Feb 20, 2019
In this episode, we have a great
chat with Marty Vids, an entrepreneur, mentor and podcast host,
about building rapport, empowering customers and owning your
Marty has had quite the eclectic
career and life, having started out in his parent’s milk bar as a
kid, and then moving into the comedy scene as an MC. He has a few
great stories from that past life, that’s for sure!
A career change beckoned and he
landed up at Westpac as a mortgage broker, before leaving that to
co-found Mortgage First, which he sold in his mid-30s. But the itch
to build another business didn’t go away, and he started Mortgage
500, a company he eventually sold in 2016.
These days, Marty is also a
mentor, life coach, MC, and hosts his own podcast,
The Marty Vids
You can connect with
Marty Vids on LinkedIn.
Key Quotes from Marty
On his Formative Years...
early days really were a place of work. I would go in with my dad
even on a Sunday and help him collect the newspapers and I'd be
serving clients probably from the age of around six or seven. From
a very young age, I was developing social skills, emotional
intelligence skills, but also financial skills.
On what comedy taught him about building
of the projects I did was run a comedy night because I always loved
stand-up comedy. I brought that to my country town and I brought in
the audience; I'd go to all the shops and say I was running it, I
went on local radio. I really went into that promotion phase but I
was doing too much, I didn't delegate. I was MC-ing the night, I
arranged the comedians, got all the audience in, and I had my mates
guy comes on a bucks night and I was last on stage as the main act
and he was just ... Their party was giving each comedian hell and
I'm thinking, "What am I gonna do? I can't get on this guy's bad
side because they're just gonna come up on stage and actually kill
me.” I had to think on my feet, but I got him on stage, we skulled
a beer together and I said, “Congratulations mate, your life is
officially over as of this moment,” and I got them onside and they
were the best audience after that. It didn't matter what I
think that's the sort of thing you go, "How do I build rapport in a
situation that's very challenging?" You think about that in
business negotiation, I mean that's an extreme story there, but
it's like how do you build rapport when something's not going well
and be able to shift direction?
- There's a big difference between agreement and
unconscious rapport. How you can tell - and why this is important -
is you can pick the body language. If they're in a similar body
stance to you, like let's say you have your arms crossed and they
have their arms crossed, people might misinterpret that as just two
people that are cold. But what you're looking for is to get
physical rapport and that will show up in the body. If someone
makes a move like let's say someone moves their right hand and puts
it up to their chin, you don't do it simultaneously, but you give
it about 15 seconds and then you manoeuvre into that same position
while you're having the discussion. What you're looking for on an
unconscious and physical level is whether they break that
someone is very auditory rather than visual, you can speak to them
with your body posture to the side, not facing them, because that's
too impactful for them when you're right in their face. Other
people are very kinesthetic where they like to be in each other's
face and are more sensitive. It's not a fake thing, it's good
communication and really allowing them to converse with you in a
way that's comfortable for them.
On effective leadership...
found that the managers that were more light-hearted and you could
engage with, you could really learn from. So you'd have the
dictatorial types that you're more fearful of, but they were never
as engaging and never got as good a result as the people that were
structured but also had this light-heartedness, and were able to
mentor and engage you beyond the transaction they wanted you to get
for them and the bank.
would think through a problem and then come to me with their
thoughts around it, so I could then provide additions to it or
steer them in a direction that was more beneficial.
On career drifting to having an ownership
Meikle, who's an ironman who competed against Trevor Hendy, came in
and gave a speech at Westpac. I'm not sure if I was the only one
listening, but he was saying about people finishing seventh in life
and floating through the corporate system, and really looking at
taking your role, taking responsibility for your role as a business
owner and as an owner of that role. That shifted my whole
perspective on just having a job, as opposed to going, "Well, how
can I be a leader within my job?"
started to come in early. I started to realise the top performers
would come in early, they'd go and see clients, and in the
afternoon they would leave fairly early to go and see more clients.
I started to really tap into the people that were doing well and
started modelling what they were doing and I was fortunate I had
three job promotions within a six month period and pretty much
doubled my salary in that time from someone that was
On how to make the leap from employee to business
kept getting pulled towards the move. We had good jobs, we were
earning good incomes, we were 29 years old, going places within the
bank. But this just kept calling out to us.
of the things I'd say that we did that helped us a lot, was we gave
ourselves six months of income in order to make sure that when we
started the business, we weren't in financial distress from day
one. This was really important. Some people say, "Look you gotta
jump off the cliff." And yes, that's right, you gotta jump off the
cliff in your mind, but I think it's more savvy to have a parachute
on the way down, because it's not going to end as
On the lessons of his first business, Mortgage
saw an opportunity in the broking market where we could empower
clients to really take control of their financial circumstances and
save them money on their mortgages. When we were in the bank, we
were always encouraged to really get the most profit in regards to
the products we were selling.
- Philosophically, I struggled with that a little
bit because I go, "Yes, it might have created great revenue, but
here was a better product given how we could serve the client." And
what I recognised by giving that better product was I would get
more and more clients.
- Did I stuff up? Of
course, but I was always honest and said I think I've done
something wrong here, wasn't intentional, how can I rectify,
because I was hungry to keep learning. It's really important to
have that authenticity and be humble when you don't know something
and ask the question.
rest of the market saw a broker as somewhere you go where you can't
get money from the banks. We saw this as a relationship management
role. We saw this as encouraging the clients to understand the
system, keep it simple, empower them with choice.
came from an education-based marketing platform of giving up our
time, because we could never compete with the banks on marketing.
What we did was a momentum build. When we did the accountant’s
loan, then guess what? He got so much benefit out of it, he would
tell his clients. When we did the real estate agent's loan, they
would tell anyone they dealt with.
really got ourselves out there, talking to people. We'd hand out
three business cards a day. We said we never wanted to do that from
a point of view of just handing out free business cards; we wanted
to have conversations so people would ask us for our business card.
That was always our theory. How can we provide value and connect
with people so they asked us what we do. And that's how we started
and we built momentum and that turned into something that we were
even surprised it turned into!
On wellbeing as a business owner...
we didn't do is look after ourselves well enough. We were running
so hard for so long and even in the bank, we were running really,
really hard to get our careers going. We got really tired and we
really should've delegated roles and done that more
On the pitfalls of selling a business...
thought we got offered the cheque of a lifetime. We had a team of
about 14 people and we really developed a fantastic culture and we
thought when that opportunity arrived to get that cheque, Craig and
I looked at each other and went, "Well, we might never see this
again in our lives."
two country boys, this was a big moment and we decided to take it
because we thought it would have a real impact in our lives. But
you know what? At the end of the day, money is an interesting
thing, because what I love was the people in the business. I loved
the clients, I loved the culture, I loved the innovation. We got
the money and I went, but it felt so numb afterwards because this
was our baby.
- Because I wasn't feeling as well as I had been
and I missed the business, I made some financial decisions and
invested in things I would never have invested in because of my
On taking these lessons into a new
second business was a lot better because I really knew who I was
within that business and the circumstances around that was all
different. But it came from a place of real joy, where I think the
first business still was me needing to prove my value, which comes
back to not being very good at school!
clients were our best sales force. They loved what we did and they
just kept driving opportunities to us because we were looking after
On how to get a pay rise the right way...
would never go to my manager and say, "I want a pay rise." I would
go to my manager and say, "Here's the ideas I have for my role.
Here's how I'm going to generate more business. This is the value
I'm going to add to the client base. This what I think I could
bring to the team."
always instigated this within our own businesses. When people came
in and said, "I want a pay rise." I was very quick to ask, “Why do
you want a pay rise, because you're 70% of target at the moment!”
“Oh, we want to start a family.” “Alright. Fantastic. Let's now
work on a plan in order to enable you to achieve the results, so I
can give you this pay rise.”
wanted to work with them to really instil this sense of confidence
and leadership and a call to action in order to then really feel
great about their pay rise. In doing that, I said, "Alright we'll
increase your pay by $10,000 and work on this vision in the next
six months and achieve it."
Marty’s final message of wisdom and hope...
think sometimes it's just important to listen. I think very much we
want to jump in with what we know a lot of the times, but sometimes
when someone says something to you when they're under challenge,
just listen and when they're finished say, “Thank you,” and then
you can work on a response and a solution to it. I would say as
managers, that's something I've learnt over time; just being really
appreciative of when people are being vulnerable.
Resources mentioned in the episode: