Helping Entrepreneurs Get To Where They Want To Go Faster

Helping Entrepreneurs Get To Where They Want To Go Faster written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Carolyn Rodz

Carolyn Rodz, guest on the Duct Tape Marketing PodcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Carolyn Rodz. Carolyn serves as the co-founder and CEO of Hello Alice. Hello Alice is a free, data-driven, and multichannel platform helping small business owners on their entrepreneurial journey by providing access to relevant funding networks and technical assistance tools while increasing owner success rates. Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn launched Hello Alice with the goal of helping entrepreneurs thrive with access to funding, resources, mentorship, and more.

Key Takeaway:

As a business owner, how do you find the right resources at the right time? Carolyn Rodz co-founded a free digital platform that connects business owners with the resources they need to launch and grow. In this episode, we talk about how HelloAlice helps small business owners on their entrepreneurial journey by providing access to relevant funding networks and technical assistance tools along the way.

Questions I ask Carolyn Rodz:

  • [1:30] Could you give us the background of how this Hello Alice came to be?
  • [2:20] Why the Lewis Carroll reference?
  • [2:59] What’s your history like and what brought you to decide that you were going to do this?
  • [4:30] Did you have an aha moment where you knew where you needed to start or how was the business born?
  • [5:13] What’s been the biggest challenge?
  • [6:09] Do you refer to yourself as a marketplace almost or more of a membership organization?
  • [7:03] What’s been the most rewarding thing to date?
  • [8:31] Can you describe what the typical member looks like?
  • [9:19] Is there an equity emphasis?
  • [11:06] How do networking and peer-to-peer connection play out in what is kind of a technology platform?
  • [12:50] So how does the process work for businesses who want to join Hello Alice?
  • [13:37] How does Hello Alice make money if joining is free?
  • [14:39] Is there an art to getting a grant?
  • [16:24] What type of networking have you found the community responds to?
  • [18:16] Why do members stick around if they choose to stick around?
  • [19:40] Have you seen a maturity of a business through this?
  • [20:44] Where can people learn more about Hello Alice and connect with you?

More About Carolyn Rodz:

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John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Marketing Against the Grain, hosted by Kip Bodner. And Keion Flanigan is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Look, if you wanna know what’s happening now in marketing, what’s ahead and how you can stay ahead of the game, this is the podcast for you, host and HubSpot’s, CMO and SVP of Marketing. Kip and Keion share their marketing expertise unfiltered in the details, the truth, and like nobody tells it. In fact, a recent episode, they titled Half Baked Marketing Ideas They Got Down In the Weeds, talked about some outside of the box campaigns with real businesses. Listen to marketing, its grain wherever you get your podcasts.

(00:55): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Carolyn Rods. She serves as the co-founder and CEO of Hello Alice. Hello, Alice is a free data driven and multi-channel platform helping small business owners on their entrepreneurial journey by providing access to relevant funding networks and technical assistance tools while creating owner success rate, increasing owner success rates would be a better way to say that. So Caroline, welcome to the show.

Carolyn Rodz (01:26): Thank you. Thanks John for having me. One of my favorite topics to talk about.

John Jantsch (01:31): All right, well, so I guess let’s just start with the history of Hello Alice, and I know you hit a pretty important milestone that you might want to share as well in terms of membership. So give us just the background of how this, uh, Hello Alice came to be.

Carolyn Rodz (01:45): Yeah, hello. Alice started back in 2017. I always say is the answer to what I wish I would’ve had when I started my very first company as a small business owners many years ago. But the plan was really how do we help connect business owners to the right resources at the right time based on where they are in their journey, all based on who they are as a person and the type of company that they’re trying to grow. And we’ve continued to do that ever since, helping to bridge them through the capital that they need along that journey, and then surfacing all of the right opportunities and resources and learning experiences to help them deploy that capital in meaningful

John Jantsch (02:20): Ways. And why the Lewis Carroll reference?

Carolyn Rodz (02:22): Yeah, when Elizabeth and I were starting this company, we started it with young kids in our homes. We were actually living together. I moved my family in with hers. We were out in, in the North Bay as we built the first iteration. And we happened to be reading the story of Alice in Wonderland to our kids. And we realized there were so many similarities between this entrepreneurial journey of all these unknowns. And sometimes you feel big and sometimes you feel small. And it’s this crazy journey for everybody. And thus the Hello Alice.

John Jantsch (02:51): It’s funny, the, you know, my company is called Duct Tape Marketing. And it’s similar sort of metaphor, you know, like what it’s like to be, you know, to start a business. What’s your history like? What brought you to deciding I’m gonna do this thing?

Carolyn Rodz (03:04): So I started out actually my career as an investment banker and jumped into entrepreneurship quite blindly. I had been exposed to it a lot as a child. My grandparents ran a very large cookie and bread factory in Bolivia. My dad was an entrepreneur and I started my first company but really struggled with cash flow management. I struggled with inventory management. There were so many pieces of the actual business side that I just didn’t understand. And I ultimately ended up closing that company. It was in the retail space. After a couple of years, I then started a second business in the digital media space. And I grew that with everything that I had learned from that failed experience in really leveraging my network the second time around and asking for a ton of help along the way where I knew, I knew, at least at that point, I knew what I didn’t know.

(03:54): And I grew that company slowly and steadily over about seven years and then sold it. And it was really at that point I started mentoring and supporting others. I then met Elizabeth along that journey and she was coming from this background with the working for the United Nations, leading their global entrepreneur council. She had this big macro view of what entrepreneurship really could do for a global economy. I saw a very micro view as an individual business owner, what the impact would be. And when we brought that together, we just saw this huge opportunity to help both individuals and to help the world at large.

John Jantsch (04:30): Yeah, I mean, did you have that like idea, uh, aha, you know, it’s like this is what we need to start, Or was it really more the mentoring turned into somebody asking for help and you figured out how to get them that help and the business was born or

Carolyn Rodz (04:43): Definitely the latter. And I think often the greatest businesses start when you just keep seeing this need like glaring in front of you. I had just had my first child, I was ready to take a break. I’d sold my business like I was burnt out on entrepreneurship to be honest. I was ready to take it slow and slowly instead it just, it kept coming up and it kept coming up and I kept seeing this need. Um, and then, you know, I, once I met Elizabeth that was like, All right, this is, let’s do this. Like we can’t not because nobody else is doing it,

John Jantsch (05:13): So. So what’s been the biggest challenge so far?

Carolyn Rodz (05:17): It’s changed a little bit along the way, but I would say early days it was certainly access to capital, like many of the business owners that we support. And probably not surprising to you since you talked to a lot of entrepreneurs raising money was really difficult. We are not a cookie cutter tech company. We never have. We’ve been this blend of community and a technology platform and we’d often get bucketed very much into one or the other. And so it was really hard for us to get traction. We had some people that just bet on us early on. Now I would say it’s really, you know, as our team has grown, it’s just making sure that we’re focusing on the right thing. We have, this is a rare business and that there’s a lot of opportunity thrown at us and a lot of things that we can be doing. But always really challenging ourselves to stay as focused as possible so we can keep a growing team all moving in sync in the right direction.

John Jantsch (06:09): I mean, do you think of yourself or refer to yourself as a marketplace almost or more of a membership organization?

Carolyn Rodz (06:16): You know, I would say at our core, we’re community, A community above all else. We always say if we can’t, you know, keep that real sort of human to human component, we’ve sort of, we’ll, we’ll lose our way at the end of the day. We have to have trust. I think what’s made our company so strong is this fierce loyalty. However, it is all tech driven, right? And so it’s how do we kind of layer technology to support the community in meaningful ways? And in that sense, it is a marketplace, right? We have, we’re a place where you can come to find the right loan for your business, you can get the best credit card for your company. So there IT solutions and discounts and grant opportunities. So there certainly is that marketplace component. Yeah. But all of it is really driven by having a solid understanding of who are we actually serving as an individual, not as a conglomerate.

John Jantsch (07:04): So I asked you the challenging part, what’s been, now, you know, I mentioned a milestone of over a million. Do you call ’em members or

Carolyn Rodz (07:11): We do, yes. Okay. We were refer of ’em as owners, but we never say users on our purpose. So we remember like the big journey everybody’s on.

John Jantsch (07:18): All right, so million owners. So what’s been the most rewarding to date?

Carolyn Rodz (07:21): Oh my gosh. You know, I think this is the coolest job in the world because the second I feel like I’m starting to get worn down or anybody on our team and we’ve been going like, we’ve been working so hard, it’s like at that moment we hear these incredibly inspiring stories. But you know, one comes to mind of Jessica’s balding, the owner of Harlem Chocolate Factory, who has gotten over $120,000 of grants from our platform. She’s gone through, you know, learning and educational experiences really. Like there’s these businesses that we just helped get through Covid that would’ve never otherwise, you know, made it necessarily, and not because of like, you know, we were some like magic band-aid for them. But just surfacing the opportunity, opening the door for them to put the work in to go get the solutions that they needed. That to me is the most rewarding part. Cause I’ve been there, I’ve closed my doors on a company and I know how incredibly exhausting it is when you’re in, you know, right at that precipice of are you gonna make it or not? And to know that we were, the small part of helping somebody make it is, it’s like a very emotional connection for me with our community.

John Jantsch (08:31): I imagine there’s a little celebrating that goes on when people hit some sort of milestone in part of the community. What’s a typical member owner, typical member owner? I mean, is it a startup or is it somebody trying to scale or is it just everything And

Carolyn Rodz (08:45): We’re very traditional main street small businesses. Yeah. So everything from a retail operation to, you know, a dry cleaner on the corner to a consultant, it’s really typically most of our business owners are less than 10 employees. Mm. They’re, we always say small and growing businesses. They’re, they’re businesses with very big goals and ambition. And there are business owners that work incredibly hard every day, but they’re in the early stages of growth and really need that guidance to unblock those big initial hurdles.

John Jantsch (09:19): Is there, uh, an equity emphasis, I mean, obviously give people access to capital that maybe traditionally are just not getting access to capital?

Carolyn Rodz (09:29): Yes. We have a lot of really cool initiatives in place. We are working on a, an equitable access to credit fund where we’re starting to unlock capital, really utilizing grant funds. We’ve deployed over 20 million in grants over the years where we’re starting to utilize those grant funds now to actually de-risk some credit for these owners so we can start to get them into sort of mainstream opportunity. Our goal is always how do we bridge that gap from their first credit card, their first loan that they need to walk into a bank and have the power of choice that many entrepreneurs have the luxury of starting with. But the reality is the majority don’t. That’s the piece that we focus on and we’ve gotten to partner with banks and corporations and incredible companies and foundations that are doing great work out there to be that bridge between the resources they have and the business owner needs.

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(11:06): So we’ve talked a little bit about the funding aspect of the loans, the grants, but there’s also a networking like peer-to-peer connecting, you know, teaching knowledge. I mean, how does that aspect play out in, in what is kind of a technology platform?

Carolyn Rodz (11:20): Yes. So we have a bunch of learning opportunities for us it’s always, capital is wonderful and it’s a piece of the solution, right? But the reality is most business owners aren’t even ready for that. You know, they’re not ready for venture capital, they’re not necessarily ready for that first loan. They’re looking for that initial traction to open the door. So we have a lot of programs. We have our Boost Camp experience that’s coming up in January as an example, which is a mini accelerator. It’s a three day accelerator that brings owners through how do you grow revenues. And it takes them through a series of automated guides that are very dynamic. We bring in incredible speakers that, that come and share their expertise and then they’re carried through this online experience that continues into perpetuity. So it helps ’em to build their plan and build that foundation, but then they go through tracks inside the hello s platform that are carrying through the details each of our how-to guides.

(12:09): It’s very dynamic. So we’re asking questions along the way as that business owner answers that we’re learning more about them and putting them on a path that’s really tailored to their needs. So the solution that you’ll get recommended for you in your business is very different than the solution that I’m gonna see for my business at the end of the day. And everything that we’re pushing to those owners is really tailored to their own, their own unique needs. Cuz as you know, all of our journeys are so different and to put a cookie cutter approach just doesn’t work. But we’re also learning what’s working for entrepreneurs and for certain segments of entrepreneurs and how do we help guide people on those paths that are actually opening doors and actually showing increased revenues and actually showing improved opportunities for funding.

John Jantsch (12:50): So how does the process work? I mean, how does a business come to you and say, Oh, I listen, I listen to John’s podcast and I wanna join Hello s how’s that happen?

Carolyn Rodz (12:58): Yeah, it’s totally free. So you just go to hello s.com, you can sign up for free, you’ll go through just a really quick onboarding experience where we’ll ask some basic questions about your business and from there you’ll get recommended opportunities that’ll help your company grow. So it’s everything from a grant that you should be aware of and we really take into account who you are as a business owner. If you’re a black female business owner working in manufacturing, here’s the right recommendations for you. If you are, you know, a veteran, you know, working in tech in Arizona, you’re gonna get different recommendations based on where you live, based on the industry that you’re working on.

John Jantsch (13:38): So you said the mo the the adjoining aspect is free. So the sort of the logical entrepreneurial question for me is what is the hell, How do we make money? Business model

Carolyn Rodz (13:48): , people ask us it all the time. We make money in a variety of ways. One is through affiliate partnerships. So as business owners are making purchases along the way, we are receiving commissions off of those. We also have premium experiences. So there are certain paid experiences. Uh, we work to get the best pricing on all of those if we can. We certainly also for credit card holders an example, there’s benefits. If they have a hell elses credit card, there’s opportunity for us as well. But at the end of the day, it really is, we’re always looking for ways of how do we help business owners and make money off of the things that they’re doing anyway. We don’t wanna put additional spend into their pocket. Everybody’s so bootstrapped and so tight on dollars. All of our monetization comes from our, the business partners, a corporate and enterprise partners that we work with. So we’re never taking money out of the hands of business owners.

John Jantsch (14:40): Grants are obvi, as you’ve mentioned, a big part of what you help people acquire. I, is there an art to to getting a grant or is it really just right place, right time, right need? Or is it a more competitive , you know, type of thing that, that you really have to get good at?

Carolyn Rodz (14:56): It is competitive and there’s certainly, I would say both art and science to it. One is just actually filling out your application fully. You’d be surprised how many people submit a grant and don’t answer all the questions and actually taking time and thoughtfulness. I think that’s a very simple thing that will really set your grant application apart. We actually have guides on Hello Alices, on how to go through the grants process, how to optimize your grant application. And then we also run workshops really helping people figure it out. And I’ll say for our own company, I built both Hello Alice in previous companies with grant funding and we’ve applied for, I mean, hundreds of grants over the years and it’s, it is a numbers game, so it’s not, it’s unlikely the first or second or even probably 10th grant application will result in money. But we try to keep the applications as streamlined as possible, as simple as possible for people so that they’re not spending a a ton of time on it. Most can be filled out in 20 minutes or less. And then also you can reutilize a lot of the data fields. So if you filled it out once for the next grant, we’re not gonna ask you the same questions again. So to save people time, we know time and money are various scarce resources for entrepreneurs.

John Jantsch (16:03): So I’m seeing like the bot, you know, to help the application is like the Cheshire cat or something.

Carolyn Rodz (16:09): We have our rabbits, so you’ll see our white rabbit a lot throughout the platform, but the white rabbit is really the guide for the entrepreneur. So where you see that rabbit pop up, it’s sort of pulling those entrepreneurs along the right path and the recommended path for them.

John Jantsch (16:24): So, So what type of network, our backend

Carolyn Rodz (16:27): Platform we

John Jantsch (16:27): Do, you know, in my experience that’s one it’s not necessarily the most valuable is Definitly the thing that people enjoy the most that are kind of in, in this, you know, struggling together. So what type of networking do you have you found the community response to?

Carolyn Rodz (16:42): Well we do lots of different affinity groups that we’re pulling together, right? So one of the biggest roles for us at Hello Alice, how do we convene business owners together in ways that are meaningful to them? And sometimes that is who are you as a person? So we, for Hispanic Heritage Month brought together a group of Hispanic entrepreneurs. We also will bring people together by geography. And so we just had an event in Atlanta, for example, with in partnership with MasterCard that brought owners together. But we do a ton online and it really is, I think those smaller groups are so critical. We also leverage ecosystem partners. So we work with, you know, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. We work with the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We work with a ton of organizations to, to push owners out and say, look, this is a network on the ground that’s very helpful for you. And those have become great partners for us. They are constantly referring people over to Hello Alice. We’re always referring people out to them. And we’ve built a really incredible ecosystem of organizations like DI Inc. And I mean there’s so many, there’s thousands of them. Yeah, they’re so critical to the ecosystem. I think we are a technology and we can certainly help expose the right resources for people, but there is so much that we cannot do as a technology that will never replace that human human touch.

John Jantsch (17:57): So, and, and this would only come sort of anecdotally from you talking to members I suppose, but do first off people probably join for a very specific reasons. I mean typically probably drawn for the capital is that

Carolyn Rodz (18:11): Yes, capital is the number one draw in for sure. Yes.

John Jantsch (18:16): Why do they stick around if they choose to stick around?

Carolyn Rodz (18:19): They stick around often I would say a combination of guidance. It’s just where do I go next? What do I need to be focusing on? And then a specific solution. So we work again with all of our corporate partners, say, Okay, we’re gonna bring you, you know, we, you know, we need a payroll service for your business. We’re gonna, we’re gonna filter down what are actually the really viable and good ones for your company. But also how do we take the volume of 1.2 million business owners on our platform and go leverage the very best discount for your business to help you make that purchase for us. We make recommendations, many recommendations, Aren a platform that we don’t get any affiliate. Yeah. Fee from. Our big belief is that if you’re with us over the journey, that there’s gonna be some that are beneficial to us, mutually beneficial, there are gonna be some that are not, but at the end of the day, we have to have the trust of the business owners or none of us win.

(19:12): Like we are all very aligned around how do we help these business owners grow and succeed. It’s what we need as a business. It’s what the business owner needs for their own company. It’s what the corporate ecosystem needs. They need those businesses to grow. The foundations we work with need those businesses to grow. So there’s such alignment that we get to be, you know, we have the luxury, I will say, of being a very mission driven company. At the end of the day, every decision we would make, we say, is this best for the business owner or not? And if it’s not, we won’t do it.

John Jantsch (19:41): You’ve only got five short years under your belt. But have you worked with somebody that came to you maybe in total startup mode, needed some money to get going and now you know, you’ve connected with them and they have 50 employees or something. I mean that, have you seen a maturity of a business?

Carolyn Rodz (19:58): Yes, we had, one of my favorite stories is Sia Scotch a company. It was one of the first female owned scotch company owned by a Cuban American. And what was so cool is that she was on Hello Alice, used Hello Alices to support the growth of her company. Ultimately ended up selling her business and then came back and funded grant funds for other business owners. It was like this really cool full circle story of so neat to be a small part of her journey and then to get to see her actually getting back and fueling the ecosystem. I think it’s just an example of one, how much entrepreneurs are rooting for each other. Like, sure, we all know this is tough and everybody’s cheering each other on. And I think that’s sort of the essence of the community that we’ve built.

John Jantsch (20:40): Awesome. Well Carolyn, thanks so much for stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. You wanna tell people, obviously we’ve mentioned the name Hello Alice, but uh, you want to tell people where they can, uh, connect with you and find out more about Hello Alice?

Carolyn Rodz (20:53): Yes, please check us out@helloalice.com. You can follow us at hello Alice or hello alice com depending on the platform. I mean myself at Carolyn Rods.

John Jantsch (21:02): Awesome. Well thanks again and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days when we’re both out there on the road somewhere

Carolyn Rodz (21:08): For sure. Thank you so much, John, I appreciate the time.

John Jantsch (21:11): Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co. I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network and Air.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

 

 

 

Air is the leading platform for marketing teams to manage and automate their Creative Operations. Air’s intuitive UI is purpose-built for visual assets. Find files faster with visual search and AI auto-tagging. Share files securely. Fast-track projects and feedback. Teams at Google, Sweetgreen, The Infatuation, and more are saving ten-plus hours a week using Air. Learn more at Air.inc/ducttape.

Using Data, Experience, And Intuition To Drive Your Decisions

Using Data, Experience, And Intuition To Drive Your Decisions written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Paul Magnone

Paul Magnone, guest on the Duct Tape Marketing PodcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Paul Magnone. Paul is Head of Global Strategic Alliances at Google where he is developing a growing ecosystem of partners that will unlock the next generation of business value via the cloud and related technologies. He’s also the co-author of — Decisions Over Decimals: Striking the Balance between Intuition and Information.

Key Takeaway:

Amid streams of data and countless meetings, we make hasty decisions, slow decisions, and often no decisions. Successful decision-makers are fierce interrogators. They square critical thinking with open-mindedness by blending information, intuition, and experience. In this episode, Paul Magnone joins me to talk about striking the balance between intuition and information.

Questions I ask Paul Magnone:

  • [2:17] Is “Decisions Over Decimals” a little bit of a play on like paralysis via analysis?
  • [3:48] Is there a person that can do what you’re calling quantitative intuition?
  • [5:59] Could you unpack the “I Wish I Knew” (IWIK) framework?
  • [10:19] You spend a lot of time talking about this idea of working backward and having the end in mind – do you find that that is kind of counterintuitive for people?
  • [12:39] How do you fight the bias to actually just use the numbers to validate what you’re already thinking as opposed to maybe steering you away from what you’re thinking?
  • [13:55] You spend a lot of time on the idea that you’re gonna get a better decision almost based on how much time you spend framing the problem – could you talk more in-depth about this idea?
  • [16:07] If someone spent so much time making a decision, does it make it harder to reverse it?
  • [17:28] If you were consulting with somebody and you were advising them on this process would you say that one benefit of this process or going through a process like this, would be that it helps eliminate some of the risks?
  • [19:03] Would you say that this process takes practice or is this something that you ought to actually use as a framework?
  • [20:27] Would you go as far as to say that quantitative intuition should almost be viewed as a culture?
  • [21:02] Where can people connect with you and get a copy of your book?

More About Paul Magnone:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Marketing Against the Grain, hosted by Kip Bodner. And Keion Flanigan is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Look, if you wanna know what’s happening now in marketing, what’s ahead and how you can stay ahead of the game, this is the podcast for you, host and HubSpot’s, CMO and SVP of Marketing. Kip and Keion share their marketing expertise unfiltered in the details, the truth, and like nobody tells it. In fact, a recent episode, they titled Half Baked Marketing Ideas They Got Down In the Weeds, talked about some outside of the box campaigns with real businesses. Listen to marketing, its grain wherever you get your podcasts.

(00:56): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Paul Mannon. He is the head of Global Strategic alliances at Google, where he is developing a growing ecosystem of partners that will unlock the next generation of business value via the cloud and related technologies. But today we’re gonna talk about the fact that he’s a co-author of a book called Decisions Over Decimals, striking the Balance Between Intuition and Information. So Paul, welcome to the show.

Paul Magnone (01:27): Thank you for having me, John.

John Jantsch (01:30): So this book I mentioned you were a co-author. You actually had two other authors as somebody who’s written a book, I can’t imagine the circus that is three three authors, although I know you, you have written another book with Christopher.

Paul Magnone (01:42): That’s right. Yeah. So it’s a very good question and the fact is it’s less of a circus because Chris and I go way back. We went to college together and we did write that first book, but the three of us have been teaching together for seven years at Columbia. So in some ways we’ve written down what we’ve been talking about with each other and with, you know, thousands of, of students in business professionals for some time.

John Jantsch (02:04): And you added a data scientist just

Paul Magnone (02:06): We, we added a preeminent data scientist . So OED Netzer, Yes. A PhD outta Stanford. And he is now the Vice Dean of research at Columbia Business School.

John Jantsch (02:17): So I, I’m guessing the decisions over decimals is a little bit of a play on like paralysis via analysis, like kind of idea, like a little bit of a nod towards close enough is maybe better than not doing anything.

Paul Magnone (02:35): Yeah. At the end of the day, you know, if you think about a decision represents change Yeah. And humans are not wired for change, right? And most of us are risk averse. So what happens is we retreat to one side or the other, some dive into the data, and then once they have the data, they want more data and you know, just keep feeding them spreadsheets and they’re happy. Other people say, I don’t wanna see any of that. I just, I’m gonna make a gut call. Which always sounds good in a movie . And at the end of the day, uh, a an exceptional decision maker balances both. So we tried to capture that in the title.

John Jantsch (03:12): Yeah. So, so quantitative gut calls or as you’re calling it, quantitative intuition,

Paul Magnone (03:18): Right? And that by design seems contradictory. And before I say anything else, I will point out that all three of us authors are technical. We have engineering degrees, we love the math, we adore the math, but it’s like prospecting in the wrong hole if you don’t orient properly first. And that orientation, that deciding what to focus on is a blend of both sides.

John Jantsch (03:48): So is that, you know, it’s kinda like the engineer who can sell, you know, joke. I mean, is that like, is there a person that can do, can do what you’re calling quantitative intuition? I mean, is that, is there a human being wired that way or is it more a matter of like, let’s bring a team of people that have this and they have this and we’ll like fight over where the middle is?

Paul Magnone (04:08): Well, I, so I think large organizations do bring cohorts that are on one side or the other, and that’s sort of natural within org design. But notice what I said at the top. I said, most of us are risk averse and we retreat to our comfort zones. Yeah, Right. That doesn’t mean you don’t have the other gears. Right? So the majority of people, they have intuition and they don’t listen to it if they are really technical because they stay close to the numbers because that’s what they’re comfortable with and they don’t listen to their intuition. Other people say, Well I can’t figure out the math. Yeah. And they say, I’m just gonna make a gut call. And then you show them some of the numbers and they say, Well wait a minute, I really wanna look into that. Oh, so you actually do understand numbers , and so much of this is about giving yourself permission to operate in both modes. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Because it’s inherent in as we have that ability.

John Jantsch (05:03): So, you know, I will, you know, blatantly say that I err towards the gut call. Intuition aside, probably my favorite part of the book, however, is really your, I think it’s your bridge to getting those together. And it’s this idea of the questions rather than going in with answers or assumptions or even hypothesis. It’s like, are we asking the right questions? And I think that, uh, that element is probably sorely missing in most leadership decisions, isn’t it?

Paul Magnone (05:29): Yeah, very much so. And fact is the smartest person in the room, as we like to say, it’s not the person who blurts out the answer and has the encyclopedic, you know, calculate our memory kind of thing. Yeah. But it’s the person that says, Well wait a minute, have we thought of this? It’s the person that asks the powerful question that cuts through a lot of what the noise is, that you have that aha moment that crystallizes and synthesizes everything.

John Jantsch (05:59): You have a couple, I already mentioned one trademarked kind of term quantitative intuition. You’ve got another one I w I k I wish I knew. You want to kind of unpack your framework for that?

Paul Magnone (06:11): Yeah, absolutely. So at, so many folks talk about getting to an essential question. And you hear people like Elon Musk talk about it. If you go far enough back into the classics, you see it with Plato and Socrates and everything, get to that first principle. That’s wonderful. How do you get to it across a group? And most conversations before you into the first couple of sentences, you’re already anchored on something because the boss already planted the anchor inadvertently . So if you start conversations with, well, yes, we know a variety of things, but we’re trying to interrogate a particular choice that we need to make. What is it that I really wish I knew about that? And you just let that breathe. And the magical word there is wish, because let people use that their wonderful brains and have that open slate and say what it is that they’re really observing as opposed to spitting back what everybody already knows.

(07:16): Cuz that’s what happens so much of the time. You go from there into what we refer to as divergent questions, open it up, collect all of the observations, and then start to aggregate them and say, Well, you know what, now that we’ve had the open conversation that you’ve said what it is that you wish, let’s start to organize that a little bit. And you may want to know, well, is there a market for my product for millennials? That’s a real simple question, but you may find out after going through an exercise like this that I want high net worth individuals, you know, millennials that live in a certain demographic that also like this kind of music that wasn’t in your first question, but when you go through the steps Yeah. Pull that out.

John Jantsch (08:04): Well I think one of the things I, like you already pointed at this idea, a lot of times people are biased by, you know, coming in, people saying, here’s what we’re trying to do, setting the table. But that I wish I knew sort of gives everybody the permission to, I mean, you’re ba first off you’re saying, I don’t know. And so you really then I think give everybody the permission to bring some fresh ideas.

Paul Magnone (08:24): Yeah, exactly. And it’s interesting how it requires people to be brave to say, I don’t know. Yeah. Right? And you shouldn’t have to be brave. It should be known that the world is moving fast, technology information is moving fast, How could you possibly know everything? So having, having an open conversation to say, you know what? We’ve done the work to analyze what we know. Here are a few things we don’t know know, and we think that this is an area to go investigate, as opposed to, let me put a little bow on the answer that you already expected and let’s move on to the next thing. Yeah. Which happens too often.

John Jantsch (09:07): Well, yeah. And you know, just as a leadership trade, it’s pretty empowering, I think, you know, if everybody’s waiting around for you to have the answer as a leader, that could be, that can be hard work. Right. But if you basically are empowering people, go get me the answers. You know, what a great way to lead, Huh?

Paul Magnone (09:23): Oh, you, you know, we hire brilliant people out of tremendous schools. Yeah. And then put them in roles where they’re not allowed to really say what they think. Yeah. So a smart leader maybe sets the parameters, This is what we’re trying to investigate and then doesn’t talk until the end. Yeah. You know, let the conversation flow, let the ideas come forward. Now that doesn’t, that could seem unruly, but it’s not. If you put boundaries around it, you put a framework around it, you time box it and you say, Listen, we need to go investigate. Go be brilliant. Do the things that are your God given abilities that we hired you for.

John Jantsch (10:05): And like all good consultants, you have your A, B, C, D process for ask, brainstorm, capture deliberate, you know, to kind you said put, you know, give it some structure so that’s not just, you know, come to me with any idea you have.

Paul Magnone (10:18): Right.

John Jantsch (10:20): You, this is probably the hardest, I think this would be the hardest part for some people. And that you spend a lot of time talking about this idea of working backwards and it’s, let’s have the end in mind now. Let’s go work backwards and find out what the story really is. Isn’t that, do you find that’s kind of counterintuitive for people?

Paul Magnone (10:40): It, it’s kind of counterintuitive for sure. However, it’s not difficult, right? If you know that, you know, this weekend we’re throwing a party that’s very different than, you know, this weekend we’re getting on a plane trip. And you start to plan accordingly. Similarly, in business, you need to know what that end state is. We didn’t say what kind of dinner party or how many people, but you start to orient your thinking a particular way. So the structure that we talk about with backwards thinking is have that end in mind, build branches to the tree, and then start crossing off the branches that are irrelevant or not going to be fruitful. And you can quickly whittle down to, ah, here is the path forward.

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(12:26): So, because data is such a big part of this, and I think, I can’t remember the exact quote, but you know, I’ve heard it before, I’m gonna butcher it a little bit, but, you know, essentially you can make data say anything, right? You torture it long enough and you can come up with any answer you want, right? So, so how do you fight the, not necessarily the urge, but even the bias to, to actually just use the numbers to validate, you know, what you’re already thinking as opposed to maybe steering you away from what you’re thinking?

Paul Magnone (12:54): Well, yeah, that’s an important question because with these tools and techniques, like any tool and technique, you could use it to drive in the wrong direction, right?

(13:05): But if you have the right group of people, the right cross section of people, you will ideally not be biased, you will be open up to surprise. We talk about that a bit. And as you discuss what is surprising, what is kind of the illuminating thing that I’ve suddenly discovered? Yeah, if somebody had an agenda, the agenda probably falls by the wayside. If you follow the instincts, right? If you follow the going back and forth between, here’s the data, here’s the judgment, here’s the business acumen, and you’re going back and forth. And I suppose a, a super talented person that controls an organization can still jury rig the decision process , but ideally you’re gonna be further along.

John Jantsch (13:55): So one of the, the, I meant to actually ask this a little earlier, so I’m getting this a little bit of out of order here. But you spend a lot of time on, on the idea that you’re gonna get a better decision almost based on how much time you spend framing the problem. , you know, creating, really creating and thinking through the problem is how you’re gonna ultimately get to a better decision. It’s kind of like sharpening the saw before you go try to cut down the tree.

Paul Magnone (14:19): Yeah. It’s, you know, measure twice, cut once. It was, uh, I think Einstein that said I’d spend 99% of the time thinking and 1% doing. Yeah. And that’s really the case. It’s, I see it all the time. Here’s a spreadsheet that answers the question. Isn’t that the spreadsheet we used last week,

John Jantsch (14:37): ,

Paul Magnone (14:37): But what, like, how is that relevant right now? So taking that step back and saying, well what are we really solving for? And not taking that first answer because the first answer is probably not thoughtful enough. And you know, it’s interesting how the lessons from childhood come ringing through. Keep on asking why until you’re exhausted and there’s no more why’s. Yeah, yeah. Well, why is that? Well dig a little deeper, dig a little deeper. And the mindset that we think the majority of folks should have as they go through this is to be an interrogator. Now you can be an interrogator without being annoying , but it is to be an interrogator. Much like a journalist looks and says, well what is the core here? What, what is it that I’m really seeing? And do I trust this data? Is it reliable? Where did we get it? Who brought it forward? Did that person have an agenda? Now let’s take that, put it in context. Hey, we just sold 12 shovels. Well the guy in the store next to you sold 20 shovels. Oh, well we need to do more next week. Hey, it was a fluke snowstorm in August, right? Understand what’s happening and put it in context and does that change the strategy of your business? And so then, you know, just ask those questions. That pressure, if

John Jantsch (16:08): I adopt this process and I spend a whole lot of time framing the problem and I get the right data and I, you know, I ask the right questions and I get everybody brainstorming and I make a decision and it’s pretty clear that it was the wrong decision at some point down the road. Right? Does this, I’m really teeing this up because this will, you know, this will be a softball for you, but I’m imagining somebody saying the fact that I spent so much time making the decision, does it make it harder to reverse it?

Paul Magnone (16:39): Well, you know, decisions, first off, understanding if a decision is an absolute or it is reversible is an important right point, right? Most often people lock in because they think, Well I’ve gotta make this decision. And once it’s done, I see other organizations where every single decision is reversible. Either way, you’re bogging down progress. Yeah. And so there’s no guarantees here that gonna absolutely get the right answer, but what you’re going to ideally do is move crisply, be more thoughtful and stop wasting company resources as you’re trying to move forward.

John Jantsch (17:28): Now if you were, say you were consulting with somebody and you were advising them on this process, taking this process, would you say that one of the things that this process, one benefit of this process or going through a process like this, would be that it helps eliminate some of the risk?

Paul Magnone (17:45): It should, It should. And we talk about a decision moment model is something else we talk about, which is another little framework where we think you can map every decision along three dimensions, time, risk, and trust. Mm. So do you have no time or do you have a lot of time? No time, it’s maybe it’s a crisis. A lot of time it’s congress or parliament. Low risk or high risk, right? No time, low risk, get the sandwich, get the salad. No, a lot of time high risk, you are gonna be in a committee for months.

(18:25): The third dimension is trust. Do you trust the information? Do you trust the person that gave you the information? Do you trust the organization that stands behind the person? And you then start to think, well, is this reputational risk for me? Or like, what, what is going on here? So as you start to triangulate on time, risk and trust, you can say, is this a critical decision that needs to be made? And how crisply can I move through it? Or is this a decision that we don’t have to apply our top resources to in the moment?

John Jantsch (19:03): Would you say that that this process takes practice and that, you know, rather than once a year when you have that big decision to make, like the annual planning or something or the creating new product, you trot this out? Or is this something that you ought to actually use as a framework, you know, for maybe almost every little decision so that when the big decision comes along,

Paul Magnone (19:24): I think it’s a habit that it is both a habit that you can start to pick up and start to use right away. But yeah, getting an entire organization to start using a decision moment model or an IIC framework takes a little bit of effort to get there and start small. Find that one ally that wants to give it a shot and then find that second ally. The fact is, a lot of this is just very much around mindset. And we talked about surprise before, when you leave a party, what are you talking about? Are you talking about the food? Are you talking about the playlist? Are you talking about what surprised you? Yeah. So you and your, the friends that you went with, you’re talking about, oh, did you notice that? So in our personal lives, were open to talking about surprises, but in our business lives we bury that because while that’s not what the boss wants to hear or we don’t have time for that, meanwhile that might be the real essential thing that unlocks a better decision. So it is about that mindset.

John Jantsch (20:28): I mean, would you go as far as, I think you wrote, I think you wrapped the book up, you know, where you started with this quantitative intuition almost as culture

Paul Magnone (20:38): I, I think so at the end of the day, we’ve been asked why write a book ? And you know, as I said, we’ve been teaching this so we figured, hey, let’s finally write it down. But we do see incredible waste out there in the business world in decision making. And so ideally we’d like to see a tribe of better decision makers. If nothing else, maybe I’ll have a better meeting down the road. I’ll run it to someone else from the tribe, right? Yeah,

John Jantsch (21:01): Yeah, yeah. Awesome. Well Paul, I appreciate you stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. You wanna tell people where they can, I know the book is available wherever you buy books, but where they might connect with you as well.

Paul Magnone (21:13): Sure. You can find me on LinkedIn, Paul Manone, M A G N O N E, I’m out there. You can come and take our class at Columbia and we teach it both in the exec MBA and the exec ed court. And that is entitled Leading In a Data Driven World. Of course, the book is out there on your favorite local independent bookstores, ideally, but you can find it, the major players out there and the, let’s see, what’s today. I believe the audio book is issued tomorrow the 25th.

John Jantsch (21:44): Yeah, so depending upon when you’re listening to this, we’re recording it October 25th. So book will be available by the time you hear this’ll be available everywhere. And then I believe you also have a website, Dod

Paul Magnone (21:54): Yes, do od the book.com. So decision over decimals is the do od the book.com.

John Jantsch (21:59): Awesome. Well, Paul, again, thanks for, uh, stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast and uh, hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

Paul Magnone (22:07): I appreciate it, John. Thanks for the time.

John Jantsch (22:09): Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co. I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

 

 

Weekend Favs October 29

Weekend Favs October 29 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 I 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.

  • Resume Worded – is an AI Platform designed by recruiters that allow professionals to get expert feedback on their resume and LinkedIn profile. You upload your resume, and in 30 seconds, you’ll get tangible feedback to edit your resume and land more interviews.
  • Get it out – is a persona creation software that helps you streamline your buyer persona development process. Easily create everything you need to market your product or service: personas, generated texts, branding, and your websites, emails & promotional materials.
  • Clay – is an app that allows you to see and manage all your contacts and relationships in one centralized place. You can connect calendars, emails, and social media profiles and then the app defines how often you should communicate with a person depending on the relationship.

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

If you want to check out more Weekend Favs you can find them here.

The Communication Secrets Of The World’s Greatest Salesman

The Communication Secrets Of The World’s Greatest Salesman written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Carmine Gallo

Carmine Gallo, guest on the Duct Tape Marketing PodcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Carmine Gallo. Carmine is the bestselling author of Talk Like TED and The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. He is a Harvard instructor, CEO communication coach, and keynote speaker known for transforming leaders. He’s the author of a new book we’re talking about called – The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman.

Key Takeaway:

What fueled Amazon’s astonishing growth? Effective, clear communication. Jeff Bezos turned a bold idea into the world’s most influential company, a brand that likely touches your life every day. As a student of leadership and communication, he learned to elevate the way Amazonians write, collaborate, innovate, pitch, and present. He created a scalable model that grew from a small team in a Seattle garage to one of the world’s largest employers. Carmine Gallo joins me in this episode to reveal the communication strategies that Jeff Bezos pioneered to fuel Amazon’s growth. Bezos reimagined the way leaders write, speak, and motivate teams and customers. The communication tools Bezos created are so effective that former Amazonians who worked directly with Bezos adopted them as blueprints to start their own companies. Now, these tools are available to you.

Questions I ask Carmine Gallo:

  • [1:57] Why did you choose Bezos to focus your book on?
  • [6:20] You start off the book with – “Simple is the new superpower.” Is this the premise of the book and can you break down this idea?
  • [10:07] Would you say that this is a writing book?
  • [12:08] You break the book into three parts. The first part is about discovering why strong writing skills are more essential than ever – can you unpack that idea?
  • [17:12] Part two talks about story building and story structure. How do you feel like this book will bring structure to the conversation?
  • [19:32] Part three then is about delivery. Can you talk through this idea and how to deliver with impact?
  • [23:18] Can you unpack the Day One concept?
  • [25:07] Where can people pick up a copy of your book and connect with you?

More About Carmine Gallo:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Content Is Profit hosted by Louis and Fonzi Kame, brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. Discover the secrets and strategies of how your business can achieve the frictionless sale. They talk about frameworks, strategies, tactics, and bring special guests to bring you all the information you need in order to turn your content into profit. Recent episode, The power of just one big marketing idea and How to get it really brings home this idea that instead of chasing the idea of the week, really lock in on one big idea to differentiate your business that can make all the difference in the world. Listen to Content Is Profit, wherever you get your podcasts.

(00:55): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Carmine Gallo. He’s the best selling author of Talk Like Ted and the Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. He’s a Harvard instructor, CEO, communication coach and keynote speaker known for Transforming Leaders. He’s also the author of a new book we’re gonna talk about today, The Bezos Blueprint, Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman. So Carmine, welcome back to the

Carmine Gallo (01:26): Show. Hey, John, Nice to thank you for inviting me. I’ve been a fan of a lot of the recent podcasts, especially I see you had Paul Zack on on one of your podcasts not too long ago to the neuroscientists. So he and I exchange emails and ideas, especially when it comes to storytelling and oxytocin and all that good stuff that he does the

John Jantsch (01:48): Research and we got into some pretty, pretty deep stuff. No, no question.

Carmine Gallo (01:52): So I feel my oxytocin levels rising already those dopamine levels.

John Jantsch (01:58): So, so let’s jump into your new book, and I’m gonna start off by asking maybe what might be a gut reaction by some people, kind of why Bezos, I know you’re gonna tell me why, but there’s also not everybody loves him . So as a human being perhaps, but maybe we’re not gonna talk about him as a human being and more about it as a salesperson. So I’ll let you, I’ll let you start there.

Carmine Gallo (02:20): When, if you ask 10 people for an opinion on whoever it might be, right? Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, you know, any of these visionaries and entrepreneurs here in America, if you ask 10 people for their opinion on Jeff Bezos, which I’ve done over the last three years of doing the research for my new book, you get 10 different opinions. Right? Wide variety of opinions. Yeah, yeah. Running the gamut. If you asked 10 people who worked side by side with Jeff Bezos, their opinions are very consistent. They even use remarkably the same words. They all start with the, the most visionary person they’ve ever met. Then they move into demanding a person who demanded excellence of himself and others around him. And the, and John, they always end with the same observation. They say, Carmine, I would never have traded it for the world. That’s what, that’s where I picked up. Yeah. Why, What did you learn from Jeff Bezos that you adopted and carried over into the companies that you started? So really, my book, The Blueprint is not based just on Bezos, but it’s based on interviews and conversations with former Amazonians who have adopted the leadership and communication strategies that Bezos pioneered to build Amazon. And copied, blatantly copied some of those systems and used them to build their own companies. That’s what fascinates me.

John Jantsch (03:54): Yeah. Yeah. And I assume you probably had some similar research, and maybe even you could have answered this question maybe the same way in your previous book about Steve Jobs, didn’t you? I mean, there a lot of people that felt absolutely very demanding. Yeah. Yeah.

Carmine Gallo (04:08): I, If you want to have a conversation on the role of Amazon in e-commerce or retail, there are plenty of books and articles on that subject. If you’d like to have a conversation about billionaires and or income inequality, whatever it might be. There’s plenty of Bo, there are plenty of books and essays on that subject. What I wanted to focus on is, what, one of the things that intrigued me is I was watching an interview with Walter Isaacson, the famous biographer of Steve Jobs Einstein, uh, Ben Franklin and his other books, and he was asked, who of today’s contemporary leaders would he put in the same category? And without missing a beat, he said Jeff Bezos, because Jay Bezos was not only a visionary, but he was also creative and invented so many mechanisms that startups and managers and leaders use today. So plus John, look, we’re storytellers. I’m an author, The story is irresistible. Yeah. A guy with a bold idea and really no contacts and no funding at that time. No name for a company transforms the idea into one of the world’s most admired brands. And we can argue a company that has more impact over our lives than almost any other single company other than the company you work for. So the story itself is irresistible. Can’t, don’t tell me not to pursue that story. That’s a good story.

John Jantsch (05:43): So yeah, I think arguably you could say, you know, you’re talking about more on our individual consumer behavior and lives, but certainly the entire behavior, e-commerce for sure, retail, in general.

Carmine Gallo (05:55): John, if I had nothing to teach you from studying Bezos, his writing, the strategies he put in place to fuel Amazon, I would not have written the book. It took me into so many different places that my other books that just didn’t afford me, and I continued to learn. I’m constantly learning from some of the strategies he put in place, as did many others. That’s what fascinates me.

John Jantsch (06:20): So you start out the book with this, and I’ve heard you say this, the Bezos blueprint, the readers will learn why simple is the new superpower. So you could argue that’s, I mean, you’re really kind of starting with that as the overall premise of the book, aren’t you?

Carmine Gallo (06:35): Yeah, I could have titled the book Simple as the New Superpower, because a lot of it really falls under how do we simplify complex information. So in an age when we are being bombarded by information, all of our customers, our clients, now let’s focus on marketers and the people who are listening to our podcast specifically, How do you rise above the noise? How do you cut through it? Well, the secret to cutting through the noise is not necessarily to add more noise, but to go in the opposite direction and to cut through it. So there’s a number of different ways to stand apart that appear kind of, or sound counterintuitive early, early on, at least to me. And one is to use short words to talk about big ideas or to talk about hard things. Yeah. And that, to me, that is simple as the new superpower.

(07:36): So I have an analysis in the book, and I have a graphic that goes along with it. I reviewed 50,000 words that Bezos wrote in a shareholder letters over time. And a lot of experts and a lot of CEOs and company founders tell me that those shareholder letters were models of simplicity, which kinda led me in that direction. I analyzed all the, all of the letters, put them through software tools. And here’s something remarkable. As Amazon grew bigger and much more complex, you’re talking about adding artificial intelligence and cloud computing. The writing got better over time. And the, And how did it get better? If you look at readability statistics or readability software, it’s measured by grade level. Yeah. So you probably know this, but what grade level should you be writing for to reach a wide and the largest and widest variety of readers and listeners? What grade level do you think that would be?

John Jantsch (08:37): Uh, probably not post-graduate thesis level.

Carmine Gallo (08:41): Absolutely not. Right?

John Jantsch (08:42): Like little lower. I mean, I, I’ve heard sixth, seventh grade.

Carmine Gallo (08:45): Yeah. It’s eighth grade. It’s eighth grade level. So if you write at an eighth grade level, you are still writing for intelligent adults. That’s the whole, whole counterintuitive notion about it. It doesn’t mean that you’re dumbing down the content. It means that you are allow giving people the opportunity to use less mental energy to absorb what you’re writing. Yeah. Right. That means short words to replace long words, uh, ancient words, one syllable words to replace those Latin-based words that fill up legal contracts, , shorter sentences, the active voice. So 90% of the Bezos letters are written in the active voice. Yeah. Subject verb object. After 2007, his letters became easier to read, even though Amazon grew more complex over time. That whole area, to me is so fascinating. And it was intentional, John. That’s what I learned from talking to people who had worked with Bezos. He is, he has that growth mindset, always learning, always developing, always getting better, writing, public speaking, delivering presentations. That’s a skill. And like any skill you can improve on it.

John Jantsch (10:07): Yeah. I guess we didn’t say this at the outset. I think it would be easy for people to think, Oh, you’re gonna teach me how to build an e-commerce business or something. And what this book really focuses on is writing, developing stories, writing storytelling in a way that gets your message across. And so it, it really is a, Would you say that it’s really a writing book?

Carmine Gallo (10:25): Oh, yeah. If you’d like to learn how to be a third party seller on Amazon, it’s not gonna teach you that . No. These are very actionable tips and strategies that anybody can use any level of an organization or just starting out. Remember, Bezos did not have a name for his company, and he didn’t have a company. It was just an idea. Yeah, it that he built in the garage of a rented home in Seattle. So it, it applies to everybody. A 1 million person company, and a one person company.

John Jantsch (10:54): And now a word from our sponsor, marketers are a key part of business. Um, funny I would say that, right? But that’s because we own the conversation with our customers and having tools that help us have meaningful conversations with our customers at scale, all while maintaining a personal touch is our white whale point solutions can be easy to set up, but difficult to manage and maintain, and all of a sudden you find yourself with disconnected teams and data leading to poor customer experience. Yikes. HubSpot is an all in one CRM platform that is impossible to outgrow and ridiculously easy to use, meaning you never have to worry about it slowing you down. That’s because HubSpot is purpose built for real businesses. Businesses that test and learn, pivot and push and do it all again next quarter with customizable hubs and tools that you can add or subtract as you grow. HubSpot is ready to help you stop chasing the white whale and start connecting with your customers at moments that matter Most. Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better @ hubspot.com. So, so you break the book in three parts, and the first one is really about think. You talk about, I’ve heard you talk about this, that the first part’s about discovering why strong writing skills are more essential than ever. So you want to kind of unpack what we’ll meet in part one?

Carmine Gallo (12:23): Yeah. Especially about, well, that the first chapter is called Simple is the New Superpower because we kind of go into those writing skills. But I also did, I wanted to make this approachable. So I did go back to class myself. I interviewed some of the top writing authors. People have written books on grammar and English grammar and how to write well because eh, a lot of writing books are kind of boring. It’s not like those are the first books that we go to all the time. And so I definitely wanted to, just to understand some of the themes that each and every one of us could use, not just in writing, but whenever we are trying to simplify complex information, whether that’s in written word or in the way we articulate and present our ideas and information. And that’s why simple could be the words you choose. That’s one way of making it simple. How about metaphors and analogies? I have an entire TA chapter just on analogy and an entire chapter just on metaphor, because Bezos, Warren Buffett, and many other leaders who are considered excellent communicators in their own way, tend to use metaphors comparing something that’s abstract to something that’s familiar. And there are a lot of famous metaphors that Jeff Bezos introduced at Amazon that continue to be used today, not just at Amazon, but many other companies.

John Jantsch (13:49): It, yeah, I mean, I think one, one of the things metaphors, you know, really can do for is take a complex idea and have people get it right away. And, you know, in a handful of words, I think they also can be mixed. That can be misused, , you know, it’s kinda like a lot of things. You try to use humor in your writing and if it, you know, if it’s not actually funny or if it falls flat than it actually does the opposite for you. I think that’s, that can be, you know, a lot of me, a lot of metaphor use actually falls into cliche, which I think then probably works against you, doesn’t

Carmine Gallo (14:18): It? Oh, thank you, John. I actually talk about that again, if a metaphor is too cliche, it’s a, it’s not going to connect with people in any, any meaningful way. So it’s a little too long to get into. But Bezos chose the analogies and the metaphors he used extremely precisely. He was very deliberate about the metaphors he choose. He chose, So he took the flywheel concept. I’ll just give you one quick example. Yeah, yeah. He took the flywheel concept, which he read from a book. He’s a voracious reader, Read a book by Jim Collins. Yeah. And took this whole idea of the flywheel mechanism and used it as a metaphor for how to grow a company, how to create growth momentum within a company. So it’s a metaphor that has to become an analogy in order to be explained. He has to be able to explain it a little bit.

(15:14): And that’s sort of the difference between a good metaphor and an analogy. An analogy is more of an a tool for education, but that if you look up Amazon flywheel or even the flywheel effect, it’s often tied back to Amazon. And a lot of people use it in different organizations. But if it wasn’t for Jeff Bezos reading a book, adopting something from a different discipline and applying it to his company, it wouldn’t be nearly as popular a buzzword as it is today. Yeah. So reading, thinking, always growing, applying ideas from different fields, different disciplines, different books, that was sort of the secret sauce that helped fuel Amazon’s strategy and align teams from 1994 all the way to today. They still use the very same metaphors and strategies that Bazos put in place decades ago.

John Jantsch (16:10): Yeah. Flat, you’ve flywheel, you know, in every startup, you know, Silicon Valley, you know, entrepreneur is using, you know that as Exactly

Carmine Gallo (16:19): Sean, what was fascinating to me is for years I live in Silicon Valley, so for years I hear things like flywheels. I hear two pizza teams. Yeah. That’s another Bezos metaphor. I hear that constantly in startups. I also hear them talk about six pagers, which are narrative memos that, again, Bezos buy at Amazon. More often than not, when I tell people that, Oh, you know, that’s an Amazon thing, it really got started at Amazon under Jeff Bezos. They look at me like they’ve never heard that idea before. I mean, I got this blank expression on my, on their face. And so that’s why I realized that there were a lot of things that Bezos created, these mechanisms that he created at Amazon people use today, and not even aware that it’s directly tied to his vision.

John Jantsch (17:12): The part two talks about story building and story structure. You can’t really pick up a marketing book today that doesn’t talk about storytelling . It’s really become the, the thing. But I don’t find too many, This is ironic. I don’t find too many of those books that are actually able to tell people how to do it, how to use it. Everybody says you should be using stories. But a lot of people then go, Well, how, So what do you feel like this book will bring to the story structure conversation?

Carmine Gallo (17:40): I hope I can add something to it, because I have a feeling some of my writing was responsible for creating some of this as storytelling is a buzzword. Cuz I wrote a book that talked like Ted, which really went into storytelling. Then I wrote an entire book just on business storytelling called A Storyteller Secret. And I get that book quoted back to me quite a bit. When people talk about storytelling, You’re right, it’s now become a buzzword, but it’s still abstract. Yeah. I don’t think a lot of people understand what it is. So I try to give people some very simple, actionable tools that they could use. The ver the simplest thing, and very few people understand this, maybe your audience does more than other leaders. Yeah. And that’s the three act structure. So I’ve got at least the whole chapter just on the three act structure, which Bezos follows meticulously when he talks about the Amazon story.

(18:37): And the three act structure is the same structure as most Hollywood movies Follow, which is, act one is the setup. Act two is the challenge or confrontation. Act three is the resolution. Very few people break their presentations up into a three act structure, introduce products as a three act structure. Steve Jobs was very intentional about doing so. So I try to break down how to, what we mean by storytelling and how to do it simply. Yeah. I feel like the three act structure is something that many people are not aware of, John, but it’s simple for them to implement and it helps them understand what we mean by storytelling.

John Jantsch (19:18): Yeah. I think a lot of times just giving people an outline, a structure, you know, like that makes it easier for them to go, Oh, okay, now I know where to start.

Carmine Gallo (19:25): Yeah. Don’t just say, do storytelling, you gotta be a storyteller. I hear that all the time. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t think the average leader understands how to implement that.

John Jantsch (19:32): Yeah, totally agree. Uh, so part three then is about, okay, I’ve got my story. I know what I’m supposed to say. How do I deliver it in a way that is going to have impact, which is I think essentially what part three is about.

Carmine Gallo (19:44): Yeah. My favorite chapter in part three is make the mission. Your mantra again, I think is a, is an area that very few people understand or they certainly don’t, it’s not an element of their communication that they’re v it’s that’s very obvious to them. We all have a mission. Okay. Almost every company has some kind of mission or purpose. Often as you know, they’re just gobbly cook. It’s a mission statement that’s drafted by committee and put into a drawer somewhere. And that’s why I never was a big fan of mission statements because most of the people I interview or work with can’t even remember their own company’s mission statement. Yep. So I didn’t put a lot of stock into that. Then I started researching Bezos and Amazon. I’m looking at it differently now. Don’t look at it as a mission. Think of it as a mantra in 1998, in a second shareholder letter, or 1999 Yeah.

(20:43): Second shareholder letter, Jeff Bezos began to articulate this idea that Amazon would be the world’s most customer-centric company, the world’s most customer-centric company at the time. John, it may not mean a lot to you today, but at the time it certainly did because most people had the question, what’s the internet? And now you want me to buy something and put my credit card into this thing? They didn’t understand it. So everything had to be customer obsessed. But what Bezos did over 24 shareholder letters and in every interview, every presentation, everything I could get my hands on for 30 years, he always brought it back to the mission. We are earth’s most customer centric company and that’s why when we developed the Kindle, this is what it means to the customer. We are earth’s most customer centric company. And that’s why when we developed our new cloud division, this is what it means to the customer.

(21:46): Yeah. Everything was about bringing it back to the central mission. And today, this was 19 98, 19 99. When you go onto Amazon today, what’s the mission? Earth’s most customer centric company? When I heard Andy Chassy, who was the new CEO of Amazon, when I heard him in his first interview, he used that phrase several times. It’s internalized Bezos isn’t even there, he’s on the board, but he’s now he’s running, you know, Blue Origin a space company, but it’s still internalized within the company and that, that’s what I mean by a mantra. Yeah. Forget about this mission statement, Turn your purpose and mission into a mantra that is simple, easy to understand, and something that the leader repeats. Yeah. If you don’t repeat it, it doesn’t mean

John Jantsch (22:34): Anything. Yeah. I mean, you you, one of the things about the mantra idea is, you know, it inherently brings in simple, but you’re right. A lot of times, even if people are passionate about a mission that they have, if it’s not baked into everything, people just, people forget about it. They don’t, you know, if the leader’s not saying it every day, why do I have to remember it? . So, so I think that’s part of what happens, You know, when I first, I think, Is that your wife or,

Carmine Gallo (22:59): Uh, my wife Vanessa. Yeah. She works with, with you, me and co-teaches at, at Harvard, some other places with me.

John Jantsch (23:05): So, so when she kinda sent me, Hey, you know, Carmine’s got a new book out, here’s what it’s about. And I’m thinking, ah, Amazon, you know, Apple, like what do they have to do with small business? I have a lot of small business owners show whisperers. Oh yeah, absolutely. And but when I dug into it a little bit, particularly, you know, one, one of the concepts, the day one concept, which is another term that I think you’re gonna suggest was Coin by Bezos. You know, that’s something that really, I don’t care what size company you are, that is really a pretty brilliant idea, isn’t it?

Carmine Gallo (23:35): Absolutely. And talk about the mission. So on day one, Day one is not a thing, although if you go to Seattle, it’s a building, it’s called the Day One building on the Amazon campus. day one is not a thing, it’s not a building, it’s a mindset. That’s how it started. Day one is a mindset for always learning, always growing, always approaching every day, no matter how big your company gets or what area goes into. Always thinking about it as this is day one always growing because day two, as Jeff Bezos later said, means stasis complacent complacency, which leads to irrelevance at a slow, deteriorating, painful decline. So again, he’s ta that’s something that’s consistent. It started in 1997 with his first letter and his last letter in 2000 that came out in 2021. He ends it with, and remember it’s always day one. So if you have a vision or you have values that run your one person company or your small business, you’re the one that needs to keep that center stage. You need to shine a spotlight on your vision and your values, both among your partners, your team, and certainly your customers. But it, it has to come from somewhere and, and that’s what leadership is.

John Jantsch (25:02): So, Carmen, I appreciate your stuff about the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast to talk about the Bezos Blueprint. You wanna invite people where they might find, obviously the book will be available everywhere, but where they might connect with you or find out more about your work.

Carmine Gallo (25:14): Yeah. Please visit me online. If you can remember a good Italian name like Carmine Gallo. You could find me online. You can go directly to to my website and that has my books and how you can contact me. And please for any of our listeners jump on LinkedIn. I love LinkedIn and I love having interactions and I talk to a lot of people every day on LinkedIn. So I think I’m the only Carmine Gallo in California. Ah. So I think I’m pretty easy to find.

John Jantsch (25:43): Well my, uh, freshman in high school Latin teacher’s name was Father Mario Perelli. So

Carmine Gallo (25:49): Yes, you, you,

John Jantsch (25:50): Speaking of great Italian names.

Carmine Gallo (25:52): I know a lot of Marios

John Jantsch (25:54): . Well, awesome. Well, again, Carmine, it was great, uh, for you to take the time to, to catch up with us and hopefully we can run into you again one of these days right out there on the road.

Carmine Gallo (26:03): Yeah, thank you. Great opportunity. I love your podcast. I love the platform and, and your listeners who I feel connected to. So thank you, John.

John Jantsch (26:12): Thank you sir. Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co. I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

 

 

The Best Way To Communicate With And Convert Your Website Visitors

The Best Way To Communicate With And Convert Your Website Visitors written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Ben Congleton

Ben Congleton, guest on the Duct Tape Marketing PodcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Ben Congleton. Ben is the Chief Executive Olarker (CEO) and co-founder of Olark Live Chat. For the last 13 years, he’s helped thousands of organizations communicate with visitors on their websites, including many small businesses.

Key Takeaway:

How can you effectively serve your customer? How can you wow them? How can you show them that you actually care? Real-time communication. Website live chat has evolved an incredible amount since its inception. In this episode, CEO and co-founder of Olark, Ben Congleton, talks about the building of Olark and how they’ve differentiated themself in such a competitive industry.

Questions I ask Ben Congleton:

  • [1:21] Would you say Olark was really early on in the live chat space?
  • [1:51] What you did do in your previous life that had you want to start a chatbot company?
  • [3:27] What was startup life like in 2008?
  • [5:16] Was there what was the point where you started to say, “I think this is gonna work”?
  • [7:22] How has chat evolved from a consumer behavior standpoint?
  • [11:49] What is the emergence of AI doing to the live chat space?
  • [14:38] I’ve noticed a number of the chat-related companies are really focused on driving people to SMS/text – where do you stand on that?
  • [18:02] What role does a chat play for somebody that might have sight or hearing impairments that might make the traditional web not as navigable?
  • [20:15] You alluded to a few things you’re working on – what’s coming down the pipeline on the roadmap?
  • [23:09] Where can people connect with you?

More About Ben Congleton:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Content Is Profit hosted by Louis and Fonzi Kama, brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. Discover the secrets and strategies of how your business can achieve the frictionless sale. They talk about frameworks, strategies, tactics, and bring special guests to bring you all the information you need in order to turn your content into profit. Recent episode, The power of just one big marketing idea and How to get it really brings home this idea that instead of chasing the idea of the week, really lock in on one big idea to differentiate your business that can make all the difference in the world. Listen to Content Is Profit wherever you get your podcasts.

(00:54): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Ben Congleton. He’s the chief executive o Larker and co-founder of O LA Live Chat. For the last 13 years, he’s helped thousands of organizations communicate with visitors on their websites, including many small businesses. So Ben, welcome to the show.

Ben Congleton (01:18): John, it’s a pleasure to be here.

John Jantsch (01:21): So we were talking before we got started, the space website chat bots, you know, we’re gonna get into all that, but OAR was really early on, like maybe before anybody,

Ben Congleton (01:32): Right? We were early, we’re back when it was technically hard to do. I think things had gotten a lot easier since then. And you know, there’s a lot of people in the space, but I think, you know, as a company that hasn’t raised a lot of money and is kind of focused on being that growing small business, we’re still here. We’re still at it and there’s a lot of exciting things we’re working on.

John Jantsch (01:51): What did you, I’m curious what you did in your previous life that had you say, I’m gonna start a website chat company.

Ben Congleton (01:58): That’s a good story. It’s, there’s like the long version and short version of that story. So I’ll try to condense it down for you. The quick version of the story is in 2019 99, 19 98, I started a web hosting company. Okay. And back then there was just a couple of live chat providers on the market. In fact, one of them was this Israeli company called Human Click. And Human click ended up getting bought by live person and taking and becoming the technical backend for everything the live person has done. So all their engineering is now based in Israel At that time they discontinued all the good SMB solutions. So it was only like really kind of unstable, janky p p things that weren’t very good. And so I had that experience in the late nineties and then 10 years later I had this consulting firm and still had the web hosting company kind of going and was looking around at projects to do and decided to go after failing at a couple of other ideas and looked at like, Oh, let’s look at chat again.

(02:55): And this was 2009, 2008 and not a, a lot had changed in the last 10 years. It’s still basically the same five players. They’re all focused on enterprise Fortune 500 Comcast. And I wondered like, hey, now that we’ve gained like a little bit of skill, can we go back as if in a time machine and build that tool that we needed 10 years ago? And, and I think we did a pretty great job of that. We built something that was so easy to install that anyone could put it on a website. I think arguably we kind of defined how chat works on the internet today and that’s, that’s a big accomplishment.

John Jantsch (03:27): So go back to I guess that 2008, you know, what was startup life like at that point? I mean, you know, everybody’s envisioning the like teams of engineers sitting around, but I’m getting the sense it was like you and another

Ben Congleton (03:41): Coder. Yeah, I mean I’m, I am, I have a computer science degree. I got a master in computer science, but I’ve always been stronger on the business side. And so in 2008, I mean, it’s funny right, because that was another kind of recession year, right? But as someone who was,

John Jantsch (03:54): Wait, another reception we’re not going,

Ben Congleton (03:57): Well, I guess we have

John Jantsch (03:58): Recession yet,

Ben Congleton (03:59): But not yet. Right? But all right, well we’ll see what happens. But point being is, yeah, it was just me and a couple friends and we had just been in, in college and I was working on a PhD and I had this consulting firm on the side I, this hosting company kind of running. And it was really just, you know, hacking away on Sunday and just working on just writing code, trying to create an MVP before people had terms for things like that. And getting something out the door that we could start playing with and showing the people. And it was basically a completely free product for a year before we had any monetization scheme. Cause I’m pretty bad at, uh, monetization and revenue. Like I would say the things that I care about are product and solving problems. Like that’s what gets me up in the morning.

(04:42): That’s what I’m excited about. That’s, you know, the thing that I get to do basically every day. Cuz you know, you build a company, right? You’ve been at this for a while. Like you talk to people and they’re like, Oh, like why haven’t you sold this thing? Or whatever. I mean, I think about it like I get to work with really smart people working on important problems that I care about doing meaningful work. That’s all I really want to do in this life. And I think that if I can do that and make impact for our customers and you know, innovate and do new things, like I’m pretty happy. And so yeah, we got some excited things that we’re working on now that, you know, keep me up at night and that’s fun. That’s a fun place to, Well

John Jantsch (05:17): Don’t get ahead of me cuz I’m gonna ask you that one. But was there, what was the point where you, and maybe you haven’t got there yet, , what was the point where you said, I think this is gonna work? You know, I, uh, people are paying us. I think we,

Ben Congleton (05:28): Yeah, that’s a really funny story. Maybe we haven’t got there yet. Like I am, I’m like the most optimistic person, but I’m also like deeply fearful, right? Like I, you know, I mean I think that we’re, as a small business, as a provider in this space up against giants with millions and millions of dollars. Like I think that, I don’t know, I don’t think anyone’s safe. I mean look at Slack, right? Slack is a product that was arguably super successful and they still felt they had to go sell it to Salesforce in order to have a long term home. And so I think that like, I, I don’t, the macro level story is like, I don’t think you’re really ever there. At least I don’t feel that way. Some of their companies might, from a like early days standpoint, I mean we were right outta college, We were used to making like $30,000 a year and that was good.

(06:13): Like, that was like, you got the fellowship, right? That was what you’re getting paid as a grad student. And I think this guy’s now make 50 to kind of account for inflation. You know, I, I think when we got to the point where we could hire our first employee was a pretty big milestone cuz OAR was o it was kind of a weird company. Like we, we went through our Combinator in 2009. We raised a total of $85,000. That includes the money at Y Combinator gave us, So Y Combinator gave us 25,000 and then we raised another 60 from just like a friend’s dad, an early Google guy and like a couple of people we met through the YC network. And so we had a little bit of money so we could pay rent and buy food and we just kind of sat there in a house and did that.

(06:54): The old version of the start story where you don’t need a bunch of money and just sat there in a house and built things for our customers and shopped at Costco. Like, that was basically what we did for the first couple years. And when we got to the point where we could hire our first employee, like that was pretty exciting. We would have this graph like that, we’d get emailed out every day, be like, we hit this line, the graph we’re gonna go buy grill so we can sit out back and grill . Like that’s what the kinda revenue charges we’re targeting .

John Jantsch (07:22): That’s awesome. So, so other than the fact that you’ve now got a lot of competitors in the space, how has chat evolved maybe even from a consumer behavior standpoint?

Ben Congleton (07:32): That’s a, it’s a really interesting question to ask. I think arguably I want, I don’t wanna say that the well has been poisoned, but I think that the act in the early days, right? When you got a little chat box in that low right hand corner and what we innovated was really saying where there’s gonna be a person there to talk to you on the other end of it. Yeah. A lot of folks like would just have that and you’d click and be like, Oh no one’s here but we were, ours would always be accurate. And so we really wanted the set the expectation that like as a customer, if someone says they’re there, they’re there and you can go like talk to them and get a question answered and that’s better than the phone. It’s better than waiting on hold. It’s, you know, a direct line to someone who can actually help sell you the good, solve your problem.

(08:10): And I think that what has happened over time is that more and more folks have added little things in that low right hand corner that don’t actually get you to a person. And I think that is damaging holistically to user behavior across like these things. Cuz they’ve become, like many folks have kind of turned them into little qualification bots and there’s nothing wrong with a qualification bot, but there is something wrong from my opinion of a qualification bot that there’s never gonna be a person there because some folks kind of act like there’s a person there. And I know like Drift is pretty well known company with space. I think they basically coined the idea that you could have like a little thing over here that never rowed to a human being. And and it’s so easy, so much easier to sell that because you don’t have to staff it and it’s just like magic. But it actually changes all the customer behavior cuz you aren’t gonna answer 10 questions if you can’t actually talk to a person on the other end of it. So that’s one challenge that the space is facing.

John Jantsch (09:09): It’s interesting, it’s, it’s a tool that was actually created as a service that a lot of people have turned into friction.

Ben Congleton (09:18): Mm-hmm . Yeah. I mean I’m always curious to figure out how to reduce that friction as much as possible and you know, from the business side, right? It kind of makes sense, right? Because the business is oh this is a cost center, this is, you know, talking to my customers, it’s expensive. I think that is one way of looking at the one mindset you could use. The other mindset you could use is every person that I communicate with is a relationship that I’m building. I’m build, I’m recruiting people to my team. I’m trying to like build an ecosystem of folks that believes in me. And I think that the way you approach communicating with your customers and showing that you’re different and showing that you care is the way that all of us differentiate in this incredibly busy world that we live in. I mean, why is anyone in business, they’re in business to serve their customers. And so let’s think about like how I can effectively serve my customer. How can I wow them? How can I show them that I actually care? And you know that real time communication is probably about as good as it gets in the sense that like no one’s gonna call your one 800 number and pick up the phone every time, right? Anymore like it’s

John Jantsch (10:22): Uh, yeah, I mean sometimes it’s a challenge to find the phone number on the website.

Ben Congleton (10:27): Yeah, no I think, I think that most have disappeared and if you’re lucky, at least get a chat that’ll route you to a person occasionally. I mean it’s short term versus long term playing.

John Jantsch (10:36): And now a word from our sponsor, marketers are a key part of business. Um, funny I would say that, right? But that’s because we own the conversation with our customers and having tools that help us have meaningful conversations with our customers at scale, all while maintaining a personal touch is our white whale point solutions can be easy to set up but difficult to manage and maintain and all of a sudden you find yourself with disconnected teams and data leading to poor customer experience. Yikes. HubSpot is an all in one CRM platform that is impossible to outgrow and ridiculously easy to use, meaning you never have to worry about it slowing you down. That’s because HubSpot is purpose built for real businesses. Businesses that test and learn, pivot and push and do it all again next quarter with customizable hubs and tools that you can add or subtract as you grow. HubSpot is ready to help you stop chasing the white whale and start connecting with your customers at moments that matter most. Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better @ hubspot.com.

(11:49): So we’re talking about the evolution, but you know, what’s the emergence of ai? You know, and you know, bot technology which is often driven by aai sometimes. Yeah. Uh, you, what’s that doing to this space?

Ben Congleton (12:02): Well I think it’s interesting. I think I went to this talk I know a couple years ago south by Southwest and had like, you know, the guy who created Siri in a couple other AI folks talking. And I mean, what I like to do is use a thought experiment. Well just imagine that Google has the best stuff, right? Imagine that Google and Apple and these billion dollar account in Microsoft, right? They basically have the best AI tech that you can possibly get and they’re building personal systems with it. Now imagine how well that stuff actually works in practice, right? Yeah. Imagine like the breadth of questions you can ask Siri Now that’s basically stay the art, that’s as good as it’s gonna get. Everyone else is selling a dream of trying to get to that thing using tech from open ai, which is funded by Microsoft, using tech from Google and Amazon and of dialogue flow and all this various like NLP processing.

(12:55): So I would argue the state of the art is still getting there and there’s a lot of people that are selling the dream and you can probably go look at like live person stock price, which is down probably sub 20% is is down 20% from where it was like maybe five years ago or something like that. So, so like they’ve been betting on this. I think that the uh uh, there are some cool stuff happening with ai but arguably most implementations of AI at this point is basically intent detection, which means I can take something you write in text.

John Jantsch (13:28): Yeah. Did you, did you say yes or no? ?

Ben Congleton (13:30): Oh

John Jantsch (13:31): You said yes. Well no, I was gonna say it’s

Ben Congleton (13:33): Yes or no, but it can get more, It can get better than that. It can get better, right? It could be like, what are you asking about? Right? Like if I say like, you know, I’m looking for a new car, it can probably determine, I’m looking for, I’m looking for a car in a more confident way than just looking for the keyword car. So that that works pretty well. And that’s some, you know, AI tech support by Google and Amazon and that that’s more or less state art, what chatbots are using today. And then you can also build trees where you take, you know, a series of questions and you move through ’em. You can think of ’em as kind of like phone trees with a better ui cuz it’s like way easier to like navigate through a series of questions. You can have phone trees where some nodes in those tree are a plain text answer and that can solve and that stuff can solve real business problems. And I think that if you have that kind of interaction then you have context around what’s actually going outside of your company. Like are folks available? Are there experts on this topic? You know, is this person coming in on a high value ad campaign? Maybe I don’t wanna run ’em through this like complicated flow and I wanna just get ’em over to a salesperson in sap. You can build some pretty great stuff.

John Jantsch (14:38): Let’s talk about the emergence of SMS in this equation. Mm-hmm , I’ve noticed a number of the chat related kind of com companies are really focused on driving people to text off the website, you know, off the website chat. But to text, where do you stand on that? I

Ben Congleton (14:54): Think it’s a use case question. I think it’s like what, what are you trying to achieve with that goal? I understand why marketers like it, right? Because marketers want another channel that they get folks to listen to you on and email is saturated, right? Right. SMS is not yet saturated. It’ll get there, you know, we’ll have better spam prevention et cetera. You’re already seeing some of the stuff happening on phones today, right? Of making it harder for unknown numbers to text you and handshake stuff required to use that SMS stuff. So I think that the, the main reason from a business standpoint is businesses like it because now I got a phone number and I have a way of getting your attention, right? That’s the main value for the business, the consumer, but don’t can kinda benefit a little bit.

John Jantsch (15:37): I’m there on the phone anyway, you know, doing it.

Ben Congleton (15:40): Yeah. So the consumer side, it’s a little bit, it’s interesting, right? So if I’m on a mobile device, right, like SMS is gonna probably be a better way for me to communicate with your business than over than over the web

John Jantsch (15:51): Chat form or quite

Ben Congleton (15:52): Honestly, right? Yeah. But if you’re doing b2b, you’re probably not on a phone doing it. Like a consumer I think is primarily like it’s a good consumer bio like Facebook who seems to have lost a lot of our trust, right? Like had their little floating thing, their floating messenger, messenger widget in the corner. It was basically accomplishing that same SMS goal, you know, is mostly adopted inside e-commerce for transactional thing again because marketers really like the ability to target based on the information you get from filling out that. So I think that, I think that that use of SMS and the use of Facebook are largely driven by marketer behavior rather than consumer behavior. But I think that there are some use cases where SMS makes a ton of sense. I think when you’re dealing with online offline transactions, it makes a ton of sense.

(16:42): Like if I’m hiring a, like a service that’s gonna come to my house or a plumber or things like that. I think if I’m buying things on a website and I just want to have some for a one off transactional situation as a consumer, I don’t think SMS makes a ton of sense as a business. Obviously I wanna be able to reengage you via the SMS channel. So it’s, yeah, it’s interesting. I think when O Ark looks at this we, you know, we’re working towards having way better SMS support. I think the use cases that we care mostly about are the longer term relationship use cases for sms. Though I think that there’s plenty of marketing tools for just blasting out an sms. Sure. We wanna be the tool that helps you create those lasting relationships and like a little bit less automated, a little bit more personal, that type

John Jantsch (17:26): Of, so, so where you really staked your claim is the person that’s gonna put this tool on the website with the idea that you’re gonna build relationships and have pretty much real time conversations with a real human being.

Ben Congleton (17:40): That’s what I want to do. I mean that’s what I care about. Yeah, like, I mean I think ultimately like what’s the point of business? I think it’s a series of relationships that you have with others and you want those relationships to be positive. And so that’s the part of the problem that I wanna work on as an individual. And I think that that’s the, that’s the company that, you know, founders a Boots job founder. I’ve gotten the luxury of being able to build up around me.

John Jantsch (18:02): Yeah. Let’s talk about it. Accessibility a little bit. Yeah. What role do does a chat play for somebody that might have site or hearing or you know, other issues that make the traditional web not as navigable? Mm-hmm

Ben Congleton (18:19): , I think that broadly speaking, like chat is one of the most powerful accessibility tools you could possibly have. They’ve done right. I think that part of what’s been going on with OAR recently is that uh, for a long time we had this mission to make business human and I think it took us so a while to figure out what that actually meant, but over the last couple years we’ve incorporated as a public benefit corporation to advance accessible tech. We’ve become more active in that community and learned how much we have to learn. Like there’s a lot to learn around like doing accessibility well and doing it right. It’s far more than a checkbox in an audit, which I think that many folks kind of approach that as. Sure. And so when I look at, you know, chat on a website, I think about like this is a communication channel, right?

(19:04): This is a channel that I think arguably anyone should be able to use to communicate with anyone. And so you’re trying to figure out, you know, if you’re vision paired, like how do you communicate using this channel? If you’re using a screen reader, how do you communicate using this channel if you are, you know, mobility impaired, like how do you simplify that UI and that navigation inside of it? And I think that list goes on and on. So there’s a lot, there’s a lot there that you can do that we can control inside that little box no right hand corner. Yeah, we can’t control everything else that’s on your website, right? But I think we can control that channel and we can also allow you to hire folks on the other end that uh, can staff it that have lower vision. And I think that’s kind of the journey I’ve been on recently where I realized how few of these tools that may meet accessibility standards, like there’s a bunch of standards out there, the most well known is W C A G and you can go look that up, but a lot of standards around that.

(19:59): But to actually make the operator experience accessible well, so you can actually hire folks who are visibility impaired or you know, it’s kind of inside that space to me. Like that’s when you start creating some real wins and that’s sort of like the direction I’m trying to take this company.

John Jantsch (20:16): So you alluded to stuff you’re working on, maybe you just talked about it there, but what’s coming for oar if you’re out there looking at, Well,

Ben Congleton (20:23): There’s a couple things that I think are new and exciting for oar. Like one is we’re kind of on this journey right now to be a leader in accessible communication. I can’t say we’re anywhere near that today, but that’s kind of where I want to take the company. I think that we’re going to see over the next couple years a lot of regulation around accessibility. We’re seeing digital ADA already enforced. We’re seeing some legislation being passed in Europe and uh, I think there’s a real opportunity to not just check the boxes, but really show how far you can go there. So that’s one kind of 10 of where we’re headed. The other place that we’re headed in this is that, you know, we talked a lot about automation on this call and about, you know, say the art of ai. We’re interested in kind of doing more that we’ve done a lot of ai, we have a tier, it’s called our pro tier for O A C.

(21:08): And so we’ve worked with folks basically building, doing, I wouldn’t call ’em like custom bots, but a lot of tailor, like a lot of tailoring of that AI tech and machine learning tech to help people solve problems and make it simple for that user, be able to work with non-tech customers and really help them realize their vision. And I think that’s something we’ve been doing some of and we’re gonna be doing a lot more of. I love the concept of like if I, if someone can sketch something on a piece of paper like a workflow or a process, it should be that simple. That’s how easy it should be for someone non-technical to have their vision realized via automation. And then the third thing I think that’s going on is adding more channels. I mean, we’ve talked a little bit about sms. SMS is really on our list for the first additional little channel that we’re adding.

(21:49): We’ve been rebuilding our operator experience to make it not like a tacked on thing, but like a core piece of how alert communicates with folks. And as part of that operator work, we’ve also been investing heavily in accessibility to make it accessible. But once we get those initial pieces in place, you basically have, uh, I would call it like a, like an AI enabled user interface that is incredibly accessible that works multichannel. And that’s kind of, I think it’s kind of like where things need to go with the key piece being like there’s a human in the loop. We’re not just trying to build some system that you like, stick there and put in the corner. It just like magically builds relationships. Your

John Jantsch (22:25): Customers, you never have to, to talk to anyone again,

Ben Congleton (22:27): this plenty of people selling that, John, there are plenty of people selling that dream. And to me that is, I don’t have the metaphor on the tip of my tongue for it, but I think it’s, it is not the road that you want to be on as a small business entrepreneur. If you want to go build Comcast from five years ago, 10 years ago and create that kind of customer service for your customers and you happen to have a monopoly, like I think you’ll be doing great at driving your costs down. But I think ultimately your customers and your relationships with your customers are the largest asset of your business. And your job as an entrepreneur, as a founder, as a small business owner is to leverage that asset to generate as much value as possible. And that comes through deep relationships.

John Jantsch (23:09): Awesome. Well Ben, thanks for stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. Do you wanna tell people or invite people where they can connect with you?

Ben Congleton (23:16): Yeah, you can. I’m pretty active on LinkedIn, so you can just add me on LinkedIn, say you saw me here cuz I got tons of requests. But if it’s coming in from John, like on or from John’s audience, I, I know you guys, I wanna talk to you so you can message me there. You can follow me on Twitter at Jam and Ben, um, or just, you know, drop by oar.com and talk to someone there and just ask for me like we’re staffed. We got people there. You know, I can pretty easy get in touch with for if you wanna chat more. Awesome.

John Jantsch (23:41): Well I appreciate you taking that time of your day to stop by and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days soon out there on the road.

Ben Congleton (23:48): Absolutely, John, it’s been a pleasure.

John Jantsch (23:50): Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co. I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

 

 

Weekend Favs October 22

Weekend Favs October 22 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 I 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.

  • Regiey ai– is an AI Content Platform for sales and marketing teams. You can create impactful AI-powered social posts, blogs, sales sequences, email nurturing campaigns, and other content in a few minutes.
  • Omnisearch– uses AI search technology to extract content from anything: audio/video, pdfs, presentations, images, and more. Omnisearch also allows transcribing video recordings into subtitles in seconds.
  • Mini-course generator is a course-building platform that allows people to promote courses and workshops better with interactive mini-courses. You can build lessons smoothly, customize the layout to your branding needs and embed them directly into your website. 

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

If you want to check out more Weekend Favs you can find them here.

How To Get What You Want By Helping Others Get What They Want

How To Get What You Want By Helping Others Get What They Want written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Joe Polish

Joe Polish, guest on the Duct Tape Marketing PodcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Joe Polish. Joe is the Founder of Genius Network, one of the highest-level groups in the world for entrepreneurs. Joe has helped build thousands of businesses and generated hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients. He’s the author of a book — 9 Genius Networking Principles to Get What You Want By Helping Others Get What They Want.joe polish, a guest on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast

Key Takeaway:

There’s no shortage of networking and entrepreneurship advice online in today’s world—but it’s harder than ever to know what’s authentic. Taking the wrong advice can result in superficial connections, transactional relationships, and unsatisfying interactions with others without any real rapport. Joe Polish is the Founder of Genius Network and is known as —”the most connected person on the planet.” In this episode, Joe talks about the many challenges he has overcome in his life to get him to where he is today and how relationship-building and building a network play an essential role in achieving success.

Questions I ask Joe Polish:

  • [1:27] Is this the first time you’ve been on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast?
  • [1:40] What’s the three-minute version of your life?
  • [5:11] What made you wanna rewrite this book now?
  • [11:35] You talk openly about your struggles with addiction and one of the things you mention is to find out how people are suffering and how you can help – does that come from your own suffering?
  • [17:55] You have an exercise in the book where you guide people to create their own Genius Network – can you explain that concept?
  • [23:35] Where can people find the website for the book with the bonuses and resources you mentioned?

More About Joe Polish:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Content Is Profit hosted by Louis and Fonzi Kame, brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. Discover the secrets and strategies of how your business can achieve the frictionless sale. They talk about frameworks, strategies, tactics, and bring special guests to bring you all the information you need in order to turn your content into profit. Recent episode, The power of just one big marketing idea and How to get it really brings home this idea that instead of chasing the idea of the week, really lock in on one big idea to differentiate your business that can make all the difference in the world. Listen to Content Is Profit wherever you get your podcasts.

(00:54): Hello, welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Joe Polish. He’s the founder of the Genius Network, one of the highest level groups in the world for entrepreneurs. Joe has helped build thousands of businesses and generated hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients. He’s also the author of a book that we’re gonna talk about today, what’s In It for Them, Nine Genius Networking Principles to Get what you want by helping others get what they want. So Joe, welcome to the show.

Joe Polish (01:25): Thank you John. Super great to be here with you. So

John Jantsch (01:28): I, is it possible this is the first time you’ve been on the Duct Tape Marketing podcast?

Joe Polish (01:32): It is. Which is hard to imagine, you know, cause you’ve been on my podcast but I’ve never been on yours so this is, well this is really good.

John Jantsch (01:38): We’re making up for it then. So do you have like the three minute version of your life story? , not everybody probably listening to this knows who Joe Polish is, although, you know, you are one of those people that has like people we’re gonna talk about in your network. Everybody knows who they are. , you’re kind of one of those people that has, has quietly done some amazing things I think, and maybe just not a household name because of it. But I think your story is amazing.

Joe Polish (02:05): No, thank you. Yeah, and by the way, I try not to be famous cuz oftentimes I work with a lot of people in the world of addiction recovery cuz I’ve been in recovery myself. Yeah. So I focus on entrepreneurs and people that struggle with addiction and oftentimes they’re the same people. And so my life’s story, the real quick version is boy crazy, bit of a childhood. Uh, mother died when I was four. A lot of abuse growing up, a lot of disconnection, a lot of moving around. Very introverted, very shy, very disconnected. And so it’s weird that today what I have built is like one of the best connection networks on the planet and really try to connect people. And a lot of that came out of just pursuing entrepreneurship and just trying to do something in the world and make a living and survive.

(02:47): The other part of it is it feels really good to be around people that you feel connected with cuz people are either communicating, they’re connecting or they’re trying to escape. Those are like the three types of ways that I would frame it. And I write about that in, in what’s in it for them. Trying to describe what is connection, what is disconnection, how do you connect? And so I was a Deborah Carpet cleaner was my first endeavor into running a business. I lived off credit cards. I went pretty deeply in debt, you know, back in 19, late 1989 to about 1992 when I first discovered marketing. Then I turned this small carpet cleaning around and then I just fell in love with marketing and with words and how to use education based marketing. And even back then, what’s in it for them was, you know, one of the best ways to sell something to people and you’re a master at this, is you educate them on how to make a buying decision so that your advertising isn’t about price, Your advertising is about education and leading people to make buying decisions.

(03:44): And then I started teaching other carpet and upholstery cleaners in the nineties. I built the largest training organization in the world for that industry. Over 12,000 cleaning restoration companies worldwide became members. I licensed it to all kinds of other service businesses. And along the way I started doing group, you know, programs and that became Genius Network, which it is today and now it’s as high level entrepreneurs. It’s a connection network. And I bring people together to focus on health, mental and physical health wealth. Not just making money but not losing it, which are two different skill sets in what I call elf, which is easy, lucrative, and fun. So you can have an elf business which is easy, lucrative, and fun or easy, liberating and fun if it’s in the personal relationship or health, Uh, or elf half versus elf, which half is hard, annoying layman frustrating. Or it could oftentimes be hard, annoying, lucrative and frustrating. But not all money’s created equals. So my whole thing, it used to be elf marketing, now it’s people projects. And I think that was longer than three minutes, but close , there we go. Yeah, that’s sort of what I do today. I look for how to have aligned elf relationships with people.

John Jantsch (04:52): So, so on the surface, maybe somebody read this and think, oh this is a networking book, which I guess on the surface it kind of is, but it’s not your typical networking book. You’re not gonna read things in this book that you’ve probably read in other books about you know, how to go to networking events or how to build relationships. What made you wanna write this book? Now we’ll get into like the details of what I just said, but what made you wanna re write this book now?

Joe Polish (05:17): Yeah, well you know, oftentimes I’ll hear authors say you and I just really wanted to share my message with the world and I feel so blessed in all that sort of stuff. And to a certain degree, I mean I think a decent human hopefully comes from that place. I mean, most people write books and stuff cuz they wanna make money, they wanna build their businesses, they wanna do stuff like that, right? This is my fifth book. This is the first book though that I have done as a mainstream published book by Hay House. And so there’s gonna be a lot of effort put behind it. Almost all of the proceeds, probably all of ’em. I say almost all because we haven’t, you know, we’ll see how this plays out. We’ll go to Genius Recovery, which is my Addiction Recovery Foundation. So I didn’t do this book quote unquote for money.

(05:53): I mean I have very high price programs. I give very well. Most of my clients are very successful. All that. The reason I wrote it is in a lot of ways for myself, my own purpose is I wanna sift, sort and screen narcissists and sociopaths and psychopaths from entering my groups and entering my world. And the book is a roadmap of who I like doing relationships with my value system, my moral system, my ethical system. But hopefully I want to empower the givers of the world to be better givers, better boundary givers. And I want people to be quit coming at the relationships from being a taker because everybody wants something. I mean, you know, everyone listening to this listens to you cuz they want something and they want more business, they want a better business. You know, they, for me, people often want an elf business.

(06:41): They want to make money, they want to sell their stuff. But ultimately we all want something like later today I’m gonna want lunch and so I want to go eat lunch. Uh, when it comes to relationships with people though, you wanna show up with a give that’s either greater or equal to your want. Because if we think, you know, in our own lives, who is it that annoys us? It’s people that ask for things, but all they have is an ask. They want something from you, but they don’t show up with something. So all they care about is themselves. And so I wrote the book for the younger version of myself. You often hear people on podcasts, What advice would you give to your 18 year old self or your 16 year old self or your 20 year old self or your 30, you know, whatever.

(07:20): And I’ll be 55 next year, you know, in February. And it, I, this book is the combination of how do I meet people, how do I connect with people? What are some of the methodologies and the strategies and the capabilities. So it’s a capability book. Uh, however, it’s really a character book disguised as a capability book cuz it’s not just about having capabilities to connect and how to connect, but it’s also, uh, to be a decent human and to protect yourself from the takers of the world because life gives to the giver and takes from the taker. And I’ve had so much horrible situations with people that I have helped in my life. And there’s that famous Zig Ziglar line, which I really like in the right context, which is you can have, get anything you want in life or have anything you want in life.

(08:09): If you help enough other people get what they want possibly because you can spend your life helping a lot of other people get what they want, that not only won’t do a damn thing for you, but they will abuse you. They will mislead you, they will betray you, they will take from you. And I love how to win friends and influence people. Amazing book. Even in the beginning of my book, I, you know, say if you ever read that book and this book wouldn’t even exist, I say, this book I’m pointing to, this is what it looks like. It’s got this crazy little yellow cover. It says what’s in it for them. That’s the question to ask yourself. That’s the, that’s the point behind it is you know, how to win friends and influence people is great, but not if they’re not great people. So my whole thing is how do you win the right friends and influence the right people?

(08:53): How do you develop relationships with people that are aligned with you? Because I don’t want to work on relationships like our friend Dan Sullivan says, I don’t wanna work on a relationship, I just want a relationship that works. And not that networking requires doing no effort. You know, networking though, handing out business cards, making contacts is a total waste of time. If you are coming at it from, let me have an agenda, let me pursue, you know, let me be an opportunist. So there’s nothing wrong. As a matter of fact, both me and you have spent so much of our time helping people identify and access and reach and make real the opportunities that they have in their life. But there’s a big difference between pursuing an opportunity, developing an opportunity versus being an opportunist. So the point of the book is to protect givers from scoundrels and to be a better giver and to hopefully create a culture where there’s, people are more thoughtful of why they’re going into relationships.

(09:51): Because it’s not only, you know, more fun that way, but you just don’t leave scorched earth and people that are these, you know, there’s connecting where you really connect with someone. And then there’s connecting where people connect by conning people, . And I don’t, I want to get rid of the Conn stuff cuz it’s so much of our marketing world, as you know, is filled with people that just, they’re not ethical. They from my value system, you know, again, I’m only speaking from what I consider, what is a good way to, you know, walk the earth

John Jantsch (10:22): And now a word from our sponsor. Marketers are a key part of business. Uh, funny I would say that, right? . But that’s because we own the conversation with our customers and having tools that help us have meaningful conversations with our customers at scale, all while maintaining a personal touch is our white whale point solutions can be easy to set up, but difficult to manage and maintain. And all of a sudden you find yourself with disconnected teams and data leading to poor customer experience. Yikes. HubSpot is an all in one CRM platform that is impossible to outgrow and ridiculously easy to use, meaning you never have to worry about it slowing you down. That’s because HubSpot is purpose built for real businesses. Businesses that test and learn, pivot and push and do it all again next quarter with custom customizable hubs and tools that you can add or subtract as you grow. HubSpot is ready to help you stop chasing the white whale and start connecting with your customers at moments that matter most. Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better@ hubspot.com. You talk about your struggles with addiction. I’ve, I’ve heard you talking about it openly. It’s in the book as well. And I found it interesting that step one, I think it was in the book, how, how they’re suffering, find out how people are suffering and how can I help? I mean, it it is, does that come from you’re suffering?

Joe Polish (11:53): Absolutely. You know, my mother died when I was four. My father lost the love of his life. He was broken hearted. He never recovered. He was tormented. He, you know, would move every year or two. We would, you know, just start to develop friendships cuz you know, depending on if someone’s extroverted, introverted, shy, not shy, et cetera. It was really hard for me to develop relationships then. I had a lot of physical and sexual abuse as a kid. And that really messes with you. I mean, you know, a lot of trauma. And so addiction is a response to, to trauma. And so with, you know, with that level of, of disconnection, I had a lot of pain. But I found that if I smiled, which in the beginning as a kid, it was a way to protect myself from my father. You know, getting very angry.

(12:39): And so it started as a survival mechanism. Now in the business world, enthusiasm covers many deficiencies. you know, there’s, if you’re just simply, if you have enthusiasm though coupled with value, with the ability to be really helpful, then you can connect to people. And so one of the things that I suggest to people in the book, and I try to go very deeply, I’ll try to, I actually do what one of the feedbacks I get from a lot of people is like, Wow, this is not what I thought this book would be about. I, you know, yeah, I talk about pay and to be a pain detective. Cause I, I believe what humans want John is they want more woo in less. Ah, that’s what we want. You know, like more woo, you know, like this is gonna make me feel good, this relate, you know, more money, more business, more access, a better body, better health, but more fun.

(13:24): And there are certain things that are ah, but they produce woo like exercise or I do cold plunges and saunas almost daily. Believe me, stepping into a 32 to 38 degrees cold plunge is ah, in the beginning. But the dope mean that you get the feeling that you get how you build up a, you know, just a physical tolerance that then leaves you feeling better, produces more woo. So there, in order to have a really good network, you know, everyone’s probably heard that saying, you know, your network is your net worth. You’re going to have to work. Just spoken in an event a couple days ago at a friend of ours and I said, Yeah, I had on the screen, you know, it was about 450 people in the audience. And I had a slide that said, gyms don’t work. And I said, People often come to me and they’ll say, you know, 12 step groups don’t work.

(14:15): Which are often said by people that have never gone to a 12 step group or have only sat in it. If someone said, you know, to you like, you know, John, I read your book, I’ve been to your, you know, I’ve went to your strategies, I’ve been to your events, It doesn’t work. It’s like, that’s like saying gym’s don’t work you, you can’t join it. Jim, sit on the bench and then say, you know, I’m not lifting the weights, I’m not riding the bike. Gyms don’t work. You would never say gyms don’t work. But people say that about personal development, learning, marketing strategies, learning every sort of education. Well you’re gonna have to work it. You have to put in your, what I call Tammy, your time, attention, money, effort, and energy, which are the things that you can spend. But where I try to suggest is come at it from pain.

(14:59): Find the pain in someone’s life. Because what entrepreneurs do is they solve problems for a profit. You know, look where you can find pain, look where you can find suffering in there. If you can reduce the suffering or in many cases eliminate it or at least give them ways to do it, Not only is that a quicker way to build rapport with people, it’s a more authentic way to build rapport. I love people that come into my life and not only help me remove angst and pain and annoyances, but they actually come and approach me from a very thoughtful way. So if there’s any agenda, because I suggest don’t go, don’t interact with people with an agenda. What I really mean is make sure your agenda is not a taker agenda. If your agenda is to be a giver, that’s a much different agenda. If your agenda, because pain is where, you know, I wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have recovered from addiction.

(15:52): And when I say recovered, I could easily fall back in the, in into addicted behavior. If I have enough stress, enough angst, enough overwhelm, consuming my life because addiction is a solution to pain. The opposite of addiction is connection. So when I’m disconnected for myself, I’m disconnected for others. And I will look for oftentimes negative ways to scratch the itch. And so we’re in the middle, like right now, I think the timing for what I wrote this book for, I took a one year sabbatical last year and the one thing that was helped me, you know, I didn’t publish the book, they wanted me to publish a book. I’m like, I’m not going to do it. But what I did in a one year sabbaticals, really look at the world, really look at what happened with the pandemic, the global trauma that has been created of what, through, what everyone’s went through.

(16:38): And I’m like, okay, you know, what do I know? What have I learned that I could write about that would be the most useful for people? Not only to connect with others, but to connect with themselves first and to, you know, if I could just help people by 5%, be more focused on what’s in it for them, what pain do they have in their life and how could I be useful to them first before I want them to be useful for me? I think it, it just takes away so much of the crap that people try to do in order to get what they want in life. I mean, get what you want in life by helping the right people get what they want, the useful people get what they want, help the givers become better at getting what they want. And if you approach people in that way, really focusing on pain reduction and reducing suffering, man, they will appreciate you. Just like the economic definition of appreciation or depreciation is you go up in value. And so that, that was one of the things that I hope do with the book.

John Jantsch (17:35): I think it’s a good practical way for people to think about something that I think we all get , but it’s a good practical way to think about it. Another thing you, for those of you on watching the video portion of this, Joe’s wearing a jeans network t-shirt. So that has been a great, that as you, as you mentioned in the intro, has been a big part of your life’s work for the last decade or so. You have an exercise in the book and I think I’ve been through this exercise with you so I know you’ve been teaching it for a while, but to telling people to create their own genius network. And I think it’s, the nice thing about it is it’s so doable, so practical, it creates priority and focus. Rather than saying I just need to have this big network. So maybe explain that concept in the exercise that you teach in the book.

Joe Polish (18:18): Yeah, absolutely. It’s called My Genius Network. And I believe any problem in the world could be solved at the right genius network. And what that means is a genius network versus a network is a genius network is a group of people and individuals that have capabilities and skills and resources that if you can access them and you can combine them with yours, it will actually produce results. Cuz there’s a lot of talk about thought leaders in the world, but any idiot can come up with a thought. As a matter of fact, a lot of thought leaders steal other people’s thoughts, present them as their own and then they’re called thought leaders. But I actually like result leaders like John, you’re a result leader. You do work that actually produces results for people. So it’s like, okay, so who do you know in your life that has skills or capabilities?

(19:02): What is their name? And then the exercises, I have people write circles like eight circles and they put a line through it, a uh, you know, a horizontal line and they put the name of the person on the top and they put the skiller capability in the bottom. And I say, think of people that are dominoes, like in in the book, what’s in it for them? I and every chapter with the dominoes, which are what are the ideas or the things that could make a big difference? So who’s been a domino in your life and what is the skiller capability? Then once you’ve identified their names, you list who they are, what skill or capability do they have? How can I help them? That’s the next question. After you’ve identified who they are and what their genius is, what that genius skill or capability is. And it doesn’t need to be like Einstein genius, it could just be an expertise or a capability that’s useful. They’ve

John Jantsch (19:49): Done something you want done, right, ,

Joe Polish (19:51): Yeah, if you want, if you wanna do a genius network on I wanna get in better shape, you want, you may want a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a yoga therapist, you know, a massage therapist, you know, I mean like people that can help you if you wanna write a book, do you want an editor? You want a ghost writer If you want, you know, web design. I mean what are the skills and capabilities? You can niche it or you can just take who are the most eight most important people that I wanna be a hero to and who, who have been a hero to me? And then you ask how can I help them? And then when you direct your brain to that and you all of a sudden you’re like, you know what, I really admire these people. I respect these people, I appreciate ’em, they’re part of my genius network. And you approach your interactions with them, then they will naturally wanna help you. And that’s the

John Jantsch (20:32): Goal. And there can be stretch names on there, right? I don’t have to know that person or have access to that person yet today. Right?

Joe Polish (20:39): Well and that’s one of the best ways to, to future focus your future relationship is who is this person and then how can I be useful to them? I’d say in order to develop a genius network, you have to be a genius networker, which is approaching people with the question what’s in it for them? And you have to do genius networking. It’s actually a behavior, but it’s not just, it’s be, do have. In order to have a genius network, you have to be a genius worker and do genius networking. And if you actually approach it that way, and this is not complicated, I did not write this in a way that, you know, no one could do it. You have to be some superstar, you have to be some extrovert. As a matter of fact, I’m an introvert that forced myself to go and meet people because the one commonality is everything that is good in my life comes through relationships with other people.

(21:29): Even the things I do like meditation and that I do in quiet that was taught to be by someone, that I was helped by someone. No one, you know, silent battles are the hardest battles to fight. You’re as sick as your secrets when I, you know, all the stuff that I do in addiction recovery would not happen had I not had other people that cared about me and in many cases cared about me more than I cared about myself at a certain point in time. So I wanna be a domino for people. I want to help people with all. Cuz the number one question I get, how do you meet all these famous people? And people think it’s knowing famous people. It’s not. I mean, you know, John, you’ve met a lot of famous people, you’ve met a lot of rich people. Some of them are jerks, some of them are miserable.

(22:09): You know, I mean you don’t want to just meet well known people. Some of the greatest heroes in the world are, you know, people working at hospice centers, you know, single moms raising kids. I mean, there’s amazing people in the world that are not celebrities. I don’t want Genius Network to be known for me. I want it to be known for the people in the group. It’s a connection network. And so, you know, I’m just wanting to convey those things that I’ve learned so that other people can build it. Cuz a more connected world is a happier world, A more connected person is a happier person and I would argue to say way more likely to make a lot more money and do a lot better when you’re coming at it from that way. And there’s a lot of people that make money in the world that go to bed every night with guilt and shame and remorse because their methods of getting to the money, getting to the opportunities are not coming from a place of giving.

(22:56): They’re coming from a place of taking. And so I, I want to give, you know, even in one of the things I have in the book is like how to use marketing to find true love and actually show an, an example of a singles a on how to actually write a letter about yourself so that you can identify the right aligned partner. And I have people that are already in relationships and married that use the process and it improves the relationship that they have with their existing partner. And I learned it from a brilliant love coach and we have an interview with her as part of the bonus of the stuff that I talk about in the book. So I really try to cover not just business, but yeah as a human. It’s really about being a better human.

John Jantsch (23:35): So you mentioned bonuses and resources you wanna tell people where they can find the website for the book. Obviously the book will be available anywhere depending upon when you’re listening to this November of 2022. But people where they can find out more about the book and uh, connect with you and, and however you’d like to invite

Joe Polish (23:51): Them. Thank you. The website for the book is literally the name, What’s in it for them.com. We have shorter versions of it, but I finally secured, I had to pay a lot of money. It’s so funny for the website what’s in it for them.com, but now we have that set up. And one thing too, I wanna point out, there’s some really amazing people, uh, Steven Pressfield, Chris Voss, the top former FBI hostage negotiator read the whole book. He’s one of my genius network members. BJ Fogg, the Stanford professor, one of his students used his model to create Instagram. His book, you know, was voted the best Business book of the year by Amazon in 2020. Robert Chaldini the Best Influence Guy. Mm-hmm , I’ve got some of the top negotiations, research behavioral professors, and the top influence guy in the world that have read the entire book and endorsed it. Uh, you know, gr great blurbs from people. But the, the reason I bring that up is every single person that has a blurb in this book and on the website, they’ve read the whole book. I’m not using any testimonials from people. So it’s what’s in it for them.com is where to pre-order the book or if you’re hearing this after November of 2022, what’s in it for them, you know, dot com. It’ll be sold at every bookstore too. So if people pre-order it right now, if they hear it, that would be, I would appreciate it.

John Jantsch (25:00): Awesome. Well Joe, thanks for taking a moment to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast and uh, hopefully we’ll see you again one of these days soon out there on the road.

Joe Polish (25:08): Thank you John. Thanks for all the work you do too. You’re awesome. I

John Jantsch (25:11): Appreciate it. Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co. I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

 

 

The Fastest And Least Expensive Way To Double Your Sales

The Fastest And Least Expensive Way To Double Your Sales written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Amanda Holmes

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Amanda Holmes. Amanda is the CEO of Chet Holmes International (CHI) which has worked with over 250,000 businesses worldwide. At age 24, she inherited her father’s multi-million dollar enterprise, which specializes in helping companies double their sales. She’s the author of a book — Based on The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies.

Key Takeaway:

At just 24, Amanda Holmes inherited her father’s multi-million dollar enterprise – Chet Holmes International. Without much direction, she had to navigate the uncharted waters of running an enterprise at that scale. In this episode, Amanda shares more about her journey as CEO, the challenges of implementing change in a long-standing organization, and gives insight into the process her father developed years ago that has helped large companies quickly double their sales.

Questions I ask Amanda Holmes:

  • [2:49] What was it like being thrust into an ongoing organization as a family member?
  • [6:04] What was hard for you to change?
  • [7:58] What’s been the most fun for you when it comes to stepping into the CEO role of Chet Holmes International?
  • [9:26] Would you say that your music and arts background has brought a level of creativity that maybe didn’t exist in the org before?
  • [11:50] Who is your typical client at CHI?
  • [13:17] A core concept of your coaching is Dream 100 – can you describe what this is?
  • [17:48] One of the challenges you alluded to – we’re so focused on digital right now, you particularly have yourselves firmly in what you’re calling old-school processes – would you say that the old-school processes are working better than ever?
  • [19:59] Where can people find out more about you and your work?

More About Amanda Holmes:

Take The Marketing Assessment:

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

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Content Is Profit hosted by Louis and Fonzi Kame, brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. Discover the secrets and strategies of how your business can achieve the frictionless sale. They talk about frameworks, strategies, tactics, and bring special guests to bring you all the information you need in order to turn your content into profit. Recent episode, The power of just one big marketing idea and How to get it really brings home this idea that instead of chasing the idea of the week, really lock in on one big idea to differentiate your business that can make all the difference in the world. Listen to Content Is Profit wherever you get your podcasts.

(00:54): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Amanda Holmes. She is the CEO of Chat Holmes International, which has worked with over 250,000 businesses worldwide. At age 24, she inherited her father’s multimillion dollar enterprise, which specializes in helping companies double their sales. A lot of their works based on the best selling book, The Ultimate Sales Machine, of which they have a new edition coming out. Amanda’s name will be all over the new edition as well. And she has merged her father’s proven process with her own forward thinking ideas to connect the old school sales process with hybrid, online and offline instant gratification and short attention span that we see in consumers today. So Amanda, welcome back to the show.

Amanda Holmes (01:45): Thank you so much, John. You know, it means so much to me that you interviewed my father and then you interviewed me so many years ago and here we are again. It just, it means a lot. I, not a lot of people interviewed my father either, so

John Jantsch (01:58): I I was gonna say, I might be one of the few podcasters who has interviewed you both .

Amanda Holmes (02:03): Yes. Just I have never heard it from anybody else and I’ve done hundreds of interviews, so you are the only one

John Jantsch (02:10): . That’s funny that, that was about 29, 20 0 9, 20 10, something like that maybe. And podcasting was in its infancy at the time, but somehow I’ve stuck with it

Amanda Holmes (02:21): .

John Jantsch (02:22): So we also have another shared connection. My daughter has actually worked for me for about 12 years. She is our chief operating officer. So I really kind of have to go there. Didn’t work in the business as a family member. Right. You really brought, came into the business. I would have to think in some ways that was a pretty tall order because in fact I think you were studying music in college and you know, not necessarily preparing for a career as a ceo. Right. So what’s it, I guess I was gonna ask you what’s like working with family, but that’s not really, it wasn’t really your experience. So what was it like really? And I know you’ve told this story many times, what was it like basically being thrust into an ongoing organization, but as a family member?

Amanda Holmes (03:08): Yes, it, well, it was hard because me and my father were very close. I was actually born in his birthday. We shared the same birthday February 13th, and it was as if just the stars aligned. And so losing him was like losing air . It was like I didn’t know where up was or down was. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. So getting all of that while at the same time, like I can remember just days after his funeral. And the only reason why I remember that cuz all that time is such a blur, but I just remember all of these flowers around my room from his funeral and I was sitting there and they had just sent me the PNL of all the companies and it was the first time I’d ever seen it. And it just felt like this PNL was never ending. I kept scrolling and scrolling and I just broke down.

(03:55): It was like, how, how is this possible that, So my father battled with cancer for a year and a half before he passed. And he spent 352 nights in the hospital and never once did he spend it alone. So it was me, my mom, and my brother. We just, we rotated spending all-nighters with him. So I spent easily a hundred allnighters with my father in the hospital. Never once did he say, Hey Amanda, let me explain to you what my businesses are . Let me explain to you who runs them. Let me tell you about where I’d like this to go. We never had that dialogue and there was time and I speak on that because I think it’s critical that more parents take responsibility for the fact that there are other people that if you leave this world without a plan, you’re hindering them.

(04:48): So I do talk on that every once in a while. But, so it was utterly shocking and it really is. I look back and I think it’s a miracle that we’re here today based on the fact that Right, I knew nothing. I was trying to get over the loss of my father while couple hundred staff, you know, this crazy enterprise. But here we are. I stepped in and it took me two years to step in cuz it just looked like, this is crazy talk. I don’t know why I ever would. But then over time I fell in love with our clients. I recognized that there was something that was really beautiful about what my father had built and it could be carried on. It just needed that heart in the center of it to make it all work. And yeah, I increased our leads by 1176% the first year I stepped in and doubled our coaching clients multiple years in a row. And this year we’re up over 300% and that’s without the book releasing just yet. So it’s a lot of wonderful things. My father had a great system and a great framework for how to grow organizations and I had to learn it from his books and his training programs instead of him explaining it to me. But nonetheless, I think I’m probably one of his greatest success stories just because of that.

John Jantsch (06:04): Right. What was hard for you? I mean you, you, you obviously made some changes, you know, what was hard for you to change? I mean, not necessarily resistance, but just really hard for you to even wrap your head around

Amanda Holmes (06:16): Changing. So we had never processed an order online. My father was very strict around, you know, every sale should come from a salesperson having a conversation either over the phone or in person. So I could remember the first time that I put some pricing online and I took a moment and it was like, I’m so sorry dad, I know you said this, but times have changed and I have to do it, have to put some of our stuff online. So that was a big, that was a big turning point in learning how to do digital marketing was critical and selling things online. And then also a huge change was for me, the people that I surround myself with, a lot of them were very different than who my father surrounded himself with. So I find that the culture that he thrived in is different than the culture that I thrive in.

(07:08): And making that distinction because at first it was anybody that my father respected, ultimately they would say, Well your father said I was the best in the planet on this. And I’d go, Okay. And I’d put them up on this pedestal of who was the best, right? Cause my father said he was the best , even though I started realizing that everyone said that my father said they were the best. So then I started reading through his emails to try and figure out what he really thought of them. That was the way that I would find out. And then the next level was okay, just because my father said he was the best, now I have to discern, is this somebody that I can work with? And there were quite a few of them that did not work with me very well. And that’s okay. It’s just a little bit of a different modus operandi, but still the strategies are the same. So it was interesting to see that culture shift.

John Jantsch (07:59): So shifting gears a little bit to maybe a more positive, less of a challenge, what’s been the most fun for you?

Amanda Holmes (08:05): ? The marketing and sales part. Oh my gosh. Oh, you’ll appreciate this John. So I just, you know, I’m in this whole book tour thing going on right now, right? I just went to all these different trade shows. I spoke at HubSpots inbound, that’s where I saw that you’re in HubSpot Network. Congratulations on that. Yeah, that’s awesome. So I went there with a four foot billboard strapped to my back cuz I was looking for a way for people, My father teaches the first thing you need in a trade show is to get noticed. Yeah. And I was googling like, Oh, maybe we’ll do a backpack and we’ll design a backpack or something. And then I found, I typed in human billboard and this huge thing, it’s a backpack that straps, but it’s, and it lights up, it glows like a billboard sign. So I’ve been walking through all these trade shows with this poor foot billboard on my back. I call her Bessie now because I’m very fond of her. And on the last day of trafficking conversion, actually they shut me down because I was creating such a buzz and generating so many sales that the sponsors, the booths were getting jealous .

(09:12): But that’s been a blast. And just being really creative about ways to get attention and then converting those, that attention into sales and leads and sales. That’s a ton of fun for me.

John Jantsch (09:26): Would you say that your, and I know this is gonna sound sort of stereotypical, but would you say that your music background, your arts background, has brought a level of creativity that maybe didn’t exist?

Amanda Holmes (09:38): Absolutely. So the new addition to the book The Forward, instead of saying Dear Reader, I instead said Dear dad. And that was a, and it something that Julia Easton, my book coach at the time, had suggested I do. And when I wrote it, everyone that read that majority of grown men that read it would cry reading it. And they thought they, out of all the every page, every sentence, I made sure that it was some way to double sales. But that letter to my dad, everyone said lead with that. Cause that’s going to touch more people than just doubling sales techniques. And I put that into a video actually. And that’s been what I’ve been using to promote the book. So to me that video is a music video. I wrote the lyrics, even though I’m not singing them, they’re written. But everything that I had as a songwriter, I put into that video. To me, that’s the single that came out with this new edition of the book, which is kind of funny to think about. But man, it is hitting people in a completely different way that I never expected. And it was the most nerve-wracking thing on the planet to put that thing out. I really thought that. I didn’t think that people would like it, but everybody kept saying, I love it, I love it. You should put that out. And it’s been such a loving response. So yeah, that, that songwriter in me, I think

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(11:51): , describe who C I A CH homes an international works with. Who’s your typical client?

Amanda Holmes (11:57): Yes. Okay, I’ll answer that by asking you a question. And you probably know the answer to this. What percentage of businesses do you think make it to a million in annual sales?

John Jantsch (12:06): I don’t know the exact answer other than it’s relatively small. Not,

Amanda Holmes (12:10): Yeah, if you

John Jantsch (12:11): Had to guess, I would say 9%.

Amanda Holmes (12:13): Okay. That’s close. That’s close. 5% of companies make it to a million of that 0.08%, make it to 5 million of that 1.5%, make it to 10 million. So it gets a little bit better. then 0.004%, make it to a hundred million and beyond. So what we teach is how to get from a million to five, from 5 million to 10, From 10 million to a hundred million and beyond. Because it’s actually not about our product or service, which majority of entrepreneurs think, yes, if I just tweak this a little bit more, then I’ll get more. Right. If that was true, McDonald’s wouldn’t be the number one grossing hamburger join in the world. Right? It’s a terrible burger. It’s skills it takes to grow the business and skills can be developed. So we assist entrepreneurs to grow from that one to five, from five to 10, from 10 to a hundred million and beyond.

John Jantsch (13:07): One of the core concepts. I have actually not, not seen what you’ve done in the second edition yet, but in the, certainly in the first edition. Well, and, and I know it’s a core concept of your coaching, is this, uh, concept of the Dream 100. I wonder if you could kind of describe that. Cause I know that’s a big E for

Amanda Holmes (13:22): You. Yes. It’s the fastest, least expensive way to double sales . This one strategy has doubled the sales of more companies than any other. My father invented it working for billionaire, Charlie Munger, co-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. So he doubled the sales of nine different companies for Charlie all within 12 to 15 months. And several of them multiple years consecutively. So he realized that he had a system for doubling sales and it went something like this. So he was given a list of 2200 potential prospects and they said, Okay, go cold. Call these 2200. But when he did some research, he realized that only 167 of them purchased 95% of the space. So instead of going after 2200, he led an intensive dream 100 to just those hundred and 67. Now it being in their face, in their place, in their space, what can we do to provide the most value for them?

(14:14): For him, Back then it was direct mail, cold calling and faxing. So twice a month he was doing direct mail. Four times a month he was cold calling and following up with a fax in an email every once in a while. And he did that for months. For the first four months he got nothing, which, and talked around the office like, what is this? Why is this expert in sales? And he hasn’t generated a thing. But in the sixth month he closed the largest contract that the industry had ever seen. And then subsequently after that doubled it doubled now. So by definition, there’s always a smaller number of better buyers than there are all buyers. That means that marketing and selling to them is cheaper than marketing and selling to all buyers. And I’ve even, as I look at this and what you’ll see in the new edition is so many people get, they see the Dream 100 and they go, Oh my gosh, how do I do direct mail?

(15:04): How can I make this work with direct mail? And how do I get a hundred people on my list? You’re missing the point if you’re super focused on just those two things. Because we have so many marketing mediums in our use today. I show how I used a dream One, I focused on one potential dream client and I followed up with them every single day using social media. Every time they post something on social, I’d comment with something of value. Every time they posted another thing, I’d add another piece of value and another comment at another For every single day, for three months, I commented on every single thing that this person said. And three months in they came back to me and said, Hey, I’d like to buy 650 books of the Ultimate Sales Machine. I’m still reaping the benefits of that. Three months of Pig had a discipline and determination.

(15:52): Today they bought another thousand books. It’s actually, it was the CEO of ClickFunnels. So Dave Woodward I did this with. So the point is, it’s about picking who’s one person that could completely change your world. And then can you multiply that even by, you could have four, you could have 10, I’m calling it the Target 12. It doesn’t have to be a hundred, right? The whole point is just to get laser focused and follow up with pigheaded discipline and determination, whichever medium that may be. If you wanna use direct mail, that’s great because it will land cuz nobody’s doing direct mail, right? Yeah, yeah. But if you wanna do it on Instagram dms, that’s where I did it to get that client. Right. It could be on LinkedIn, it could be on voice drops, on cell phones

John Jantsch (16:35): Or all of them. Right? Or all of them. Or all of them, right?

Amanda Holmes (16:38): . Yeah. If you only have a hundred, Right? And you’re sending, if you’re doing Facebook ads to them, if you are sending them text messages, if you’re arriving at their door, they’re like, you are everywhere. It’s like, yeah, I’m only everywhere to the select 10, right? Select a hundred. So they’re just amazed, right?

John Jantsch (16:53): Yeah. And I think what’s so important about that lesson is you can now afford to spend money and time and energy that is gonna just swamp what anybody else is doing, you know, to that same person because they’re spraying it, you know, 10,000 people at a time.

Amanda Holmes (17:11): Absolutely. We had a client, so I went, I’ve created these bootcamps and a client went through the bootcamp, they went after four people that had already said no to their services. It was a hard, no, I’m definitely not interested. And then he led with an education to those four. After he gave the presentation of an education, he closed 8.4 million worth of sales in just six weeks. Six weeks. And the average sales rep would sell 8 million in an entire year. He did it in six weeks. Cuz he targeted his dream. He only needed four. Dream four to generate 8.4 million.

John Jantsch (17:49): So one of the challenges, I th I, you kind of alluded to this, we’re so focused on digital right now, you, you have yourselves firmly in what you’re calling old school processes, but they really, in some ways, some of the old school processes are working better than ever, aren’t they?

Amanda Holmes (18:07): Absolutely. I mean, take what I just did at trade shows. It’s shocking how many people at trade shows have no idea how to have a face-to-face conversation. I’d walk up to a booth and 90% of them had no idea how to start asking questions. You know, I’d ask, What do you do? And they have no idea. They look starstruck. Like what? You’re talking to me in real life. I don’t know what to do. It’s so bizarre how we’ve lost the frameworks and the basic foundational principles. Everyone thought, Oh, a billboard. Yeah, that’s brilliant. But then I also QR code there so that I could collect people that were taking pictures. Anyways, the first few days they were taking pictures of me cuz they thought I was hysterical. But then they didn’t realize that now I’m converting them cuz they’re clicking on that I’m getting their email and then they’re buying.

(18:54): So it’s blending of the two. My funnel online got me the sales, but me walking around with a four foot billboard on my back in a trade show got the attention in the press. And now I’ve taken vi video that I got from influencers in the space that were recording me cuz they thought it was hilarious. And I’m using that in my ads and I’m repurposing it, right? So there’s so many different ways that I think in person too. It was just at a mastermind with Grant Cardone two weeks ago, and there were 80 people in the room, all of which would’ve loved to talk to Grant Cardone. He walked out of the room and nobody followed him. And I’m looking around the room going, Are you kidding me? That’s a billionaire. I’d love to talk to Grand Cardell. Why not? So I run out there and I start to have a dialogue with him. It’s like, it’s as if we only can communicate through a text or on right in an in a social media aspect. He was right there living, breathing. And I handed him the book and I said, You should watch Dear Dad, it’ll make you cry. I’ll send you a book. And he’s like, I will definitely cry from that. I’m sure I will. I love that. Thank you

John Jantsch (19:54): . Amanda, thanks for dropping by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. Tell people where they can find all the work that you’re doing and certainly get a copy of the new book or the re revised, updated, fully updated book.

Amanda Holmes (20:06): Yes. Ultimate sales machine.com is where everybody can pick up the book. It’ll give you a bunch of extra bonuses that you wouldn’t get on Amazon. And then if you wanna online, I’m a lot of different places, but I spend more of my time on Instagram. My name Amanda Holmes was taken, so I’d use my salsa name Amanda Dita Holmes. So you can find me on Instagram at Amanda dita Homes.

John Jantsch (20:29): All right, awesome. Well, great to having you back on the show again and uh, hopefully we’ll run into you again, one of these days out there on the road.

Amanda Holmes (20:36): Thank you, John. It was such a blessing.

John Jantsch (20:38): Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co. I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network and Air.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

 

 

 

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Weekend Favs October 15

Weekend Favs October 15 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 I 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.

  • Journey io– helps storytellers and business owners create memorable presentations. You just upload your videos, slides, PDFs, and other formats of content to the tool, and it will transform it into an interactive document that tells a story.
  • Talkbase– is a Community Operations platform designed to help keep remote teams aligned, collaborate with contributors, plan and execute events, and manage community members – all in one place.
  • Beams Pro is a virtual event platform that allows marketers and HR Managers to create webinars, networking sessions, tradeshows, online seminars, and more using one-window technology and end-to-end analytics for higher engagement.

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

If you want to check out more Weekend Favs you can find them here.

How To Stop Losing Customers To Your Competition

How To Stop Losing Customers To Your Competition written by Shawna Salinger read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Generating leads can be challenging, especially if you are a small business owner. There is A LOT that goes into obtaining just one lead, let alone ten or 100 leads. But what’s worse? Creating a plan, paying for a successful advertising campaign, driving traffic to your website, generating leads…and then losing those sales because you don’t have the proper communication and lead nurturing systems in place.

Most businesses are moving away from the fragmented lead nurturing world and adopting an integrated digital lead nurturing and communication strategy. However, this can be harder for small businesses that maybe don’t have the resources or time to put some of these systems together. 

Fortunately, technology has given us multiple possibilities, and now there is a lot we can do about it. 

For small business owners, I’ll show you the program I created to help you communicate and nurture your leads and how to make it a success.

Find out more about how you can optimize your lead nurture system

But first, let’s look at the three main trends making it hard for small businesses, imparticular, to create a unified lead nurture system.

Here’s a quick overview of the three problem trends and actions you can take to resolve them.


Top trends Robbing Small Businesses of Leads

Speed to Lead

The first trend is Speed to Lead, which is the time a business takes to reply to a prospect from the moment they become a lead. 

People today expect instant contact, but research indicates they’re not getting it. And this is really hurting businesses that don’t address it.

According to Velocify, responding to leads within the first-minute increases conversions by 391%. Other related research from Harvard Business Review reveals that contacting a lead within the first hour makes you seven times more likely to qualify that prospect

But who has time to do that? Especially when you must reply quickly during working hours, at night, and over the weekends.

Of course, it doesn’t mean you have to sit all day long responding immediately to everything, but people expect at least a reply.

Do they want to know if you received their message? If someone is going to get back to them? What’s going to happen next?

Is speed to lead making a difference in sales?

Companies that acknowledge the importance of speed to lead have a huge advantage. According to E-marketer,  51% of leads will work with the organization that contacts them first

Think about yourself as a buyer. If I had a new project to repair my home, for example, I might contact three companies and, without much concern for the price, the first one that replies will probably get the work. We are at the point where speed has become more influential in certain circumstances than price.

You could even make the case that if you responded faster, you could charge more. The most profitable companies today have made speed to lead one of their highest priorities, and they are raising their prices because of it. What if your speed to lead was your differentiator? 

Now think about all the different channels people can get ahold of you to request a quote or a consultation. Or how many places are you not paying attention to because you can’t or don’t have the time to monitor them? 

chat funtionality of google business profile

Google Business chat, for example, is one of the functionalities that Google added recently. Instead of calling you, getting directions to your business, or going to your website, customers can just send you a message and ask you a question or get a quote.

But you have also phone, voicemail, emails, website forms, website chat, Facebook Messenger, Instagram DMs, SMS, and the list goes on. Do you monitor and respond to all of them?

Now companies have to reply almost immediately, despite the fact that nobody has the time to monitor a ton of different apps and places.

As a business owner you need to think strategically about how you are going to utlize all the tools available to generate leads for your business while also being realistic about what you can manege.

SMS Overtaking Email

SMS has become a real choice for a lot of the people we do business with. In fact, 48% of the people said that SMS is their preferred channel for receiving updates from a brand. More than two-to-one SMS over email.

statistics of the best channels for brand updates

I assume there may be generational gaps in these statistics, and certainly, specific industries are more prevalent than others, but this trend is real.

Mobile is now overtaking desktop in terms of website visits. In the same survey, E-Marketer found that mobile devices today are driving 45% of web leads. And if people are using a mobile device, it is a whole lot easier to just send a text message to start the conversation.

Businesses need to not only be able to monitor and reply quickly but probably need to move a portion of those replies to text.

analytics showing the increase of leads coming from mobile devices

For example, the graph above is website traffic data from a home service business. 54% of their traffic comes from a mobile device, which really explains the convenience of moving part of the marketing strategy to text messages.

Of course, I am not talking about the spammy text messages that we all get. I am encouraging you to use SMS to create a better experience for people that are already on the customer journey and close to becoming a client. Or even build marketing campaigns to reengage past customers that have gone cold. People that already know you, but just haven’t heard from you for a while.

Personalized Website Journey

The bar has been raised. No longer can your website be a brochure that just describes what you do and how you do it. Today people expect to have personalized content experiences and real conversations within your site.

They want to engage in content that is highly relevant to them as fast as possible. Most of us serve multiple markets and multiple segments, which means you have to help people find what’s suitable for them. And that is where the customer journey starts, many people get a referral, Google your business, and then end up at your website. 

Ask yourself: Is your site designed perfectly to engage everyone who visits or do you need help from them?

Technology is getting smarter every day. Our website chat is an example of a simple personalized website journey. And it begins with a straightforward message, “Welcome back, John Jantsch, How can we help you today?”

duct tape marketing website chat showing an example of a personalized website journey as a lead nurturing option

It knows who I am, and that type of personalization has become expected because technology makes it so easy. We can now lead our prospects directly to the most relevant content for them based on an answer they just typed.

A unified lead nurturing system

Let’s face it, if you have to reply immediately in a bunch of places, you need some automation. You need some technology that can help you do that.

Lead Spark, is a way to unify your messages, automate follow-ups (even on weekends), immediately get Google reviews to build social proof, reactivate one-time customers, turn website visits to chat conversations, run activation campaigns, capture more leads, and more.

screenshoot of a message showing how a unified lead nurturing system works for small businesses

For example, an automated follow-up that acknowledges a lead message and starts a conversation to explain what is going to happen next in the customer journey. Turning inquiries into text chats. 

If you’re spending money on ads, if you’re spending money on SEO and then you’re wasting some of that money because you’re not responding quickly to some of the leads that are coming in, then to me that’s worse than not figuring out how to get leads in the first place.

Learn how to automate your lead nurturing