Selling Services and Relationship Building with Rebekah Panepinto

About This Episode

Growing up in Arizona, being home-schooled, you don’t get much opportunity to build relationships during class. When you take a sales role selling services, you have to build relationships. Rebekah Panepinto tells us her story, how she learned the key to sales is building quality relationships, and how she learned to do that despite being home-schooled through High School.

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Selling Services and Relationship Building with Rebekah Panepinto

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: And we’re good there. So, so tell me a little bit, I saw you went to grand canyon state. So are you from out where are you from Arizona?

[00:00:07] Rebekah Panepinto: So born and raised in Phoenix, but when I was 19, I had an amazing opportunity to move to Nashville, music city, and pursue being a rock star. I play the drums and so an amazing opportunity to talk to my lap lap, literally as I was in my last year of my.

And I was like, oh mom and dad, I got to go. This is too good. And it was basically an opportunity to be an AU pair, live in nanny, but then have flexibility to go on the road on the weekends and play drums. And so packed up, moved to Nashville and finished my last, like 10 classes online with grand canyon.

And then was there for a total of about 10 years before an opportunity for career growth here in New York city. And I’ve been now in. The greater New York city area New York, New Jersey for about two and a half years. So are

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: And we’re good there. So, so tell me a little bit, I saw you went to grand canyon state. So are you from out where are you from Arizona?

[00:00:07] Rebekah Panepinto: So born and raised in Phoenix, but when I was 19, I had an amazing opportunity to move to Nashville, music city, and pursue being a rock star. I play the drums and so an amazing opportunity to talk to my lap lap, literally as I was in my last year of my.

And I was like, oh mom and dad, I got to go. This is too good. And it was basically an opportunity to be an AU pair, live in nanny, but then have flexibility to go on the road on the weekends and play drums. And so packed up, moved to Nashville and finished my last, like 10 classes online with grand canyon.

And then was there for a total of about 10 years before an opportunity for career growth here in New York city. And I’ve been now in. The greater New York city area New York, New Jersey for about two and a half years. So are

[00:00:56] Brad Seaman: you, so how long did you draw now? How long did you drum for, and then did you drum for anybody that we’d write that we know or recognize?

[00:01:03] Rebekah Panepinto: They’re pretty niche people. But let’s see, I’ve been playing drums now 18 years and the 10 and Nashville was when I was what I call semi-pro. Cause I still always had. And played for a lot of artists that are known, like in their niche, little communities of like American idol and like rock scene, pop, sing, and country sings scenes in Nashville, or like the singer songwriter thing, but not like super mainstream.

The last big show I did was with a relatively big artist and we opened. With an audience of 10,000 people. I signed autographs. It was like a high I’d never had before. I was like, this is it. I’ve made it. And then I got paid $150 and that was the end of my drunk career.

[00:01:52] Brad Seaman: So what’s the, okay. So I guess you don’t have to talk much further about whether it was a transition from drumming to sales, but what was that process like?

[00:02:01] Rebekah Panepinto: Well, I took a good break, so. I didn’t touch drums for a year and basically was just like, okay. Finishing schools, the focus now would, I want to be when I grow up and for me, the decision was very much money-based to start Literally like I do for anything. When I start dreaming, Googled best paying jobs in Nashville, and it was healthcare.

I know music business was on their drummer was not. And I mingled with enough, relatively famous drummers to know that even if you got a really sweet gig, it wasn’t. The money I wanted to make. So I saw healthcare it in Nashville and the number one employer for that was HCA hospital corporation of America.

So I was like, okay, that’s it. I’m going to get myself in. And I found a guy looking for a job intern, so it was 30 hours a week, but technically like could get college credit and cash and lead to an actual full-time. And funny enough, his son was a drummer. And so he really took to me, he’s like this girl’s awesome.

I want to help her. And I want to really take her through a journey of a career transition. Cause I feel like I can make a big impact. And he still is a very, very good friend. So I went to work for a guy named Mike Adams and was like, I’m going to be an it project manager. This is it. I’m going to be at HCA for 25 years.

Like I found my future career and you know, I can still play drums on the weekend. Well, fast forward a year. Later I realized I was a salesperson, not a project manager, but it was still a great thing to have on my resume and opened a lot of doors to getting into it. Sales.

[00:03:39] Brad Seaman: So was there, there’s so many different directions.

I want to take this, but was there a like a heartbreak. So is there some friction as you’re making the change between being a drummer to having your career change? Like, is there a, like a, like a grieving process that you’re going through as you’re deciding that you’re not going to be in music?

[00:03:57] Rebekah Panepinto: Yeah, I literally didn’t take a gig for one whole year.

And in order to fill the void of the time investment, I also took another part-time job as a manager of a smoothie king.

[00:04:11] Brad Seaman: Well, we love,

[00:04:13] Rebekah Panepinto: I didn’t like necessarily need the money. Granted it helped accelerate, you know, putting myself in a better financial position for other goals I had, but it was more like, I just need something to do.

Thursday and Saturday afternoons evenings. So I don’t take a gig so I can take a break from drums and,

[00:04:32] Brad Seaman: okay, so you made a conscious effort, like, Hey, I’m going to not play drums. I’m going to take a full 12 months off. I’m going to take another job. I’m going to do a couple of things to keep myself busy.

[00:04:44] Rebekah Panepinto: Yeah. I didn’t know. It was gonna be 12 months to be completely honest when it started, it was just like drums. Isn’t it. And I’m sad and I just can’t do it.

[00:04:52] Brad Seaman: Got it. Okay. So now you get, so now you get kinda, you go from project manager to sales. So talk about the, talk about the evolution of, I mean, it seems like you’re making a couple of big life You’re evolving, you’re making a decision and then there’s an evolution process that’s happening in kind of three fell swerves.

You’re evolving from drummer to businessperson from businessperson to project manager or project manager. And now you’re in sales.

We know you’re in sales. Like, did you want to be in

[00:05:23] Rebekah Panepinto: sales? No, for me every single scenario along the way, kind of like I was mentioning with Mike Adams. Bringing me into hospital corporation America. It was always a relationship driven, encouragement, and door opening that I then decided to walk through.

And probably the coolest one was the project manager. Two sales, especially because I had so convinced myself, I was a PM. I was like, I’m going to get my PMP. I’m going to be at HCA forever. I was all in and I was in a band. The one gig I was willing to still keep was every Wednesday night with a friend of mine named Nate Dodd.

And he was the CEO of a star. Focused on tech in the Nashville area. And one day he just asked me to coffee and said, Hey, can we talk about business stuff, which we hadn’t really done much of. Cause we really just been band mates and we went and got coffee. I still remember the Starbucks. It was. And he’s like, so I have this proposition for you.

My head of sales is. I know you’ve never sold before, but the first person that came to both of our minds, his and the head of sales was me. And they were like, you have the intangibles, you can do it. And of course I also was at the time, pretty cheap. And so all that helps. He’s like, well, what are you making as a project manager?

He’s like, cool. I can match that. Or actually I think he beat it a little bit and give you a comp plan, which I obviously didn’t know what that meant. And it had more upside and he’s like, and you get to kind of do whatever you want. Okay, this is risky, but I didn’t see a really lucrative path where I was at.

And I was like, you know, I trust Nate. I love his business. I think I can do this. Let’s go.

[00:07:07] Brad Seaman: I would love to be on a fly on the wall. Now did the VP of sales. He’s not in the band too.

[00:07:12] Rebekah Panepinto: No, but he was a guitar player. So he, he definitely knew me as, as my drummer alter ego.

[00:07:18] Brad Seaman: That’s all because I just love hearing, like, what’s your drummer statement?

Like maybe she can sell for us.

[00:07:25] Rebekah Panepinto: Yeah. Yeah. Well, we were crossing it trends too. So like there was all this just right relationship and friendship to at all that they’re like, you know, who would kill this? Rebecca. And I was like, well, that’s cool. I wasn’t meaning to like, at all market myself as that, but I had two friends that saw it at me and were like, Hey, we have not for you.

[00:07:46] Brad Seaman: That’s. That’s awesome. So, so how do you make the transition? How did you end up at zoom?

[00:07:52] Rebekah Panepinto: Yeah, that was a lot of other steps in between to be honest, but it was always, if I look back relationship driven by somebody in my network that I never was. Really trying to get anything from, if that makes sense.

They were people that sought me out that wanted to mentor me that wanted to help me that saw something in me more than I could even see at the time and wanted to bring me into the next scenario. So I went to a startup after the one that my friend was running. This startup was being run by another Fred who was the president of the company.

And he said, Hey, come sell for me. You would kill it. I did. I was there for. Two and a half years till basically our grownup competitor had a head of sales who for most of those two and a half years have been chasing me, trying to convince me he had a better gig for me. So when the time was right, I was like, okay, it’s time to go do this.

The coolest part about that one is he put me on a plane 80%. And that was like the biggest. Opportunities

[00:08:59] Brad Seaman: being on the plane and traveling,

[00:09:00] Rebekah Panepinto: oh yeah. Exposure to a market outside of this little pond of Nashville that I knew which then led to a job opportunity in the New York area that I was willing to relocate for that had me focused on cloud and services.

But again, following my network, a relationship opened the door, took the job, killed it. Another job found me killed it. And then ultimately one of my customers. Is who introduced me to zoom and they’ve reached out to me as well. She said that. So

[00:09:32] Brad Seaman: you are w okay. So I’m going to ask you about New York, because that’s where you’re at right now.

Right? You moved from Nashville, New York. Okay. So before we get there, so I thought about at one point you mentioned that you have all these kind of these relationships that you haven’t sought anything from, and they just have sort of popped up. In really impacted your life in the art. So the podcast has really taken a turn.

We really initially started on mental toughness, but what I found was that the audience and the listeners were kind of disjointed. So we changed. But early on, we had a guy named Rob bell and Rob wrote a book called the hinge, which is basically about all these little moments about these people in your life that pop up and change the direction of.

Trajectory of your life, but I’ve always found this really fascinating is these kind of like number two people that are in the stories. Right. So I heard a story one time about a Schultz Starbucks CEO. He is basically trying to take star, you know, he’s trying to buy Starbucks and this guy is trying to just bury him and he ends up in the office of a prominent family and attorney in the area.

Who listens to his story and says, you know what? I know this guy, we’re just going to go fix this and tells Schulz to stand up. And they’re gonna walk out of the office and go get in front of this guy and fix the problem. The guy is bill gates, his dad. So bill gates, his dad has a significant impact in why Schultz owns Starbucks.

It’s a super fascinating, super fascinating story. And I got some of the details wrong, but they’re basically this, this issue ends up in bill gates. His dad’s off. He’s, he’s prominent big wig and decides they’re gonna fix this thing here and there. And that’s why Scholtz is CEO of Starbucks. So I love these kind of side side people, the impact your life, right?

[00:11:23] Rebekah Panepinto: Yeah. And they’re so great friends. I stay in touch. They’re always like, what do you do now? How can I help some have asked me back some, just make introductions for me.

[00:11:33] Brad Seaman: That’s awesome. What do you like being in New York?

[00:11:36] Rebekah Panepinto: I absolutely love New York. Obviously COVID stinks. And the reality of every new wave and variant hits New York, like square in the face.

Yeah. And your life goes from, maybe you’ll get to go have fun next week to everybody’s canceling. So it’s been a roller coaster from a social life perspective, but just being in the greatest city in the world, Like opens your mindset to the opportunity. And though it’s not as tight knit of a community as other places like Nashville or Phoenix, the people that you do connect with are all.

Hustlers and people that are doing big things and focused on, you know, areas of their life that I’m interested in, which is mindset, business, sales, entrepreneurship. Those people are drawn to what New York has to offer. And then obviously to make it for very long, you kind of have to have something going for you.

So just the exposure. I have to really interesting people here when you walk down. Manhattan time square. You just dream bigger. You think about like the Rockefellers and Broadway and Lin, Manuel Miranda and all these cool things that people do that just like go after it. And it makes you kind of internally look at that and think bigger than what you would ultimately to just by the.

[00:13:03] Brad Seaman: That’s, that’s so interesting. So when you’re just out of curiosity, so when you think about, I mean, I think that’s a good recap of how you, how I would think about New York. What do you think about Nashville? Like what did you feel like the community was like there? I mean, obviously it’s very music driven, right?

[00:13:17] Rebekah Panepinto: So Nashville for me is home Nashville for me is where I go to. Like step off the gas a little bit, because I feel like I’m known there and everybody is encouraging. They’re not necessarily going to push you in certain areas like New York does, which is fine, but they’re there to be your people to be your network.

They’re the people that got. An opportunity to come to New York. And so for me, it’s home, it’s breathe. It’s take a break, understand the pace. You can get a meeting with anyone. Everybody’s super helpful and encouraging, but I can only do that at certain doses at a time anymore, till I’ve got to go back and like, I want to get beat up a little bit again, because

[00:14:01] Brad Seaman: you need the adrenaline rush where the ambition.

So you seem to be very ambitious where the ambition comes from.

[00:14:07] Rebekah Panepinto: Honestly, it’s something that you probably wouldn’t expect to hear. But it’s the fact that I was homeschooled growing up and my parents had a very different view of education. And so starting at age five, my parents decided that I would be completely educated by them.

They would handle the curriculum and they would set me on this path to graduate early and really get to be whoever I want to be. And. Become very entrepreneurial because that too, because I owned my education and it was like, what do you want to learn? What do you want to master go? And they just opened doors for that.

So from like age 11, till I started college at 16, it was like, wake up for three hours and do your homework.

[00:14:48] Brad Seaman: All right. So we have pumped the brakes. So you, so I was trying to do all of that. So as you’re talking, I’m trying to do the math. I’m like, okay, she’s spent a decade. She gotta be like, you know, where are you early?

Okay. I’m guessing 32. I always joke. I should be like, I can do weight and size. Like, that’ll be my side gig at the state fair. So pretty close. So I’m like doing the math. I’m like a whole decade Nashville of like, you’re trying to put all these jobs together. Okay. Six, you graduated 16. So that’s that’s.

That’s awesome. So you go straight to college?

[00:15:22] Rebekah Panepinto: Yes. And it was super easy,

[00:15:26] Brad Seaman: but like this guy’s got nothing on my mom. How many kids were putting away?

[00:15:31] Rebekah Panepinto: I was the oldest of four and I was the first born. So yeah, I was the, I was the trial, so all my siblings went younger.

[00:15:39] Brad Seaman: Oh, all your siblings went to college younger?

Correct. Okay. Amazing.

[00:15:44] Rebekah Panepinto: Yeah. My sister in a Dallas. Freak and the fact that she even had a master’s by 21.

[00:15:53] Brad Seaman: So that’s so that’s, so that’s so crazy. Now that your dad owned a business, is that where the entre

[00:15:58] Rebekah Panepinto: he did not. So, no, this is another funny thing that doesn’t add up to who I am. My dad is super risk averse.

My dad is a work for the same company for 31 years. Do your job, keep your head down, stay focused, but be really good at this one thing. So he has been with the same company in pretty much the same role for over 30 years and will retire with this company. Every time I call him with a new job, a new comp plan, I think I give him a heart attack.

But then he does my taxes, so it helps. He’s like, okay, she’ll be okay.

[00:16:34] Brad Seaman: Oh man. That, so that’s that’s amazing. Dude, how crazy. So you graduate, you go to college at 16. You said it was easy now, was it what made it, what made it, I mean socially, like what was it like being 16 with a bunch of 20.

[00:16:50] Rebekah Panepinto: Ah, they got a kick out of us, man.

We were the teacher’s pet cause my sister and I were for the first year in classes together. And you know what, for all intents and purposes, we were raised as twins. We’re 13 months apart. And she’s still my best friend. And so we always wear a pair and everybody just, they ate us up. They thought, oh, you’re so cute.

And the little homeschool kids granted. Familiar with young homeschool. So we weren’t like total anomaly to them, but they just were super well, you

[00:17:22] Brad Seaman: went to a Christian university. It wasn’t like you went to like Arizona state or something, right?

[00:17:25] Rebekah Panepinto: Correct. Yeah. Yeah. And Arizona is actually one of the largest states for homeschooling, right.

Yeah. People were very familiar with it. And I just remember, yeah, the teachers all loved us and then a lot of the other kids would be like, you guys are kind of teacher’s pets, which we weren’t trying to, we just showed up on time and did the work that’s like your work life is show up and do your

[00:17:45] Brad Seaman: work.

So I wanna, I wanna, I wanna click on that show up and do your work. I do think that that’s the biggest, I think that’s one of the most important, just show up and do your. There is

[00:17:56] Rebekah Panepinto: not that you want to be there.

[00:17:58] Brad Seaman: Not that hard. So having my daughter, I don’t know if she listens to this or not, but freshmen at Purdue, not showing up, not doing her work is what I believe is happening, but we got some not so stellar grades.

And I was like, Hey, I can not even comprehend what I’m looking at on this report card. Like literally all you have to do is go to class. Show up to the TA assistant into the room, go to class, show up and say, you’re working. Those are the two things you get a D. So like, I can’t even comprehend what I’m looking at on this report card, because those are the only two things you have to do to just pass.

So, yeah, I think that’s super, super important life lessons. Just show up and do the, do the work.

[00:18:44] Rebekah Panepinto: Oh, there’s the funny story. I’ll never forget because the first year I was very engaged in actually going to class and participating. Once I figured out I could do it online and like have my life, I definitely was huge into that.

But one of my first English classes, this teacher was known as a monster. Like everybody hated her, but somehow got in her good graces. And one time I was all into like my appearance and presentation or whatever. My paper was submitted with a pink staple and she gives back the paper and she goes extra credit for the pink staple.

I was like, and she literally did. I already had an, a, and I got an, a plus because I had a

[00:19:25] Brad Seaman: pink table.

[00:19:27] Rebekah Panepinto: She just loved it. She was like, this girl cares. She’s like, she cares about every detail and she tried. So, you know, you’re going to have the best grade on. Now

[00:19:35] Brad Seaman: was that something that you know, when you’re, when you’re being homeschooled, I mean, what does it, did you feel like there were any disadvantages to being homeschooled?

[00:19:43] Rebekah Panepinto: Only one is that I didn’t get to do drum line at this point. Now that’s not even a thing. It just was back then. They wouldn’t allow homeschoolers to participate in drum line nowadays. You totally

[00:19:55] Brad Seaman: can. I mean, at least here in Indiana, there’s all kinds of No, like for homeschool kids. Huh? Super fast. So you’re at a college by anyways.

I was only talking about this cause I was trying to do all the math. You got my, you got my calculator all messed up trying to figure out. So, so let’s talk, let’s transition a little bit. And let’s talk about your, you know, let’s talk about sales, let’s talk about your podcast and what you’re, what you’re doing.

And then kind of the, the next phase of your. So I’ll let you go ahead and tell us a little bit about what you’re doing on the podcast, and if there’s anything specific to about sales that you want to hone in on, or that you really want to cover, now’s a great time to, to.

[00:20:44] Rebekah Panepinto: Absolutely. So I have a podcast called the Rebecca Panda Pinto project, and it is undergoing a little bit of a transition as has my career in the last six, seven months for nearly the first eight, nine years of my sales career.

I was focused exclusively on selling some form of services, which is very much a relationship sale, long sales cycle, but big dollar. Been great, absolutely loved it. But usually after the contracts close and it’s handed over service delivery, a lot of control that a salesperson initially thought they had is no longer existent and you’re at the mercy of will they deliver and managing that relationship if it goes sideways.

And so I did a lot of research when I was thinking about what was going to be next for me really. Researching the zoom opportunity specifically. And I said, I want to be in SAS and I want to sell a product that’s baked. That’s super scalable and can have a consistent user experience for my end user.

[00:21:47] Brad Seaman: Now, are you losing, like where you being, where you frustrated with the service?

Like just feeling out of control?

[00:21:55] Rebekah Panepinto: Oh yeah. I’m being fired when I didn’t do anything. Yeah, that’s for other people’s

[00:22:02] Brad Seaman: mistakes. Oh yeah. That’s that’s so I always joke, you know, maybe here towards the end, I’ll share how I got, how, how, how we got into this, my work. But yeah, I mean, that was, I realized really quickly that selling services was not a good fit for my personality.

Like I could not handle that subjective services or the whole thing subjective. Right. You can do a great job. And so. Not so stellar grid, you can do everything you were asked to do and still not get the right, you know, the right outcome versus a product, you know, as long as it that they buy it for a certain job and it does that job.

But they think it’s going to do it’s a whole lot easier to win. So I can, I definitely, definitely appreciate that.

[00:22:46] Rebekah Panepinto: The interesting thing I’ll say about selling product though, that I’m selling. Is people are as open to a strategic relationship with the salesperson. And so I’m finding that balance in that, especially with zoom, I mean, for so long, we had a freemium model and you can go online and buy a ton of stuff and never have to talk to a salesperson.

And I think people enjoy that, but the reality is they’re not getting the full experience of what zoom has to offer and all the. Features we constantly have in different avenues in ways that our product is used, that they’re not going to get exposure to if they don’t want to hear the use cases and they don’t want to talk to a salesperson.

So it’s finding a balance between like, yes, I get it. You want to be able to cancel, not have to tell somebody you’re canceling, but the more you can have a strategic conversation with your sales rep and with somebody who really wants to have my product enhance your business, then it can be a win-win. So I think there’s a balance between.

The go-to market for the two that can really make everybody’s experience better and not get you kind of pigeonholed down, being only relying on the relationship, which happens a ton and services. Like the deal only happens because the person’s there and then they leave. That customer is leaving that business too.

And then the other side of the spectrum where it’s like, they never talked to a sales person, they’re completely self-sufficient, but they’re using one avenue of what the product has to offer as well. Like somewhere in the middle, there is a sweet spot for product, I believe. So

[00:24:19] Brad Seaman: zoom is you’re looking through your LinkedIn account.

So Zoom’s your first like product sale,

[00:24:23] Rebekah Panepinto: right? Correct. I’ve always told a product with my services, but they were definitely buying. People

[00:24:31] Brad Seaman: buying, they’re buying people. So let’s talk a little bit about that because I think there’s a huge, huge difference. Like just selling a service versus selling a product, you know, right out of the gate.

I think about the demo, right? Like when you’re selling as a product, you can distance yourself pretty quickly. Like you’re focusing on a tangible, right? Like, let me show you the product. Let me show you how it works. Let me show you versus when you’re selling a service. Like you are the product initially.

Right? So, so w what kind, I mean, let’s just, obviously the most people here are going to be, so I, most of the listeners are going to be product listeners, but I think we probably also have some service people as well. So talk a little bit about, you know, just your 10 year history in selling services. What are some of the tips that you would give people in terms of selling services?

And then we’ll talk about product too. Yeah,

[00:25:24] Rebekah Panepinto: well, I loved it and I don’t think it’s something. Completely avoid for the rest of my life. I, I think services are a part of everything. And I mean, by running my podcast, for example, I’m in a form of a services business. So I still love it. I love the relationship sell what I will say for services and why I think I was successful in each of the roles that I was, is because I took what I call a long game approach.

And I knew like if the customer. I was asking for a certain thing that we could not deliver. It was better for me to refer that business out than have a disaster. And then, especially in one instance where I went from a little company to the bigger version of us, I then had an opportunity to call that person back and then service them as appropriate.

And so for me, it was always long game, long game, long game. Like I would look at what I knew my company could or could not do. And what they were wanting and make sure like my goal was to give them what they really wanted, not to close the fastest sale.

[00:26:28] Brad Seaman: I think what happens in the service, a lot of guys that sell service, there’s a, there’s a little bit, there’s an ego, there’s an ego associated with the sale and they get themselves in a situation where they can’t, they can’t say no.

I think it’s easier in a product scenario to say no, because it either does it, or does it do. Not that you don’t have software guys promising stuff that products don’t do. But I think a general, you know, you either press a button and in service, there’s some more, it’s not like you’re really selling yourself and people can get a lot of their self-worth in being able to say, yes.

Yeah, we can do that. We can do that. We knew that we do that. And I think you gotta be able to say now,

[00:27:05] Rebekah Panepinto: or what I did was build a network that I thought could at least help them. And like, even if. XYZ, who I thought could better serve my customer. Couldn’t the fact that I made an introduction and I tried, still had Goodwill and still kept a door open for me and still helps this long game.

[00:27:26] Brad Seaman: Now, are you out there building relations? Are you out there making a conscious effort or of like, Hey, I need to build relationships in these categories or are you just sort of picking up. Collecting people along the way, are you going to networking events? And you’re like, oh, I know this person, how are you building this network that you’re referring people out to

[00:27:44] Rebekah Panepinto: back then?

It was very intentional. I was like, I serve these people in these people and they keep asking for this, how do I do this? And I had a really good partner in the time or in the business at the time that was. Helping build an ecosystem like that as well. It was for entrepreneurs and it was like, okay, I handled the software element, but we could find people that could handle their marketing and their back office.

And so we were building a good ecosystem that we could contact. Help solve their problem one way or the other. Now it is a little less strategic in the fact that I just like to connect people and network and open doors for people. And it’s definitely a lot broader because I don’t think inside just this little Nashville bubble anymore, I think about the U S the world.

So now it’s more keeping my own track of who I know who can help and becoming more situational. And when I make introductions, so that. I’m just continuing to invest in my network and my relationships with it being a little more organic.

[00:28:43] Brad Seaman: Well, I think that’s super, super important. I’m just consciously thinking about trying to build, build a network of people that you refer to because it does come back around.

I mean, I’ve always felt like I had with our business. If we can’t do something, it’s like, Hey, here’s somebody else that can do it. I had it. Doesn’t it doesn’t do us any good to get you in a spot where you’re. The client’s not getting what they, what they want to solve, the problem they have. What’s the one thing you’re just really passionate.

It could be work. It could be a business. What’s the thing that’s keeping you ticking right now.

[00:29:16] Rebekah Panepinto: I’m loving my show. It is so fun. It is a really cool way to build relationships as I’m sure you’re well aware. I love having interesting people on just to talk about. What they love about tech and digital transformation.

It’s something I do on nights, weekends. Like it’s just, it’s so much

[00:29:33] Brad Seaman: fun. So tell it, well, let’s talk about that. So how do you come up with. Like, what is the process in which you’re like, you know, I’m going to do it. I’m going to do a podcast.

[00:29:43] Rebekah Panepinto: Yeah. Well I actually have a link to a podcast that can help tell the story better than I am going to tell right now.

But it actually came out of COVID. I joke and tell friends like COVID is to blame or COVID is to bank because I was in a really interesting, like dry relational season. And the fact that I went from. Yeah, two happy hours a day and networking all the time. And in the city every day to everything’s locked down, I’m in my tiny little apartment.

And I was like, how am I going to maintain these relationships? And how am I going to build upon these relationships? And I was actually in a mastermind event working with a mindset coach and it came to me like, videocast, let’s go. And I just started reaching out to my network and people. Overjoyed to be asked to interview.

It was really fun.

[00:30:33] Brad Seaman: It is really fun. So I started this podcast because we had brought a guy in a marketing director of. And he had worked at Angie’s list here in Indianapolis and he said, Hey we should, you know, in the process he talked about having a podcast and so I’m like, yeah, great. Let’s, let’s, let’s do it.

And so initially when I did it, I really thought when we started it, I just thought I, I really had a misconception of what, what the outcome was going to be. So I thought we would just like drive in just like revenue was going to be like falling out of the sky as we started doing. Here’s what I can tell you.

It’s been great for relationships which has driven in some revenue, a good amount of revenue, but the biggest thing is it just surprised me the relational piece, I think surprised me is like how well I’ve gotten to know people that I’ve had on the podcast and just how much fun, how much fun it is.

I mean, it’s a lot of fun just to hear people’s stories. And oh, I remember the other thing, the other thing that it did for us is that it really, from a marketing perspective, and I think this is probably one of the biggest takeaways it did for a company because of the company is putting on the podcast on my behalf is that it just created a steady flow of content.

So we didn’t have to do a content calendar. We didn’t have to sit down and come up with a 12 month plan. We didn’t have to get in a room and, and come up with a big strategy. We just got on got on the podcast, started having interviews and just create a steady flow of weekly content that goes out.

That gives you, it gives you a poll. So whether that’s a personal pulse or a business pulse it, it’s not, it’s not hard to do. I don’t know if you did all yours. Did you do all your setup yourself or did you hire somebody?

[00:32:21] Rebekah Panepinto: At the beginning it was. Then about episode four, I came across a group that could help me, especially scale along the editing path, because that was not.

The first four episodes. Yeah, it was painful. So you just

[00:32:40] Brad Seaman: got Google pulled up in one browser and you’re just, just cranking away

[00:32:46] Rebekah Panepinto: all in Adobe actually, I definitely challenged myself and I was like, okay. Yeah. This editing thing is going to last about three weeks. That’s

[00:32:56] Brad Seaman: probably the biggest, I mean, having somebody else do the editing and I Def it’s worth having somebody else’s.


[00:33:04] Rebekah Panepinto: so I outsourced pretty quick. And then now I have this great strategic relationship with sales guests, so they’re helping me take it to another level too.

[00:33:12] Brad Seaman: Awesome. Awesome. Well, this was a great, you know, this was a great time here this afternoon. I’m so glad that we had you on. Is there any, is there anything you wanted me to ask you that I didn’t ask or that you were like, Royal want to talk about?

And you’re like, Hey, Brad, just didn’t ask me that.

[00:33:26] Rebekah Panepinto: Maybe just a little bit more on the product stuff.

[00:33:30] Brad Seaman: All right. Yeah. Tell me a little bit though. So tell us just, you mean, in terms of like how you sell a product versus a service or just more about zoom itself?

[00:33:39] Rebekah Panepinto: Well, so zoom, I wouldn’t count as a real product sell because like, I don’t do demos cause everybody knows what zoom is.

If that makes sense. So it’s this weird hybrid of. I’m actually selling something. Everybody knows, but I’m helping them look at it in a different way.

[00:34:02] Brad Seaman: So when somebody comes in, okay, let me not skip. Cause I’ll get you asking you a bunch of questions, stay on the product stuff. What? So, so you sort of sit a lead, they’re like, Hey, ask more about the product.

What? So, so what specifically, just like how the selling of a product or, yeah, talk a little bit more about that.

[00:34:20] Rebekah Panepinto: How, how. Bring both worlds together, services and product. And I think that has to do with the market. I serve too. So I’ve been exclusively an enterprise seller this whole time too. I mean, I had a brief stint where I was helping entrepreneurs do it like MVPs and you know, mobile apps, but still the way I was actually hitting my number was by selling to the enterprise.

The enterprise buys different than somebody who goes and buys 10 licenses of X on a website. And so there’s this balance of every once in a while, I’ll do a demo, but it’s not honestly what closes the deal for me. It’s helping people understand how the product changes business and how the product changes their job or their career path and how it makes them a hero.

Whatever scenario they’re in. And that’s really the sweet spot of how I can get into accounts and convert accounts to be like exciting revenue generation for me is by helping somebody realize like way more than a widget, how this product enhances their business and has a services component and this relationship component in me that they can call me to help them.

Ida and, you know, think of the art of the possible, so that ultimately it leads to increase in licenses purchased and increase in the portfolio.

[00:35:47] Brad Seaman: Yeah. I, you know, one of the downside in always gonna use zoom as example, you know, and we’ll call it product led growth for this, you might disagree. That’s what it’s called with on the call.

It that th this idea or marketing led growth, right? This idea that zoom has really captured the mind and, and the bad thing that everybody knows what zoom is. Not only they knew what zoom is. They don’t know what it is because they’ve already pre pre-described in their mind. They’ve already created a what problems they think it solves what they can do with it.

And I think that’s a challenge. I know my personality. I had a demo with a guy on a, on a marketing account-based marketing product. And I thought I knew everything about it, and I just want to get to the price. And he did such a good job of getting me to like step back and calm down. Cause my, my initial reaction is like, Hey, I already look already what your website or do all the research.

I’ve already looked at all the products. I know every, I know more about your product and you know about your product and I may have. But he did a good job of getting me stepped back and then got me into really trying to, trying to calm me down. But that’s a downside of a geared up client, right. Or a prospect is that they draw their own conclusions.

[00:36:55] Rebekah Panepinto: Oh yeah. It goes back to this long game that I like, like I could just take somebody’s incoming call to sell 10 licenses, sell 10 licenses and move on. But if I go hold on. What’s the use case. What do you need? Does webinars functionality makes sense for you to, does everybody have a phone? All of a sudden my cell became way more strategic and meaningful than just responding to, you know, incoming ask and like selling a widget.

That’s just, I’m not in the game of selling widgets. I want to sell an experience. Is it

[00:37:26] Brad Seaman: natural for you to ask?

[00:37:29] Rebekah Panepinto: Oh, very much so.

[00:37:30] Brad Seaman: And where do you think, where do you think that CA where do you think that you think that’s just like an, a personality bill to be inquisitive?

[00:37:37] Rebekah Panepinto: Not necessarily because I honestly see it in all my siblings too.

I think it’s a way we were taught to learn.

[00:37:46] Brad Seaman: Do you like where they were they encouraging to you to ask why?

[00:37:50] Rebekah Panepinto: Oh yeah. And, and get to the bottom of. Becoming an expert at whatever was of interest. And that learning was a forever thing, not just like pass the test. That is, I think the biggest downside to public education is learn what you need to pass the test and then forget it.

No, until I got to college, I probably had two actual standardized tests.

[00:38:16] Brad Seaman: Really. Okay. So how’s mom decide that you get to go through the next, the next stage. Like are there, there are no stakes.

[00:38:24] Rebekah Panepinto: It was very fluid. It definitely wasn’t like, okay. Yeah. You’re I don’t know I’m going to botch this even, cause I don’t even know, but you’re 12.

So you’re in seventh grade. Now you go to eighth grade math. That was never, it, it was like, I could be ninth grade math when I’m 12, but I’m, you know, maybe a grade behind in grammar because I haven’t mastered that yet. So it was more showing mastery in the content and the character. To then be able to advance.

And it was just, it was super fluid. It’s like, okay, time to get you the next math book.

[00:38:58] Brad Seaman: So that’s awesome. So I know you know, David Ogilvy says the good ones just know more, you know, and I think that that basically the idea to be able to be, and I think you learn that right. Is that in your experiencing that at all your jobs is that you’re taking this idea that you learned from homeschool to master stuff and you just know more than everybody else does.

So you had evitable air jumping to.

[00:39:22] Rebekah Panepinto: Growth mindset too. Like if you read Carol Dweck’s books, there’s a closed mindset that thinks that it’s a fixed trait and thinks like, you know, once you get to a certain stage, you know what you’re going to know? And if you have a growth mindset, it’s like, Hmm, no. If I want to have a career pivot three years and I decided something super interesting, I can go learn it.

And over a certain period of time, I can become one of the best in the world at it. Do you want it? And will you go get the education? Well, I don’t

[00:39:51] Brad Seaman: think so. I don’t know where I heard. So there’s a podcast I listen to called the founder’s podcast one. Have you heard that? The guy who reads biographies.

Okay. That’s great. It’s funny. I mean, it’s a little bit like you know, I, I think it’s the greatest thing ever, but I’ve referred it to some people that are entrepreneurs and they feel like it’s a lecture. But he basically reads books. I don’t know, 200 some books on entrepreneurs and he just brings out the, the key entrepreneurial components of the book.

So he does a great, does a great job. But I forgot what I was going to say. Anyways, listen to the podcast I was going, I was going somewhere with it, but I got tied up in the details. So I can’t. Yeah, I’d listen to it. It was great. It’s phenomenal.

[00:40:31] Rebekah Panepinto: David silver gate

[00:40:35] Brad Seaman: guy got rise. Yeah, yeah, yeah. If you like that, then you’ll probably like David and the founders podcast.

So it’s it’s great. So, all right, well Rebecca, this was awesome. This was a great, this was a great.

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: And we’re good there. So, so tell me a little bit, I saw you went to grand canyon state. So are you from out where are you from Arizona?

[00:00:07] Rebekah Panepinto: So born and raised in Phoenix, but when I was 19, I had an amazing opportunity to move to Nashville, music city, and pursue being a rock star. I play the drums and so an amazing opportunity to talk to my lap lap, literally as I was in my last year of my.

And I was like, oh mom and dad, I got to go. This is too good. And it was basically an opportunity to be an AU pair, live in nanny, but then have flexibility to go on the road on the weekends and play drums. And so packed up, moved to Nashville and finished my last, like 10 classes online with grand canyon.

And then was there for a total of about 10 years before an opportunity for career growth here in New York city. And I’ve been now in. The greater New York city area New York, New Jersey for about two and a half years. So are

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