Monthly Archives: March 2018

Weekend Favs March 31

Weekend Favs March 31 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Mobile SEO: The Definitive Guide from Backlinko – This new guide will show you everything you need to know about mobile SEO and why mobile optimization is more important than ever.
  • Automagical – Automagical enables you to quickly turn blog posts into engaging marketing videos.
  • Paste – Beautiful slides for fast teams. Paste makes slides simple so you can focus on content and collaboration.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

Transcript of Does Everybody Need to Write a Book to Be Successful?

Transcript of Does Everybody Need to Write a Book to Be Successful? written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Back to Podcast


John Jantsch: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Tucker Max. He’s the co-founder at Book in a Box and a four-time New York Times bestselling author. We’re going to talk about books today, so Tucker, thanks for joining me.

Tucker Max: Thanks, man. Thanks for having me, brother.

John Jantsch: I’m just going to totally throw you up the softball question. What is Book in a Box?

Tucker Max: I’ll answer that. It’s a company that I started a long with Zach Obront, but I’ll answer that by telling a story, the origin story, which is pretty quick and really is indicative of what we do. I was at an entrepreneurial dinner and this woman said, “People have been asking me to write a book for 10 years, and it’s a huge pain in the butt. I don’t know how to do it and I don’t have time. How can I get this book out of my head without having to do the normal process?”

Tucker Max: So I looked at her, and I’m like, “Are you asking me how to write a book without writing it?” She’s like, “Yeah,” so of course being this snobby elitist writer that I am, I started lecturing her about hard work, and all the nonsense that all the writer elites always say. She stopped me and she’s like, “Tucker, is this an entrepreneurial dinner or a writer dinner?” I said, “It’s an entrepreneurial dinner.” She’s like, “Okay, so if you’re an entrepreneur,” she’s like, “I don’t think you’re an entrepreneur because an actual entrepreneur would help me solve my problem and not lecture me about hard work.”

Tucker Max: I got all mad at her, but she was 100% right. So, I got obsessed with this idea. How do I get a book out of someone’s head, their ideas and their words out of their head and into a book without them having to sit at a computer for a year? I realized, it took me about two months because I’m slow, but I realized that scribes have been doing this for 2000 years. Jesus never wrote anything down, apostles did. Socrates never wrote anything down, Plato did. Buddha, his disciples. And we go down the list, right? So I was like, “Well, if Jesus can do it, why not Melissa?” I basically got her on the phone, interviewed her. It took me a while to really refine the process, but the book worked great. Then, turns out a lot of other people had this need, and now we’re three and a half years later, we’ve done 750 books and we’re steaming along.

John Jantsch: You know, it’s funny. On a much smaller scale, I’ve been doing that for years because so many of my clients, I told them, “You need to content, you need content,” and they’re like, “I can’t. I don’t know what. What do I write?” So I started that practice. I would just start recording them and then give that to somebody and say, “Here, make 700 words out of this.”

Tucker Max: Yep.

John Jantsch: So you’ve taken it to a whole nother level. But it is, there are a lot of people who the blank sheet is scarier than anything else, but they’ll talk to you for days.

Tucker Max: Yep, exactly.

John Jantsch: I think that’s the key.

Tucker Max: Well, that’s the way the human brain is designed. It’s designed to speak and to interact in person. It’s not designed to … Writing is a whole different medium. Some people are really good writers, and they don’t really have anything interesting to say, and then some of the smartest, most brilliant people I know can’t write at all, so why not be an interpreter for them essentially, a scribe. That’s what a scribe is.

John Jantsch: What have you learned about growth in this crazy ride? Because 750 books, that’s a lot of growth.

Tucker Max: Oh man. So like business growth or personal growth because I’ve had [crosstalk 00:03:32]-

John Jantsch: It’s hard to separate those.

Tucker Max: It’s funny. I forget who said it. Someone really smart said that your business problems are almost always your personal problems in disguise. I feel like, at least that’s been very true for me.

John Jantsch: Yeah.

Tucker Max: I know almost every problem we’ve had in Book in a Box is a problem that I didn’t know I had, so for example, oh here’s a great one. I fired myself as CEO of my company, and we hired a real CEO professional who’d done this a bunch. The guy was like … The only reason I was able to do that emotionally, step out of that role, is because I’d done enough therapy and I’d realized, “You know what? This company is not about me. It’s about our mission, it’s about our people, it’s about the clients we serve, it’s about writing books. And if that’s true, then I need to focus on the thing I’m good at, which is product, not scaling a company.”

Tucker Max: Dude, we had done about two and a half million in sales before we hired him, and we’re closing in on 20 million now. That’s in like two years, that difference. He 10x’d us in two years just because I was able to thankfully have just barely enough humility to get out of the way of someone great at that role.

John Jantsch: Yeah, that’s interesting. I’m sure that there are countless stories of organizations that you have an idea but the idea is pretty easy to outgrow the founder of the idea, isn’t it?

Tucker Max: Yes, it did. It did.

John Jantsch: In terms of what the leverage and the pulling, and all that kind of stuff happens, few entrepreneurs are really capable of doing that part.

Tucker Max: Well, because they’re different skills. Seeing a need in a market and creating something that will meet that need is a very valuable skill, but it’s totally different than … Scaling a company is about operations and about coaching people, and about all those sorts of things. It’s totally different.

John Jantsch: I can’t tell you how many founders, entrepreneurs that I’ve had on the show that have grown pretty good size businesses that will come … Almost every single one of them will tell you their biggest problem was people problems, but what that was really saying is they didn’t know how to manage people.

Tucker Max: You are 100% correct. It was such a relief for me when I let go of having to be the CEO and we brought in someone who was good at coaching people and loved it, because I’m not. I love our tribe and our people are amazing, but sometimes I just want to go home and be selfish, and leave me alone. But you can’t if you’re the CEO. It’s not possible. You’ve got to be there for them, and I just … I’m okay now saying I’m just not, I wasn’t enough to fill that role.

John Jantsch: Let’s go back to books. Does everybody need a book? Is that like a calling card now?

Tucker Max: Yeah. I’ll say this. I don’t believe everyone needs to write a book. I believe that if you are in … Let me scope it down. If you sell your knowledge, and that’s part of your business, if you’re … I don’t mean to dis construction workers, but construction workers don’t need a book. Probably even contractors don’t need a book. That doesn’t even make sense, right? Contractors do really well, construction workers do really well, but if you’re a knowledge worker, lawyer, doctor, consultants, coach, executive, things like that, if you essentially sell what you know how to do, I think above a certain level, having a book has become essential to distinguish yourself and to really move up. I do. I would say yes.

John Jantsch: Yeah, I would agree. In your process, well and maybe we need to talk about some of the steps in the process, so maybe let’s start there. Quickly, you already alluded to the idea that you interview somebody, but then how does it turn into a book from there? Is there a prototypical story or book that makes a better book? I’ve asked you about 10 questions in one there, but-

Tucker Max: Yeah, right. I’ll answer, it’s sort of a followup to your last “Does everyone need a book” and how does our process work. The big thing that we always emphasize to our client is that you’re better off with no book than a bad book. So we really emphasize … We won’t work with clients who we think don’t have a good book in them because we don’t want to do bad … No one wins if we do a bad book. We look bad, they look bad. There’s no winners there. Then also, the big thing with our process, our process is designed, well it’s an interview process.

Tucker Max: So you basically just have to know what you’re talking about and you have to get on the phone with us and be able to talk about what you know. If you can do those two things, we can get a really good book out of you. The problem that we face is that sometimes we’ll deal with people who don’t actually know … Either they don’t know what they’re talking about or they want to write a book that’s way beyond what it is they know. We’ll get a doctor in who’s a world class at one specific thing, but he wants to write a book on finding your passion.

Tucker Max: It’s like, “Dude, you don’t really know how to do that. Let’s focus on what you know.” To answer, to sum it up, yes. The very best books are the ones that pull the curtain back and share the knowledge and wisdom you have that is valuable to people. That is the most important thing you can do in a book because if you don’t do that, then the book is not valuable to anybody but you. It’s just an ego piece.

John Jantsch: Yeah. I’m sure you coach folks on how to prepare because obviously they show up at that interview and you’re going to ask them questions, but is there a process that you have to help people get their thoughts organized or to prepare for those interviews?

Tucker Max: We actually, we have two different offerings now, like the high end turnkey solution … We don’t really tell people to prepare, a little bit, but the idea is they should be able to show up with just their knowledge and be ready to go. Usually, what we’ll do is at the end of specific calls, it’s a very … The details of the process don’t really matter, but you’re working with several different people, and each person has a specific role. It’s kind of like gates. Once you get through one gate, then you can do the next gate, etc., etc. So positioning, outline, interviews, all that kind of stuff.

Tucker Max: But here’s the key with this. We will give them homework after a call sometimes. Okay, before your next call, think about this, collect this story, etc. We definitely do that, but we don’t … The more people prepare, at least in our process, generally speaking, the worse they do because they don’t even know how to prepare, so we’ve structured our … Our process is really structured and algorithmic almost on our side, but we take all the burden on. We don’t want them trying to prepare because it’s sort of like become a chef or just pay for the meal.

Tucker Max: When you go to a restaurant, you don’t go in the back and help the chef. You either work at the restaurant or you pay for the meal. We want people to almost feel like they’re going to a restaurant and paying for the meal. They’re part of the experience, what they do matters, but they’re not prepping and they’re not cooking.

John Jantsch: Yep. Where would you … You probably have had people come to you and say, “Hey, I’m thinking about your approach,” or “I have a friend that has an agent that’s going to talk to a publisher,” or “I could self-publish.” How do you guide somebody to say, “Well, you know what? This is the path you ought to take”?

Tucker Max: Yeah, it’s a great question. A lot of people ask us that. The basic answer, the two basic ways are traditional or self. Traditional means you’re going, finding an agent, or you’re going to HarperCollins or Simon & Schuster, whatever. Here’s the reality is that most people cannot get a traditional deal. The only way you’re getting a traditional deal is if you already have an existing audience that you can sell your book to, like John obviously you could get a deal. You have one, but if you hadn’t done books before, you could get a deal because you have an audience, right?

Tucker Max: It’s not just a small audience. The traditional publisher for the most part, they don’t expect you to sell a minimum of 25,000, maybe somewhere 10, but the real ones want a clear path of 25,000 copies. If not, they’re just not going to invest their time and effort because really all they are now is IP, they’re just an IP arbitrage place. They’re existing in this space hoping to monetize your audience. Now, traditional works makes … I like to say if you’re a celebrity, if you’re an athlete, if you are someone who is, call it a public figure and that’s your job, then traditional still makes a lot of sense.

Tucker Max: For business people, entrepreneurs, executives, coaches, that kind of thing, in the broadest sense, self-publishing makes a ton of sense, but I always tell them, “You’ve got to do professional self-publishing. So even if you don’t work with us, you’ve got to make sure everything about your book looks good because if you don’t, people will judge you. If you have a cover that looks like it was bought on Fiverr or 99 Designs, people will think you are less professional, and they’re right, at least in a book sense. But they’ll judge all of you, which fair or unfair is just true. It’s just what they’ll do.

Tucker Max: The other big thing too as a business professional that working with someone like us or doing self-publishing, why it helps is because you own the book. So you get to give the book away for free or in any way you want, you can use the book in your marketing, which is really why you’re writing a book, right? But if you have a publisher, they don’t want you to use the book in marketing. They want you to sell copies because that’s their business, and so for most people for whom a book is a gateway to something else, they should be in some form of self-publisher.

John Jantsch: Yeah, and part of it, before you start thinking about a book, you need to think about where is it going to fit into everything you’re doing, or what’s your overall objective and what’s the end game? Do you want to make a certification course out of it? I think those are all considerations on considering a book period, aren’t they?

Tucker Max: Yep. Yes, 100%.

John Jantsch: Have you had anybody come to you, and again 750 books, surely you have, that you’re like, “Hey, we want to do a book,” and you’re like, “Okay,” and you start to process and you go, “Oh man. We’ve discovered somebody. This is going to be a killer book.” Have you had that experience?

Tucker Max: Oh yeah. There’s a guy, Philip McKernan we’re working with who his book has not come out yet, but it’s called One Last Talk. He has this underground speaking thing where people give what would be their deathbed speech, but they do it when they’re alive. It’s pretty remarkable. Here’s the thing, John. Most of our books, almost all them are really, really good, but all of them, most of them are deeply niche. They’re for a very specific type of audience, which is what we recommend our authors do, write a niche book. If you’re writing to sell copies, that doesn’t make sense.

Tucker Max: If you’re like a traditional sort of model, that doesn’t make sense, but if you’re writing to promote yourself and your business, niche is the way to go. What’s the saying? Riches are in the niches, right? Because if you’re running to a niche, chances are no one else is talking to them and no one else is talking to them specifically about this problem, so you get to own the niche, and then you become the authority and the expert in that niche. Now, everyone who wants that service or that knowledge is coming to you. So we’ve written a lot of books that are huge in a really, like in a niche of 5000 or 10,000 or 100,000 people, but no one else out of that niche has ever heard of.

John Jantsch: Yeah, and then obviously you’re not going to have the competition in there either probably.

Tucker Max: Exactly. Not competition, not only for book sales but really more importantly for consulting, for speaking is a big one. Our very first client, Melissa Gonzales, wrote a book about popup retail, like how to set up a popup retail thing, which is crazy niche. There may be 5000 people on earth who care about that, but those 5000 people really care and so now she’s keynoting like big conferences, like three or four Fortune 500 companies are clients of hers because they’re all retail companies, right? She’s the expert in that space now.

John Jantsch: So writing the book, as we all know, and getting … I suppose you could say there’s three parts: you write the book, then if you’re self-publishing you get it designed and edited and printed, then distribution. I think that’s one of the real challenges. The sell of a traditional publisher is they’ve got all the connections, the sales, distributions in place. So you’ve had to actually bridge that gap, I’m assuming, by having distribution channels for your books as well.

Tucker Max: Yeah. We use pretty standard distribution channels to be honest. We put the books on Amazon, iBooks. We put them in IngramSpark so that … Ingram is a big book distributor, so like BNN and a bunch of the major chains source from Ingram. Our authors can get, any author who publishes through us, anyone can walk into Barnes and Noble and can order their book, and it’ll be there in like a day or less.

Tucker Max: Now, we don’t have established sales relationships with borders and stuff, but dude, the reality is less than 20% of book sales are physical sales through stores anymore, and almost all of those are novels. It’s crazy. Airport book stores are the only ones that really sell any appreciable numbers of business books anymore, and even those only sell the very, very most famous top ones and that’s it. A retail shelf placement is just really not relevant to a book’s success anymore.

John Jantsch: Yeah, even the big retailers carry one copy of a book if they have it. They just don’t want it to sit in the inventory.

Tucker Max: Exactly.

John Jantsch: You mentioned a couple formats, so audiobooks, kindles, hardcover, paperback. All are available, right?

Tucker Max: Yeah, yeah. We can do all those easily.

John Jantsch: Do you offer your authors any advice on how to get their book to sell? Because obviously the success of the book is really going to depend on them getting out there. There’s no ad budget or sales team promoting it, so do you help your folks at least figure out how to sell?

Tucker Max: Yeah. Well, we do a couple things. Included in the package, we have a little bit of marketing at the beginning. It’s mainly just helping them launch into their list and helping them get reviews and those sort of things, so we kind of structure. That’s part of the package. Then we have a whole marketing course that all of our clients get for free, which is like a super high level book marketing course that really walks them through exactly, not what to do but how to think about it and how to make the right decisions, because here’s the secret to book marketing, John, that I know you know well.

Tucker Max: There’s no such thing as the right way to market a book. There’s only how to use that book to achieve your specific goal, and so most of our clients, there’s almost no generic advice that fits even a third of our clients. We have clients who are financial advisors who specialize in a certain type of client, and so getting them in the New York Times would be useless because they need to only be in front of high network divorced women or something like that, whatever their client base is. Other clients, they’re totally different, so what we do is the big thing we help them with, with marketing, is reframing a book to understand their job is not to sell copies of the book.

Tucker Max: Their job is to use the book to get the deal or the authority or the speaking, or whatever it is, the thing they want, and so we tell them exactly how to use the book. Then a lot of times, we connect them to people who can help them do that thing, whether it’s speaking or Facebook ads, or whatever their specific strategy is.

John Jantsch: Yeah, awesome. We haven’t talked about cost. Is that something that is case by case or do you-

Tucker Max: No, no, no. It’s flat fee. Right now, we’re about to raise our prices to 30 grand, but for the next month or two … What is it, March 6th? Two months, it’s still 25. It’s like we’re criminally under-priced. We did that on purpose to gain market share because we … You know how it goes. You go high end as you establish market share and you can add on services and all that kind of stuff, so we’re 25 now. We’ll be 30 on June 1st. Yeah, it’s flat fee. Everyone pays the same. The only way you pay more is if you add certain specific services.

John Jantsch: Tucker, where can people find out more about Book in a Box?

Tucker Max: Pretty simple.

John Jantsch: Yeah, pretty simple. I appreciate you showing up and telling us about Book in a Box, and hopefully we’ll see you out there on the road again sometime soon.

Tucker Max: Thanks, brother.

John Jantsch: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is sponsored by Podcast Bookers, Podcasts are really hot, right? But you know what’s also really hot? Appearing as a guest on one of the many, many podcasts out there. Think about it. Much easier than writing a guest blog post. You get some high-quality content, you get great back links. People want to share that content. Maybe you can even transcribe that content. Being a guest on podcasts, getting yourself booked on podcasts is a really, really great SEO tactic, great brand-building tactic. Podcast Bookers can get you booked on two to three to four podcasts every single month on autopilot. Go check it out,

Does Everybody Need to Write a Book to Be Successful?

Does Everybody Need to Write a Book to Be Successful? written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Tucker Max
Podcast Transcript

Tucker Max

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Tucker Max. He is the co-founder of Book In A Box, a company that turns ideas into books, and four-time, New York Times Bestselling Author. He and I discuss writing books and how they impact your business.

Max’s own books have sold millions of copies, have been translated into over 30 languages, and are credited with creating of the literary genre “fratire.”

A movie was made about his life in which he co-wrote the screenplay, and also produced the movie. In 2009, Max was nominated to the Time Magazine 100 Most Influential List.

Questions I ask Tucker Max:

  • Does everybody need to write a book? Has it become the new calling card?
  • Is there a process to get people’s thoughts organized to write a book?
  • What are some tips on getting books to sell?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How to guide people on the right path to writing a book
  • Why writing a book for a niche audience can be so important
  • How books are distributed and sold when they’re self-published

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Tucker Max:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

The Role of Content Has Changed – Here’s How You Can Adapt

The Role of Content Has Changed – Here’s How You Can Adapt written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

It wasn’t too long ago that you could follow the formula below to attract and generate leads for your business:

  • Develop a content upgrade, like an ebook
  • Gate it behind a form on a landing page
  • Drive people to your landing pages through blog posts, social media, advertising, and email campaigns
  • People see the offer on the landing page, are interested, and give their contact information in exchange for the content
  • Voila, you have a new lead that you can nurture to a sale

While content upgrades still work well as a lead capture tool, you need to now get creative with how to get eyes on it. The market is so saturated these days and so many businesses are now following this approach that it can be easy to get lost in all the noise.

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now and began testing an approach that I had seen to start to emerge that I want to share with you. While my results have been significant, it may take time for business who are just getting started to see the same results, but in my opinion, it’ll be well worth it in the long run.

The key is to continue to position yourself as the expert in your field, and the best way to do this is to create and aggregate content into one place to show not only your visitors that you know what you’re talking about, but search engines as well.

Have I lost you? I hope not! To understand what I’m talking about, take a look at the details below.

Creating content – An evolved approach

As content continues to grow in importance for your business, it now must take on an elevated position in your strategy and planning.

The use of high-quality, education-based content has become a necessary ingredient in creating awareness, building trust, converting leads, serving customers and generating referrals.

Marketers these days have a lot in common with the traditional role of publishers. The good news is that the days of creating an infinite amount of thin content are over. You can create content less frequently, provided you structure it correctly and include a ton of value within it.

Today we have evolved into the “less is more” approach. Big content projects, even if there are only three per year, is better than writing a blog post every week, just because you think you should.

I’m currently experiencing great results with something that I’m calling Hub Pages. This is something many have already started doing and I understand why.

Content planning has really risen to the strategic level. It’s no longer an SEO tactic or simply content marketing. While we should certainly use it for those things, we must plan it at a foundational level.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, content really is now air for your business as it impacts every channel, which elevates how we have to think about it.

Content becomes an asset over time

Content is no longer created for today or tomorrow. It is created as an asset that can be used throughout every stage of the Marketing Hourglass. Because of this, you need to think about the time and energy you need to invest to get it right.

Hub themes

local marketing

I’ve talked about the Total Content System for years and it’s really driven by what I’m starting to call “hub themes.” These themes can be monthly, quarterly, or whichever timeframe you think is best.

Let’s say the theme for the month is “local marketing.” You’d want to drive all the attention you have to this idea of local marketing, so one of the main tabs on your website may become “The Ultimate Guide to Local Marketing.

Instead of it just being a page that talks about local marketing services, it becomes a foundational page that has a tremendous amount of value about what local marketing is, with tons of resources and links that people can click through to for further information (it may even end up looking like a course).

All of the content you have pointing to it are like the sub-chapters of the hub theme. I not only have all of these internal pages driving back to this one hub page, I also include links to external, high-quality content on the page that can also be linked back to the hub page.

Hub pages are also a great way to organize existing content and get more use out of it. Driving it to, and including in, these hub pages is a great way to give old content new life.

With so many pages driving to one another, you’ll start to gain a lot of trust and authority from Google, which will eventually help to increase your rank in search engine results pages over time.

The role of content upgrades

Content upgrades are still the new free. When you put these hub pages together, still include content upgrades, like an ebook or webinar signup, on these pages. People will now see these content upgrades because you are driving more traffic to these pages and they are easier to rank for instead of individual posts.

So, what do you think about this approach? Have you started to implement these types of efforts in your business?

If you liked this post, check out our Guide to Building a Small Business Marketing Consulting Practice…see what I did there?

Weekend Favs March 24

Weekend Favs March 24 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Material Design for Bootstrap – World’s most popular framework for building responsive, mobile-first websites and apps.
  • Auto Publish for Instagram by Later – Schedule posts that will automatically publish to Instagram for you – no notifications required!
  • WorkFlowy – WorkFlowy helps you break big ideas into manageable pieces, then focus on one piece at a time.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

Transcript of A Story On How to Create Influence

Transcript of A Story On How to Create Influence written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Back to Podcast


John Jantsch: Hello, welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Bob Burg. He is a sought after speaker at company leadership and sales conferences on topics at the core of his series of Go-Giver books. That’s what we’re going to talk about today, a new Go-Giver book called the Go-Giver Influencer: A Little Story About a Most Persuasive Ideas, so welcome back Bob.

Bob Burg: Hey thanks John, always great to be with you.

John Jantsch: We were talking before we got started, this is fourth in this series and the third one that is a parable.

Bob Burg: Parable.

John Jantsch: I’m always intrigued by the story format because I actually think it’s harder to do well and how have you felt the parable has served you?

Bob Burg: Well I agree it is harder, and so I got very lucky by knowing John David Mann. He was the editor and chief of a magazine I used to write for years ago. When the idea hit for the Go-Giver in making it into a parable I asked John right away if he would be the lead writer and storyteller. I’m a how-to guy, but yes I agree with you. It’s worked out well because I think parables, being stories, I think stories connect on a really heart level. I think we can have a premise that we want to get across and when it’s put into story form I think people just relate to it. I know I love reading business parables, and I just grow so much from reading them so yes.

John Jantsch: Well and I think, like a true story, you can have a bad guy and you can have tension. You can have things that maybe keep it a little more interesting than some of the how-to stuff can.

Bob Burg: Exactly, yes.

John Jantsch: In this book we’re introduced to two main characters and kind of setup maybe the conflict that they have that you’re really trying to resolve in this book.

Bob Burg: Sure, well one guy Jackson he’s an entrepreneur and he’s kind of a reluctant entrepreneur, but he’s good at something, has a love for something, but really not a lot of business savvy, and doesn’t realize that that’s two different things. Despite himself he’s been able to sort of build up a following with this brand of delicious, really healthy dog and cat food. Then there’s his counterpart, Gillian, who is the buyer for a huge chain of pet supply stores. He would obviously like them to carry his line in all their stores but they really want his food because it’s really growing and they want to get there before the competition.

It would seem like a match made in heaven, but it turns out to be anything but that. You’ve seen that happen right. Every conversation, rather than getting closer to a solution, they seem to grow further apart and neither one can understand the thought process of the other and it’s just maddening to them. They individually both come upon a couple of mentors who sort of then guide them through the process, and there’s even a twist when it comes to that as well.

John Jantsch: That’s actually one of the things when I was reading through it, the title is Influencer, the Go-Giver Influencer, but I think what’s interesting is it’s as much about being influenced as it is about influencing, or at least that’s how I read it. I think in my career some of the people that have influenced me the most probably didn’t even realize it.

Bob Burg: Oh I think that’s probably true, with me as well because we tend to … As we often say that, in a sense, influences is about what you say, but more important than what you say of course is how you say it. Even more important than what you say and how you say it is who you are. That’s really where character comes into play. We’re so influence by people’s characters that we just want to either emulate them, and I think Jim Rohn once said, “From some people we learn what not to do and from others we learn what to do.” I think that’s true, but when there’s a person of high character that we are able to observe, wow we can learn some great lessons and become a better person. Yes, they often don’t even realize it.

John Jantsch: I would say that they’re not even trying to influence.

Bob Burg: Right, oh exactly.

John Jantsch: I mean and I think that’s a big part of this because we’ve all seen people who are trying to influence us. Sometimes that actually has a negative appeal.

Bob Burg: Yes, especially when there’s an attachment to doing so, yes exactly.

John Jantsch: I’m curious in the parable process, do you sit around kind of like a fiction writer might and say, “Oh I know, we’ll have it be a pet chain and then we’ll do this.” Do you kind of map all that out before you start going or did that just kind of come to you as you were writing?

Bob Burg: That we knew, we wanted to do some kind of story that involved animals. John and his wife and both big animal lovers and I’m an animal fanatic. Yes, we wanted to do something in that line. You know it was really cool because we both love animals and entrepreneurship is a love of both of ours and the whole thing, and so it was great to be able to put that all into the story.

John Jantsch: You ready for the loaded question?

Bob Burg: Sure, actually no I don’t know if I’m ready or not but I will do my best and I’m just glad we’re friends.

John Jantsch: Is this a sales book?

Bob Burg: I think only in the way that everything in a sense is sales. When you think of selling an idea, whether you’re selling a product, a service, an idea, a philosophy, a way of being. See I look at sales as a good thing. I look it as a positive thing. I see articles by people that say, “Sell without selling,” or “Don’t sell, serve.” Well I believe selling is serving. Is it sales? Yes, and I like that.

John Jantsch: Well and I think when you add the word influence because I mean you think about how you can apply that. I mean I hope that I’ve had a positive influence on my children just by them watching how I’ve gone about my business, and so I think like you said, you bring that into every situation possible.

In this book, let’s go back to … We could talk in generalities about this idea, but in the book where do the characters go wrong?

Bob Burg: Well they’re both so involved in their own dramas and in their own wants that they’re really not taking the other person’s needs into consideration. Isn’t that really what we see at the basis of all sales failure?

John Jantsch: Sure.

Bob Burg: John I know you speak at a lot of sales conferences and conventions, and a lot of times when I do I’ll start out by saying, and I don’t say this in a dogmatic fashion, but in kind of a joking way. I’ll say, “Nobody is going to buy from you because you have a quota to meet.” They’re not going to buy from you because you need the money and they’re not even going to buy from you because you’re a really nice person who thinks they should have this. They’re going to buy from you only because they believe that they will be better off by doing so than by not doing so. That’s why we, as the salesperson, as the influencer, the persuader, what have you, we’ve got to understand that when it comes down to it it isn’t about us, it’s about discovering what that other person needs, wants, and desires. Then we can match the benefits of our product or service or our idea or whatever with what they need, want, and desire, and that’s the only way they’re going to make that decision.

John Jantsch: It’s a really common theme and you address it in the book. A lot of times I think when people negotiate there’s always like well you’re going to have to compromise, or somebody’s going to have to compromise to make this deal, and how does that get in the way?

Bob Burg: Yes, well certainly there’s a time and place for compromise but we don’t want that to be the first option for someone. One of the characters in the book, Coach George, tells Gillian, his protégé, that compromise comes from the Greek word for nobody actually gets what they want. Now it probably doesn’t really come from that word but maybe it should because I think compromise, by it’s very nature, is lose lose. Both sides are giving up something in order to appease the other person or get things done. What we want people to go for is collaboration, not compromise. Collaboration means you’re expanding the pie for everyone. The key in this is that we want people to get the results they want when dealing with others, and in such a way that everyone comes away a winner. That we can get the results we want while making that other person feel genuinely good about themselves, about the situation, and about you.

John Jantsch: We’ve all had the experience of buying a car, and it doesn’t always happen this way but the cliché is you want it, you want it for this price but you get emotionally attached to that red little number out there, and all of a sudden you’re getting taken you feel like almost because you’re so emotionally involved. You talk about that component a lot. I mean a lot of negotiations get derailed because people can’t stay calm.

Bob Burg: Right, and that’s why the very first principle that is shared is to master your emotions. The Sages asked, “Who is a mighty person?” And answered, “That person who can control their own emotions and make of an enemy or are they potential enemy of friend.” This is where it all begins John because it’s only when we’re in control of our emotions that we’re even in a position to take a potentially negative situation or person and turn it into a win for everyone involved. On the other hand, when we allow someone based on what they say or do to push our buttons in such a way that we become agitated or angry or whatever, now only are we not part of the solution, we’re just as much a part of the problem if not more so than they are. Yet, how often do we do that, or buy something because we feel an emotional pull even though we shouldn’t? The reason why comes down to the fact that we’re human beings and we are emotional creatures.

We’d like to think we’re logical and to a certain extent, of course, we are but we’re pretty much emotionally driven. We make major decisions based on emotion and we back up those decisions with logic, or we rationalize which simply means we tell ourselves rational lies. We do that to justify that decision that we either shouldn’t have made or what have you. Here’s the thing, when we say master your emotions we don’t mean deny your emotions, we don’t mean forego your emotions. That actually would not be logical because we are emotional. It means you need to control your emotions rather than your emotions controlling you, or as one of my great mentors [Donde Scumache 00:11:40] puts it, “By all means take your emotions along for the ride, but make sure you are driving the car.” That’s really the key.

John Jantsch: One of the things I’ve seen over the years is a lot of times in a selling situation maybe there’s some tension because you really want the deal or you think you do at least. You know what I’ve seen many times is when you start mastering your emotions you actually start asking the hard questions that might kill the deal but for the better of everybody. I think that that’s where I’ve seen it really go wrong for people.

Bob Burg: Yes, and it all comes down again when you’re operating out of a logical base, even though you know that emotions have something to do with it. One of the characters, the judge, tells Jackson, “Make believe that you’re a company. You’re a company and you have a board of directors, that’s your emotions. You have a CEO, that’s your logical mind.” Now the CEO certainly takes the advice of their board of directors right, but the decision needs to be made by the CEO, the logic part. That’s how you know you’re on the right track.

John Jantsch: My father was a long time, back when people got in their car and went around and sold to town square, that kind of sales guy. Excuse me, and he used to always tell me that the biggest sales skill is empathy. Instead of showing up and saying, “Here’s what I want,” that you got the sale by being better at listening to what they wanted. You address that directly. I didn’t write the quote down but something about the better listener wins was the gist of it. You want to talk about that?

Bob Burg: Well yes, and there’s two aspects. One is, as George told Gillian, when you listen to someone don’t just hear, don’t make it just a physical act. Listen with your entire body. Actually what he says is, “Listen with the back of your neck.” Actually John came up with that and I had to have him explain that to me. Once he did it’s now become one of my favorite sayings. Try to practice this sometimes, and I wouldn’t do it with a perspective customer or client. I would do it first with a family member or a friend. When you’re in a conversation really lean into the listening, not just physically but emotionally. Listen with your arms, listen with your legs, listen with the back of your neck, actually get your entire being into listening to this person.

First of all watch how much better of an understanding you have for what they’re really feeling and watch how much they appreciate that and they can tell. When it comes to empathy and the definition of such is the identification with or vicarious experiencing awe of another person’s feelings. It’s a great definition but the challenge with that is we don’t necessarily know how that other person feels. We come from different belief systems, different ways of looking at the world. I don’t think empathy means you need to know exactly how they feel. I think empathy is communicating that you may not understand exactly how they feel but you understand they’re feeling something, and that this something may be problematic, may be distressful, may be what have you and that you are there to work with them. It might be, again going back to what you said earlier, it might be what you say but it also might just be the presence you have, that resonance with them.

John Jantsch: Yes, in a lot of selling environments I mean let’s face it, the objectives are I want your money and the other objective is I don’t want to spend any money. We start off quite often in completely different camps. I have discovered over the years being willing to ask, “Well what would that look like? Why? Tell me more about that.” Is really kind of how you get there because I do think a lot of people are sometimes a little guarded or if you’re in a situation where you couldn’t have empathy because you don’t know that much about that person. I think we have to be willing to ask what maybe feel like uncomfortable questions.

Bob Burg: Oh absolutely, and you know we need to ask those questions and we need to listen and listen not just to be able to have an answer as much as listen just to really be able to understand that person and get what they’re coming from.

John Jantsch: One thing you do in the book that I think is kind of a neat vehicle. You have the story of course, but then at the back of the book you have a discussion guide, so it might be like a group might use as a discussion guide. Then you have a Q&A with the authors. I’m curious if that’s something that you’ve done in the past? I didn’t notice it if you had but I found it really useful.

Bob Burg: Well the first printing of the original Go-Giver we didn’t have that, but then when we brought it back we did an expanded edition. The story stayed the same but we brought it back with a discussion guide and a Q&A because we found that so many people were using the book, whether in schools, as part of religious discussions, within companies, on sports teams, all these different places and there were a lot of times when we would hear from these people that I kind of felt that maybe we needed to give a little bit more of a deeper explanation of what we meant. In a story you can only say so much, and so then came back and did that with the Go-Giver, with the Go-Giver Leader, and then for this one the Go-Giver Influencer we decided to do the same thing. We think that’s going to be helpful again with book club discussions and other types.

John Jantsch: Especially like you said in the parable, I mean there’s some metaphor that is necessary. Being able to then maybe spell it out for somebody is going to help somebody appreciate it, understand it, go deeper in it. I thought it’s a neat technique.

Bob Burg: Thank you.

John Jantsch: One of the things I kind of want to end with is because I think this might sum up a lot of what you’re getting across here is that true influence is more about pulling influence rather than pushing. I don’t know if it’s even very subtle, but I think it’s certainly counter to what a lot of people interpret influence as.

Bob Burg: We like to say that influence, the essence of influence is pull as opposed to push. You never hear someone say, “Wow, that Dave or that Mary, she is so influential. She has a lot of push with people.” She sure is pushy man, that is just great. No, she has a lot of pull and I think that’s what influence is, it’s pull. It’s an attraction. Great influencers attract people first to themselves and then to their ideas, sure.

John Jantsch: Bob where can people find out more about the book and your work, really all of your work?

Bob Burg: Thank you, they can visit the without the hyphen. The and on the home page it will have the new book and they can just click on that. It will take them to where they can get two chapters if they’d like and read those, and if they like where it’s headed they can click right through to Amazon or Barnes and Noble or get the book wherever books are sold.

John Jantsch: That’s right, well by two chapters you will clearly have them hooked.

Bob Burg: Thank you.

John Jantsch: Well Bob thanks for joining us. As always it’s great to speak with you and hopefully we’ll see you soon someday out there on the road.

Bob Burg: John I love the work you do. I’m one of your biggest fans my brother.

A Story On How to Create Influence

A Story On How to Create Influence written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Bob Burg
Podcast Transcript

Bob Burg

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Bob Burg. He is a sought-after speaker at company leadership and sales conferences on topics at the core of his series of Go-Giver books. He and I discuss the newest book in the series, The Go-Giver Influencer.

A former television personality and top-producing salesperson, Bob has shared the platform with some of today’s top business leaders, broadcast personalities, coaches, athletes, and political leaders, including a former U.S. president.

In addition to coauthoring the bestselling Go-Giver books with John David Mann, Bob has authored a number of popular books, including the critically acclaimed, Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts Into Sales and Adversaries into Allies. His total book sales are well over a million copies.

The American Management Association named Bob one of the 30 Most Influential Leaders and he is one of Inc.’s 100 Great Leadership Speakers. Richtopia named him one of the Top 200 Most Influential Authors in the World.

Questions I ask Bob Burg:

  • Why did you choose the parable format for this book?
  • What is the conflict in the book that tries to get resolved?
  • Where do the characters go wrong?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • Why it’s important to go for collaboration instead of compromise
  • Why mastering your emotions is key to negotiations
  • Why true influence is about pulling influence rather than pushing influence

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Bob Burg:

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