When people are best friends with other people, they usually stay at a company.
On today's episode of The Brian Nichols Show, I'm joined by Richard Blank (CEO of Costa Rica's Call Center) who give us some real, authentic means to enhance the sales experience for both the prospect AND the salesman.
"Well, since I grew up in the 70s, and 80s, I loved going to arcades - and I'm a retro gamer. I don't have a PlayStation or an Xbox. I'm an old-school gamer. And so my passion turned into an obsession.
And once I started making a little money and have the room here at the center, I started treasure hunting. And there are people down here with pinball machines and jukeboxes and a lot of toys that one man's trash is another man's treasure.
And so call me Oscar the Grouch, I'll be willing to drive a couple hours to find myself a classic rock cooler, or a pinball machine. And so most of these games are older than the agents here, I created a happy neutral environment so people can meet others from different departments that can let off steam - they can recharge batteries. And imagine an environment where you can hang out and play some games together.
And so, for me, I felt it was very important. It reduces attrition. When people are best friends with other people, they usually stay at a company."
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Stratus ip - Business Technology - Simplified
Brian Nichols 0:03
focusing on winning arguments. We're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Now Happy Tuesday there, folks, Brian Nichols here on The Brian Nichols Show. And thank you for joining us of course on another fun filled episode. I am as always your humble host. Before we get things started today, we gotta go ahead and give a shout out to our awesome episode sponsor, the one the only expat money summit 2020 to watch for a week reap the benefits for generations join us November 7 through November 11 For this virtual summit five days 30 expert speakers hosted by the one and only McHale thorup Host of the expat money show interested to get your free I said it yes free tickets at the Brian Nichols show.com. Forward slash expat and grab your tickets. Today, folks, I am so excited for today's episode a little bit different of an episode. Yes, we're gonna go more towards the sales marketing approach. And we're gonna be talking more tactics, skills, all the fun stuff behind the scenes that actually leads to sales success. And joining us today he is the CEO of Costa Rica's call center. Richard blank. Welcome to the program.
Richard Banks 1:24
So happy to be here today. Brian, thank you so much for having me a guest on your show.
Brian Nichols 1:28
Absolutely. Rich, I'm really looking forward to this conversation because you have taken what was a 27 year olds opportunity to train a couple 1000 Folks, and you've turned it into fast forward a couple 20 years later, an amazing career. And you're at the point now I'd say you've probably trained 10s of 1000s of folks at Costa Rica's call center talk to us, what was the story that led to Richard bland going to Costa Rica of all places, and now having such an amazing career of success leading this amazing Call Center team?
Richard Banks 2:01
Thank you so much for the great question. It actually starts back in Northeast Philadelphia. When I graduated high school back in 91, I doubled down on my favorite class, which was Spanish. Once you the University of Arizona was a Spanish communication major. And at 27, a very good friend of mine gave me an opportunity to come down just for two months, and train English at his call center. Well, two months turned into four years at his center. I currently in this country for 22 years. And I'm celebrating my 14th year of business running my own call center. And so when I was there, I was able to see areas in which to enhance the experience for the agent and for the client. And then in my mid 30s, I decided to throw my hat in the ring and start my own company.
Brian Nichols 2:42
Let's talk about the enhancing the experience. And I'm reading that note down there because you brought up not just the experience of the customer, the prospect, but you also mentioned the experience of the agent, can you dig into that a little bit more
Richard Banks 2:58
100% In fact, I didn't come into the call center space as a C level executive, I started off as an agent. And so for years, I was sitting amongst 1000s upon 1000s of Costa Rican bilingual Chico's that were on the phone speaking in English, getting positive escalations and converting calls. And so for me, I found it fascinating the artists speech, because most people today are just chatting and sending out emails. But to me, there's a beautiful connection you can make with somebody over the phone in regards to retention, upsell referrals, and sometimes even getting an exit interview back on areas to improve and to beat your competition. As I mentioned before, I saw certain soft skills in areas where I could give the agent their dignity, I can also show empathy. And a lot of the times they felt like numbers and robots that were expendable. And so as long as once again, I can fulfill their needs and give them a job that can be proud of chances are they're going to come back tomorrow and work as hard as they did today.
Brian Nichols 3:56
Yeah, well, you hit the nail on the head there. And this is something so for folks who are maybe new to the audience, and are familiar with my history, so I lead a sales team in the greater cybersecurity telecommunications industry for a number of years. And my main focus was literally building up that team, training, teaching all the scripting, getting all the templates for emails, getting the actual technology in place, right. But when you go and actually hire a team, I think this is the most important part, they can't be just a cog in the machine, they have to be to your point that the person that they are you have to treat them with the love, the kindness, the respect that they not only they need they deserve. And I think we see too often. A lot of those entry level sales roles, the STRS, the contact center, call center agents, they're not necessarily looked at and treated as nicely as they should be. And I think if you're able, and I dare say I believe you're seeing this firsthand as you treat people the way that you want to be treated. The Golden Rule How dare we bring that into this conversation but no, truly if you treat people the way they want to be treated, they'll end up doing some pretty darn good work.
Richard Banks 5:04
And Brian, you do know, when you're a CEO of a company, you have leverage, you can hire, you can fire, you can make or break somebody, you and I, the way that we were raised, we chose the former, my egos fine, I don't need to go on the floor and embarrass, somebody will make them cry, but I'm looking to do is to delegate promote from within. And in order for me to scale, sometimes I got to bring in people that have no experience at a call center. But they're coming bilingual which bears the mark of higher education, it gives you an eye the opportunity to mold them to coach them, they don't bring in bad habits, and we can have them grow with our own company culture. And so for me, everybody has the opportunity to grow with this company. And, you know, I also let them realize that by learning a second language is 10 times harder than any account that I'll put them on. So I have to put fear into perspective for them. And also, since English is their second language, I stress the fact of increasing their vocabulary. So we'll work with a thesaurus every day, look at similes, and find ways to be more diplomatic strategic, and to expand their vocabulary. So their message is perfect. And it reduces any sort of rabbit holes.
Brian Nichols 6:13
So you're not only hiring people giving them a career, you're not only teaching people sales, and call center, etiquette and such, but you're also teaching them English, you're teaching them a second language. I mean, this is I mean, this is not all in one package. I don't know what is honestly, Richard.
Richard Banks 6:31
But you've also with your sales team, and you were talking about writing scripts for bottles and the training manual, we also have a quality assurance quality control department. So we judge our agents on KPIs which are key performance indicators and certain metrics. So besides just qualifying a phone call, you and I are focusing on the soft skills? Are they using the name? Are they using the pronouns? Are they doing any sort of positive escalation after being transferred from a gatekeeper? Are they once again showing active listening for clarification questions. And so a lot of the times, the agent will be well too rehearsed, and they become commercialized, they become plastic. So I believe that somebody should still have that raw sense, they should have their essence and be more of a painting. So while they're on the phone with people, it's a little more of an engagement, they might be on the phone a little bit longer. But their conversion ratios be much better, because of the sort of relationship building that they're doing.
Brian Nichols 7:28
Yeah, well, and I don't remember who it was I listened to but I firmly have embraced this mentality of your sales is both the art and the science, but it's also performance, I think, and you you have to be able to bring yourself over the phone. And this is something that the best sales reps can really do well is that they can transfer the emotion that they are trying to give their prospects in terms of getting them from point A to point B, that excitement, and they're able to do that over the phone. That is one of the the I'd say that the trickiest skills to master. But once you do, you can become unstoppable when it comes to either setting appointments, trying to sell something on the phone, if it's a you know, a b2b product, you know more of a quick SAS solution or if it's a b2c, you will become much more confident because then it's not a matter of trying to Finnick your methods and trying to make things work. And then to the point you end up becoming like that robot, right? And it's not real, it doesn't feel authentic. Whereas if you're able to come in your true 100%, authentic self, and bring that emotion, bring that energy I've found in my success, and in my training my team that yields the most positive results. Richard, what's your experience?
Richard Banks 8:49
Well, I couldn't agree with you more. But once again, a lot of the times people will do desert pitching, or they'll talk for 10 minutes without an oasis where people can drink and rest. So I believe that let's say a 10 minute phone call could potentially have five checkpoints to I believe every conversation has an introduction, body and conclusion. And also along with that, that people have attention spans of 30 seconds to two minutes. So every time we make a point with somebody, we got to ensure that it makes sense or sounds good and that we don't need to explain it again and showing by active listening, they don't need to repeat it again. And so it's not a lecture and it's not crossing your fingers hoping they don't hang up on you and you get the appointment. It could be a non qualified appointment there just yessing you off the phone. So we do have a certain structure well as a conversation as moving forward, we are able to continue to qualify them and to be able to get from open ended questioning more explanations from them. And through deductive reasoning, I can focus on areas of what's important to you. And I cannot stress enough that if there are individuals that are assisting you prior to the transferred call or afterwards, that you do mention these individuals verbally and written we call those escalations. So, when I happened to call your company back, The Brian Nichols Show, anybody that might be answering the phone will then compliment me for mentioning them to the boss. And so these are the sorts of things my friend that will not compromise ethics, values and morals. And what you see on the big screen with the Wolf of Wall Street and Glengarry and boiler room, there are certain call centers that do that, but not every vertical sell stock. And sometimes it's not the profile the agents that we hire here. And so I'm in a very strict Catholic country, and it's a seller's market. So if I'm offering a certain position that the agents aren't comfortable with, they're not going to accept it. So that's why we're very, very selective of the campaigns that come into the center.
Brian Nichols 10:44
So talk to talk to us about Costa Rica, right, you started to touch about the the cultural differences and I think there's a majority of the audience will probably Sydney here in the past 10 minutes or so they're going okay. But Richard, why Costa Rica. So Richard, why Costa Rica?
Richard Banks 11:01
Well, if it wasn't for my good friend that was here in Costa Rica, I could have been anywhere. But once that barn door was open, that horse wasn't coming back, you, you know that I was planning on being an expat. I just needed the one in a million opportunity. But this is a beautiful culture here. We're north of Panama, south of Nicaragua. It's a democratic society. There's no standing army in Costa Rica. So there's a 95% literacy rate, they put all their money back into education. And you're gonna love this company, such as HP, Intel, Oracle and Amazon, are located here because of our workforce or scalability, proximity to the United States, and our skill set. And so Costa Rica in this beautiful eco tourism, Central American paradise, the moment I stepped off the plane in August of 2000, I wasn't going home, I am home. And so what I could recommend to anybody is not just to jump into any sort of entrepreneur business just on a whim, do your due diligence, maybe test it a little bit. But if you do have an opportunity, you definitely should take it. And so for me, I guess just it's like an 18th parlay. I just kept getting lucky and kept heading. And so for the past 14 years, I have my own company, I started it in my mid 30s, I, I needed some impulse control, maturity and a little bit of capital. But we started my wife and I, and here we are 14 years later with 150 seats. And I'm in a building right now that can house 300. So it was a slow and steady. We didn't do it with any loans or any sort of partners, it was just cash only. So did this so I could weather storms, I could sleep at night. And as I said, just the way that I was raised by my parents and grandparents, I did it the old school way. And fortunately for me, it's been successful.
Brian Nichols 12:52
I mean, going from Philadelphia, which I actually I just moved from Philadelphia, which I thought was funny when you mentioned that, but to Costa Rica, that's that's a big jump over in life where more you started to where you are now. But to your point, it does matter where you end up, ending up, surrounding yourself with people who are focused on that same mission that you're focused on, and you've built a culture. And I think that's, that's so important in business and in life. I mean, my culture of the company that I work at, it's huge, good people bring out the good and people that is one of our top mottos at my company Stratus ip. So talk to us about the culture of Costa Rica's call center. And what's this idea of gamification. I've heard so much about
Richard Banks 13:37
gamification. Well, since I grew up in the 70s, and 80s, I loved going to arcades and I'm a retro gamer. I don't have a PlayStation or an Xbox. I'm an old school gamer. And so my passion turned into an obsession. And once I started making a little money and have the room here at the center, I started treasure hunting. And there are people down here with pinball machines and jukeboxes and, and a lot of toys that one man's trash is another man's treasure. And so call me Oscar the Grouch, I'll be willing to drive a couple hours to find myself a classic rock cooler, or a pinball machine. And so most of these games are older than the agents here, I created a happy neutral environment so people can meet others from different departments that can let off steam, they can recharge batteries. And imagine an environment where you can hang out with LFA and play some games together. And so, for me, I felt it was very important. It reduces attrition. When people are best friends with other people, they usually stay at a company. And as I say before, if I have a training class and it starts at seven, not really start to 730, from seven to 730 We're in the arcade making friends and and enjoying ourselves. So when they enter the class on their first day, they're just not absorbing. They're contributing because of their comfort levels. And, and that to me is so important on a first impression with our company.
Brian Nichols 14:57
Absolutely. Let's now let's use the The back half of this episode to focus on some actionable advice, because yes, there are a bunch of business owners sales pros who listen to this program, but also some folks who are just your average Politico's and they're interested in what's happening in the world, they'd like to take some tangible advice when they're going out and just talking to your average person, and talking about ideas or issues they care about and trying to get other people to care about them too. And a lot of the skills I'm sure that you teach your call center reps will translate into real life as well. So let's kind of walk through some of the the basics what are some of the key things that you would say are fundamentals that make a good call center rep as you would say, over at Costa Rica's call center.
Richard Banks 15:39
Perfect. Before I give you an actual phone call tips and tricks, let's talk about leaving a voicemail, I believe something should be custom made, take an extra couple seconds to look at a LinkedIn or company website. So you can find something specific to separate you from others when you're leaving a message. Also on an email template, as I mentioned before, make sure it's customized. So it's not just boiler room. And then a second thing is when you're making outbound prospecting calls, and I know your company does business to businesses, others do as well. And you don't need to work at a call center, we just have certain infrastructure, a lot of people could be making and receiving calls or smaller companies. I believe in phonetic microexpression. Reading, I believe that also that we eliminate three of our senses over the phone or taste, touch and smell. So our hearing should be expanded. But people claim you can't see over the phone. I say quite the contrary, there is metaphysics, Image Streaming. And books are better than movies so you can use your imagination. And so when we're calling into companies, I believe that a company named spike is an excellent way to originally Introduce yourself through anonymity. Don't be anonymous, a whole call that shady. But if somebody answers the phone and say, Brian Nichols show, you say, Hey, how's Brian Nichols doing today? And you'll be asking about the company. First, the individual answering the call could be your gatekeeper, or filter. And they'll usually ask you a question, which I call buffer boomerang question. First question they might ask me is what my name is. And what I would love to do is capture and buffer the tone? I would say, Brian, that's an excellent question. My name is Richard blank. And so you could show the active listening buffer it bring it around and throw it back in a certain positive way. And so when we're on these sort of phone calls, you might be asked questions six to 10 times, don't say that's a great question every time, but there's a certain way to buffer it and bring it back and show active listening. And also, since it's a brand new phone call, there's a certain thing that once you see it, you can't unsee it. It's phonetic microexpression. Reading, not just micro expression, that's when you get to see somebody. But over the phone, people will give you a tell sign. In phonetics, there's four sections tone, rate, pitch and duration. My suggestion is to have a confident and empathetic tone that's consistent. But there's a mirror imaging technique, I want you to match someone's rate of speed and their speaking level. Because every 30 seconds to two minutes, they might have a spike or a dip. That's usually when you ask a tie down question if it makes sense or sounds good. And also, when you're explaining multiple things about your company, make sure to display it almost like a dessert tray, where you can get a positive negative reinforcement. After explaining everything and waiting in between to see if they react to it. You could rake it by saying I'm sure you'd like at least one. And so you can take something from a horizontal into a vertical and start stacking open ended questions. And then towards the end of the phone call, I like to repeat information in military alphabet. Because instead of ending a call immediately, we could be talking about Memorial Day that just passed and how proud we are of the people we know that have served in the military. And then when I do a follow up email to you, I will definitely in writing mention anybody that assisted me. So when I call your company back, the Richard circle is there for that individual to say thank you for the compliment. Let me retransfer the call. And so these are the sort of soft skills that you can do on these sorts of phone calls that won't compromise ethics, values and morals, it will increase your talk time. One other thing, since we are working from home, there is a chance you might hear a dog in the background for an example. And so I like to use the me to technique where I'm where, let's say a dog is barking and I will say hey, I love dogs, because you know you love your dog. But I'll be an excellent salesman and ask the follow up question. What is your dog's name? And Brian, you're gonna say the dog's name is Fluffy, fluffy. Sounds great. Obviously, he's barking so you get the head, put the dog outside, come back to the call. And this is where anchor you instead of trying to re pitch your clothes, you are probably going to talk about your dog for a couple minutes. And that's usually when you asked me what my name was again, and I say Brian, I'm so glad that you asked once again, my name is Richard blank. Now your name dropping me for the rest of the call. So just show active listening, ask follow up questions. There'll be times when a child Old a dog or some sort of distraction in the background? And if I can't hear you, I'm not going to say excuse me, Brian, could you repeat that? No, I'm going to fall on that sword strategically and diplomatically. I'm going to say for my clarification, Brian, was it ABC, or 123? For my edification. So what these will do is reduce any sort of ego defense, and eliminate any sort of rabbit holes. And once you do some dedicated practice, outside of the office, where you just practice speaking and recording yourself, then you'll be prepared. Because you and I make it look easy. Your audience does not see the amount of time and hours that we put into to prepare not only for our jobs, but for these podcasts. So as long as somebody puts in a little bit of effort, a little bit of extra outside of work, you will see the dividends when you return to the office, oh, those
Brian Nichols 20:51
little tiny things you can do every single day that will add up into something huge, like I started, so I'll give you a real life example. So I was notorious, and I like sleeping in. So I decided to do was, well, I was running out of time to get my workout in at night. So I needed to get my workout in the morning. So what I started to do was, I would wake up 15 minutes earlier, every single day for the for one week. And then the next week out add 15 minutes earlier until fast forward, I'm now 4am Am up every morning. And I've been doing that consistently now for a few months, it has been great, I feel fine. Like I'm not tired. Like I thought I would be I all the worst case scenarios I built in my head ended up all getting taken care of all because I took those steps of doing it one step at a time getting to where I wanted to get to. And I think that for me, was one of the best feelings knowing that Oh, that was easy. Like it looks so difficult at the onset. But when you do take it one step at a time, it becomes so much more manageable. And I think this goes to the next part I want to focus on as we close in ironically enough, it is regarding closing I hear consistently time and again, one of the top issues that I run into is people saying, Brian, I'll get people on the phone, we'll have a great conversation. They'll love my presentation. And then I get to the point where I'm supposed to be either a setting a next step and getting something moving forward. Or we're supposed to get a decision, we're supposed to close and either a I get no decision or B, they ghost me. So what would be your advice to helping either maintain a relationship going forward to help continue the sale and actually get to the close? Or ultimately to it when you have them on the phone? Get that close right away?
Richard Banks 22:33
Well, once again, I'm not sure exactly what vertical it is, and are they looking to do a cold call close chances are they left a door open, there might have been a certain area there where they could have done a follow up question or they might have rushed. Also, there's nothing wrong with building a pipeline, there might be a protocol to company where you might be just selling for time, before any sort of commitment. And so once again, I have to respect certain boundaries, a lot of the times it is a first time contact. So they might want to check your credentials out or see how you are prior to any sort of contracts. And that's why when I was mentioning positive escalations, and certain things in good faith, and and you know, good intentions prior to even pitching somebody that might separate you from somebody else, and let them take you into consideration. But as I say, before, individuals, they should be walking into every single phone call where strangers or friends you haven't met yet. And if they're going to be using a cookie cutter, boiler room template, just to pitch people, you'll get your results, but you'll never be an ace, every single, they're too well rehearsed is too much of a print. They're not a painting. They're not raw, they lost the essence of what got them there in the first place. And so thinking that you're going to cut someone else's price, or certain contractual terms that may assist you. But I believe that speaking about your dog, or doing some due diligence, and complimenting your company, or promotion and anniversary, as I say it's only going to increase your odds. And And finally, if I may, I'm not really a salesman, I take it, you know, as I guess a compliment, but I prefer from an educated point of view, somebody makes a decision. So as much as we get along well and want to work together, there might be some things on their end that don't qualify. I don't do 24/7 I'm not graveyard. We don't have certain languages outside of Portuguese, Spanish and English. I can't do a Chinese account. And I can't match certain offshore call centers like India and the Philippines with their price. So after 15 rounds and explaining everything and having them fall in love with me, unfortunately, I might have to pass on the opportunity because I wouldn't be able to fulfill their needs. And that's okay. As long as I'm able to once again go the distance and make my points.
Brian Nichols 24:54
Yes, I know we talked about this with Tim walk on the program that no is sometimes the best Just answer because you can get because it means not no to you, but just not right now it could be a future opportunity to so put that in your tickler file and save it for a rainy day call them back in six months. And hey, you know, I would recommend he's trying to stay in touch a little bit more often than six months, but you never know we you just catch them on the right day when all of a sudden, the problem that you solve has been the top of mind issue because all of a sudden, whatever was caused a major headache, and now they're they're tasked with they're trying to figure out that solution on their own, or they know they're gonna have to spend hours sourcing that solution. So why not all of a sudden be that person entering into the conversation that they're already having in their own mind, and just happen to have the solution right there. I think that would be a much better approach than yes, the old 1990s smile and dial approach, which is so exhausting. And frankly, it just is like throwing it against the wall and hoping it sticks, it doesn't really yield too much positive results. So Richard, but that being said, we are unfortunately already hard pressed for time. So we want to make sure we give folks an opportunity to number one, continue the conversation. So we want to give you a chance to go ahead and give plugs but number two, give us an opportunity here to learn a little bit more of some maybe a leading words of wisdom and advice. What do you want the audience to take away from today's episode,
Richard Banks 26:16
to be more self reliant and self confident to show empathy if you're a CEO of a company. And also, if you have certain dreams, I think you should follow them through so you can look at yourself in the mirror every day, I was very true to my 18 year old self in Philadelphia that started off learning Spanish and look where I am today. There might be some naysayers and great believers out there. And these are usually the people that love you the most, they care about you. But as you mentioned, they're N O means that they don't k n o w. Enough about your vision quest, about your spiritual journey. And so as I say before, I have nothing to prove to anybody is really about proving it to myself. And so you're really looking at a man that did this the hard way, not the easy way. And so if anything I could share with your audience is to hang in there. Don't quit, and go the distance.
Brian Nichols 27:08
And of course, make sure if you are working for Richard go play a game of pinball, because that sounds like could be a lot of fun.
Richard Banks 27:14
So you're working with me, my brother, no one works for me. We believe in synergy, where our parts work together for the common good of the whole.
Brian Nichols 27:21
I love it no even better. Without that being said, Folks, please do you want to go ahead and continue the conversation. We will include all of Richard's links here in the show notes. So please make sure if you're a podcast listener, you go to your podcast catcher, click the artwork, it'll bring you to today's episode, those links will be there. By the way, we'll have the entire transcription of today's episode as well, plus all 515 Plus episodes of The Brian Nichols Show. And by the way, if you're an audio listener, did you know we have a YouTube version of the program? If not, while you're missing out, we head over to the Brian Nichols show.com And today's episode will include the link to the YouTube make sure you click the subscribe button and make sure you hit that little magic bell so you get a notification every time we go live and up. I'll make sure I include yesterday's episode right here. I'll see you over there. But with that being said, Folks, thank you for joining us on today's episode. It's Brian Nichols signing off for Richard Blanc. We'll see you tomorrow for listening
Unknown Speaker 28:21
to The Brian Nichols Show. Find more episodes at the Brian Nichols show.com
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
1. Interpersonal Communication Conflict Management Strategy
2. Phonetic Micro Expression reading for mastering verbal tell signs.
3. The Famous Buffer-Boomerang Technique
Please feel free to accept my invitation to join your audience for a solid discussion regarding moving abroad and building a company from scratch in Costa Rica. I am available at your earliest convenience to discuss advanced telemarketing strategy, conflict management, interpersonal soft skills, customer support, rhetoric, gamification, employee motivation and phonetic micro expression reading.
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.
Mr. Richard Blank holds a bachelors degree in Communication and Spanish from the University of Arizona and a certificate of language proficiency from the University of Sevilla, Spain. A Keynote speaker for Philadelphia's Abington High School 68th National Honors Society induction ceremony. Giving back to Abington Senior High School is very important to Mr. Blank. As such, he endows a scholarship each year for students that plan on majoring in a world language at the university level.