Exploring China's Sales Management and Technology
John C. Morley: Hello everyone it's that time for the JMOR tech talk show where we answer questions about technology explain the way they should work and why they toned sometimes and now here's your host John C Morley well hey everybody welcome once again to the JMOR Tech Talk Show I cannot believe Marcus we are just about at the end of march it's great to have you here tonight welcome.
Marcus Hart: Hey good to be back I’m feeling lucky after just two days after st patty's day so i hope your st Patrick’s day was a real good one, john.
John C. Morley: It was really good i actually went outside to a restaurant and had some corned beef and cabbage set up by a fireplace and it was a really nice because i really didn't want to go anywhere indoors awesome and they had a wait for 90 minutes if you were going to sit indoors which i didn't want to do anyway
Marcus Hart: yeah i don't think that was going to happen hopefully.
John C. Morley: So a new announcement to everyone so we want to give you a lot more great quality content so we want to put into nuggets and we're condensing our show down to 58 minutes we know you guys are busy so we're going to cut that great content down to 58 minutes keeping our interviews even shorter and allowing you to get on with the rest of your day or your night but now you just going to have to wait till next week because we're not going to give you so much but we still gonna give you great content so when we're talking about what's going on the news apple made it clear that power was not allowed on their ios and even with all the changes that they appear to make they're still not allowed on the platform when you think about that.
Marcus Hart: Hey you know this was coming
John C. Morley: I knew it was
Marcus Hart: I know after what happened at the US capitol right this is no surprise you know these guys had really pushed and pushed and pushed they got what was coming their way.
John C. Morley: I mean they just really just went around the back door and you know people thought just because you know they were able to do certain things that they were going to be back but they're not they're not able to be back and running because apples just i guess not really confident that they're going to be able to put out quality because anyone can get on parlor right now and supposedly there's not too much censorship not that that's good or that's bad however it's causing a little bit of a problem because the wrong people are starting to get into these platforms and i think that's the real issue and i think that's why apple is really putting their hand up and saying okay enough.
Marcus Hart: yeah apple doesn't want to be held liable or connected to anything that's going to give them bad press and that's just a fact of the matter apple has kept their hands pretty close squeaky clean and now they don't want to take the chances of getting dirty.
John C. Morley: And i think it's just like you know your friends or something you know if somebody is doing something and you're not happy with what they're doing and they keep doing it well you're going to disassociate yourself with that person forget just COVID-19 you're going to permanently detach yourself from that person because when that's not proper or unethical because i think people then realize that you become that person or you start taking on characteristics of that person.
Marcus Hart: That's absolutely true but i don't think this is going to really stop the growth of this platform you know because it still has his web hosting that is still available so people can still find a way to get on it but just not in the more easy convenient way so as long as the names out there i think people still find a way.
John C. Morley: I think what might happen is if Apple decides to create their own platform, who knows if they're going to do that, that could be the nail that really separates the tides.
Marcus Hart: That that is a you know real good and that's something to really ponder because you know i put those have their lows in you know anything apple does it because just like putting go will actually mine and go out of the river.
John C. Morley: That's not the goal from bitcoin everyone so another interesting thing that has been hitting the news recently is the malicious npm packages that are stealing linux and unix passwords this doesn't surprise me Marcus it really doesn't i mean these companies are just doing whatever they have to and unfortunately you know with these type of attacks and contain things like the the lift data set sdks and server less slack apps and zg rentals and amazon apps there's going to be issues people are just not paying attention and many security experts are really starting to wonder what's going on in this new malicious npm package main packages are the companies linux profiles like bash history files etc and once the hackers acquire this data well they're going to send it to a lot of remote users all over and who knows what the heck they're gonna do with it and i can tell you this Marcus it's not going to be for something good it's going to be in the bad actor world or quote unquote cyber criminal world.
Marcus Hart: So i guess the biggest question is is that if this just something that is really being easily acquired from the lens systems and units what makes us not think that other systems may not be valuable either you know john and that's just a curious question coming from someone like myself and that may be you know us maybe others out there that's listening or watching that psalm quite wondering the same,
John C. Morley: I think what it really comes down to is this Marcus for a long time everyone always believed that linux is less susceptible now it kind of is but people are starting to take the attack just kind of like apple is not as prone to viruses and spyware me not saying that it can't be but they just don't feel like there's enough in that pool to waste their time so because of these flaws that are out there that means that linux and the shells have to get a lot more secure and i think the real reason that this happens is because they don't update their bash and they update their linux kernels that's what it comes down to Marcus it's not that linux is not secure it's not that these packages are not good it's that they are not gone through the level of q&a and security that they should be so for example the amazon zg rentals npm package not only steals the passwords in the etcetera shadows password file it sends it back to the hackers so you know the thing is this i believe that the linux world has to get a facelift in terms of security and i've always said this before marcus it doesn't matter what platform you're on you need to have security at multiple levels not just at your computer you need to have it at the firewall level you need to have different levels when you protect yourself with all kinds of let's say things to protect you from surges or spikes you don't just put a surge protector on your computer you should put one on your house to some people put one in the middle there's multiple levels that will catch things i believe in this world they believe because it's linux nobody's going to interfere with it or unix but you know what it's starting to manage big business like amazon and who knows if it's even behind the new space projects yeah people use this Marcus because it is cheap because it's open source because it's free and when you know things are free I’m sure it's no mystery to you that with free comes security violations and vulnerabilities have free doesn't always mean great that's for sure so i think we have to be cognizant of this but i think something needs to happen whereby these npm packages are going to be able to be scanned and that security software should be deployed on these systems that can detect these npm packages and make sure that they're not going to be of a threat like collecting data etc key logging and passwords and things of that nature but it just goes to show you Marcus that things like two factor encryption for one time passwords should be used if these systems were using two factor encryption one time password systems then it wouldn't even matter whose passwords in the file.
Marcus Hart: That's true why it just really comes to show that you know you can't take someone else's word and just run to what's kind of trending and what's Got a popular and not take into consideration to things you just laid out? JOHN, that's really awesome.
John C. Morley: Thank you very much, Marcus, you know, and my next guests are coming up a really interesting gentleman. He is from China, but he actually originally lived in Germany. And he's also started something called China flex Pat. He's one of the leaders over and trying to get people to understand how things work in China, and how China's reaching out to other places because they actually pay people Marcus 5678 910 times more money than the people in China for the same job. Please help me welcome to the J Mar Tech Talk Show Mr. Francis Kremer, who, again, is currently residing in China. And he loves to teach English. He has this passion. And he's helping people now in a job in sales. And right now he is starting to work on something that major shape and changes the way China is going to be growing again, please help me welcome to the J Moore Tech Talk Show Mr. Francis Kremer. Hey, everyone, it's John C. Morley with the J. Moore Tech Talk Show. And I'm very pleased today to have a great guest, Francis Kremer, who originally was from Germany. And then actually, he retired, he was in sales. And then he actually came back around Shanghai, China. And not only did he come back to China, but he actually became a mentor, to help people in sales to become even better than they currently are now. So he's a motivator, is what I'd like to call him to inspire people to become even better than they currently are. And he has a motto that you have to teach it and import that to other people for the generation so that they can help us shape and change our world. Francis, welcome to the JMOR tech talk show tonight.
Francis Kremer: Thanks for having me, john.
John C. Morley: It is my pleasure. So you had a very interesting career and it's still going on. You basically retired, right? And then you kind of came back and are living a second life and having the dream life to help people really make some very positive changes, right?
Francis Kremer: Exactly. So I came to China when I was 2021, for the first time to teach English. And then I came back a year later to do an internship. And then a year later, I did my university major in China. And I really always thought I have to work here. But at the time, you would earn like 150 euros a month, that would be like $180, something like this. So it was not really the place to start your career. So I went back to Germany and tried to make a lot of money and was kind of successful also in sales. And then at some point in my early 30s, I thought you know, I, I cannot go on at this. I'm, you know, I always think about China and staying in Germany and speaking my own language everyday. It's so boring. So I have to start something new. And I went to China.
John C. Morley: Back to ask you. So what made you so passionate about China? I mean, you obviously are really regrowing your roots there. But what made you so passionate about wanting to make a monumental difference from China?
Francis Kremer: Well, what I always tell people is that you meet the company, the companies, the economy is run by people born in the 80s like me, right 80s and they are in management positions now. And they drive cars, and they send their kids through a good school, and they buy houses and apartments, and they maybe even do not go on holiday to the Philippines to Thailand to Germany, you know, but their parents they went to, to work by bicycle.
John C. Morley: Wow!
Francis Kremer: So that's what I always think it's so incredible that there is a whole generation that is very close to living standard in Germany. But they grew up in a totally different way, like a totally different way. And these parents who you know, went to work by bicycle. Now they tell them what to do, because the Chinese people always listen to their parents. So we are so cool. That is
John C. Morley: So happy New York actually started providing bikes and then banks like city and other banks, put their names on them and they allow people to rent these bikes to take short trips or long trips and they can put them in ports and they can charge the credit card so we're kind of getting into that level but not quite the same so i can see you love china a lot and now i can understand a little more about the flavor to why you're so passionate so you ran into this podcast called the china i guess called the flex pat can you share a little bit about that for us and what is that exactly and how did it get started.
Francis Kremer: let me go back a little bit so 1985 i would say folks varki folks are in a very famous german auto company they more or less tried to get into china they had very ambitious leaders and they tried to do this so they came to china and they made the deal with the local government and they started their company and they started the supply chain and so and over and over the company grew in china and so did many other international companies that came to china so they sent experts experts to come to china to build this operation and in the past let's say 35 years there was a whole generation of experts that came and left and came and left and when more and more and more kind of sophisticated and and it worked out really well and it was a career path people came here because they could take a real management position in their early 30s and they would come back to germany or the us in their later 30s and they would take a higher management position there so it was a complete career path well paid the family was taken care of and so on so what something what what just yeah it was a good thing to do and this is totally changing so for two reasons so experts they act like a glass ceiling to Chinese professionals because they cannot attain a management position if there's an expert on this position so it's a difficult thing from her position for Chinese workforce to say we have lots of experts to do the top jobs and you Chinese people you can do the lower level jobs and also there are foreigners like me who like to work in china who enjoy working in china so you don't have to send them and pay them a lot of money they enjoy to the doing this so what i try to start as a community of flexible experts so flexible people who like and enjoy working in china because they think it's a dream it's great it's fantastic they can learn not because the company pays them to go there and takes care of their families but because i think it's great so flexible expert flex pet and you know when i started this last year i had to explain to everybody what this means like we did today but you know now it seems that on LinkedIn and so on i have lots of people that you know i don't even have to explain the name they think it's a brand now so it's I’m really happy about this.
John C. Morley: It's a brand and it's a cultural thing too am i correct about that.
Francis Kremer: But yeah it is it is because of course lots of people are afraid you know people came here as expats maybe five or 10 or 15 years ago they got a Chinese wife got Chinese German kids who you know and then they tried to stay in china but the expert contract went out so they took local jobs with maybe good salary but their whole lifestyle is you know it's based on the fact that they get a very high salary and it's not really found is there in china is there a good work.
John C. Morley: Life balance from personal to business is there a good balance or is there a lot of work or is it flexible to different people or what's the style like in china.
Francis Kremer: well everybody in china knows about juju Leo it's 996 would meet six days a week nine o'clock am to 9pm this is something that is coming from alibaba from the startup culture in china very successful companies they tell young people if you want to make it in the world you have to work hard so this is not a good sign for work life balance right it's just it's you can make it in china if you work hard and the generation before the leading generation they also worked very hard and now as a work life balance it's getting more and more important but typically i would say if you work in china you work a lot more than in especially in Europe.
John C. Morley: And i think it's because sometimes not to say anything bad about any cultures because you know we're all equal in the way that we all want to earn a living and we all want to have a great life i think sometimes stereotypes get put on certain cultures unfortunately and because of that it makes people have to work harder or because of perceptions they just need to get that edge and i guess by working hard you know even in America you Know you need to work hard when you begin because if you don't, we always say it's the early bird that gets to work. And you come late, well, then someone else is going to get your breakfast or get your lunch or get your dinner, and you're still going to be wondering where you're going to go eat. We have another saying in the United States, you know, when they have fish, give a man a fish. He'll eat and will go hungry every day. Teach a man to fish. And he'll be able to eat every day of his life. So let's see, similar to what you're doing and that you're really trying to impart your knowledge transas, aren't you on to the people in the sales team that you have? And if I may ask, what are the ages? Do they start the same like they do in America? Or what's the typical working ages in China for; let's say sales for right now.
Francis Kremer: It's, of course difficult to say typically, the image of a salesperson and China's extremely bad, extremely low level. So you see, normally Chinese people that dress like I do now, right? So they have maybe a shirt and kind of a pullover, and maybe a blazer. That's it, if you see salespeople they wear white shirts and a tie, you know, so they were very come off really professionally. And people would see them and say they are the safe people. So I'm the customer, and they have to treat me well. And the key, right? So actually, I grew up with us and Germany is where I grew up, you know, my career started with the customers, the king, you have to serve the king. And so, but then later, I learned that challenger sales, so that actually you need to challenge the customer in order to really, you know, make him change the way he acts. And I always have a problem if people think that salespeople are, you know, someone that needs to make the customer happy. And you know, they have to earn their respect, because they are like, they're like, the bottom level of the society is quite tough. So sorry to go so much into this, but the ages what we have just a little bit respects. So people come in here, right after college, maybe 2223. And then they get a sales role. And this is compared to the engineers who come from university and build machines, then they start very low, and they have to kind of work their way up to really get the respect from the customer. So my team, the sales manager, I think is like 33 and 34. And the sales guys are between 23 and 30, like this.
John C. Morley: So what's the beginning position, but in America, when you do sales, it's been thought of a little bit differently, because as you know, salespeople were always looked not too good, because people would look down at them. And it was the same for
Francis Kremer: you. Similar, yes.
John C. Morley: But you know, it has changed a lot, I will tell you, because what has happened is you have those people, Okay, and let's just say I was selling you this widget, or I was selling you this phone. In America, the people that go out and push products. And the reason I know this being an entrepreneur and owning several companies, it's about a relationship. In the United States, if someone goes and tries to push a product, because there's always someone going to be cheaper, you have to set the standard in the boundaries with your client. And I like to call them a client, not a customer, a customer in the United States is someone like that goes to a fast food restaurant, or maybe they go into a store and they buy something. And there's really not a lot of respect, it's a one off sale, there's not really much going into that sale, when you have a client that you take care of. And if you have that client that keeps running you around the mulberry bush, okay, that's one problem. The second problem is if you are the person trying to get them involved, I always tell people, we don't sell anything. We just help people solve their problems. And I think when you approach it that way, because the reason salespeople the United States have gotten let's say a bad rap is because people would be going in there brand new to sales, Francis, and they have to make the sale the the sales manager said if you don't make x sales by this date, you're gone. But they never gave them the tools Francis and how to succeed. They just said, you know, sink or swim, which I get the mentality of it. But you at least have to give them some tools now sometimes or training, some people are not. So what I've learned in all the years I've done this is that when you come out of school, they always teach You that you need to, you know, kiss up to the customer, and do everything you can to get that sale. But realize something, there are plenty of clients out there. And when they see your value, you have to explain to them now it's a little different in the entrepreneurial world. But very similar. If you're selling a widget, or maybe you're selling a pen, that pen might be expensive. And they might feel intimidated about selling that product, because maybe they haven't bought that product. And what I've also found is that if you try to get someone to sell a product that they don't feel comfortable using or buying, they're going to feel intimidated and very low on the totem pole. And what a lot of sales reps do is they push the product. Well, we got this here today. I know you want to take it a gentleman just before he was trying to sell a space for something. He says, Well, if you don't call me by Monday, you know the price. And you know, and that's rude, of course. Yeah, but that's the problem, Francis. And that's why they've gotten a bad reputation. It's because there's a couple bad eggs. And so our sales, people now are starting to change, and really not get the role as a salesperson, a professional salesperson is really a consultant, we don't have salespeople anymore. salespeople are commodities, they can replace every day, a consultant has value like you didn't, and you bring that to the marketplace. And then when someone says Oh, gee, I can get that cheaper, fine, they'll get cheaper, and realize that when you have something and you are unique in your marketplace, they're just, you know, pulling one over you. And that's what the client is very trained to do, is to psychologically outwit the salesperson. And what they were teaching before is how to trip the customer, but not using ethical tactics. And that's the reason Francis why I believe that they had been given a very low notch on a totem pole. There are still those people, but there's still a lot of people that are consultants now, that actually get paid very well, because they're able to help people solve a problem. When somebody says, What do you sell, I don't sell anything. I just solve problems.
Francis Kremer: Here, but this is exactly the case. So what we do here in my company in China is we entered the market of building electric motors 30 years ago, more than 30 years ago. So the company I work for was founded by the parents of my boss, so I've been talking about this generation of 80s and generations before, right, so when I was 17, born in the 70s. So his parents born in the 50s, maybe early 50s, they still work, they still work. So now they started building machines for maybe $5,000 40,000, RMB, maybe 30 years ago. And now my boss, he builds machines for 30 million RMB. So this is like $5 million, $4 million. So one machine. So it's like within 30 years, there was a super big jump. So what we see now is that international clients, sorry, you said you don't like customers, international clients. So they are typically suppliers of the automotive industry like Bosch or Neidich like borgwarner. So they come to China. They build their plants in China in order to serve their local customers in China that could be international OEMs, international car companies, but also Chinese car companies. Okay, they typically have global standards, so they would try to use the same machine in the US or in Germany or Mexico and in China.
John C. Morley: Okay, now, you mentioned Bosch I. I'm actually a client of Bosch. And I was told the Bosch was made in the United States. Is that incorrect?
Francis Kremer: Bosch?
John C. Morley: Yes.
Francis Kremer: Well, Bosch is a big company. It's like the top German, the worldwide leading automotive supplier. So the first supply chain of the, of the car, the traditional car and also an electric car, they're also doing pretty well. So
John C. Morley: And they're also doing very high end dishwashers and they're making some remarkable products. And I got to tell you, why is it Francis that we in America, can't make a dishwasher that is so darn quiet. You put that dishwasher on at one o'clock in the morning, and you don't hear it? It just runs. There's a different level I think of I don't want to say integrity, but there's a different work ethic I think sometimes oversees that You know, they really want to be the best they can. And America, they want to as well. But I think what happens is, they get so hung up on Francis' price and competition, that they push something to market before it really gets a chance to become top notch. We see that with a lot of companies, what I'm not gonna mention starts with an M, other companies out there starts with an A, and you know who I'm talking about. Other words start with NIH, and big companies. And these companies just want to make a fast buck. They haven't made money in a while. So they need to release a new version or do something. And that's what they do. Now, when you were talking about this program? What kind of stories Would you say that our listeners would be able to hear? Or the people in China? What would they be able to find out by going to this particular podcast?
Francis Kremer: Well, it's really there's big change happening. So in the past, I remember for myself, I first came to China as an English teacher. So now there's lots of English teachers in China, but you can really make a lot of money. So you typically, it's very transactional, you can get a job for one year, and maybe extended for another year extended for another year extended for another year, but you will not get a promotion, you're an English teacher, that's it. And it's actually getting worse. So it's not really I would not advise this to especially Americans who want to go to China to teach English because they think you know, they speak English. And it's a good way to experience China, I just think this is not a good fear to start your career, especially when you're young, when you should actually, you know, build some capital and build a career. So on the other hand, there's this top level job, something that I'm doing, so you work in a company in a management position, these kind of jobs are very difficult to get. So in the past, if you wanted to get this kind of job in China, as a foreigner, you could only be sent to China as an expert. So the company in Germany and the US, they send you to China, they pay you an American or German salary, plus some kind of extra costs, because they want to make you happy that you live abroad, they will take care of your family, and they will take care of the the Send your home for holiday, once a year, whatever you need, pay your pension fund, and so on. So this, this whole package adds up to something like I don't know, double salary of a German American salary double of this. In China, we're normally in China, people would earn like 10% of what you know. So it's up to expats would earn 10 times more than local sellers 20 times more.
John C. Morley: So they're paying because of me, that's a big sacrifice that someone's making. And that's why they think that that extra money is because you're basically picking up yourself or your family and to just relocate. It's not a very, yeah, there's a lot that goes into that. But what I really want to know is, you know, when you think about these different stories, and you talk about other people in companies and working in jobs, what I find to be the most challenging thing, and maybe you have a spin on this, whether you speak one language or multiple languages, if you speak English, for example, and you come over to China, okay? And you don't know Chinese, and you try to understand it. Is it like going to France, where they really don't want to help you? If you don't know the language? They're gonna laugh at you. They're going to be rude. How is it like in China, because I've never been to China, to be honest with you.
Francis Kremer: Well, I can only tell you I first came to China in 2004. And I could catch the language for a few weeks, so I could not speak Chinese. But I could get around pretty well. So it is possible. It's really possible. Yes,
John C. Morley: I need to hold my Google or my app here that could do translating for me. And I have that as well.
Francis Kremer: I have that as well. I can only tell you that I don't really use apps anymore. So I've been here for a long time. I speak fluent Chinese. I have no problem to communicate. Now when I
John C. Morley: Oh, sorry. In China. There is a lot more emphasis on security. Am I correct? There's like cameras almost every corner and we don't have that in America and also Germany's different than that too. Right. Very different.
Francis Kremer: Yeah, so yeah, of course it's a lot different. Yeah. How about the US?
John C. Morley: Us is not like that. In the US we do not have cameras on every point. They are at certain public places, but they're not at every intersection. They're not at every mall. I mean, they'd be at some, but they're just not like, as I'd seen in the news. They're not as omnipresent as they are in China. And I think also in Germany, I know their security, but it doesn't seem like it is in China. China does seem very concerned about people's security, but yet, they just seem to have this web, if you will, of information. And my big concern is what people are doing with it. We had a guest a few weeks ago, Carl Weaver, and we were talking to him about different things. He brought up the concept of governance. And we're like, Who's going to take responsibility? Francis, is it going to be the manufacturers or the software developers who's going to take that responsibility? I mean, a drone flies to your home, and suddenly, it crashes into your neighbor's, well don't laugh that we start having a rider for your insurance called a drone rider. And that policy you have to get if you get more than two deliveries a year, because the company can only handle one crash a year or something like that manual, it sounds stupid. But I feel that's where we're going. And with the information, age of distributed computing, and everything happening, information is moving so quickly. I mean, just using your phone and sending a text. Most people don't know that just texting from an Apple device or an Apple device. If you don't enable iMessage. It's not secure. And if you use an Android device to an iPhone, forget it. So you need to use an app like telegram. And that had over 500 million downloads. So security is really changing the way life is. Yeah, there's.
Francis Kremer: Yeah, but we go more into this. So what do you know about China? In that regard? What do you think? Or what do Americans think about China in regards to cameras and the information?
John C. Morley: I believe that, you know, they have this technology. And I can tell you that our government over here, there were certain factories, that they actually put an NDA out. Now that doesn't stand for a non disclosure. That's basically not to do business with them. And if there was a school, a government or a business, and we didn't work with a public entity, like a school or a government, we couldn't have certain camera systems installed. Because we had found that these cameras that didn't have microphones on them had hidden microphones. And these microphones were taking information back to China. So it has us a little concerned.
Francis Kremer: Now, I don't know what the other side is, but it doesn't sound very good. Would you describe Oh, no,
John C. Morley: It's so this is why I'm being very honest, Francis, why the US has been very skeptical. I think there's a lot we can learn from China, and we can work together. But I think the biggest challenge, Francis, is that, and this goes with any other country, when there's a language barrier, they sometimes don't understand the translation. And it gets rude and abrupt. Because they think that the US is being rude. But we're not, we're just trying to ask a question. And it sounds like we're insulting them, but we're not. And so that's something I've been noticing a lot in the last couple of years, Francis.
Francis Kremer: Yeah, I know. But there's actually this. There's a lot of books about communication about culture differences. So what I always like to say about the Chinese people is that one person in China, like you and I, we don't make a decision. The decision is always made by a community. Okay, so this is totally different. You need to keep this in mind. If someone tells you something, a Chinese person tells you something, it is not a decision, he is not speaking for himself. He's just putting in one more point of communication that you have to add up in a puzzle of other information. And then you have to understand what he's trying to tell you. If you don't understand that it's your fault.
John C. Morley: It's my fault
Francis Kremer: Because you didn't understand all the puzzle you know you know it's your job not my job to tell you so the American person or the German person you know I’m German i always tell people look I’m German I’m direct so i think i tell you that's it you don't have to know anything else before afterwards just understand what I’m trying to tell you that's it it's different it's just different so if you want to work with Chinese people you yeah so it's different so what have you ever had the chance to discuss this with the Chinese people kind of a discussion or anything like this
John C. Morley: I've had a few people that i know of in the states that are Chinese some that are good friends of mine and when I’ve talked to them they are very supportive because what I’ve noticed with them Francis is that a lot of people don't give them a chance and i believe in non discrimination for any reason race religion sexual orientation culture etc. And i believe you just got to give people a chance i think when somebody is flustered which can happen sometimes i just say look you know I’m not like those other people but I’m not gonna tell you that you're gonna have to see that for yourself yeah and finally over time it doesn't matter what i say but my actions really speak louder and so that's what kind of builds the bridge or the bond that hey you know what this person's for us but they're not like all the other us people that have that stereotype yeah i believe we need to give people a chance i know there are a lot of challenges that happened that I’m not going to bring up here but there are always going to be political differences in any culture in any country i think that's just going to be inevitable people sometimes can't work together and what i tell people i have a phrase Francis when some things don't work out i had taken my very first job when i was at a college and i was working for the government and wasn't getting paid what i should be getting paid and so i decided after a while to use something i should have done a long time ago and i walked up to the hr director two months before i supposed to get vested probably wasn't a smart thing but i had morals i went up to the hr director and i said i just want to say thank you what i mean i said i just wanna say thank you i had a great run with you guys the last four or five years and this was a lot of fun she says what are you saying i said oh by the way this is gonna be my last day but i want to say thank you to you because you helped me we helped you yeah you helped me become a better version of myself and i owe that all to you and now you guys can become a better version of yourself and now i know that i have to keep becoming a better version of myself and just taking whatever doesn't serve me out of the way and they just like went into this days.
Francis Kremer: Yeah i understand.
John C. Morley: So i believe Francis that it's about you know having a support for people and also you know doing the right thing whether it's a certain culture or not a certain culture it's about understanding and i believe if we really put the effort forth even though there's different languages we can still make things work and we still understand each other and we can still communicate in different ways and our face you know shows lots of words and symbols so if you're really trying i believe the other person will know that you're trying to help that's what i hope absolutely and so that's what i go by but a lot of times you know it's always what did he say what did she say and i was just someone well who told you that or what source told you that well we heard it on such and such well the media sometimes filters things so how do you believe all of it you can't so you have to become your own filter francis because if you don't do that then you just become a byproduct of everything else that everybody's telling you.
Francis Kremer: Yeah exactly yeah i totally agree you have to make your own point.
John C. Morley: Yeah and when you're talking about these things which sounds really great, I'm sure a lot of people will want to watch them. You also mentioned the fact that it's important to get other people to learn things to teach them things so that we can, you know, I guess important knowledge. Where did that come from? To make you want to be able to do the teaching? I know you said you, you taught the English, but what made you really want to get people to understand?
Francis Kremer: Yeah, you know, that's a very fuzzy philosophy, but actually, you know, to make it very short, my, my mum came from Ireland. So I was born in Germany, but my mom is Irish. So I grew up half Irish, half German. And there was a lot of influence. My mom was an English teacher, and she would always teach English at home. And so the teacher, the students, sometimes my friends, they would come to my home, and my mom would teach them. And later, she took a job again, when she was over 50, you know, I have five brothers and sisters, so a big family. And then my mom would start working again full time as a teacher for her when she was 15 years old. And then kept doing that until her retirement. So I like to say this was the happiest time of her life. It's sometimes it's a bit tough for me, because I thought, you know, she should have been happy raising me, but she was really happy teaching. And so when I, when I started working, I always wanted to go into business and always wanted to go to China. So I was totally committed to this and never had any brain for teaching. But then later, I thought, you know, check this out, I can do something that nobody else can do. So now I have to teach it. Because now I know something that people know. And I don't want to take it home with me, I want to spread the word, you know, and really, kind of let people understand what took me 10 years to figure out.
John C. Morley: That's really important, is when you can take your whole life. And then sometimes there's that Blip. Like why did I learn that a while ago. And I tell people, it doesn't matter when you learned it. But just be grateful that you learned it now. So now you can apply it the rest of your life? How do you feel about Francis when you're able to teach the sales team? What does that feel like to you?
Francis Kremer: Now, to me, it's fantastic. You know, I started, I always wanted to be a business guy when I was young, you know, I saw I had music with my brothers and my brothers and my friend, we did music on the streets, and I tried, we printed the business cards, you know, I was 14 years old, we printed the business cards, and then distributed the cards and then kind of got gigs, you know, so got old people with a lot of money, and they would order us more kids come to their home and play the music and pay us 200 euros, you know, there was a lot of money, it was fantastic. So I always wanted to do this for a living. So then I decided to study business. And this business studies took me to China. And so my world opened up and up and up and up. So but I always had never really knew how to do this, you know, I knew how to print a business card and how to hand it over. But then I started my sales first sales job was to say, like you told me, You, I, they told me to cold call people and I had no idea how this works. Nobody really trained me. And it was very, very, very tough. And so now when I do this job, I just I tried to understand my staff, my team, I tried to understand them where they're coming from, and what makes it difficult for them to work with European customers to work with people from other cultures, international teams, to sell machines for very, very, very high value. And, and I tried to let them give them time to go through the same learning curves that I went through, but with more help with more empathy and understanding that I can really actually help them to, to approach me and get my point of view, but not push it on to them. But we need to give them the chance to learn about themselves like I did. I had this business dream and this China dream. And so now I'm here because I had this dream. So I'm not sure about my team, they will have other dreams. So I can only motivate them to develop their own good dream. And I hope that that includes electric car machines, you know,
John C. Morley: Want to do what you do someday they may want to be their own maybe they don't necessarily know that. But we didn't really talk about this a lot. So our show is all about value, as you probably guessed. And when you know you're working with those teams, you're working with high ticket items. What tips can you give our viewers tonight about, you know, selling high ticket items. Is there any kind of tips that you can maybe educate because we get sales teams that listen to us? What can you share with our viewers that might help them be a little better with selling high tickets?
Francis Kremer: items?
Francis Kremer: Well, there's a couple of wisdoms like you said before with the early bird and stuff like this, you know, so what I like to say is in big ticket sales, the sales guy needs to earn the trust. So the sales guy needs to get the client to trust because there is we sell machines for 30 million rmb which is $4 million it takes four or five minutes it takes one year to build and then takes another year to really start operating so after two years so it will take one year to sell this one year to build one year to start so after three years the client will see if it works or not and there's no way going back there's no way going back i mean you can destroy the machine but then you have to order another one will take another three years so there's you can only go forward so the sales guy needs to concentrate on building trust that's it that's it.
John C. Morley: If and that time especially with high ticket items it's probably one of the hardest things you have to teach your sales people right how
Francis Kremer: Right, one thing I want to add here is the safe guy takes a year to build a trust that the project manager who is building the product will take one or two days to destroy the trust.
John C. Morley: Yes and so when you're working on a team together you have to realize that goes back to that philosophy that you know you can build great friendships great relationships right and you can destroy them like that in a fraction of a second by just one thing you did or someone else did or didn't do and you just don't get a second chance to do it all over again you have to start from scratch and maybe start 50 times harder than that because you have to build trust from what you broke and then you have to rebuild trust again.
Francis Kremer: Exactly so we say the sales manager he sells the machine which for me means he builds the trust big enough for the customer to trust for the client to trust us to build his machine the project manager will sell the second project the second because the project manager is doing a good job that the customer the client will trust us for the second project and we make typically make more revenue and also more profit on the second project.
John C. Morley: Now when you talk about these things that you're selling, what application I'm not sure if you're able to tell us that but what are they using these warnings you mentioned cars but what else are they using these systems that you're building for.
Francis Kremer: so I always like to say from the other way round to explain a little bit easier so you see how the car culture changed right so you had the henry ford 100 years ago right the first kind of assembly made cart and then this didn't change so much in the next 100 years to be honest you know it was a little bit more efficient and somebody still looks more or less the same way you know an electric car by tesla you know it totally changed so now you don't have a car with a with an engine inside but you have the outside looks the same and the customers they want to have the same kind of feeling you know they yeah they want to have a cool electric car but they kind of they still want to have a car it takes them from a to b so you cannot change so much but you still have to innovate so the car companies they try to kind of keep operating like they used to do in the past 50 years but it's very difficult for them and including their supply chain so what I’m doing is I’m working in the supply chain of the car industry both the traditional car and the electric car so we build machines to build electric motor every car contains also the old school cars let's call it like this traditional cars they also contain about 20 electric motors maybe to move the seat to move the electric wiper and so there's lots of small electric motors into the in the car and big change is happening now from traditional to electric is that the power train so the system which is pushing the power from the motor from the engine to the wheels this is completely electric so now the powertrain of an electric car just contains a big battery pack this is what everybody is talking about how to make this more efficient and more sustainable and you need a motor a motor which electric motor which transports the energy from like takes the energy from the battery puts it in the motor and then puts it onto the onto the axis right so to get the speed this is so cool so if you drive an electric car and you push the acceleration brown we will take you over there's no sound but we will take you over like crazy it's absolutely fantastic and this all comes down to engineering so how efficiently do the battery how efficient are you to the mortar and this development in the past 10 years it has totally like totally changed every single year and the past 10 years this is for engineers I'm not an engineer, I'm a sales guy. But for engineers it is fantastic.
John C. Morley: It blows me away.
Francis Kremer: It's also so difficult to understand to prepare, because now for example, Tesla, you know, they, they first built, they didn't build their own electric motor, they didn't build it, they bought it from Taiwan. Really, they bought it from Taiwan. So they found a company in Taiwan, nobody knows of nobody, honestly, I don't even know the name of the company. But my team knows this. So I believe in ownership. So I don't have to know anything, but my team knows the supplier in Taiwan. And they used to ship the electric motor from Taiwan to California for the past 10 years. So now Tesla, they are building their plans around the world, in Germany, near Berlin. And in Shanghai, they have a new plant. And I know the Tesla guys, you know, good friends of mine, no work for Tesla. So this is more work. It's everything is one word. And so now they are thinking about building their own motor. You know, it's all confidential. So I don't want to go so much in detail. But it is such a cool thing that now Tesla, they used to build the motor outside, now they're building it for the first time. And it's very, very, very risky. And they're talking to me, that's so freak in cool. You know,
John C. Morley: That is amazing. Building the machine that makes them build the motors that correct your what you're building, is helping them have the tools in their manufacturing plant to build these types of motors. And now I know a big thing that's coming, Francis is China was working on this new type of quick battery change facility? I'm not sure yeah, yes, yeah. They said, you're going to be able to change your battery in China, I believe it was something like three minutes, because they figured out that in so many years, you will need to change the battery on your Tesla or other electric car. And they need to make it convenient and quick. And they're going to spend a fortune on this. And they're going to hopefully set up test sites. And those sites will then hopefully be purchased so they can be brought over to the US so that they'll be able to change car batteries here quick and easily.
Francis Kremer: This whole system, I also I'm always trying to explain it in a way that your audience can really understand it quickly. Thus, the whole system of a power train of energy in electric car has just been innovated every single year in the past 15 years. So everything has been changed over this idea that you just describe. It's not that the Chinese would say boo wending is not maintained, it is just a fantasy. So there's one, only one single company is doing this. Currently, it's called Neo and IO. It's been the star of the stock exchange market in the past 1010 months, I think, you know, I even had chairs by solden too early. So they went from $2 to 60, you know, like, absolutely took off. And they had this idea to build an SUV, a Chinese made SUV with a swap battery system. So you can just go somewhere and there was a station, it looks like a crash. And we'll take your battery out, put a new battery in and you just leave.
John C. Morley: Exactly I'm talking about exactly.
Francis Kremer: Yes, exactly. So I'm just saying this system, if you know, it's an innovation and innovations take time. So I would say I like this Chinese word for wenting. You know, it's just it's, it's an idea it doesn't really work yet because people.
John C. Morley: The prototype isn't really built yet. It's still in the design. No, no,
Francis Kremer: No, no, it's working. It's working. It's working, but the thing is that the Chinese people that own a car are electric cars and they normally also live in an urban environment. So they have the chance to park their car in their apartment house downstairs you know in the garage. And so, they can charge like the Tesla you know that it can just charge. So now these kind of people they are able to pay I think this cars 480,000 RMB, which is like $60,000.80 $80,000 like this. So this is what Tatum different way. My team salary, they would be like 10,000 RMB per month. So 480,000 is like 48 months, four years gross salary for a car, you know, so just you understand there's only a kind of certain point of the population that can buy such a car. So they don't have a problem in kind of charging their car in the garage at night because they don't have an issue with this. So of course they also like to go somewhere, but it's not, you know, if the Tesla has the plaque in charge and the Neo has the battery change, then you have to have two different infrastructures. And currently, there's only one cause of the battery swap, and all the other car companies have the charge. So it's an innovation and I am not sure if it will be successful or not. But it does look pretty promising. So I am just waiting to see what happens, you know,
John C. Morley: It's gonna be definitely very interesting. I've also noticed Francis, a lot on different platforms, like, of course link in, there has been more and more international connections more than before, that's been something that's really been changing, not just during the pandemic, but even before the pandemic, that connections are starting to happen overseas more than they did just in your own city or in your own country. So you have a goal, don't you want to reach quite a few people on LinkedIn? Isn't that one of your things right now? You want to reach actually? Yeah, actually,
Francis Kremer: John, I'm I, I work. I have two hearts, kind of, you know, one is my company, what I was telling you about that I'm having this owner of my company to really kick off this bad electric motor business, you know, we want to be the best electric motor company, Machine Company, motors in China. And we want to get all the international companies if they want to do this in China to buy it from us and not import the machines from their homemade suppliers, you know, for me, so, I local, so this is my job, how I quote my team. So this keeps me very busy. But the other thing that's podcasting, it's kind of it's another dream, it's another heart, you know, and so I use LinkedIn to be honest, because LinkedIn is a very international community. So I talked to them about this podcasting, not about my job thing, you know, it's kind of a little bit of a different environment. And I am so happy that I'm surrounded by lots of people who support the stream. So there's more than 7077, zero, more than 70 contributors on the podcast project already, after not even one year. That is more than 70. people that say this dream is fantastic. I want to contribute, I want to share my China story I want like, like I do with you. Now I want to tell people about my job and how I came to China and why I love China and what you should do, and do you need to speak Chinese and so on. So on LinkedIn, we built this company page for the podcast. And we started with a target to achieve 1000 followers last year, end of year, and we hit it on December 31.
John C. Morley: And what was your magic to do that? How did you do that? so quickly? What do you think got you there so quickly?
Francis Kremer: Well, you know, I'm a sales guy. And I, I grew up, I always say I grew up in sales, by pushing just like what you said, so I have to get what I want. I have to push people and I have changed. So I have changed. Now I am a visionary person. So I tried to share the vision, and I tried to share the dream. That's what I want to build. And I need people to help me. So I cannot do anything by myself. You know, I cannot. What
John C. Morley: Did they say there was a one very wise person that said, you know, we are nothing at all, but when we come together as one we can build and be anything.
Francis Kremer: Yeah. And, and this has been so fantastic. So we got lots of support. And I know that you know, people also give me this kind of feedback, you're kind of bragging you're asking for help. This is you know, this is not not good. That's not professional, said no, I think it's great because I want help. I don't want to build this myself. I really don't want to have this community of people who think tyna flex path is a future that we want foreigners in China, the Chinese people they want foreigners in China, they want absolutely realists. They want they're very, very welcome to fly didn't.
John C. Morley: Think that was what they wanted. I really didn't think that was what they wanted.
Francis Kremer: Foreigners are very welcome and China very, very work. Believe me, very sure about this. I've been here for years, I've never been discriminated against never. I've, I've really.
John C. Morley: Trying to create more of a community online so that I guess people aspiring to, you know, decide what they want to do for their careers, to motivate people that are coming out of school and college. And then also I guess, to give people a reason to, I guess, dig deeper. Sometimes, you know, when you're at a job. I tell people that the first job you're at may not be what your passion is, yeah. It may not be what you were destined to do. And that's when you have to be open to a calling. And if you can't say every day that you don't work well then that's a problem. And I'm happy to say that every day I don't work. Yeah, I'm doing what I do. I help people and do all kinds of different things. But I don't work. Yeah, now we all have challenges that can happen. But that's not so maybe I work three days a year. Because Yeah, the accountant and things like that. The other days, Francis, I don't think I'm really working. I mean, it's, you know, I get to talk to wonderful people like you, I get a ring out the message about having us have a great life. And there's just so much we can do, there's so much we can learn, and to inspire other people to do things and to hear their stories, and to basically pass it on, so that we can share our experiences. And I think what you're doing over in China is very similar, I guess to what I'm doing in the states is that I'm helping people in the technology realm, because what our show, the JMOR tech talk show is about is we talk about all different types of technology. We talk about how it works, and what to do when it doesn't. And then we also give you some tips on things you should be aware of like the doll that came out not too long ago, about a year ago, that they didn't put an extra PIN code in it so that the bad actors could just hack right through the website and hack the doll. And then it was asking very personal things, and now it became a very serious, possibly criminal situation. So even though we're on different paths on doing this in the technology realm and exploring the careers there, you're exploring the careers of sales in China, and just things from not only the venture world, but also, you know, what is it like to be in the trenches as a salesperson? And what is it like after that, and where is the place, you go for promotion, and you're really giving people Francis a hope, because maybe a lot of people in China are seeing these jobs. And they're like, Oh, I don't want to be a salesperson. Well, true, you don't wanna be a salesperson, your whole life, but you gotta start there. And then you can become a manager.
Francis Kremer: John, exactly, I like to tell people that I need to build a track record. So this word comes from the investment community, so I only give my money to somebody, I saw that they were able to make money in the past, you know, that's a track record, he should show our success also comes from sales, you know, if you hit your target three years, you managed to give you higher target and more boners, and whatever. So you show that you had success. It's not always so easy, but you need to show some kind of track record. So you have to have one job where you start. And then people will give you a small responsibility, you have to show that you earned it. And then you will get more and more and more in one day, you can sum something what I do, you can work your dream, you know, that's really, really cool. But you have to earn it. Nobody will. Nobody would give me this responsibility. Without my 10 years experience in Germany.
John C. Morley: You have to demonstrate some ability, I always say that all the degrees, my engineering degree going to college all that's great. But at the end of the day, for instance, people don't care about that. They care about are you able to solve my problem? Are you able to get the job done? Are you able to get it done on time and on budget?
Francis Kremer: Exactly, yeah, exactly. You need to show responsibility. And this is a book about Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink. I think about this, I'm not exactly sure. But he, he shows that, hey, this is what I believe in, if you, if you, if everybody takes ownership of what he's responsible for, then the whole company will be more successful. And something like this has been built in the concept of Lean management. This is also you know, it's been very famous around the world. It's also something that's growing more and more in China, this sorts of what we're building here in the company to make sure everybody needs to take responsibility for his part of the job. And then accountability, successful accountability, it's very, very important, but also for me. So this is why I say, I hate micromanagement, it doesn't help me. And I have my team. And now I can talk to you, because I trust my team to do their job. But I also know because talking to you someday will give me more profit for myself. And also somebody will call me and do whatever will happen. But it will help me more than if I kind of track my team to do their job, I need to trust them. And my accountability is to grow and to dream and to transport the stream to my team. This is just what I do,
John C. Morley: Feel you've got to build that foundation with them in the beginning and set the standards. And then once they're able to operate on the disciplines you put forth, then it's time to let them go loose. And if they have a question, unless they go very awry, which never happens, then you have to step in. And that's not micromanaging. That's solving something before it becomes a disaster. I'm not saying those things don't happen. But they shouldn't happen that often. But a big challenge Francis is not just having that ability, and showing people a track record. But how about if you never get the chance to show the track record? Because if someone says Gee, you know, I need a small project. But what if you're never given tha