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Secret Word with Tryvge Olsen

Buzz Development Director at BizzyWeb, Trygve Olsen, shares the ultimate game of inside jokes. We learn more about eccentric trophies.

Find Tryvge on LinkedIn and check out BizzyWeb online.

Episode Transcript

Andrew Phelps: Today, my guest is Trygve Olsen the Buzz Development Director at BizzyWeb; a growth marketing agency in Minnesota. He's been selling for close to 15 years and managing a sales team for five. Trygve thank you so much for coming on the show.

Trygve Olsen: Well, thanks for having me. It's great to be here.

Andrew Phelps: So, Buzz Development Director. I think it's the first person I've had with that title on the show. Can you tell me a little bit about BizzyWeb and what growth marketing is?

Trygve Olsen: Sure. Well, we at BizzyWeb because we're busy bees. We tend to hit the bee puns a little hard, which is where the title comes from. But growth marketing is a concept of marketing for revenue's sake. So we don't just create digital campaigns for the sake of creating statistics that are ultimately meaningless to a small and medium-sized business owner. What we try and do is figure out with the business owners and the clients that we work with, what are the things that are really going to move the revenue needle for you? Is it awareness? Is it new product development? Is it just hardcore leads? You need leads, good leads, the Glengarry leads. Okay, great. Then how can we reverse engineer a plan to figure out what are those leads and how do we talk to them and how do we create campaigns to get them to be interested, to put up a hand? So, what we look for in our clients and our prospects are people who have an established business but are ready to take the next great leap forward in their revenue goals. Does that make sense?

Andrew Phelps: It absolutely does.

Trygve Olsen: Cool.

Andrew Phelps: And complex product like marketing prospecting is so important. And that's why we got you on the show today because.

Trygve Olsen: Yes.

Andrew Phelps: We have a game that's perfect for prospecting learning from one another and doing it all remote is. So when you told me about the game secret word, I had to have you on the show, can you tell our listeners all about it?

Trygve Olsen: Yeah, that's a favorite. So especially now in the pandemic where so many different people are working from home, I think that sales on the whole can just mean an incredibly lonely experience. You've got you; you've got a phone; you've got the internet and you've got a ticking clock and you've got a revenue goal. That's ticking clock going down and a revenue goal going up constantly and that's sort of the standard everybody is sort of coming into the game with. So you got to have some fun and there's got to be some remembrance that you are part of a team and you are part of a bigger thing. So at Busy Web, what we do is two things. Number one is we actually prospect together, so we make zoom calls and we open a zoom line. And then everybody comes with the calls that they're going to make today. And we do them together and we've listened and we go round robin. That provides a certain amount of value because you can get instant feedback from other people to say, hey, I liked what you did there. I like that turner phrase, I like this turner phrase, and you can get better quicker that way, if you can get some collaborative feedback, but one of the things that we do to pass the time and make it more interesting, especially when you're dealing with rejection is we play a game called secret words. So, you know, Andrew, you and I are on zoom together and it's your turn. So, okay. So, I'm going to give you your secret word somehow in the next cold call that you're going to make, you need to use the word key way and you have to contextually figure out how to do it. So, it doesn't sound weird. Yeah. You got to use the word key way and you got to keep making calls until you figure out a way to say key way in context of a call.

Andrew Phelps: So I love this idea so much because it's so simple and so small, but as the person who I know the whole entire team is listening to me, higher teams listening might call. I know I'm going to get feedback. Some of it probably negative, but it shifts my awareness from there listening to my performance on the skull to they're listening to the word key way and how cleverly I sneak it in there. And so, I think it's just a really simple trick to make me feel a little bit more at ease and a little more comfortable that my performance will be evaluated, but everybody's focusing on something fun and something that has nothing to do with high quality as a sales person.

Trygve Olsen: Yeah. I think the problem with sales is it's very much like being a baseball pitcher. You can end up being in your own head for a long time, if, especially with newer people, if you put this sort of game in place, and then all of a sudden, what they're trying to do is accomplish two goals, which is number one is to get a sit down. Number two is, oh, I have this other thing that I have to do. And it takes away from the stigma and the challenge of the first one. Being able to deal with rejection is a learned skill and until people get there, if you have something fun, you can say, oh, well, yeah, that guy was a jerk, but man, I said the word cornucopia twice. So yeah, I achieved something then you're building on success. And I think in any sales process, you're trying to build on success, sweat with as many small victories as possible. The big one obviously is, hey, can I have some money? And then can I perform a service or give you a widget? But it just helps along the way. And it makes it a lot more fun.

Andrew Phelps: So we got key way, we got cornucopia. What are some other secret word, favorite words you guys have used?

Trygve Olsen: I think sometimes you have to mention people. I once had to mention Joe Booth, the voodoo doll from major league on a call. I once had to say the word xylophone on a call. It's really just as crazy as you can think of it because you're trying to have fun with it, but you're also trying to stump the other person in a way that gets them to think more improvisationally, which I think is crucial in any sales promises is to be able to be fast on your .

Andrew Phelps: So who comes up with the word for the next call?

Trygve Olsen: Yep. So if you and I were on a call together and it would be your turn you would give me a secret word to say in my, and.

Andrew Phelps: Then as we go around the room with the team, you would choose for the next person and so on.

Trygve Olsen: Yep. So just kind of round robin. Steve Europe next year, your secret word is Greyhound; something like that. So it helps. I just think it's crucial to be able to have fun at work. I know that there's that older Carrie saying that nobody likes their job and there's a club that's called everybody and they meet at the bar at five. Well, now we don't even have the bar. So now we can't go to the bar. So we have to figure out a way to have fun.

Andrew Phelps: I love it. We know the importance of fun of work and the difference it makes in your day to day. Do you have any stories about when a client or a prospect caught on or was a little confused by the word?

Trygve Olsen: I think so. Yeah, there was, I once called on a home security company and I think the word in question was bumblebee. And so, I said it once in context, I don't remember what I said, but I said it twice just to be a showoff and to flex a little and at the end of the call, I said, and he obviously had no interest in talking to me whatsoever. So at the end of it, he said, why do you keep saying bumblebee? And I said, well, it's just, I just got bees on the brain today, you know? And he's like, well, don't okay. And I said this is great, we should do this again, and he goes, I really wish we shouldn't.

Andrew Phelps: I love that. Well, bumblebee fits in perfectly with all the bee puns at the BizzyWeb anyway.

Trygve Olsen: That's true. It does. We'd like to say that we generate buzz without getting stung at Busy Web. It's actually on the wall in the conference room at the office.

Andrew Phelps: That's great. So, I think there's a lot of satisfaction probably within each individual call here. As you play with your team, do you have a prize for sneaking the word in, or if you're able to do it two or three times, like if you're showing off.

Trygve Olsen: We do have a prize and that's the other thing that I would recommend. Are you familiar with the term MacGuffin?

Andrew Phelps: I'm not, no.

Trygve Olsen: So, MacGuffin is a term that Alfred Hitchcock created, well, I don't know if he created it, but that's where I heard about it was offered Hitchcock. And it was the thing that movies are based around and the thing itself, maybe it was George Lucas, but it was the thing itself doesn't necessarily matter as much as the chase of it and the pursuit of it. So, for instance, if you think about it, Indiana Jones is the same, basically the same form movies.
It's just a different thing that they're chasing. It's the Ark of the covenant. It's the rocks of, I don't remember the name, the holy grail, and then it's called [inaudible 9:42] in the fourth movie. It's basically the same movie, so, okay. So, the thing itself doesn't matter, but the important thing is chasing the acquisition of it. So for reasons I can honestly not remember for the last five years, the salesperson with the biggest victory of the year and it goes back and forth is a CD of the nineties classic breakfast at Tiffany's by the band, deep blue something. And you'll be surprised to know that they actually do have a whole album, but that's our MacGuffin. It's that, it's that thing. It's that trophy that is a little bit absurd, but it's everybody wants to have, because it's an achievement to have it and to keep it.

Andrew Phelps: I liked that a lot. We're into really weird prizes here because they create a unique experience in your culture.

Trygve Olsen: Yeah.

Andrew Phelps: They make you; they gave you something that only you guys can talk about, only you're.

Trygve Olsen: Yep.

Andrew Phelps: Bonded over and only you understand why it's important. Why you'd want that CD, especially while everybody's just streaming these days. It was probably.

Trygve Olsen: Yes.

Andrew Phelps: A very cool rise back when you guys started handing it around or maybe not.

Trygve Olsen: But I can honestly, not even tell you why we started doing it, but what what's happened now, in addition to everything else is, especially as we're talking about secret word is my sales staff has now quite as I sort of knows the lyrics. And so now they'll start busting out lyrics when they think they're really showing off and secret word. So they'll say something like, well, Andrew, I know you'll say we've got nothing in common and no common ground to start from, which is a lyric from the song. But now all of a sudden, we have this whole second layer of breakfast at Tiffany's references that we're busting out in cold calling.

So, from my standpoint, as the sales manager, when we do these group setting and we spend four hours a week doing it. So, two hours on Tuesday, two hours on Thursday, what we generally get from a productivity standpoint during those two hours is you usually get 60 to 70 calls because people are so excited, and they want to go next. They want the challenge. They want to have fun, they want it. It's bringing on, which is what you want out of your salespeople, but without all the machismo that goes along with it. And so, all of a sudden now, because of these two relatively simple things, we have high production because of it.

Andrew Phelps: I love the double layer. The inside jokes are so powerful again.

Trygve Olsen: Yes.

Andrew Phelps: How did that culture building, where your sales folks, you meet telling their friends and family about what they did at work and no one's going to get it?

Trygve Olsen: Right.

Andrew Phelps: And that's frustrating when you're the person telling the story, but it shows how powerful your culture is because it's just special to you guys. And that's where the best salespeople perform the highs. It is at a culture. They feel safe, valued, and like they're part of a special team.

Trygve Olsen: So, and I know your day job is helping create these games. And I think anybody who's listening should really take advantage of that and come up with ways because motivation is so hard to come by. And I think to really get people, to be passionate about something, you have to really dial into who they are as people. And I've got a crazy group that this Breakfast at Tiffany's things works. If you can keep people happy and keep people wanting to pick up the phone and make the next dial, then all of a sudden, you've really got something. And I think gamification is just crucial to say any company's success in this day and age, and not just something like who made the most calls, it's who's really going to go for that.

Andrew Phelps: I couldn't agree more. So, is this secret words that you play every time you do this Tuesdays and Thursdays?

Trygve Olsen: We generally do it once a week. It's generally the Thursday group. So, what I've found is during the week, what we have is when we have client meetings. So like we're doing onboarding, or we're talking about how to build a particular website, some random word will come up, like Cedar chest. And you can just see one of the salespeople, their eyes will bug out on the call and then they'll start writing something down. And then two days later they'll send you, okay, Andrew, guess what? Your word today is Cedar chest. So now I will send it in addition to creating a call list. Now they're actually coming up with secret words to try and stop the other group.

Andrew Phelps: I think it's great. And then I changed them all together. So again, feeling that connection of the day-to-day and almost like it's one big game that they're playing over the course of their job, rather than something that's reserved for a short time on Thursdays.

Trygve Olsen: And what's great is at the end of the day, they know they're working, but they're having so much fun and they're succeeding that it's not so much harder anymore.

Andrew Phelps: So, I got a couple of takeaways. I'd love to run by you. I'm going to.

Trygve Olsen: Yes.

Andrew Phelps: Recap and you can tell me if I missed anything. So the first thing I want to mention is that you feel like loneliness is the biggest problem and getting people together and making them feel like part of the team changes that and makes everything better. And so, this game secret word is all about creating a small, fun distraction that people can and bond over and distract them from what's potentially scary about all the rejection of making prospecting calls.

Trygve Olsen: Yes.

Andrew Phelps: It's great for new people because it gives them a way to win or succeed within a small way, even if they can't close the deal or get another meeting or whatever the goal for the prospecting call is, then the best prize is a weird prize. Something that means something to your team; the MacGuffin, I'm probably going to keep calling it that as we move forward here.

Trygve Olsen: Yes, yes.

Andrew Phelps: But something that is just completely off the wall, that something your team and share with each other. And ultimately, if you can go one layer deeper on secret word and start saying inside jokes on the call and your case some lyrics from the Breakfast at Tiffany's nineties album that gives you extra points and special bragging rights within the team,

Trygve Olsen: The guy who currently holds the Breakfast at Tiffany's album has he put up a bookshelf behind him on zoom calls and it is literally to the left of his head. So, if you're looking at him on zoom calls all day, every day, he's got that album staring you right in the face. And if you don't know, it's just a thing on, on a bookshelf, but if you do know, man, you want it back.

Andrew Phelps: That's awesome. I love the friendly gloating. That's constantly staring you in when the cameras on.

Trygve Olsen: Yes.

Andrew Phelps: And I'm just really impressed by what sounds to be a really fun culture. I love the kind of weird stuff, because I know how important it is to building powerful teams.

Trygve Olsen: We are hiring. So, if anybody's looking for a gig check us out at and find me on LinkedIn. Okay, cool.

Andrew Phelps: Well, I Was just going to ask where to find you, so that helps us out and yeah. I wasn't so happy here. I might be putting in an application because it does sound like a great place to work.

Trygve Olsen: And if anybody out there wants to have somebody help them create more revenue opportunities. I'd love to talk to them too.

Andrew Phelps: Right. Well, Trygve, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I really liked secret word and [cross-talking 17:10].

Trygve Olsen: Thanks Andrew.

Andrew Phelps: To play.

Trygve Olsen: A long time listener, first time guest.

Andrew Phelps: Thank you. I'll talk to you soon.