#19 episode of “Helping B2B High Ticket Service Providers Grow – One Lesson at a Time”, with Tom Reaoch.
Known in Brazil as “The King of Networking”, Tom is the host of three leading business podcasts – “Café & Networking Podcast”, “Talk 2 Brazil Podcast”, and “BBN Brasil Podcast”.
He is an expert in intercultural connections, and has multicultural business experience in product and market development.
Tom is also a Subject Matter Brazil Specialist for Cartus, the list goes on and on.
“Podcasting is networking”, says Tom.
Check out Tom’s Linktree!
His email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
STAY TUNED for more incredible lessons, stories and growth tips, straight from the most successful entrepreneurs!
[00:00:07.690] – Dancho – Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode. Our podcast, Helping B2B High Ticket Service Providers – One Lesson at a Time, as you know, by now, we work really hard to find the best B2B experts out there from around the world. If it was from Macedonia, it would be me and few friends. But since we’re looking internationally, I really have to look really hard. But on the other hand, whenever we find a really good person to talk about, I’m so excited. And today I’m really excited because I have Tom on the line. Tom, calling from Brazil from what I can see on your title. Welcome.
[00:00:42.780] – Tom – Thank you. Thank you very much for having me. And it’s a great pleasure from far away to be so close.
[00:00:49.210] – Dancho – Yeah, we are like the globe, Macedonia, Brazil is probably just on the other side. So if I start digging down, I’ll probably find you.
[00:00:56.410] – Tom – You’ll find me.
[00:00:57.640] – Dancho – I assume it’s morning at your end, because here is 04:00 p.m., already.
[00:01:02.210] – Tom – We just passed twelve noon, just getting ready for lunch. So this is my full dish today.
[00:01:10.470] – Dancho – Nice. Well, Tom, for the people that not had the opportunity to meet you before because I was actually being part of your podcast last week, I think. So maybe you could give a bit about your origin story, who you are and what you do so people will get the perspective. So when we talk about, they would know your background.
[00:01:29.370] – Tom – Okay. Well, very quickly, because I’ve been in Brazil for 50 years, so that’s a lot of time. I first came here through persons that I knew who were here on an exchange program. So that’s what really brought me here. And one of those persons invited me to teach at a University here. That really never happened. But being here, being involved in another country, another culture, because I am an American, I was in the States. I had never traveled before. I’d never been out of the country. But I do consider I was born in Pittsburgh, in my neighborhood where I lived. I want to consider it a multicultural neighborhood. A lot of immigrants who came to the area, Pittsburgh was called the Steel City. So it was in that that I did have many friends from different nationalities.
[00:02:20.630] – Dancho – I see.
[00:02:21.420] – Tom – But coming here, but I’ve never been anywhere. So coming here, that opened up the cultural shock. But it was through people and then understanding the language and the culture that I started meeting people. They found out what I actually could do. Started working with the company, worked with a Danish company, then a Dutch company, then an American company, Brazilian company. And one thing always led to another. Most of my professional life has been on product development and market development. And through that I’m part of many different business associations here, like the American Chamber of Commerce and other group called Vistage, which is a CEO peer group. So this has been my evolution. And when I say we talk about networking, everything for me has always happened through people. And the fact that we met and I’m here talking to you and to your public into the world, that happens constantly. So when you say one lesson at a time, for me, my life has always been just one lesson. And it’s an ongoing lesson. So I just never turned the page. Just keep going.
[00:03:36.230] – Dancho – How did you adjust the heat from Brazil? I mean, it’s warm and its humidity is quite different.
[00:03:43.190] – Tom – Well, Pittsburgh was cold. And I want to say one of the things I didn’t miss coming here was snow. And I did appreciate the four seasons, because obviously, when you have seasons and it changed that’s good. From a marketing aspect, you understand the influence of weather in business. Here in Brazil, obviously, it’s sunny, it’s generally warm, no snow, but a lot of sunshine. So sunshine is highly invigorating. People are more happy. They seem to be happy because of that. And we see that in other countries. So that’s the learning. It’s learning to adjust, and we need to learn to love where we are. We can’t forget where we’ve been. We never know where we’re going to go. But where you are, you have to appreciate that.
[00:04:36.170] – Dancho – Yes. And Tom, on the other hand, he also said that you have a several podcasts, if you could share with us the names and what they are about?
[00:04:44.580] – Tom – Yeah. Well, the first actually started as an Internet radio program, and that’s called Talk to Brazil. And I created Talk to Brazil as an Internet radio program in 2009. And if our listeners remember, in 2009 was the Great Recession, where worldwide business came to a halt. And at that time, I had a consultancy. I was trying to attract persons and businesses to come to Brazil. As a consultant that came to a standstill. But one of the things I noticed through my travel, first of all, most Brazilians don’t speak English, so there’s very little English language content available. And per persons like you, you are an international person. Even at that time, you would go through business development in Brazil, business development China, Russia, Africa, Mexico, and you would get some answers in English. But for Brazil, what would come back would be answers in Portuguese. And that’s not the way to grow. What would come back were what I would call the five S’s. And what were those five S’s in English with sun, sin, sex, samba and soccer.
[00:06:05.990] – Dancho – Nice.
[00:06:06.870] – Tom – Those were the things that Brazil was known for. A lot of sun, the samba, obviously, football, Belair, all of that. But when I would try and that was my charge to try to sell Brazilian products, to sell the market, most people I’m saying European or Asians, even Americans say, well, we have a company refactor in Brazil that can make this, most people wouldn’t believe it because they didn’t think Brazil was a manufacturing, a business environment. Yeah, it was good. To go to the beach, to go on vacation, a lot of sunshine. But for business that wasn’t. So I had to generate that. So I created Talk to Brazil for generate content in English. Then I created the second one, which is BBN, Brazil business network that Brazil is written with an S. And those interviews are in Portuguese. Again, since most Brazilians don’t speak English, I have to interview Portuguese. And the third is Cafe Networking, which is either Portuguese or English. Very short pitch related type podcast where people talk for five to seven minutes, to sell either their product, their service, or bulk whatever to help people learn to be objective and have a pitch.
[00:07:24.830] – Dancho – You said the first podcast you did was 2007?
[00:07:29.070] – Tom – 2009. It started as an Internet radio program. That time was in Los Angeles. But I changed it a little more than two years ago to a podcast format. When the podcasting, as you know, now we’re talking that way. They also have the ability to be our own boss and to create our own program.
[00:07:51.230] – Dancho – That was my point, 13 years ago, there were not that many podcasts, actually at all.
[00:07:56.810] – Tom – Podcast in the past was basically music. The world knows of Spotify and iTunes, which was on Apple that were music oriented. The content-type podcast, which we both do, is maybe a little more than three or four years old. And that’s when I changed and migrated to this format that I use. We can adjust our time. We can adjust how long it’s going to be, who we want to talk to. It’s a one-man show.
[00:08:31.820] – Dancho – Yeah, true. But from all three podcasts, you made a huge network because by talking with a lot of people from different fields, from different parts of the world, actually. And also you said as a consultant, your primary job was to find foreigners that are interested to either invest in Brazil or start their business in Brazil. So I think that you have quite a broad network. I even sae on your LinkedIn. It was like King of networking. So that by this time you already like, pick a country. I know a guy. Pick an industry, I know a guy. And that was actually the main point why I wanted to talk with you, Tom, was the networking, the power of networking. Why do you actually need it? And what’s the impact? I mean, of course, everybody like business people are trying to do ROI, return of investment. Okay, if I invest in marketing, I’m going to get X, Y, Z. If I invest in networking, which is a bit less tangible, can you tell me a bit more on the value of the networking?
[00:09:38.950] – Tom – Well, I’m a believer and we talk a lot. You talk a lot about B2B, B2B, B2C. And we think and I’ve been that I’ve been in that B2B world. I worked for the Danish, Dutch, Brazilian, American company. I was Thomas. And my last name was always the name of the company, right? It was never Thomas Reaoch or Tom Reaoch. It was always Thomas El Cole or Thomas Douglas or Thomas anything else. With the company, right. And actually we dress ourselves and we provey ourselves as the company. You personify a company, you personify your company, right?
[00:10:20.933] – Dancho – Yeah.
[00:10:21.230] – Tom – And that’s natural. There’s nothing wrong with that. But going back to when I got here and all of my life, even before coming, everything has happened to me in my life has been with people. Those people have worked for companies. If I take you Dancho as an example, you have worked for several companies in your life. You have your own company today. Many companies that I know or even work for, they’ve sold out, they bought somebody else, they merged, they’ve changed, right. And that’s constant. And I’m actually saying that’s wrong, but that’s the way it is. What I have tried to always do, and that’s where the value of networking, networking is relationship building. And for me, that has to be the personal level. I want to follow Dancho wherever he goes, all right. As he grows, as he becomes a success, and he may be in company A, B or C, D or E or F. But if I don’t follow him and have him follow me, four years from now, how can I get back in touch with you?
[00:11:34.970] – Dancho – Yeah, true.
[00:11:36.180] – Tom – And that’s basically what I try to do. I look at it from two points. The tactical way of networking and strategic. Strategic is long term. Tactical is back to the old days when we would be going into a meeting before you have your coffee or a cocktail and you would face to face and shake the hands and pat on the back and exchange business cards. That’s tactical because that’s here and now. But wanting to establish an initial relationship with a person who could be with a company or not. And what I consider always is what I’m doing when I do that. That could be virtual today, remotely. I’m creating another ally. And why do I need allies? Because I am a person and you as a person, we’re individuals. We’re unique. I am an army of one, right?
[00:12:36.630] – Dancho – Yes.
[00:12:37.670] – Tom – Dancho is an army of one. To be an army of one, you need a lot of allies. And that for me is that tactically. I create, I maintain and nurture the allies, if and when I need them. And I may never need them, but they may need me and I have to be available. It’s an opendoor policy. If you need me, I’m here. If I need something from you and I’ve nurtured that, you will always welcome me.
[00:13:13.130] – Dancho – Yeah, true.
[00:13:13.960] – Tom – It’s very simple. It’s not complex.
[00:13:16.400] – Dancho – Yeah. We have that target here, Tom, because in BizzBee we are also based on relationship building, our whole B2B outreach is start building relationship with people. It doesn’t have to be a quick win. Maybe they don’t have an immediate need of your services now, but after six months, things change. And guess who they will remember when they got that need? They’ll be like, I know Dancho from BizzBee or Tom, and then they can reach out to you. But that means that you need to have a good relationship, not the spammy kind of. Hi, Tom. Would you like to buy my services? No, thank you very much. Next one. Hi, Tom. Would you like to buy? No. Next, please. And then just…
[00:13:52.950] – Tom – Open up your coat, I got this for you.
[00:13:56.090] – Dancho – And it’s different when you build that relationship. And of course, it is a bit more investment long term because you don’t know whether they’re going to call or whether you’re going to call them if a need comes. But at the end of the day, that’s the relationship building because maybe they don’t even going to need your service, but then someone they know will need it and they can just recommend you. And that’s the referral power that the bigger your network is, the more people indirectly can hear about you.
[00:14:25.370] – Tom – That’s the secret of your book, Sweet Leads.
[00:14:28.430] – Dancho – Yeah.
[00:14:29.460] – Tom – A lead is just a lead. It’s the first or second step. It’s not the finish line.
[00:14:38.200] – Dancho – Yeah.
[00:14:39.130] – Tom – Many people confuse the networking or the lead. They already want to get to the finish line. But in business, there’s no finish line.
[00:14:49.490] – Dancho – Yeah, it’s an ongoing process. And Tom, if I understand you’re right on the tactical level, is the people that you meet on a day to day basis where you’re building the relationship while on the strategic is when you have a certain plan that you want to connect with several people. That’s the outreach that we do because we do it like pre planned. Like this is the target account base, even we call it this is the type of people that we want to connect on the mid to long term. And then you’re actually building a strategy, even trying to see, as you said, ally, that’s why I really liked it, because you’re trying to find a mutual friend that connect you, or you can find a similar interest or a third party that could actually connect even closer to the person.
[00:15:35.270] – Tom – It really goes both ways. If I take it to the strategic part, if anyone looks at my LinkedIn profile, which you have, you found me through LinkedIn.
[00:15:43.690] – Dancho – Yeah.
[00:15:44.890] – Tom – You were looking for something. I don’t know what you were looking for, but whatever it was, you found me and we met up and we talked and I interviewed you and we know each other. When you first connected to me, I really didn’t know. I had to look up and see where Macedonia was.
[00:16:02.150] – Dancho – Find us in the map, like…
[00:16:03.730] – Tom – No, but I did and again, if we analyze history and we’re talking about companies changing, the world has countries changing.
[00:16:13.130] – Dancho – Yeah.
[00:16:14.010] – Tom – So we have to go back to the history. We have to understand the culture. We have to understand why Macedonia is Macedonia in your case. In my case, one of my case, if you look at my LinkedIn profile, you will see that my profile is in Mandarin. And then you’re going to ask me, do you speak Chinese? No, but China has been one of the major investors worldwide, period. China, as a country is a major client to agriculture, energy, many things. There are many Chinese companies in Brazil today. They’re not just here today. They’ve been here for a while. Huge investment. Chinese, their culture is absolutely relationship-based, trust-based. And how do we attract them? So my profile on LinkedIn is in English, in Portuguese, and it’s in Mandarin. So I need to be, I hope. And that’s back to the strategy tactically I created that China is interested. How can I help them find me? I have to be there in a way that they’re looking.
[00:17:31.070] – Dancho – True.
[00:17:31.860] – Tom – If they find me and see something, maybe that will the next day, another ally, create a trust level, right? Today, you and I have created the trust level, which a month ago, we didn’t even exist.
[00:17:48.380] – Dancho – Yeah. We didn’t even knew each other. And I’m curious, how do you know when is the time to move to the next stage of trust? It’s like in building a relationship. Of course, the beginning is a bit chit-chatty because you don’t know the guy, they don’t know you. And you start with some general topics, and we have the joke like, you go in a bar and you meet a girl and you never propose her in the first sentence, you start some general topics about the weather, about sports. Okay, sports is a bad topic, but some general issues. At some point you realize that, okay, you can share a story. They can share a story. So then you start building that relationship. And how do you actually know when it’s the right time to actually depend the relationship on a more deeper level?
[00:18:33.470] – Tom – First of all, you have to show that you are trustworthy.
[00:18:37.440] – Dancho – Yeah.
[00:18:38.170] – Tom – And again, what is today’s way of doing that? And I’ll use LinkedIn as that. But other things, if anybody finds me or looking for Brazil or looking for networking in Brazil, it’s a high probability that they’ll find me. All right. They will not be looking for Tom Reaoch. They will be looking for business development, relationship building, Brazil. Once they find me, what they find needs to be authentic and it needs to be real. It can’t be fake. Today, we’re surrounded by so much fake things. So if they find me, I have to be able to do all the multi level multimedia ways. They have to find the same time Tom in different places. So Tom, that’s no personal branding. We’re going beyond networking. Tom Reaoch has to be the same persona wherever I’m found. And that’s why, I can’t make you be a trustworthy person. Right. You have to show me that you are. What I need to do is to show others that I am, have a validation. I can’t say that I’m trustworthy. My mother would say, no, he’s a great guy, but it’s not the way it works. All right? We have to have real evidence, support that support, in my case comes from associations that I’m part of that have been part of for years. Companies that I’ve worked for, things that I’ve done, successes, podcasts. All right. For somebody who’s been communicating to the world about Brazil for as long as I have, and I’ll say that I’ve become a focal point. I’ve become a thought leader. That didn’t start overnight. It’s every day with a shovel, digging and building it’s brick by brick.
[00:20:36.880] – Dancho – Yeah, well, I’m thinking I was just checking. Brazil population is like 212,000,000. So if someone says, I want a foreigner to invest in Brazil, and if you show up on the top, that’s like an achievement, a lifetime achievement. Because if you became the focal point, the tought leader, whenever someone thinks about, I want to invest in Brazil. If the name Tom shows up among people, it’s not on a search engine, but he’s talking to someone. You know what? I need to invest some money in Brazil. And that guy should say, do you know Tom? I should connect you with him. He’s the best guy for the job.
[00:21:12.030] – Tom – And that’s why I’m known as the King of network. I didn’t go out there and stand on the corner and say, I’m the king of network.
[00:21:18.310] – Dancho – With a head banner.
[00:21:19.690] – Tom – No, other people started referring to me here in Brazil and Portuguese, they referred to me as the King of networking. They would introduce me to other persons as the King of network in Portuguese, do networking. It started that way in one of the associations where I would teach people to network. That was one of the things. I traveled all to Brazil, teaching institutions, associations, and people how to network because Brazilians also don’t have that as a habit. So I said, you got a personal branding, you got a network. You got to go out, your pitch. These are things I’ve been talking about for 30 years. So that’s the authenticity, that’s the consistency. And those things help build credibility. The only thing that we have, what do I have? I have the computer that we’re talking on. I have a microphone. But what we have, the two things, and we share those is relationship and credibility. That’s it. And those two take a lifetime to build. And someone says maybe four minutes to destroy.
[00:22:37.710] – Dancho – True.
[00:22:39.570] – Tom – That’s where we are. That’s what you do. That’s the essence of your company, relationship. And that could be for any company. So companies of success throughout the world, wherever they are, they depend on relationship building and credibility, period. Even a start up, a start up needs to have a way to promote and show credibility. That can be done in a number of ways.
[00:23:05.430] – Dancho – Yeah.
[00:23:05.830] – Tom – If you don’t have that, you don’t start.
[00:23:08.900] – Dancho – Nobody would be willing to trust you with their money in order to start the business. Tom, I was just curious. I asked everybody on the podcast, I know that you have different hats with different expertise, but if you had to choose one message, like, one thing that you want to be remembered for is like, to your grandchildren or even after 100 years. Did you know Tom Reaoch? They were like, what do you remember by him? And that question was, what do you actually want to be remembered for? Your legacy?
[00:23:42.210] – Tom – Well, part of that exists. My grandchildren, the small one, is like ten years old. He already knows that I’m the King of networking. So if I ask him, who am I? King of networking. But seriously, the legacy comes from maybe the word would be sharing. Tom Reaoch is an open, authentic sharing person and I’m an ally for others. If I’m looking for allies for myself, I need to be that ally for others.
[00:24:13.770] – Dancho – Yeah. I always ask everybody this question because it’s really the main purpose of what do you want to become or who you are. So it’s not like I want to connect everybody, but I want to have allies. I want to help people. And the relationship comes on a second tier. And the network is like by-product of everything that you do.
[00:24:37.090] – Tom – Unfortunately, I’m a point in a stage in my life with two things I’ll share with you in the public. I’m a breast cancer survivor. All right. I had over breast cancer for twelve years. And when you have breast cancer, the doctor told me two things. He says, first of all, the cure is in your head. That’s right. The second, he said, just do from today on, just do what you like. And that’s good for all of us. If you do what you like and you’re happy with what you do, you do it well. All right. So my pleasure does come from and when I say relationship building, that’s my day to day. It’s through the podcast. People that I meet, if I can help it’s my barber, that’s my hair. So it doesn’t have to be C-level presidents of whatever, it’s people.
[00:25:31.010] – Dancho – Connecting with as many people…
[00:25:32.420] – Tom – Connecting people, helping people and being open to share. All right. Many times we forget the sharing part. When we’re younger, we want, we want that sale. We want to make it, right. And I’m not saying that’s bad, but once you have made it, you have to sit back and say, why did I make it? And we made it. You are making it because of the relationship. Because of the credibility. So if I want to be remembered, I’m a relationship person and I’m a person that has credibility.
[00:26:10.330] – Dancho – Nice. My last question was where people can find you, how people can reach out to you because maybe some of them want to learn more about the relationship and the networking or other are just interested in investing in Brazil. So in both cases where people can find you, Tom?
[00:26:29.320] – Tom – Well, the easiest place is on LinkedIn. There’s my name, it’s T-O-M R-E-A-O-C-H, Tom Reaoch. Or I also have a link to Linktree, which is L-I-N-K-T-R-E-E, slash, Tom Reaoch. So if you find Tom Reaoch, if you can get the Tom part and get the Reaoch part, you’ll find me. And if you want to connect and say, hey, I heard you on Dancho’s podcast. Anyway, that helps me. It helps us. It helps you as part of validating people.
[00:27:13.930] – Dancho – Exactly what I’m going to do, Tom, is that right below the video, I’m just going to put the linktree and your LinkedIn profile. So whoever wants to reach out, they can just click on the link and say Hi, Tom.
[00:27:28.150] – Tom – Or call you and you’ll tell them, right?
[00:27:30.150] – Dancho – Of course, that’s the relationship, right?
[00:27:32.820] – Tom – That’s it.
[00:27:34.750] – Dancho – And Tom, in closure. I just wanted to summarize because after every podcast that we record, it is really one lesson at the time because I personally also enjoy this kind of podcast. And as I’m listening to, I’m taking notes as you talk. So I actually was able to extract not one, but several lessons from this podcast. And I wanted to share with everybody in case someone missed something or maybe someone catch something else that I missed. But I have five or six different lessons from this podcast. First one is learning to adjust. If you don’t adjust, you’re going to suffer a lot. You adjust from cold to warm. But it’s even in business, it’s not like this is how it’s done always you have to adjust. Second is don’t personify a company because it’s really like, Dancho from BizzBee. But Dancho can sell BizzBee, open a different company and sell that one and then open a third one or even switch between jobs. And at the end of the day, if you have a good relationship with Dancho, wherever they move into a different company, you already have a new client because they know that you’re good. And we have the same case. BizzBee is like six years on the market already and we’re just going to call a person that worked in that company and then moved to another one. And now they want to continue working with us. And that is exactly what you said. Well, if you have a good relationship with the person, not with the company, that person will keep the relationship wherever they go in with every company. So that was another one. Number three was networking is relationship building. So we preach that, but still people forget that networking is not just how big your email list is but the quality of how good you know with them and how frequently communicate. So relationship building takes effort and time. It’s not like I’ll just buy 100,000 emails and there you go, I have a network. No, you just have a list. Networking is the relationship where people first will be glad to hear from you because it’s like this Dancho again, he’s going to bother me. He’s going to sell me some pyramid scheme again. Number four was the tactical and strategic part of networking. I mean, it’s good that when we talk about networking to have an idea that okay, is this a tactical approach or is this strategic approach? Because if it’s strategic, then you really need to look for allies and more smarter ways how to connect with a person. Rather than tactical is just an opportunity presented itself. You’re just introducing yourself. And the last part was about the credibility, trustworthy and thought leadership and that you aligning yourself with the associations with you by doing the podcast and start creating content as a thought leadership is actually making a thought leader and thought leader, you start attracting people towards you rather than just chasing them if they are interested, you’re actually starting to attract people towards you and that is also a very good way when someone reach out to you, they already know you. They’ve seen your podcast, your posts on LinkedIn so they don’t feel like they’re talking to a stranger. But it’s like Tom, I’ve actually heard five podcasts from and I would love to talk with him. So that takes the relationship on a completely different level. Those were the six lessons I got Tom and that’s why I told you I’m the student here and I really enjoy it and I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to listen about the networking and I really hope that everybody else that are on the podcast also enjoyed listening and whoever is actually interested, feel free to reach out to Tom. And I really hope that Tom will figure out a way to help you and actually even grow the network further.
[00:31:31.670] – Tom – Very good. But I just want to add on of all that you mentioned and written down, it goes to what I mentioned, it’s always an ongoing lesson and networking is work.
[00:31:44.330] – Dancho – Yeah, net-work. Nice one. Tom, thank you very much again. And for the rest of you guys, have a great day and stay tuned as long as we find a new lesson that is for you guys. Bye.
[00:31:56.270] – Tom – Thank you. Bye.
Danco is a serial entrepreneur, founder and CEO of BizzBee Solutions, proud father of a 3-year-old and a burger enthusiast. He is inspired by growth and goes above and beyond to make it possible – whether it comes to his 300+ clients or his people. Eager to learn more? Follow Danco on LinkedIn and Facebook.