I had the pleasure of chatting with Shawn Pigg, CEO of Hotels Etc. for BusinessOpportunity.com’s Podcast series that will be released very soon on our new Digital Platform. Here is the transcript from that call for our regular RSS feed subscribers who get all of our posts first.
If you would like to listen to this interview, head on over to our Youtube Channel!
Kevin James Culp [00:00:04]: Hey, I’m interviewing Shawn Pigg with Hotels Etc. for BusinessOpportunity.com and I’m Kevin James Culp. May I ask if it is okay if I record this call?
Shawn Pigg [00:00:08]: Absolutely!
KJC [00:00:13]: Thank you. The focus of our call today is to highlight your opportunity, so more people can understand how it would fit into what they’re seeking in a travel industry home-based business opportunity, online business, low-cost business; which Hotels Etc. is everything of including a quality business in the industry. That’s why we’re interviewing you as one of our first picks. We love your opportunity. We know it works well on the backend when people purchase it. Thanks for being part of Business Opportunity‘s voice launching pad into podcast and streaming. Future interviews will include video, so we’ll sit down again, and do an update at that time. Maybe we can even do an update on this interview. In the meantime, let’s dig into a few questions if you don’t mind, that I think our listeners, blog readers, and shoppers will really resonate with. Can you tell people what your title is, what you do over at HotelsEtc, and how long you’ve been there?
SP [00:01:10]: Absolutely! Once again, my name is Shawn Pigg, I’m the CEO of Hotels Etc. I’ve been an active CEO of the company for 12 years. We’ve been through a lot, we’ve seen the good and bad of business. Basically, Kevin, in today’s economy, everyone is looking for the same thing: to save money. Hotels Etc. offers one the highest making opportunities of the century because you’re going to be able to make money while you help families save money. We’re going to get into all that great detail as you continue on.
KJC [00:01:42]: Awesome, that’s a great answer. How does someone know what it takes to own your own business? Is Hotels Etc. complicated? Can anyone do it? Is there a particular type of person this would be good for?
SP [00:01:58]: HotelsEtc is complicated at a corporate office level, but as far as a home-based business level, it’s very simple. You know, with us being around since 1996, we’ve had the opportunity to experience what works and what doesn’t work. Our knowledge now becomes your knowledge. We’re going to train you and educate you. Our goal is to help you generate money, not just to buy into a company. Hotels Etc. with the type of system, it is offering the savings to consumers and businesses, the marketing is very simple because it works in your favor.
KJC [00:02:42]: What would you say is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in getting someone up to speed in their first six months? What would somebody face in their challenges? A lot of people when they call, they’ll even call me for example, will ask about various opportunities on BusinessOpportunity.com. We stay very neutral in the sales office, but we do try to help people starting their own business. You know, you’re tired of working your job, you want to make extra income, help you get out of debt, go on a vacation for retirement. I’m obviously reading off your page, by the way. After I listened to your video, it was very clear that this could be done by a plethora of people. What are the challenges that someone would face getting off the ground with your platform?
SP [00:03:36]: I feel the biggest issue in entrepreneurship today is fear. The fear of the unknown, the fear of loss, and believing in yourself. Once you overcome the fear factor, at that point, it’s more of a marketing strategy. What is working on the internet? You know, Kevin, if you asked me that question, 10, 15, 20 years ago, time flies, I would tell you to build, because they will come. Build the website, they’ll come, because there wasn’t that much competition. Fast forward, the internet and trillions of websites later, how do you get out there now? How do you get to the people? How do you market to the correct people? How do you make sales? That’s part of the training that we provide you with, we offer free training. Our staff is very robust on the internet when it comes to marking paper click marketing, social media marketing, article, blogs, press release, digital marketing, brochure marketing, there are so many different ways to market the business. That’s our job here is to teach you and educate you, to make sure that when you do sign up with Hotels Etc., to run your own home-based business, regardless if it’s to pay off your student loan, to go to college, to buy a new car, buy a new home, go on vacation or, you know, to quit your job. Whatever your reason is, we’ll help you accomplish your goals by educating you on the right way to market on the internet to get the biggest audience.
KJC [00:05:11]: Awesome answer! Fear factor. Interestingly enough, I hear that quite a bit, and whatever differentiates someone from another, in this case, a very crowded sector, can make all the difference in the world. Obviously, your platform cut through to that, and I’m glad you answered the question that way. The was not only an honest answer but a brutal answer. Which reality is, getting people into the business that’s right for them, is getting over the hump. Getting into the business and having them understand what it is, how it’s structured, how to market it, how to understand it, and how to grow it, is what you think would be the first thing somebody would do, but just getting them there is very difficult to do in some cases. So if you’re listening, get there faster. You’ll be making money faster. My next question would be, what would you say is the one thing new business owners forgot to plan for? What do they overlook? What are they not thinking about when they get into business with you? Not everybody is going to open the box and do extremely well, but the people that have been high flyers is there some sort of character or a background? Is there a unifying trait? What would you say that person would be? The part A to that would is, did they forget anything at inception, is there anything that you might be able to help them with that they should be thinking about at inception?
SP [00:06:40]: You mention a ticker there, ‘they fail to plan’. And that, of course, is if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. the number one thing that we discussed is getting over that hump, and getting into a business that you enjoy doing. The second thing is creating yourself a plan. you have to have a plan of action no matter what you do. It can be business, relationships, it can be whatever you have to have a plan action. In this particular case, everybody feels that they are going to buy a business, and they’re going to get rich overnight. There’s not a business out there that does it. If there was, we wouldn’t have welfare in our society, people wouldn’t be broke. We would all be successful, we’d all be living like Dubai. Unfortunately, you know, it isn’t that easy. The most important thing is to find out what it is that you want to do. There are a few things I learned throughout my business career. One of the things is don’t study and attempt on something that you don’t enjoy doing. Don’t chase the dollar. It’s not about the dollar. It’s about doing something that you enjoy doing. If you do something that you enjoy, you’ll put your heart and soul into it and it will come across to the reader and your clients and more. They’ll have the confidence in buying from you and they’ll have confidence in the system that you’re offering. They’re going to be long-term customers. So find out what it is that you want to do, it could be telemarketing; it could be door-to-door; it could be setting up presentations in hotel room; it could be doing brochures and sending them in the mail; it could be doing commercial on TV; or you might want to hear your commercial on the radio. There are so many different ways to market the program, the most important is to figure out what you want to do. If you don’t want to do telemarketing, the last thing you want to do is learn about telemarketing. The last thing we want to do is teach you about telemarketing. We want to teach you about whatever you feel that will be successful to your drive.
KJC [00:08:44]: Makes total sense. You actually answered two of my other questions, thank you! After the initial start-up face in the business, what obstacles do business owners face as they try to grow their business with you and remain successful? Is there any advice that you can give on how to overcome those obstacles?
SP [00:09:06]: Patience and learning what no means. No means yes in business. Just because you talked to four people and said no, that just means you’re closer to a yes. Patience. When you first put something out there, give it a chance to work. Give the advertising a chance to take effect, to go into place, and to actually work for you. When you put an article out, give it a chance for people to start sharing, and get that social juice of people liking and commenting, get something that you can cause interaction with the end person. Patience is going to be by far the number one thing. After you get through the patience level, and you find what is working for you, be consistent. A lot of people would think that they can just through a commercial on the radio and start making a lot of money. No, radio is frequency, you have to play that commercial so many times, so many days before you start seeing results. There are marketing techniques that are quicker, and obviously, more successful than radio in short-term, but long-term, radio is more successful. It depends on your patience level.
KJC [00:10:24]: Smart answer! I was going to ask you what online software and some other things of the aspects of your business, but that’s actually intrinsic to what Hotels Etc. does. That is something I would let you talk about with folks on a unique basis. You can save big on Travelocity, Expedia, Hotels.com, even private destinations, and a couple other ones with your system. That’s more about how your algorithms are built and a little bit more of a deeper conversation. I’ll jump back to another one that you mentioned to get a plug-in. You did mention social. One of your big pages seems to be Facebook. I wanted to give a shout out to your Facebook page. You’re also all over Twitter that I can see. Even on your homepage, you have social links, which is a nice way to get in touch with you. Another question, when did you do before you decided to do this and become your own boss? What lead you to this?
SP [00:11:38]: I was actually working in a corporate world. I was driving around from state to state training closures to salespeople and how to sell the business in the home improvement industry. They were the number one home improvement company in the country. We made them a very big company. I was on the road 16 – 18 hours a day, didn’t see my son. Then one day, it was right before Christmas 2005, I came home and my wife, who was getting ready to have our second child and I just refused to be on the road. Keep in mind, this is a very lucrative career I had. It was very well-paying. But, I did not like the amount of time on the road anymore, I wanted to see my child. So December of ’05, I quit my job. I didn’t have a clue, Kevin, on what I was going to do next. Basically, one night I was up, and probably losing sleep because I was stressed out and watching TV. I saw an infomercial come on and it was HotelEtc. I called up and became a distributor of the company. I invested probably close to $30,000 – $40,0000 at the time. When I invested into the company and got all my product and service, I was so happy. I got everyone out there and got them to work, and in the first month, we probably did $100,000 in sales. In the second month, I was excited! So I was ordering new products, and I was so happy. Well, in the second month, we had $100,000 in chargebacks. The program did not work. It was outdated. It was obsolete. There were still a million members at the time, but the program didn’t work. I called the previous owner, and we negotiated. I purchased the company at that time, having no insight in the industry, no contacts, I just knew this was going to be tomorrow’s product. I knew this was going to be the future of what people needed. Before I even knew what the industry was doing, I had this sense of fear, and having that vision and moving forward. Basically, I revamped the company. Within the last twelve years, I networked and met some of the biggest CEO’s on the planet at some of the biggest companies. We have an impeccable reputation, debt-free company, and we’re doing very well! We’re helping a lot of families save money right now.
KJC [00:14:03]: I noticed, your debt-free aspect to your company is a big deal. So many people look at the company itself and ask, “Will be thriving? Is it going to be growing? How’s the health of the company? Does it have debt? Does it have cash flow? Can it really work out there?” There are so many different types of business opportunities out there. Investing $30,000 – $40,000 that far back on the internet, that’s about $250,000 these days, by my guess. That’s a pretty big leap you made. And, again, the fear factor. The funny thing is you’ve made it so inexpensive for someone to replicate and do what you had a lot of pain to get to the point for helping people to do. Your price point is extremely advantageous to people. So if you’re listening to this, hop over to HotelsEtc.com, you could also hop over to social and check them, you could even go to BusinessOpportunity.com and check out their listing and see a far as what cost goes, but they are extremely cost-effective. You answered three of my other questions, amazing! One of the big questions out there is, and everyone asks, “is this for me?” With ages 45 – 50+ men and women, even some baby boomers, who have whether its a 401K who have the means to take it further, to support themselves with rent and bills and everything else it takes to live, is that demographic good for this?
SP [00:15:49]: Absolutely,100%! What’s great about HotelsEtc is a franchise without the franchise fees. It’s not going to break you starting up with us. Matter of fact, we have Walmart security guards, CEO’s of companies, entrepreneurs, health insurance people, doctors, lawyers, and the average Joe who is signing up with our program, and they all find success. It all depends on how they want to listen, learn and apply what we’re teaching them. What we’re doing is not a guessing game to us. We’ve been around for many years. We’ve had the opportunity to learn from trial and error. We know what works and what doesn’t work. We’ve invested. You know, my job for a while was learning how to lose money. Sean, here’s $5,000, try to lose this money in marketing. We know what not to do. The most important thing is, not only educating you on what you should do, but also what you should not do. If you take, the training that we provide you with and you listen and apply it, then we have individuals that start off with our smallest package, which you said, Kevin, is very cost affordable. We’ve had individuals start off with our lowest package, like the security guard at Walmart, quit their job and work from home. They did it all by simply using social media, articles, and blogs. Content is key. If you put the right articles out there and you get the right social juice from those articles. Those articles can bring you in tens of thousands of people a month for a long time. Content is key. There’s way to do it very inexpensive, and there are ways to do it that could cost you a fortune. It depends on what path you want to take.
KJC [00:17:56]: Great answer. I have a couple personal questions for our listeners. What’s your favorite app that you use daily?
SP [00:18:06]: I would have to say the three E’s: energy, excitement, and enthusiasm.
KJC [00:18:16]: That would be your moto. That’s really funny because that was going to be my next question so you’re reading my mind. Listeners, he doe does not have a copy of what I’m looking at. What’s your favorite application, like slack?
SP [00:18:34]: Oh application! Like software application?
KJC [00:18:41]: Right. As a CEO, everyone is always interested in, “What does a CEO use? What’s their favorite CRM? Do they use SalesForce?” What’s your favorite thing?
SP [00:18:48]: I would say my most favorite tool or app would be autoresponders. You know it helps us. When people hit our website, it helps us capture information. We’re able to send out continuous messages without doing the work multiple times. We’re able to edit the message. We’re able to look at the click-through rate, the open rate, so we can see which ones are converting to sales. We’re able to edit the content in those autoresponders to increase the sales. It’s no different in doing a presentation or a pitch in sales, it’s the same through the internet. It gives you the chance to go back and edit, critique it, and make it better every time.
KJC [00:19:36]: It’s amazing. I talk to many advertisers on the website that aren’t using a CRM. You call them out, and you really should be. For the metrical analysis of what you just mentioned, probably half of the people who not only advertise on the website or in this industry, or are thinking about buying, don’t use these tools. An autoresponder, in particular, can not only enhance your email marketing, your response rate, your collection of data, your data mining, how much data you have, but we all know, unique responses that can be highly tailored to a person specificity, be it age, demographic, interest level, whatever it might be, contextually appropriate, is the biggest thing in marketing and has been for the last couple years. Targeting of ads is critical, but the targeting of content and visitors, is something that not only should be done, it should be mastered by people. You can show someone that right off that bat and that’s year of work that the normal person wouldn’t go through those pain points and be able to do.
This has been great. I appreciate you spending time with us. I do want to give you a shout out. How would people, if they want to buy from you, get in touch with you, have a question, how would they do so?
SP [00:21:00]: As you mentioned, they can go to BusinessOpportunity.com to see us.
KJC [00:21:42]: Alright, Shawn. I appreciate you taking time with BusinessOpportunity and myself today. Expect our post to be live today. So listeners hit our podcast, hit our streaming, or hit our blog.
SP [00:21:51]: Excellent! Thank you very much, Kevin!
KJC [00:21:53]: Have a great day.