Dominate the Streets: Greg Star, Founding Partner of Carvertise
Greg Star, Co-Founder of Carvertise joins us today on Real-World Branding. He is more than 6 years into his entrepreneurial journey with an advertising company that enables companies to advertise on the private commuter’s vehicle. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a rating!
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Bill: Greetings one and all, this is Real World Branding, I’m Bill Gullan, president of Finch Brands, a premiere boutique brand consultancy. Thank you for joining us. We had a little, little hiatus, not a long one. It was Memorial Day and other things, but we’re back on track now and I’m excited to bring you Greg Star who’s the co-founder of Carvertise, today.
Bill: So, Greg will walk you through all of it, but an interesting story, one of the reasons why we invited Greg, I don’t know, I’m sucker for ideas that kind of combine the old and the new, I guess, or do something that’s old in new ways. And we’ll let Greg tell you about it, but Carvertise is basically a platform for on car advertising.
Bill: But spoiler alert, it’s not your out of home of old, it’s a different system that takes advantage of the new economy, the gig economy, Uber, Lyft and ride sharing, et cetera, to create an option that is very compelling for advertisers of various types, and Greg also has an entrepreneurial story about the founding of the business, the naming of the business, and et cetera. So enjoy Greg Star from Carvertise.
Bill: It is our distinct pleasure to welcome Greg Star, who’s the co-founder of Carvertise, to Finch Brands HQ. We’re grateful for your time, thanks for coming.
Greg: Thanks for having me.
Bill: So, let’s start where we normally do, which is a little bit about your own journey, we’re certainly going to get into Carvertise and how it was named, how it operates, what it means both for advertisers and for drivers, it’s an interesting concept and I think what drew it to us was, in some ways there are traditional elements but it’s turning traditional out of home, et cetera on its head. Can’t wait to hear more about that. But what about your own story? How’d you become entrepreneurial inclined? What were sort of the main steps along the way for you?
Greg: Yeah, so I never thought I was entrepreneurially inclined, I always, I was a little different where I knew I wouldn’t be good for a corporate structure. So, part of that was no one would hire me, so that was the dirty secret of entrepreneurship a lot of the time.
Bill: Yeah, it helps make decisions or…
Greg: Well no one’s going to hire me, so I might as well do something of my own. But no, you know, I’m from New York and a big kind of thing that happened when I was younger was my mother lost her job, it was during the great recession and so I always wanted to kind of be in a position where I could help people have income and earn money and provide opportunity.
Greg: And when I was in college, I studied economics of all things, and I met my partner Mac and he was just, we knew each other from a game of Super Smash Brothers, for young folks at the time. It was big back in college. And he came to my class, I think, a couple days after, he was presenting this idea about putting ads on cars and paying people, and I was like, how is this not thing yet?
Greg: So, just decided, went up to him after class since we knew each other. I was like hey, I’d love to help out any way I can and we just started going at it and I kind of knew this was something I wanted to do because I couldn’t think of anything else. Everything I did was in the context of oh, what if we put an ad on this car? What if this person got some big money for this?
Bill: Can’t stop thinking about it, that’s probably a sign of something, right?
Greg: Yeah, that’s what I tell people, like if you want to start a company. Usually it’s like, you just have to be obsessed about it, get to the point of, you can’t do anything else but do this. Like you’ve no choice. That’s how I kind of got started on this path.
Bill: So was he doing that for a class or was it kind of a side hustle or just something he was thinking about?
Greg: No, he was, Mac’s got an incredible story. He was thinking about it, like he had migraines and so he had to take a leave of absence from school, and like there’s just these binders of him just like, thinking about these thoughts of like, what if you put ads on cars? And it wasn’t something, it wasn’t like a snap of the fingers. It wasn’t like an oh, we should do this. It was like a gradual thought and so he would just like draw, and he’s an artist, so he would just draw ads and think about what it could be like and wrote notes. So that was his story, and we met, I met him about four or five months after that in college when he was back at school and doing better, so.
Bill: Yeah, well we, we’re working on a project related to migraine right now, and it can be very debilitating, but I think in his case it gave him the sort of room to be creative?
Greg: Yeah, yeah. Got to go low and then you go up, you know. Ups and downs.
Bill: So you’re a proud blue hen from Delaware.
Greg: Fighting blue hen.
Bill: Fighting blue hens, which I don’t associate blue hens with aggression necessarily, but sometimes it works. You did study economics undergrad, did you know business was the path, or did you, any sort of nuggets from the decision making about curriculum that may have led to where you ended up?
Greg: I say the best thing to happen to us is that we were just so naïve about this whole thing, like we just didn’t know how hard this could be, so all I was really thinking was like, ads on cars! There’s ads everywhere! Makes sense. And I had no idea what I was getting myself into which was I think the best thing to happen.
Greg: Another take away from college, I would say, with the economics stuff was the concept of opportunity costs where it’s like okay, how do you best spend your time? And that’s something that I think has helped, like that principle. So, you know, figuring out like what’s the best use of my day today? It’s very simple, but I think that helped.
Bill: So Carvertise, we’ll get into it. To your point, there are ads everywhere. And you know, we’ve seen, we meaning the royal we, have seen for many years all sorts of out of home advertising applications that, and speaking only for myself since some of these are kind of relics of a bygone age, at least the way that’s bought and sold, the inability to kind of track or understand, from billboards to some of the wraps that you see in transit systems and display in subways and all these other things that we in the advertising and marketing business are inundated with sales reps and you know, they kind of push.
Bill: What Carvertise does that I think is interesting is it, again the notion of sort of geography and what’s noticeable, which is an age old traditional way of looking at things. But this is for the new economy, this is for gig and side hustle, so. Your partner had the idea, talk a little bit about how Carvertise became a real going concern and that early sort of development process?
Greg: Yeah, so we started off by asking people who had, like part of what gave me confidence is I would talk to people who had driven wrapped cars before, and they would swear by it. They’d be like, this is the best investment I’ve made, I wrapped my car for my small business and everyone talks to me and everyone sees me around. So they were talking about how well it’s worked for them, and that was just like with one car.
Bill: That has a long history, I guess, of whether it’s retailers or small business people or pet groomers or whatever, they do their own wraps, their own vehicle. But to bring it into the sort of buyer and seller ad realm is an innovation.
Greg: Yeah, yeah. And so, there’s two sides. There’s the advertiser side and the driver side. On the advertiser side, it was talking to people who’ve been in wrapped cars, you look at U-Haul, right. U-Haul’s got the number one moving company, and they don’t advertise, they just have their trucks, right? They wrap cars, right, and they’ve built a national brand from that, right? You’ve never heard an ad or seen an ad for U-Haul on TV or radio. So there’s that.
Greg: There’s the idea that like, you know you look at where billboards and buses go, like billboards have a fixed inventory, right? They can only be in certain areas. Buses have a set route, right? But cars can go anywhere, right. Cars can go in the mainline, where maybe bus routes aren’t available and billboards aren’t available. Cars can go to the Jersey shore, when people are driving up and down during the summer. So there was that geographic targeting element.
Greg: And then what’s really taken off in the last two years is the rise of Uber and Lyft. You look at taxis and buses, those have been around for decades, and those have been reliable forms of advertising. Uber and Lyft is the next form of transportation, right. You go to a city now, and you’re not thinking to take a bus, your instinct is just to take an Uber and Lyft. So the same way you’re putting ads on taxis and buses, wouldn’t it be smart for brands to put ads on Uber and Lyft cars.
Greg: And by the way, everyone talks to their Uber Lyft driver. You get into a car, what’s going on, how long you been driving for? Now if there’s an ad on there, what’s this ad about? What’s going on? So, the power of the advertising medium, I think, it just stands out so much and it’s targeted and it’s different. So that’s what kind of always kept us going when we were like going through the tough years. We’re like, we know this works.
Greg: On the other side, the driver side, you know we started by handing out flyers to people, literally like-
Bill: Shoe leather. Old fashioned.
Greg: … just hand out flyers, get paid to put an ad on your car. We’ve evolved over time now where we, we’re getting about a hundred people a day signing up for us organically, who want to put an ad on their car. We have 400 thousand registered people across the country who have signed up for this now, so. And we love our drivers, I mean we met every driver in person the first two years. I spent my weekends with them getting their cars wrapped and building a culture, learning why they’re doing this. And also it was like a great sample for advertising, because I would ask them like, what ads do you remember? These aren’t people in the world, these are just everyday people. I had a lot of fun with that.
Bill: Yeah, I’ll bet. And you know, again a lot of effort and shoe leather, but the client list is impressive from higher ed institutions, Penn State and others to major consumer product brands like Crayola and Sprint. Pharma and healthcare, GSK, everything. Amazon and others, I mean, how, did they just get it? Are you shaking the tree? Are you hunting? I mean, how do you amass a client list like this with limited staff and an interesting idea but a lot of people competing for their time?
Greg: Yeah, so we started, and where a lot of companies, I think, make this mistake is they try to shoot the moon right off the bat. I have a new idea, this would be perfect for GEICO! Really.
Greg: So, we started with local and regional. Our first customer was a local self storage unit with three cars, right. And then our first, I would say our first real customer was ShopRite, a local Delaware ShopRite, and we got that by, after college like, we didn’t know anything. And this is, I will say, this is one thing we’re good at is, we’re really good at asking for help.
Greg: So after college, I asked, I wrote like an email to 25 different people in Delaware. I just literally searched people to know in Delaware. I looked at who was being quoted in the newspaper, I looked at who was on the board of UD, I looked at government officials, and I emailed all these people and one of them got back to me, he was the cabinet secretary for economic development.
Bill: For the state.
Greg: For the state. I’m just like, okay. Took a meeting, like whatever reason was like, you just need a customer. He was like, oh it’s a cool concept. He’s like, do you have any customers? Not really. He’s like, you need customers, so he made an introduction-
Bill: Profound, yes.
Greg: … yes. But I was like, wow. He made introduction to the local CEO of the Delaware ShopRite, who by the way, we have a really good relationship. He was like, seven years been doing this, he’s like the toughest negotiator I’ve ever met. And that was the first person I met with, I was terrified, but-
Bill: Oh yeah, sure. Thin margins in the grocery business.
Greg: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s. So, but I think because, call him Alan Levin, call him uncle Alan, made the intro. You know he’s like, okay we got to take this seriously. And so they gave us a pilot, but ShopRite was a name, you know? From ShopRite we got the United Way and then a local lawn care company. And then ShopRite again.
Greg: And then a big thing in Philly was getting Jefferson, we got Jefferson Health. And that was because, I mean it’s so funny how it works. That’s because my former college roommate’s uncle was the former CEO. And it was just like, okay. But like.
Bill: So a lot of networking and relationship development it sounds like. Thar’s a familiar story we hear. This is bootstrapped, we don’t have outside investors?
Greg: Yeah we raised like 175 thousand.
Bill: Okay so we have more angel or friends and family kind of thing?
Greg: Yeah, it was angel money. And I say the best thing to happen to us is we didn’t, we were trying to raise more money. We couldn’t raise more money, we raised this money and then within a month we spent like, all of it. And then we had to raise an additional 25 thousand just to stay afloat. And that was like four years ago now, so.
Bill: Right. So you’ve turned the corner but one other reflection back on the story, I mean the name Carvertise is fairly straightforward, it seems to me, but you said that there’s an interesting story there.
Greg: Yeah, we were called Penguin Ads when we first started, because penguins were cool. But we always thought the name initially was going to be Carvertise, right? Car advertise. So, you know, we needed the name but the problem was someone had the domain name Carvertise.com, so what do you do? I was like let’s just do Carvertise with a Z, Carvertise.net. Mac’s like no, my partner Mac. We got to get it. So this was like a six month process where we found the email of who has the domain name, started reaching out, sent fake aliases, we didn’t want them to know who we were.
Greg: Four months goes by, he answers with one line. The email address was gerbilworshipper9000, what? So answers back, $10,000, right? Which we were in college, we didn’t have $10 thousand dollars. Mac is so excited though he got an answer, he’s like, let’s do eight thousand, I’ll come see you tomorrow. We didn’t have eight thousand either, right. I’m just like, what? But he’s like, we need this domain name, so after that it goes cold again. And this was Good Friday, 2014, right. So five years ago now.
Greg: And Mac’s just going crazy, he’s like, I need this domain name. Like we can’t build a company because like in ten years from now, once this gets really big, we’re going to have to pay this guy a lot more. We need this. So he’s like, I’m going down there to see him. So we find out where he lives, looked at the value of his house, house was only worth like $110, $120 thousand dollars.
Bill: He needed the money.
Greg: So you would think, right? So that’s why it wasn’t adding up, because like, eight thousand for you know, it seems like he would need the money. So he’s like, I’m just going to go see this guy. He lives in Cary, North Carolina-
Bill: Great town, by the way. Not to redirect you, but.
Greg: … It is a great town, and I was like okay, but you should bring your mom with you, because like, it’s a little threatening you were just showing up at someone’s door but if you show up with your mom?
Bill: Yeah of course.
Greg: It’s a much, because his mom’s this like, lovely lady. She’s an art teacher. So, you know, I was working at the time, I was working a couple of part time jobs at that stage. And you know the drive down it’s like ten hours. Knock on this guy’s door eight pm, no one’s there, they’re like, okay, great. So they get coffee, they come back at around ten pm to try again, knock on the door, big guy answers, right? Six three, he’s like 250. Partner’s like hey, I’m Mac, we traveled all this way to see you.
Bill: This is my mom.
Greg: Love to get your domain name, talk about Carvertise and turns out, this guy made a fortune buying and selling domain names in the early ’90s.
Bill: Yeah, lot of people squatting and waiting.
Greg: All that. And he just lives a very humble lifestyle, like just likes to mountain bike and hang out and really nice guy. And there’s like, what ends up happening was, he’s like look, eight thousand, it’s whatever. Like ten thousand dollars doesn’t mean much to me, like I agree with you, I think this could be huge one day. And he’s like, look. I’ll give you the name but I want equity in the company.
Greg: So then a negotiation starts where you have Dave Butler, the guy who answered. You have Mac talking about okay, and then you have in the middle, Mac’s mom talking to Dave. They struck a friendship talking about pottery and art.
Greg: And so, it’s like three am at this point, and what ended up happening is Dave agreed to give us Carvertise.com, trademarked Carvertise and he wrote a fifty thousand dollar check that night for five percent of the company at the time. They just signed a piece of paper, hey Dave Butler gets 5%, sign it. And then that gave us the kind of jolt to kind of, to get going.
Bill: Yeah, I’ll bet. What a story. I guess, among other lessons is, get in your car and figure it out.
Greg: Yeah, I mean, I’ve thought about this a lot, because on one hand I say, you got to be a little crazy to do this kind of stuff, you got to be just a little bit irrational.
Bill: That’s an entrepreneurial tendency, it seems.
Greg: Yeah, yeah. Now the downside is you don’t want to take it too far, right?
Bill: Yeah. If the guy never showed up, or.
Greg: Yeah, you see that with like, Fyre Festival and all these like other, like people go way too far sometimes but you have to be a little irrational to do things, so. It’s just finding the right balance.
Bill: No doubt. So tell us about the model of, you talk about the driver side. The advertiser side I guess is fairly, to a degree straightforward. They have a desire for geographic sort of impressions in certain areas to your point reachable by car that might not be by other forms of transit or other outdoor techniques.
Bill: Talk about the driver side, I mean you mentioned Uber and I know Lyft is a client. Is there something about the gig economy, is there something about this moment that enables Carvertise to work that maybe it wouldn’t have had four years ago?
Greg: Yeah, I think. So yeah, I think that out of home is growing in itself, so the industry is growing which is really helpful. I’d say people are looking for more trackability than they used to, right, so we’re able to provide analytics on how many miles, how many impressions, the routes, things like that. Heat maps. So there’s that aspect.
Greg: But I think the brand of Uber Lyft, right. Everyone knows what it is, so the idea of just placing ads on them is a very simple concept, and so the first-
Bill: Are most of your drivers also ridesharing drivers?
Greg: … it’s like about 60-40, I would say.
Bill: There’s no user agreement issues with Uber and Lyft about what else you can put on your vehicle or is there anything you have to navigate there?
Greg: No I mean it’s their own car, right. They’re contractors, so it’s kind of up to them and-
Bill: Easy to find for someone who is never able to find my Uber driver or vice versa? There’s no way to say it. I’m the one with the-
Greg: … That is a common talking point we hear. Like just come right here, I’m the one with this on it. But yeah, so we offer like … the way it works is let’s say you’re a company like, let’s say you’re a local tourism group or college and you’re like hey I want to advertise in D.C. We’d say okay, we recommend 15 Uber and Lyft drivers, driving full time around there. If they wanted to target a county, like Prince George county or an outer place, we’d recommend what we call on the go drivers. These are people that are, if you ever like, I use the example like, there was always this mom, my friend’s mom, who just drove everyone everywhere. Always at the school, always out and about. And that’s the kind of on the go driver. So if you want to target a county or a specific zip code, use on the go driver, the community ambassador. If you’re looking to target a city, we recommend the rideshare drivers who are out there just driving all day.
Bill: So you have different designations of drivers, beyond just a geography, there’re sort of different routes they take, how frequently they’re in the car, what they’re doing when they’re in the car. So drivers, it sounds like in many cases at least, this fits into just what they’re doing daily. You’re not sending them out to circle.
Greg: No, no. We find people that are already driving, already living their life, but they just, they spend a ton of time in the car. Everyone who’s on 76 is like, yeah I would love to get paid for this, right? And then we match them with brands they like and support. So that’s the whole idea, right. And we do this thing with colleges which is really cool where we’ll get students at the college and alumni of the college, to get paid to wrap their cars for the school that they go to, right, that’s pretty cool. We’ll get.
Greg: So we try to find an alignment of people who can really start. We want these people like, being proud they’re doing this, and referring it. That’s the golden ticket if you can get like, because most businesses get, especially the smaller ones, it’s the referrals that people choose to use them for. So if you can get people referring your product because you’ve wrapped their car. That’s what we try to shoot for.
Bill: Yeah, and so how does the wrap process work? So if I’m a driver, I sign up, and you have a campaign for EA Sports or something like that. I’m down with that, it’s good for me, it doesn’t conflict with my values. I love to talk about video games. I’m in. What do I do next, tell me how it works.
Greg: Yeah so we go through an interview process, we have to make sure you’re going to be a good representative for the brand, you have to go through a background check. And then, sorry. And then car has to be in recent model condition, can’t have any scratches or dents. Once you get through that vetting process, then you show up to a wrap appointment. And if it’s in Philadelphia, DMA, it’s one that’s in Delaware we have a whole facility where we wrap all the cars on site. If you’re in like, Chicago-
Bill: You guys do the wrap? Or a partner?
Greg: … we do the printing and the wrapping when we’re here in Philly. If you want to do something in Chicago, we print it here and ship it to one of our, we have wrap partners across the country who wrap the cars there. So you show up there, download the app, usually you’re given information that you can hand out and then the hardest part is just showing up and getting wrapped and then you’re just doing your thing.
Bill: So the driver actually has information in case he or she goes to lunch and someone asks them before they step out of the car.
Bill: The drivers have to be comfortable with a little bit of interpersonal?
Greg: Well you know, the type of person that signs up for this, this is from talking to these two hours, two years every weekend meeting our drivers. But like, you’re usually pretty extroverted, right. If you’re going to put an ad on your car and grab attention, like you’re the type of person that likes talking to people and likes attention, so. That’s kind of organically kind of been weeded out where, you know. Yeah, you do talk to people. But that’s the whole point, to get attention.
Bill: Yeah, you’re not going to say hey look at my car, like I’m a hermit. Don’t talk to me. Okay, and so, campaign’s over, how do we get the wrap off?
Greg: They go back to the wrap shop and it gets professionally taken off. And usually we’ll have another campaign for them that they can go into and switch up.
Bill: And I would imagine the no car damage, this is what, vinyl?
Greg: Yeah, it’s vinyl decal wrap. And that’s part of the screening process, really.
Bill: So it’s like a big FatHead.
Greg: A giant heated sticker’s on the car. And you can either wrap the entire car, or wrap just the sides and back window of the vehicle. But that goes through the screening process of like, hey, if your car’s been repainted there could be damage, so. You shouldn’t do this. Some people are like well I don’t care, so we’re like okay, that’s on you. But yeah, by and large it does not. Most cars qualify to not get damaged.
Bill: So if I had a lease, for example. I can still do it.
Greg: Yeah, you can still do it. My car’s leased, yeah.
Bill: Because it wouldn’t be, I wouldn’t expect there to be a significant issue.
Greg: No, we get a lot of drivers are leasing. And that’s actually a common question we get, if I have a lease, can I do it? Yeah, yeah.
Bill: I don’t know what percentage of overall vehicles are leased as opposed to bought but it’s got to be pretty high.
Greg: Yeah. So we haven’t had any issues with leasing and so yeah.
Bill: And approximate, according to the site, if you’re doing a campaign it’s about a hundred bucks you get a month? For driving?
Greg: A hundred bucks a month is like the base and then there’s offer money for like going to events and stuff, so if there’s like an Eagles game and people want cars driving around it, we offer incentives for you to do that. If there’s, we have like an event platform. People could earn like five to six hundred dollar a month where, if you’re a rideshare driver, we station you outside of a conference and you pick up people that are going to and from the conference.
Greg: So you’re supposed to only work specific hours in certain places, so you could earn more money there. But yeah that’s the base is a hundred dollars a month, plus some bonuses here and there.
Bill: Just to have your car wrapped and do your normal thing?
Greg: Oh yeah, just to hang out.
Bill: And it scales up from there. I mean, how much, I know the answers both, but when you think about sort of your time and the challenges and talk about opportunity cost, how much of your effort and the companies’ effort is sort of driver recruitment versus brand selling?
Greg: That’s a good question that we’re actually trying to figure out now, so we just brought on a whole sales team, people across the country.
Bill: They are brand focused and they’re…
Greg: They’re brand focused, yeah. And we have, you know, we’re working on the metrics of okay, how many drivers can one person handle? So we’re in the process of figuring all that out, but you know. It took us like five years to figure this out, like a lot of people are like, sometimes we’ll go to clients and they’ll be like, why can’t I just wrap the cars? And the first answer is, good luck. The second answer is, insurance and legal and all the other infrastructure we built.
Greg: But yeah, this is, you know the industry of wrapping cars, they’re used to doing it very slowly and very tailored. We’re trying to make it like a factory, where we want to be able to wrap like a hundred cars a day. So, we’ve had to kind of really push to change our whole operational infrastructure to fit this. Technology helps though, right? This is where, twenty years ago, instead of writing letters to people, you send emails, you send texts, you organize and so. That’s been a challenge, but we’ve managed to get that under control.
Bill: Right, right. You know, only share obviously what you’re allowed to, but beyond this core platform which you’re working to perfect, you’re expanding it geographically, you’re obviously trying to pour some gas on the selling effort too, what are some of the major things that are on your agenda at this point? Just growth within this sort of linear service or? What are you guys really focused on?
Greg: Yeah I think it’s managing growth, it’s being, like I still sell, right? Like I always try to be attuned to what the customer wants, so I like having that ear to the ground, so I think it’s just, adding a digital retargeting option inside the cars is something we’re looking at. So we’re always looking at new things that can help. The mindset is like how do we make this have the most impact as possible, so I think what I focus on is product development right, how do we get our cars’ best drivers driving more, referring more. Adding a digital element.
Bill: To your point, taxis have done some things on the interior that’s rideshare audience, yeah.
Greg: That’s something we’re looking into, yeah. And then it’s just, managing growth, I would say. And just, I try to just be really nice to everyone and make everyone smile. That’s a lot of it too.
Bill: Excellent. We’re all smiling here. I know you’re, in terms of the, hopefully the sundial of your life, you’re still on the early side of it at least career wise and along the way though, any sort of nuggets that you’ve picked up that have been instrumental in what you guys have built and are building here?
Greg: Yeah, I’d say going back to just like, asking for help is a really, and I would say if you look at it like it’s a skill and not like you’re annoying somebody, you kind of, you would be more inclined to do it. And I’ve also noticed the more you ask people for help, the more they actually want to help. It’s like weird right? Like I’m bugging them. It doesn’t work like that for whatever reason, so.
Greg: I just try to, I would say if there’s just one thing to take away, it’s to be really aggressive and you know, politely aggressive but like, think about people you want to meet or you want to be around and like just seriously just ask and usually, the people that you’re looking to ask have done the same thing in the past, so. When they see someone asking for help, they recognize it as like oh, like I’m happy, like I’d love to.
Bill: So there’s a decent kind of pay it forward hit rate on something like that.
Greg: Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah. Definitely.
Bill: People in whose presence you find value are likely those who scrap their way into these types of networks themselves.
Greg: Yeah, yeah, so I would say that’s. It’s not that hard to do. I still do it like once or twice a week I’m reaching out to someone random and explaining my story and asking to meet, so.
Bill: Does the sales piece come naturally to you, is that just how you’re wired or has there been some process to get comfortable? You talk about reframing the networking request from ooh I don’t want to bug this person to more, I really want to give someone an opportunity to pay it forward. I want to give them an opportunity to meet someone interesting and help propel someone. And if you frame it differently, your mindset changes and your energy level probably reacts or adapts to that. What about on the sales side, is it something that’s native?
Greg: So, I love sales. Now I do. Growing up, you’d hear sales is a dirty word.
Bill: Someone walks to your door and it’s like ugh.
Bill: Or the phone rings.
Greg: Yeah. So, and I never thought, I was always good at having conversations with people and just like hanging out and I’d find my ways in these long conversations sometimes. And I always thought that Mac, like Mac is very charismatic, he’s a big personality. I was like okay, Mac’s going to be the salesperson, I’ll be more behind the scenes doing operations. It’s been totally reversed.
Greg: And so, I think from the sales point, I look at it more of like, I just try to help people solve problems and I just try to have conversations with people. The more I like, I realize like everyone’s in sales, all the time. And if you change your mindset of it’s a dirty word to like, everyone’s selling everything. It’s just, whether they’re selling a product, a vision. And I’ve really embraced that.
Greg: Like I say the best salesperson I’ve ever seen is Bill Gates. No one has any idea he’s selling, but he is. Like Microsoft. It’s like, you just think it’s like oh, Bill Gates does it.
Bill: Sure, sure. You know it’s true. I mean accidental, he’s not selling in the sense that he’s managing a prospect list or whatever, but everything you do, like you say. Everybody’s in sales.
Greg: He’s calmly explaining why you should donate to his philanthropy and calmly explaining why you needed a computer system that could handle. And you’re just, yeah. So. I’ve come to enjoy that aspect and look at it like i just try to hang out with people and see if I can help and go from there. It helps not being desperate though too. Like the early years, we needed a sale, I was not as good, because like I’m like okay we’re not going to make it next month unless I can sell something.
Bill: Right. Gives it an extra layer of yeah.
Greg: So like, patience and all that has helped also.
Bill: Yeah. You talk about your partner, Mac. The other co-founder and how you have different personalities. Do you have really clear divisions of labor with him or is it just kind of whatever needs to get done you go down the list and you divide roles? How clear is it functionally maybe what you do versus what he does?
Greg: It’s getting there. It’s getting there. So I’m more external relations sales marketing.
Bill: Podcast guest.
Greg: Yeah, although he does that too, but he’s, honestly he’s probably better than me at this kind of stuff, it’s just like-
Bill: That couldn’t be possible.
Greg: The way it’s worked out thought, for whatever reason, he’s kind of settled more into a backend role, although he’s still, like Mac can light up a crowd, so like I’d actually like to get him more out in front of people, talking about the vision. So we’ll see where it goes.
Greg: You know I think part of what makes us a good team is we’re pretty adaptable, so like if he needs, if we need to rearrange things. And Mac’s just like a force of nature. I mean like, he’s … loves this and he’s really, he’s relentless in making sure that the company’s moving forward and everyone’s on top of it.
Greg: So, we compliment each other in a really nice way. And there’s a healthy respect of understanding like, we just want to win, so that gets you through a lot of disagreements.
Bill: Well you’ve been through a lot together and with pretty cool future to come, Carvertise is certainly a company that is relevant to what we do and I’m sure many of our listeners too and it’s also a really fun entrepreneurial story that is still being written and I know you work every day writing those next chapters and gratefully you took a few minutes for us.
Greg: Oh yeah, this was great. Thank you so much.
Bill: Our thanks to Greg Star for his time. What a cool story and a neat guy and a company certainly on the rise, so I’m sure you’ll, next time you’re driving down whatever highway it is and a car goes by you that’s wrapped, but the person behind the wheel’s not wearing a uniform, doesn’t look like they necessarily work for the company, maybe Carvertise is what you’re seeing, so. Our thanks to Greg.
Bill: As always, three ways to support us here. I’m going to combine two of those ways into one, which is rate and review, please. Give us a rating, leave a review, iTunes or the podcast store of your choice. It really helps with no only feeling good about ourselves as well as learning from the feedback but it helps us get found I think by those who would find value in our content. And lastly, let’s keep the dialogue going, Twitter @billgullan, @finchbrands or other channels, whatever the case may be. But we’re grateful you’re all out there, hope everyone’s having a good beginning of the summer and we’ll sign off from the cradle of liberty.