Stacey Brown Randall: Whatever you’re doing, stop. Pull out a piece of paper and grab a pen, or open a new note file on your phone, because you’re going to need to take notes (so many notes) because this episode is unlike any episode I’ve ever done. And the tips, the advice, the ideas—it’s overflowing. Join me.
You are not just another hustling salesperson. You are the expert, the
resource, the valuable partner for your clients, and how you grow your
business should reflect how your clients see you.Welcome to the Roadmap to Grow Your Business podcast. We generate
referrals without asking, build positive client experiences, and help
you take control of your business.
Here’s your charmingly sarcastic host, Stacey Brown Randall.
Stacey Brown Randall: Hey there, and welcome to episode 219 of the Roadmap To Grow Your Business Podcast. I’m your host, Stacey Brown Randall.
So, I’ve never done an episode like this before, and I am so excited for you to hear it. So, as you know, we are coming up on the end of our summer series and our focus topic has been business development, A.K.A. sales.
We’ve talked about everything, from messaging to the sources of how your prospects find you to nurturing those prospects, to taking someone through the buyer’s journey. And of course, talking about closing.
But there’s been more, we’ve talked about a lot in this series and we wrap up next week with our final episode. But before we do, we have got to have this conversation because this episode is so good.
So, when I mentioned you need to have something to take notes on, I’m really not kidding because what I did for this episode is that I reached out to five experts, five people that I adore, that I follow, that I think do amazing work.
And some are new in my circle or my sphere. And some have been there for a really long time, but they are experts when it comes to this thing called sales. And they each have the area where their brilliance is mind-blowing.
And you may be listening to this episode and you may hear something you’ve never heard before, or you may be reminded of the things you know and you just don’t do.
Regardless of how you receive this episode, it’s going to be so good because I asked five experts to answer a question. And then in two to three minutes, give us their best tips. Now, each person has a different question and it follows a different part of the sales journey.
So, I’ve got a couple of folks who are going to be talking to us about lead generation, about finding the people to become the prospects into our business. I think that’s one where a lot of people struggle and they’re like, “I need more information.”
Here’s the thing; I asked all of them, we’re not talking about referrals, which I think they were like, “What?” But we’re not talking about referrals. Like we do that, actually, I’m going through withdrawals because I’ve been all summer long on this podcast not talking about referrals, kind of can’t wait to get back to it, but I’ll do that.
What I asked them to do is focus on their zone of genius and answer questions we were not thinking about this from a referral perspective, because most of this business development series, these episodes, of course, referrals have been a part of it.
But this has been a much bigger topic. In terms of the different things we’re paying attention to when it comes to sales, it’s more than just referrals. It’s like all the pieces and parts for a solid business development or sales strategy.
So, we’ve got three experts who are going to answer different questions about different ways to consider bringing in new prospects to your business. They are so good.
And then we have one expert, who’s going to talk about moving somebody from the buyer’s journey to the closing. And let me just tell you, the tips she gives, golden.
And then we’re going to wrap up with one final expert, who’s going to talk about nurturing prospects and how to do that in a way to make it easier, which is so very important.
So, I’m going to introduce each of these experts, and then I’m going to read to you the question that I asked them to answer, and then you’ll hear their response.
Now, remember, I put some perimeters in place for these experts. They had a max of three minutes. So, could they tell you more? So much more. They have so much knowledge and so much brilliance in their heads.
But I said, you got to fit it in, in three minutes. So, stick to the high levels, or stick to just a few specific tips. And they brought it. They did so great answering these questions and being really succinct in their answers and giving great, actionable tips.
Now, after each one of them finishes, I’m going to do a little wrap up on each one before I introduce the next expert, because the truth is, as I was listening to their responses, I started taking notes on the things I’m going to do in my business.
Some things they said, I’m like, “Yeah, I should probably get better at that. I know that.” And other things I was like, “Oh my gosh, that’s brilliant.”
I’m going to share my thoughts on that after each of their answers, so you guys can kind of have that perspective as well as hearing me think through how I would implement some of that in my own business.
Okay. So, let’s dive in, our first expert, we are going to hang out in this whole idea of sources. So, we have these three experts talking about bringing in more prospects to your business and three very different ways to do that.
So, we have one expert who’s going to talk about social selling, specifically, LinkedIn. We have another expert that’s going to talk about SEO and we have another expert that’s going to talk about networking.
Now, you all know there’s more sources. And that we talked about on the episode about sources, which I’ll link to in the show notes page. We talked about that. We talked about all the different ways that you can bring prospects into your business.
So, they’re just hitting on these three areas that I asked them about specifically, because I think they give you some great tips of some things that you can do. Right away, start implementing for your business. If finding more prospects or bringing in more leads and prospects into your business is important to you.
Alright. So, let’s start with Lindsey McMillion Stemann. So, Lindsey is an international speaker and coach to top financial advisor producers.
She is memorably known as LinkedIn Lindsey, and she is a LinkedIn credibility consultant. And she empowers successful professionals to take charge of their online reputation to increase their revenue.
So, here’s the question I asked Lindsey; what do most people do wrong when using a platform like LinkedIn for social selling, particularly when reaching out directly and what should they be doing?
Lindsey McMillon Stemann: Oh, I just love this question, Stacey. So, the thing that I see happen most often is people are starting to do a really good job personalizing their outreach when connecting with somebody.
But here’s what they’re doing wrong; they’re asking a question in that invitation. And then when somebody accepts their invitation, they get all bent out of shape because that person didn’t respond to their question.
Here’s the tip; don’t put a question in your outbound invitation, wait for the person to accept your invitation, and then follow up with a message when they accept your invitation.
The second thing I’ll expand on to this question is add your contact information when you’re sending that personalized invitation. Not everybody wants to accept you into their network. That’s okay. Wouldn’t it be great if they still picked up the phone or sent you an email? I’m going to guess your answer is yes.
So, put that contact information in your outbound invitation, and you might be surprised the outreach that you get outside of LinkedIn as a result.
Stacey Brown Randall: Lindsey gave such awesome tips. I love the one that she shared about actually putting your contact information in your first message to connect, but not putting a question in that first message to connect.
So, I use LinkedIn in some of the outreach. Some of you may be listening to this podcast because there was an outreach that happened to you from me on LinkedIn. I think it’s really important that when we think about who’s on the receiving end of whatever we’re doing and what do we want to receive?
So, I think it’s important to think about Lindsey’s tip about maybe putting in your contact information that way. So, if they don’t accept you, maybe they can still go check out your website and maybe follow up with you at a different date.
That doesn’t mean they all will. We know that, we know in some regards, this is a little bit of a numbers game, but the idea here behind that is being a human and connecting and giving them opportunities to connect in a way that they want to. So, I thought that tip was brilliant.
And Lindsey also talks about the importance of asking questions. You all know if you are on LinkedIn, you’re just like me, I’m sure, where you get people who ask to connect. And then right after they connect, there is typically some type of sequence that they send out, where they’re sharing what they do. I even have one that I use.
But the point of that, and then to do that well, is to make sure you’re asking questions or sharing resources, not pitching somebody on what you sell. So, I do a lot of sharing, like, “Hey, you’re in this industry. What I teach about referrals is a little bit different for your industry. If you’re interested, hey, check out a podcast episode.”
And so, it invites them into deciding that they want to listen to something or not listen to it. And then, they can follow up with me.
So, I think it’s always important to think about if you’re on the receiving end, how do you want to be spoken to, that’s so important, Lindsey’s tips were spot on.
Now, of course, a link to Lindsey’s website, so you can check out her because she’s got some great free resources on her website, and a link to her LinkedIn profile will be in the show notes for this episode, as it will be for all speakers.
And of course, the show notes page, the link for this episode is staceybrownrandall.com/219. That’s ststaceybrownrandall.com/219. And of course, if you’re looking up Lindsey, just like me Lindsey is spelled with an E, not an A.
Okay, let’s move on to Jordan Ostroff. I’m a huge fan of Jordan. And I’ve known him for a really long time. But we are truly connected in what I would call the internet world, but we have met in person, which doesn’t always happen. So, that’s super cool.
And of course, he has been on this podcast before. So, you may recognize his name and he is a big supporter of my business, loving the message that I share.
So, Jordan is a lawyer by trade, but a marketer by passion. After launching his personal injury firm, he found he was more focused on marketing instead of being the lawyer. And that culminated into him creating Legalis Marketing, a company that helps lawyers create marketing plans that attract their ideal clients.
So, the question I asked Jordan to answer is; other than referrals, what is the best way you are teaching your clients and using yourself to grow your business right now?
Jordan Ostroff: So, when it comes to looking at what you can do to grow your business outside of referrals, I really think that all great marketing boils down to this; on one side, you have who you are, what you enjoy doing, what your business stands for. On the other side, you have your ideal client, where are they now, or what are they going to do when they need your help?
And then great marketing is the overlap of those things. So, obviously, from the standpoint of those of you who are pushing for referrals, you love talking with people.
And so, maybe that’s putting together some sort of live show that you can interview referral sources and clients and potential clients. And then you can cut up some of the clips for social media and you can push things through there.
Or if you’re trying to get away from having to be that one on one, you might look at something that’s more of an SEO focus, search engine optimization, focus strategy. So, for that standpoint, you have to one, know that your ideal clients are going to be looking on the internet when they need your help. And then second to that, you have to figure out what are they going to be looking for.
So, I always recommend talk to them, ask questions. For those of them that already found you through Google, try to get into what they actually searched for.
And then also, you can look at websites like AnswerThePublic or Ahrefs. And what those websites will do is they will take a combination of all of the searches. You type in a couple keywords, like looking for a lawyer who, and then it’ll give you 50 different answers.
And so, you can answer all of those questions in a blog post, you can shoot a video and pull the transcript. You can do whatever you want in terms of creating the content. But those will give you the topics that become the most searched for whatever your important keywords are. And I would go down and do that over and over again.
And again, I would then also circle back to my prior point, do that in the way that you like, if you prefer video and talking and presenting, do it that way and get it transcribed. If you prefer writing, then go ahead and write blog posts. And I would try different lens to see which ones get the most engagement.
And then I’d also push them on social media to try and get people back to your website. The more people that see it, the more it answers their question, the less they search after that, the better Google or whatever other algorithm will rank your stuff.
And that might be a great way for you to add on to all the referrals that you’re doing with a SEO content strategy.
Stacey Brown Randall: I love it when Jordan says that where your clients are hanging out and what you like to do, and the overlap of that is where the great marketing happens.
Oh my gosh, isn’t that so true? I never thought about it like that. And I was like, “Oh my gosh, like that’s brilliant.” Hanging out in the overlap, where you want to be and where your clients are because you can’t have one, not the other, you really need both. And that overlap is where the best marketing for you will definitely be.
And I really loved his suggestion about AnswerThePublic and putting in what questions. Putting in that information and figuring out what questions are people searching for when it comes to your area of expertise, and then taking those things that they’re searching for and producing content that is actually going to answer those questions.
And then of course, he gave lots of tips about how to use that content. You can use it in post and audio and video, you can put it in podcasts, like all these different things. It’s not to say you have to have a podcast, but all these different things that you can do, I think it is such a smart idea.
And it’s one of those things that you just need to like carve out some time on your schedule, sit down and plan to do it for probably two hours, getting the information, creating your answers. And then maybe later coming back for another hour or two and creating the content that goes with it.
Here’s the one thing you’re going to learn about every one of these experts’ answers. You have to decide you want to do the work.
I think one of the biggest issues that business owners have is that you’re constantly looking (and I shouldn’t say you, I should say we, because I’m included in this sometimes too), we’re constantly looking for the easy button and the longer you’re in business, you realize it just doesn’t exist.
The only easy button in business is the outsource button, but not everything can be outsourced or delegated. So, we got to make sure that we’re making the time for the things we ultimately want.
Okay. And again, Jordan’s website and LinkedIn profile link will be included on the show notes page.
Alright, next up, we have Julie Brown. Julie is a sought-after speaker. No, she’s not my sister. Julie is a sought-after speaker, business strategist and networking expert and coach with over 20 years of networking experience.
She helps people transform their business through networking, thought leadership, personal branding, and self-advocacy.
So, here’s the question I asked Julie; what should someone look for or pay attention to when attending networking events so they make meaningful connections?
Julie Brown: Stacey, hi, that is such a great question because that’s what we’re all looking for when we invest our time in networking events. We want to make meaningful connections.
And there are so many ways to ensure that we are doing that, but to narrow it down a little, the first thing we should all do when entering a networking event is to be present at that event.
Meaning, don’t go in holding your phone, checking emails or sending texts. If you do that, you’re not giving the people in that room the attention they deserve. You’re already sending the message that there is something way more important than them.
The second thing would be to go into that room and not talk about what you do for a living. At least not at first. We all know that people do business with and refer business to people they know, like, and trust.
So, let’s create networking conversations that help us get to know the people in that room on a human level, instead of purely on a business level. Be interested in learning about the other people in the room, find commonalities, trade laughs, make them want to get to know you better.
When we do that, we have a greater chance of fostering that relationships that you are both invested in the other person’s success and help each other do so.
Another thing is to not think that there are right and wrong people to talk to. Looking at someone’s name tag, their company, or their title and then determining if you want to talk to them is a pretty sleazy thing to do.
Even if that person isn’t someone who can buy your product or your service or refer your business, you have no idea how many people that person knows, what their sphere of influence looks like, and who may be in their network that they could connect you to.
You should do your research to make sure you are networking in the right room. And when you are in that room, everyone deserves to be there and deserves the same respect.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that 80% of building and maintaining relationships is simply following up. So, make sure your post event follow-up is on point; send that email that says how great it was to meet them, how much you enjoyed the conversation you had and then include a call to action, to continues to strengthen that relationship.
You would offer dates to grab coffee or have lunch or connect over Zoom. It doesn’t make any sense to spend time making meaningful connections if you aren’t going to follow up with them.
So, there are so many more, but I think that’s what we can start with.
Stacey Brown Randall: The very first thing that Julie said was be present. Anybody else wanted to like raise their hand at that moment and be like, “Oh, guilty. I’m so guilty of walking into networking events and being on my phone.”
And in my mind, I tell myself, “It’s because I’ve got to answer this kid’s text. Or I got to answer this email or whatever.” But sometimes it’s just the easiest way to walk into a group of people that you may not know that well.
She’s right, put your phone down and be present. That’s going to be the first thing you got to do to make those meaningful connections. And then of course, you guys know I am on point with her talking or her advice that don’t talk about yourself.
When I teach my clients how to turn someone who’s never referred them into a referral source by giving them referrals, one of the things we talk about in the training, which is called Referring Machines is that it’s about them.
It’s about you getting to know them, you connecting with them; not about you rambling on for 30 minutes about what you do and how you help people. So very important.
And that her idea, like that tip she gave about want to get them to know you better like get them to a place where they want to get to know you better. So good. But the idea there is like it’s focusing on them first because that’s what we remember.
Unfortunately, we kind of like to talk about ourselves, but don’t let the other person talk about themself. So, so, good.
Alright. So, Lindsey, Jordan and Julie all talked about the whole idea of bringing in more prospects to your business. And they talked about that in three different ways; networking, SEO, and of course, social selling through LinkedIn.
So, we’re going to move on to another stage in the business development or sales process. And this is the idea of when a prospect is in the buyer’s journey and moving them to the place where they want to say yes, and you’re able to do the closing.
So, we’ve talked about this in a couple episodes too throughout the series. And so, for this great, great advice, I have asked Joanne Bolt to answer the question.
So, Joanne is a business strategist for real estate agents with a focus on women, mindset, and social media. She is the host of The B-Word Podcast and founder of Real Boss Women.
Side note, I’m also her keynote speaker at her Real Boss Women event coming up in September. I believe it is Work, Play and Slay. I think I have those in the right order. I’m super excited to be joining her in Nashville. She does work a lot with real estate agents, but that’s not all. It’s really women business owners.
So, just putting aside, I’ll put a link to the event. If you guys are interested in coming and hanging out with me and being a part of her event, I would love to see you there. Okay. We’ll put a link to that in the show notes.
So, here’s the question that I asked Joanne to answer. What is your best tip that you teach your clients or use yourself when you are helping a prospect decide to become a paying client?
Joanne Bolt: When I’m working with someone and trying to help them decide if they’re going to be a paying customer, I like to ask a lot of questions. I fully believe that the person who asks the questions controls the conversation and you really can learn a lot about your potential customer with the right question.
So, I’ll ask things like, “What triggered you to talk to me today? What goals are you looking to accomplish out of this? How can I best assist you? What kind of communication do you work best with? On a scale of 1 to 10, what would make this experience a 12?”
I want to know at the end of the day, if I really can assist this person, if I want to work with them, because I do believe it’s a two-way street. And if you don’t want to work with someone, you quite frankly shouldn’t. And if you don’t think that you can meet or exceed their expectations, then you shouldn’t work with them.
And if I do decide to move forward in the process and convert them to a paying customer, I generally find that offering them the easy button out is the best closing script.
So, I’ll say something along the lines of, “Hey, listen up; you can fire me for any reason. Even if you wake up tomorrow and you don’t like how your hair looks in the mirror, I don’t care. Go ahead and fire me.
“Because I value your experience and I don’t want to work with anyone who isn’t a hundred percent in on this. And I don’t want to work with someone that isn’t getting what they expected out of it. I’d rather help you find the right person to work with than be the wrong person for you.” How does that sound?
And every time I have used a script along those lines, I have converted them to a paying client.
Stacey Brown Randall: Okay. Hands down, her tip about the question she uses about on a scale of 1 to 10, “What can I do to make this a 12?” I was like, “I love this. That is so good. I actually haven’t ever heard that question before. I love it.”
I think the idea of asking questions so that somebody can actually articulate in their mind that this is something they want to do is really helpful to helping them make the decision to say yes, that doesn’t mean they’ll always say yes. Sometimes they need to say no, and we need to honor and respect that.
But helping them get to the place where they can get over some of their mindset blocks, maybe they have, and really get to the place where they’re like, “Yes, I want you to help me. And I’m excited about it.” I think her 1 to 10 scale question and what can make this a 12 is something you probably should start using, such great tips. Thank you, Joanne.
And of course, we will link to her website and her Instagram, is her social media link that we will also link to in the show notes page.
Okay. Bringing us home is Reuben Schwartz. And he has been on the podcast before as well. And I’m excited to welcome him back. I asked Reuben to talk to us about nurturing prospects. Not everybody says yes when we want them to.
We talked about this in the episode about nurturing prospects. Sometimes it takes months or even a year for someone to say yes, and how you nurture them is super, super important.
So, Reuben is the founder of Mimiran. It is an anti-CRM for solo consultants who love serving clients, but hate selling.
And of course, he is the host and chief nerd of the podcast Sales for Nerds. So, here’s the question I asked Reuben; how does having and using a database help business owners nurture their prospects?
Reuben Swartz: Great question, Stacey. I think most of us have heard the saying, “The fortune is in the follow-up” and most of us probably believe it. And the question is, how do we actually implement it in a way that keeps us sane?
And I like to think of it as there’s sort of two dimensions to this. One, for an individual person when am I supposed to talk to this person next? So, whether I’ve got a spreadsheet or a traditional CRM or a tool like Mimiran, there should be a next conversation date in there so that I know and I remember to follow up.
One of those things that bugged me tremendously about traditional CRMs was if you forgot to manually fill that in, then that person would kind of fall off the cliff into the abyss and just go away.
So, we want to keep track of an individual. That’s not too bad if we only have a handful of individuals, but if we have dozens, hundreds, maybe even more, folks in our world that we want to talk to, how do we keep track of all of them and how do we decide who we should be talking to right now? And that was the thing that really overwhelmed me for a long time.
So, I like to think of it as I’ve got time blocked out on my calendar to talk to prospects, to talk to referral partners, to talk to clients, to talk to past clients, et cetera.
And then I can just pull up that list in my system, hit start, go to the first one I’m supposed to talk to, be able to see who referred me to them, who they might have referred me to what we talked about in the past, et cetera, have the conversation, take the notes, hit save, and go to the next person.
This way, I can kind of combine the individual attention with keeping track of my whole network.
Now, this not only makes you a lot more effective, you don’t forget about people. And I will say, I actually get compliments on my follow-up these days, which is a huge change from how I was before.
But it’s also a lot more fun. You don’t have the stress of forgetting about people or agonizing over who to talk to next. You just get to focus on human-to-human conversations.
This is really powerful with prospects and past clients, but it’s especially powerful, perhaps exponentially powerful with referral partners, because these are people who are giving you more and more prospects over time and you get to nurture those relationships.
And there’s no pressure on any individual conversation. It’s not like, “Oh my gosh, everything rests on me closing this deal because I know I have this big set of people that I enjoy talking to.
And if this person isn’t ready to buy, or if this person’s not the right fit or this person doesn’t have a referral for me today, that’s totally fine. We’re just going to have a great conversation. And I’m going to have another conversation with the next person and so on. And good things will happen.”
Stacey Brown Randall: I don’t know about you guys, but I’m like really busy and I actually hate it when people use that word because well, I have a lot of things there, and that could be a whole episode on its own.
But the truth is we all have a lot going on and we always think we’re going to remember the things we know we would remember. We would never forget to do them, but the reality of it is we will forget.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen something. And I thought to myself, I’ll totally remember that. And then six days later, I have no idea what it was.
And it’s not just getting older. I mean it is, but I’m not that old yet. It’s not about getting older. It’s about having a lot going on in our personal lives, in our business lives right in our community. Like there’s just a lot happening with life in general.
And so, thinking we’re going to remember to do things because how could we forget is like a recipe for disaster because we will forget. And then things won’t happen. And I love Reuben’s advice about using a database, that’s you’re going to put it in there and it’s going to remind you so you can say, “I know I’ll be reminded because it will do it for me, and I can’t forget.”
I just think that is so key to running a business that is working for us versus one that feels like it’s working against us. So, thank you, Reuben.
Okay. How awesome were these experts? I am so excited that we had them on. I’ve never, again, like I said, never done an episode like this, where I actually had different experts send me answers to questions, but I really loved it. And I may have to do more of this in the future because this was awesome.
Alright, there is going to be a link to every single person, their website, and one social media platform that they gave me to link to in the show notes page for this episode.
And the show notes page for this episode is staceybrownrandall.com/219 for episode 219. And of course, Stacy has an E.
So, if you want to go check out what’s going on in Joanne’s world or Reuben’s world or Lindsey’s or Julie’s, or Jordan’s, it’s going to be there for you. Just go to the show notes page, you’ll be able to click to link to their website and to link to one of their favorite social media platforms. So, you can connect with them too.
If there’s something they said that really resonated with you, go download something that they have on their website that’s like some type of resource or freebie. We’re big believers in freebie’s and start learning more about them.
And then of course, if they talked about something that really resonated with you and you’re like, “I need help with that.” That’s why they’re the expert. So, go have a chat with them about what it looks like to do what they do really, really well in your business by you getting their help.
These are amazing people. I think very highly of all of them. And I think that you could not go wrong.
I would also love for you to hop into our free community over on Facebook Referrals Without Askin, and let me know what you think about this episode. If there’s any of these tips that resonated with you, by all means, let me know what that is.
And definitely, if there’s a question you have for any of our experts, you can post it in that group too, and I’ll make sure they get tagged in it and get your question answered.
Alright, coming up next week is episode 220, and it’s our Q&A episode where I’m going to answer your questions about business development, about our business development and sales series. And it is actually wrapping up the final episode of our business development series.
And like I said earlier, I’m actually going through with referrals withdrawals, like not talking about referrals pretty much for like the last two months.
So, I’m excited to dive back in. We’ve got some great stuff coming up as well, but not before we get to our Q&A episode; episode 220. Until then, take control and grow your business. Bye for now.
Thanks for listening to the Roadmap to Grow Your Business podcast. To
access all resources and links mentioned in today’s show, and to
connect with Stacey, head over to www.staceybrownrandall.com.