A few weeks ago, I was in California for a wedding and I got a big reminder about the fact that regardless of what’s going on in the economy, there is always a segment of the population that has significant money available to spend. So every now and then I think it’s a good idea to just get out of your bubble!
David: Hi and welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, we’re going to try something a little different. I’m going to welcome a new co-host who will be along for at least the next several episodes to help me probe a little deeper, perhaps ask a few questions that you might be inclined to ask yourself, if this were more of a dialogue, and hopefully make this podcast even more valuable to you. His name is Chris Templeton. He’s got extensive experience doing this kind of thing. So welcome Chris!
Chris: Thank you, David. So, you’re at this wedding and then you mentioned getting out of your bubble. What does that mean to you? Cause I think so many people don’t really have a good sense of that.
David: Yeah. Well I think every one of us in our day to day lives, we’re doing things, we’re operating around a certain group of people were interacting with the same people. We’re talking to the same people and sometimes when we just get out of our zone, get out of our bubble, we’re able to see things a little differently. And I mean the economy now at the moment for most people actually seems pretty good, but sometimes you can get out of your bubble and you can see that, wow, it’s even maybe better than I thought. And regardless of what the economy is doing, even when it’s not as good as it is, there are always situations, there are always people who are still doing things, still spending money and still having a great time.
Chris: You know, it is really easy to go down that road of kind of telling a story about what’s going on, and a lot of times I think as business people especially, we get stuck in that place. But what do you do? What’s the process of getting out of your bubble? I think people kind of, well, I don’t know, who should I talk to? It’s kind of a nebulous thing for a lot of people.
David: Starting with where you are and who’s in your bubble now, it’s really just a matter of starting with that and then saying, okay, how can I expand beyond this? I mean, are there are people in my industry that I should be interacting with are there people beyond my industry that I should be interacting with? Looking at our prospects, the types of prospects that we’re interacting with. Should I be interacting with a different level of prospect people and perhaps larger companies, people who have more connections themselves? Should I try to look at things like LinkedIn and identify more of the people on there that I want to be interacting with? We’re connected with so many people that I think the opportunities, the potential for getting out of our bubble are practically limitless, but it starts with just identifying, okay, who is somebody else that I might just want to talk to? Might want to have a conversation with to start thinking beyond my current circumstances.
Chris: And when you talk about all of the different means that are available to us, whether LinkedIn, Facebook, our list of prospects, clients, I think part of the problem for a lot of businesses, is I don’t know where to begin. It’s so overwhelming. So from your standpoint in what you do, what do you see as kind of the ideal process of starting?
David: If you have an idea of where you want to be, that’s part of it. Some of this is just direction. I mean, getting out of our bubble is like, okay, well before I leave I have to decide where I want to go, just as if I were getting into a car and going somewhere. So when we think in terms of the types of prospects we’d like to interact with, the types of clients that we’d like to have, what industries they might be involved in. If you’re doing business to business sales it’s different than if you’re doing business to consumer sales. But just thinking in terms of the types of people that I want to meet, it is so easy nowadays to connect with pretty much whoever you want; as you indicated either through social media or whether we’re actually doing it in person. That I think it starts with identifying the types of people that we would like to interact with, the types of people who are perhaps already outside of our bubble so that they can then help us to get out there ourselves.
Chris: When I look at that, I was gonna say it earlier, it really does. A big piece of that is saying, “Hey, wait a minute, am I getting a little stale where I am and where are the places that I’d like to go?” And I think knowing that at some level makes a big difference in what my approach is going to be.
David: Yeah, I would think so. And I mean things like in going to California from Pennsylvania, I mean just things like the weather obviously is different. It was actually hotter here in Pennsylvania than it was in California, but the weather’s different. The approach is different. The people are different. The way that they communicate is different and it just gives you a better feel for the fact that our day to day is very often not representative of what’s actually out there. And so some of it is just a matter of exploration, deciding what do I want to see, where do I want to go, who do I want to interact with so that we can adjust our lives. I mean now we’re getting beyond just marketing and sales, but we can adjust our lives in a way to say what types of people do I want to interact with? How can I use this information to make my life better, not just my sales?
Chris: And I think it’s a really good point, especially from the standpoint. I think there’s two ways to approach that, right? There’s the, well, I just want to go and talk to all the wealthiest people in town and then there’s the other side of, wait a minute, what do I like? What are the things that motivate me in what I do in my day? What are the things that I love about my job that can help me to find that place and to discover the best ways for me to move forward and really identify authentically the people that I do want to spend more time with. And I don’t think we do much of that, do we?
David: No, I don’t think we do and it really does go way beyond money. I mean, obviously when you’re in sales, you want to be able to interact with people who have the ability to spend money with you, but if they’re rude, obnoxious, belligerent, that sort of thing, then it doesn’t matter if they have a lot of money because we’re not going to want to interact with them and they’re probably not going to want to buy from us. So finding the people that have the ability to spend money, but also the kind of people that we don’t mind interacting with. In a lot of cases, in business, we spend more time with our prospects and clients then we get to spend with our friends, family and loved ones. It’s just the way things work out. If you’re doing a typical 40 hour work week, you’re spending more time with your prospects and clients than you are with the people that you truly care about. So if that’s the case, I’m saying, how can we make that more worthwhile?
Chris: I think another thing that’s really interesting is that in looking at all these different ways we can go in terms of breaking out and kind of going to the next level, which is really what we’re talking about. I mean isn’t it all about increasing quality of life overall?
David: It probably is. And actually getting out of our bubble might mean interacting with friends that we might not have seen for a while, interacting with family members that we wish we could have spent more time with. You’d think that family members are in your bubble, but often they’re not.
Chris: Mmhm, it’s a great point. So from that standpoint, it seems to me like one of the best places to start is looking at my existing clients and just having some way to talk to them about what’s going on. I think a lot of businesses and myself included, I find that it’s hard to go back to a client and just say, hey, how are you? And so if I’m feeling stuck, what do you recommend?
David: Well, that sort of ties back into the whole idea of touching base or following up with clients. And that’s a big buzz word in the sales industry. I’m just calling to touch base, just calling to follow up and those words to me, just scream salesperson and not in a good way. I’ve got a very positive view of most salespeople. I love the profession, I love people who do it well, but there are some people who don’t do it well and I believe that there are trigger words like that that can immediately tell someone, okay, I’m not just here to have a relationship with you, I’m here to try to sell you something. And so I think that part of it is being as authentic as possible and just contacting people that you actually like interacting with and having that conversation. Hey, it’s been a long time since we’ve talked. I know you know we’ve done business in the past, but beyond that, you know what’s going on, what’s new, what have you been doing to better promote yourself or what have you been doing to create more awareness of your business? That type of thing. Finding out the ways that we could potentially help them, but doing it in a way that is engaging.
Chris: You read my mind. The word that I think is really a great one is help. How can I help you? And I also think it’s a fair question to say, Hey, I’m looking for some help. People love to help, don’t they?
David: Well, hopefully they do! The right ones do.
Chris: Well, but here’s the thing. As salespeople, if we’ve done a great job and we’re not the stereotypical sales guy, you know, having that ability to say, Hey, I’d love to know what I can do to help you. Not necessarily in terms of what I’m bringing to the table, but what are the things that you’re looking for these days? Who are your ideal clients? That sort of thing can be really helpful and really change the focus of that conversation to, hey, he’s really, this guy really wants to help me.
David: Right. Yeah. That’s what sales really should be all about. I think the best salespeople tend to do that naturally, but even sometimes the best salespeople forget or lose sight of it.
Chris: Let’s just in the last couple of minutes that we have, let’s talk a little bit about what is it from your standpoint that moves somebody from a stereotypical sales person to somebody that is a master of sales? In my mind that means somebody who is really liked by their clients.
David: You know, to me, Chris – I think it all boils down to intent. You know, what’s the intent? Do I just want to sell something and get out of there or do I really want to create or provide a solution that’s going to help someone? And if you go in there with the idea of being able to help them with a solution that actually makes sense for them, works with their budget and is going to advance their agenda, then I think that’s really the best of what the profession has to offer. When we go in there with the idea of just trying to sell something and get the money and get out of there, I think that’s where people tend to fall into the stereotypical view of a salesperson who just doesn’t care. So if the intent is good, if the intent is to help people and to advance what they’re looking to do, then I think that takes care of most of it.
Chris: Boy, and you know somebody with the intent that all they want to do is get in and get out. You go can feel it can’t you? Yeah, I know I’ve felt it. I know that and I’ve been on both sides of that. You know, and it’s not a pleasant place to be as a salesperson. And I think that kind of bringing this all the way around is I think a lot of businesses, especially small businesses, individual business owners, that sorta thing, this bubble that they get stuck in is where they started. And, and you know, as a small business I have probably started taking just about anything, any kind of business that I could get. And now here I am, you know, five, 10 years down the road and I forgot that I don’t need to do that. And I imagine a big piece of this breaking out of the bubble is really about redefining who you are as a business.
The type of people like we’ve talked about that you want to work with, what you want your quality of life to be and who do I want to spend my time with? And it seems to me like if we can take those three questions and really answer them from a place of, you know, kind of being centered and grounded, that that’s a great place to start. And I imagine that the next place is going to be existing clients and then onto prospects and then LinkedIn and all those other things also as add-ons. Is that seem kind of like the, the, the plan from your standpoint?
David: Yeah, I think so. And also just being really about who you want to even accept as a client and who you don’t want to accept. Over the last couple of years I’ve gotten far more fussy about the types of clients that I want to work with because I want to make sure that if I’m accepting someone as a client that I’m going to be able to significantly help them. And what that means is that if I bring in a client who’s not willing to do the work, not willing to follow recommendations, then I can’t really help that person. And at that point, if they’d spent money with us and they’re not going to follow up on the recommendations, that’s not a good fit. So I try to identify that up front. And as a result, what I found is that particularly over the last year or so, the quality of clients that we’ve been able to interact with has just increased dramatically because we’ve been far more selective upfront about finding a good fit. And again, when I talk about being selective about clients, I’m not talking about being snobby or anything, it’s just about the fact that it needs to be a good fit for us. It needs to be a good fit for them. And if it is, then we’ll have a great relationship. If it’s not, then we should recognize that as early as possible up front and choose to work with other people.
Chris: Two of my favorite words fit and relationship, and you know what you think about your clients that you really, really enjoy working with. It’s because it’s a great fit and it’s also a great word to use. People for some reason kind of get fit. You know, you say, I’m trying to figure out if this is a good fit. People appreciate that, especially if you’re on the potential buying end because it leaves room for me to say, Hey, is this, we both get to do this. And then the other thing is relationship. I just came from a client’s office a few minutes ago where this guy trusts me with everything and it is the most lovely place to be and you know, like you said a little earlier, getting to that point where you say, you know what, I’m really going to start working with clients that really are a fit for me. Talk about breaking out of your bubble when you made that change that had to be huge in your business.
David: It is. It continues to be huge. And I think also just the things that we say about ourselves, I mean the fact that we have a program, a course called Total Market Domination that’s going to attract a segment of the audience and that’s going to repel another segment of the audience. And that is very deliberate because if someone thinks of that and hears that and says, oh, that sounds terrible, that doesn’t sound like something I want to do. Then that’s not a good fit, but the person who listens and says, wait a second, is it possible to dominate a market? Cause if there is, I think I might want to know more about that. That’s the type of person that we can have a conversation with that we can discuss to see if there’s really a fit beyond just the idea of it and actually helping them to do it. So I think a lot of it is expectation and being able to put your message out there in a way where people either get it so that they can accept it or toss it away.
Chris: This has been an absolute pleasure for me. I hope it shows. As you can tell, I love talking about sales and marketing and I think we need to wrap it up.
David: Okay. Thanks so much Chris.
Chris: Thanks David.
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