This podcast interview focuses on product innovation to dramatically increase the productivity of sales people, and my guest is Mike Schneider, CEO and co-founder of First, a data science company that helps real estate agents win more business by focusing their time on the right relationships across their network.
Prior to starting First, Mike worked with a private equity firm working on pipeline deals and doing financial and market due diligence. It’s from working in this space that got Mike fascinated with the world of AI and Machine learning – which is exactly why he left the VC world, to start First.
Their claim “Fundamentally changing how service providers find their next customer”, triggered me, hence I invited Mike to my podcast.
We explore what’s required to differentiate in the world of Real Estate, and the reasons why top agents are missing two third of the deals from people they already know. From here we discuss what’s required to transform the impact agents can make and how the combo of intelligence augmentation and human connection make an unbeatable combination.
Here are some of his quotes:
“I became fascinated by this combination of vertically targeted software and machine learning platforms that could, you know, power previously unimaginable products.
The big idea here is that in this industry, an industry where most business over 75% of business comes through relational connection, we actually have the opportunity to target people’s outreach and their time.
So when you’re in a service business where you are, what I would call an undifferentiated service provider, your connections matter and your time is the most limited thing in terms of generating business.
And so, the big idea is that we actually know who is most likely to sell. Thanks to a lot of the models we’ve built. We also know that you, as a service provider, as a real estate agent, have an incredibly valuable asset in your network. And we know how likely those people are to work with you based on their relationship with you.
And so the combination of those two things means we can make your time 10 times more productive in terms of who you should be talking to today.”
During this interview, you will learn three things:
- That in order to formulate your V1 version it’s critical to do deep customer discovery, thereby looking beyond the known conventions and patterns. It’s not so much about what’s predictable, but more about what’s unpredictable
- Why providing all the answers to the problem with your product is often only half the solution; changing behavior is the other half – that’s where the real impact is made
- That creating a compelling vision is key to stay focused, stay on track and deliver impact – so much that it could lead to products so valuable that your customers don’t want to talk to anyone about it because it has become the secret to their success.
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