Episode 64 - Sean Cheyney: 21st Century Marketer, Scrabble Aficionado and Multi-Variate Mad Scientist
Meet Sean Cheyney, VP Marketing and Business Development for Chicago-based insurance broker, AccuQuote.com. Sean shares the intricacies of his success increasing his website lead conversion 50% by using multi-variate testing with Optimost and how to be fully involved in the life-cycle of a lead. Get Sean's advice for advanced cold calling techniques and his "networking guru" recommendations for working a conference.
Sean shares a story from his favorite book, The Ultimate Gift and gives suggestions about how to use behavioral research to create great employee team work scenarios. Suz and Sean talk about focusing on one's strengths as a key to success and the evolution of personality testing from Myers Briggs, to DISC, to Personalisis to taking a Shaman Journey to find your Spirit Animal. What ever works!
Sean closes the show by describing his date night with his wife. Tune in for some great tips, both personal and professional, from one of the most respected marketers in the digital media industry.
This program is brought to you by Personal Life Media.com
Susan Bratton: Welcome to Dishy Mix, I am your host Susan Bratton. Thanks for joining me on the show today. You’re gonna get to meet Sean Cheyney , Sean is the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. On the Client side, he works for Accuquote.com which is an Insurance company and he is very involved in lead generation and online marketing and we are gonna talk about some very interesting things with regards to that. Including on todays show multivariate testing, criminology, cold calling and the art of doing it right, sushi and the ultimate gift.
Sean Cheyney: When we went into our 2008 planning about this time last year, we said, how can we increase our response rate at the highest end of the funnel when people land at our website we need to make sure we are turning the highest percentage of those people into customers. Which means that the number of combinations there are, the number of possibilities the number of possible recipes we could end up with, are in the thousands, the tens of thousands, absolutely mind boggling, and I am very thankful we have the technology using Optimos behind us to do all the heavy lifting for us.
And I asked the question, I said, how many of you know what happens to a lead after you generate a lead and there was only one hand that went up in the room and that absolutely blew my mind because not all leads are created equal. If you are there for a business event you want to make sure that you lead that event especially if you are taking time away from the office, taking time away from your family you want to make sure that when you are there you are maximizing it and you can walk away, and when you walk away you said you know what, this was productive and not only was it productive, but I had a good time.
Susan Bratton: Welcome Sean!
Sean Cheyney: Hi How are you doing?
Susan Bratton: I am great, are you calling me from the Chicago area today?
Sean Cheyney: I sure am, in nice, balmy and raining Wheeling Illinois.
Susan Bratton: Oh No Is it raining there, I am sorry to hear that. Well there is nothing better…
Sean Cheyney: Actually that’s a good thing, I am happy that its raining my lawn can use it
Susan Bratton: Oh yeah I know we had to crank up the sprinklers lately out here in California, So you and I met through Adtech and I Media, you are on the advisary board of I Media and you have been at Accuquote for how long now?
Sean Cheyney: I have been at Accuquote coming up on 6 years, 6 years in November
Susan Bratton: Wow, that’s good, so you have had a long enough time there to master a few things, which we are gonna talk about, some of the work you are doing at Accuquote, And as well, you , prior to that time you had done some business of your own and also done some other marketing work, tell us about your leaders incorporated where you worked and it was Bamboobiz right?
Sean Cheyney: Exactly, it was
Susan Bratton: I was trying to remember
Sean Cheyney: It was actually a complete I’d say it was completely lucky that I fell into the area of marketing completely by accident. My background after I got out of College, I was working my way through college, working as a paramedic but after I graduated college I went on to law school, decided, moved out here to Chicago for Law School, decided that just wasn’t going to be a good fit for me so I got into business and started working for a company doing sales, and Nightingale Conan actually, about a year after that, a buddy of mine from college called me and said hey you have to meet this guy who runs a company called leaders incorporated and he does sales training and for teaching people how to sell over the phone and I said oh well I have sold over the phone and sort of risen to the top in that area over the year that I had been in there, so it just seemed like a good fit so we were doing a lot of sales training over there and teaching people how to sell over the phone we were putting on large seminars at big venues across the country, places like MGM Grand out in Vegas and it was a lot of fun, but he also had an organization of his own and they needed leads, so he was doing lead generation on television and right after one of these conference, somebody came up to him and said I can generate leads that are gonna be much better quality and I can do it online and I can do it at a fraction of the cost then you are doing on television
Susan Bratton: mmm hmmm
Sean Cheyney: so we said you’ve got to be joking, but hey give us some of those leads you’re generating and we’ll test them out, and they were the best leads that we had ever worked in our lives so we looked at it and we said Hey! This is good, so we got a co-op together and we basically ordered 10 thousand leads which is how many this guy said he could generate in a month, so the way it went, is 45 days later, this person was only able to generate a thousand of these leads and he was able and he was doing it at a cost where we were actually going in the hole for every lead that was generated
Susan Bratton: mmmm
Sean Cheyney: so this person turned to me and he said Sean I need you to figure out how to generate 10 thousand leads for me in the next 30 days or I am gonna be out of business, so it was trial by fire where I basically went to Barnes and Noble and spent about half a day there reading books and taking notes and figuring out who at the time, and this was back in, this was back in ‘98 figuring out who at the time was sort of proclaiming themselves as the guru of online marketing, so what I did is within 72 hours I had a website built using front page 98 which was the first time I had used that and we were advertising on goto.com even before it became Overture and now yahoo, and we were up and running , we were generating leads, they were great quality we were doing them very cost effectively and it sort of took off and evolved from there.
Susan Bratton: So that online lead generation is a big, big topic for you, and one of the things you have told me you’re doing recently is a lot of work with multivariate testing so Accuquote is a company that is an insurance broker, you essentially generate online leads and 800 leads, people get an inbound lead and then you help them select the right insurance and the interesting thing that I learned from you about insurance was that insurance costs have come way down but people are living longer so actuarially its cheaper to insure people in general and the competitive nature of the always on web has also driven so much competition that it’s a very competitive market so your not only getting first time prospects for insurance, life insurance etc. but also getting a lot of people who are paying way too much money so you got a very fruitful business, and I think I would like you to explain to our listeners some of the infrastructure, the omniture and the optimost and some systems you use and how you are doing your multivariate testing
Sean Cheyney: Right, and when we look because of the fact that everything we are doing ,we are looking at the ROI we’re very direct response oriented, even before I got into online marketing, my whole background, my whole focus, was direct response, whether it was television, radio, or direct mail, and online it’s the same way , everything has to produce a positive ROI, so we looked, when we went into our 2008 planning about this time last year, we said, how can we increase our response rate at the highest ends of the funnel obviously our creative testing that we do using our ad server, and we use dart as our ad server that is at the higher end of the funnel or anything with a creative messaging in any of our advertising that we do, but then we said when people land at our website, we need to make sure we are turning the highest percentage of those people into customers, so what we did, we looked at a couple of multivariate testing solutions and we ended up going with optimost and we went into this year and we said you know what, all we need to do is get a 7% better response on the website for this to be a win for us, for it to produce a positive ROI for the money we are paying for this tool, and we looked at it and we said alright first we are gonna focus on our home page so we are gonna do extensive we are gonna do extensive testing on our home page, and we have two primary websites, we have Accuquotelife.com which we use for all our online advertising, and then we have Accuquote.com where we do all of our drivers from PR online advertising and SEO and we looked at both of those sites and we said how can we maximize that so we focused on the home page we started by doing strictly AB testing, we were running about 6 or 7 different versions all at the same time and we ended up coming up with a concept winner.
Susan Bratton: Wait a minute, so the, hang on, the AB testing, was actually on Accuquotelife and Accuoquote.com and various versions of the home page, that was what you were changing, was essentially what appeared when I landed on your home page from an ad or pr or whatever
Sean Cheyney: Exactly
Susan Bratton: Ok
Sean Cheyney: We were doing, and what we did is, depending on what the look and feel was, we translated that look and feel throughout the main funnel on our website as well,
Susan Bratton: mm hmm
Sean Cheyney: so we created a consistent experience throughout the entire process but we what we were focused on is how many people, versus the people landed on the page how many of those people turn into leads and that was our biggest focus there, and the results were amazing, in fact accuquote.com we ended up through our strictly our AB testing, we must have tested about 6 or 7 versions on that site alone, we ended up getting a 50% lift, 5 0 percent lift of people who landed on the website, so visitors, to leads generated through that site, that was phenomenal the returns on investments on that is absolutely through the roof, and already through our AB testing on Accuquotelife we are already half almost half way to our goal of getting to a 20% lift and I expect to have a 20% lift before the end of the year not only through our AB testing, but also through our multivariate testing which is breaking up the site into typically we are breaking up our site into 8 or 9 different pieces and then testing all the variables within those separate pieces, so we’ll test headers, we’ll test headlines, we’ll test different logos of some of the carriers that we represent we’ll test the buttons, we’ll test the order of the form, we’ll test color schemes, different layouts, all different things there, that all the different variables, usually 5 or 6 different variables for each of the 8 or 9 different placements that we’re breaking up, which means the number of combinations, there are, the number of possiblilities, the number of possible recipes we could end up with are in the thousands, are in the tens of thousands its absolutely mind boggling and I am very thankful that we have the technology using Optimost behind us to do all the heavy lifting for us.
Susan Bratton: So for Optimost what they do, is they allow almost for a dynamic page generation that’s tracked to see which ones convert best, is that how Optimost works?
Sean Cheyney: That’s exactly how it works, what we are able to do for each of these elements, I mean for the AB testing, that’s relatively simple that’s simple in terms of the tracking, but when it comes down to the multivariate testing and you have all of these different combinations, its coming down and saying this button, by having this blue button that says compare quotes versus the green button over here that says get a free quote, that’s producing a four and a half percent lift, or by removing a better business bureau logo something that is totally counterintuitive to us that our lift goes up by having the better business bureua on there our response goes down by a few percentage points so it actually isolates the variables and tells you what percentage either lift or decrease your getting on each independent variable
Susan Bratton: Got it. And who bought, somebody bought Optimost recently
Sean Cheyney: Actually they were purchased by Interwoven
Susan Bratton: Ok
Sean Cheyney: Which is known primarily for their content management system
Susan Bratton: yeah
Sean Cheyney: They were purchased by them I believe about a year ago
Susan Bratton: Got it, yeah that’s great, Matt Roach, right?
Sean Cheyney: I believe so
Susan Bratton: Yeah he’s the CEO, ok good, so that’s helpful and I think youre doing a presentation at the online quality lead summit coming up, if my listeners wanted to get a copy of the presentation after your present it, would you be willing to share that?
Sean Cheyney: It depends on who its, who its with theres
Susan Bratton: No insurance company listeners can have that
Sean Cheyney: Well people can reach out to me and I am usually very open with, with a lot of the data, I am not sharing anything that’s, that’s proprietary, that we have some secret sauce I am sharing
Susan Bratton: yep
Sean Cheyney: Obviously I wouldn’t do that, but at the Online Quality Lead Summit I am gonna be presenting the fact that, really several problems and this is all revolving around lead scoring, lead segmentations and lead routing, so the biggest misconceptions that a lot of marketing departments have and a lot of marketing folks have is that once I generate a lead, I have done all this work I generated a lead now its not my problem, I am giving it over to sales, and its their problem now, A couple years ago I gave a presentation to a room it was about 100 people in a room it was about 50/50 of b2b and b2c folks, all marketing people And I asked the question I said how many of you know what happens to a lead after you generate the lead and there was only one hand that went up in the room
Susan Bratton: Wow
Sean Cheyney: And that absolutely blew my mind because not all leads are created equal
Susan Bratton: Yeah
Sean Cheyney: There’s different lead types, I know if I get a lead from a PR story that was generated because of a PR story where someone in the Wall, an Editor in the Wall Street Journal was writing about life insurance and our CEO Bernie Adell was quoted, I know that’s going to be a much better lead then somebody who came to me lets say from seeing one of our banner ads on a casual gaming property like yahoo games for example. And so there’s a lot of intricacies that that go into the lead generation and really the name of the game is not just the lead generation its making sure that your able to turn those leads into dollars at the end of the selling cycle.
Susan Bratton: So before we go to a commercial break one of the things that you have written about, you write for I media connection .com and you have penned a lot of really good helpful articles and not all of them are specifically about marketing, a lot of them are about being in the world of marketing as a marketer, one of them is that you gave some advice about being a good networker and a mentor and a connector in the industry can you just before we go to commercial break maybe tell us some of the top 3 or 4 things that we should do if we are in marketing and or in sales, business development whatever it might be in the digital mdeia marketing and web business to keep ourselves out in the world what do you do and what do you recommend
Sean Cheyney: The biggest thing is whenever you go to any trade show or any business conference or anything where it’s a networking environment, make sure you go into it with a plan there are a lot of different conferences I media is one of them where they actually publish whose gonna be attending ahead of time so your able to go through, one of the techniques that I use I take the entire attendee list export it to excel and sort it and I’ll color code based on people I already know, based on people I don’t know and also based on people I don’t know but I really want to meet and what I’ll do is I will go into it with a plan and say ok here are the people I want to meet for this specific purpose and I will, for anybody whose contact information I can get I will reach out to them ahead of time and say hey you know, I saw that you are attending this conference I would love to get some time and sit down with you I think that we have some things in common with our businesses or I would just love to find out about what your doing, always go into it with a plan some people will go in and say I want to collect 50 business cards from different people or I want to walk out of there with a certain amount of insertion over signed, whatever the objective is, make sure you go in with a plan the other thing is, once you are at the event, it doesn’t do any good if you are only hanging out with people you already know. Now relationship building is definitely key, but you need to divide it up a little bit, what I like to do is spend about 50 % of my time with the people I already know and just build those relationships, and the other 50% of the time getting out there and meeting people I don’t know, so if you see me at a conference and I’m walking around and I am looking at peoples name badges I am looking to see hey is there somebody here from a company that sounds interesting and I’ll just walk up to people and start talking to them which really goes into the other aspect which is get out there, it doesn’t do any good at these networking events to stand in a corner with your drink and just observe, do people watching, your there for a business event you want to make sure that you leave that event especially if you are taking time away from the office and taking time away from your family you want to make sure that when your there, you re maximizing it and you can walk away and when you walk away you said you know what this was productive and not only was it productive but I had a good time the great thing about our industry with the interactive advertising industry is that there are a lot of fun people I absolutely love going to these events, I mean my wife is not going to like to hear me saying that, I absolutely love going to these events and spending time with very interesting people and just finding out about people your conversations don’t necessarily have to revolve around business in fact about 75% of the time its just getting to know people so if you are somebody who is shy, and when I first got into this industry I was extremely shy and I had to just kinda muscle it up a little bit and force myself to start talking to people and the more and more I did that, it just became a lot more natural for the point now, where that’s my favorite aspect of going to any business event, is going, to is participating in networking events usually in the evening or just getting out and meeting people
Susan Bratton: Well it strikes me, you have told me that sometimes when you go these events you come home and you are just scribbling note after note after note about the things you have learned the little ideas and tid bits you have picked up and I agree with you that kind of forcing yourself and having a few outcomes and strategies for what you want to accomplish at any event will allow you to bring home those great ideas so thank you for that
Sean Cheyney: The other thing is that when you get back from the event is the follow up
Susan Bratton: yeah
Sean Cheyney: there are a couple of strategies that I use, I use LinkedIn very heavily
Susan Bratton: me too
Sean Cheyney: so every single business card and usually in the evening before I go to bed I jot a little note on the back of all the business cards, so that way when I get back I am able to send out a linked in invites to peple when I get back so I can have those people in my network but what I will also do, using linked in you can use that generic invite that just Id like to add you to my network or whatever the generic message is I like to write a personalized message, it takes a lot of time I always to allocate about half a day when I get back from these conference not only to scan in these business cards using card scan but also I take the time to get those out through linked in write those personal invitations and then for people I feel like I have a really good relationship with people I have spent a lot of time with I will also send them an invite through Facebook as well
Susan Bratton: exactly the ones you particularly want to know more on a more personal level
Sean Cheyney: exactly
Susan Bratton: that’s good
Sean Chaney: I think with face book at the very beginning , I wasn’t as I was just anybody ya know that I would just I wanted to connect with on face book but now I am very selective
Susan Bratton: ah hah! Well we are gonna go to a break to thank our sponsors and when we come back we wanna talk about cold calling criminology and sushi so stay tuned and We’ll thank our DishyMix sponsors who enable us to have this fun together today, and we will talk to you when we get back we are with Sean Cheyney VP of marketing and business development for Accuquote.com
Susan Bratton: We’re Back! And I’m your host Susan Bratton thanks for staying with us on the second half of the show we are gonna talk about some fun, more fun things with Sean, so Sean I just have this funny little thing I need to ask I noticed that in reading your bio that part of your degree was in criminology what is the business world like what is the digital media and marketing world like as compared to criminology, is there any similarity?
Sean Cheyney: Sometimes in the business area I feel like the background that I had in criminology helps me sniff out and avoid danger in this industry, but its sort of interesting , I got into that I chose that as a major where I went to school at UC Irvine because when I was a senior in high school I took a business law class and I loved it and I absolutely loved the education part of it and figured hey that’s the route I want to go, I wanna be a lawyer this is this is just the direction that I want to end up, didn’t really have an idea why all I knew was that lawyers made a lot of money and that’s pretty much what drove me other than that I really had no idea but I knew I did like the education aspect.
Susan Bratton: Well you’re also very analytical and I think that probably appealed to you in that way, the same reason you like to do things like multivariate testing
Sean Cheyney: Yes, and that really tied in with the criminology with the degree that I had, because the degree, not only was it focused on and it had classes that were more geared towards people preparing people for law school but it also prepared people to go into an area where like the FBI for example where they were analyzing criminal behavior and that’s where the analytical my analytical aspects really came out and shined
Susan Bratton: So another question for you, you have given some advice to the industry , similar to your kind of networking thing you have also counseled on how to make an effective cold call because you originally came from sales and now your in marketing and everyone calls you and tries to get a piece of your budget would you give us not the basic 101 stuff but the really highly evolved like if we are already pretty good at making a cold call then we already know not to do the basic screw up stuff what’s the highest and best level at which we could work at to make a cold call in today’s world
Sean Cheyney: The key aspect here and its tough if your making just a large volume of calls, but what I can tell you is that the people that call me that know about, know a little bit about me, know a little bit about what the type of marketing efforts we are doing here at accuquote and have done their homework, if they call me and they and its very clear with in the first 30 seconds that they have done a little bit of homework it doesn’t matter what they are selling what theyre pitching even if its something I have absolutely no interest in I am gonna listen
Susan Bratton: Ok
Sean Cheyney: because they have taken the time and I know what its like to be a sales person and have to make those calls and having that you know fear of rejection and going through that and if somebody has taken the time to do their homework the likelyhood that I am actually going to buy something from them or engage in a business relationship goes through the roof that’s probably the biggest elements that gets somebody two minutes into a conversation versus the conversation being over in 30 seconds
Susan Bratton: So it really is just doing your homework
Sean Cheyney: Its doing your homework and the thing is you said lets not do the 101 but its very surprising out of a hundred cold calls I get usually only about 5 have done their homework
Susan Bratton: got it, ok so it is 101 is 201 is 301 do your homework figure it out
Sean Cheyney: exactly
Susan Bratton: So another thing that I asked you about was the book you most recommend to friends you’re an avid reader, Im an avid reader we are always comparing books and I wanted to make sure that I got that in this segment because I always like your book recommendations I actually think that you should do a , you should blog about that frequently you told me that the book that you read every 3-4 months you read it over and over is a book by Jim Stovell called The Ultimate Gift, I actually haven’t read that book what’s the take away on that book for us
Sean Cheyney: The great thing and the premise of this book is that it really helps you with your outlook with your outlook on life and how you deal with different people and deal with different situations its funny I was turned on to this book about 7-8 years ago right after it came out and actually a year ago it was turned into a movie as well,
Susan Bratton: Really?
Sean Cheyney: The movies is not even close to as good as the book is
Susan Bratton: Never are
Sean Cheyney: But the book is such an easy read, its only about I think around 120 pages, very easy usually I am able to get it completely read in a plane flight from Chicago to New York. SO its an easy read, but the premise is, sort of the basic plot is , there is a very wealthy man, sort of think of a think of a Bill Gates type, someone who has really built up his fortune and he has done it in cattle and oil and then he sort of expanded his tentacles in other areas, and he’s not only was a wealthy man he was very philanthropy driven and just a good person, but what he did for his family, when he started building his family he provided everything for them so they didn’t have the joys in life of working hard and all these other things that , that most of us either take for granted or have had the fortune to really take joy out of. And he finds one of his family members, he decides, you know he dies and he leaves his last will and testament everybody is sort of rubbing their hands in the room as the will is being read and they are getting excited and they are sort of being put in their place one person at a time and at the very end there is one person left in the room and I believe it is his great nephew and he is saying Great what do I get, I don’t get anything this old windbag didn’t like me that sort of stuff, and what ends up happening is on a month to month basis the grandfather who or the great uncle who had died had left a video sort of a video learning series in terms of lessons to say here is a lesson youre gonna have to do, here is a journey I am going to take you on and you’re gonna learn all these different gifts so one of them is the gift of friendship, one of them is the gift of hard work, gift of learning, all these different gifts, and there are 12 of them that he ends up leaving and by the end of this 12 month period, this boy, this great nephew is completely transformed as a person and I take something out of it, something new out of it every single time I read it depending on whats happening in my life.
Susan Bratton: Well it sounds like its almost a refresher course on how to be a human
Sean Cheyney: It is, and it is absolutely fantastic, and everybody that I have recommended it to that’s read this book loved it, in fact our CEO was so impressed by this book that he gave it to his wife, his wife read it, both, all 3 of his kids read it, and they range anywhere from age 13 to 19, they have read the book, he actually bought hundreds of these books and he just hands them out to people when they come in here into the office, my wife loves the book so much that she read this book chapter by chapter to her 5th grade class as a teacher, she read that and did a whole section on this book and the different gifts but so many people have read this and been effected in many different ways.
Susan Bratton: Well you mentioned getting to know people better, and one of the reasons you liked The Ultimate Gift was that it helped you get to know yourself and others better and kind of what their value systems where. You recently did something you told me about, you took, you and the rest of the people in your organization at Accuquote took a survey a behavioral survey to understand yourselves and each other better to create a better working environment. I think its called DISC right? D I S C?
Sean Cheyney: That’s correct!
Susan Bratton: Yeah
Sean Cheyney: That’s correct, its something here that we are using at Accuquote we just started using, we have seen it out there quite a bit but what it allows you to do is, it tells you a lot about your communication traits and just your behavioral traits in general and it breaks it into 4 different categories, the D the I the S and the C and with that taking the test and getting your results back is one thing, but then it’s a matter of what you do with it afterwards. So we have training set up here where we go through and we learn first of all a little bit about what our results mean, after that, we learn how to communicate with people who are high in the different traits other than ourselves. As well as how to communicate with people that are like ourselves as well. But the real key to the DISC training is learning how to communicate better, and really focus on getting the most out of everybody that you’re working with.
Susan Bratton: So what I think was interesting about this DISC survey was that it measured 4 things: How you respond to problems and challenges, how you influence others to your point of view, how you respond to the pace of the environment, and how you respond to rules and procedures set by others. What I thought was interesting about that, is that when you think about this like how do you respond to problems and challenges you can think about Oh My God there’s some people that are always whining about that, or how you influence others you can think about the bullies or the people who go around behind your back, how you respond to the pace of the environment you can think about those people who are never getting their stuff done on time. And how you respond to rules and procedures set by others you can think about those people who break the rules all the time. And so I think its so funny that there are , you know there are, you KNOW who the people are who break the rules, follow these rules, how they manage these rules and they are, what I liked about this whole DISC thing, was that they really are the things that drive , that when people do them differently then how you do them it really irks you!
Sean Cheyney: Exactly! And what’s interesting is that it also helps you figure out if the people on your team are really in the right job. For example, I was very happy to see that for instance my marketing analyst, who you know that’s a job that has to be very analytical , her highest trait in this was the C trait, which is really the analytical trait. So I looked at that and said Ok, she is really in the right position for her. And then most of the people on our Senior Management team are high, and like myself are high on the D trait which is really the lets get it done, visionary, leadership, that sort of, you know those sorts of traits. So it was interesting to see where, where you would logically think people would be, and then also see some of the surprises as well.
Susan Bratton: Well, its really neat to be able to have, this level of behavioral study done in an organization. Do you know if there is anything for people who don’t have a CEO who buys these kinds of packages for their organizations, is there anything good? Like I was thinking Strength Finder 2.0 that really good book, we talk about that a lot on the show where you can know your own strengths, it might be fun to do that with your team, so that each of you understands what your strengths are? Are there other freebie things out there?
Sean Cheyney: There are a lot of these different things out there
Susan Bratton: Yeah
Sean Cheyney: I know that a couple of people on my team had said at prior jobs or in school, they had done the Meyer Briggs stuff
Susan Bratton: Yeah, that’s really common
Sean Cheyney: The DISC is really based on, a lot of these things are based off of Meyers Briggs,
Susan Bratton: Yeah
Sean Cheyney: in fact I just took a different one a different test called Personalasyst
Susan Bratton: Ooh that sounds like fun!
Sean Cheyney: That’s actually administered by our Radio agency, they use that for their employees, so we went up there for a meeting and they said hey you know we have used DISC for years we would love to see what your Personalasyst tells us as well, so they sent that to me, and I was able to take that online so that was really interesting as well.
Susan Bratton: I love all that stuff
Sean Cheyney: So do I, I mean anytime I get the opportunity to gain a little bit more insight about myself, or see if I can improve the way others view me as well
Susan Bratton: Yeah
Sean Cheyney: But also to look at other peoples results and see how I can better relate with them or ways that I can improve their performance or better collaborate.
Susan Bratton: This one is a funny one, you know I’m a Californian Sean, so you know, that I do kooky stuff. I just did a really fun one that is kind of in this realm but on like the Californian version. I was at Burning Man, and I went to this event where you take a journey with a Shaman to find your Spirit Animal, and you have, theres drumming and they wave the sage, and you are kind in this little tent area with like 20 people and you all go on this journey together. And its really a visualization you know, we’re not smoking peyote or anything like that, actually someone said you don’t smoke peyote to me recently, I was like I don’t know! Apparently you eat peyote, I did neither, but I went on this journey which was just a visualization in your own mind where you go down through a hole into the earth , go underground, and you kind of look around and if animals come to you, you see what these animals are and you ask them if they might be your spirit animal. And you know its built on a lot of indigenous culture wisdom, Native American wisdom and things like that where certain people will have an animal that represents them through their life. Other animals can come and go in your life to help teach you things or to give you support and strength. And it was really fun, because I found 3 animals in my journey. The first one was a Coyotamundie kind of like a ring tailed lemur, their Mexican, originally from Mexico and they’re really good at scaling cliff walls. And then I was in my little underground cave and I saw a donkey, and so he was there to support me in what I am doing now, and then I saw a little Carpenter Ant, and it so its fun to learn, I learned that the ant actually means to have patience its an animal that helps give you patience which I can definitely use because I am a very impatient person. But it was fun to do that too, I mean I would like to do Personalasyst, the DISC test, take a Shaman journey, whatever it is, I think its always fun to have a new lens to consider your behavior and how it effects others, and how you can work to be a better person.
Sean Cheyney: Absolutely there’s certain areas, that, even though I am a big advocate of focusing and building your strengths which is what a lot of these tests really help you with
Susan Bratton: Yeah
Sean Cheyney: They identify your strengths, because you want to spend a lot of time building on your strengths
Susan Bratton: Yes
Sean Cheyney: A lot of people say, Oh you always want to, you hear this all the time growing up, you wanna work on your weaknesses, work on your weaknesses
Susan Bratton: Yeah, that’s gone by the wayside
Sean Cheyney: You end up, if you end up doing that, your never going to develop your strengths
Susan Bratton: I agree
Sean Cheyney: Which is a waste. So while there are certain weaknesses you want to approve on
Susan Bratton: Sure
Sean Cheyney: You want to focus the majority of your time on building your strengths, so I know when I first got into marketing for example I was building my strengths I was learning everything I could about the industry I found, the first website I built was a 3 page website, and the conversion rate was through the roof and I was running it through an affiliate program and all the affiliates wanted to run it because the response rate was so good, they were making a killing on it. So you know, I was looking at that and saying ok I have some copyrighting skills so I’d like to study as much as I can to build that up, but at the same time I also knew I was very impatient and others were viewing me as arrogant, pushy, and really kind of an ass sometimes, and you know the more I looked back at it I said yeah, I really was an ass I didn’t understand how to communicate with different styles and I was sort of imposing my will versus collaborating, explaining why something has to be done, but still conveying it in the manner that things need to be done quickly
Susan Bratton: Well I think you’re that person who loves to take initiative and get a million things done, and I think its not that you’re an ass, its just that you’re working on all 8 cylinders, maybe 12 cylinders, you might be the jaguar, maybe that’s your spirit animal!
Sean Cheyney: You know, I am really lucky, that I have, that I am complimented on my team by people who are very organized
Susan Bratton: Oh yeah
Sean Cheyney: And while I am able to do the strategic thinking, and I am able to do the development of plans, that I have people to rely on to execute
Susan Bratton: Absolutely
Sean Cheyney: Because otherwise their just, I have so many balls all going at the same time
Susan Bratton: You do
Sean Cheyney: That you know, you spin, you know you see the guy spinning the plates , and he spins one plate, and he spins the others and then by the time he’d one spinning, the other one, the first one is about to fall. And if I didn’t have a very solid team here at Accuquote, working on the marketing team I would be in big trouble.
Susan Bratton: Well, you’re doing a lot of fun projects. We have to wrap up, and here’s what I want you to leave everyone with, you do the sweetest date night with your wife, and I think every guy who is listening and probably if you are a woman and you are listening you could do this for your partner as well. Sean, tell us the story about how you do this fun date night with your wife.
Sean Cheyney: Sure, one of the things, especially since we have had kids. Where we live we are about an hour away from our In Laws, and we really don’t have a good support network within lets say a 5 mile radius of us, of people who can watch the kids. And our kids are real young, our son is 3 and a half and our daughter is a year and a half. And so we realized that if we are gonna have dates, which is still vitally important, I still look at it and I say I am still dating my wife. Its so important to have those dates and still have that connection, versus just being 100% wrapped into the kids. And so my wife and I really enjoy sushi, we don’t get to do it, we don’t get to have it as often because its pricey and we don’t really have great sushi places that are extremely close to us. We have to drive out about 30 minutes. But usually once a quarter we’ll go, and there’s a really good Asian market and fortunately our neighbor goes to this Asian Market usually once every month or two so we try to catch, we try to have this on a day she is going down there, and we’ll order a giant platter of sushi, we just did this, this weekend. So we’ll go out and do that, and we’ll get a giant platter of sushi and we’ll pick up a couple of good bottles of wine some good pairings, like an Oregon Pinot Gris, or a dry Gerberstermeiner for some of the spicier sushi. And we’ll pick that up and then we’ll go somewhere like Bakers Square and get a pie. And we’ll have our date night at home. So you know, I’ll take out the linen cloth and put that over the table, and have candles, usually we’ll sit down and play scrabble. And you know for 3 or 4 hours we’ll just have a really nice night together. And that’s sort of been our staple thing now that we’ll do once a quarter, and its an absolute blast. And both of us look forward to it. And its just something that we’re able to do, we can say hey we had a really nice date. We can drink, we don’t have to worry about driving , we’re already at home, we just have to stumble up the stairs. And its just a nice thing to do, something we really enjoy doing.
Susan Bratton: Its so funny, I must just like that story. Because that’s exactly what Tim and I do, we love to have dinner, drink a bottle of wine, or maybe martinis, we do like our martini’s! And we like to try to kick each others ass in Scrabble. I mean, we’re SO COM PE TIVE! And what’s interesting is we’re very well matched. We have totally different Scrabble strategies, but sometimes I win, sometimes he wins and its always a crapshoot, we never know. And so we, you know for the last 17 years we have been playing
Scrabble like a couple of old ladies, but we do it with our martinis. I love it!
Sean Cheyney: I have to say my wife is a little bit better than me at Scrabble. But we do the same thing we have always played Scrabble., We went to the Cayman Islands for 10 days and we took the Scrabble set down there with us
Susan Bratton: Its addictive!
Sean Cheyney: And we were out there having drinks down by the pool and smoking cigars late at night, and its funny my wife is alittle bit better than me at Scrabble, and she is ultra competitive at Scrabble, it was funny, she loves to tell people this, but I will tell you as well, that when she was in labor with our son and she was on the, they had given her the epidural already and she was in there in the room and she was waiting to dilate more and she’s on the epidural totally drugged up and she still beat me at Scrabble
Susan Bratton: I love that you were playing Scrabble while your son was being born!
Sean Cheyney: Yeah
Susan Bratton: That is great, I know, we have got like 5 copies, Travel Scrabble, the whole works. So maybe we will have incited somebody to drag their board out, get out the cocktail shaker, and have some fun with their partner, enjoy some sushi while they do it, because that is what life is all about! So I have had a great time talking to you today. Thanks for sharing both the wisdom of your experience in your business world as well as the marketing work that you do and a little bit about who you are as a person, a great person at that.
Sean Cheyney: Thanks Susan
Susan Bratton: Yeah, its been really fun Sean. Thank you so much and for all of you who have listened today Thank you for tuning in to Dishy Mix Thanks for supporting my sponsors, thanks for being here with us I hope we had a fun and entertaining little bit of time with you today, So I hope I will see you next week. And I am your host Susan Bratton, and it has been my pleasure to be with you today. Take care.