Sam Richter
Sam Richter will address the HARDI crowd during their upcoming annual convention in Orlando.

“How do you use the web? Better yet, how do you use the web to find information that you never thought possible; and how do you use that information to build deeper relationships with your clients?”

These are just a few of the questions that Sam Richter has addressed in past presentations and will likely address at the Heating, Air-conditioning, and Refrigeration, Distributors International (HARDI) upcoming annual convention — Develop Demand, Success is Deliberate. The conference is scheduled for Oct. 6-9 at the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, where many distributors and special speakers are expected to gather for education, networking, and a host of other business-building opportunities.

Richter is among the list of speakers this year and as an expert on sales, marketing, and leadership he is ready to share his years of experience with attendees during two separate sessions. He is the founder and CEO of SBR Worldwide/Know More!; and senior vice president, chief marketing officer at ActiFi, a software and solutions firm serving the financial services industry. According to his website, Richter was president of a not-for-profit business library where he led the transformation of an 85-year-old private, non-profit business research organization into a nationally renowned institution serving entrepreneurs and small businesses via online resources. Having been dubbed as the “Modern-day Dale Carnegie,” Richter has created programs for companies including Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Major League Baseball; as well as presented to companies such as 3M, Clear Channel Communications, Coldwell Banker, and a variety of other large and small businesses as well as associations.

His first session during the HARDI convention — Web Search Secrets: Helping Your Distributors be Demand Drivers — helps kick off the conference on Saturday. The second session — Know Your Customers: Keys to Demand Creation — will be the luncheon keynote on Sunday.

Access Granted

Searching the web is more than just hopping online and keying a few terms into Google. In fact, according to Richter, there are search engine secrets that not only yield more precise searches, but that can yield more detailed and higher-end information.

“The key is to put good information into a search engine; then you are going to get good information out,” he said during one of his past sessions. “If you want to see if I actually know what I am talking about; Google search my name. If I don’t own the first 100 pages of Google search results on my name; and there are lots of other Sam Richters out there — I just virtually eliminated them — then I don’t know what I am talking about.”

According to Richter, one of the keys to unlocking information is not only in learning how to use and search the web, but also to learn how to use the information that is found on the web. This information can help improve overall business and should allow for more meaningful customer relations. During his talks and in his best-selling book, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling, Richter points out that there is more to the web than standard users normally access. Referring to what he calls the invisible web — “the portion of the Internet that is just not searchable via search engines” — his many presentations show attendees how to find and access high-end databases and information.

“We’re going to learn more on how to use search engines. More than you ever thought possible. I am going to give you some tips and tricks on how to get information out of search engines,” Richter was quoted in one of his sessions. “Some larger companies are paying hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of dollars to access information that when properly searched can often be accessed at no charge.”

Nothing Posted Is Off the Record

Detailed searches and high-end information is available because nothing done digitally is ever off the record. The information that is posted to the web is catalogued by search engines, companies, the Library of Congress, etc. In understanding how to access that information, a business can learn how to create a clear company message as well as protect itself online.

“You just need to go through life thinking everything you do online in digital format — text, tweet, Facebook post, blog comment, website post, etc. — are pieces of information that is going to be out there; in the public domain, searchable forever,” explained Richter.

In understanding this principle, distributors can better protect themselves and their reputations, but they can also learn more about their customers.

Information Provides Connection

The Internet does not discriminate. If all of one business’ digital info is searchable, then so is all of every other company leaving digital fingerprints. These fingerprints can allow distributors to learn and gain insight into understanding their customers. This further understanding of a customer can potentially provide a stronger business connection.

To explain this concept, Richter described a situation where mentioning a recent tweet, from a customer’s employee account about a recent charity venture, provided a talking point about something the customer was interested in as opposed to pulling out a portfolio and discussing how great the sales representative’s company was for an hour.

He also suggested that not only does knowing more about a customer provide insight and opportunity for new and expanded discussions, but “sometimes there is a value in knowing what not to say as well.”

Covering New Ground

Just exactly what Richter has in store for the convention is not yet set in stone; but the promises of his past engagements and his credentials provide HARDI attendees with the anticipation of helpful and intriguing sessions. As the association centers in on distributors driving demand and deliberately embracing success, Richter’s knowledge and concepts should help provide attendees with the tools to solidify current relationships and gain new ground as well. If you would like to get a head start in preparing for this dynamic speaker, you can engage Sam Richter via his blog, on-demand webinars, or newsletter at

To register for the HARDI conference or for further scheduling information, visit

Publication date: 8/13/2012