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Ep. 014 – Daniel Gefen, host of “Can I Pick Your Brain” podcast, tells us why people hate to buy from us and how to turn it around


Daniel Gefen Show Notes

Daniel Gefen – Podcaster & co-founder of Get Featured

  • Started out on 6 figure salary at age 23.
  • Went broke & got evicted onto the streets with family.
  • Started business from scratch. Went broke again.
  • Outsourced his business to a competitor.
  • Run his company out of a hotel lobby for a year.
  • Grew his company and semi-retired on passive earnings at 31.
  • Launched podcast show, which was recently rated Top 26 podcasts to listen to in 2017.
  • Launched new company called Get Featured, which gets people featured on top rated podcast shows.

Most passionate about

  • Today, basically, I’m busy with my podcast show called, Can I Pick Your Brain, and I pick the brains of successful entrepreneurs to find out how they became successful, what did they do.
  • I also launched a new company called, Get Featured where we help people get on targeted podcast shows so they can get more brand exposure for their self branding.

About Daniel’s new company Get Featured

  • I think podcasts are more powerful than any PR, they are more powerful than any marketing or advertising you can do, as a guest to promote your business.
  • There is such a thing called Permission Marketing versus Interrupted Marketing. Interrupted marketing is when you got interrupted by somebody that want to sell you something. For example: You scroll on your Facebook feed and suddenly you get a sponsored popup say “Hi! Buy this… or you go on YouTube because you want to see something on YouTube but you have to wait 5 second because somebody wants to sell you something, and we are going to sit there and clicking away: “Skip..  Skip…Skip…” We are not interesting in watching an ad. I want to buy when I want to buy, but don’t interrupt me and try to sell me something. Somebody calls you up on the phone and ask you to get a life insurance… leave me alone! And you hang up. 
  • We hate to being sold to! But, we love to buy. When people give you permission to buy, it’s the most powerful thing. So, for those who listen to us, whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re selling; whether it’s a product or a service, imagine if you had people who literally come to you and ask you to buy anything. Imagine such a world…Wouldn’t it be absolutely incredible.
  • [Hayut: I’m sorry to interrupt, however, in many ways, the right marketing is all about exactly that. It’s all about creating the demand].
  • Correct. For me, the best form of doing the right marketing is by getting on a podcast show, being the guest. This is the most powerful way. The reason is very simple.
  • Let’s take this; I’m a guest on your show right now. So all of your listeners that listening to us, why are they listening? It’s not because I’m interesting, it’s because they like you, as a host, and your show. They like you, they know you and they trust you.
  • They don’t know me, most people who listen to this may have never heard of me. Because they know you as a host, and they like the guests you’ve had on, and they like the questions, and they like you as a person.
  • I haven’t forced anybody to listen to me; they’re listening because they want to. So now, I have the opportunity to have them get to know as a person,  and if I have something to sell them, something to offer, they are more likely to buy from me, because they got to know me as a person before my product. And that’s the key!
  • The problem is that most people try to spam, they try to play the numbers game… If I just spam a thousand emails than I will get something, if I do 10000 dollars of Facebook ads campaign, something will happen. In my opinion, it’s a very lazy approach and it is very short term. We live in a generation where there is so much noise and so many people are being sold to and they don’t want to be sold to. When they come in to a podcast show, they sharing their story and they build trust, they become the experts of what they do. And then I want to buy from you, not because I think you have the best product or the cheapest product, I want to buy from you because I like you and because I believe in you.


  • The ideal customers for us are people that look to build their self-brand. People who are looking to play the long term game.
  • Take Gary Vaynerchuk as an example; Gary has built something that’s priceless. Because if Gary went broke tomorrow, it wouldn’t take him very long to build up his company and wealth again. Because he built something called a network. A network of people that know him, trust him, and like him. He can literally starts a company in almost any industry and he has people who would buy from him. Instant.
  • So, those types of people who have that mentality; those are the clients that we want to work with. People that want to invest in their brand and network. Because your brand and your network are timeless and priceless.
  • Richard Branson is another example. His network, the contacts that he has built over the years; there is no value on that, because if Richard literally went bust tomorrow, again, how long would it take him to rebuild? Not very long, because he has a network.
  • My question to you, the listeners, is if you stop selling today, if you stop putting money on marketing and advertising today, will your company still run? How long will it take you to build another company? How big is your network or how much is your network worth?
  • The most successful people that I interviewed on my show, and I’ve interviewed around 90 highly successful entrepreneurs; they had one thing in common – their network. I don’t even like the word ‘brand’ so much. Because when I think of ‘brand’, I think of products, and networking is about people. And I think people are more powerful than products.

Your best advice about approaching the customer

  • I would say the best advice for me is to be really authentic. A lot of people think that in order to gain trust they need to look professional, they need to look like they’ve been around for many years, and they need to look like a big company. And I would argue, maybe that was true 10 or 20 years ago, but today we live in another generation that they want to see who you are, they want to see the person behind the company. Even if it means you in your pajamas or in your bedroom, growing the business. Because that’s what people are buying in to.
  • Russel Branson from ClickFunnels is doing really great. He is one of the best marketers in the planet. He takes you into his personal life; he shows you what he does, and how he built what he built. People love when they see how you did it. What really connects people is sometimes their vulnerability, their weaknesses.
  • Russel shows you when they are messing up. That’s what we want to see, because if everything is roses, if everything is just going great, then we kind of feel distant; I can’t relate to that, because everything doesn’t like that in my life. When I see that you are human, you are like me, we all make mistakes, that you have kids as well, and your wife screams at you… that is what connects me with you.
  •  I once posted about my grandfather. Because I like to post about my family and about who I am, it was a memorial day in the Holocaust. My Grandfather was actually in the Holocaust. He lost both of his parents. He saw both of them get shot in the head. When he was about 14-13 years old. He went through hell. He ran twice and he was hunted again. My grandfather survived through complete miracles.
  • I wrote about my grandfather because I said, I’ve interviewed about almost 100 very successful people, but nobody inspires me more than my grandfather. My grandfather went through hell and he had every reason give up on life, instead he stood strong, and he wore this beautiful smile, and he built himself a family; and if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be alive today.
  • I post about this and I had absolutely no idea what reaction it’s going to get. It got 500 shares, thousands and thousands likes, and hundreds and hundreds comments. I never see in my life such comments!
  • If there is one thing to take from what I share today, it is this: we live in a world that is filled with a lot of fake people, trying to pretend what they’re not because they want to impress other people. We take pictures, we do selfies with ourselves, we take pictures to be something else, we pretend to be somebody that we are not, we pretend to be bigger than we are, we pretend we make more money than we do, we stand in front of cars that we don’t own, and houses we don’t own, to impress people that don’t really care.
  • And the secret is that people actually crave authenticity, they crave real genuine people, and if you can do that, you will have no problem to bring people to buy something from you.

Biggest failures and successes in Daniel’s career

  • The first company I started was called Get Virtual; we answered calls from many different companies. We were a call answering service, essentially I built that up and I had a lot of issues with managing staff, I came to realize that my strengths in business are more on the creative side and the development side more than actually working within the business and dealing with customers and staff.
  • But I had to learn it the hard way. It was terrible, I literally made one of my staff members cry, because I am quite a perfectionist, so I like things to be in a certain way. I didn’t like the way she handled a call; she must of had a bad day, and the next thing I know, this 55 years old woman is crying! I was about 25 at the time, so I came to realize very quickly that I needed to do something different, so I actually outsource my whole company to a competitor of mine, which sounds like a crazy thing to do, but it was the best for me; the best decision I’ve made in my business career. Because what I actually did free myself up to focus on my strength instead of do things that I hate to do or that I wasn’t good at. I just completely focused on my strengths, and now, every time that I don’t like doing something or I’m not good at it, I’ll outsource it or dedicate it to somebody else so I can focus on things that I enjoy doing or I’m good at doing.
  • There is one thing that I found that if a customer is not happy the worst thing to do is to argue with the customer and tell them that they are wrong or you are right. I’ll even go further and say that you have an opportunity here, in this situation, to make this customer one of the best, most loyal customers. The statistics and studies have showed that a customer who was had a bad experience and then it was turned around becomes more loyal than he was ever before and more loyal than a customer who actually never had anything go wrong. Which is fascinating.
  • If you have a customer that is not happy, the best thing to do in this situation is to try and put yourself in his shoes and do the best you can to work with them.
  • I also believe that you should never be pushed around by your customer. If you have a customer that is taking away too much time or energy, I would fire them.

Recommendation of the best tool for customer focus, marketing or sales?

  • I would actually say click funnels right now. For me, this is one of the best marketing tools you can use today. You get people into a funnel because most people don’t buy first time, and you’ll be surprised how many companies make most of their money on the up sale. There is so much more that you are leaving behind because you don’t up sell. And Click Funnels is one of the best platforms to do that.

A person or a book who impact Daniel’s success the most

  • There is a book call The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, which I highly recommend. For me, that was the “Ah-Ah” moment when I realized that I’m not supposed to be working in my business, but I supposed to be working on my business. If you are too involved in the day to day functionality and deliverables of the business, it’s very hard for the business to scale. The only way to really truly scale the business is to be working from the outside in rather from the inside out.

The one thing Daniel is most fired up about today

  • Right now, I’m very excited because I’m launching a book soon, in the next 8-10 weeks. The book is going to be called Get Featured and it’s going to be helping people to get featured and build their self-brand and to build the network; pretty much what I was discussing in this episode. The book is pretty much going to give you the “How to”. The listeners are welcome to join the mailing list and get a free copy when it comes out and leave their e-mail.

Daniel on key success factor

  • I would say that it’s the persistence I always had to never give up, that something that I had since I was young; if I wanted something I always push and push and push! For me, that’s something that really helped me. For me, it’s the ability to talk myself into doing things.

Last piece of guidance

  • Take one thing that you gained (if you gained any) and make it real. Make it practical, take some sort of action on it. Because I think a lot of people are listening to podcasts and get inspired and we get great ideas and then nothing is actually happened because we don’t take action and then we listen to another episode and another book and go to another seminar and nothing happens, and the reason nothing happens is because we need to get into a habit of doing, a habit of producing and taking action.

Resources Mentioned:

More resources for Entrepreneurs

  1. Don’t Miss – Customer Focus Strategy & Execution: Market Analysis for Fundraising
  2. Hayut Yogev’s Latest post: How can Entrepreneurs build a strong startup brand?
  3. Former interview: With Jeremiah Gardner, author of bestselling book, “The Lean Brand” recommends the best tools for customer focus, marketing, and sales; the answer will surely surprise you.


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