Using Linked In technology as a sales-generation tool normally works the same worldwide. Except where it doesn’t. Matt Rocco, VP of Sales at Mojo Global, describes market-entry issues involving Canada and the UAE, and reasons why this kind of technology is not as readily accepted in other countries.
Background of Mojo
Working in Canada
Working in Europe
How to use LinkedIn
The most challenging country
Using the Culture to change your appeal
Matt Rocco is VP of Sales and a scaling strategist at Mojo Global, which unites people for events and masterminds and has a unique technology that uses Linked In for business growth and expansion. In its 14th year, Mojo has over 7000 clients in 30 countries with a 30% revenue growth trajectory, largely attributed to Matt. He has worked with sales guru Grant Cardone, the companies of entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Chicken Soup for the Soul author Mark Victor Hansen, and financial-literacy advocate Sharon Lechter. Matt’s focus is always to provide outstanding value to anyone he talks to or works with.
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A sign in English and Chinese in Shanghai read very simply, “If you are stolen, call the police at once.” very good advice, especially for stolen people.
Today’s guest is Matt Rocco.
Matt is the VP of Sales and a scaling strategist at Mojo Global which unites people through events and masterminds and has a unique technology that uses LinkedIn for business growth and expansion. In its 14th year, Mojo has over 7000 clients in 30 countries with a 30% revenue growth trajectory, largely attributed to Matt. He has worked with sales guru Grant Cardone, the companies of entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Chicken Soup for the Soul author Mark Victor Hansen, and financial-literacy advocate Sharon Lechter. Matt’s focus is always to provide outstanding value to anyone he talks to or works with.
Matt’s focus has always been to provide outstanding value to anyone who talks and is willing to work with him. Welcome, Matt.
Thank you so much, Philip. I’m glad to be here.
Perhaps you could start by telling us a bit about your background and how you got into Mojo Global and then how you developed your international expertise.
OK, well. My background, for really all of my professional career, has been tied directly to sales and marketing efforts for multiple businesses. I’ve owned a couple of businesses and then worked for many, many companies. A few of them have international outreach programs. One of them was a manufacturing company, and a majority of the company’s business was entirely overseas.
Mojo Global is the name of the company. We have clients in over 30 countries, and the majority of our work requires travel. A good portion of it is international. So, my background was primarily in sales and marketing, and I’ve always been very intrigued by the way the world has moved in a direction that some of the old traditional marketing efforts have changed in that you can add some technology to the traditional methods, and by traditional methods, I mean the outreach, the nurturing, and the continued follow-up that’s needed. You can automate some of those processes. You can systematize them and suddenly get to them a much larger audience, much faster than you ever could.
And I’m a big proponent of companies that want to scale going ahead and implementing some of those strategies and getting a quicker trajectory towards income and revenue.
That’s great. Did you study international business in some way, or did you learn it on the fly?
No, my studies were all just based on business management, and so it is something that I’ve just learned on the fly through experience.
And have you personally traveled abroad a lot?
Not a ton. I have been to a couple of different countries, but I have primarily traveled within the US.
From what I’ve read about your background, you’ve had some very interesting corporate experiences with Mojo in different parts of the world. Let’s start with our northern neighbor, Canada. What can you tell us about adjusting your technology as you market to Canadians?
The one thing that I’ve found right away when you’re working with the Canadian market is that there is a little bit of a perceived expectation on their side that their marketplace is completely different from the US, and as a US-based company, we’re meeting with Canadians who are looking to grow and scale their businesses, you must overcome what they have, which is an immediate perception of what they say: Canada is so much different than the US. And while there’s some truth to that, when we boil it down to the raw numbers of the number of businesses available to market with the potential revenues, we find that the markets are actually fairly similar, and so the mindset is oftentimes one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome. When working with people from different countries …
Yes, that’s very true.
Can you give us examples of other countries where the mindset has been an obstacle or where it’s been a benefit to working with your technology?
Let’s simplify things. One of the things I’ll mention is the size of the United States as a country is more technologically advanced than about every other country except Japan…their technology is ahead of where the US is. However, that would be one of the only countries where the technologies that the US has, in many cases, are further along than those of any other country.
So you’re dealing with countries where our technology dates back to the 2000s and is new to many other third-world countries that are also unfamiliar with it. You’re taking them away from traditional marketing, where they spend a lot of time face-to-face with customers. They’re not going out there and using LinkedIn and the Internet to market, and so you’re introducing it to them.
It’s something where you have to have them buy into the fact that this is a new way of life. So it’s like imagining how I would have laughed if you told me 15 years ago that there would be a Facebook and that you would be connected to the entire world and you would have disbelief. When we introduce our technology to many people in different countries, we find that they look at us and say, “That works. That’s interesting; I’ve never heard of it.” So maybe they’re just unaware. Lack of awareness.
First of all, I’d like to explore what you said about us being ahead in technology because, in many cases, the Europeans or certain countries like Germany or Britain feel that they’re ahead of the US in some ways.
For example, I know South Korea, of course, is ahead of us in terms… It’s not mobile banking. That’s certainly a technology used more commonly in Africa… but the idea that you can pay for anything by swiping your phone at the cash register at a checkout counter is intriguing.
And the amount is automatically debited or credited to your account, and so forth. More cashless societies exist than we do. So, in a way, that technology is ahead of us. But what you’re referring to is more LinkedIn and marketing technologies. Is that correct?
From what we’ve seen, a lot of marketing in other countries has remained more traditional, and because they rely on those traditional methods more heavily, when you introduce something where you’re adding an automation tool, a new method to get the right people to raise their hand and pursue them rather than them having to use the traditional method of pursuing potential clients and working to have them see who you are and set up a time to meet with you.
The newer method is that you, as a brand expert, get your information in front of them and they raise their hands to pursue you. Unlike a lot of the traditional methods, so that’s probably the biggest difference that we see from the standpoint of enterprise and simply free commerce in the United States, it’s done a lot differently.
Do you find that it’s much easier in Europe—Western Europe and Eastern Europe—to introduce the technology? Is it something they’re more accustomed to, or do they still do marketing traditionally? Are they still behind us in some way?
Other places, like Europe, are still a little more expensive. What is more traditional? Right now, the United States is …
And I presume that’s because business is traditionally done through relationships with people you know and introductions primarily.
Yeah, I would say that’s a big part of it. I really would.
Is there resistance when you introduce your LinkedIn technology to Europeans, or is it just that something they’re adding to their current methods?
I would say that there is some resistance in comparison to America. America right now is so open to the ways that you can market and to the people that it allows for just that freedom of commerce. And in European countries and some of the others we’ve worked through it, they’re just not as open to it, so it just takes a longer sales cycle because, after those introductions, there has to be a buy-in. There has to be a belief, and then they are more open to it looking at it.
Let’s come back to Canada for a moment. Have you found any differences between English and French Canada?
No, not specifically. My interactions occur on occasion. I’ve been more involved with that in particular market on the English side. Not so much the French.
Do you do any marketing in other languages, such as French, for example, in Canada?
And so we work with our clients.
They do all the translation, so they are the ones who are producing the content in a different language, but we give them the foundational scripts and some of that stuff that they can use, but a couple of them have a complete site that’s built entirely in a French language or something different.
Can you explain your technology in terms of … I think most people are familiar with what LinkedIn is, but what is yours? What are you doing with LinkedIn that’s different from normal LinkedIn marketing?
So, LinkedIn, in and of itself, is the most amazing professional business tool to find a very targeted list of individuals.
There’s no other platform out there today that will let you connect with a very specific audience. And once it’s been determined that you can find that group of people, many find it challenging to engage that prospect list. And work with them to get them on a calendar to set up a meeting. And you see all sorts of approaches on LinkedIn.
We’ve all been inundated with people trying to meet you for the first time and sell you something instantly. It’s not a way that most people are comfortable with obtaining that information. As a result, we take people through a very different process in which they are first there to deliver value and then move it toward a sale once it is determined that someone is even a fit for their business.
But we’re using LinkedIn’s search technology. We’re combining it with some automation for some of the initial outreaches that can be done through an automation tool that we wrote in-house. And we’re the second component that’s probably the most crucial thing: we’re implementing follow-up campaigns for individuals who otherwise would only be touching someone once and that’s the last time that person hears from them.
Right? So, you have the follow-up software as well, or the follow-up piece as well?
Yes, that is extremely important.
What is the most challenging country that you’ve tried to enter so far, do you think?
From my experience, it has been Dubai.
Dubai is an area where you can connect with business professionals who are marketing either exclusively to Dubai or who will market both to the US and Dubai. They are of the mindset that Dubai is its little world and that their methods there are completely different.
And so we’ve got some great success stories of people who, you know, have a technology that they’re releasing and introducing to every realtor within that country and have had great success with it from the get-go; the initial expectation was that this will never work.
And so I think Dubai is an interesting country in that they have amazing professionals over there who are very successful, and because of that perceived level of success, the expectation might be that you wouldn’t be able to approach these folks in the same way that you could someone making $60,000 a year or $80,000 a year.
But at the end of the day, it goes back to just the foundational traditional processes that you have to introduce. You must nurture. You nurture, you nurture, and you build trust. Trust is built over time. And at the end of the day, whether you’re in Dubai or not, you’re you. In the US, it’s the same.
But what makes Dubai so challenging? Because, especially in the Muslim world, relationships are very key; they are very important. So if LinkedIn is doing this, at least to get the introduction, then I presume a person would want to follow up with a personal meeting or a Zoom connection or something like that to pursue the relationship.
Yeah, yeah, that’s step one, which is just the introduction, and then the next step is to continue to move it forward.
You will notice that engagement and participation on sites like LinkedIn are not as aggressive. In an area like Dubai, they do use other technologies that are very similar to LinkedIn that are used in other areas, so maybe that’s a portion of what that is.
Have you tried to penetrate Latin America?
I’m asking because Latin America is another region where relationships are extremely important. Personal relationships are extremely important, and so I was just wondering how your technology would work there.
Yeah, yeah, I can’t speak to that specifically, but good question.
What about Asia and East Asia?
We don’t do a lot right now in Asia or East Asia. It’s just not a market right now for us that we’re targeting. Maybe, in time, that’s an area that we look to grow in.
That’s also a region where personal relationships are very strong and critical, so I was wondering again if your technology is.
Yeah, I like that. That’s an interesting observation, Philip, because those areas would traditionally lend themselves to something where you know people appreciate the process of more relationship building and nurturing, doing all of that.
Uhm, so in what parts of the world have you been most successful? Is it mainly in Europe?
It would be a combination. You’ve got the United States, Canada, and some Dutch regions in Europe. We do some stuff there as well.
Such as the Dutch Caribbean? What do you mean by the Dutch region?
Yeah yeah. Dutch Caribbean.
Interesting, what about the French and English Caribbean? Any activity there?
Nothing really specific, so I believe some of that could be based on the volume of transactions and some of that other stuff that is going on. Some of those areas are larger. I believe that the situation is likely to be more difficult to penetrate.
When people are receptive to your technology, are there certain qualities that you find in these people that are different from pseople who are perhaps just not receptive?
That’s a great question. I’ll give you a couple of examples.
So, you know there are people who will understand what you do. They will see the advantages of taking it back a step further.
So, when the first Ford automobile was built there was a certain amount of time it took Ford to build it, and then over time he added automation, systems, and processes, and they have it now to the point where they produce, you know, a vehicle every couple of minutes.
So, when you walk someone through the steps and say there is outreach you can do every month, it far outweighs the number of hours you can put in today, and you could attract a great audience using this. They’ll take a step back and say, “That’s great, but I don’t see how it would work in my market.”
And if someone believes in their mind that their market is different from the rest of the world and that their audience is different from the rest of the world, then it can be very challenging to get that person to move forward with something that would save them a lot of time.
So, step one, is their mindset something they are willing to change? At the very least, consider other options. Or are they pretty set in their ways?
And so the ones that move quickest and furthest are the ones who are willing to acknowledge the fact that we’re living in a day and age where you can put the information out there in front of people. They can pursue you, and most of those people move at a much quicker pace toward success.
Have you tapped into something … I’ll call them the Oases of technology.
For example, in Africa, there are certain places like Lagos and Nairobi that are more technology-savvy than other parts of the continent and that are grooming a lot of people in the IT field, for example. Have you ever targeted or thought of targeting those kinds of markets?
Not specifically up to this point, so that would be something that would be… I love your thought process on that because if you’re going to target a certain market, you definitely should pick the areas that would lend themselves the quickest to what you’re doing, so that’s good.
When you promote your product in other countries, do you change it in some way to make it appeal to their market, to the benefits or the mindset of the local population?
They say the answer is yes.
I take something like Dubai as an example. I do believe that when you work with someone there, they have a big-picture mindset and there are fewer constraints. You know that the possibilities are endless. When someone comes to the table with that mindset, you can present bigger-picture projects, and they are… They’ll buy in much quicker.
You know, there are areas in various countries that have either had global economic problems or are experiencing downturns and such have recently occurred in many areas. However, in some of the hardest-hit areas, there’s a … and it’s probably happened over the last 12 to 24 months.
A lot of those folks come to the table with the mindset that things are pretty bad. Things are pretty bleak. Why would this work for me? How can you convince me that this is going to change my life and, in comparison to something like Dubai, where they’re thriving, they come to the table more looking at … I can take over and conquer the world? How do I do this?
That’s very clever. You said that Dubai looks at the big picture, but you’ve also said that it’s the most challenging market, so those two statements seem contradictory to me.
Because someone has a big-picture mindset, it does not mean they will accept the traditional method of nurturing and a slower approach to getting in front of an audience.
So, to me, they’re one of the hardest areas to sell in because they are convinced that they have a better solution to do it. And they don’t have to go the slow route, a traditional method of nurturing.
I even talked to one of our founders, Cory. He spends a great deal of time traveling internationally, and the one thing that he said is always true to form is that he always comes back. The method of marketing is always going to be the same, and I can give you an example of that if we have the time.
So I know that he recently traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, and was walking up to a stand. He went to one of the oldest marketplaces that are there in that region, and he kind of had this moment where he was. In picturing this whole scenario, he walked up to a stand. And the gentleman behind the stand approached him and asked if he needed anything or if he needed assistance with anything. And he said, you know, he hadn’t had a whole lot of time to look at much, and so he said, “No thanks” and moved on to the next stand.
He started thinking about LinkedIn and the fact that you know what we do. And he said that if that gentleman hadn’t stepped up and asked him if he needed help, the argument could be made that the guy didn’t care about his business. So why would you buy from him anyway?
But then the fact that he walked up to him and immediately tried to say, “You know, is there something you’re wanting to buy?” kind of made him walk away. So, he said, “You know, within the LinkedIn market, you have to do something.” You have to let people know who you are. You have to put your information out there in front of them.
However, your approach must be such that you do not come across as pushy and do not have any type of pitch. You’re simply there to say If I can be of assistance here, please let me know. And that’s probably the greatest thing: at the end of the day, the traditional way of just walking up to someone and saying,
“Hey, if I can be of help, let me know,” still works. Then you kind of walk away from it. And there’s such a careful, delicate dance.
So does your software just do that in Turkey, for example?
Uh, yes, it would. It absolutely would, and it’s all in the messaging and the important approach.
Can you give me examples of other kinds of messaging where you might change it? The US would be one way, and another country would be another way to deliver the message.
So, I see what you were getting at with your question a minute ago.
So the message travels fairly well from country to country. At the end of the day, that’s human-to-human interaction, and there’s not a drastic change. You know, there’s some maybe different wording that’s used, so the dialect is being adjusted a little bit, but the actual foundational message is the same.
I know you don’t pay much attention to many cultures, such as those in Latin America. Latin America focuses a lot on the family. So, if you find a culture that is, say, family-oriented or environment-oriented, as Germany is, would you see if you could tailor your messages toward that? Would you choose that appeal, that cultural appeal, or the American one …the basic recipe that you’ve developed for the United States?
I guess the greatest thing to look at is that you can use technology to produce results about how your messaging is working.
So, the answer is that you would start out using the messaging that we’ve already created. And it would be based on something generic. It wouldn’t be tied to family or anything specific to their region.
But if you saw that the engagement wasn’t working and you weren’t getting the acceptance rates, you weren’t getting the response rates that you were accustomed to seeing, you would need to tailor that message, and so I guess it’s not out of the realm of reason that it could be tailored, but you’d have to just test it and see.
And do you delegate that to each country, or do you delegate it to each client? Or do you somehow manage that process from your headquarters?
So as a company, we have two offers.
One is that we’ll work with you as a coach very closely to launch your campaigns, and so for that, we’d be advising the client on what to look for and how it needs to be adjusted, and so we’ll typically work with someone for at least a month and a half closely while they’re going through that process.
We also offer a concierge service. Someone says, “I just want to wake up on Monday morning and see that I have three meetings each day”, and they let us handle all the back ends. All the outreach, all the calls, all the communication—for that, our team would be the ones adjusting the messaging for those customers.
So your team is flexible enough to understand that there are different ways of approaching different kinds of clients for different kinds of things.
Very much, so yeah, when you’re—I mean, we’re in our 14th year, so we’ve experienced all of that, and both of our founders are acutely aware that things may differ from time to time. Messaging is needed.
And where is your company based?
Scottsdale, AZ, is where it is, it has been there since the inception of the company all the way through. Probably seven-eight years ago, most of the team was right there in person, working together out of a big office, but in the last seven-eight years, it’s been more of a remote team.
How many years have passed?
Seven to eight years
Seven to eight.
I went to graduate school in Phoenix, so I know Scottsdale.
OK, fairly close region, yeah?
Has there been any country outside of the United States that’s been most successful for you?
Yeah, no. I mean, there’s been, you know, maybe a close second, but the US has without a doubt been the most successful area that we work with.
What is the close second? Is that Canada?
And the rest, I guess the third, fourth, and fifth, are primarily in Europe.
It would be. It would be tough to find one that takes the lead on that, but yeah, all through Europe.
Do you price your products differently for different countries or regions?
We do not.
So, there are areas where, unfortunately, their actual cost at the end of the day is higher than what it would be if they were based in the US.
I’m sorry to ask that again. The costs would be less in the US?
You know they’re based on what the conversion rates are for their dollars versus the US dollar. There are times when they pay more for our service.
As a result, the currency exchange problem. So, there’s not any different pricing per se. It’s the currency exchange.
What’s the ROI on what they’ve invested in at the end of the day?
And are your developers all in the US, or are they in other countries as well?
We do have some folks that are based out of the Philippines and also India.
I was just thinking of India because it’s another very high-tech country. Do you sell in India?
Oh, yes, we do.
And do you change your methods there in any way? It fits their culture, right?
Not that I’m aware of, but we do have a member of our sales team who is based in India, and he ends up working directly with those clients, which is not a conversation we’ve ever had. But a good question.
So, he’s based in India, or he’s based in Arizona?
He’s based in India.
Being based in India would make the most sense, of course. Yeah, very good. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we conclude?
Overall, I believe there is one acknowledgment that every business professional must make in this day and age, and that is that you understand the digital world, which includes LinkedIn. The digital world right now is wide open for you to capture business and get the attention of your audience. Unlike any other in the history of your prospective audience.
So, if you’ve always done it the traditional, old-school way, let’s just consider the fact that there is a whole other world out there that you could look into and do some research on, and you may find that it’s a way to do business.
So, we’re working smarter, not harder.
It’s great advice, thank you. Thank you so much. Many thanks for joining us.
I enjoyed it. Thank you, Philip.
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