Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Ryan Freeze.
About the interviewee
I’m Ryan Freeze and I love challenges and creating solutions. Having been doing this web stuff since 1995, I have been exposed to a lot of different business models.
My focus today is changing how customers relate to retail environments and leveling the playing field for small business operators and the national brands who take the human element out of the transaction.
You can find me at various conferences and events. I participate in workshops, panels, seminars, and sometimes I just like to talk over a single malt whiskey. I’m either a board member, managing partner, or otherwise involved in a number of exciting businesses looking to disrupt consumer relations for good.
Spheres of influence:
Financial Services, Property & Casualty Insurance, Loan Products, Retail Products, and Merchant Services.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
I am currently involved in several organizations from pre-beta startups, first round capitalization startups, and established companies spanning over 30 years of operation.
The startup groups that I’m involved in have a lean staff of dedicated employees while the financial services organization that I work with has over 300 employees.
I am headquartered in Atlanta with offices in Orlando, Boston, and Hartford Connecticut.
My primary focus has been in the financial services space including money services, check cashing, debit cards, and property & casualty insurance.
Tell us a great story on creatively reach a business decision maker.
In 2000 I had the idea of helping people buy auto insurance while at car dealerships. It’d help car dealers keep people on the lot and provide the required coverage to drive off. Through a lot of digging around I was able to get contact information for the Lead Underwriter of a national insurance company who spends over $1B annually on advertising. I was then able to get contact information for the CEO of the nation’s largest used-car retailer.
I was 19 years old at the time and contacted both of these key individuals through a cold call. I was very surprised to not only get through to them both but that I was granted the ability to make a pitch. I discussed a solution in which anyone who needed car insurance could simply pick up a dedicated phone with suggestive imagery on it to purchase instantly. This would allow more cars to be sold and less people to leave in search of auto insurance rates and never return.
What mistake do businesses make when it comes to trying to reach decision makers?
I think the biggest mistake is allowing fear to dictate your move. Questioning your ability and value prior to even making the attempt is doomed from the start. If you don’t see value in what you’re offering no one will. Be confident enough to reach out to key people but also fearless of failure.
Why do you think such creativity is so important when it comes to dealing with decision makers today?
Contact information is more readily available now, unless people take strides to keep it hidden, and therefore more and more pitches are being made. You have to be uniquely poised, strike an intriguing vein, and confidently express your value. You can’t use the standard approach or you’ll receive the standard response and high level decision makers don’t pull the trigger on anything standard especially when its coming from the outside.