actually it was towards the end of the year. We are, we were starting a New Year and we decided to get rid of them. We were like, they're not selling. It's like one percent. It's like nothing. You know, they're not selling. There's no reason. Let's hyper focus on what's selling. And at the same time we went to a meeting with somebody local in the valley we live in Phoenix and we went to a meeting and at the end of the meeting he was looking at our gift boxes and just kind of deciding what he wanted to roll out for new clients. And we're getting ready to leave and I just saw him looking at our box and his like wheels turning and then he's just said, can you put my logo on this box? And it was such a like face palm moment where we were like why did we not think of this? And my husband is like, he doesn't say no, he's like, I'm going to figure this out. So he said, you know, give me two weeks, and so he at first he started outsourcing it and that lasted like two weeks and he's like we need laser etching machines. We got it, we're gonna get this, and so we got all the equipment. We got a laser etching machine that year and decided to hold on to our wooden boxes. Got New Lids, got a laser etching machine. That year our product sales flipped and everyone wanted the wooden boxes. I mean not, it's not that nobody wanted classic but it was just so significant how many people wanted these wooden boxes. Are Laser etching machine over the holidays had to be run two, seven to where we had. Actually my husband and I and a couple friends took turns taking all nighters to put lids on the etching machine because it had to run or we would not get all the orders out. So that it's sure, we got six more and we just got growing. So so we definitely got all the equipment in house so that we could just turn on a dime. If you were like, Hey, I need five hundred of these lids, we're like, great, let's do this. We'll get them out this week, you know. And...

...that is really awesome for us because we have been able to better serve our clients and be able to get things out timely rather than saying, Oh, you need five hundred or fifteen hundred of these, that will be a month or ninety days or you know, nobody. We really feel like a lot. We want to cater to business owners and to corporate clients, and corporate clients are busy, so usually gifting does follow by the wayside until the very last minute, and we want to be able to serve people and give them a really premium product that doesn't look like you waited to last minute, even if you did. That's awesome story. So here's a question for you. In this covid world that we're in right now, when it comes to prospecting, I was just having a debate with somebody about you know, a lot of people still working from home. So is it creepy if I'm prospectings I haven't met somebody? Is it creepy if I've somehow? I don't even want to know how secure their home address and start prospecting to them by sending them, you know, cookies in a box with with a message on the top or something. Is that odd? Or is there is it cross on a line? or because it's cookies, does it make it acceptable? I feel that creepy is in the eye of the beholder. But Fair, fair. That is a good question and that's something that we actually had to address, you know, in the last year because the world sort of shut down and everybody went remote. Well, on one hand we thought, okay, well, this is interesting because our business isn't necessarily affected in the way that people might actually want to connect more. But then the other dumb moment was, well, everyone's working from home and nobody knows where to send gifts. So what do I do? So what we have started offering, and actually this we do this currently if you reach out to us on our website, like just fill out the contact for we do this for our clients right now, but it will also be offered in the next, I believe, two to three weeks, it'll actually be offered on our website where you can just do it yourself, no problem. But we offer an address verification or an e...

...gift notification. So what we can do is we can actually reach out to those people. So those prospects that you have likely you have their email address and so we reach out on your behalf. It's an email from us that says, Hey, Chad wants to send you. He's actually purchased you a gift of Gore may cookies. And people know what's going on right now. So it's kind of like hey, given the circumstances, we want to make sure these perishable items get to your doorstep so that you can enjoy them. And what we offer is like it. They can fill out the form, they complete it with their address. That's the best shipping address, and then we don't share it with our clients. We just fulfill it on their behalf with your gift message, all of that. So you'll get tracking, you'll know that they're getting it, that they're receiving it, that it's been delivered, so that you can do the follow up. But they don't feel like it just landed on their doorstep and they're like, how did you get my email or how do you get my home address? So it's kind of a nice thing and I think more and more companies are moving in that direction. So a lot of people are becoming familiar with it. It's not super weird, you know, whereas before it might be like I'm not going to fill out my home address. But the other great thing about that is you're paying for what gets shipped, versus you blanket sending to businesses and hoping that they don't get returned to sender or hoping that the business isn't closed for the month and somebody's going to get month old cookies down the road. So it's kind of a win win in that respect, because you're really engaging with people that are actually taking advantage of the cookies. They're receiving them. You know that they've clicked that link, they accepted I'm that's essentially a foot in the door with you already. So it's kind of Nice in that respect to because then no cookie goes wasted. I love it. I love a great, great way to solve that problem. So all right, so let's change direction here a little bit. We ask all of our guests two standard questions at the end of each interview. Versts, as a cofounder, Dad makes you a prospect for an awful lot of people want to sell you something. So I'm...

...curious to always learn, when somebody doesn't have that trusted referral into you and they want to capture your attention and earn the right time on your counter, what works best to get that time on your calendar. Well, I guess I know everyone's different. For me, I I sincerely appreciate. Well, there's two things. First, I'll start with the digital side, because I obviously believe in the power of actual direct mail and I'll explain that in a second. But on the digital side, if you are emailing for me, I know when I'm getting an automated email. It doesn't matter if it's formatted and plain text, doesn't matter if you put that little reply and the subject line. I'm not dumb, I know. So when I see those autogenerated emails and I see that the person didn't put the time into that, I understand where where they're coming from. They're trying to reach as many people as possible. But for me what that says is like they don't care if I delete this, like they're sending it to three hundred other people and I'm really busy. When I see a real email from somebody, I almost like feel like, oh my gosh, I opened it and they see me. I'M gonna have to give them the time, like I have to respond and and so for me that's, you know, that's important to me because that means that they did actually take the time. They are looking at what what our company is and thinking, okay, I can help them in some capacity. The other thing is within that text, I can also see and again this requires more effort, but I think when you put more effort into your prospects, you're going to get valuable leads from that and connections. I have had countless people email me about their products and services and they just say, you know, I really believe noms bakeshop could be a good fit. I just love the way you guys deliver cookies for everybody. And they say some generic thing about it. Does it's almost like they lifted something from our website and I'm like, Oh, did you copy and base that? And so it makes you feel like, okay, they have no connection to me. I'm...

...just a number on a list, and that's on the digital marketing side. I truly do believe that prospecting with noms or with gifting is extremely powerful, because direct mail to me has gone through this like undulating journey of being valuable and then being junk and then being valuable again. And so we used to get direct mail all the time, we used to get flyers and catalogs, and then it became junk mail. And now there's just that standard junk mail that you get and and you just don't think twice about it. And then email happened. Well, just like you said, when I opened my email, there's just so many marketing emails and there's the ones that are like unapologetically marketing emails and then there's the ones that are masked as real emails. Right and and my husband and I just talked about this literally yesterday and we were talking about our personal email accounts and he said, you know, I'm finally getting on top of we've both had Gmail for, you know, fourteen, sixteen years now, almost since it you know, you used to get invited to be on him. So the junk mail has really snowballed. And he said I just finally got on top of UNSUBSCRIBING, you know, from my emails, and I said I'm doing the same thing. Every day I unsubscribe from ten emails. So that I can slowly not have thirty six thousand emails in my personal folder, you know. Yeah, so how do you cut through that? That's just it's almost impossible. But when somebody sends direct to mail, especially something like a package like cookies, of course, like you're going to open that. If not a catalog, necessarily, it's something tangible and you're going to peak their curiosity. And then I'm going to use, of course, US as an example, but imagine getting ten cookies on your desk with a gift note inside that says it would be amazing to connect with you and talk about how we can provide, you know, amazing value to your business. Even if they don't call you back right away, they had...

...your undivided attention for a couple minutes right there, like there was nothing. They were not clicking all the check marts to delete, they were not looking at something else, they were looking at this gift that you sent them, and that's it's trumely valuable. That is going to set you apart from the three hundred emails that are in their inbox that they're about to just like select all delete. Yeah, love it. Great Point. All right, so last question. We call it our acceleration insight. If there's just one piece of advice, if you're limited to just one piece of advice you could give to sales, marketing or professional services people that you believe would help them be better if they if they listened, what would it be? Oh, I'm scared that this is going to be a little bit generic, but listen, just listen, listen and don't be afraid to admit that it's okay to pivot. Like it. Don't be don't be so set in your ways. I think that there's there's something to be said about having a vision for your company and having a mission and believing in that mission. But when you start to get feedback, as you're starting to market to people, you're going to hear things from them, as you start to do your sales prospecting, you're going to hear feedback from people. If you start to notice a trend or a need in your company, it's very easy to be like well, yeah, but we're doing it this way and like this is the path we're on. And I think if anything, of course, in the last year we've all been faced with this, but the idea of being able to pivot or, you know, go a little bit in a different course can be extremely valuable for companies because, just like you know, I think what was different about last year is that these types of things happen in life in general, and I think one of the Times that we were faced with something big like this was the dawn of the Internet. Right when the Internet became a household thing, companies were forced to embrace it, pivot or figure out how they can,...

...you know, use it to their advantage, or they were forced to close, like at some point they were going to die out. Now, the Internet was a long process and last year and this year this was almost like it felt like overnight, right, so it happened a lot faster, but it's the same concept of this is happening. What can we do in our business? It might be slightly different than we planned, it might be slightly different than we had envisioned, but what can we do to into it, pivot and embrace the change and then ultimately, hopefully grow from it? Awesome, awesome. All right, Chelsea, I can't think enough for being on the show today. Has Been Absolute pleasure talking with you about this. I want everyone out there to go check out noms big shop I'm definitely going to be using it for for the holidays. Is there any place in particular other than the website you'd like us to send people? Chelsea websites great, get nomscom there you can, of course, upload your logo or we can. You can even reach out to us. We can do specialty custom designs for you. You can also check out our instagram. We're on facebook instagram. Our instagram is the same as our website, so it's getnoms and that's kind of a cool spot to just see a little bit of inspiration about what other people how other people have used our gift boxes, how you could use our gift boxes, different designs, things like that, and of course you can always reach out to us on our social media and we'll be happy to help you. Awesome. Well, thank you again for taking a time. been an absolute pleasure to have you on the show. Thanks so much chat. I had a great time. All right, everybody that does it for this episode, you know the drill. CHECK US OUT TO BE TO BE REV exactcom sure with friends, family, Co workers and until next time we have value selling associates, we should will nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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