The Ruby Freelancers Show 050 – Better Prospecting for Freelancers with Steve Kloyda
Panel Steve Kloyda (twitter facebook linkedin youtube The Prospecting Expert) Eric Davis (twitter github blog) Charles Max Wood (twitter github Teach Me To Code Rails Ramp Up) Discussion 01:03 - Steve Kloyda Introduction The Prospecting Expert The Prospecting Minute 02:38 - Being a good prospector Never stop prospecting Passion 04:42 - Prospecting and Selling To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink 08:10 - Marketing and Sales Cliff Ravenscraft 12:05 - Prospecting Tools Email Text Messaging Video Social Media The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk 19:25 - Audience Connect Educate Engage 24:54 - The Wizard of Oz Purpose Who Game Plan Solution Next Step 34:03 - The Best Next Step 38:31 - Referrals Fear of rejection Psychology Centers of Influence 46:51 - Keeping the sales process simple Ask for the business Objections Picks Indie Game: The Movie (Eric) Anker Battery Pack (Chuck) Parade of Homes (Chuck) Evernote (Steve) Evernote Hello (Steve) Evernote Food (Steve) Nozbe (Steve) How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger (Steve) The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin (Steve) Next Week Bookkeeping and Business Expenses with Scott Sweeney Transcript [Are you a busy Ruby developer who wants to take their freelance business to the next level? Interested in working smarter not harder? Then check out the upcoming book “Next Level Freelancing - Developer Edition Practical Steps to Work Less, Travel and Make More Money”. It includes interviews and case studies with successful freelancers, who have made a killing by expanding their consultancy, develop passive income through informational products, build successful SaaS products, and become rockstar consultants making a minimum of $200/hour. There are all kinds of practical steps on getting started and if you sign up now, you’ll get 50% off when it’s released. You can find it at nextlevelfreelancing.com][hosting and bandwidth provided by the blue box group. check them out at bluebox.net] CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to Episode 50 of The Ruby Freelancers Show. This week on our panel, we have Eric Davis. ERIC: Hello! CHUCK: I'm Charles Max Wood from devchat.tv. I just want to remind you that you have one week left to go sign up for Rails Ramp Up at railsrampup.com. And we have a special guest and that is Steve Kloyda! STEVE: It's great to be here, thanks for having me. CHUCK: Oh it's great to have you! I met Steve at the New Media Expo. He was hanging out with the bunch of us from Cliff Ravenscraft's "Podcast Mastermind", and it turns out that he knows a lot about prospecting for potential clients. And it seems like that's one of the hard things that we have to do as programmers - to find new clients. So I invited him to the show and we are happy to have you. STEVE: It's really great to be here. And yes, we are all searching for new clients at point or another and it's probably one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs, small business owners, and sales people face on a daily basis. So I'm really excited to be here to talk about it because this is my passion. CHUCK: Awesome! You're also the podcasting expert at thepodcastingexpert.com, correct? STEVE: Yes "theprospectingexpert".. CHUCK: [laughs] Sorry.. STEVE: It's alright. Theprospectingexpert.com is my website address and then I have a podcast that I do every week called "The Prospecting Minute" podcast. CHUCK: Is it longer than a minute, I take it? STEVE: Actually it's 3-5 minutes. Sales people tend to have a very short attention span, and some of my -- I do interview some people and sometimes I go 25 or 30 minutes, but the average show is between 5 and 7 minutes in length. That'll like to give them quick,
[Are you a busy Ruby developer who wants to take their freelance business to the next level? Interested in working smarter not harder? Then check out the upcoming book “Next Level Freelancing - Developer Edition Practical Steps to Work Less, Travel and Make More Money”. It includes interviews and case studies with successful freelancers, who have made a killing by expanding their consultancy, develop passive income through informational products, build successful SaaS products, and become rockstar consultants making a minimum of $200/hour. There are all kinds of practical steps on getting started and if you sign up now, you’ll get 50% off when it’s released. You can find it at nextlevelfreelancing.com] [Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at bluebox.net] CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to Episode 50 of The Ruby Freelancers Show. This week on our panel, we have Eric Davis. ERIC: Hello! CHUCK: I'm Charles Max Wood from devchat.tv. I just want to remind you that you have one week left to go sign up for Rails Ramp Up at railsrampup.com. And we have a special guest and that is Steve Kloyda! STEVE: It's great to be here, thanks for having me. CHUCK: Oh it's great to have you! I met Steve at the New Media Expo. He was hanging out with the bunch of us from Cliff Ravenscraft's "Podcast Mastermind", and it turns out that he knows a lot about prospecting for potential clients. And it seems like that's one of the hard things that we have to do as programmers - to find new clients. So I invited him to the show and we are happy to have you. STEVE: It's really great to be here. And yes, we are all searching for new clients at point or another and it's probably one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs, small business owners, and sales people face on a daily basis. So I'm really excited to be here to talk about it because this is my passion. CHUCK: Awesome! You're also the podcasting expert at thepodcastingexpert.com, correct? STEVE: Yes "theprospectingexpert".. CHUCK: [laughs] Sorry.. STEVE: It's alright. Theprospectingexpert.com is my website address and then I have a podcast that I do every week called "The Prospecting Minute" podcast. CHUCK: Is it longer than a minute, I take it? STEVE: Actually it's 3-5 minutes. Sales people tend to have a very short attention span, and some of my -- I do interview some people and sometimes I go 25 or 30 minutes, but the average show is between 5 and 7 minutes in length. That'll like to give them quick, short pieces of information that they can go out and apply immediately. CHUCK: Awesome. That sounds terrific! So is there a secret to being a good prospector or to prospecting for clients? STEVE: Well I think it really starts at the base of the passion. Why do we get out of bed every day? What is your why? And I want like to go back at the 1840’s that really understand the secret to prospecting. And then if you look at the 1850's, 1840's, when we have the gold rush in California, you had Hector the Prospector go out and he had a tool in his hand and the tool of the day, the prospect for gold was a tin pan. And he would go to the stream and he would prospect it. And when he found the gold nugget, he would run in the town, he'd cash in that gold nugget and then he stopped prospecting, right? No! That never ever happened. When the stream dried up, old Hector found another stream. And when that stream dried up, he might have found a mine. But successful sales people never stop prospecting. So when we understand that, that's the first thing that we could never stop. I mean I've been in sales for 32 years and I had a prospecting call this morning; I've never stopped putting new potential customers into my pipeline. But the foundation for it is the passion. Are you passionate about what you do? Do you believe in the products and the services that you represent? And the way that I like to talk about it is: Chuck, if you have the cure for cancer, how many cancer patients would you approach every day? CHUCK: All of them! STEVE: All of them! Alright. So if you really believe that you have the cure for cancer, and if you look at every business issue that's out there today -- all the problems that sales people solve and all the technology that we have -- if you believe that, then it's our moral responsibility to go out and approach those people to show them that you can solve their problem. That's the hard of it, that's really the foundation of it. CHUCK: Alright. So it seems like a lot of people kind of delineate between prospecting and selling. So prospecting is I guess keeping them into the pipelining and then selling is getting them to come out the other end and give you money. STEVE: Exactly! And if you'll look at the definition of "prospect", and the definition is "in search of or to labor for", we're all searching for new customers, and we're also searching for new business from our existing customers. And I like what you just said, Chuck, there is a difference between "prospecting" and "sales", so once you've identified your prospect, then you need to put them through your sales process. CHUCK: So when did they stop being a prospect and start being a lead? STEVE: Well as a sales person, after we've identified that we can truly, truly help them, alright? And there's terminology in the market place that goes "Okay, until I talk to them, they are suspect(s). Once I've talked to them and qualify them, then they become a prospect. Once I've had an initial conversation and an in-depth conversation about the problems that they have, then (from there) they'd become a potential client and then I put them through my sales process. So every sales person, every entrepreneur, every small business owner, they really identify them in different ways. But we -- and I'm just going to say this: "we're all in sales". Okay? And the reason that I say that -- both Eric and Chuck, have you seen a good movie lately? CHUCK: Hmm-huh. STEVE: Alright. Did you tell somebody about it? CHUCK: Probably. STEVE: Alright. Do you have children? CHUCK: Oh, yes [laughs] STEVE: When they want to go to the mall, how many times will they ask you to take them to the mall? [Chuck laughs] STEVE: Until two things happen. One, they're at the mall, or two, they're in their room, but they're going somewhere, right? CHUCK: Yup! [laughs] STEVE: So somewhere along the way, we lost that for whatever reason. When I say the word "sales person", Chuck, what's the first thing that comes to mind? CHUCK: Honestly, it's somebody that works hard [laughs]. Because sales is tricky, but...I think I know where you're going with this. STEVE: Right! I mean right, it's somebody that works hard. But when we were growing up, first of all, we were taught never to talk to strangers and we were taught never to talk to sales people because sales people had a bad image. It's not true! I mean we're all in sales, we're all selling our ideas, we're selling our concepts, whether you have an official role as a sales person or you're within an organization and you're selling your ideas or your concepts to other people. Daniel Pink just wrote a book; it's really a great, great book. And he did a lot of research about sales and "where we've come from over the last 150-200 years", it's called "To Sell is Human". And 1 out of every 9 Americans has a sales position, and 40-50% of Americans out there have a position where they constantly selling their ideas to other people. But it's not what you'd call an official sales role, if you will. CHUCK and ERIC: Yeah that makes a lot of sense. CHUCK: So Eric, do you have any questions for Steve before I pepper him with more because I've got a whole bunch. ERIC: Yeah. I don't quite understand where prospecting fits in. I mean kind of the way I do business is I'll have marketing, which is kind of the "I put stuff out there to attract potential clients" and then they'd come in and they go into my sales process where I basically qualify them, figure out if I can help them, and then go through communication with them, and then we either decide that we can work together or aren't a good fit. So where in that is prospecting? Is that basically like the first step of my sales process? STEVE: Well it could be your first step of your sales process, but you said something very important: "we do marketing, and then they come in to our sales process". I'm not a marketing expert and there is a difference between marketing and sales, let's take the word prospecting out of it for a minute, because marketing really supports sales and marketing creates an interest in our target audience or at our target audience. And then our target audience raises their hands and says "Yes, I'm interested or like to learn more" and then they become in our sales process, you could even almost call that prospecting in a way. ERIC: Okay. I mean because that's kind of how I look at it. For me, my marketing is a lot of broadcast like I'll do writing and it goes out to the world. And there from there, there's a couple of people that might raise their hands and say "Hey, talk to me I have a problem", and that's the shift of the sale side for me. STEVE: Exactly. And you really are prospecting because you're in search of new customers or people that raise their hand and say "Yes, I'm interested, I want to learn more". Prospecting has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years and that really came out of the gold rush. CHUCK: Yeah. I'm kind of in the same boat as Eric to be honest. I mean I have the podcasts, I have people come into the newsletters. But they've kind of self-selected each level and then they come to me and say "Hey, I need your help!" And so, there's not as much of the active going out and finding people as much as it's putting a lot of content out there and people coming back. STEVE: Exactly. So let me back up here a second, the conversation that I had with this prospect this morning. He read one of my blogs, he reached out to me, sent me an email and said I'd love to talk to you. We set up a time to talk on the telephone, he's a prospect. My marketing efforts are my blog or my podcasting, that's to me -- because I've been in this for 32 years -- to me that's prospecting, even though you can call it marketing or marketing that's -- when I think of marketing, I think of very, very large organizations that have millions of dollars of budget that put out ads and stuff like that. But maybe those terms are integrated; maybe marketing, and sales, and prospecting are really all, there's 3 separate functions there, but they're all integrated. You're not going to get a new customer without doing some sort of marketing and prospecting at the same time. But when they come in to your funnel, so you have so many that raised their hand(s), they're considered a prospect. And then you'll learn more about that individual, whether they're doing a questionnaire or they're doing a survey or you're having a phone conversation or you're skype-ing or whatever it is, then you're starting to identify and qualify that individual to see if there's a good fit. I think a great example of that is Cliff. I was introduced to Cliff a number of years ago, we had a conversation, he asked a lot of questions of me and what was important to me, and ultimately I became a client of his. CHUCK: Yeah. I think that's a terrific way of doing it. I do want to ask you though, are there other ways of prospecting other than the content creation and then bringing people back? STEVE: Yes. And I want to talk about the different tools. That's why I referred to Hector the Prospector, he had a tool, and it was a tin pan. Well today we have several tools. When I started out in sales 32 years ago, I was given a telephone and a desk and a pad on the back and said "Go get them, tiger!" Every once in a while, I would send out what they called a pre-approach letter to warm the prospect or suspect up, and then I would follow up with a telephone call - we didn't have voicemail, we didn't have email. Today, we have email - there's 2.6 million emails sent out every single day; the average email is opened up within 90 minutes. We have text messaging - 14 trillion text messages were sent last year and the average text message is responded to within 90 seconds. We have video to utilize as a tool to connect and engage with our target audience. Now we have social media - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. We have all these different tools in which to connect and engage. Before the show today, I saw both of are having a conversation on Twitter. I mean that's a tremendous tool! I use Twitter. I use Facebook. I use all these different tools to really connect and engage with my target audience. I do a lot of blogging; I do a lot of podcasting. I've got videos up on YouTube; I've had over a quarter million views on my videos. It's not a lot by Ford Standards; they've had 15 million views or something like that. But today, in the 21st century, there's a lot of different avenues that we need to utilize to (1) connect, (2) educate, and (3) engage our target audience. I don't know if that answered your question. I mean it's a much broader sense because the world has become a lot more complicated, but we can't get away from the basics and the fundamentals than a humanness - the humanness of connecting, educating, and engaging our audience. CHUCK: Yeah. I'm just kind of digesting what you've just said. It really makes sense. I mean when it comes down to it, the people that are going to convert all the way to sales or the ones that you make the connection with, it's not the people who -- it does happen. I've had a few people call me up and say "Hi, I'm so and so, and I want to hire you". But it doesn't happen that often. Most of the time, I'm talking through their needs and figuring out what they want -- STEVE: Well that's it! That's it! You know it's like -- Go ahead, I'm sorry. CHUCK: No, it's fine. I'm just saying, that's really where it's about! And even with the people who'll call up and say "Hey, I want to hire you", I still have to go through that process just to make sure that I can help them out. STEVE: Well that's it! And everybody, how they do sales is different. I worked with a lot of corporate clients, and their sales force are utilized in LinkedIn, the telephone, voicemail, and email to connect and educate their prospects. And the purpose of the connection may be to set up a phone call, the purpose of the connection may be to set an appointment, I have individuals that utilize only LinkedIn as a prospecting tool. And everybody is different, which what I love about sales. And I've been so passionate about it for 30 years is because if we have a product or a service, and we really believe that it can help solve somebody's problems -- like I said earlier it's our responsibility to go out there and help them do that -- then the question is "How do I do that? How do I connect? What are the tools that I'm going to utilize? Am I going to write a blog every week? Am I going to have a podcast? Am I going to get on Twitter and identify who my target people are? Am I going to connect on LinkedIn?". Let me give you an example, I worked with a financial advisor here in Minneapolis, his target audience is CFOs. He gets on LinkedIn every day, he does a search for all the CFOs in Minnesota. He connects with them on LinkedIn, if he doesn't know them he asked for a referral. So there's all these wonderful, wonderful tools and there's really no magic to it. I mean there really isn't any magic to it as it's identifying who is your ideal client then what are the tools you're going to utilize to really connect with that person. CHUCK: And I think it's interesting, too, because it goes back to your example of prospecting in the gold rush. I mean you're figuring out which river is most likely to yield gold, you go to the right place, you connect effectively with the right person, and dig up a nugget. STEVE: That's it! That's the whole thing. And so I don't want prospecting to become a word around "to be fearful of what it is". I mean it's really all part of the sales process. The company that I founded in 1990, the name of the company was Telemasters. And we worked with sales people in every industry imaginable and we taught them how to master this tool to connect and engage. And in 2005, I said to my employees and my staff, "if we continue to only utilize this one tool (that's all we're teaching our customers), we are going to be out of business in the next 5 years". And then in 2010, I had a wakeup call; it came to me that it's really about prospecting. Let me ask you a question, has Apple stopped prospecting? [Chuck laughs] CHUCK and STEVE: No! STEVE: Now they may not used the word prospecting, but look at the marketing that they do to draw you in the store. And that's the key! I mean that is the key to the whole thing because I mean Apple was on a verge of bankruptcy in 1997; Steve Jobs comes back to innovate, they don't compete. Some 15-16 years later, they're one of the most valuable technology companies in the world today. Whether you like them or not, you have to respect what they've done. And they've never stopped prospecting; now, they'll never use the word prospecting. And Eric I like what you said a couple of minutes ago, that you don't really look at it as prospecting, but you're marketing exactly like Apple as marketing; they get people to raise their hands. And I think what happens is people make a way too complicated. I just finished reading a book called "The Icarus Deception" by Seth Godin. It's a phenomenal book; one of the top 5 books I've read in the last 25 years. He talks about connecting - connecting with people in a very unique, and a very real way. And Gary Vaynerchuk wrote that book "Thank You Economy" the same thing. People are looking for the mom and pop shop on the corner again, and it doesn't matter whether you're doing that through a blog or you're doing that through podcasting. How are you going to help solve the problems of the people that are around you? CHUCK: Yup. Absolutely. So if we want to get into the nuts and bolts, what are some of the things that we can do to make our prospecting better? Or to connect better with people, I guess. STEVE: Well the first thing, and this is a really important step, you really have to identify who your audience is. I know it sounds really so simple, what we really have to identify. Let me give you an example, I love the fly fish for trout. One of my favorite trout streams is in Northern Minnesota that's about 5 hours away. I know when I go there, I'm going to catch trout. Now there are several lakes within 30-45 minutes of my house, and I can go to every one of those lakes and I can fly fish for trout, but I will never ever catch one. Why? Because there ain't no trout in them their lakes. So if you want to find out who your target audience is, first of all, you have to identify who they are and where do they hang out. Most of my clients hang out on LinkedIn. However, I love Twitter, and I love to play around on Twitter, I love to joke on Twitter and have fun; I do have some clients on Twitter, but most of them are on LinkedIn. So if I want to get serious, if I'm going to prospect, I need to connect and engage with them on LinkedIn. So now let me take that to the next level, alright? First of all, we have to identify "Who it is? Where they hang out?" The second thing is we have to really understand our audience and what they want. Now there's two parts to that: Sometimes they don't know what they want, alright? I'll give you an example -- CHUCK: We never experienced that as developers, do we Eric? STEVE: Oh never ever! ERIC: Yeah everyone has exactly what they want. CHUCK: Yup. STEVE: Well, do either of you guys have an iPhone? CHUCK: Yes, I do. STEVE: Okay, we didn't know we needed this iPhone until Steve Jobs showed us we needed it. And I've heard this many times, so I'm not taking anything out of context, Steve Jobs did not believe in focus groups. Why? CHUCK: Because people don't know what they want. STEVE: They don't know what they want! And see we, as entrepreneurs, small business owners, Eric, Chuck, we are supposed to help our audience, help them to identify what they want. Now some of them do know what they want and some don't know what they want. Let me give you another example. Couple of years ago I was on Glacier National Park, I hiked up into the mountains, found this beautiful lake- turquoise-clear, crystal-clear. I found this little feeder stream coming into the lake, I waited out on this big sandy rock bar, I waited out up to my waist and I can see trout everywhere, down about 15-20 feet. I reached into my fly box, I picked the best fly that I've ever tied; I always catch fish on this fly. First cast, nothing. Second cast, nothing. Now this goes on for about 20 minutes, I'm frustrated. (I) opened up my box again, picked out another fly. This goes on for about 3 hours, no trout. And I said to myself, "Geez! If I was a trout, I would have taken every one of those flys". And then it dawned on me "I'm not a trout". I opened up my fly box, I find the ugliest fly I can find - I don't even know where I got this fly. I put it on, first cast, bam! A beautiful, beautiful cutthroat trout. Within 45 minutes, I caught several cutthroat trout - it taught me a valuable lesson. Prior to that, I could see the trout coming up to my fly, but they turn; once they saw it, they turn. They really weren't curious; they really didn't know what they want. That first trout that I caught on that ugly fly knew exactly. So we have our audience, some of them know exactly what they want, and others don't know exactly what they want. So we have to (1) help them, and I like Eric what you said a little while ago, like "put things out there until somebody raises their hands says "Yes, hi! I'm interested", so those people do. And it's continually taking the pulse of who our target audience is and our customers and asking them really, really good questions. And then sometimes, they don't know, and we got to keep throwing flys at them until they really say "Yep, that's the one I want". So that's really the beginning to make this whole -- and I'm going to really combine prospecting and sales because they are really integrated. The prospecting is really at the front end, and then we put over into our sales process, is really the middle, and then at the back end of it is the next step. This is where we engage our audience, alright? This is where we engage them to do business with us, as to do business with them. So there's really a 3-step process: "e connect" "we educate" -- and the only way we can educate them is to really understand them, and by educating them, we have to ask them really good questions -- and then the 3rd thing is "we engage" them. CHUCK: Okay. So let's just start at the beginning then. I mean I think we do a lot of this naturally; a lot of it is just something that a lot of us have the neck for - it's just talking to people. And so connecting and educating and asking the right questions to certain degree is kind of a natural thing. Now some people (are) more than others obviously, but what kinds of things can we do to kind of help? Or (have) the ability to connect first? And then we'll kind of move through the other steps. STEVE: Well, it really comes down to "the purpose". It comes down to "why do we want to connect with this person?" I'd like to share a story -- have you guys seen the movie The Wizard of Oz? CHUCK: Yes. STEVE: Okay. That movie taught us everything that we need to know about the entire sales process. So I'd like to share that story with you because it really answers your question and actually a lot more. There were 5 major questions that were answered in that movie. The first question is "purpose", the second question was "who", the third question is "what was the game plan?", the fourth question is "what was the solution?", and the fifth question was "what is the next step?" So in answer to your question, it all starts at the beginning. What is the purpose of the call? What is the purpose of this blog? What is the purpose of the podcast? What is the purpose of me connecting with this individual on LinkedIn? What is the purpose of me sending this tweet? The purpose of the tweet, the purpose of LinkedIn, the purpose of the call, the purpose of the emails to keep the purpose - the purpose. So it all starts with purpose. Second major question: Who are the right people? I talked to few minutes ago about your audience. Who are the right people that you need to talk to to help solve their problems. Number three, there's always a game plan to get from point A to point B. I love what you said, Eric. You write a blog, somebody raises their hand, now they come in to your sales process, that a part of your game plan. Now once they become into your sales process, then the next question, "what is the potential solution for this individual or this company or whomever". And then number five is, "what is the next step?" And there's always a next step. So let's apply these questions to the movie The Wizard of Oz, because The Wizard of Oz taught us this. Alright, so I'm going to test your memory here. So what was Dorothy's primary purpose throughout that entire movie? Chuck? CHUCK: To get home. STEVE: To get back home. So she lands in Munchkin Land, the house falls on the Wicked Witch, killing the Wicked Witch. Her primary purpose throughout the entire movie was to get back home. So she lands in Munchkin Land, and then here comes Glinda, the Good Witch. She comes down on the bubble and Dorothy immediately asked her for help. "I need help. How do I get back to Kansas?" And the first thing that Glinda said is "You need to go see the Wizard in Emerald City. I don't know if he could help you, but if anybody could help you, he could help you". She goes "Great! How do I get there?" Remember, follow the yellow brick road to get from Munchkin Land to Oz. So Dorothy sets out on this path, on the yellow brick road, and she's skipping and jumping. Now Glinda did not tell her about all the obstacle she was going to run into, did she? CHUCK: Nope. STEVE: She just painted this very, very beautiful picture of Emerald City and Oz, and how gorgeous it is and all of that. So Dorothy starts out and she's on her path and the first person she runs into is who? CHUCK: Scarecrow. STEVE: Alright. She runs into the scarecrow and now they have to make a decision. Because remember, the yellow brick road split into three. So what did they do? CHUCK: I don't remember. I remember the song [laughs] STEVE: They just took a guess. They took a guess and said "Oh, this looks like a pretty good way to go". Sometimes, that's the way it is in life. Sometimes, there is no sure path. And sometimes, entrepreneurs and sales people were making decisions all the time about how to take their customers down the right path. And sometimes, they're not really sure of what they want to do. Alright now, let's go back to Munchkin Land, Glinda didn't tell Dorothy of all the obstacles she's going to run into. She did not tell her that the Wicked Witch was going to come along and light the scarecrow on fire. She didn't tell her that she was going to run under the tin man that was frozen. She didn't also tell Dorothy that she was going to get into the poppy field and they will all going to fall asleep. She did not wanted to discourage them, and I think a lot of time in sales, we take our eye off the ball. We take our eye off the prize. By staying focused on the purpose, the entire purpose of that movie, Dorothy's purpose was to get back home. So that got her through the tough times, got her through all the difficult when they fell asleep and the Witch came, and all of that. So they picked up the tin man, they picked up the lion, they made it to Emerald City, they knocked on the door. And the guard sticks his head through that little port window and said "What do you want?!" "Well, we're here to see the Wizard!" "Nobody sees the Wizard! Nobody has ever seen the Wizard!" And he starts to close the little port hole, and she goes "Wait a minute! Wait a minute! How do you know there's even a Wizard?" And he goes, "Don't bother me with all that stuff", and he starts to close the port hole and she goes "Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Glinda the Good Witch sent me". He goes, "Why didn't you say so?" That's the power of a referral. Every single day in the market place, you and I, Eric, we're writing, we're blogging, we're podcasting, we're connecting with people. Isn't it a lot easier to talk to somebody that we've been introduced to? It's like Chuck, I met you the first at New Media Expo. We've never met before even though we're in The Podcast Mastermind, you're in another group. And you came up to me, you mentioned to me that you're in The Podcast Mastermind and you were talking to somebody and that we should connect. That was your referral into our conversation, and it immediately got my attention. So they get in to see the Wizard. And the Wizard says, "here's the solution". What was the solution? He said "you bring me the blank, and I will grant all of you your wish". CHUCK: It was the Wicked Witch's broom, right? STEVE: There you go, very good! It was the Wicked Witch's broom. So they got the Witch's broom, "Help me! Help me! Help me!" and the Witch melted. They got the broom, they ran back to Oz, remember they ran down that long hallway, they set the broomstick in front of the Wizard, and the credit was started to roll and the movie was over, right? [Chuck laughs] CHUCK: Didn't quite, huh? STEVE: Didn't happen, did it? No! It didn't happen at all! Okay here's question number five: What was the next step for the lion? CHUCK: Didn't he get a medal, get his courage? STEVE: Yes! He got a medal, very good! You seen the movie recently, right? CHUCK: No. [crosstalk] STEVE: You've got a very good memory. So what was the next step for the tin man? CHUCK: He got his heart. STEVE: Got his heart. What was the next step for the scarecrow? CHUCK: He got a diploma for his brain. STEVE: Yeah for his brain. And what was the next step for Dorothy? CHUCK: He was going to take her home in his balloon because he couldn't do it any other way. STEVE: The Wizard of Oz gave us an entire sales process. What is the purpose? Who are the right people? Then I can help. What is the game plan for this call? What is the game plan for this blog? What is the game plan for this podcast? What are the potential solutions for my target audience? And what is the next step? And there's always, always a next step. In your sales process, somebody waves their hand. They come in to your sales process; there's always a next step after that, and a step after that, and a step after that. I hope that answered your question in around about way, but I love sharing that story because people can really relate to that because we've all seen the movie The Wizard of Oz and there's 5 easy questions. CHUCK: Yeah it did. So how do you identify what the best next step is? I mean for some people, they kind of lead you to the next step; it's something that you do often enough towards. They say something that triggers the next step; it's just an easy thing. But sometimes, it's not exactly clear what the right next thing is. And it's usually goes hand in hand with "they don't know what they want". STEVE: Exactly. CHUCK: So how do you nail that down? STEVE: Well the way that I look at that, you're the director of a movie. So picture this: You're the director of a movie, you got $100,000,000 million dollar budget, everybody's looking at you, Chuck. You're the director, you sit on the director's chair, actors are standing around, the set designers, costume designers, the movie, everybody standing around they're going "Chuck, what do want us to do?" CHUCK: You're telling me to make it up, aren't you? STEVE: [laughs] Yes. [Chuck laughs] STEVE: And that's the moment of truth, where it's like "Okay, we go to the doctor. We got a pin, we have a problem. We don't know what's wrong". They ask us a lot of questions, don't they? Then they go on, they run out, they get some task. And then they come back and they go "You know I really don't know!" You'd run, you wouldn't walk. Doctors are very confident; they take us down a path. So based on our ability to ask questions, and this could come into a face to face meeting, this could come through email, this could come through LinkedIn, Twitter, it didn't matter. Once we've asked the right questions, they have a better understanding. They're looking to Oz to help them. As I said a little while ago, some of them really don't know exactly what it is that they want. So let me pin a different story for you. So a couple of years ago, my son broke his collar bone snowboarding. Doctors are really good at asking questions. So we take him to the specialist, surgeon, an orthopedic surgeon. And the surgeon comes in and sits down and looks my son right in the eyes, and says tell me about it "Where does it hurt? When did it happen? How did it happen? Show me where you fell", spend about 15 minutes with him. He said "Okay, let's get a picture of it". They go out, take an X-ray, comes back about 20 minutes later, he puts the X-ray up, and he says "Well, you can see it's broken. We have two options here: (1) we're going to put it in a sling, you're going to be really uncomfortable for the next 3 or 4 weeks, but eventually it will fuse back together. That's option 1. Option (2), we can do surgery. Now you're going to be in a lot of pain for at least a week. After 3 or 4 weeks, you won't even know that you broke a collar bone". And he looks at my son and he says "What would you like to do?" "Dad, I want the pain to go away." The doctor looks at us and says "Okay, when can he get in here for surgery?" I said "Well, what's available?" He said "I've got some availability tomorrow morning at 7:30." I said, "We'll be here." He helped us make a decision that was good for us. Eric, that's what you do. Chuck, that's what you do. That's what we all do. And sales isn't a bad thing, it's not bad name. We help people make decisions that are good for them, and it goes back to your question. Some people, they really don't know so they're looking to Oz's, the professional, to guide them. I'll give you another example, (I'm) interviewing a potential coach right now. I've had coaches throughout my life, and I'm looking at another coach right now. We got together with over coffee and she asked me a bunch of questions, and she says "So, what do you want to solve?" and I said "You're the coach. I need you to help me through this dilemma. I need you to guide me through this dilemma. I don't even know what I want. I don't even know how to solve this issue." So I think, it really comes in whether you're running an online business, you're running a brick and mortar business, a retail store, you're calling B2B or your consumers or your target audience, it's really about putting yourself in the shoes (of) the other person and trying to see it from their point of view. CHUCK: I like it. I like it. Alright I have another question, and this one's something that I'm really not very good at and not very good about, and that is referrals. You brought it up before, how do you go about getting referrals from people that you've worked for before? STEVE: Well, the simplest thing is to ask. It's 89% of all people out there don't ask for referrals, and there's a reason for that. So let's talk about the reasons first, the psychology behind it, and then I'll share with you how to ask for referral. So why do you think that you, Eric, sales people, entrepreneurs in general, are afraid of asking for referrals? CHUCK: I don't know [laughs]. ERIC: Fear of rejection. STEVE: Alright there it is, right there! Fear of rejection. We don't want to be rejected. Maybe we have a really good client, or we have a really good relationship, and we don't want to rock the boat, "Geez if I ask them for referral, I might offend them". Also maybe we've had a bad experience. Maybe we have referred somebody to somebody, and they didn't treat them like we've been treated. That happen to me 15 years ago; I couldn't believe that a really good client of mine say "Hey, you taught our people how to make this great prospecting and sales calls, you've helped increase our revenue; I want our sales people notice they're taking our clients out to lunch and getting then all them on a more personal level". But I've watched them in these situations and geez they don't know how to sit properly; they got food dripping down their face. I need an image consultant; I said I happen to know somebody. So I called up this image consultant, and I've known her for almost a year, I've seen her, I've watched her, very very professional. So I called her up and I said "I've got a really good client that I've had for a number of years, is looking for an image consultant, I told him all about you, now let me tell you all about him. He's got a very nice company and about 75 employees, and they're Christians. He has bible study in his office, he's the owner of the company, has bible study in his office every Thursday morning at 7 am. And sometimes, if there's a celebration and there's a gathering where they bring in food, they bless the food. They don't preach what you have to believe, but they're very, very conservative. Just giving you a heads up." Two days later, he calls me up and he says "I can't believe you referred her to me! What were you possibly thinking?" And I said "Al, what are you talking about?" "Well she came in here, her dress was halfway up her rear end, she had a very low-cut top on, my wife was absolutely appalled." I said "Al, I've known this woman for a year, I have no idea what happened." So I had a bad experience and I was hesitant about referring anybody. There's the psychology of it on both sides. The sales person was afraid to ask out of fear for rejection; the person that you're asking for a referral, they're afraid because they don't want some bad thing to happen to the person that you're referring them to, all of that. You've got all the psychology stuff going on. The simplest way to ask -- let's do a little role play, Chuck, alright? You're going to be my client. CHUCK: Alright. STEVE: Chuck, can you do me a favor? CHUCK: Sure! STEVE: Alright. You ask 100 people that question and 95% of the time, they'll say "well, that depends...what do you need?" just like you said. So there's 3 steps to it. Step number 1, can you do me a favor? "Sure, it depends!" Chuck, who do you know that I should talk to about the type of work that I do as it relates to sales and prospecting strategies? And you're going to say... CHUCK: I don't know. STEVE: I don't know. Now, I didn't say DO you know of anybody, I said who do you know. And I would say about 60-70% of the time, you come back and say "well I really don't know", and here's where you could take it to step number 3. Chuck, pretend with me for a minute that you and I are at a social gathering. We're having a glass of wine, and some cheese and crackers, and we're standing around talking, and Eric walks up to you and you guys start having a conversation. I don't know Eric. Would you introduce me to Eric? CHUCK: Absolutely. STEVE: And Chuck that's all I'm asking for today - is an introduction to somebody like you, a nice person. We've been doing business for about 2 years now, I've always treated you with respect, haven't I? CHUCK: Hmm-huh. STEVE: I've always done what I said I was going to do, right? CHUCK: Yup! STEVE: And you know what, you can rest assured, if you can refer me to a friend of yours, they will get the same service I've always given you; I will always treat them with respect, I will always do what I said that I'm going to do. Is that fair enough? CHUCK: Absolutely. STEVE: So the type of person that I'm looking for is -- and then I give them the criteria, boom, boom, boom -- this is the type of individual that I'm looking for. And then I have a conversation about that, but I never put anybody into a corner. Now, that's one way of acquiring your referrals. You go to your best clients that you want to duplicate. Another way is what I call "centers of influence". Cliff Ravenscraft would be a really good center of influence. Centers of influence are influential people, maybe community leaders, maybe chamber members, maybe chamber presidents, rotary club presidents, people that have access to others and people that respect as individual. I'll give you another example; I have a very good center of influence in Philadelphia. I met him 15 years ago in Chicago at a workshop, and we become really good friends and he refers a lot of business to me. Well last fall I called him up, his name's Scott, and I said "Scott, we've been sharing leads back and forth and you referred a lot of business to me. I'd really like to learn as much as I can about your business. I'd like to fly down to your facility. I'd like to spend a whole day with you, be a shadow if I may. (I) won't bother you; I might ask you some questions and take you out to lunch (or) whatever, it's on my nickel, not yours. Would you allow me to do that?" He said "Sure". He even picks me up at the airport, takes me on a tour to facility, I spent the whole day with him. At dinner that night, I said "Scott, I really do appreciate you taking the time to -- How do your day? I know how busy you are, obviously you've got 75 employees and you have your phones ringing all the time." "I network a lot and I meet a lot of people. If I was having dinner with a friend of mine, how would I know that they would be an ideal customer for you?" And I shut up, and he gave me 3 or 4 criteria of who his ideal customer is. That's another way to build your referral base. I mean I haven't made a cold call in over, I'd say, 12, 13, 14 years now. And I'm constantly getting "I" referral sources. I asked for referrals, I put out a lot of great content, just like you guys, I put out a lot of great content, and people appreciate that and they'll refer you. But at some point, it really takes the opportunity to ask. And it really is that simple. CHUCK: That makes a lot of sense. Yeah one thing I have noticed is that if they are referred, they tend to be more likely to (what's the word), to convert, I guess. STEVE: Yes absolutely. It's just like the movie The Wizard of Oz. "Well, why didn't you say so? Let them in!" I have a philosophy about prospecting, sales, this whole thing. My philosophy is: You always, always, always, leave the person better than you found them. It's not rocket science; you treat people like you like to be treated, like the golden rule you treat people respectfully. As Bob Burg said, and you've heard this before, "if they know, like, and trust you, they'll do business with you". CHUCK: Yup absolutely. It makes a lot of sense. Alright well, we're getting close to the end of our time. Are there any other pearls of wisdom you have to embark to us before we get into the picks? STEVE: Well, I think just the biggest thing is to keep it simple. I mean there's a great book out there, I'll get into that, the pick's in a minute here. But to keep the sales process simple, what is it that you're offering? Who's my target? Maybe what I'm offering isn't perfect, is it going to solve their problem? And then I think the last thing is we need to ask for the business. We really do. I mean I've outlined a lot of things here today, but we really need to ask for the business. 50% of the sales people out there don't ask, 46% only ask once, so we got 96% of the sales force out there asking less than one time. CHUCK: Yeah. STEVE: So in the top 4% of the sales people out there ask 5 or more times, and 60% of all sales comes on the 5th attempt. I don't mean to slam so many up against the wall 10x until they bleed, that's not what's it's about. CHUCK: Yeah. But the thing is that if you ask -- and this is another thing that we really don't have time to get into -- but if you ask, you may get an objection, which is just "I would, but", and then you can figure out whether or not they're a fit or whether or not they misunderstood something. And maybe it's a "not now", and so then you can get the circumstances under which it would be a "yes now". And so yeah, it's not the end of the conversation, it's just an opportunity to clear things up. STEVE: Yeah let's talk about that objection for a minute because that's another real challenge for sales people, entrepreneurs, small business owners. If I stuck you with a pin right now, you would say "ouch!". When the client or the prospects, if she would a pin, don't say "ouch". We've been trained, the sales people, that when they say this, we're suppose to say that. When they object to this, we're suppose to come up with canned response number 8 tool. It doesn't work. It does not work. I'll give you a couple of examples; I'm actually embarrassed about this. When I started out as a stock broker, if you ever saw the movie Broiler Room, well that's what it was like in the 80s. So when you told me you didn't have any money for this investment, I was taught to respond with "Chuck, are you always that broke?" [Chuck laughs] STEVE: Yeah! That was what I was taught. And Eric, if you said "Steve, I really got to talk to my wife about this investment", I was (taught) to respond with "Eric, where's the pants in your family?" You do that once or twice, you get your face ripped off. I don't believe in tricks, I don't believe in manipulation. And I knew, after my first week in sales, that that was not the path that I was going to go down - that I wanted to treat people like how I wanted to be treated. So when you're working with objections, when they stick you with the objection, just listen. Don't get offensive. Ask questions, clarify it. "You've mentioned that you're not interested. Help me to understand that. What are some of the concerns about what I'd be sharing with you? What is it about this?" Ask questions to learn from their point of view. The rock band The Who said it better than anybody; you don't have to fight to prove your right. Their perception is their reality. Now you may say "Steve, their reality is all messed up". Well that maybe true, but it's still their reality. And the only way to find that out, it all comes back to questions. And then you get off the objections and come back to the purpose of the call, the purpose of the meeting, and all of that. CHUCK: Yup makes sense. Alright well, we're really are at the end of the time that we have allotted for this. I really, really appreciate you coming on the show. STEVE: I loved it. Thanks so much for having me. It's just really been great being here. CHUCK: Yeah. And there's a ton there that I've got to go back through and kind of work into what I've been doing. So like I said, I mean I love doing these shows whether there's a much there for me as [inaudible] for the listeners. STEVE: That's good for me, too, because it brings me back to the basics and the fundamentals. It just reminds me so much of (what) I get away from. It's now an [inaudible]. CHUCK: Yup absolutely. Well let's go ahead and get into the picks. So Eric, what are your picks this week? ERIC: Okay so early this week I watched a movie, it's called "Indie Game: The Movie". It's on Netflix streaming, but you can also buy it on their site. It's basically kind of a documentary of a couple game companies, independent game companies, seems like two of them were one-person company and another was a two-person company. They're basically trying to create and launch independent games on like Xbox and PC and stuff. It's really interesting because it goes through a lot of the struggles that like doing a startup and kind of getting out there in the world. Not only was the interest and the education, but it was pretty entertaining just to watch all the dynamics amidst to the teams. So like I said, it's on Netflix. We'll also have a link to actually buy it directly from them in the show notes. CHUCK: Awesome. Alright, so I have a couple of picks this week. One of them just came in the FedEx, I guess, because I have Amazon Prime. It's something that I've kind of been wanting for a while, and I got a gift card from one of my clients for pulling some extra hours for them. It's made by a company called "Anker", I think, A-N-K-E-R. And what it is if you heard of like the mophie juice pack or something, the little battery things that you can put in your pocket and then you can plug your USB cable into it and then you can charge up your phone or other electronic device. Like I said, I've been wanting one for a while, I wind up traveling quite a bit for conferences and things. And so that's what I got; I got one of those. I'll put a link to it in the show notes. Anyway, it's something that I'm really, really excited about; it has 2 ports on it so that I can charge up 2 phones at once. We're going down to St. George, Utah, for the "home show". St. George, Utah, is one of the areas that people around here tend to retire to because it's warm all year round. So then they don't have to shovel their walks and they get nice weather and things like that. And since a lot of folks that retire down there retire down there, not just because it's warm, but because you can get a really nice million-dollar house, and they've done well for themselves as far as saving it for retirement; they're retired down there into really nice homes. So the home show down there is actually usually better than the Salt Lake City home show, because you wind up going through this million-dollar homes built on lave fields that are just amazing. Anyway, I'll put a link to that home show as well. But while we're out and about driving around the St. George area, a lot of times we have our phones and stuff that are helping us through navigation and stuff, and so I'm going to give it a try while we're down there and see how it does with the charging up of these devices. I don't really have any other picks, so I'm going to throw it over to Steve. STEVE: I've got a couple, I hope that's okay. CHUCK: Yeah absolutely. STEVE: I like technology and I utilize technology as much as I can in my business to streamline my workflow. You guys I'm sure you've heard of "Evernote". CHUCK: Yes. STEVE: Evernote.com. I absolutely love that tool. It's crossed platform - iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, Android, you name it. I could not do what I do every single day without Evernote. I have hundreds of clients, I've got notes of all my clients, I can access that information no matter where I'm at, on my iPhone or iPad or wherever, and you can cross-reference in it. I do a lot of writing, I do a lot of podcasting, all my podcast are in there, all my notes, all the formats, writing my book, everything. Evernote does a really, really great job. They got some other apps called "Evernote Hello", have you guys heard of that one? CHUCK: Yeah I actually was introduced to it at New Media Expo. Somebody handed me their phone and said "Here you go! And by the way, you should try this app". It was cool! STEVE: It is really cool. Well they just came out with an update. So I came back from New Media Expo with a lot of business cards. You take a picture of the business card, it scans it, it automatically sees if they're on LinkedIn, brings in all their LinkedIn information and puts it into your contacts. It is really slick. And then they've got "Evernote Food". I'm a foodie, I like food, I love to cook. So if I'm out on a restaurant, and there's a really cool meal that's presented very well, I can take a picture of it. You have hundreds and hundreds of recipes so you could keep track of the food that you eat. I love food! Another one on my picks is "Nozbe.com", N-O-Z-B-E.com. It's crossed-platform again. I have a lot of independent individuals that I've worked with, from writers to designers to VAs, you name it. And so we're all on Nozbe, so for working on a project, eveybody can see what everybody is doing, you can assign projects. It's absolutely wonderful. Books, best book that I've ever read on the subject of sales was written in 1949. You can still get it on Amazon, called "How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling" by Frank Bettger. That's B-E-T-T-G-E-R. Again, that's "How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling" by Frank Bettger, B-E-T-T-G-E-R. Frank was a baseball player in the early 1900s, he got injured, and he went on to the life insurance sales. And it's his story. My father, he gave me the original hard cover, I've got it on my desk right now, I'm looking at it, the original hard cover that was printed in 1949. And I've read that book 5 times. Why? Because I'm a slow learner. No, because it's got a wealth of information. The thing I love about the book, it's all about the ark of asking the right questions of the right people to produce the right results. And again, I believe you can still get a paperback copy on Amazon. I get to also mention earlier in the show today, "The Icarus Deception" by Seth Godin; it's his new book. If you're serious about what you do, he calls all of these artists. Whether you're writing a blog, whether you're doing a painting, a sculpture, you're solving technical problems for people, we're all artists. It's a great, great book. I highly recommend it. CHUCK: Alright. STEVE: So those are my picks. Those are my picks for today. CHUCK: Awesome. They sound good. Actually, while we were talking, I went and bought the Daniel Pink book that you mentioned earlier. STEVE: Oh yeah. It's really good. It just analyzes the whole world and how we've really transitioned from where we were because everybody's in sales now. CHUCK: Yup. Alright well, we're going to go ahead and wrap up the show. Thanks again for coming. STEVE: Oh, thank you! It's just been really an honor and it's a privilege to be here today. Thanks, Chuck. Thanks, Eric. I really really do appreciate this and I'll leave you and your audience with one final note of what Doc said to Marty in Back to the Future 3. He said, "Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one". Thanks guys!