I was still on my vision quest when I came to Costa Rica. TrulyYourVA podcast guest Richard Blank
Richard Blank: And so I really take it from a case by case old school basis when I'm dealing with the people that work with me.
Janis Melillo: Wow, that is amazing. So you, you've, like you said, you've been there for 22 years. You, you decided, you know, to build your own company. What was that moment? Because I think so many people out there today, for instance, who, um, you know, were in the era where we work virtually.
I'm a virtual assistant, but for somebody who wants to start their own brick and mortar business, can you share some of. Challenges, but also the excitement that came along with.
Richard Blank: Absolutely. I was still on my vision quest when I came to Costa Rica looking for my walkabout and to shed some skin, and I will be forthright with you.
It did take into my mid thirties for impulse control maturity and have enough capital to start a business. Mm-hmm. and a lot of people may overextend themselves by taking out loans or mortgages or just trying to, uh, create a certain image of bells and whistles where, you know, they're not acting their wage, they're just giving an impression.
And so for me, I, I wanted to do it slow and. And as grandma said, if you can't pay for it in cash, you just don't do it. And so when I started my call center, I was working out of my home, but I was also renting an individual turnkey station from a blended center. So I didn't have privacy. I was just on an open floor plan and just renting seats per month and paying the taxes and making a margin.
And after a couple years, I saved enough capital and really knew the business to then rent. And purchase enough to build out 150 stations in a server room, and then after about six years, I had enough to be able to build a 300 seat station that I currently own and I'm at right now. So as much as I want to give the glamour to it and the fast track, a lot of the time a business is building on foundation and doubling down on yourself and saving money so you can weather certain storms and just be very conservative.
And I like it that way. In fact, I'm very selective of the campaigns that come in here because A, it's my reputation. And B, it's also seller's market. If the agent doesn't wanna do it, I. Fill seeds. So it's an extremely delicate balance, and the fact that I am hands. I like to walk the rows and break bread with the agents and to listen to them and coach them
TrulyYourVA with Janis podcast has accepted Richard Blank's invitation to join the audience for a solid discussion regarding moving abroad and starting a company from scratch in Costa Rica. Janis Melillo discusses with Richard advanced telemarketing strategy, conflict management, interpersonal soft skills, customer support, rhetoric, gamification, employee motivation and phonetic micro expression reading.
In a now all consuming digital world, Virtual Assistant's are in such high demand. From choosing which social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Clubhouse and many others; knowing how to hire a VA is just as important as to which social media outlet you should use. Did you know that hiring a VA will actually save you money? Janis Melillo is a Virtual Assistant, Business Coach, Ghostwriter, Author, Publisher, Speaker, Podcast Co-Host.
Richard’s journey in the call center space is filled with twists and turns. When he was 27 years old, he relocated to Costa Rica to train employees for one of the larger call centers in San Jose. With a mix of motivational public speaking style backed by tactful and appropriate rhetoric, Richard shared his knowledge and trained over 10 000 bilingual telemarketers. Richard Blank has the largest collection of restored American Pinball machines and antique Rockola Jukeboxes in Central America making gamification a strong part of CCC culture.Richard Blank is the Chief Executive Officer for Costa Rica’s Call Center since 2008.