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How to Sell to a Prospect You Can’t Even See

Marketing Podcast with Tom Martin

For the last few years I’ve been telling business owners that sales and marketing has changed so much because buying has changed so much.

Invisible Sale

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Today’s buyer doesn’t not call up a company and ask for a brochure or salesperson to come calling. Today’s buyer does their homework online, asks their network for suggestions and essentially creates their own brochure.

So much of what we have to do to attract and be found by that buyer is now what we call inbound marketing and sales and it applies across the business in audience development, sales and even service.

That buyer is constantly adding inputs from our creation, their experience and collective experience of our customers and community.

I cover this idea extensively in Duct Tape Selling and for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I visit with Tom Martin, author of The Invisible Sale: How to Build a Digitally Powered Marketing and Sales System to Better Prospect, Qualify and Close Leads to add even more color to the notion.

Martin’s book reinforces many once novel ideas, such as content creation, teaching vs selling and platform building as the foundational sales and marketing tactics they have become.

Any organization, from solopreneur to marketing and sales department, that is not focused on guiding a customer journey through content and personal connection is bound to be left behind in the buyer driven environment we live in today.

Transcript of podcast below from Pro Transcript:

Why Is Profit Viewed As a Bad Thing?

Marketing podcast with Mike Michalowicz It always amazes me when I see how little focus business owners have on this concept known as profit.

Profit

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There seems to be a total infatuation with revenue and head count when the true health of a business investment is profit. Far too many business owners come to view profit as what they pay themselves and to me that sounds a lot like a job. My guest on this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Mike Michalowicz, author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, The Pumpkin Plan and Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine. In this interview Michalowicz reveals several simple, yet powerful ways to change the profit mindset including, most importantly, taking profit from the business first. Michalowicz also talks about his own experience of going from newly minted millionaire entrepreneur to bankruptcy a few short years later. A couple of his tips, such as creating separate bank accounts for things like expenses, salary and profit, may seem like a shell game at first read, but I know first hand that it’s a powerful way to create some financial discipline where there often is none. Several years ago I had Greg Crabtree, a CPA and author of Simple Numbers, on this show and he implied that if a business was not showing at least a 10% profit after all expenses, including the expense of paying the owner a competitive salary, the business was in trouble. I think the key is to view a business as an asset with a pretty big investment on your part. That’s the way that any potential buyer of the business would view it – “could I invest in the business and see that investment pay dividends otherwise known as profit?” The making of profit gets a bad rap for a couple of other reasons too. Many people were raised on the notion that profit is a bad thing – that someone was losing if you were gaining. This mind set is pervasive and does a great deal of harm in the way business owners approach everything from pricing to service models. Another attack on the notion of profit actually comes from well intentioned accountants who view profit as the cause of short term tax burden rather than the cause of long-term health. I know people can get caught up in and consumed by the notion of profit, but the first step is to view profit as the important measure it is in business.

Why How the World Sees You Matters

Marketing Podcast with Sally Hogshead

Have you ever taken one of those personality tests? – Tests with names like DISC, Kolbe Index and Myers-Briggs. While interesting, the focus of the results is ultimately based on determining “how you see the world.”

How the World Sees YouMy friend Sally Hogshead has spent the last few years inventing a test that flips this notion around to help participants learn instead “how the world sees you.”

You can dive deeply into this idea in her latest book How the World Sees You – Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination.

Want to find out how the world sees you? Readers of this post are invited to take Fascination Advantage Personality Test completely free of charge (normally $39)

Visit How The World Sees You – use the book code – ducttape to get your free assessment.

The building blocks of Hogshead’s approach are what she calls archetypes. These 49 elements make up your core “advantages” and give you insight into the best way for you to operate in the most authentic way.

How The World Sees You also introduces the concept of a personal anthem based on your personality advantage. This 2 or 3 word tagline can become your filter for how you make decisions that are right for you.

Listen to the interview linked above and hear Sally break down my personality type and anthem.

I believe this type of assessment and introspection is invaluable for business owners or anyone that interacts with other human beings. (How’s that for a broad statement!)

I also believe that this is an idea that could prove valuable to bring to your clients. Helping them understand their unique value could prove to be one of the best gifts you can give them.

 

 

The Paradox of Leadership

Marketing Podcast with Simon Sinek Simon Sinek

For this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I had a visit with Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why and the more recent Leaders Eat Last. First off, if you’ve not read either of these books I suggest you get both. In Start With Why Sinek echoes many of themes surrounding purpose that I’ve been preaching for years. Leaders Eat Last is a bit of a follow up in that once you have your “why” you must go to work on attracting and leading with whom that why resonates. As Sinek explains, the title of the book is drawn from a long standing, yet undocumented, policy in military mess hall in which leaders by rank eat last. Perhaps the primary point in the book is that the true art of leadership isn’t about ruling with power, it’s about helping others get what they want. Sinek compares that act of parenting to leadership. In a perfect world, a parent wants what’s best for a child, helps them reach their full potential and doesn’t always get to be their best friend in the process. But the key here is trust. When we trust a leader, even if we don’t actually like spending time with them, we will follow them. Sinek uses the success of the 12 Step Program widely used in Alcoholics Anonymous to make another point about true leadership. Over the years AA has found that if people successfully move through the first eleven steps, but fail to embrace the twelfth, they often fall back into old habits. The final step asks them to help another alcoholic find recovery. The message and perhaps paradox of leadership is that in the end it is simply the act of helping others get what they want.

It’s All About the Choices We Make

Marketing Podcast with Ryan Holiday

In mid July I’ll be in Portland presenting at Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit.

The title of my talk is “Make Good Choices

Make Good Choices

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If the title to that presentation sounds a bit like well-worn advice from a dad to his teenage daughters, that’s because it is. (But you’ll have to be in Portland to hear the story behind that!)

It’s also something much bigger – our choices dictate every element of our day, our life and our work.

When we become unaware of the choices we make in every moment we hand over the reins of our journey to someone or something else.

One of the principles I’ve instilled in my business over the years is that in business, you get to choose who you want to attract, who you want to work with and how you want run, marketing and position everything you do. If you don’t make intentional choices, the kind that feed your soul, you’ll find yourself constantly on the run chasing the next big thing.

In this week episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I visit with Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Holiday is a well-read man and it comes across is the ideas he espouses and the people he chooses to hang out with.

We cover a lot of ground in this twenty minute interview and don’t overtly focus on the idea of choice, but I think that’s the main topic of his work when it really comes down to it.

We have choices in every moment and we choose to take right action, get upset or be unmoved – but somewhere, for just a moment in time, there lies our freedom.

The Benefits of Building, Joining or Growing a Mastermind Group

Marketing Podcast with Bill Hibbler

Mastermind Groups

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Anyone who has read Napoleon Hill’s often cited business classic, Think and Grow Rich will be familiar with the business use of something called a Mastermind Group. Hill’s book recounts how many successful business people rely on a small, tight-knit group of advisors to help them build their businesses.

I’ve long been an advocate of assembling some form of a group of peer advisors, board members or customer collaborators to help you grow your business. As an entrepreneur or CEO you often lack both the filter and the sounding board you need to see things bigger ways.

The right mastermind group can provide these benefits:

Accountability – Simply stating your goals and objectives to a group that intends to hold you accountable for your stated result can have the kind of pull that keeps you focused on meeting your goals

Growth – Many mastermind group members form strategic business relationships that bring additional revenue streams and growth opportunities

Specific knowledge – A group comprised of people from different backgrounds and industries can help you fill gaps in your own knowledge and provide very specific help

Resources – Your group members may very well end up loaning and providing the kinds of resources and introductions that can help you get to the next level in your business

New perspectives – Sometimes having someone from outside your industry question your long held beliefs or suggest innovations from a new point of view can prove very helpful

Support – As a group forms a very close common bond this can be a great place to go for support when you have a troubling business issue

Energy – Simply having a team that understands your objectives and helps you celebrate your wins can be very energizing

There are any number of organizations formed specifically for the purpose of helping people join mastermind groups such as Convene, Vistage, The Alternative Board and EO to name a few. But, you may also find that assembling your own team based on common interests, beliefs, goals, expertise and chemistry is a great way to go as well.

Most industry associations have some form of group opportunity for their members.

Technology and global reach make this an even more desirable option today.

There are many ways to form Mastermind Groups. You can stick the classic style of frequent meetings focused only on goal support or you can create looser, less formal groups that come together to offer routine advice or even collaboration on a common project.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Bill Hibbler, co-author of Meet and Grow Rich: How to Easily Create and Operate Your Own “Mastermind” Group for Health, Wealth, and More

On the show and in his book Hibbler shares his experiences as a participant in a number of Mastermind Groups over the years.

Probably the best nugget I took from this interview was that if you are forming your own group you want to move slowly in the act of recruiting members because chemistry and long-term commitments are crucial for a tight group to form if that’s is your goal.

I believe that every small business owner should find or form their group or network and commit to using this resource as the significant growth tool it can be.

Are You Sending the Message You Want to Send?

Marketing Podcast with Nick Morgan

You’ve probably come upon some variation of the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote – “Your actions speak so loudly, I can not hear what you are saying.” 

Power Cues

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When it comes to speaking in public, leading teams or even having a personal conversation, we communicate a great deal about how we are feeling and thinking through non-verbal cues.

Most of the time we are not actually aware of the fact that, no matter our words, we may be sending a very strong message of confusion, fear, angst, doubt, self-importance or disinterest. Now, of course the good news is that we also be sending messages of authority, love, kindness, empathy and trust.

It’s one of the reasons why emails are often misinterpreted. We get so good at understanding through cues when someone is teasing, being sarcastic or genuinely trying to help.

The key is to become aware of the non-verbal things we do, quite often out of habit and deeply engrained thought patterns, so that we choose cues that allow us to communicate our true intent.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Dr. Nick Morgan, one of America’s top communication theorists and coaches and author of Give a Speech Change the World, Trust Me and Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact

Morgan has made a career out of helping speakers and executives break through some of their deeply held beliefs in an effort to more effectively lead, communicate and influence.

Let me quickly point out that none of this work has anything to do with using non-verbal cues as a way to manipulate. Morgan’s work and teachings are all about being your best self by bringing your words and actions together so that you are more clearly understood and heard.

For example, if you’re in a leadership position and it’s not something you’ve always been comfortable with, you may be sending that signal to those you are charged to lead by the way you stand and speak.

Once you become aware of the ways people send cues, you may also be more equipped to read cues sent by others. Imagine listening to a potential client’s concerns through this filter. You may likely be able restart a conversation when you better appreciate what a prospect is really saying by reading visual clues along with words.

Power Cues is a fascinating guide into the subtle and not so subtle things many people do to mix and confuse their message.

Pick this book up today and start becoming much more aware of the message your body sends and you’ll be much more prepared to be heard.

Success Is Often Mostly About Context

This post and podcast are drawn from Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a Marketer – Sell Like a Superstar on sale globally May 15th.

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

Duct Tape Selling

Image credit: Ellen Jantsch

On a cold January morning in 2007, a hidden video camera captured thousands of commuters simply walking past violinist Joshua Bell as he played some of the most complex music ever written, on an extremely valuable Stradivarius violin. Most didn’t seem to notice the difference between Bell’s virtuosity and the skill of an everyday subway musician.

Just days before, and then again after this experiment, Bell performed to sold-out theaters filled with ticket holders willing to pay top dollar and ready to deliver thunderous standing ovations.

In the context of the subway station, ordinary people did not recognize Bell’s genius.

We don’t live in a vacuum. Every idea we have, song we hear, or sales pitch we connect with is filtered through a number of elements, including our mood, the environment, and our unique understanding of the world and our place in it. All of these factors affect the value and importance we place on what we believe in, what we deem worthy of our time, and what we buy.

In the same vein, while sales people’s mastery, skill, or point of view may be important and well thought-out, the context in which their ideas, introductions, and pitches are delivered is equally—or sometimes more— important.

In many ways Duct Tape Selling is about changing the context of how you, as a salesperson, are received and perceived.

So let me ask you this: Are you ready to hone your virtuosity as a sales- person and put it on display in the places where people willingly pay a premium to engage such work or are you content to hang around in the subway hoping for the scraps of interested passersby?

Change Your Context, Change Your Results

In Duct Tape Selling I show you, first, how to reframe your own mindset about what it means to sell in the world today. From there, we look at how to vastly alter the way prospects, customers, and competitors view your professional brand. To accomplish this, you need to think of yourself as a guide in the customer’s buying process rather than an information source, re- search data point, transaction catalyst, or whatever other trendy term people have assigned to the act of selling.

Duct Tape Selling shows you how to change the context of selling by teaching you how to:

  • Ask what you can give your clients instead of asking what they can give you
  • Form and lead an industry group instead of mindlessly joining every one you find
  • Make education-rich sales pitches to rooms packed with engaged potential clients instead of cold-calling prospects
  • Get yourself invited to speak in front of audiences instead of simply attending events
  • Earn the trust to be introduced to referral prospects instead of given leads?Interview industry luminaries instead of simply downloading their podcasts
  • Build a strategic-partner network instead of waiting around to be asked to partner
  • Write for respected industry publications instead of just putting them in your RSS reader

When you reframe any relationship, you often change the way you are heard, received, and perceived. In sales, by reframing the selling process as a journey that you and the client are on together—and that you are guiding him through—you can become a valuable and necessary part of your client’s team.