The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

175. Protecting Migrant Children: International Social Service w/ Jean Ayoub


In this episode of the Sales Hacker Podcast, we have Jean Ayoub, Secretary General and CEO at International Social Service (ISS), a nonprofit organization that specializes in complex cross-border case management to protect migrant children. Join us for a convicting conversation about some of the challenges facing workers who reunite children with families and how sales plays into their success.

What You’ll Learn

  1. What ISS is and the work it does
  2. Challenges that advocates for migrant children face
  3. How Jean came to work with nonprofits
  4. Fundraising, financing, sales skills, and advocacy awareness

Show Agenda and Timestamps

  1. About Jean Ayoub & ISS [4:50]
  2. Challenges facing advocates for migrant children [10:14]
  3. Jean’s love for nonprofits [13:28]
  4. Migratory patterns and causes for separation [15:48]
  5. How sales is present in nonprofits [19:45]
  6. Sam’s Corner [26:03] 

One, two, one, three, three, hey everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the SALESACER podcast. Today we've got a very special kind of guest, one that we really haven't had before, and it's because we and I want to bring you voices that are not just exclusively from the world of startup sales, but voices from around the world, so that maybe we can introduce some different perspectives. While we're still always focused, of course, on which the right Ad Sdr ratio and why great is the most important thing, blah, blah blah. There's a lot of other things that are going on in the world. So this week's guest is John Aube Jean, is the secretary general and CEO of an organization called ISSS, international social services. It's an incredible organization. It's a nonprofit focused on assisting individual children when they are separated from their parents due to migratory issues, meaning refugees, people that are fleeing a dangerous situation, they're fleeing an earthquake, they're fleeing a civil war and they are on their way to a place that they hope is safer, and bad things happen when they're on that journey. They get separated from their parents, they get thrown into cages, they they are adopted out illegally or inappropriately or unethically. So so many different bad things can happen to children when they are in the midst of fleeing a bad situation in the hopes of pursuing a better life. And ISS comes in and advocates on specific individual children and I think they process over seventyzero different cases every single year trying to reunite children with their parents and make sure that children find a safe place. And of course sales is part of that, because John is selling by virtue of storytelling and telling people about the organization. So there's of course the sales element, but it's also just an attempt to to bring some different perspectives to the show. Now, before we get to the interview, we've got a couple sponsors. The first is outreach. Outreach has been a longtime sponsor the podcast. They just launched a new way to learn outreach on outreaches, the place to learn how outreach does outreach, learn how the team follows up with every...

...lead, learn how they run account based plays, manage reps and so much more, using their very own sales engagement platform. Had to outreach that io forward slash on outreach to see what they've got going on. We're also sponsored by pavilion. Pavilion is the key to getting more out of your career. Our private membership connects you with a network of thousands of like minded peers and resources where you can tap into leadership opportunities, training, mentorship and other services made for high growth leaders like you. Unlock your professional potential with a pavilion membership. Leaders at every stage can get started today at join Pavilioncom. And finally, Blue Board really cool company cash rewards feel a little bit like a slap in the face, don't they? That's why you got to check out blue board. Blue Board is the world's leading experiential sales recognition platform that offers top reps their choice of hand curated experiences. From skydiving to court side tickets, Michelin starting to five star escapes, there's something for everybody. For President's Club, Blue Board offers individual bugget list trips and luxury home goods, from Pelton bikes to swimming with whale, sharks and Cobbo. You'll go treats and Bali to chasing the northern lights. A couple really cool experiences that I'm looking at right now on Blueboard as I think about what experience I want to think about. One of them is bouldering, right, so learning to rock climb, which is super cool. That's an experience. And then there's a there's this whole experience around learning to surf, which you know I'm a I can get up on like a longboard that basically is like a large paddleboard and I can go straight but I can't ride away some one of the things I'm excited to interact with my Blueboard concierge about is this surfing experience, because there's some beaches and far rockaway in the New Year New York area there's some there's some good waves in Montalk. This is definitely something that I think I'd be interested in. And they've got this concier service that takes care of the whole thing for you. So trigger reps like the Rock Stars they are, with a dedicated Bluebird conciergehual plan all of the logistics and itinerary so they don't have to lift a finger. It's really a totally brand new way to to make your employees feel amazing. Check them out podcast dot blue boardcom and get a free...

...demo. That's podcast up blue boardcom. Now, without further ado, lets listen to my interview with Jean I. Yoube okay, everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the salesacker podcast. Today on the show we've got Jean I. Youb Jean is. Well, let me read you as by Um. He's the secretary general and CEO of ISSS. So this is going to be a different kind of show than we normally have because we're talking to somebody that runs a nonprofit focused on saving children, which is pretty amazing. But let me read you his bio, with the beginning in the Red Cross as a volunteer and becoming operations director during the Lebanese civil war, Jean served field missions for the IFRC before relocating to Geneva to design and manage response to worldwide disasters. As USG and director of operations the turn of the century, Jean operated several years as a consultant, dealing mainly with turnarounds, Change Management and coaching. Since two thousand and nine, John has been the secretary general and CEO of Isss, leading the transformation of the organization ahead of its hundred anniversary in two thousand and twenty four. John has a deep understanding of the WORLDD's humanitarian social affairs. As a solid organizational vision, is a strategic thinker committed to organizational change in the digital age. John's passionate about having a role to make our battered world a better place to be, working to enable his organizations to assume a substantial role supporting children separated from their families along migration routes through cross border case management and high level advocacy. John, welcome to the show. Hello Sam, hello everybody, and thank you for having me. We're excited to have you. So I read. I read the Bio, but first of all we want to understand. I said I ss, but most people that are listening don't know what is SS stands for or what it is. So what is I assess the organization that you run? That's pretty common. Actually. I never heard of both ices before joining IRSS. It isn't the nationalization. Today ninety seven years old and it's very specialized in case by case cross border case management in the sense if you are migrating from country a to country real it's a Mexico to United States and then you fall and trouble.

You don't have papers, you don't have access to healthcare, education, you don't know your rights in the country of in your in the host country and things like that. This is why ISS USA, for example, comes into into the picture and trying to help you, as in my current on the migration roots, and try to check with you, with the authorities, what other actors, what is your best interest, because we did mainly with children, adolescents, it means less than eighteen years old, and then we do these these custom checks, we do inquiries in your hometown whether going back would be in your best interest, and whenever we have a recommendation to do, we do that in usually authorities, courts, lawyers and sold and supporth. They follow their advice and we work mainly, again, let me stress on that, on the for the best interest of the child. So this is what we do daily and on the early basis. We have seventyzero cases of those all around the world. We have about hundred and twenty offices around the world and this is our core business. One cold business to is, of course, advocacy, everything which is linked to child protection on the migration route searching for the US adopted and they want to learn who were their biological parents, born out of socogacy procedures, and they want to know who was the mother, and so on and so forth. This is what we do essentially, but, as I is a stand for international social service. Ninety seven years ago we were called the International Migration Service and since the S and there were was a UN agency created called the International Organization for Migration, we changed our name to focus more on the nature of our services. Some I think what's what's really important. It's just to go back ninety seven years ago, and probably a bit more. This entire organization was born to accompany all those people leaving Europe the Middle East and even even further in Asia. Wanted...

...all to go mainly to North America, to Ellis Islands and all these immigration sites we all know for United States and all for Canada, basically, and is ISS was born actually to accompany these people. We wait for them on the sea shores in seaports and then we take them their their their names, we take their destination, we take what they can do and on the other side they's say Elis Island, we have ISS social workers waiting to greet these people coming and try to or yen the many of them did not speak English, many of them did not know where they go, and this is where our ISS people on the other side of the Atlantic will t this is the ID. Actually was born like that and since then it is the same. We help people on the migration would, but more will through, will time. We focus much more wrong children. Today. Seventy, seventy five percent of our case work is essentially children and families. So just for the audience to play it back. So the point here that we're talking to John is he runs an organization children are separated from their families. We've all heard about it at the board of the United States over the past couple of years as more people have tried to migrate to the United States and this organization, which is an incredible organization, helps children manage this whole process, hopefully reconnecting them to their parents and other issues related to advocacy. What are the biggest challenges that you I mean there are so many challenges that you face, Shawn, but what are the biggest challenges that you face as you pursue this work of trying to advocate on behalf of migrant children. I think the other three levels of challenge. The first one is socio legal, because when you cross from one country to another country, obviously laws tend to change, culture and then to change. Sometimes language tends to change and then we end up with people not understanding each other, and we need to facilitate that process. The second challenge will be the authorities themselves, the receiving authorities, for example, how much their knowledgeable about their national laws, about refugees and as item, seekers...

...and minors should be put them in my minimum security prisons should be set at them from their families, and so on though so forth. And the last, last but not least, not least, problem is funding of all that, because most of our cases that are not attended to financially speaking, we are not into mass, mass assistance like the other international and Joe's the right cross, the UN system and so on and so forth is as cannot pretend to be present in a camp helping threezero people, which makes our job and fundraising easier. What we can relate to is that, what we can communicate on and give information about is that we do, case by case case by case, one after the other, diligently tailoring individual solutions for personal problems, and this obviously is much more difficult to fundraise for then what I would call mass assistance. How do you pick which cases you take on if there's threezero people in a camp, as you said, and you're trying to help as many as possible? How do you select who you help and who you don't help? Actually, we don't select. We are called upon for the most complic cases, for those cases who the traditional actors, that traditional agencies do not find solutions for us. Sometimes in a refuge camp you have a lot of care givers, had a lot of good will workers, humanitarian workers, dealing with relief issues like, you know, proposing shelter, proposing food, proposing some form of protection, water and so on and so forth. But some of the needs within these refugee or as island seeker populations and a refugee camp is not related to relief, is not related to first necessity, subsidiency, subsidience. It just it's related to more, let's say, existenceive issues, like being reunited with a family up north or being remouted back to their country of origin and so on and so forth. And this kind of excellent expertise is not all the time embedded with the humanitarian workers and caregivers. So...

...this is we do not get to select our cases. Fortunate your unfortunately, we are alerted upon by these organizations, by the camp managers, by the authorities when it comes to complex individual cases. I have many questions, but let's go through your bio. I read your bio. A lot of acronyms in there. Again, for, you know, an audience of salespeople and marketing people working at, you know, startups, they may not know those acronyms. Tell us about how you got you took on this position. Tell us about your background and how you came to work in nonprofit specifically focused on children. Well, you know, I get to to be very fairful to food. To my history. I came to work with nonprofits in the manitary organizations completely by chance. When I was about seventeen, I wanted to take my girlfriend to one of the Greek islands and have a good time. We were in a country, my country of origin, lemon on. It wily, we were in the middle of a civil war. She said no, this is nonsense, we stay in the country, and we had. We joined the red course as volunteers basically, and the deal was that we spend the summer helping out the red course as volunteers during the war and then in September we would go and do our vacation or something like that. So we went into three weeks later she was fed up for and snipers and sharp nails and bombs and bombing and things that actually wanted out. But actually I got the heck of it, I got the hang of it and I liked it very much and I stayed. Actually I liked it that much as I stayed thirty years with the red course, then the natural Red Cross. Then after that, you know, I was directive operations. I've designed the new disaster response system for the International Red Course for natural disasters, set up globally and it was up and running. And I'm someone who needs the adrenal and I'm someone who needs to see change every day for but because for me, change is the only constant thing is life. So I said to myself I'll leave my position and and I did that for obvious personal reasons as well. And...

...then I establish myself as a consultant, mainly in turn around and Organization Building and in coaching. This is where I discovered that actually can, you can do a lot, you can get a lot of money as a consultant, sometimes doing the job of somebody else doesn't like was that qualified to do this job. But that's beside the point. But I discovered as well that I was bored. Like Helen, I wanted back the act should in terms of not only doing the action myself, but doing the action with teams, with real people, with re scenarios, with really impact on the field. And International Social Service was one of my would be a clients and to make a long story showing they asked me forward project to redesign, reformulate the organization and the turnaround managements tied and I think they like my project, but they told me that I'm very expensive as a consultant than they offered me to be the CEO. This is how I go there. So you're cheaper as a CEO than as a consultant. Absolutely, I can confirm that. So well, I have a couple questions, just about about the organization and also about the policies that you advocate for. So first, we've seen a lot of migration due to political instability, you know, from Central America and in Latin America up through Mexico and into to the border, at least in the United States. And then, of course there's a lot of migration due to political unrest and at war and things like that, coming from Africa and different parts of the Middle East into Europe. And there's a lot of different perspectives on the acceptability of migration, what the immigration law should be, and there's, you know, there's a pot there's sometimes a domestic quasi nationalist point of view that, you know, we need to let people need to keep the borders closed. There's a different perspective that countries need to let people in, especially when they're in times of crisis, and there's rules and regulations and asylum laws around that. What's the ISASS is position, particularly because, as we look out at climate change, the reality that there will be much more mass migration from...

...very hot places to cooler places is only going to increase and these issues that you are advocating on behalf of are only going to become more prominent. So what policies do you think we should have in mind as civilians, looking out at the world and looking at at migratory patterns? I think as far as ISOS is concerned, I'll be very frank with you. We do give little detail of the nature of migration. There's migration. Their migration for many reasons, and you talked about them, from civil role, wars, internal staff, economic link, to environmental link, to change patterns in the weather, deforestation and so on and so forth. We don't really get into that, since we are in the case by case but this and since we tend to inherit all the complex cases that other organization do not, do not find solution for, not because they don't want to, it's because it's not their mandates. They are more more in mass, in mass assistance and so on and so forth. So we care a little about the origin of the migration. As long as one person, one family, when tried finds her self for himself on the migration route, falls into trouble and needs ISS and it's mandate, we are there. We don't three the differentiate between this type of migration and that type of migation. And my personal opinion and suggestions and that, as an individual, I think we need to look at migration like that, not because it's a simpler way to focus on the individual and not on the course. I mean I as long as child x and Y argives to United States. Many sense, it doesn't really help whether he was persecuted in his hometown, whether he just went there because went to the nice stays, because he's seeking a better social life or better life in general, whether he was he was running away from floods, from earthquakes, for man made disaster and... on and so forth. The reason is not really important. And I say that to be utter to understand it as an individual, because we all can find ourselves in a migrant and a migration situation. I myself and an economical migrant I was. I was directed operations of Libanese ret cost during the world the war. I think I've done a good job with my team and the World War was over, I had gained a specific expertise and war situations, search and rescue, reef and so on and so forth. So so I went off my went off my country as a migrant to other countries to benefit. So they can benefit from my expertise and I can benefit from an entire international expatriate salary. We all can become, for one reason all another migrant and the globalized world and the best way to understand this, this situation is actually try to apply to ourselves on individual level. Interesting. Well, I guess one question, you know, is because it's a sale specific audience. Talk to us about how sales is present in what you do. It seems like part of one of your biggest jobs is is advocacy so that you can drive fundraising, so that you have the money to deploy into the offices, so that you have the case workers that can handle each individuals issues as you take them on. What goes into fundraising? What goes into making sure that your financed appropriately so that you can run the organization? Talk to us about the sales skills that you've developed over the years. The sales skill is one of the skills I'm using today to talk to you, Sam, and I'm really grateful for this opportunity. Is the story telling today, the case workers, the social workers, are where the humanitarians were about couple of decades ago, coming of the days ago. I myself as a humanitarian. I would say I'm doing a good job. I'm off my family, I'm doing long hours, I'm under paid and over over worked and you know, stop asking me question and give me some support to be able to do my job.

But you know, in the globalized world, in the world was a more and more competition on the your monitarian side, on the social side, we need to be a little bit more vocal, we need to be a little bit more open to extract this information we hold, even if it's individual cases, relate that to the world, explain that what we do on a case by case is as important as the mass assistant other other qualified organizations are in Inter refuge camps and large population movements and things like that. So for me, being a good sales person in my business is selling the story, telling it to the right audience and keeping on telling it and reporting back if and when we have this reaction from the audience, whether it's support on social media, whether it's support in our and our bank accounts, or just general support, just support in general. I can give you one example is that, you know, many people support us by by giving us their talents and skills, pro bone or this is a very kind of support. So telling our story, telling it to the right audience, telling it more and more so this audience can can understand and recouping all of this information into some form of an information pack that we can deliver to all the audiences, including yours, for example. How big is the the problem? I think you mentioned you have a hundred, ten offices, is it? But how many children, if you had every resource that you needed, if you are funded so that you could help every single complex case that arose? How many are out there? What's the total? You know, in our world we would call it the total addressable market. How many children are impacted in this way around the world every year? It's very difficult to quantify some I'll just give you a very good, very very small example. One of our case load is all these children that are born out of surrogacy. When they are born,...

...they have no identities, so they could be subject to international abduction, so they should be subject to being kidnapped and sold on an open market for adoption or something like that. Many of these things happen. So, while do I treating cases in the hundreds today, we know for a fact that there are more than six million children who were born out to surrogacy arrangement in the last ten years. Just to give you an ID I cannot really quantify. I can tell you every time we are able to extend our capacity to be able to engage with more cases, to treat more cases. We went off from twenty five years ago, from about thirty thirty five thousand K two cases to about Seventyzero. So this is a hundred percent increase, but about fifteen percent increase in our resources. And we still today need to differentiate between very urgent cases, urgent cases, important and not that important cases. Then now turn down factors about thirty percent now. So what give us a success story? John, tell us, you know, you obviously don't know. We don't need a personal the names, but tell us about a recent when or just you know, and the best example that you have of ISS doing its job impeccably and helping a child in need. I mean, you know this is not again. I have hundreds of examples in my head and it's really a good question. I don't know where to start. I can talk about this child, Code Jose, who who, in the context of United Space States, across from Mexico to the United States with his family. He was separated from his dad. He was kept with his mom and one of the facilities. MOM thought out to be a drug addict or something like that. She could not care for him. The Mum was deported back to her country of origin, which was not Mexico, I think further south. So the child was alone and the father was alone. There was separated and ISS intervened... many forms, and this is one of our, let's say, value proposal. We do not only connect people together, we connect authorities and other organization and state officials and so on and so forth all together for one case, and they had the ending of the stories that we were able to bring back the father, who is very much able to take care, of course, say, with with his son, back together. Wonderful, Johnny. If folks are listening, and you know, to your point right, they can't. We can donate money, we can donate our time. What's the best way to get involved so that we can provide supporter or assistance? Again, it's about get if you are sitting in the United States and you feel like helping the organization on the international level, you go to the International Social Service website and you find not only us, but you can find, through our pages, by going just where you work, all those partners we have in the world. They have their own websites, they have their own botton where you can when you can just click and donate online, including is Susa. If folks are listening and they want to reach out to you, are you are you okay with personal outreach? If so, what's the best what's the best medium to connect with you? It's my email. What is your email? Tell us it is Jean don't are you a YO UV at ISS SSI DOT ORG for organization. Wonderful, Jean. Thank you so much for being our guest on the salesacker podcast today. We'll talk to you on Friday for Friday fundamentals. Thank you, Sam for helping me. Everybody Sam's corner. Hope you enjoyed that conversation with Shawn. I you of the Secretary General, CEO of Viss. I think this issue now. Jean specifically said, Hey, let's not worry about the causes of migration, because we just need... Doesn't matter why a child is separated from their parents, why a child is in danger, let's make sure we help them. I agree with that. But also this is going to be more and more of an issue, folks, because of climate change. Climate change is probably the greatest contributor to our collective global, political, socioeconomic insecurity. It's not just about the fact that it's terrifying because it's extremely hot and people are going to die from the heat. People are going to move right people are going to be living in places that can no longer support human beings and they are going to need to move somewhere else, and it's going to be the largest, most significant shift in population centers in the history of or at least in the recent history for for mankind, and it's going to happen very quickly. It's not going to be the original Homo Sapiens, you know, coming out of Africa and or crossing the bearing straight and moving into Alaska. It's not going to take place over thousands of years. It's going to take place over a few years, and so it's something that we really need to be mindful of. It's something that we need to have policies around, because immigration is only going to increase and it's going to increase from people that are living at equatorial regions and tropical climates towards places that are cooler. So a lot's going to happen and our countries need to be prepared for it and there's going to be a lot of unrest and there's going to be a lot of people in danger and we as the human race, probably need to think about how we protect those people and how we help those people, and that's why is is such an important organization, because people are being separated from their families and children need their parents and children can be exploited and children can be in danger and children are often defenseless. So that's why I think is is such an important organization for all of us to know about and, as John mentioned on the show, there's definitely things you can do. First of all, it's actually a pretty small organization. They've got a hundred ten offices, but they don't have a lot of money. They just don't. That's one of the reasons I brought him on the show so that we can generate a little bit more awareness. But... don't have to just give money. If you're a marketer out there, if you're a salesperson, if you're somebody that wants to do more, that is looking for a way to give back to the world, one of the ways that you can do that is volunteer your expertise. Right, because this is a as he said right, it's ninety seven years. They're going to be celebrating their hundred year anniversary in two thousand and twenty four. But there's a lot that they don't know how to do, to be completely honest, and they need help and they need help from folks like us that know how to spread a message, that know how to use social media effectively, that know how to run paid acquisition campaigns, that know how to run sales campaigns and run sequences and get in touch with people. So there's a lot that can be done. On behalf of ISS I encourage you to take a look at the at the organization and and I encourage you to email John if you've got a skill that you think could be useful, Jean Dotub at ISS SS SI DOT Org. So I just think it's an important issue and I think, as I mentioned, you know, climate change is going to impact us in a lot of different ways, which is why I'm so focused on technology, hopefully to mitigate climate change. I'm not just you know, when I think about where I want to spend my time, aside from the company that I run on inside from this wonderful podcast, I think about carbon capture, removing carbon from the atmosphere, of price on carbon, and I still do believe. I do believe in the ingenuity of humankind. I do believe that we can we can do something here. I don't believe that it's just staring, you know, staring at the TV, watching everything burst into flames and huddling and fear. We are still the people and the race that went to the moon. We are still the people that invented or harnessed electricity, we are still the people that created the Internet and created the iphone, and we are still the people that created Alexa and are building ai to help us. So there's a lot that humankind can do. Don't don't despair, but we got to lean in and we got to do things. Part of what we might do as help children that are separated from their families, and part of what we might do is build technology, build big technology, build heat dome busting technology so that when the heat dome settles over the West, we have...

...these big mammoth something or others that break it up or that introduce different kinds of convection. I don't know, but I know that. I know that we need big ideas, big expensive ideas, to help us, and I think that they are out there and I believe in our ability to do this because it's just math and science. It's it's not. It's not a mystery. It's big global systems, that's true, but we're a big global race. We can do this. At any rate, that's my speech. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. Before we go, of course, if you're not a part of the sales saccer community yet, you're missing out. Any sales professional can join to get ask questions, get immediate answers and share experiences. Jump in and start a discussion with more than Twentyzero sales professionals at salesaccercom. We've got three sponsors we want to thank. The first is outreach. Learn how outreach does outreach had to outreach that io for slash on outreach to see what they've got going on. Hey, do you want to get better at your job? You want to find a mentor in a coach? Do you want to make sure that you take the next level and get promoted? Think about joining pavilion. Unlock your professional potential with a pavilion membership. Leaders at every stage get started at join Pavilioncom and finally, Blue Board. Don't you want to learn to serve? Don't you want to learn to paraglide. Don't you want to have a four star, five star Michelin meal, and don't you want to give that to your employees, as opposed to just giving them an Amazon Gift Card? Well, if you do, check out Blueboard, because blue board is the world's leading experiential sales recognition platform. You get a conciers that maps out the whole experience for you. It's really cool. It's amazing. Check them out at podcast up, blueboardcom. If you want to reach me, you can email me Sam at join Pavilioncom. It's all I've got for now. I've been talking a lot. I'll talk to you next time. Everybody,.

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