How to Increase Sales and Generate More Income Through Storytelling

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How to Increase Sales and Generate More Income Through Storytelling Featuring Tom Jackobs

How to increase sales and generate more Income through storytelling. Start 2020 off right. Work on your sales process and give storytelling a try. It really helps you connect with your prospect. Storytelling will help put them at ease and increase trust immediately. It’s really amazing the connection you can build. Step up your entrepreneur game in the new year. It will be working the extra effort to learn. We all have a story, why not use it to make more money and increase your success. 

About Tom

Tom Jackobs  – The Impact Pilot

To say Tom has been through a few things in his 30+ years of being an entrepreneur is an understatement. He’s definitely had more failures than successes, but wouldn’t have it any other way. He sold His fitness business which he owned for 9 years a year ago to become the Impact Pilot, helping entrepreneurs generate more income through better sales strategy and using stories to sell.

Tom has a BFA Degree in Theatre from DePaul University in Chicago and holds his private pilot license for single-engine airplanes, which was a lifelong dream he achieved in 2013.

He’s been a contributor to CBS Radio in Houston, a guest on Great Day Houston television show, Univision Television, Fox 26 News, KPRC Channel 2 and The CW Houston. He is also a presenter at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Houston.

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Full Transcript Below

How to Increase Sales and Generate More Income Through Storytelling Featuring Tom Jackobs

Estimated reading time: 41 minutes

Wed, 8/4 7:05PM • 51:55


people, story, sales, presentation, business, salesperson, prospect, Tom, sell, question, struggles, listen, years, buy, audience, talk, empathize, day, absolutely, entrepreneurial journey, how to increase sales, How to Increase Sales and Generate More Income Through Storytelling


Tom, Roy Barker


Roy Barker  00:04

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests, I can talk to a diverse set of topics and today is no different. We’re excited to have Tom Jackobs with us today he is the Impact Pilot. To say Tom has been through a few things in his 30 years of being an entrepreneur is an understatement.

He has definitely had more failures and successes but wouldn’t have it any other way. He sold his fitness business, which he owned for nine years to become the Impact Pilot helping entrepreneurs generate more income, through better sales strategy and using stories to sell. Tom, thanks for taking time out of your day to be with us today.

Tom  00:49

Roy, good to be here. Thanks for having me.

Roy Barker  00:52

Yeah, yeah. First off, before we get to too far got I got a lot of questions, a lot of thoughts running through my mind. But tell us a little bit about your journey, you know, kind of how you got here. In through, you know, how did you discover storytelling and what kind of an impact that it can have on our sales? sales process?

Tom  01:16

Yeah no, that’s great question. Good, good lead-in as well. You Know, I started

Roy Barker  01:23

I’m gonna let you tell us a good story that, in fact, oh, yeah.

More About Tom

Tom  01:29

couple good stories. Like, I started my entrepreneurial journey when I was 16 years old. And not not the typical lemonade stand that that most kids and that in dealing drugs. But I was actually a mobile DJ. And I also had a string quartet. So I played violin. And so a couple other my orchestra buddies from high school would rent ourselves out for weddings and things like that, and Christmas parties and stuff in play, and then I would DJ homecomings, Bar Mitzvahs, and, and weddings as well.

And remember, this is just in my head, just how important sales became at that point, but kind of lost that feeling I get sort of the skill set after a while. But I would go through the Sunday paper when there was a paper and look at all the engagement announcements. Okay, I’d write down all of the brides to be a little ladies that got engaged. And then I would look them up in the white pages.

Roy Barker  02:50

Yeah, you’re dating yourself.

Tom  02:54

Get there. This is when phone number address was all public information. And, and then I’d send them a letter with a call to action and a demo tape. That was I didn’t realize I was doing direct response marketing and sales. And this one, this one time this lady calls up and she wants to do a consultation. So I go when I do that kind of what kind of music do you want? Because go through the whole intake process. She was like, Oh, well, What school do you go to?

I was like, Oh, I go to Northmont. And she’s I haven’t heard that college. Like, no, it’s it’s high school. It’s just like, it was after she gave me the check the deposit. It she’s like, you’re at high school is Yeah, my high school. And actually, my mom’s waiting in the car to take me home. So can we wrap this up? Yeah. So that and at that point, and in telling that story. Now, it’s it’s relating to what you kind of everybody’s journey. At some point, you start somewhere, right. And, you know, fast forward 20 years from that moment, I started my fitness business.

And I was in corporate work for 10 years. I always had a side hustle. So I always had that entrepreneurial kind of bug. But finally, you know, the fitness center was my one entrepreneurial journey are that up until that point where I had no safety net. So no day job or in like that, so burned the bridges and went all in. And I thought, you know, in corporate America, I was a mid level manager, you know, making good money, managing millions of dollars of freight. And I thought, like, if I could do that I could certainly run a small business and within six months, I was broke.

Roy Barker  04:59

Oh wow

Tom  05:02

you know, financially, broke, mentally physically, it’s just really took a toll on on my life and I bought an existing facility dumped out my entire 401k after 10 years of working in oil and gas, so you can imagine what that might have looked like. In all the Apple stock I had 19 are in 2006, which, again, shoot me. And it was what six months in and I was looking at my shoes, I remember it was a Sunday, Sunday afternoon, and I was I was looking at my computer screens, and I was looking at my my bank account, and just tears started streaming down my my face and and you hear it, it was I was 40 years old at the time and and I was like, What the heck am I doing?

I was looking at my bank account, and rent and payroll. This was Sunday rent and payroll were due on Friday. And anybody that’s been in business, you know that, you know, employees like to get paid for and landlords love to get paid. As like, am I gonna have to shut down my business. And I had to make the hardest phone call of my life. I had to call dad for money at 40 years old. No. And I don’t know if anybody’s done that before.

But it is an extremely humbling experience. And I’m on the I’m on the phone with dad and you know, love my parents. They’re awesome and very supportive. They’ve never worked for themselves. I mean, my mom’s done some consulting work, but never like had a business. And so he’s trying to help me like, well, so I’m Have you tried Facebook ads? Now I’m just kidding. But is you just kind of trying to help out like Dad, look, I know what I need. It’s $10,000.

And I need it by Friday. Can you wire that? Or like, how’s that work? Yeah. And he’s like, Well, look, I’ll go ahead and loan you the money. And the emphasis there was on loan, right? Because it came with a 12% interest rate. And I had to mortgage my house with him with my father. I like wait a second. I thought you were very entrepreneurial. This is not bad at 12% interest. That’s good. That’s good. I’ll give you six month interest free.

The first six months. And at that moment, I was like, This is definitely the low point of my, my entrepreneurial journey. And, and I was like, okay, so I obviously paid rent, I paid my employees. But it also took some of that money. And I invested in learning. Because at that moment, I realized I didn’t know everything that needed to be done in business. I didn’t I didn’t know sales. Sales was one thing that just like completely went away from me. And I invested in a sales program. It completely transformed my business.

And I was able to pay my dad off in three months. Wow, that’s really true. Yeah, completely turned around, you know, the first year of business. You know, even with the first six months of being a complete disaster, I squeezed out about $100,000 in gross revenue. In the second year, I did just shy of 500,000. I was all because I learned how to sell, but more importantly, how to sell with story. And it’s not just my own story, but stories of clients and things like that. And that’s why, like I got really passionate about, about, you know, selling from store, selling with story, doing presentations on stage to build a business.

It just became kind of that that thing that I did and over the years, it’s just grown and grown and grown. So now I I teach people how to sell from stage how to create those presentations, how to bring in their own personal story. So one it’s kind of info-taining. And, and it’s not just like a chronological story that bores people’s to tears, but rather moves them to tears, oftentimes, so and then relate that personal story back to whatever they’re selling so that they ultimately sell. Yeah.


Roy Barker  09:42

Yeah, cuz a couple things. It sounds like that, you know, I’ve got limited knowledge. So I’ll place these more as questions and statements, but, you know, I think we need to be relatable people tend to buy from people that they like or people that they maybe see themself in a little bit. So if we can take these personal stories, I think that probably goes a lot further than me saying, well, I used to know, Joe, you know, live down the street from me. And here’s Joe’s story. Sometimes I’m sure that’s helpful and appropriate. But when we get the chance to tie our story into it, it probably exponential.

Tom  10:19

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And a lot of lot of people that work with there, and I was this way, as well, as, you know, why would I tell my story, it’s not about me, it’s about my client. So yeah, it is about your client, your client needs to relate to you. And we need to find that story. And it doesn’t have to be a tragedy, you don’t have to be in a car accident in your life to death experience or anything like that. But everybody has a journey, and, and struggles along the way.

And, and also, it doesn’t mean we even need to be struggles, it could be like one of the most joyous occasions of your of your life, you know, I’ve couple stories about moments in my life that were just super, super amazing. And sometimes I dropped those stories in as well as a way of inspiring others.

Roy Barker  11:09

Yeah, because there, there used to be an old theory to that people bought on emotion and justify that with logic. And so absolutely, I guess, you know, again, as a question, part of what we want to do is try to get that emotional hook in, absolutely, to not be relatable, but also to start building a little bit of rapport.

Tom  11:34

Absolutely, that’s it. And that’s not just a theory, that’s the reality. Some people do buy on emotion, and then back it up with with logic,

Roy Barker  11:44

right. So what are some good elements? I mean, I’m a, I’m a non writer, writer. I mean, I love to write, I wish I was better at it. So, you know, what are some good components of, of the storytelling, you know, whether we’re writing whether we’re up on stage, or, you know, sitting down across the desk from somebody in a sales presentation?

Hero’s Journey

Tom  12:07

Yeah. Great, great question. So I use the Hero’s Journey Framework. Okay. So it’s kind of public domain theory. And every good put the emphasis on good I like a good movie is is it goes back to the hero’s journey. And I break it down into just a pretty simple framework. The first thing that you need to do is started off with what I call an impact statement. So it’s just a one or two sentence, intro that hooks the audience. So he’s kind of started off with a bang. When I tell the the fitness center story, I always start with, you’re sitting at my desk on a Sunday afternoon, looking at my computer, and tears started streaming down my face.

Automatically with that. It’s a hook because people are like, That’s odd. what’s what’s going on. Then, and then you can back go back in time, and what led up to that moment, and then how you resolve that moment. And then within that, you have people that help you, and then or people things or thoughts that help you, and then people things or thoughts that hurt you. And create that, and that push and pull that we often go through. That’s really that’s the that’s the structure. And, you know, we go through that. And whether you’re writing or speaking, the story structure is still the same.

Roy Barker  13:46

Yeah, and I think the other thing it, it humanizes us because if I’m, if I’m in the audience, and, you know, we, I think we all do, we, we never want to admit that we’re, we’re struggling or that we failed. You know, we keep that to keep that to a minimum to our, you know, close, close family. I guess this, you know, this kind of opens that up to say, Oh, you know, I empathize with you. I know exactly how you feel because I’ve been there and and vice versa. You’re telling the audience that I can empathize with you. I know exactly. You know, how you may be feeling?

Tom  14:24

Yep, you know, exactly. And it and again, people buy from those that they know, like and trust, right, if they can relate to you. Yeah. And this is what gets me you know, current day, kind of the Instagram influencers. And just people give out their sizzle reel all day long, you know, seven days a week, and nobody see sees kind of that the other real of life and what they’ve gone through to achieve what they have, even if they even have achieved anything.

Some of the some of the. But it’s it’s, you know, the old saying it takes 10 years to be an overnight success, right? We don’t see the struggles a lot of time. And I think it does a disservice to people just starting out in business or in life and wanting to achieve something, if they don’t understand what the struggle is and how to avoid it.

How To Increase Sales Storytelling

Roy Barker  15:23

right. Yeah. And kind of take a sidebar there for a minute about, you know, the internet, social media, it’s awesome. And there’s so much good to it. I don’t be negative Nelly. But I think as a beginning entrepreneur, as somebody that may be struggling, you know, we look on there, and somebody just got the new car, the, you know, they’re standing from this yacht, and like you said, We don’t even know, if they were even within 10 miles of that yacht. It could have been photoshopped and dropped right in there. You know, we don’t, we don’t talk about or we don’t understand. On the flip side of that, it’s like, you know, who’s Tom, he’s all over the place.

Now. I mean, this guy just came on overnight. But he realizes that Tom has been working hard, you know, for 10 years or more, building this and the other good, I think it’s a meme of like an iceberg. You know, where 90% of it is below the surface, all we see is a small, you know, 10% at the top. So I think we have to always have to be careful of comparing ourselves and judging ourselves. And it’s, it’s hard. But I think the, you know, kind of a new mantra is like, stay in your own lane, run your own race, you’ll be much better off by not getting hung up and all of that.

Tom  16:44


Detials to Set The Sceene

Roy Barker  16:47

So when we’re doing a presentation in front of an audience, it could be sales. I mean, sometimes we have a tablet or a computer we get to use as a prop. But more thinking about when we’re on that stage. You know, so many people get so nervous, like, oh, even if it’s their story, it’s still nerve-racking to talk to other people about that. So what are some tips to, you know, number one, make sure we got this thing put together correctly. But number two, just take a deep breath, relax and just tell our story.

Tom  17:24

Yeah. I’ve seen some train wrecks. And I’ve been a train wreck. But yeah, yeah, the first step is in this may seem counterintuitive, but I actually have my clients write out their entire story longhand, or on the computer, but but written word for word. Yeah. So then we can really wordsmith it, to make sure that we’re using the like words that are going to have an impact with the audience and with them. And so we go through the whole whole process, and then find the details. Because that’s where you create the imagery in people’s mind. You know, I could say, you know, I was driving my car, to the gym. And I don’t know what type of cars popped into your head.

Roy Barker  18:20

I guess mine Nissan.

Tom  18:22

Yeah, and everybody’s gonna have a different car in their head. Right? But if you want to bring them into your story, then you need to tell them what car you’re driving. So that it’s like the little things in the detail. Right? So you know, I was, and I had one client that said, You know, I was sitting in my gray, seen better days 1985 BMW in the parking lot. And then goes on with their story. And now you’re there in the parking lot and a gray beat up BMW. Yeah.

So. So we go through and just kind of longhand, write that out and practice it word for word, and just go through it multiple times. Because that’s, that’s where you get the confidence is just doing the rehearsal and going through over and over and over again. And then once once you’re up on stage, and that’s, that’s where I have this thing called the three P prop process. So presentation to performance for more profits. So then the performance part is where do you stand on stage when you’re in front of people? How do you just move intentionally? Because a lot of speakers it’s like, you know, a tennis match, right? They’re just pacing back and forth. And there’s and there’s no reason for them to move on stage. It’s really annoying.

And that actually takes away from from the story itself, or they’re stuck behind a podium reading. And again, that’s that’s a big, no, no, to do. So. But that comes with practice. And that’s, you know, There’s nothing that that will get by with with just winging it. Right? You have to practice you have to have time to practice. And that’s going to take the nerves away as well, you’re going to be pretty confident. That’s your story. So you better not forget it.

Roy Barker  20:15

Yeah, and I think that’s a great point about the details. Because, you know, something a lot of us wouldn’t even think about is like, Hey, I drove my car. But I think that really puts us in that car to where, you know, you can visualize, either you’re in that situation, and like, yeah, I get that, or I’ve been there before. I remember that, you know, my old gray car. It really ties that together.

Tom  20:39

Yeah, yeah. And that’s that, that’s the whole point is to bring the audience into the story with you. There was a study done by a Princeton University professor, where they they did a fMRI, so functional MRI machine, that’s where the magnetic stuff, and they did a brain scan. While on I think it was three people. One was the storyteller, and two are the receivers or the listeners of the story. And while they were telling the story, the same areas of the brain were lighting up in the receivers of the story. As with the teller of the story, interested, there becomes this neuro connection between the teller and the in the receiver of the story. It’s so powerful.

Use of Props

Roy Barker  21:28

Yeah. So what about I hate to say props, but you know, we have PowerPoint, we have the, with the technology today, it’s easier now I was telling somebody the other day, like, I was actually trying to explain to them what an overhead projector was with, you know, with those little clear things you put up there and wrote on. So I said, you know, we’ve come a long way, because there was so much wrong with those. But it’s all we had. Anyway, you know, today, we’ve got so much, so much access to technology, but it can be a deterrent in some if we don’t use it correctly, or we use too much too little.

And there’s also other things and I know this is long, probably the longest question ever. But the other thing is using visuals now, instead of just words, you know, basically what you’re saying, sometimes, you know, we say yeah, I know better. I don’t want to stand at a podium and read this thing. But sometimes what we do is we have it written on the projector behind us. And we’re just reading it look in the other direction. You know, we’ve memorized it, we’re we’re still reading off our slides. So tell us a little bit about you know, how the links, the the props we may want to use and then also, visuals versus text?

Tom  22:44

Yeah, yeah. And that’s the same for webinars, as well as live presentations as well. So webinars, you can get away with a little bit more text. But you know, most people are visual, right? So having a visual representation of what you’re talking about is going to go a lot further than having text. And as much as people love to think that they multitask, people do not multitask. They’re either reading the text on the screen, or they’re listening to you, right, it’s much better to have them listen to you than to have them reading text.

So you want to minimize the text as much as possible. If you can have a not really a teleprompter, but a prompt in front of you like the screen of what’s going on behind you. So a small screen in front that shows what’s on the screen that goes a long way as well. I think they call it confidence projectors that are up in the front of the stage. And that, that way, you’d never have to turn around to see what’s on the slide deck. And that by the way, slide deck, the term slide deck that came from creating all those slides on plastic because it became a deck right onto the overhead.

Back there, right? Yeah. Yeah, but yeah, visual is visual imagery, whether it’s, you know, graphics or pictures, but less is more when when, when you’re doing the telling of the story. And then when you’re doing the teaching as well. You just want to have like really simple bullet points.

Know The Technology Used

Roy Barker  24:35

Know your technology and I’m gonna throw myself under the bus here and say that, you know, this has been like it’s been a few years ago. So it wasn’t yesterday, thank goodness, but I’m good with I was good with, you know, PowerPoint and computer. I knew what was going on. So I was doing some webinars and for some reason, at this point, I was in a place where I had my external monitor hooked up.

What happens if you’ve done this is when you power that PowerPoint up, when you have an external monitor, your slide deck goes to the external monitor, and you’re left with that, you know, the thing that you were talking about kind of your guide on your computer. And so here I am trying to do a webinar. All they’re seeing is this thing that’s on my computer. So I think, yeah, yeah, no.

So basically, it’s like, you know, we even though we are good with stuff, we still need to kind of do a few run throughs make sure everything is set up the same, and then also checking out a room if we’re going to a room, because there’s nothing worse than showing up, you know, 15-30 minutes early, and there’s no, there’s no screen in this room. There’s no projector, there’s no cord. I mean, there’s a million things that can go wrong.

Tom  25:55

Oh, absolutely. I spent three years kind of traveling around the world, doing presentations for a marketing company that sold an educational program. And I had this big Pelican case that had the projector, all the learning materials, everything that we would hand out to the crowd. Generally, we’d have like 20-30 people in the audience. And I flew up to Toronto, and I get good. Yeah, I’m waiting for the bags. And my Pelican case didn’t come off the plane, Oh, my gosh, nor did my suitcase with my suit and all that that would be wearing. I just had what was on my back.

Working with the airline to try like, Where is it? How’s it going to get delivered? Is it going to be delivered by eight o’clock in the morning? So I go there to the hotel, and I’m like, okay, where’s your printer? Where’s your Where’s your business center? I need to print. But I tell you what, that was one of the best presentations that I ever gave without any material without any projector. And I closed more than half the room. Yeah. Because I think they they emphasize empathize with the fact that I didn’t have any, any materials.

Roy Barker  27:25

Well, I can empathize on the luggage, because it wasn’t quite that bad. But, you know, I’ve been, you know, back in the old days, if something went bad, if you’re on a, you know, an overnight or fly in fly out, it was you were just stuck, because seems like the world’s open 24 hours a day now. But you know, you go somewhere and you run a shirt, and it’s just like, you have to kind of walk in with your hand over the spot, or whatever’s wrong.

And it was kind of cool. The very first time when that happened, you know, had a something got on it at dinner one night, I was actually able to go to a 24 hour, you know, Walmart and it wasn’t the best of shirts, but it was at least it was clean, and you know, be able to go out and replace that. But, you know, it things have, things have become much better over the years that, you know, for people that travel and not just being stuck and not having any access to you know, replace or get something like that.

So, yeah, that kind of takes me back to to the being, you know, being embarrassed to have to stand up in front of people with the big, you know, like, a barbecue stain. Yeah, one thing I was saying in like a red sauce with, you know, Italian meatballs, were some big variable down your shirt.

Tom  28:40

Yeah, but I mean, that’s the moral of that is you always want to get in early. I always check the room out, make sure that the AV is working. Like if I’m doing a presentation. And and if I’m not the organizer of the event, I will always go the day before and just kind of check the room out. Kinda. I called mark in the room. So I’ll just like walk around the room and just kind of get the feeling of like, how much do I have to project? You know, what type of AV am I gonna have? It’s a headset, it’s a lav mic and just just kind of play. Right. And you have the time so you’re not rushed? Yeah,

Roy Barker  29:17

yeah. Yeah. And making sure even like a projector, or the screen is big enough. You know, I’ve been in those situations where it’s, you know, they give you a screen or something that’s about as big as your laptop and, you know, the people in the front row can’t even see what you’re doing. So it gives you an opportunity to make some changes to adapt, you know, if you can either find what you need or change your presentation to, you know, fit what you’ve got.

Yeah, exactly. So, a couple things I want to talk about is more. Let’s take more of an intimate setting where either in somebody’s home, giving them a sales presentation, you know, typically the salesman And maybe husband and wife, or even at the office, somebody sitting across from me where it’s a smaller group? How are they? How is that different than, you know, playing to the larger room? What are some?

Tom  30:16

Yeah, I mean, the biggest thing is the dynamics are switch now, in terms of who’s speaking. So when you’re in a sales situation, one on one or one on two sales situation, the prospect needs to be doing the talking, you know, 80% of the time, and you need to be asking questions. So that’s all the salesperson should be doing is asking questions. And then when it comes to the presentation of the solution, that’s when the story can come in.

Yeah, it can be there, you know, your own personal journey through why you started the business in the first place, and why you want to help them, or it could be a success story from somebody that you’ve helped with, so you can pull in a client testimonial as well. And when I was doing the fitness business, I always, always always had like, six different testimonials, you know, their picture and kind of their story. And while I wouldn’t go through every single one of them, but I would pick one of the people that testimonies that I had, that was most like my prospect.

So if I had a 45-year-old woman had two kids, sitting across from me, for the prospect, I would pull up my 40 something woman with kids testimonial, and then tell her story and her journey. And that always just made that connect. They’re like, Oh, if she can do it, I can do it, too. Yeah.

Details – What Too Much

Roy Barker  31:44 How to increase sales Storytelling

Now, one thing I was going to ask you is details. You know, how far do you go? How when is it become too much information? You know, kind of, where is that line that we need to watch? Because, you know, it’s, it’s tough, we need to share some details like, you know, the gray 1985 BMW, but there may be more personal things that, you know, we need to really stay away from.

Tom  32:12

Yeah, well, there doesn’t have to be a line. Right. So it’s all in what you’re trying to get to get across in the story. And what you want the audience to feel, and how that’s going to serve the audience to the best, right? So if you go through, and you’re just making this up, but it go through and talking about, you know, the the three days you spent in jail, and you got that DUI, blah, blah, blah, it has no impact, unless you put some con. Unless you’re an attorney that gets people off from DUIs, then it doesn’t have any impact

Roy Barker  32:53

at all, or your bail bonds. Yeah.

Tom  33:00

I mean, I’ve had clients that that talk about their suicide attempt said, you know, talk about if one one client that was a bodybuilder, are fairly well known in the strength industry. And, you know, she was in saying, I don’t know, if I want to talk about my steroid use. I was like, I think you definitely need to, because, you know, it’s something that I wish she wasn’t doing now, but felt bad about, and wanted to kind of go through that whole transformation. I think I was like, no, that I think, I think we need to, like really lean into that. So it’s a case by case, you know, but but if you’re just doing a shock, for shock sake, then it’s not it doesn’t make any sense.

Roy Barker  33:45 How to increase sales Storytelling

Yeah, I think the relative part is kind of the keyword there. And the only reason I asked because I had a very specific situation I was sitting down. I was the prospect and the lady was, for some reason, she just opened up with her divorce, how bad her husband was to her how it took getting away. I mean, it was this, this bizarre story that did you know, it’s like, I hate hated it for her. But it didn’t have anything to do with the product or the service we were trying to talk about.

So off putting because yeah, I just felt it was like a sympathy play that that was, what she had learned is, you know, let’s get the sympathy vote. And anyway, so I just, I felt bad for after this whole thing. I’m like, Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe he just told me all that because I didn’t he didn’t need to know it didn’t really want to know it and had nothing to do you know, with me trying to get out there as fast as I possibly could.

Tom  34:41

But she was trying to get the commit. You know, like you said, a guilt trip about I need this commission because now. Yeah, yeah. So


Roy Barker  34:53 How to increase sales Storytelling

you know, one thing too, when we’re talking and maybe it works in a big room too, but I’ve been told for it. You know, when we’re in that sale situation that instead of saying, hey, Tom, let me tell you something, because that is kind of a inferior, superior type of relationship. But the key term was, let me share something with you. And it’s such an easy turn of a phrase, but it’s just not something a lot of people think about.

Tom  35:23

Yeah, no, that’s, that’s great. Yeah, yeah, you want to, and that’s where the word smithing comes in, when we’re going through the story and the presentation and in the sales pitch, is because words matter. But what really matters more is how you say stuff versus what you say. Yeah. So that, that that’s more of the emphasis that I go through. But um, there’s some phrases like that, that definitely bring you down a notch. And you definitely want to be in the power position, when in the sales situation, whether on stage or one on one. Yeah.

Don’t Forget To Listen

Roy Barker  36:02 How to increase sales Storytelling

Yeah. And it’s so I think, like you said to, you know, when we’re in that one on one listening, you know, we we want to get our story out, we want to listen, but sometimes we could talk ourselves out of a sale, because I’ve, I’ve listened to kind of monitored, you know, it was a sales presentation, I was just listening to the recording of, but it’s like, Okay, I’ve got this story I’ve memorized or I’ve got this presentation, you know, that contains my story and all this. So we get started, and like, maybe it’s six minutes long, and within a minute or two minutes, the people are like, Oh, man, that sounds good. Okay, well hang on just a second, let me keep telling him.

And in this one instance, there were like, three or four stop signs that the salesperson just I mean, they just kept going through because it’s like, I got 6000 words here. I’ve got to get out. Before you can tell, you know, before you can tell me you’re ready to buy. And these people like, Oh, that sounds great. We want to really, how do we sign up? Well, let me just go ahead and tell you a little bit more, you know, read through this whole thing. Like, okay, they’re gonna say, you know, by the time you get through, they’re gonna say, Okay, forget it. We’ve tried.

Tom  37:15

Yeah, no, that’s your you brought up a really great point. And that’s like, when I’m coaching salespeople, I like I’ll be listening to their calls. And I had a couple that, you know, this. The, the thought process was, I need to ask all of these questions. Yeah. And the prospect was like, I am sounds good. Sounds good. And then oh, well, let me ask you another question. Okay. And that’s, I was like, close the sale, take the money. What are you waiting for, like, all these other questions, they they’re serving you. And they aren’t serving the prospect, you’ve already you’ve already convinced them, or they’ve convinced themselves more likely that your solution is the solution that they want. So sign them up.

Roy Barker  38:01 How to increase sales Storytelling

Yeah. Yeah. Because it’s a it’s a real true danger of talking yourself out of this sale. And people think that’s a joke. But I’ve actually seen it before. I’ve seen it where somebody was ready to sign up. And they just kept on talk until the people were like, Oh, yeah, and no thanks.

Tom  38:17

Well, and I’ve done it myself. It comes down to that, you’re you’re going into, most likely the people are going into more of the the features of what they’re going what they’re going to give to the prospect, rather than focusing on the benefit of the program to the prospect. When you go through the features like this typical in car sales, I go in a car, like, it’s got a v-8 that’s got this, like, does it have an engine? And does it go? Like that’s what I you know, it doesn’t look cool. That’s what I care about. When I’m buying a car, I don’t care. The gas mileage, you know, you have to fit the presentation to the prospect and where they’re at, and focus on the benefits versus the features. And when you get too technical. That’s where you lose people.

Roy Barker  39:16 How to increase sales Storytelling

Yeah. Yeah, that’s like, my, this is where I think we have to listen and start where our prospect is because I had a car dealer that I’ve been with, you know, for, I don’t know, 10-15 years or more. And I told the lady when we first started, I said, Look, I’m not your typical consumer. I don’t need to smell it to sit in it to feel it. I’m not going to fall in love with it. I’m like you it’s got, you know, protection where I’m not getting wet. When I’m driving.

It’s got four wheels and it moves, you know, forward and backwards turns left and right. That’s all I need. I don’t care if it’s gray, green, red, blue, whatever you’ve got that has all the you know the option I want, but she listened. And she never tried to, you know, kind of force me down that path. And she made a customer for, like I said, for about the last 12 years we’ve done, I don’t know, five or six car deals together. Because she listened to what I needed as the customer prospect, whatever.

Tom  40:19

Yeah, no, that’s great. Yeah. And then you get car car salespeople have kind of a bad rap sometimes. I think they’re, they’re coming coming up. Definitely. I mean, there’s one dealer, I was buying a BMW and I go in and I was like, well, I want you know, this blue BMW 325, litre, blah, blah, blah. And it goes. That’s, that’s, that’s, it’s, it’s good. But I’ve got this red 328 it’s got more power, or you post more power. Done. I like to drive fast. And I think he realized that when when I walked in, he was like, yeah, we’re not gonna do it at 325. You’ve got to have the 328. Right. Yeah.

The Power of The Pause

Roy Barker  41:13 How to increase sales Storytelling

I know, we’re running long on time. One more question. And I’ll we’ll start a wrap up. But pauses, you know, people keep speakers let me say speakers can be very scared of pauses, or they can actually we can use them to our benefit.

Tom  41:31

Mm hmm. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s the power of the pause. Yeah. In that, and that’s one of the very first lessons that I learned in sales is to shut up. Yeah. So the moment that and, and for, for storytelling as well, it’s good for dramatic impact as well. Because at some, you know, if you’re going into a heavy story, you got to give the audience a little time to catch up and can process their emotions. So having a pause. And typically, that’s when I have the speaker move is we don’t walk and talk at the same time. That’s kind of my rule.

So you, you lay down something, give the audience time to kind of adapt to that, and then you’re moving on stage. And then in the sales situation, like one on one. The moment that I that I asked the closes like okay, well, great. Did you want to put that on a Visa or MasterCard? Yeah. And, you know, the old saying the first person that that speaks is by hearing them by their excuse, or either buying your program,

Roy Barker  42:38 How to increase sales Storytelling

right? That’s what we always said the first one that speaks is the loser. Yeah, hopefully nobody loses. Yeah. Well, the, you know, the No, name forgot where I was going. 15 Wait, yeah, that that, you know, that. Again, it just gets back to, you know, give them a chance to process this. And, you know, see what the answer is, we can always come back and address objections if they say no, or I’ve got this question. But if we’re like, you know, credit card or debit, yep. And then, you know, we have the pause. But yet, we just keep jumping right in, you know, we don’t give them a chance to really process this and give us the answer again, we’ll end up talking ourselves, probably out of sale.

Tom  43:29

Yeah, exactly. And you don’t know what that person is thinking in their head, either. Because I had a one of my very first sales when I learned the power of kind of asking questions, consultations. I said, you know, this lady down, and, you know, went through the whole presentation, at the end, I was like, you know, based on what your goals are, you really need that our 100 session program, and that’s $5,200. Granted, I’d only sold like, 10 session packages worth like $600 before. And now to go to 100 site. I was so nervous. I was just like, Okay, my coach told me to shut up, shut up, Tom. And I was and then she was the lady was just kind of sitting there kind of looking.

And I was like, Oh, she’s not gonna go for it. She’s like, I should offer her 50 session. Oh, no, I should just do a free session for her. And this is what my, my thought process was. And she was just kind of sitting there. You know, it probably went on for a minute. And my head is just spinning. I was like, Oh, I shouldn’t have done that. I’m gonna lose the sale, blah. And then she goes, Okay, yeah, I’ll put that on my MasterCard. I was like, are you sure? Like, how do I charge $5,200 I’ve never done that before.

Don’t Auto Discount

Roy Barker  44:52 How to increase sales Storytelling

And I think the other thing too, is, you know, a lot of times people will be like that, you know, you want to do the 100 And then instead of giving them that minute to think about it, and process, it’s like, the very next thing is, I’ll discount that 20% for you, if you’ll, you know, we just like, right, right to the discount. And, you know, we say, if we run specials or things like that, that’s one thing, but you know, we should never discount the value of our service that needs to be priced. Right?

Because there’s also this reverse psychology and that, if you come back to me and say, you know, I’m really need 20% offer this or I don’t want, you know, whatever the features may be. Sometimes it’s just as beneficial to say, you know, what, this, my service may just not be right for you. And I would rather part friends, and have you come back to me when it is right. And you’ll be surprised? Well, you wouldn’t be but some, you know, people that don’t do this every day would be surprised how they will. Now they’re trying to sell you on why they should be your customer?

Tom  46:00

Oh, yeah. I mean, that’s the takeaway, right? So when you when you take something away from people, they wanted even more anxiety that is powerful. Like I do that all the time, I probably should stop doing the whole, what kind of discount Can you give me? But yeah, I like it this time. I like to test the salespeople. And I gotta tell you, I have so much more respect for people that say, No, there is no just in the car that the BMW that I bought this, like 10 years ago.

I was like, Oh, you know, go ahead and knock off like 2000. He was like, No, no, because if you don’t buy it, somebody else will think Oh, damn, like that. That is like, Okay. He’s right. Because at the end of the day, I mean, everybody kind of wants a deal, I think. But if you’re showing tremendous value, then they’ll they’ll accept your price.

Sell From A Point of Value

Roy Barker  46:56 How to increase sales Storytelling

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, cuz that’s where I always tell people, you know, we want to sell from a place of value. If you’re, Well, again, this is my opinion, if we’re trying to be a price leader, there’s always going to be somebody that’s going to come in below us that just, it never fails. But what we want to do is we want to sell them value, why am I you know, I may be higher than the next guy. But this is the value that I’m bringing to the table, my experience, the quality, you know, whatever that value proposition is?

Tom  47:27

Yeah. And it’s really the value that they’re the prospect is going to get out of it. And, and that’s, that’s where the focus needs to lie. is, you know, yeah, and you’re gonna, you’re gonna benefit this this way, this way, in this way. That’s why it’s valuable to you. Yeah.

Roy Barker  47:42 How to increase sales Storytelling

Yeah. Because, you know, from my point of view, I have paid more for a product or service, because I like the guy. And we trust it’s like, you know, I felt like the service, or the maybe the service after the sale, if it was a product or whatever. And I paid more money, and I know I did, but it’s because I valued the relationship with that salesperson.

Tom  48:08

Yeah, absolutely.

Roy Barker  48:10

That’s why I just can’t stress enough do your homework. Listen. And if you do the process, right, not a lot of times, you know, more than not, you won’t get beat down on on price, you know, they’ll buy the value.

Tom  48:24

Yeah, exactly.


Roy Barker  48:26 How to increase sales Storytelling

Well, Tom, again, like I said, I apologize, we’re waiting. I think, my fault I like to talk No, me too. This is so exciting. I don’t get, you know, a lot of people want to talk sales on here. And so the storytelling and the sales, you know, such a great combination, but I appreciate you taking time out of your day to be with us. Before we go a couple things. First off, do you have a habit or a tool, something that you use every day that you feel adds a lot of value? personally or professionally?

Tom  48:58

Yeah, so the the habit that I do on a regular basis, it’s just, I write in a journal every morning, that may sound weird or woowoo, but definitely the gratitude journal. So and that I do that in the morning, because that sets my day off to be really good. And, you know, I think a lot of people, myself included, you know, wake up with love, like negative self talk. And by doing what, what I’m grateful for in my life, it just snaps it out and sets a day off right now. That’s

Wrap Up

Roy Barker  49:36 How to increase sales Storytelling

perfect. And, yeah, you know, there’s an old adage that if Are you going to have a good day or bad day? And the answer is yes, it’s whatever you whatever you believe that you’re gonna have. You’re gonna you can make that come true. That’s awesome. All right, Tom, tell everybody. How can they reach out get a hold of you? Who do you like to work with? How can you help them?

Tom  49:58

Yeah, so it’s Definitely for the storytelling, people are interested in learning that whole process I actually have a little free gift. So it’s the the process of taking your own personal story and putting that into the Hero’s Journey. So I have a little download PDF that I’d love to give to folks. That’s on my my website, Tom And it’s J A C K O B S. So Tom They can download that and learn a little bit more about not only just learn, but actually put their story together in there as well.

Roy Barker  50:35 How to increase sales Storytelling

Okay. Great. Yeah. And we will we’ll include all that on the in the show notes as well so they can reach out and get a hold of you. All right, awesome. Well, thanks so much. Again, we appreciate it. And y’all reach out to Tom let him help you learn how to tell a good story. It will definitely change your life in both the marketing and the sales part. There’s just don’t think you can find anything that beats a good story when you’re trying to, you know, in trying to get somebody to do business with you for sure. Thanks for praying.

So that’s gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, I’m your host Roy, we can be found at We are on all the major podcast platforms iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify for not a one that you listen to. If you’ll reach out, I’d be glad to add that for you. Make it easier for you to listen also on all the major social media platforms probably hang out on Instagram a little more than others. So reach out there we’d be glad to interact with you. Also, a video of this interview will go up on our YouTube channel. So go check that out as well some of our other episodes. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.

Tom Jackobs Website

Instagram – @impactpilot

Twitter @tomjackobs

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Business Exit Planning, A Guide to a Successful Conclusion

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Business Exit Planning, A Guide to a Successful Conclusion Featuring Chris Younger

Business exit planning. It’s really never too early to start thinking about your business exit plan. This is one of the most important parts just after starting and being successful in your business. For most, it’s their retirement plan. Some entrepreneurs are asset-heavy and cash short. Please don’t wait until the last minute to handle this. It can make a huge difference.

About Chris

Chris is the co-founder of Class VI Partners (fka CVA), a Denver-based financial services firm providing investment banking, wealth management, and business exit preparation services for middle-market companies. Class VI’s mission is to Enable the Entrepreneurial Spirit by helping business owners get the most of out their investment of time, energy and money in their businesses.

Class VI developed CoPilot, an online assessment application, to help business owners better understand how an investor would view their business. CoPilot’s patent-pending algorithm prioritizes the different risk factors in a business and suggests ways to resolve those risks to increase value.

Unlike online valuation tools which provide only a high-level analysis of a business’s value (which can be dangerous), CoPilot reveals the specific factors that help or hurt a company’s valuation and a roadmap to help guide the business owner.

Class VI utilizes CoPilot as the first step in its own program to help business owners prepare for a sale (Pathfinder), and as part of Class VI’s unique 12-month “boot camp” called Exit University that helps business owners learn more about mergers and acquisitions. These programs are available to interested and qualified companies.

Prior to founding Class VI in 2005, Chris co-founded and was the President of the country’s largest communications equipment value-added reseller (Expanets), which he helped grow through acquisition (27 acquisitions over 2 years) and subsequently sold to Avaya Communications. Chris also practiced law at the law firm of Wilson, Sonsini in Palo Alto (he is a “fully recovered” attorney), and clerked for The Honorable Jesse E Eschbach of the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

He is a graduate of Miami University (Ohio) and Harvard Law School where he was Managing Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and he attended the London School of Economics. He is also the co-author of Harvest: The Definitive Guide to Selling Your Company

Chris lives in Denver with his wife of 25 years, Maribeth. They have three children in college and high school. Chris is an avid mountain biker, golfer, and tries to get up to the Colorado mountains as often as he can.


Class VI Partners
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Full Transcript Below

Business Exit Planning, A Guide to a Successful Conclusion Featuring Chris Younger

Estimated reading time: 37 minutes

Tue, 8/3 12:08PM • 42:42


business, business owners, buyer, transaction, businesses, sell, money, deal, people, typically, work, roy, entrepreneurs, acquisitions, capital, revenues, question, pandemic, risks, online, Business Exit Planning, Successful Conclusion


Chris, Roy Barker


Roy Barker  00:07

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host, Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests. That can talk to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully, we can shine a light on something maybe haven’t thought about. Or at the very least provide you with information and professionals to help you solve some problems that may be keeping you up at night.

Today, we’re excited to have with us Chris Younger. He is the founder of Class VI Partners, a Denver-based financial services firm providing investment banking, wealth management and business exit preparation services for middle-market companies. Class VI’s mission is to enable the entrepreneurial spirit by helping business owners get the most out of their investment of time, energy, and money in their business. Chris, thanks so much for taking time out of your day to be with us.

Chris  00:57

Well, thanks for having me, Roy. And thanks for doing what you’re doing for your listeners. It’s a it’s a great service to him.

Roy Barker  01:03

Well, I appreciate that. It’s so much fun, I get to meet awesome people like yourself from all over the world. So it’s a you know, it’s kind of the best gig in the whole world. I love it. That’s terrific. So um, let’s start off with a little bit about your history. I’ve got so many questions, I don’t even know where to start. Let’s start from the gate. Let’s start with, you know, kind of your history how you found yourself here. And then you can also tell us. I like the explanation of Class VI, you can tell us about that, too.

More About Chris

Chris  01:30

Oh, you bet. Happy to do it. And, you know, in terms of history, my wife accuses me of having a little bit of career add. I started out as an attorney. Worked for a Federal Judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals for about a year. And then spent a couple years practicing corporate and securities law in Silicon Valley, a firm called Wilson Sonsini and quickly figured out that I didn’t much care for the law. And I have to be careful because my wife’s an attorney.

But um, and so I left legal practice to start with an investment group. It was a, an investment group that was funded by utility. They were investing in unregulated businesses. And so at a fairly young age, I was able to help them develop a consolidation strategy in the communications industry. I was the lead acquisitions person. And so I would go out source acquisitions and then manage the acquisition process. So it was a pretty intense experience, we completed 27 acquisitions over about 25 months. So yeah, it’s

Roy Barker  02:47

a heavy schedule.

Chris  02:48

Yeah, lots of travel. And as you might expect, when you do that many acquisitions in that short period of time, you make your fair share of mistakes. Like, I always like to joke, I, for about a third of those deals, I looked a lot smarter than I am, about a third of those went exactly as planned. And then about a third of those, I probably should have been fired for doing. But so I I did the acquisitions and then moved into an operating role, I became the chief operating officer and the president of that business. At that time, we had grown it to over a billion dollars in revenues, and was responsible for the integration of the businesses.

We did a big systems conversion. Then we sold that business to Avaya, which is a large communications company back in 2003. And then I actually tried to retire about a year and a half. And it was after organizing my wife spice drawer that she told me I needed to go find a hobby, maybe in a little bit more colorful language. But yeah. And so with my partner, we started our investment bank, and we originally started it as a hobby, really just to do a deal or two a year. We really like working with entrepreneurs.

And but as the business progressed, we got busier and busier. So we were fortunate to be able to hire a lot of really, really great, smart, talented team members. And today we’ve got a team of 23 people across our across our business and like you I feel like I’ve got the best job in the world. I get to talk with entrepreneurs every day, we get to help them with a really meaningful and important transaction in their life. And with the advent of our wealth management for a lot of those entrepreneurs, we get to work with them in their families, you know, for the rest of their lives, and hopefully the rest of their families lives as well.

And so it’s a it’s been really, really rewarding and we’ve worked with I think we’ve completed almost 100 transactions In that, you know, in the 15 years since we started 16 years since we started, and it’s like I said, don’t get me wrong, I love doing transactions, but it’s really getting to know these entrepreneurs and call them friends, once we’re complete is, it’s been really gratifying.

Roy Barker  05:18

Yeah, that’s an awesome transition, because you know, selling a business, especially a smaller one. I mean, that’s somebody’s baby, that’s somebody’s child that they’ve nurtured and grown. And, but I think that’s an awesome transition, once you’ve built that relationship and built that trust, and you can help them on the wealth management side, you know, once they decide to retire.


Chris  05:40

Yeah, it’s when you think about for an entrepreneur, to the point you just made Roy. It’s their business is usually their largest investment. And prior to selling their company, they’re usually I call them asset rich and cash poor, right. Most of their cash is going back into the business. And if we can get involved with them two or three years before they’re gonna sell, you can actually do a lot of things. From a tax standpoint, from an estate standpoint, from educating their kids about money management, budgeting.

That you can have a much more significant impact than what typically happens. An entrepreneur might sell their business, come into a bunch of cash. And not necessarily know what to do or how to do it. And you know, at that point, you’ve got every wealth manager in the, in the world trying to get their money. But it’s usually too late to really accomplish a lot of the things that we can accomplish earlier on, if we get involved before they actually transact.

Roy Barker  06:42

Yeah, and it’s, like you said, when you’re when they’re in that position, the unfortunate part I’ve seen as you know, they have kids and family members that they end up giving all their wealth away, and still have a quite a ways to go in life to make it in, you know, I’ve seen some they’ve had to go out and get the, you know, menial jobs just to try to live in that.

So it’s so important. I think it’s also, the other thing that’s always on my mind is people that may think that they want to sell or we’re getting close. And I’m gonna let you answer this, but you can’t wake up on Monday morning and say, I’m ready to sell and put a for sale sign out in the front yard. And it’s just, it’s a lot more preparation that goes into that.

Chris  07:31

Yeah, it’s, uh, you know, for our clients, they kind of fall into three buckets, right? You have one bucket are folks that they’ve been approached by somebody. For whatever reason, I mean, they, a lot of business owners get approached quite a bit for people wanting to buy their business. And for whatever reason, this particular one, they’ve decided this is the one and I want to go sell my company. We’ll get that call just to help them navigate that transaction.

It’s a, it’s a fairly complex process. So you have about a third, you have another third, who know that they want to sell their business, but they want to run, you know, full process, they want to go talk to multiple buyers that want to put their story together and tell it in a compelling way. And so they run a traditional investment banking process. And then you have this other third, I call kind of the intentional planners, they know, hey, in five years I want to sell.

So what are the things I ought to be doing today, in my business, whether that’s, you know, building my management team, diversifying my revenue stream, you know, taking certain risks out of my business, what are those things that they can be doing today, that set them up such that when they do go to sell, they get the most out of it, and you know, get the most money and the best transactions? And I can tell you, in those thirds, we, we can get very successful deals done in each one of those buckets, but those business owners who are really intentional and plan ahead, by far the most successful transactions that we work on. Yeah.

Preparing To Exit A Business

Roy Barker  09:04

Yeah. Like, I can only imagine, you know, trying to clean up an income statement balance sheet. And then also, you know. If it’s the right size business, where the owner whose name is maybe even on the business, but he’s the guy that’s at the top, there’s always a sustainability question. And I really liked the point you brought up. Is that if you’ve got that five year time horizon, you can actually bring some management in and kind of start slowly stepping away where you can prove to buyers that hey, this is a sustainable business without me coming in every day.

Chris  09:38

Yeah, what’s interesting is for business owners who undertake that effort, to bring in a team to start to delegate their day to day responsibilities. A couple of things happen, which all of which are positive. One is that that business owner starts to get potentially more of the life that they want outside of the business. They’re able to, you know, most business owners are typically type A. And so this allows them to actually either spend more time on the things that they really liked doing in the business. Or get more free time for them and their families.

And so that has the corollary benefit of increasing the value of the business. As you said, if that business owner is the key revenue generator. Or has their hands in every facet of the operations. For a buyer, that’s really risky. Because as we all know, you know, that business owner cashes a nice check, their incentives are gonna change, and that creates risk for the buyer, if they don’t have a good team underneath them. But having that team kind of correspondingly decreases, potentially the need for the owner to sell.

Because if they’re generating good cash from the business, and they’ve got a good team, you know, they may have a perfect life for them, which is great. That’s that’s the position you always want your business owners in, we would call it being indifferent to whether a deal happens or not, you know, if they’ve got a great company, and they’re comfortable continuing to own it, that means that any deal that they do is going to be the very best deal possible, because it has to be so compelling, as to convince them that yeah, that’s better than continuing to own and operate my business.

Business Exit Planning

Roy Barker  11:25

Right. So let’s go back to the beginning just a little bit. Let’s talk about what what’s the difference in the ways that we, as a business can get money, you know. We have a loan, we have the underwritten by SBA. But we also have, you know, investment bankers, angel investors. Wonder, can you just briefly touch on all these different types? And then, you know, kind of what space that y’all feel there?

Chris  11:54

Yeah, you bet. You bet. So, if you think about, we call it a capital stack, and you, as you said, you start at the least expensive, but the most restrictive is, you know, a bank loan. Right? The bank loans today have relatively low interest rates, but they’re gonna have covenants and restrictions on the business in terms of what it can and cannot do with its cash flow. And at the very top of the equity stack is common equity, which is the most expensive, it’s gonna dilute the business owner the most in terms of their ownership.

But it’s the most flexible, right, it typically doesn’t come with covenants or restrictions on what the business owner can do. In between there, you have in that debt stack, so you start with bank debt. And then you might have third party debt that aren’t banks, but are more flexible lenders, interest rates are going to be higher, but they’re more flexible in terms of what the business can do with the capital. Then as you get into equity, you might have a preferred equity, which could have a dividend or what we call liquidation preference, meaning their money comes out before a common shareholders money comes out. And there are different players in terms of investors at each one of those stages.

So, for example, for a young business, you obviously you know, about banks and SBA loans, those, those are traditional commercial banks that can lend money. There are also mezzanine lenders, which are those folks that provide debt that may be more expensive, but more flexible. And then you have venture capitalists that provide capital, usually in the form of preferred equity, to businesses that are relatively young, maybe that’s prior to when they actually have revenues or prior to when they have earnings.

And then you have private equity, that typically like to invest in businesses that are more mature and have free cash flow, where they like to typically either provide growth capital, or they may actually provide a majority of the capital and what we call recapitalize the business. Our job as an investment bank, is usually at the later stages of a business, which is when a business is ready to raise capital, not necessarily venture capital. I think venture capitalists, a lot of times have sort of an allergic reaction to investment bankers being involved.

But we typically get involved when they’re looking to raise growth capital from private equity, or they’re looking to sell or to recapitalize their business, and we’ll help them put their story together, identify the biders, manage the transaction process, help them get ready for diligence, and then manage that that whole process to closing.

Complicated To Do Right

Roy Barker  14:46

That is so important to you know, maybe you’re good at running your business. But this is a very complicated process. And I’m sure that the larger, more complex businesses it gets even more and more complicated. You know, each one of these, you know, debt or investors, you know. They have different things that they want, you know. Of course debt, they want you to pay it back. Paid back in the scheduled time. But you know, at the investor part, you know. The sometimes people want to invest the money, and then they want to get out within a couple years. Sometimes you have these groups that maybe they want to come in and perform a little bit more of the management oversight or send their people in.

So, anyway, that’s one reason why I just advise people seek out a professional that has the understanding. Because, you know, I’m sure it’s like, my house that, you know. I get probably two or three calls a day. Hey, I really like to buy your house. And of course, they do you know. About half the price. So, you know, assume businesses are probably in that way trying to get squeezed out. That’s the other thing. I’m assuming you can help with, is that valuation cleaning everything up. Saying This is what it should be worth?

Chris  16:07

Yeah, it’s, you know, it’s a fairly, as you said, it’s a fairly complicated process. It takes a lot of kind of expertise and experience. And there are lots of different ways, right, that the transaction can go off the rails. And so having someone you under really understands. Hey, hear the train wrecks that could happen. How do we prevent those right? But also, as you said. How to tell the business’s story. In a way that’s going to maximize the value of that business.

Because we have found entrepreneurs and investors, they may say the same words, but their language is a little different. Entrepreneurs think about their business in a certain way. And investors think about business in a different way. And so helping to translate that story so that the investment community really hears the story. In the way that you want them to hear it is, is important.

I liken it to, it’s like any other business process. If you were setting up a new manufacturing line for your business. Most times, you’re you’re probably not going to try to do that all on your own. You’re going to require you’re going to require somebody who has done that before. Who understands the equipment. Who understands what you need to accomplish with that equipment. It’s no different, right. In a in a transaction. You want somebody who understands that process to help guide you. Because it’s a, you know, the stakes are very, very high. And mistakes can be really, really expensive.

Tell Your Story

Roy Barker  17:42

I think they like the story part, because we all have a story. You know, things look one way on paper, but when we can tell the story. But the second part of that is who’s telling the story. If it’s somebody that you trust, and you know. It’s in this business. Then a lot of transactions would probably sit there with a lot more ease than, you know. If I’m telling the story of my business and how great it is. It’s always better for somebody else to tell people how great you are. Than to have to tell people how great you are.

Chris  18:17

Yeah, it helps in it. I think it’s also good, right? I think business owners, oftentimes are very comfortable with their business. And they’re comfortable with the risks in their business, right. So in in sometimes that creates blinders for the business owner, they may not see their business the same way an outsider is going to see their business. And so having a third party, objectively look at the business and identify, hey, you’ve got an every business does.

You’ve got some soft spots here that we need to shore up and make sure that we’re prepared to address. It’s not just like sales, right? You want to know, hey, what are the objections that I’m going to hear when I go talk to this prospect? It’s the same with selling your company only the stakes are a lot lot higher. So kind of anticipating those objections and being able to explain them and position around them. It’s critical. Otherwise, you’ll leave money on the table.

Roy Barker  19:17

So what is our climate right now? Are there? Is there a lot of money chasing a lot of businesses? Is there a lot of money chasing few businesses? What’s that look like?

Chris  19:27

It’s got a little crazy Roy. We’re as busy as we’ve ever been. I think we have 16 active deals right now that are trying to get done before your end, which is kind of crazy when you think about it. And that’s created by a couple of different dynamics. One is, there is a lot of they call it dry powder in our industry, but there’s a lot of capital sitting on the sidelines right now looking for homes.

So it’s it’s over a trillion trillion and a half dollars, not including the debt financing that they typically use, so maybe double or triple that in terms of cash. capital that wants to invest in businesses. During the pandemic, there was probably a six month period where almost none of that capital got deployed. And for those managers of that capital, you know, they get paid when that capital gets deployed, so they’re anxious to get it to work. So you have that on the, on the kind of the demand side. And on the supply side, when Biden announced potential tax increases for capital gains, you know.

His proposal, which we don’t think will pass at this level, you know, 43%, on capital gains, that drove a lot of business owners who may have been thinking about selling, to conclude, I gotta get out before year end, right, because the increase in taxes, you know, if your deals a $20 million deal, and the taxes went from, effectively 20-23%, up to 43%, well, that’s a couple million dollars to you $4 million to you, which is, you know, that’s meaningful. And so that on the supply side has drove in a lot of driven a lot of business owners to conclude, if I’m going to get out, this is the year to go do it. And so I don’t know what that holds for 2022. But at 2021, it’s crazy.

Pandemics Effect

Roy Barker  21:11

So the something I just read this morning is that you know, product businesses and product-focused businesses, you know, had been really under the gun through this pandemic, everybody was staying at home, we weren’t doing anything. So we’re buying stuff. And then now, they were saying that you know, we’ve got supply chain issues, but we’re kind of moving out of that, because now people are going out trying to have experienced. So is this something that we need to take into account, like how this pandemic affected your business? And that, you know, if you have time, of course, it may not be the right time to do it, we may need to, you know, take that two or three years to, let’s get out of it and have some sense of normalcy?

Chris  21:57

Yeah, it’s a great question, because I think businesses fit into one of three buckets. During the pandemic, you had businesses suffer greatly, where they couldn’t do business, right, restaurants are a great example. Or gyms, where, you know, their business discuss shut down, and a lot of them couldn’t make it out. You also had businesses where there may not have been much of an impact at all. Software sales, businesses where he didn’t necessarily need to be in person to execute the transaction, you know. Those, those did pretty well.

Then you had businesses and we’ve represented a few of them, were actually COVID, in the pandemic dramatically increased their sales, we had a business that was in online training, in the real estate sector of business called a The CE Shop that we sold late last year. That business did very well during the pandemic, because students, instead of taking their classes in person all moved online. And once they figured out just how convenient and cost-effective taking those classes online was, you know, that’s a permanent shift, that’s not going to go back to, you know, somebody taking an online class.

So that business did very well, we have another business that was selling home fitness equipment, and, you know, they, they literally would sell out, as soon as they got inventory because everybody wanted to stock their home gyms. And that’s also a trend that we don’t necessarily see, going backward. People, that that convenience, the safety, and just the ease of being able to do your workouts at home, you know, it was a big boon to their business.

And so, you know, there’s, for each one of those businesses going back to the importance of being able to tell your story, hey, if your business really suffered, you’ve got if you want to sell, you’ve kind of have to be able to normalize for that hit to earnings. And that’s, that’s a story for those businesses that did well. You also have to be able to convince buyers, that that wasn’t a COVID bump.

But it’s a new plateau for that business that they’re going to continue to do well, and so it’s, you know, that it really depends on the business on the industry. And now that we’re out of COVID you start to get some proof points. Is the business continuing to do well, or is it recovered? And those will be helpful to be able to kind of tell the story in the right way.

Move To Online

Roy Barker  24:27

Yeah, yeah. No, it’s very industry and product and service-specific. But in your opinion. Do you feel like we’re gonna remain like 75% of what we’ve been doing on the internet. Or is it going back to 50%. You know, and I’ll use me as an example is you know. We ordered some stuff over the like groceries, you know. We’ve ordered we’re pretty prolific orders of other stuff. Always because the convenience of coming to your house and not getting out. But groceries, we were still always going to the store. But now that we were forced into it. We’re staying with it. We’re not, we’re not gonna I’m not going back to the grocery store.

Chris  25:09

Yeah. I. To your point, I think the jury’s out, we, we have some clients that have a mix of online and retail-focused business and the retail has come back pretty strong. And so I do think there’s a subset of consumers, just like you, Roy, where, hey, the online convenience, it’s going to stay, I think you have another set where they enjoy the the shopping and the store experience. And you know, and those, I think those businesses will do pretty well. But overall, I would expect probably a more permanent trend towards online purchasing. Because people experience just how convenient that is, you know, for those of us that have an Amazon addiction, you know, it’s, it’s pretty easy to get on your phone, you know, when you order things and haven’t delivered the next day. So it’s

Roy Barker  25:57

Christmas every day, you know, I was trying to find something in my order history yesterday, I’m like, Oh, my gosh, I’ve had something delivered just almost every day, the last month or so.

Chris  26:08

Yeah, it’s my wife gives me a hard time about the box to show up. So.

Roy Barker  26:15

So um, you know. I know that when we go through these transactions. It’s important, you know, people are looking at what is the profit margin. You know, what are the revenues, expenses, things like that? What are some other things that people take into consideration? That business owners really need to think about. That may not be, you know, on an income state or balance sheet?

Chris  26:39

Yeah, if you think about how businesses are valued, it’s really mean, you can have two identical businesses in terms of their revenues and cash flow. But if one, business is a lot riskier, right, their revenues might be more volatile, their management team may not be as deep there, they may only have a few big customers, you know, they may have litigation issues or environmental issues, that business is going to be worth less than the business that doesn’t have those risks. We we use an application.

And I think I mentioned we’ll make this available to your listeners for free. It’s called Copilot, which allows a business owner to really self diagnose, they can take this assessment, and it asks about 120 questions, but it’s designed to uncover those risks, to be able to help educate the business owner, hey, here are the things that an outsider looking in, is going to see that makes my business less valuable. And we use it in our own business, just to help us quickly assess the business to know, hey, here are the things that we’ve got to either explain our way around, or if we’ve got time, go fix, because that’ll make the business more valuable.

But there’s, you know, we break it into six value drivers, you have the financial value drivers, you’ve got operational and organizational value drivers, you’ve got customer value drivers, you’ve got your team or employee value drivers, you’ve got strategy, your strategic value drivers, and then you have market value drivers, and you want to look at each one of those to really understand, Hey, where is this business situated? Does it have you know, what Warren Buffett calls a moat around that business? Or protects it from competition? Or is it just I’ve got to run faster and jump higher type business, which is, you know, more risky?

Due Diligence

Roy Barker  28:29

Yeah. You know. Assume that at certain levels, you know. There there’ll be a team. Either from your company or from the buyer. That’ll come in and do a lot of due diligence. Walking around kick, you know. If we say in the old days, kicking the tires, and, you know. Seeing if that if there really is a plant here. We really do have employees. That kind of stuff.

Chris  28:51

He had due diligence these days, typically takes between 45 and 60 days, and I I really try hard to condition our clients as much as I possibly can just how intrusive, how challenging how frustrating that process can be it is explained to him. It’s like having your three worst medical exams all at once. It is it’s very painful, because they, you know, sophisticated buyers, I mean, we we’ve closed deals where the buyer has spent over a million dollars just on the due diligence process.

So that’s their lawyers, their accountants, they’ve got environmental people, they’ve got insurance people they’ve got, you know, Employment and Labor practices, people, they have all kinds of outside advisors. Their whole job is to come in and assess that business to see where the landmines what issues are, we’re going to have post closing. And it’s it’s truly remarkable how many different players come in to do this due diligence. And so, as a business owner, you’ve you’ve got to prepare for that. If you’re not prepared. Paired life is going to be really, really challenging and odds are your deal will probably bust, because they’re just going to be too many issues that the buyer uncovers. And you know, how this goes is.

If you’re negotiating a one off transaction where somebody has approached you and they want to buy your company, you’re going to put your best foot forward, right. You’re going to try to tell your story, the best way that you can, they may make an offer on your business based on the story that you’ve told them. And as that story starts to unravel, during diligence, as they start to learn the truth, the price is going to come down, you’re going to feel like they’re trying to nickel and dime you. And ultimately, that transaction will fall apart because the trust breaks down. So being being prepared. And really, you know, if you’ve got an issue in your business, you kind of have to lead with that. So that the buyer understands that and prices that in so that it’s not a surprise later.

Roy Barker  30:55 Business Exit Planning

Yeah. You know, in? Well, it’s hard, because like I mentioned earlier, this is our baby that we’ve you know, we’ve raised and brought up and live with for many, many years. We don’t want some, even if we know we’ve got a kink in the armor, we don’t want somebody else calling that out. But like you said, if we don’t know, and somebody else funds it, I think, you know, we can almost have to look at that as a free opportunity that, you know, somebody pointed this out, we can fix it and make it better for us, and may change our mind, we may well be like, Oh, well, this isn’t so bad. Now that we fix this, or, you know, we just need to spruce it up a little bit to you know, engage the next buyer.

Chris  31:34

It’s interesting, we had a deal, three or four years ago, and it was a business that had a lot of revenues, they were utility services company. And so their customers were utilities, well, their biggest customer was probably 70 or 80% of their business. And when we first took them to market, we knew this was going to be an issue. But it really it actually prevented any deals from happening because that that risk with that big customer was too much. And we did get we got one bid, and then we the owner said, hey, let’s take a step back. And so what we did was we worked on that relationship, we instead of having one contract with that main customer, we broken into four contracts. Instead of having a one year contract, we got it into five and seven year contracts.

Instead of having the relationship just at the CEO level, we built that relationship all the way through the organization. And then we were able to take them back out to market. And the value of the company probably doubled, just by taking care of that risk. You know that and and it was, it’s a great story to your point of pay, if your first deal busts, it’s not the end of the world. It’s given you great feedback on the things that you can do to drive more value in your business. And usually it mean, like I said, we’ve had a story after story like that, where, you know, the second time around the business has just been worth a lot more money. And it’s been to the owners benefit.


Roy Barker  33:04 Business Exit Planning

It gets back to time, if you have the luxury of time. Get out ahead of this because I think the people, again, that get hurt the worst are the ones that maybe it’s not the maybe it’s a health issue, or maybe it’s just like, I’m just over this. You know, there could be a lot of reasons not necessarily financial, or that have to do with the business itself. But you know, you can take a huge risk, a huge hit on the price just trying to get out too soon without handling stuff.

Chris  33:37

No question, no question. We we see it all the time, there’s, there are risks that you can do a lot to fix and or alleviate. And if you do that, you’re, again, your business is going to be more valuable. And to the point that you made earlier Roy. It’s it’s going to make the business more fun to manage. Right. Yeah. We’re not dealing with all those risks.

Roy Barker  33:58 Business Exit Planning

Yeah, it’s like, Hey, thanks for taking care of that. I think I’ll stay around. It’s fun now. Yeah, I actually I actually enjoy it. Right. So I know we’re getting short on time. But one more question is like, what about owners staying around is, I guess it can depend on the business, the size, a lot of variables, but just in general, is the are these transactions where it’s like, just we’re done, you’re out and you got your money? Or did they have these consulting contracts where they want him to hang around for a year or something like that.

Chris  34:33

So there, again, I’m gonna use the three buckets, okay. The first bucket are business owners who maybe they’re younger, and they want to stick around and grow the business to the next level and maybe sell it again. We’ve had a lot of instances where a business owner, you know, they may have sold 80% of the company, but they reinvested 20% with A new buyer. And then they stuck around, they were the CEO for that next sale right three or five years later. And they may have made more money on the second sale than they did on the first sale.

So, you know, there’s that type of owner who can successfully transition from being the entrepreneur to working with an outside investor, and managing for that investor. That’s probably maybe 30 to 40% of the time. The next bucket are business owners who they want to transition, but they’re willing, and ideally, they want to stick around for two or three years, because that will help ensure the best transition for the business that takes best care of their team, it cares for their reputation, it’ll, it’ll just make that transition smoother. Then they work with the buyer to find the next CEO.

And that’s maybe another third. And then you have a third of business owners who they just want out when the when the transaction closes. Now that tends, that tends to decrease the value of the business, because it’s now riskier, right, because if that business owner were really involved, and they’re now gone, you know, that makes that business much more risky. So it’s, you know, we always advise business owners, if they don’t have a really strong team, you should plan to stick around for at least two or three years after the deal just to make the buyers comfortable, because that’ll add a lot of value to the deal.

Roy Barker  36:27 Business Exit Planning

The guy that comes to closing in his tennis shoes and kind of down in the track blocks, you know, getting ready to jet out probably probably makes a buyer a little nervous. Definitely. So one more thing I thought about what we’re talking about that is what about like clawbacks or, you know, I’m sure this isn’t just as like, it’s a done deal. And, you know, buyer beware in some of these transactions, or are there actually causes written into contracts? Or how does that work in general?

Chris  37:02

Yeah, so when you sell a business, you’re going to make a series of statements about your business in that purchase contract, you’re going to state that you don’t have any environmental issues, you don’t have any litigation issues, you don’t have any, you know, your financials are accurate. And usually, there’s probably 25 or 30 reps and warranties, we call them, which are the statements that you make about your business. And in some deals, the buyer will take 10% of the purchase price, say and put that into an escrow account.

So if you’re sold your business for 20 million, they might take 2 million and put that into an escrow account. So that when you if you if you sell your business, and it turns out that one of the statements that you made was false, right? Whether knowingly or unknowingly, about your business, then the buyers got recourse against that 2 million. And if it’s, you know, big issue, they could come after you for more than that. Typically, it’s typically it’s limited to the escrow. But that’s, again, it’s it’s kind of like providing a warranty on the car, right? You’re representing this business as a sound business. It doesn’t have all these different issues.

 I don’t know about any surprises that you might find as a buyer. And if there are surprises, you know, that’s where the contract come in, comes in to determine is that going to be on the buyers nickel? Or is there going to be on the sellers nickel? And so, back to the complexity? You know, that’s where you want a great transaction attorney who knows how to protect you as best he or she can, you know, as it relates to that transaction?

Behind The Name

Roy Barker  38:39 Business Exit Planning

Alright Chris what the other thing you were going to tell us about Class VI partners, I think, I think that’s an awesome name. But where did that come from?

Chris  38:47

So during COVID, we decided we had we needed to do a rebranding and Class VI is a classification system, right for rapids. You know, we have whitewater here in Colorado and Class VI, or, you know, those rapids that haven’t been navigated before, and are treacherous. And so as we like to say, as you’re as you’re going down this process of potentially selling your business or raising money, it can be quite treacherous if you’re not familiar with the river. And so as a guide, right, hopefully will reduce your chances of something really bad happening.

Roy Barker  39:24

That’s a great visual. I love that. Yeah. Yeah. Well, Chris, we appreciate you taking time out of your day to talk to us. It’s been very informative, and we’ll have to get you back on we could talk for another couple hours. I’m sure. You know, this is an exciting, I can see your passion for what you do really shines through. So I think that’s awesome as well.

Chris  39:43

Well thank you so much for having me. And likewise, it’s great that you’re doing this for your listeners and always, always happy to help entrepreneurs.

Roy Barker  39:52 Business Exit Planning

Alright. So before we go, a couple questions. First off, do you have a tool or a habit, something that you do every day that you feel like adds a lot of value personally or professionally,


Chris  40:03

I will tell you that, for me, it’s exercise. You know, in our careers, things can be pretty stressful. And so, you know, my, my morning starts out with a little bit of reflection on kind of what’s important. And then usually, you know, 45 minutes to an hour of some type of exercise. That just helps me kind of level set and clear my head. It’s, I’ve done that for probably 15-20 years, and it’s worked out really well.

Roy Barker  40:30

Yeah, I like that even during the day, if I get blocked up, just taking a you know, 10 minute walk outside just really clears your head and come back. And you’re like, wow, that that problem wasn’t as big as what I had made it into just getting a little getting a little air.

Chris  40:45

Yeah. 100% 100%.

Wrap Up

Roy Barker  40:48 Business Exit Planning

All right, we’ll tell people who you’d like to work with, of course, what can you do for them, and how they can reach out and get a hold of you?

Chris  40:55

Sure. So our ideal client is really it’s an entrepreneur, typically, with a business that’s, you know, probably more than five or 10 million in revenues. And, and the best clients for us are really what I call lifelong learners. You know, these are folks who love to better themselves, they love to better their businesses, they want to learn more, you know, we’re going to be a great fit for them and, and they’re going to be a great fit for us.

And we said, we love working with those entrepreneurs. If they if they have an interest, they can reach out to me My email address is Chris, C H R I S @ Class VI Partners. That’s Class VI and happy to happy to help anybody whether we get formerly engaged or not. Like I said, Our mission is to enable the entrepreneurial spirit. And so even if we don’t get engaged, I love talking with entrepreneurs.

Roy Barker  41:49 Business Exit Planning

Awesome. Yeah. And we’ll include all those of that in the show notes as well. All right, Chris, I hope you have a great afternoon and thanks so much for stopping by. That’s great. Thank you so much. You bet you bet. that’s gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, I am your host Roy. You can find us at we’re on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify.

If we’re not a one that you’ve listened to please reach out I’d be glad to add it to make your listening easier. You can also find us on all the major social media platforms we typically hang out on Instagram more than others so we’d be glad to engage with there. Also a video this interview will go up on our YouTube channel so go check it out. Till next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.

Listen to more great episodes of The Business of Business Podcast here

People Buy People: Trust Is the True Currency of Sales

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People Buy People: Trust Is the True Currency of Sales Featuring Rob Elliott

People buy People. Trust. The internet has contributed to sales becoming a lost art. We have gotten use to a consumer selecting a button on a website we have forgotten how to talk to them. This may work for more transactional products and services but for high ticket items, you still need to be able to convey how you add value. Be patient, follow up, and develop trust with your prospect.

About Rob

Being brought in the family hospitality business exposed Rob to sales and the importance of community at an early age. Watching his parents navigate difficult customers and the expectations of people while at the same time run a profitable business ensured that when he moved to full-time sales roles, he had all the tools needed.

Those same tools have enabled him to become very skilled in public presenting, training as well as giving back to his community through volunteering and raising much-needed funds for charities close to his heart. Roberts mantra is “Just be you”


Rob Elliott Website

Listen to more great episodes of The Business of Business Podcast here

Full Transcript Below

People Buy People: Trust Is The True Currency Of Sales Featuring Rob Elliott

Sun, 8/1 2:39PM • 36:43

Estimated reading time: 33 minutes


people, business, person, sales, pubs, buy, sell, rob, find, call, customer, big, sit, day, coaches, bit, hang, watch, little bit, important, People Buy People, People Buy People: Trust Is The True Currency Of Sales Featuring Rob Elliott


Rob, Roy Barker


Roy Barker  00:04

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests, I can talk to a diverse set of topics, hopefully, we can shed the light on something maybe that you haven’t thought about, or if something’s keeping you up at night, and we can definitely provide some information and professionals to help you get that worked out.

We want to see everybody be successful. And with all this technology and code connectivity across the world, there’s no reason why we can’t all be successful and find the information that we need. Today, we’re excited to have Rob Elliot he is a sales and business coach, a speaker and a podcaster. He was brought into the family hospitality business, and expose Rob to sales and the importance of community at an early age.

Watching his parents navigate difficult customers and the expectation of people while at the same time run a profitable business ensure that when he moved to a full-time sales role, he had all the tools needed. Those same tools have enabled him to become very skilled in public presentations, training, as well as giving back to the community through volunteering, and raising much-needed funds for charities close to his heart. Rob’s mantra is just be you, Robert. Rob, welcome to the show. Thank you for taking time out of your day to be with us.

Rob  01:31

I thanks very much. Thank you so much again for the interview.

Roy Barker  01:34

You bet you bet. So we’re excited. You know, we we don’t get to talk about sales a lot here. And I think it’s a lost art in the last few years in this digital world. But before we get into that kind of tell us a little bit more about your background, you know, the family business, kind of how you navigated through that to get where you are today.

More About Rob

Rob  01:55

Look, I was always born in pubs, as you know, in Australia, a huge thing and my dad was actually a electrician by trade. And he was he was looking for something slightly different. And you got offered a traineeship. Back then to I get in the pubs and I think I was probably five or six I was just a little fella running around upstairs and the dad ran and owned hotels for like 25 years with mum. And you like any family business you got brought up in it.

And my mum and dad were very opposite. There was a big man, gentle giant and bless he was pushed. And mum was more of a call a spade, a shovel type of person, she was black and white. So it was the Ying and the Yang. And it was actually great because I pubs in those days in Australia, especially with tough places, you had to through what you would call putting out a persona out there, you had to be able to throw people out of a bar without attaching them and now are bigger and stronger than you.

You had to make someone feel when they walked into the pub, that they were the only person they know they were the most important person. So I watched on our loan. And it was amazing. I don’t think I realized how much I learned until we finished. I mean, we saw their power mom passed away. And we got out of the industry and I would have loved to stay in. But I stayed in the liquor industry. And I went into business with my father and his partner and we worked what we call a bottle shop.

Over here we come and buy takeaway liquor that you don’t buy anything else. So and that was interesting as well, because I was put between two best mates who never should have gone into business together. You know, and that’s and that’s so true. Yeah,

People Buy People

Roy Barker  03:37

yeah. Yeah, it’s interesting. Because you know, that bar business or pub, you know, it’s, it’s challenging, because you have to feel very welcome. I think that’s why people continue to go to the same place because it’s that welcoming. And I think, you know, we had a show years ago, cheers that probably was a little bit over the top. But I think the concept is that, in that environment, people want to go where they’re known where they feel welcome, where their other friends and mates are hanging out, you know? Yes, not a lot of people just want to go and drink over at the end of the bar in solitude.

Rob  04:13

Nah, look, in Australia, there’s no such thing as solitude if you’re standing there by yourself or someone’s likely to walk up and say get a in over chat. You right there, you’re right there in cheese. I actually use cheese when I’m doing training, the actual theme to it and people listen to it. I say now tell me what’s in the theme. Everybody knows your name when you feel welcome and all that I said, you can take that and put that into any business. Right?

It can be a sandwich shop, it can be a bed store. It can mean accountants firm. Yeah, you take the same principles that they built cheese around, which is what they build every successful business around. And all of a sudden every member of your staff is selling. Yeah, all of a sudden, every time it doesn’t matter who they come in contact with. Too many businesses today have forgotten that everybody in the business is part of the sales chain, as we call it, right?

We Buy From People We Like And Trust

Roy Barker  05:08

Yeah. And we go to a little restaurant not far from the house, and that’s fine. We go this, you know, it was a lady that started this business after her. Her husband had passed away years ago. We go in because her and the staff, they, they treat us like we’re going to our friend’s house to eat. Yes. And it’s just so pleasurable.

And I think, some of this, I don’t know, I, I’m older. So sometimes I wonder if I’m just starting to talk like an old man, like, you know, this digital age has taken a lot of that person personable, touch away. You know, I’ve spent a, we were always taught to speak to everybody on the street, hey, how, you know, nothing but more, Hey, how you doing? And, you know, I said, hated this person one day in a store.

And then I, what do you want, they were so defensive about just, you know, just like, a little, you know, just a little bit of greeting basically was nothing more. But I think that we, you know, because on the flip side of this, we do business with people who we like, I think, we maybe see a little bit of ourselves in them, and we want to see them be successful. So it’s kind of funny that we’ve lost that, that personal touch point when that is so important to the sales process.

Rob  06:28

Look, there’s a mantra that we all go live by, and then his people by people, right, they don’t buy the product, they don’t buy the price. Yes, if it’s a transactional sale, that’s fine. But if you’re doing somebody that, that purchases important to you, it doesn’t matter how good the product is, it doesn’t matter, the price doesn’t matter, the company, if the person you’re dealing with or the person’s website you’re dealing with, or the telephone person you’re dealing with isn’t up to scratch or you don’t like it, you won’t buy it. Right, right.

Roy Barker  07:01

Yeah. And always think about the follow-through because I think, I think if you don’t give me enough effort to even try to take my money, what is it going to look like after I buy the product or service if something goes wrong, or if I need support. And so I don’t think we think through that enough that we have to give enough attention on this front end to make people feel comfortable that we’re going to be there on the back end as well.

Rob  07:26

All look so true. I want to buy a new mobile phone about 12 months ago, and I’ve been with the same carrier in Australia, probably 10 years. So there’s three main carrier carriers in Australia and I went down to the shop you know, those beautiful branded shops and all it is all lovely, it’s all this little that and I walked in and saw some of the phones and I said the one of the guys you know, can you tell me what the phone is? And his eyes lit up and he started rattling off this and that and stories and this and everything? No, I I never once asked me was my plan out. never asked me what I wanted. Or a kid watching all the people will pass out the front.

Roy Barker  08:05

And I just went thank you and walked out around the corner to the opposition. Yeah, he never engaged never asked a question never did anything. Now. We used to do a lot of mystery shopping and I would have that going into the establishment and they wouldn’t even ask my name or contact information which was you know, strange because I feel like we need to know people’s names at the very least even if I’m not gonna write it down. Just so we can engage on a personal level not just Hey, you

Rob  08:37

I think a lot of the kids today have been spent too much time with their heads on the phone, right too much time on their laptop and forgotten the art of communication. And it are not saying that you know what, they they shouldn’t be on their phone and that’s fine. I’m on my phone to your on your phone. You know, that’s how we do communicate. But if they can’t turn around and communicate to people in business, what the hope Do they ever have of getting married and having a family right what are they gonna do text the girl or guy across the bar their name, but they don’t know their number. So you know, that falls over here. Right? Right.


Roy Barker  09:13

Yeah. When if you’re going to be in a successful relationship you bet. Well, as a man, you better learn to communicate, but you need to do a lot of listening. Listening. Yeah. No, I saw you know, one of the funniest memes I ever saw was this little kid laying in bed and she texts her mom, would you text me a bedtime story and it’s, it’s funny, but it’s sad in the same respect that you know, we’ve kind of moved to that point.

Rob  09:41

I was I was sitting back before COVID Hill sitting with my wife Rachel down at Darling Harbour which is the big harbor next to Sydney CBD so it links into the beautiful Sydney Harbour and it’s where all the restaurants and the pubs and the bars and the lovely shops and we were sitting there looking at over Sydney Harbour the most It is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And a seafood restaurant. Great view. And we looked out at the table makes to us there was two, there was three millennials. I think they spoke five or six times the whole time or on the phone. Yeah. They weren’t, they weren’t experiencing life. They weren’t watching what was going on around them. Yeah. So sad.

Roy Barker  10:21

And when we go out, that’s one of our experiences. As you know, that’s time we put all the phones away, and we get to set and interact, enjoy the environment, and everything around us, it’s so important to me, let me just say that it’s important to me to feel fulfilled in life. And I guess that I’m like, you, it’s hard to see people go out to eat and, you know, they’re just both on their phone text and, and not even paying attention to each other, you could have stayed home and had TV dinner for that.

Rob  10:47

Well, I might as well I’ve seen staff in shops doing the same thing and saying, hang on a minute, I’m just finishing my text.

Roy Barker  10:54

So, um, you know, this. The other thing I think that the internet has brought us is instant gratification. And I see this a lot in the sales process. But, you know, there, we used to kind of use the agrarian model, say that you had to plant the seed, then you had cultivated, and then you harvested. And I think all the times that we’ve skipped from really not even planting the seed, we just go straight to the harvest, like, you know, are you ready to buy? Oh, can I get you to sign up and think that, you know, we’re missing so much in the middle there.

Rob  11:31

I think there’s two sides of the story, the customers, especially the younger customers, do have a shorter attention span. And so if you don’t get them very quickly, you don’t get them at all. And that’s the way they are. But when someone shows him as what we call a bit of love, they respond very quickly. I if you get a someone who’s never been in sales before or just started out, and they get hung up to get this sale inside them, they jump from the start to the end, they forget is what we call discovery. They forget to ask the person Why are you making the purchase?

What is it is this important about the purchase, and you can do that in a five-minute transaction in a shop that sells shoes, or you can do it in somebody’s gonna buy a car, right? It just comes down to practice, and it just comes down to opening your eyes and your ears. And when we were given two ears, you know, we’ll give him you know, one mouth for a reason. And that’s exactly how much you should talk. Yeah,

Don’t Information Dump

Roy Barker  12:27

yeah, no, I love that reference about the two ears and one mouth, because a lot of times as sales, you know, we think we have to do an information dump. And if I see your lips moving a little bit, I need to talk faster, because I gotta get, I gotta get all this stuff man, and Hatcher be detrimental. I‘ve listened to some calls that you hear salespeople, you know, what I call run through a stop sign. And this was the this was like a senior living community where the goal of the phone call was to get somebody to come visit.

And so the salesperson was going through and you know, after a couple minutes, she’s like, Oh, yeah, this sounds good. We really need to come visit. You know, I mean, that’s like the answer. Okay, well, if you could just hang on just a minute, I want to tell you, and she kept going. Yes. And then the customer or the prospect again said, Yeah, you know, all this sounds fantastic. We just really needed to set a time when you’re going to be there and come visit. Okay. And you know, we also offer this and she just kept ongoing.

And so I think we have to, again, this gets back to that good listening, that we have to listen for the signs that they’ve got the information that they need or feel like they need and a lot of it depends on our goal. But like in this, she was wet, ready and willing to come in where we could be face to face. But salesperson had a script, I’m sure that they were just felt like if I don’t get through the script, I haven’t done my job. We call it overselling.

Rob  14:00

We people, a person stops listening, just keeps going. And I think we’ve all been guilty of it from time to time, especially when we first started out in the industry. Yeah, you just get excited. You just keep going. I’ve got to tell him this, I’ve got to tell her that. I’ve got to do this. And all the time the person is just saying I’m ready to buy.

Roy Barker  14:19

Right. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I’m talking about discovery. It depends. You know, I think if we’re selling lower price products and services, people are willing to gamble. I would, you know, I would buy a $10 product or service and take a chance that it’s going to be okay, but when we start talking about, you know, 5000 10,020 $5,000 products and services, typically not a one touch, you know, close the deal type scenario.

And so, when we talk about discovery, it’s not only so we can win my opinion is not only so we can kind of pitch our conversation to the needs and the wants of the individual. But if we’re thoughtful enough, we can get some good information for follow up, because the chances that we’re going to need to follow up with the phone call or an email is highly likely. And instead of just saying, hey, Robert, this is Roy, talk to you last week, are you ready yet? You know that, and I still get those calls to this day.

But we can say, Hey, you know, I know that you go out the you know, you go out to eat by the harbor, you’d like to go out down there and sit and have dinner, you know, we have a little bit of personal information that we can actually have a conversation with. Look, the best people that do this are the real estate agents if they’re trained, right?

Rob  15:45

If you ever watch like million dollar listing New York or LA, they have guys and ladies on there that are different levels, but most of them are multimillionaires themselves. But a well-trained real estate agent will turn around and say to you if you’re visiting your home, so what do you like about the home? And you’ll start saying this, but automatically, Simon also what they don’t like, and people don’t realize is what they’re doing is they’re not trying to do anything wrong. They’re qualifying you. So if you don’t like this home, I’ve got this other one, right.

Give us your email, give us your name. I’ll send you over the details. And if you want to have a look at it, let me know. And we’ll put you in, that means he doesn’t lose the sale. She doesn’t lose a sale. Right? And it’s exactly what you’re talking about. You get that little bit more information. We call them open questions. Never a closed question in sales always open never yes or no. Right. And unless you’re closing.


Roy Barker  16:44

Yeah, and I think this even plays into if we lose the opportunity up front and talking about a real estate. You know, I’ve got a great example that happened a few years ago, where I was selling a house, I interviewed a couple of agents found one I like she was young. She was an older person, but young in the business. And she just seemed very hungry and very eager. So I ended up going with her. And things just didn’t work out. It was a total disaster. But there was one lady, one of these five people that I had initially talked to, when I told her, you know, sorry, I’m going with this other person, she never quit.

She never called me and said, You don’t need to take this over. But she would send me information. Here’s some information about the market in your area. I thought you might find this useful. And even would send me like a recipe. You know, this was around the holidays. So she had sent me, you know, like a cider recipe or something. But this lady dripped on me every week. And guess what? When this other deal blew up? She was top of mind. She’s who I called him, she can market herself to me like this. What can she do with my home?

Rob  18:01

Look 100% right, they made the best way to sell is not to sell? Yes. She didn’t sell. But she sold. Right. She put she kept herself in front of you. Yeah. It also means that when you went to sell, you’re going to be looking for something. Guess who was the first person you’re gonna call to help you find a new place? It’s going to be her.


Roy Barker  18:22

Yep. And I think this resonates through a lot of industries that maybe I’m just not ready. I may love your price on a love your product. But you know what, it’s just not the time for me, I’ve got either other expensive things that I’m purchasing or the thing that you’re selling. Mine is not worn completely out yet. But and so what I guess where people you know, they make the one phone call, and then they quit.

They’re not there. And that’s one thing I try to teach is that it’s so important just to keep dribbling because you never know when they’re going to be ready. We can’t anticipate but they’re gonna go with who their top of mind with not. Remember you may be from six, eight months or a year ago and try to think back on who that guy was.

Rob  19:10

Well, if anyone listens, especially your American audience, Tom Brady, he was the third quarterback when he started out and all he did was hang around, kept training. He did the stuff before and after he picked up after everyone. He just hung in me. Yeah. And when the opportunity came and the number two was was was couldn’t do it. He got in and look at he Yeah. You just got to hang around without without going over the top without being a pest.

Patience and Hard Work

Roy Barker  19:40

Right. Yeah, we just lost a an awesome musician who’s actually from here in Texas. Dusty Hill with ZZ Top. I don’t know if you if you’ve ever heard of them but so anyway, he unexpectedly passes away and there’s a guitar tech it’s been his his He has been his guitar tech for 30 years. Wow. And that was dusty, evidently from raw I have read that was his last request is that my guitar tech take over this position.

So 30 years as a guitar tech behind the scenes, and now one day, you know, they’re not as big as they weren’t my youth. But still, it’s a pretty well known name that he has stepped up to be on stage. So I think that you know, the perseverance and just never giving up. But also having that knowing where the middle is, of being a pest, and being consistent, because there is a fine line in between there.

Rob  20:40

I mean, if you want to, we’re now we’re in the middle of the Olympics. At the moment, you’ve only got to look back to the Winter Olympics two years ago with Steven Bradbury from Australia, who was sitting fifth in the ice skating, and everyone in front of him fell over. And he skated through and got the gold. Yeah, he was good enough to be there. He just waited for his opportunity. And that’s no different in sales or business. Right?

Roy Barker  21:04

Right. So what is your strategy? If you’re reaching out to people cold? Are you? Are you more of an educator, I find myself being more trying to educate people, not only in the beginning, but also, you know, as we go through time.

Rob  21:21

Look, I, when I first meet someone, I just asked a few questions how their business is going, and they got new challenges, and I listen, and I never take a client on that I can’t help. But I’ll help them find someone who’s best for them. Because we’re coaches and advisors, coaches aren’t experts. But what we just like the casual football side, or a cricket side, or whatever your sport or business you’re in. The person who knows their business the most is the person who and they know how to cook the cake.

They know how to do the books. So what we do is we sit there and listen and watch, and then help them discover the best solutions for what they’re doing. And then if we can’t find it, and they can’t find it, we go out and find it for them. So I like to find just one thing that they need help with. Yeah. And it’s and it’s like, I suppose you call it the chink in the armor. But if I can help someone just fix that one thing that can turn their whole business around, well, that’s I’ve done my job and actually puts a big smile on my face as well. You know,

People Behind Successful People

Roy Barker  22:24

and sometimes we just need somebody to talk to and talk things through. I think it makes a there’s a couple big, larger than life personalities, you know, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that they had other people that they worked with, in the beginning, they kind of rose to the top and were the public figure. But you know, for me personally, it’s always good to have somebody I can trust to bounce ideas off. Or, you know, when you get down say, well, this thing is really crushing me. You just get a little bit of a lift. Anyway, it to me, it’s very important. They’ve all got couches. Yeah.

Rob  23:10

People behind the people, right? They’ve all got mentors, coaches and advisors. Every single one of them. Yeah. Even Tony Robbins. He’s one of the best known coaches in the world has got coaches. Got a coach? Yeah. Because as we say, in Australia, you got to have someone that’s willing to call you out. We say a little bit differently, but I’ll keep up the polite version. You got to have someone and it can be a maid that just sits you sit there and talk to Yeah, it can be a friend, it can be another business person in the same business as you and you become each other’s Yeah. And then and then that’s when you start to after that you’d start looking for getting professional coaches in that really can save you time and money.

Roy Barker  23:53

Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s an important point that you make is you don’t want somebody that’s just a yes man or not, you know, you’re the best You’re doing great. Keep on I mean, you know, we need that cheerleading for sure. But, you know, if I tell you that, you know, I want to sell ice cream, you know, down around the equator, you know, with no electricity, the keep the stuff frozen. You need somebody that’s going to say is that really, you know, the best use of resources?

Rob  24:24

I’ll look, I’ve said I’ve had people come to me complaining about their opposition, doing so much better than them. And I said, so why? And they start making excuse after excuse now, it’s a setup because when we asked a user word why a person goes into what we call justification mode. So if you’re doing one on one personally, personal coaching you don’t use that word. He is what made you or you will use other words, so either internal or inside of them, so they’re obviously doing something you’re not what is it and you know, Watch the blood drain out of the face. And I get why I get a bit clammy. Because we’ve called him up. And there is always something else.

Sell On Value, Not Price

Roy Barker  25:10

Right? Right. Yeah, cuz like we were talking about earlier, if even if you’re dealing, if you’re dealing with somebody that you like, and you trust them, I’ll tell you personally, I’ll pay a premium for that, because it’s hard to find. And because I see a lot of, you know, most sales, people that are struggling, the first thing they talk about is, well, this other company is undercutting me. And so, you know, typically, it’s always pricing-related. But, you know, what I say to and I’ll get your opinion on this is, if you’re competing on price, you’re, you’re in a losing situation, because there will always be somebody trying to come along and undercut you, we have to try to sell on value, what value do we bring to this problem that we’re trying to solve?

Rob  25:56

will look, if you want to look at analogy there, I completely agree is cars. If that was the case, you would only have cheap Chinese Kia, ion di cars around, and Mercedes and BMW would be out of business. Right? So they all do the same thing. They all get you from one place to another. Right. But, you know, it’s it’s a case of you get what you buy, you get what you pay for. Right? And it’s got nothing to do with price Really? In the end? Yeah,

Roy Barker  26:26

yeah. Yeah, it’s usually typically what I’ve seen. And it’s our messaging is that, you know, we, we need to really take the time to explain our value proposition, what we bring to the table, how we can help you, and then how, you know, if your follow up, what your follow up is, anyway, a lot of room in there to work besides just what’s the price,

Rob  26:47

and you’ve also got to be willing to walk away, if a customer’s fixated on price, he’s gonna want your best of everything for nothing. So I tell people walk away. Yeah,

Roy Barker  26:57

I was just fixing to bring, I just jotted that down when you earlier, when you said you’d like to, you know, the people you’d like to work with is that it’s important that we have people that are on our same philosophy level. Because if not, what I find is it just you can make a bad customer, you can make a customer that drains your time, drains your energy, and you end up firing later in the process anyway. And so, you know, like the price thing, I find this interesting, because of the law of, I guess of scarcity is that sometimes when you say, maybe this just really isn’t for you. And then all of a sudden, you know, when it’s about 50% of these people, then they get their backup? Well, I’ll prove to you why it’s for me.

Rob  27:49

Look, people do attract people who are very similar to them. Yeah, that’s natural. And we can call it nation, you can even call it you will want to do business with people who are close to who you are. And I’m not talking about selling your hammer and getting those, you know, those small transactional sales, but you will find people in any type of service business. Normally their customers are aligned very close to who they are and what they stand for without them even knowing it. And the universe has a funny way of delivering to you those who see. Yeah.

Roy Barker  28:27 People Buy People: Trust

Yeah, it’s interesting that and I guess the converse of that is, we also need to be careful who we surround ourselves with, because, again, I’ll let you speak to it. But typically, we are the, the average wage earner of everybody who we surround ourselves with,

Rob  28:49

how lucky you are and all you’ve heard it so many times you are the five people you surround yourself with. People think it’s a cliche, it’s actually not it’s fact. Yeah. You can learn so much if you’ve got a good support group around you, you can learn so much and support each other. And I said to someone was Annie the other day, they were talking about our had a really good week, and I’d went down to the pub and all that and one of the guys was a bit of a negative Nelly. And I went I said, you know, what was his point knew I Oh, you’ll never be any good.

This is as good as you’re gonna get. I said dumping. So what do you mean, it’s a dumping? I said, All he is is a black hole. It’s sucking all your positive energy out and leaving you with negative, right? I said, you don’t need him in your life. I said, He’s your he’s putting self-doubt into you. And that’s the same in business. You can have your personal friends and your business friends. Your Business friends are there to support you. If they’re not being that way. I know it’s brutal, but you need to surround yourself with people who are gonna lift you up.

It’s an assignment to add basis if you’re working with people. Don’t hang out with people who sit there and moan and groan at the office cooler about how everyone’s bad Hang out with the guys who are quietly sitting down the back, getting their budgets, having a good time. And with a big smile on their face.

Roy Barker  30:08 People Buy People: Trust

Yeah. Yeah, definitely good advice. So we’re getting close on time, what are some other tips that you’d like to, you know, give out to people in the sales area?

Rob  30:22

Look, I believe in also giving without expectation. And I looked at two ways, don’t be afraid to provide value to someone, even if they’re not going to buy for you. Because that person that may not buy off, you may refer, right? Someone tunes Hello, this guy’s honest, he’s good guy to him. Yeah, I also believe strongly being part of your community. And I don’t mean picking a charity and donating money, just so you can put it on your website to say hi, right? Find a charity or cause it can be helping out the local baseball club, it can be helping out homeless youth, it doesn’t matter. Yeah. Get and be part of your community.

But if you do it very quietly, people will notice you might not think so. Yeah, but they they look over, they say you know what, he owns a local bead store. And he’s Danny helping us give out meals and look after the homeless, but he’s not seeking anything for it. And without, you will get back three or fourfold without a blink. So that’s just one of my mantras. And the last one is, of course be you don’t try and be someone you’re not.


Roy Barker  31:32

That’s one of my favorite sayings is be you everybody else’s taken. You get it? You know, I think that, you know, the bigger point of what I just heard you say is that, you know, we kind of even getting back to the people, we surround ourselves and we, we really are that energy, you know, we we whatever we put out in the world, that is what we get back.

And that’s kind of careful to, to pick that. But the other interesting thing about, you know, even providing value to people that may not be your customer, because I hear people scared, like, Oh, I don’t want to give this away, you know, the secret sauce and don’t want to tell them too much. They may do it themselves. And you know, my point always is, if they’re going to do it themselves, they’re going to do it themselves.

Whatever you tell them, they help them a little bit. The other thing though, at giving information is we may actually educate somebody why they shouldn’t try to do it themselves that, you know, if there’s little intricacies or, you know, like myself, I’m a do it yourselfer. But when I get jammed up, you know, I think about the people that have helped me along the way, you know, and I call them to come, you know, clean up this mess that I’ve, unfortunately, we’re all guilty of that from time to time, right.

But we don’t like to admit it, we mean, yeah. Thanks. Rob, I appreciate you taking time out of your day to be with us. It’s been awesome speaking with you. What is a tool or a habit? What is something that you use in your daily life that you feel adds a lot of value?

Rob  33:12

I think one of the most important things is is I call it taking time for yourself. Everyone should take 10 minutes every day, turn the phone off. Fine. I’ve got a favorite spots and a couple of parties, I can just sit turn everything off radio, put a little bit of music on and just chill. Now, I call it a reset, especially if you’re having one of those days where things just aren’t going right. Right? Or take the time to celebrate a good week. But take five to 10 minutes to be you to look after you every day. And I’ll tell you what, within a month, you’ll be a different person. Yeah.

Wrap Up

Roy Barker  33:54 People Buy People: Trust

Self Care is so important. You know, a lot of us are guilty of, you know, being givers we want to give and get but we can’t give our best if we’re not at our best. So 100% 100% All right, awesome. Well, that’s good advice to those out there. So I certainly do appreciate that. So tell everybody, who do you like to work with? How can you help them? And of course, how can they reach out and get a hold of you.

Rob  34:20

I like to work with people who are open, who are willing to be honest, who just want to improve and be better at what they do. Doesn’t matter what their business is. I like them to be able to come to me and go, hi Rob. This is where I’m at. How can you help me or how can we work together? And that means more to me than anything. He then after that? Look, I say look can look my website, you know Rob have a look on my Instagram, you know, see what you do. And then come back to me with four or five things that are concerning you in your business or concerning you in sales. Okay, and then we’ll sit down work through But pretty relaxed, very chilled. But also I’m not here to be your friend.

Roy Barker  35:06 People Buy People: Trust


Rob  35:06

But I mean, that’s where people use You said yourself before you can employ anyone to, to buy smoke to tell you how good you are. Or you can sit say with someone and go, what do I need to improve? And the very what we call brutally honest. Right, right. And you’ve got to be brutally honest and being brutally honest to me. It’s showing love. Yeah. And I do I everything I say to someone comes from the right place. So that’s how I look at people and I manifest them and they come to me.

Roy Barker  35:35 People Buy People: Trust

Yeah. No, I think that’s the important the outlet that we come to you with that, you know, we have to be wanting that help and want really get to the root if, if all I need to know is how good I am like to go see my mother. She’ll tell me that. She’ll tell me that every job. Yeah, my mom was also good at telling me the other side. All right, Rob. Well, thanks so much for taking time out of your day y’all reach out to Rob see how he can help you.

You know, get your business on track help you in that sales process. I know he do work wonders for you. So again, thanks so much. that’s gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host Roy. You can find us at We’re on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify, we’re on all the major social media platforms, as well hang out on Instagram a little bit more. And then also a video of this interview will go up on our YouTube channel. So go check that out. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.

Rob Elliott Website

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Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important To Being Charming and Disarming

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Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important To Being Charming and Disarming Featuring Salman Raza

Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important. Being self-aware is key to a lot of things in life. We also need to be very aware of others we are wanting to communicate with and build relationships with. We have to take into account the individuals, cultural differences, surroundings, social, emotional, and behavioral theories to be successful in relationship building.

About Salman

Salman is a Biomedical Engineer by qualification, an Auditor by profession, and a reformist and visionary at heart. He has lived on four continents and worked in thirty countries. The diversity and experiences afforded him an insight into working with different cultures, values, and personality types.

He leads trainings and workshops on the enclosed subjects; meeting and teaching a thousand new people every year. With decades of experience, Salman’s work provided him with a better understanding of our various emotions and behaviors. Now these practices are found in one place


Razalution Website

Salman Raza Website

Listen to more great episodes of The Business of Business Podcast here

Full Transcript Below

Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important To Being Charming and Disarming Featuring Salman Raza

Sat, 7/31 2:36PM • 54:59

Estimated reading time: 39 minutes


societies, ego, business, countries, people, culture, absolutely, personality, vision, world, china, individual, important, book, higher, smiling, lead, index, understand, Houston, Self-Awareness, Self-Efficacy are important, Charming and Disarming


Salman, Roy Barker


Roy Barker  00:03 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host Roy. Of course we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests speaking to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we can shine a light on something maybe you haven’t thought about to help you be successful or if you have something that’s keeping you up at night.

We’d be glad to hope you can use the information that we’re presenting and rely on our professionals that we have to help resolve that we want to see everybody be successful. Today we are pleased to have with us Salmon Raza, he is on Well, he’s the owner of Razalution which awesome name by the way, but he’s also the author of “Life’s Non-Conformities: An Auditor’s Tale of Practical Application of Social, Emotional and Behavioral Strategies.” He is Salman is a biomedical engineer by qualification, an auditor by profession, and a reformist and visionary at heart. He has lived on four continents and worked in 30 countries.

The diversity and experiences afforded him an insight into working with different cultures, values, and personality types. He leads trainings and workshops, meeting and teaching 1000 new people every year with decades of experience. Salman’s work has provided him with better understanding of various emotions and behaviors. Now these practical prac now these practices are found in one place in his new book again Life’s Non-Conformities. Salman, welcome to the show. And thank you for taking time out of your day to be with us. Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important.

Salman  01:47

Thank you, thank you for having me.

Roy Barker  01:48 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

So you’ve had a long and long and winding road, like for you can’t tell us you know, how you got here from a biomedical engineer to to an auditor? That’s quite a leap.

More About Salman

Salman  02:01

It isn’t it is not. Because I I’m in medical device regulations. So biomedical engineering led me to medical device regulations. And then I became auditor, a medical device regulatory auditor. that enabled me to travel the world and interact with different people, different sized companies from billion-dollar company to a one-man-band. So, and all sorts of emotions along the way.

Roy Barker  02:34 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Yeah, four continents and 30 companies. I mean, that’s four, and I’m sorry, four continents in 30. Countries that so that’s quite expansive. Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important. And I’m sure that you know, making that journey, the different cultures, just like you said, the personalities, the practices, I know that you have to be very careful, because we have a reference of our country and our practices, but when you step in somebody else’s country, they may have a whole different protocol.

Salman  03:03

Oh, yeah, absolutely. And, and a lot of focus in the business world, remains on the technical side of things, and the functional side of things, and a lot of soft skills and soft aspects of human interaction. After all, we are all human. And that, unfortunately, get overlooked. A lot of times, we don’t achieve our business goals because of overlooked soft skills. And that’s what we are trying to bring to the forefront that we should focus a little more than what we have.

Roy Barker  03:42 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Right, right. Yeah. And, you know, it’s my reference point is, I’m not even gonna tell you how many years back but we actually had to do a, we had to do some research and a presentation on doing business in different countries. And it was a, it was one of the best exercises that a professor could have ever assigned to us. Because, you know, I think it’s gotten worse today, we’re a lot more casual than we were. But even back then, just all the different rituals and things like that. So different, you know, we have to be careful who we talk to do you look them in the eye, do we look down? All these different things?

Self-Awareness, Self-Efficacy are important

Salman  04:26

Yeah, absolutely. The interesting thing on this journey as I learned, we as a human you can you can see in a triangle or pyramid, the base of it is very The most common the base of a triangle is human nature. So the nature across the globe is exactly the same. We all get hungry, we all need some water, we all need some low end care. So that is the human nature. We all have the same globally. difference.

But then when we move up towards the apex of the pyramid, in between, there’s a layer, which is culture where we bring we are growing up, that is learned. So all these things happening around us, we are consciously and subconsciously, we are learning that trait. That is, because we don’t even realize because we are growing in that environment, but it still, it’s not the human nature, it’s taught and learned. And then you go further up in the triangle that’s unique to individual, that’s personality, that’s my personality I’m born with.

And of course, my personal experiences, my my family and my culture, combined with my personality combined with my exposure in life, that creates me individual. So there is a few layers that we need to understand. And that that makes us complicated. human being.

Roy Barker  06:06 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Right, exactly, yeah. And brought to mind that sometimes, when we’re discussing things, especially with people may be of a different culture, even if we’re on friendly terms, I might say to you, oh, that’s just your perception. But I think what we have to realize is that your perception is your reality, if this is what you’ve lived with, it could be totally different, you know, from my life experiences, even inside of the US, even inside of different cities.

And, you know, I was just thinking, you know, you’re located in Houston, and I’m up in the Fort Worth area. So you know, two of our reference points, if you come up here, you’re gonna eat some barbecue, and some beef for sure, you know, being down in Houston, you may run into, you know, the more the the crab boil, and things like that. So, even within a state, there can be, you know, a lot of nuances across that.

Salman  07:07

Absolutely. And then, and if we are not engaging or interacting with people from different, different cultures and different environment, that gap of awareness increases a great deal. So let me give you some examples. And it perhaps might open up the conversation a little, though, so I follow the Hofstede insight model for the cultural awareness. So that model describes society in six different dimensions. There’s one, the first one is power index, so how societies respond to power.

So if I’m your boss, or I’m at higher hierarchy, how the society see that store, the higher index societies, boss or upper up in the higher management is to God, you don’t talk to them, you respect them, you bow to them, you basically they are like your God, but in low power index societies, yeah, you may have the right you may have the title, but you’re not better than me, you are just like me, so. So countries like China and Russia, they’re really higher on the power index. However, if you are in Scandinavia, I don’t care if you are the CEO, you will stand with me in the same line for food as as I would, and they will talk to you such a such way.

I don’t have any special privilege. So it just society and the expectation, how they respond to power is different. And if you’re ailing from certain culture, where power is important, then you For example, if you are in a chain classroom in China, or in a meeting room in China, questioning or interrupting the presenter is its inaugural you cannot challenge your presenter, he’s your higher up he’s your teacher whereas if you are in UK or in us or any low index society, they will say no, this is why I’m here ask me question and they will encourage you.

Similarly, if you are different, the next dimension is individualism and collectivism. So some societies they believe that individuals are responsible for their own welfare The United States is one of them the one of the highest index on individualism, you are responsible for your own welfare and, and you are not expected to interfere in anyone’s affair. However, if you’re living in a collective society, a lot of Latin America, a lot of Asia, their collective societies, so you are no Carrying yourself only you are carrying your community, your family.

So these expectations within the social norms are very different. So in Japan, people don’t leave jobs in us is, if it serves me, my family, my objectives, I will move on. But in Japan, if you lose, leave the job, you bring insult and dishonor to the company and community. So, there are several layers of culture that we don’t realize that when we interact, right, exactly,

Global Society

Roy Barker  10:33 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

yeah, and that’s interesting. You know, because we don’t want to get too political. But you know, we’re dealing with that here, in the US, as I assume, probably across the world with this pandemic is, you know, where do the individual responsibilities versus the collectivism, you know, it’s a very blurred line. So even though we can make the two distinctions, it’s still not that easy, you know, going forward, and especially, you know, we run into all these different things, as we try to do business across the lines. And as we become a global society, you know, it’s not the same as talking to your next door neighbor, you know, trying to sell them an item versus, you know, taking all these different things into account as we do business across the world.

Salman  11:21

Absolutely. In business, well, for example, yeah, you do a lot of things out of courtesy, you do a lot of things out of norm, not because you agree with them, but that is the normal that country right. So let me give you an example of contract law. When we write a contract law in Western Hemisphere, we we go to the every single possibility is written on it.

And after 1000 page of details, you say force majeure, oh, then you come to force majeure, that we don’t know what else we can ride on. If you’re writing a contract law in, in Asia, in Japan, in particular, China, force majeure will probably won’t be fifth or sixth line. Because that culture deals with trust. And if you don’t have trust, then what’s the point of dealing with it? So if you want me to write that sort of possibilities, and in eventualities, that means there’s lack of trust in between parties?

And then if you don’t trust me, then what’s the point dealing and doing business with me? So there is a different perspective, the intent on United States or UK point of view is not that they don’t trust you, it just, they liked everything to be written on paper. Whereas in China, in Japan, and a lot of countries, they say, No, you have to trust me to move forward. Right? It’s same breath. normal practice in Western Hemisphere, we do business during the day. And then you socialize in the evening, you go for dinner, you go for drinks, or whatever. In China, when you go to do business, before you talk business, you will socialize.

And one of my client approached me, and then they asked me, we’ve been drinking for last three days, when we’re going to talk business. And I thought, okay, if you’re drinking for last three days, that means you will not talk business because they haven’t established trust level they’re looking for. So they socialize, first, establish the trustworthiness. And if you are deemed trustworthy, then they will talk business as if the other way around in United States. So it’s all about perspective and how things proceed. And,

Roy Barker  13:43 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

and it makes a big difference. Because if you come on too strong in those societies and tried to skip that socialization piece, they’ll basically just cut you out and say, we’re not going to do business with you, not only because we can establish trust, but you obviously don’t understand, you know, our cultural need to establish that trust moving forward.

Salman  14:06

Oh, yeah. And similarly, if you are going into some Latin American societies, that trust is built, not necessarily directly, it almost always is through an intermediary. You need a reference that someone can trust. So I, if I’m looking for a service, I will ask within my circle, do you know someone trustworthy and then I will go on recommendation, it works in the greater extent at all societies, but a lot more in certain societies. So we need to understand the dynamics of those cultural upbringing and cultural values to penetrate in those situations.

Charming and Disarming

Roy Barker  14:51 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Yeah, we we tend to forget that, you know, there are a lot of other cultures out there. And, you know, we live in our own world until we Don’t. And then sometimes it’s too late if we haven’t done our homework on that. Yeah.

Salman  15:05

And it is very relevant in these cosmopolitan societies. Because, yes, we are in the United States, but it’s a Global Village, we are interacting with people who have come to and from all across all corners of the world. And even though they speak the same language, they dress like ourselves, but they, subconsciously, they have a cultural value that we are not aware of. Right? Certain things can be perceived very differently. And so it goes both ways.

Roy Barker  15:36 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Yeah. So what of the 30 countries that you’ve worked in? What was the most difficult cultural environment that you’ve been in?

Salman  15:48

I wouldn’t say difficult, because they all are. They have the different values, and they are. But you just need to be aware and mindful. So the experience of I had a lot of countries that I have traveled, you have to adjust your expectation, and you have to adjust your routine to certain extent. For example, once I was working in Scandinavia, I think Denmark, it was, and I came back from work, stay in my hotel room start working again, before I knew it was already almost 830 in the evening, and as Oh, I better get out and eat something.

So by the time I got out, almost everything was shot. And I thought, Oh, I need to be careful, you know, I shouldn’t make it to that late for the week, I was working in Barcelona, and I was okay, I’ll make sure I’ll go for my dinner in time. So 730 went out, and almost everything was shut again. And then they said, Come back at 930. Because we don’t open for dinner that early. So and if you’re Brazil, it’s going even later, so.

So it’s not only the behavior is to society, how they the common language, the terms, I used to say, we’ll do that after lunch, we’ll do that before lunch. That lunch, is my perception was 12 1230. In Barcelona, it was 230. So, so I had to say no, I should be more specific in terms of time, rather than just a generic term after lunch, because after lunch means different things in different places.

Culture Differences

Roy Barker  17:42 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

And, you know, I’ve run into that before as well, you know, hearing where I’m from five o’clock, six o’clock, latest, you know, we’re sitting down to have dinner and you know, being in a place like New York or LA, you know, I’d be ready to go back to my hotel and go to bed at like, nine or 10 o’clock, and they’re like, hey, let’s go out and have dinner, you know, they’re just kind of getting their night started. And it’s, it’s, it’s, sometimes it can be kind of hard, you know, like to keep up if you’re not expecting that.

Salman  18:15

Yeah, absolutely. There are several layers of it that that goes and and this is kind of informal setting. But when you get into the formal settings, within the organization, the organization, culture and the practices and in negotiations and managing teams and working with a different person that may have a different cultural background or personality type, it gets very difficult. So we have to be a lot more aware and mindful.

Societyal Differences

Roy Barker  18:53 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Can you the first one you mentioned was the power index, I guess the, you know, like you were saying, maybe what China and Russia have a little bit different thoughts of their leader. So when we’re doing business in those countries with that culture? Do we start at the Do you have to start at the bottom and work your way up as far as you know, talk about, you know, maybe having a conversation about your product and if there’s interest or is it expected that you start at the top?

Salman  19:26

It depends what we are dealing with here. So for example, the higher up person, the boss has the ultimate responsibility and subordinate expect to receive clear instructions from the top. So if, if, for example, a boss says, I want to do this, I want some ideas, bring in your ideas.

He, in a lot of cases will lose credibility, because you’re the boss, you should tell us what to do. If you don’t know Why you’re the boss, they are expected to lead they are expected to give instructions. Whereas if you are, if you are in low index societies, Scandinavia is one of them. If someone is giving instructions to their subordinates, so well you hired me to do the job, then trust me, let me do the job. Why?

Why are you bossing me. So so there is a difference. And, and again, you don’t have to be in those countries to feel that, right. You can feel all those things in Fort Worth. And in Houston in New York, because we do come across those are those instances where people feel, and it goes all the way up to personality, some personalities, they like, specific things, and very, to the point things and some personalities, like reassurances and validation of what they’re doing the same time. So it’s, it’s a very mindful thing that we need to be aware of.

Roy Barker  21:01 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Yeah, and I think it’s a good point to, you know, remind that, even though, even though we’re in the states and you know, Fort Worth or Houston, that just because we hire the hire individuals, they are definitely that individuals. And that’s why we have to get to know them, because we have to, we have to understand, you know, what are the cultural differences, because it affects the way that we manage and our expectations, and I’ve got a great examples, I had a young lady that worked for me for a while that she was great at her job, but she was very, she was very quiet and reserved.

And so you know, I’m I asked her, can you research a couple things for me, get me some, you know, tell me about this more. She would do it immediately. But she was so reserved that she wouldn’t speak up. And so you know, maybe two, three hours later, I’m like, have you had time to look? Oh, yeah, I’ve got it right here. So you know, it’s something I had to learn to manage about her is that, number one, it’s okay to interrupt me and let me know, you know, when you get through, or that, I just have to know that, you know, I have to keep coming back to her to ask her when I’m ready for the information, and she will have that.

But there are some other individuals that, you know, you kind of have to pump the brakes on them. They’re like, they got the inflammation, and they’re fixing to get started on something. And you’re like, I have to go back. So, you know, again, I think this is why it’s so important that we get to know our teams. So we know how to manage each individually that we can’t manage a 10 2030 man team, all this exact same way.

Salman  22:46

Exactly. And to get the best out of right, we need to we need to find the ways that what takes them what what makes them feel assured and confident. And so that’s all the managers or to do to give them confidence. Yeah, into my showrooms and security, that whatever their style, whatever their preferences, you’re secured in a short and you have element.

Value Comes In Many Ways

Roy Barker  23:10 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Right, exactly. Yeah. And that’s another thing, you know, like that different things make different people feel valued. Again, we can’t just apply one method to everybody, we really have to take the time to get to know and that’s not a bad thing. I don’t think I’ve always suggested that we think, I don’t think we take that time nowadays. And you know, everything has gotten shortened up instead of even on emails, you know, good morning, how’s your day, you know, having a few pleasantries, it’s like, bam, it’s like, I need you to do this, or, you know, it’s just right, Kurt and to the point, and we’ve lost a lot of that social interaction, you know, in this digital world that we live in.

Salman  23:51

That is true. Again, it’s probably is generational, but it is happening. Yeah. So managing those expectations, understanding the requirements. So, there are several ways that we need to be mindful of

Roy Barker  24:10 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Yeah, for sure. So we got to the individual versus the collectivism, what what are what’s the number three on our list?

Salman  24:18

They are they are six as I said. So the two we already spoke about the turn one is, so we did power we did individualism collectivism. And then there is a uncertainty avoidance. So how societies respond to uncertainty. So that’s one so some some societies they they don’t mind. They just, they find themselves resourceful, innovative, and they said, No, I don’t need to know the details. I can just wing it, as we call it.

We all just go along and then find a way to do it. I don’t need to know the precise details, because other society to say, No, no, no, I need to know if there is a plan if there is a contingency and all that. So that’s another the third one, which is very important is the Hachette insight model describes them as masculinity and femininity, but it’s not the general masculine and feminine. It’s the competitiveness, how societies responds to competitiveness.

So do I celebrate my success and brag about it, or some society says, No, I don’t need to brag my overall harmony of the society is more important. So a lot of countries that we deal with, they have they scale, some are higher, some are lower, very competitive, we play hard, we celebrate odd and that sort of thing. And some, for example, Scandinavian countries, they are so low in that masculinity call, you can call them feminine, they care about harmony. So they don’t like to be differentiated because of the success.

So society is willing to pay more tax to bring the gap between rich and poor to bare minimum, whereas higher competitive societies, there’s no I have worked hard for it. And I, I want to be sending out so there is one, one of that. So we have seen these four, then this fourth, fifth and final, fifth and six were fifth is long term orientation against short term orientation. So some societies, they like to plan ahead, they like long term planning in their planning. They think, for example, in China, the business plan in as compared to us, we have a five year plan, or, you know, mostly three to five year plan business plan.

In China 50 year plan, it’s 70 year plan. Their long term orientation they don’t think of today and tomorrow, they are thinking long term, even the emergency plans for two, three years. That brings a different attitude, in expectations. So because I don’t expect results tomorrow, because my plan is for 50 years, so you can invest earlier, but in that duplex, reflecting society. in us, we are relatively short, term oriented, we like nicer house bigger house, it doesn’t have to be full brake, it can be relatively lighter, that can sweep away in one fluid, but like that nicer, shiny thing, whereas in other societies they want pure brake doesn’t have to be big, but it has to be solid that last generations, you know, in a lot of countries inherit their homes from the great, great grandparents.

So that’s the fifth dimension. The sixth one is indulgence. how society responds to pleasure. Some societies are very expressive, they like to express when they’re happy. They like to display emotions in public. Some societies don’t like that. Some, some societies are reserved. So if you are in Latin America, or Mexico, in particular, the life part like expressing the like expression, expressing the emotions. But if you are in other countries, such as Asian countries, in China, in particular, they’re very well preserved.

They don’t like to display their emotions in public even. Not much anymore. But if you go few years back, even family pictures, everyone appears very serious. They don’t like to smile because it’s a public image. They need to be seen as serious. in the same breath, if you are a professional meeting in some countries, if you’re smiling, you’re not taken seriously. Because you you are you are perceived to be joking around. You’re not expert, why you’re smiling. Yeah, doing serious business. Whereas in us in Western Hemisphere, you cracking a joke to break the ice is is traditionally very well received. So you should be behaving in that fashion. That is the cultural expectation. So these are the six dimensions that that culture brings into

Roy Barker  29:51 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

play. Yeah, and you talk to the long term versus short term and something in and you’re very generous to say American cup. Knees look three to five years, because a lot of the public companies, if they can look three months out to the next quarterly earnings, that’s long, it’s long term for them. You’re right. And we make some really, you know, I speak from a little bit of experience that I work for, you know, a huge corporation for time.

And in the beginning, things were different. Because, well, you know, we’re basically kind of a monopoly. So, while we were still public, you know, focus was on service, and then some things happened in the industry. Then all of a sudden, you know, we were a smaller company. And we, we live quarter to quarter. I think the thing that that really killed me about it is, you know, we would spend, well, we would do some, we would take action to save $1 today, that cost us $5, in seven months from now, but because this affected the quarterly earnings, now, you know, somebody made a decision to not do it the right way.

So when you look at the different businesses, you know, the longer term planning, you know, 50 to 70 years, I mean, that’s a lot. But basically, you know, in general, do you find that they put in to place better plans, more manageable plans, when we’re looking at 10 years versus, you know, three months, six months or a year?

Salman  31:28

Yeah. And that’s a good question. And that the important thing, in that we are coming into the pure business territory now. That aspect, I personally, strongly believe a business should always be very well aligned with the vision. What is your vision where you want to go? Where are you heading? If you lose sight of your vision, and you are distracted by numbers, then you will lose sight. So if you know, this is where, for example, we are going, I need to go from Houston to fourth word.

And I know this is what I need to go. Now if right comes along, most amazing car in the world that is the best ever made. I can be tempted to write on it without realizing that he’s not even going before. Right, right. So he may well be going to San Antonio, or even know. So if we lose sight if we distracted by anything technology, competition, and lose sight of our own vision.

That’s where the problem occurs. So if we need to decide, what is my vision, where I want to go, where I want to lead, once I have that clear part define, then it helps me identify my strategy. Okay. Yes, it is short term, but it will move me away from my ultimate goal. So the decision making becomes a lot easier if we somehow businesses find a way to continuously assess against that vision are we aligned.

So a lot of times in small to medium sized, even corporate world, when you get distracted and bogged down into numbers and quarterly performance, because you want to win because you want to earn a bonus. The likelihood is you’re moving away from your vision. And when you’re moving away from your vision. And there we have tons of stories what happened, you know, quote, what happened to Kodak? You know, what happened to Blackberry, there’s so many business case studies where you can say, You are the gods, what happened to you?

Pay Attention To Others

Roy Barker  33:50 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Right, right. Yeah, you know, not to get too far off track, but you can look at Kodak as an example is they had the answer, right on the shelf. And, you know, they just would not pay attention, because, you know, and some of that, I think lassis more as a question, but a lot of that gets back to ego is we think we’re a leader. And we think we will set the pace. But there’s always a disrupter looking to disrupt.

Salman  34:22

Absolutely. And and this is where the blind spot occurs. Ego you hit the nail on the head, ego in a business environment. It can put you in a blind spot you don’t see what’s coming along your way blockbuster did to Netflix, it’s all the boys just trying to sell door to door. They can’t come beat. That’s what happens to. That’s what Netflix is it the blockbusters. The ego is equally even more important in personal. So our ego, restrict us to achieve even more because ego, start competing with people, we shouldn’t be competing people. I personally believe every single individual in this world has something to offer.

And there is something for me to gain from my ego will restrict them because I get distracted by the obvious behavior and obvious tone of voice or body language I’m seeing, forgetting that there is a wealth of benefit this person has for me, we can benefit from so the ego management, we get threatened easily, we get distracted easily. Let me give you an example of ego. very slightly personal example. And I use listen might find it useful A few years ago, my five year daughter was sat together and she she said to me, daddy, you look ugly and fat. I looked at her, and then I smiled. And of course, everyone else allowed it.

She there was surprised, but I because I was smiling. Everyone was and then I started reflecting on it as to why I’m smiling. Why I’m smiling to a common which in in a general terms is a very rude and disappointed. What say, you know, it’s a spectacle and disappointing. To cut long story short, hopefully, you’ll get to read the book, it has a whole chapter on it. Because my heart is at peace with my daughter. She was not at competition at any level, any psychological level, she is not posing any threat to me, psychologically, is consciously subconsciously, I’m at peace. She’s not threatening me. However, that comment if said, but anyone else in the world would have triggered my ego?

How dare you say that? How dare so my inner even though I may not have uttered those words, but my heart, my mind is thinking, and that happens every single day in our lives. We don’t have awareness of the ego triggers what triggers my ego. And once the ego is triggered, I’m not rational self make decision that I will regret. So the whole point of ego is same. It happens in company settings, business settings, and it happens in personal life every single day, several times a day. Yeah.

Ego Differences

Roy Barker  37:45 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Yeah. And speaking of that, so throughout the different countries that you’ve worked in, how do egos compare? I mean, you know, as far as like, Americans have bigger egos, it’s more involved versus other countries. How is what did you observe there?

Salman  38:04

It is, it is, it is a combination. So you cannot drill down to purely on culture. Because there’s so many other things at play. So it’s not purely dependent on culture, it’s very much on personality types and the settings. However, the high PDI countries, they may behave differently, they have more, they are kind of they grew up in a society where they can take a lot more from their hierarchy, hierarchy.

So if boss is yelling at you, the chances of an American losing control a lot higher because they are not used to taking it. Whereas its bosses giving you hard time, the those societies, those individuals, they have learned to tolerate a little more, that doesn’t mean that it’s right or wrong. We’re not talking about the moral morality of it, we’re just talking about in terms of taking it how do we respond.

So, the term I use in my book quite frequently, never react always respond, because reaction is impulsive. And response is measured. So, if certain societies and certain personalities and certain awareness we are able to minimize the reaction and maximizers plants, so, so this is what leads and it’s a combination of a lot of things.

Roy Barker  39:50

Yeah, and just had a guest on that was a therapist that deals with the lot, you know of emotions, and the workplace and that was one thing we were talking about is that difference between reaction and response? And, you know, a lot of the literature out there says, you know, Count 125, it’s okay to have a reaction. I mean, that’s who we are we are, we react to certain things certain stimulus. But it’s the response, if we will count to five, we will have a much more measured response than what we normally if we would have just, you know, blurted out.

Salman  40:30

Yeah, so that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to communicate the displeasure or the seriousness of the issue. The response may well be strong. Yes, response may well be potent and formative. And However, it’s, it’s more appropriate thought through rather than impulsive.


Roy Barker  40:53 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Yeah. Yeah. Because what I’ve noticed is impulsive tends to, to lead to more personal responses, instead of a response on the issue, you know, target exactly, you know, we can have a very productive, hopefully conversation about something that we disagree. But the minute I say that, you know, I don’t like you, because you have a shirt on that’s, you know, it’s hard to it may be gray or green. But you know, I don’t like you know, the pattern of your shirt, your bad dresser, you know, we start it, we just start going off the edge instead of being on to the issue of, you know, what the, what the discord is actually about?

Salman  41:37

Absolutely. And it is built out to the ego management. And it’s so important because my ego is triggered, I’m losing sight of what is what is the issue? What are we talking about? I’m, my ego is kind of leading me in a non rational direction, where it’s getting personal, I want my ego at any cost me to win? Yeah, is to have the upper hand.

Roy Barker  42:04 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Yeah. And I think it’s, I don’t know, for my opinion, I’m not a scientist or in you know, in the behavior around, but it’s also my, it’s that the willingness is after if I can make you feel bad. Or if I can say something bad about you, then all of a sudden, it makes me? Well, in theory, they think it makes them a winner, or bigger, or better or whatever, when really, it just is the opposite. You know, people see people react that way.

You just have to shake your head and say, you know, what’s up with that, because, guess what, we still got the same problem we had before we deteriorated into this personal thing. And if we’re at work expecially, or well, even in a family environment, we need to solve the problem. And the way that we do that, I feel is through communication, we have to, sometimes we have to just say, you know what, we got to agree to disagree. Leave it at that. But you know, in a work environment more or less, you know, we may have actually come to a solution that we can both live with.

Importance of Communication

Salman  43:10

And it’s communication is important. You don’t even sometimes you don’t even need to solve the problem. Just hear hear them out. Yeah, right. Give them assurance that what you’re thinking is not wrong, necessarily. Know, however, you can lead the conversation that so you’re not suggesting the other person is wrong triggering their ego. it’s valid. It’s correct. However, we have mitigations, or will do blah, blah. So how we communicate is is very important.

Roy Barker  43:46 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s another big point, too, is that if you have a feeling about something that we can’t say that that you’re feeling is wrong, I mean, you have that based on your lived experiences. So we have to, you know, we have to see what that’s all about. But then we get back to that perception issue is that, you know, your perception of whatever this is that is based in? Well, it’s your reality, but it’s based in your life experiences. That’s why you know, you perceive that

Salman  44:20

and that is possibly possibly is due to the personality types that we have several personality types, some personalities, we call them Myers Briggs terminologies they are. They’re driven by the feelings of rather than logic, so doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. We need to understand that the individual in front of me, may be driven by feelings. So I need to give them assurance, not logic, because logic will not go well. Give them assurance, right, that makes them feel comfortable rather than rather than giving them a logical judge. A note that we think will solve the problem. No, it won’t, because they are looking for emotional validation that what they had felt was correct, right? Because for damage,

Gender Differences

Roy Barker  45:14 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

yeah, and you mentioned this, I can’t speak culturally, I can speak to male, female, you know, a huge mistake that I’m guilty of in my relationship is, sometimes she just wants to talk, she doesn’t want an answer or solve the problem as hard. You know, the males, we, when we hear things, we always want to solve the problem where women, they’re pretty good about just like, letting us vent and listening to it.

Salman  45:39

Absolutely. And funny enough to hear there is a bias. And there’s a gender bias and feeling type and perceiving a logical type in males and females, however, it’s not guaranteed I have known males who have feeling types and females who were logical. So I agree with you, but just we need to understand. So just because they are male, they will be logical and the female they will be feeling during it’s not always true. Yeah. I have seen other way around as well. And but you’re right, if there are different personality types, we need to understand.

Roy Barker  46:19 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Yeah, and again, it gets back to understanding and taking, being present. Being mindful, taking the time to understand because, you know, it can drive a real wedge, and you know, now, I don’t have any problems saying, Are you just mitten? Are you looking for an answer? That way I can shift to just listen mode, or I can be, you know, the wheels be turning about do we need to try to solve this problem. And so, again, it I try not to be quite that abrupt, but sometimes we if we don’t understand the situation, it never hurts to just ask, it can save us a lot of heartache. Absolutely. Yeah, I agree. Yeah. All right. Well, it’s certainly appreciate you take the time to be here. Is there anything else any other points that you want to leave us with? Before we wrap this up?

Salman  47:09

I think the biggest takeaway for me too, for your audience is to become lifelong learners. Don’t take things for granted. There’s a lot of soft skills, that we should be aware of personality types, there are different types of people, value individual, every single person in this world has something to offer, it doesn’t matter who that person is, what their title is, they have something to offer. And if we have that attitude, it doesn’t matter, the race, color language culture, if I somehow believe I truly believe, to the core of my existence, that the person next to me has something valuable to, for me, my attitude will change. And I will have a different personality and outlook to the world.


Roy Barker  48:01 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Now know, I can’t say how strongly I believe in that, that we just, you know, we just have to be kind to each other. And know that me trying to put you down is not going to make me any better of a place and vice versa. That, you know, we have to understand that everybody has that value to offer at some point. Absolutely. Yeah. All right. Well, thanks so much for being with us. So do you have a habit or a tool? Is there something that you use in your everyday life that you feel adds a lot of value?

Salman  48:35

Absolutely, there are a few. So there are a few. So the one of the things I speak in detail in my book is, as I said, always respond, never react. And the other ones, I say, always find honest, be honest to yourself, be honest, you can mislead others, but never be misleading your own self. So be honest to yourself, and find your balance. Whatever you do, it has, you have to find the right balance, whether you want to whatever you do find the right balance of managing expectations. And finally, the third one is whatever you do whatever you enjoy doing, you have to be consistent. Do it consistently. Just doing once. Being nice, once is enough. To be nice. You have to do it day in, day out. minute in minute out. So honesty balance and consistent.

Roy Barker  49:39 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Yeah, and then that consistency thing too. I think we have to we have to look at our results over a long period of time. We can’t just do that thing once and if it doesn’t work out or and we don’t get the reaction that we’re looking for. That doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. It just means that it didn’t work. In that instance, and we can’t get discouraged, we still have to still have to keep doing that.

Salman  50:05

They keep doing it until we get it right. Thomas Edison says, I haven’t failed 700 times, I just know 700 times it doesn’t work.

Wrap Up

Roy Barker  50:15 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Right. Exactly. Exactly. All right. Well, thanks so much for being with us. Also, tell us a little bit about I love the name of this Razalution that’s your company name. Tell us a little bit about Razalution? how, you know, who do you like to work with? How they could reach out and get a hold? You know, what you could do for them? And of course, how could they reach out and get a hold of you and the man we’re looking at?

Salman  50:38

Well, so resolution is primarily focusing on three fundamental aspects of business. We believe that there are three fundamentals that any business enterprise need to have in in sync to succeed. So the first one we touched upon it is vision, we need to have a clear vision, what we want to do what we want to achieve, and that drives the correct strategy. So vision and strategy.

That’s one, then the second piece in the any enterprise is your infrastructure, how you’re going to do it. So first bit is what, and then the next one is how, so you need to have a system, you need to have infrastructure, procedures, process, the infrastructure that you need to make it happen. And then the third, and the most important of all, is people who will do it. So your team, you need to have a team that can deliver your vision, using the process that you feel that works.

So these are the three fundamental aspects of any successful business enterprise at resolution. We give that advice, all three, what we call it, 360-degree services, fine-tuning the vision and strategy, putting in place the infrastructure in relation to process and then training and making your team competent through cultural awareness, personality awareness, team building and oral leadership. So that’s what we do at resolution. We can be So the book that we have written is purely focusing on the human side of things. And hopefully, we will contribute on other aspects in the coming future.

Roy Barker  52:41 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Okay, great. What’s your website that they can reach out there?

Salman  52:45

Yeah, it’s a Okay, our R A Z A L U T I O And we’ll be happy to be at your service.

Roy Barker  52:57 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Yeah. And I’ll be sure to include that in the show notes. And can they find information on the book there as well?

Salman  53:03

Absolutely. So there is book information, but there is an additional website, which is, which is specifically for the book. So again, S A L M A N  R A Z And this is primarily dedicated for the book and they can find a lot more about the book and how to get in touch.

Roy Barker  53:31 Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important

Okay, awesome. Yeah, reach out, get a copy of this book, for sure. I think. My opinion again, it’s that, you know, with the digital age and texting and this, you know, it’s like we, we get further and further away from this human interaction. But I think that we really need to be conscious of everybody comes from a different place in how we treat people, how we react, how we have discussions, it’s very important, not only in business but also in our personal lives as well.

So reach out also, you know, if you’re needing some help with the vision, your infrastructure people, let salmon in his group tie that all together for you, put you on the right path to success. that’s gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Thank you for listening. You can also find us at We’re on all the majors, podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify for not a one that you listen to please reach out, I’d be glad to add it and make your listening easier.

We’re also not on all the major social media platforms probably tend to hang out on Instagram a little bit more, so please send us a message we’d love to interact with you there. A video of this interview will go up when the episode goes live, so you can check that out over on our YouTube channel. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.

Razalution Website

Salman Raza Website

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Develop a Replicable Framework of What Makes Your Business Successful

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Develop a Replicable Framework of What Makes Your Business Successful Featuring Alicia Butler Pierre

Develop a replicable framework. When you find something that works, stick with it! Develop the framework in order to use your successful processes in order to scale and grow your business. We should always be in a continual improvement process, but that doesn’t mean we are running and changing everything at one time. Be strategic, consistent, and success will follow.

About Alicia

Alicia Butler Pierre is the founder and CEO of Equilibria, Inc., a 15-year-old operations management firm. She specializes in increasing bandwidth for fast-growing organizations via business infrastructure.

Alicia has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University, an MBA from Tulane University, and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification. Combined, her content has over three-quarters of a million views across various online platforms. Alicia hosts the weekly Business Infrastructure: Curing Back Office Blues podcast.

She’s also the author of the 2x Amazon bestseller, Behind the Façade: How to Structure Company Operations for Sustainable Success. Committed to doing the right things the right way, Alicia’s mantra is “to leave it better than you found it.” 


Alicia Butler-Pierre Website

Equilibria Website

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Full Transcript Below

Develop a Replicable Framework of What Makes Your Business Successful Featuring Alicia Butler Pierre

Sat, 7/31 11:37AM • 1:02:08

Estimated reading time: 48 minutes


business, people, roy, company, Alicia, process, literally, started, book, methodology, documents, New Orleans, listening, find, customer, months, product, businesses, day, Monsanto, Kasennu, Develop a Replicable Frame Work


Alicia, Roy Barker


Roy  00:04 Develop A replicable framework

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host, Roy. We are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests. That can speak to a diverse set of topics. And try to either you know, maybe help you look at something a little different than you hadn’t thought about. Or if you have something that is keeping you up at night. Maybe we can provide a solution or a professional that would be able to help you out.

We all we want to see everybody successful. And we try to give you you know, as much insight and tools to help you do that. Today, we are excited to have Alicia Butler Pierre with us. We are supposed to be on a couple of months ago got delayed. Alicia, welcome to the show. Thank you for your patience and for being here. Alicia is the founder and CEO of Equilibria Incorporated, where she first formulated the Kasennu, and you’ll have to help me with that if that’s wrong pronunciation methodology for her clients develop A replicable framework .

She has since successfully applied this methodology in over 30 different industries and counting. Alicia has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University Go Tigers, and an MBA from Tulane University. She is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and has authored over 200 articles, case studies, videos and white papers in areas of business infrastructure, process improvement and operational excellence. Combined, her content has received over a quarter million views on alone. And Equilibria is the world’s largest repository of subject of business infrastructure.

And for small businesses. At least her ability to blend scientific business and mathematical methodologies to solve complex operational problems. Enable her to bring a unique, tactical and realistic perspective to her clients. Who have also included larger enterprises like Coca Cola, Lowe’s, Shell Oil. She lives in Georgia with her husband and committed to doing right things the right way. Alicia’s mantra is to leave it better than you found it. Alicia, thank you so much. And welcome to the show. 

Alicia 2:22

Thank you so much for I’m glad we were finally able to make this happen, develop A replicable framework

Roy Barker  02:32

I know. So I’m sure that I butchered Kasennu, as much as he said it correctly. Does it now No. Perfect, okay. And if you give me enough tries. I’ll get it for I First off, I gotta say, you know, I want you to talk us through this journey. Because, you know, you started out working in, I guess in oil and gas and chemicals. Kind of in some chemical plants. It’s an interesting journey that, you know, kind of like for you to tell the readers.

But I want to say what an amazing book Behind The Facade. That’s one of the books that you’ve put out how to structure company operations for sustainable success. And I love it because it talks about two of my favorite things business and the Wizard of Oz. So planning to talk about the meeting was about your journey here. And, you know, kind of how you ended up in the business consulting. And then how you develop this methodology and about the book a little bit of everything.

More About Alicia

Alicia  03:39

Okay, sure. Let me give a cliff notes version without boring your listeners to tears. My my journey professional journey, as you mentioned, Roy, it started with me working as a chemical engineer. And my very first job out of college was at Monsanto. So I always tell people don’t judge me, because I know there are a lot of opinions about Monsanto. And, you know, when I worked there. For those who are listening chemical engineers, we typically work as either process engineers or design engineers. And because I was working, this was a location right outside of New Orleans in Louisiana.

I was pretty much working as a process engineer. And so literally as different batches of roundup were being produced. It was my job as a process engineer to figure out what went wrong or what went correctly. Even sometimes in the process of producing a particular batch of roundup that might have caused it to not meet the specifications. So that’s kind of that was part of our quality control checkpoints. That’s really what I did. As a process engineer. You’re constantly just monitoring. And if you ever need to design a new manufacturing part of the process. As part of improving it or even expanding your your capacity.

That’s the type of work that I did. And what I noticed Roy. When I was working as an engineer at Monsanto, every single unit within the plant was assigned an accountant. And that accountant would come over to your unit once a month, and have a meeting with all of the engineers and the unit leaders. And I have to tell you, Roy, that those accountants may as well have spoken Greek.

Because it was like a completely different language. Talking about assets and liabilities and profitability and revenue. Top-line growth, bottom-line growth. It was, it was completely over my head because my training was as an engineer. I didn’t know a lot about business. Which is why I’m so excited to be on your show The Business Of Business Podcast. I knew the technical aspects of engineering. I didn’t know the business of being in an engineering environment.

And that’s when I realized I needed to go back to business school. So I actually, I eventually left Monsanto and I started working at a small engineering consulting firm that was family-owned. This was also in New Orleans. And at that moment, that’s when I enrolled in Tulane’s Professional MBA program. So I would work full time during the day, go to school at night. And I have to tell you, Business School, opened my eyes up to it was like exploring a whole new world.

I did not look at anything the same again. Even things I’ll never forget one time I walked inside of a Target. And I don’t remember what I was learning at the time in business school. But I just remember taking it all in the logo, the color scheme, the layout of the store, the customer service, the uniforms that the employees were wearing. Things that would have completely been background before. Became came to the forefront because of what I was learning in business school.

And so eventually, I fast forward, I graduated with my MBA in December of 2004. January of 2005, I just had this hunch that I needed to leave New Orleans quick, fast and in a hurry. And I relocated, I relocated to a city where I knew only one person. So I left New Orleans, relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. This was February of 2005. And six months later, Hurricane Katrina happened. But when I when I came here to Atlanta. Roy and not to compare the two cities to each other. But it it was, it was like a brave new world. You know, seeing all of the Fortune, the companies that had a fortune 500 presence, or excuse me, their headquarters were located here.

So companies like Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Chick Fil A, Home Depot, UPS, they all have a presence here. And I thought for sure I was going to get a job. Here I am with this engineering background. Newly minted MBA. I was not going to bang down my door to hire me. And that did not happen. My friend, Josh, because there are a lot of really smart people here.

And so I decided after about two months of what seemed to be endless job searching. I decided to redirect the time, effort and energy that I was spending toward looking for a job working for someone else. And redirecting that to creating my own opportunity.

And that’s when I started my company equilibria. So I don’t know how far how much, you know, if you want me to kind of go down the journey of how Equilibria started. And how it evolved into what it is today. But that’s that’s kind of the backstory of how I even came to start my consulting firm.

Develop a Replicable Framework

Roy Barker  09:01 Develop A replicable framework

Okay, no, that’s great. And, you know, it’s an interesting journey that, you know. I think of New Orleans as you know, it’s an entertainment town kind of town and then going to Atlanta. You know, it to me, Atlanta is just like a shiny penny. You know, when you get there. There’s just so much that’s so much going on. And there’s so many new buildings and everything going up. So, right, I’m sure that was quite a culture shock not only not knowing anybody that makes it even harder. So you know, I have to give you kudos for being self-confident enough to do that. That’s really amazing.

Alicia  09:40

Yeah, and you know, it’s funny, you mentioned not knowing anyone and how, you know, that takes some bravery. I it also was a huge plus, believe it or not, Roy because I didn’t have distractions. Not that you think of your family and friends as distractions. But you know what I mean, you when you’re here, and you’re by yourself, you have to make it work, right.

And so I because I, everything was so new to me, learning my way around navigating meeting new people. So I didn’t have these hangups I didn’t have people around me to say, What on earth are you doing? So in some ways, it was actually a really good thing. But of course. Obviously, you get lonely and you want to have your your close family and friends around you for the for that support. But I think in terms of having the discipline and the rigor, to get up every morning, and just go for it and go after it. It helps a lot, I think if you can have a change in surroundings.

Roy Barker  10:49 Develop A replicable framework

Yeah, certainly. And like you said. Just, and I don’t mean this negatively there. But the distractions of all the. Hey, let’s go do this. Let’s go do that, you know. Because that’s an easier choice, I’d much rather go have some fun, then Exactly. Try to figure this out.

So that can be a plus. The other thing I was gonna tell you is, you know. You’ve done this long enough now. But when you walk into the businesses and start evaluating, you know. That is an affliction that you will never ever get over. Because, you know, I’ll get caught doing that looking around thinking, how does this company make money? Or, you know, what is this? What How does this work? You know, what is their process? And, you know, Terry, my, my partner, she’ll be like, Hey, where are you at?

I’m like, I’m trying to figure this place out, right? It never goes away. Like, is this a cover for something else? I have asked that question more than once. Like, how does this place make money? Think, you know, what is the rent for this building, or this space that we’re setting in? And then they’re charging, you know, $3 for a product, and I’m sitting there thinking, how many $3 products do you have to sell to pay this $12,000? rent every month? Yeah. So So what led you to creating? And I’ll try it again, Kasennu? Is that close?

Developing Kasennu

Alicia  12:03

That was perfect that you hit the nail on the head. So you know, you How long were you consulting before you decided to create this methodology? Is it something that, you know, it kind of been accumulating as your process as you walk through businesses? And you know, it was just more documenting your process and getting it together? How did that come together?

I’m glad you asked that question. And thank you for asking that question, Roy. So the way it happened was very organically. When I started my company, as many people who I’m sure are listening right now. You’re just so grateful for business. They you just kind of take it all on? Well, hi, Alicia, can you do this? Yep, I can do that. What can you do this? Yep, I can do that, too. And I just started taking on all of this work, Roy, and about two to three years in. I had a friend. She’s still my friend, actually. She was one of the first people that I met when I was in it. When I moved to Atlanta, Louisa and Louisa told me one day, she said, Alicia, you’ve got to figure out a way to package your services, you’re all over the place.

And I was like, Well, how can I do that? I don’t know how to do that. It’s not possible. No, no, no, no, no. So one day, Roy, I decided to the great thing about Atlanta is, you know, it’s it’s close to a lot of other states that are that have mountains. And so I decided to travel up to the northern part of Georgia. I remember being in a bed and breakfast in the mountains.

So no cell phone coverage, no internet, it was just me in the woods. And I appreciate that so much because I had an opportunity to really think, and here’s what I did. I wrote down every single service that I had performed for a client up to that point. Again, this was about somewhere two to three years into the business. I wrote each service on an individual index card.

And I spread everything out. As I started to look for similarities in some of the different things that I had done for these companies, seven unique services emerged. Then I started to put those services in sequential order. And I said, You know what, this is a framework. And no matter how many times without me even knowing it, I was doing certain things with certain clients over and over again, regardless of industry. Regardless of sector And it worked every single time.

And I said, Oh my goodness, this is the package. This is what Louisa was talking about. And so those seven different services became what I now refer to as seven elements of this customer new framework. So I knew I had the bones or the structure for a framework that was repeatable, that could be documented that could easily be shared with other people, but I knew it needed a name.

And Roy, I’m a student of ancient civilizations. So one of my favorites, of course, is ancient Egypt. And I had been to Egypt before, actually, I hadn’t been to Egypt at that point. But from my studies, I was in contact with a few Egyptologist, and I reached out to one and I said, You know, I have this framework. And the idea of it is, once you apply this framework to your company, it really, in essence, helps you to clone or replicate what makes your company so successful.

So as you start growing, and you want to open additional offices, or if you even want to offer your company up as a franchise, you can do that, because you figured out what your company’s unique formula or secret sauce is, and you know how to replicate it over and over and over again. So I knew I wanted a term that has its that spoke to cloning, if you will. I also wanted to talk about cloning the spirit or the essence of what makes your business so special and so unique.

So I knew that the ancient Egyptian word for spirit is Ka K, I didn’t know an ancient Egyptian word that would represent clone or cloning. And so I reached out to an ancient Egypt, in Egyptologists that I know. Dr. Charles Finch, and he was the one who told me the word Sindhu, which is S II in in you and it means twin or similar similitude. So basically the spirit of cloning, and I said, Okay, I’m just going to put those two words together. And that’s going to become the name of this framework. So kasungu is, is how that name came about. Interesting.

Roy Barker  17:18 Develop A replicable framework

That’s really cool. But it comes, taken the Egyptian terms, I really liked it, I wasn’t sure of the origin. But that’s awesome. And it has a good meaning because we’ll kind of like fast forward into the book that you know, that you spell this out. And what a great I want to talk about that for just a minute. Because, like I said, I’m a huge fan of business and a huge fan of the Wizard of Oz.

And one thing I had been told many years ago that the basis of the Wizard of Oz is actually financially rooted in a struggle back around the turn of the century, I think, between those that wanted to go with the gold standard versus those that wanted to go with the silver standard, you know, the yellow brick road that led to nowhere, and I think originally, Dorothy shoes were silver, I think they had to make them red to give it a little punch for TV. But anyway, it’s interesting, because I had heard that many years, but cannot find any evidence.

And that one time, I actually thought my professor was just kind of, you know, Shawn in the song a little bit, basically that hey, you know, he told us some kind of made-up story that he thought about was probably snickering when he told it. But, you know, after I read your book, I went back and looked again. And sure enough, there’s a lot of documented evidence out there now that that is probably you know, where this did come from

So, but it’s interesting, you know, we talk about the, you know, the man behind the curtain the facade, but on, and that is what, you know, I think he took he married the methodology with business. And with storytelling, because it again, it’s been a few months since I read the book, so please forgive me, but I think there are three distinct stories if I’m not correct. I mean, if I’m correct three distinct instances, and you kind of walk through how you use the methodology, well, a fictional person, how they use that methodology to help a not-for-profit and a couple of other businesses, is that right?

Alicia  19:29

Yes. So there’s, there’s six unique stories, okay. And, and you’re right each, each of those stories, it actually focuses on one of those seven elements. So you have these different characters and those characters Roy, I don’t know if we talked about this before, but those characters are actually loosely based off of people that I’ve actually worked with. So I would say each character is really like a composite of four to five different People that I’ve actually worked with. And so, to your point, yes, there’s a nonprofit that’s represented.

There’s another company where they, they primarily work in the government space. There’s another retail company, there’s a company that’s a food distribution company. So I tried to have a fairly good representation of the different types of businesses. So not just strictly service based businesses, and not just, you know, retail related businesses. But to have a, it was important to me to have a cross representation, again, to show that the application of this framework really is industry agnostic.

But the one thing that is the one thing that is common across every character, and his or her situation is the fact that they have found themselves the victims of very good marketing. Yes. And now they have a different type of problem, right. So in the beginning, when we’re first starting our organizations, we have to focus on marketing and branding and PR and publicity we because we have to attract customers to our respective organizations. But what happens when you’ve done such a great job of attracting attention to your business or your organization, that you now have a different issue, you now have more than you can handle.

And that’s usually when people that run these different organizations that run these fast growing small businesses, that’s usually when they are ready to have a serious conversation about operations. And those back office processes, which I know Roy year, you also specialize in. So that’s why it’s so important. That’s really what the book is about. And I wanted it to be a true how to book there’s no, there’s no funny business or monkey business here, right? Where there’s, there’s no cliffhangers that intentionally leave you as the reader hanging so that you can now be routed to the website and hire my company to help you actually implement it.

The whole point is, pick up this book. Don’t read it from cover to cover, because it’s it’s it can be very overwhelming to scan the table of contents, see what jumps out at you what what speaks to you right away, read that particular chapter. And it’s literally going to tell you step by step. This is how you implement this in your specific company.

Developing Success

Roy Barker  22:29 Develop A replicable framework

Yeah, I think that’s a good point, before we go much further to talk about is that a lot of people think businesses fail, because they don’t have any business or because there’s mismanagement with funds or things like that. But in reality, you know, I’m sure as I do you do, we talk to a lot of people who are struggling and having, you know, businesses that are fixing to go out of business, develop A replicable framework, because they have too much business.

Today with our reputation with the online reputation, unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which side of this coin you’re on, you know, that word starts to travel very fast, that, you know, ordered something. And, you know, it took three months to fulfill the order or the service that you know, I’ve told you, I’m going to give you x, y and z, but I keep answering phone calls, because I don’t want to turn anybody away, and then we just get jammed up. And all of a sudden, you know, we’re in a lot of trouble.

I actually had a great example yesterday, not necessarily of the management part, but it’s a product, I use that as a turn in a support question to their support June 8 of 2021. June 8, and we’re, we’re taping this on July 31. I got an answer yesterday, almost 60 days after Wow. Well, I was not very nice. When I wrote back. I’m like, really 60 days. I mean, like, Do you not like to cash my checks every month when I don’t get that and you know, they’re luckily they’re in an industry that not a lot of competition yet.

But you know, believe me, develop A replicable framework, customers remember things like that. It’s like, you know, if I if my cheque or my debit card failed for 60 days, am I still going to be one of their customers? No, I guarantee you, if my debit card, credit card didn’t charge the day of they may give me a couple of days, but they are not going to hesitate to cut me off after that. And, you know, I feel like we vote with our dollars and so when we when we have these experiences with businesses, people take their dollars elsewhere.

And you know, I guess we’re lucky in some respects if somebody will nicely speak up and say hey, you know what, love your company, love your product, love your service. But I had this little issue. And if they take it the right way and say you know what, we’re working on that too. Thanks for bringing it up. It’s good because A lot of times businesses may not even realize what they’re missing out on with, you know, different operational processes that fall through the cracks. Amen to everything you just told you, I just don’t I can’t even you know, get on my soapbox and don’t know when to quit. Develop A replicable framework. But anyway,

Alicia  25:19

no, but you know it actually, there’s something else that you said that reminded me of something that I think is very timely for us to bring into the conversation, if I may, and that is labor shortages. So I’m wondering, I’m curious if the reason you received you know, such there was such a delay in responding to you is, I’m wondering if that company is experiencing some type of a labor shortage. That’s a huge issue right now, because of the pandemic. And then we have all of these, these increases in prices, because there’s so many supply chain bottlenecks in the supply chains have so many different companies, bottlenecks that they never experienced before.

So everyone is trying, literally trying to figure it out on the fly, right at the same time, so so right now is a particularly challenging time for so many businesses. And again, you know, as we’ve been discussing, not everyone is struggling. I don’t know about your ROI. But I, I feel like I’m drinking water from a fire fire fire hydrant, right? Every single day ever since COVID, the COVID, lockdown started, and you know, I would listen to some people. They’re like, Oh, I’m so bored. I don’t have anything to do. I’m, I’m constantly bingeing on Netflix, and I’m like, Oh, my God, I can’t I feel like I can’t come up for air. Right? Yeah, it’s just been crazy.

So So that’s something that’s something that I think is worth mentioning also. But something else that I talk about quite a bit in the book. And it’s the reason I, I named it behind the facade is this idea that there’s there’s there seems to be this battle between marketing and operations. And so many companies focus on marketing. Again, we erect this facade, whether intentional or not, in its, that’s not a bad thing, by the way. My argument is, just make sure that you operate on the inside as good as you look on the outside.

So if you’ve, if you’re presenting this mighty lion, and that’s what people see on the outside, and then very similar to the Wizard of Oz, when if a todo happens to pull back the curtain, and they see you’re just a little kitty cat, then that’s a that’s an issue, because marketing is all about making a promise to your customer or your client operations is how you actually deliver on that promise.

So if you make the promise, but you can’t deliver on it, that’s that’s a clear indication that you need that business infrastructure in place, you need to have a focus on operations to make sure that you can fulfill these customer orders, respond to your customers in a timely manner, and make sure that your product and service is consistently delivered or produced.

Good Time Can Cover Up Poor Operations

Roy Barker  28:19 Develop A replicable framework

Yeah, I think there’s, there is a slight window in there where you know, enough business can cover up some operational issues. Then one of two things happens, either the growth is exponentially and then it really exposes them to the point of crippling us. Or things slow down enough that we just can’t seem to, you know, get any traction and catch up.

And then that’s when everybody’s like, Oh, you know, there’s something that’s wrong here, even though it’s been wrong for quite some time, you were just in this zone, where, to me, my opinion, is that there was just enough business that you know, and enough money coming in that it could cover some of the shortcomings that we find. Then I guess the second part of this is. As an entrepreneur as a solopreneur, smaller business, it happens to larger ones, but we tend to focus on, you know, smaller business. Here is that we have, you know, we have egos, I don’t want to call Alicia and say, I’m struggling.

Yeah, that’s the first step we’ve got to take. And, you know, we have to realize, I think a lot of businesses struggle doesn’t you know, you can be very smart, you can have a good product, good service and all that but it happens and we have to be able to recognize that sooner rather than later.

Alicia  29:40

I completely agree with you, Roy. And if just to add to that. Another challenge for us as small business owners is that if we are proactive and we do go out and seek support and help in the area of operations, we usually find one of two things. One All the information that’s out there is reserved for manufacturing companies, or to the information that we come across is really targeted toward the large enterprise Corporation type organizations.

So where do you go? When you are you have this fast growing small emerging business that has the potential to become a Facebook, for example. But you don’t it finding those resources are so challenging. And I remind people this all the time, it’s no accident that Amazon has become the behemoth that it is. Jeff Bezos is an engineer, he understands operations and operational excellence in business infrastructure and having those processes.

And even though people like fat may not verbalize it, you better believe they definitely value it. And it is ingrained in their culture and the way that they do things. That’s what’s helping to drive, the innovation, and the continuous improvement. And unfortunately, ROI. We do such a disservice to small businesses by not talking about these things, because it’s so easy to talk about social media, and how to give a great presentation, and how to have nice websites and search engine optimization.

And don’t get me wrong, all of those things are incredibly important. But we also need to bring into the conversation, the things you and I are talking about the processes, the procedures, the quote unquote, not so sexy stuff. Right? Right. But the things that will make sure that your company runs, you know, it doesn’t skip a beat.

Create A Plan, Then Use It

Roy Barker  31:50 Develop A replicable framework

Yeah, and a lot of times people create a plan, or they write it down, and then you know, flowchart it, but then it goes on the shelf, and months, years go by and things change. And I can also emphasize enough that, you know, these are living documents that need to be revisited, because we had a supplier change, or we added a product or what you know, whatever the cause may be, maybe we added another person or you know, new person comes in.

And it’s it’s important, because we always want to be revising our plans to be better, you know, find out where is the end, it struck me. Be honest, it struck me as odd that you started out with the, you know, with a product that is really fairly mature. But yet you are still watching over that process very carefully. And, you know, I would have never suspected that I would have figured that they had that down that, you know, you know, unless there was just a total meltdown of a procedure piece of equipment that quit or we ran out of liquid that, you know, that would product would be consistent through time.

Alicia  33:05

Well, actually, that brings up an excellent point, Roy, I’m so glad you say said that. Because that that kind of ties into some things that we’ve seen unfold in the news lately. But you have to constantly test, you have to constantly monitor a process. So the only wait reason you’ll know that, let’s say for example, when I was at Monsanto, the only reason you may know that a section of pipeline, for example, needs to be replaced is because you’re constantly testing the end product.

And if it does not meet those specifications, that’s when you know, Okay, wait a minute, something has changed, something’s wrong. Let’s go into the process and figure out what it is is it? Is it because of a piece of equipment needs to be replaced? Is it some pipeline, maybe there’s some corrosion that’s taking place on the inside and it’s, it’s causing you know, that again, the the product to not meet the specifications? Let’s think about what has happened recently in I think the city is sunny inside, Florida. It’s right outside of Miami, we have this this condo building that collapsed.

You better believe someone sounded the alarm? Yeah, that’s why we have things like inspections. Don’t ever think that something is just done. Nothing is ever done. Whether you’re building a structure or building a business, it’s never just complete, we have to continuously maintain it. And so part of maintaining this building just using it as an example is doing that performing these inspections.

And so if red flags are raised up raised on these inspections, yet no one acts on it. Right? Look at what happened, all of that loss of life for no reason, right? So you know, that’s obviously a much more extreme thing that can happen but it just goes to show the importance of having these checks and balances having these quality control check points. But then acting on those things. When people find that there are errors or defects or something’s missing, something’s wrong, something’s not quite right.

Don’t wait for your customers to have to be the people to tell you, wait a minute, this is wrong. You want to be able to figure that out before it even gets to your customer. Because once it gets to your customer, things can really get ugly, especially from a public relations perspective.

Roy Barker  35:28 Develop A replicable framework

No one I think that, as tragic as that is, it’s an example because they continued their sales and marketing process. It because I think the red flags went off a year or two ago, you know, when things were brought to light. But through this time, they continued their sales and marketing process to try to, you know, bring in new people.

So, you know, it kind of gets back to what you were saying earlier that, you know, we we all want to focus on that marketing and sales, but then are we listening to our employees that are trying to say, hey, there’s something going wrong internally.

And and sometimes maybe what goes unsaid, like employees leaving, you know, because a lot of retention work as well. And that’s what, you know, we noticed is that, hey, you know, I’ve been telling these people for six months about this, or about that. nobody’s listening. So I’m getting out, you know, sometimes it’s because they’re just tired of the frustration, but sometimes it because it could be harmful to other people.

Alicia  36:36

Yes. Yes. And and it’s, again, it’s it’s really unfortunate, and you just have to be so careful about the culture that you’re creating. Right. And your company, do you have a culture? Are you have you created this culture of fear, where people are literally fearful? You know, that if they find that something has gone awry, or amiss, do they? Do they feel comfortable bringing forward that information?

You know, there’s Oh, my gosh, there’s so many examples, recent examples that we can look to with this type of thing. Another one that always comes to mind is theranos, with Elizabeth Holmes. And for those who are listening, who may not be aware of this, this was a young lady who purported to create a device that could test with just the prick of a finger could run up to 250 blood blood tests. And, you know, of course, the the technology did not work. But she put up this elaborate facade, she was on the cover of Forbes, named time Person of the Year she did. She spoke at the main TED event, she had all of this coverage, all of this press on paper, she looked great.

The company was revolutionary. Sure, her her her board was like a who’s who, of people and all of this money that she attracted all of this fame, all of this fortune, the company at one point was actually worth 10 billion, and that is with a B dollars. And it was all built on a lie. The technology never worked.

But here’s the thing, Roy, there were people who tried to say something, hey, Elizabeth, this this doesn’t actually work. They were threatened, they were threatened with lawsuits. They were some some employees actually reported being followed. Wow, wanted to make sure that you did not say anything outside of company walls. And you know, eventually she you know, the company was exposed.

It’s it’s now defunct. But my point is, we can spend so much time again, erecting that facade and looking great on the on the outside, we look like the shiny golden apple. Right. But once that Apple is sliced open, is it rotten to the core, right? Does your technology actually work? You know, just yesterday, I’m sorry. I keep coming up with these examples. But just just yesterday, there was you know, I’m sure you heard this story about this billionaire who purported to have created a completely electric 18 Wheeler size truck.

Roy Barker  39:23 Develop A replicable framework

No, I haven’t heard that story. Okay. Develop A replicable framework.

Alicia  39:25

And so there was a video that he produced showing this truck driving along the highway. It turns out, they actually intentionally chose an area where they could place this truck at the top of a hill and it literally oh my gosh, it literally so it wasn’t there was no pressing of a gas pedal.

Okay, inside of or pedal excuse me, not gas pedal a pedal inside of the truck. It literally was rolling down a hill. Oh, my thanks to gravity. And so he’s been caught this this is like breaking news. Literally hot off The press the story just broke a few days ago. But again, it just it just goes to show this is a man who has now defrauded investors out of several hundreds of 1000s of dollars.

And, you know all because I think we see people like that they, they have these great ideas, once they realize that their idea actually can’t work. They just keep the charade going. Yeah. And they keep the facade going. And, again, just for cautionary tales, for everyone who’s listening, just make sure that you operate as good on the inside, as your company looks on the outside, and you won’t have anything to worry about.

Roy Barker  40:40

Yeah, because it eventually comes to an end, whether it’s, you know, devious like that, or whether it is just not paying attention, just, you know, where there may not be any criminal criminal elements involved. But eventually, it just comes to a stop, it cannot go on, right? for a lot of reasons Develop A replicable framework.

Either business dries up, your nobody wants to work for you, or there’s no money, you know, to continue the facade. Correct. And, yeah, it’s there’s just so much to talk about, Develop A replicable framework, I knew we were gonna have trouble with time. And I know, we’re running way long. But I wanted to see, can you talk to us just quickly, can you tell us what are the seven, you know, the pillars of the methodology that you were talking about a little earlier?

Business Parts Analysis

Alicia  41:29

Sure. So it starts with what I call a business parts analysis. And that’s when you that’s where you are actually identifying all of the tasks and activities that have to be performed in your company, you group them into departments, and then from there you assign, ideally, the perfect the role, or the position or the title of that role or position that should ideally perform those activities.

So that’s step one, or element one, element two is then taking that information and putting it into an organizational chart. Now, in this instance, for the sake of the methodology, I refer to it as your business design blueprint. So you’re literally almost think of it as your company’s vision board, even though you may not have all of the resources that you need right now, to make this plan of action, you know, put put that plan of action in place, it’s still a good idea to actually commit pen to paper and see what it looks like because it gives you so much more focus and clarity. The third element is what I call paper records management.

These are the physical records. Now that you know the departments that make up your company. This is how you start to organize your physical records. Some people may say, Well, I have a paperless office Elisa, that’s fine. But there are still some documents. Especially when we’re talking about legal contracts. Where you still have to maintain a hard copy. So for situations like that. You just want to make sure that you have a filing system in place that everyone understands and can easily access. fourth one is what I call the electronic records management system.

So this is literally the digital version of what you’ve put in place physically. If we have the workspace logistics, so again, once you know the people, that departments, and how work should ideally flow within your company. That’s how you want to set up your physical workspace. Even if you are a solopreneur. Listen closely, you should still set up your workspace so that you have different zones.

One quarter, you might say you know what this is where I keep all of my HR related information. Another corner, this is where I keep all of my accounting, legal and it related information. And this corner over here, that’s where all of my sales and marketing stuff is. Then finally in the other corner, this is where all of the operational and day to day things that need to take place in the company.

That’s where that’s what this zone represents. But just start getting in the habit now. Because as you start to expand from out of your home office and into an brick and mortar space, you can still you’re just going to take that idea and just scale it. The sixth one is what I call a service delivery blueprint. So what does that process look like at a high level? From the moment a customer places an order or says I want to? Yes, I want this particular service? What does that look like from the moment that customer or that potential lead?

If we’re talking about a service based business, from the moment you first have an interaction with that person, or that other business to the moment that product or service is delivered? What are all of the steps? What is the technology that’s involved? Who are the people that need to be involved? And what are the metrics? That’s what’s going to help you figure out where potential bottlenecks may exist in that in that you Your effort to deliver products and services on time.

And then finally, the big kahuna is the business process manual. That is the final element that is literally you identifying all of the processes that need to be captured in your company. And then actually documenting those. And quick caveat, don’t think that every procedure or process, excuse me has to be documented in that standard old school way of, you know, standard operating procedure. Step one, do this step to do that.

You can use video, you can have checklists, you can have little short job aids, you can get really creative, whatever it’s takes for people to understand how to perform a particular job or task at your company. That is the primary goal in documenting your processes. And they are living breathing documents, don’t just put it on a shelf to collect dust, as Roy and I have talked about,

Roy Barker  45:58 Develop A replicable framework

right. Yeah, develop A replicable framework, don’t see, and there’s dust. All right.

Alicia  46:02

That’s right. So I want to mention, Roy really quickly is this amazing tool that my team and I started using, as of about six or seven months ago, it’s called Notion,, please, everyone look into it. It’s very inexpensive. It’s only I believe, like $4 per user each month.

But here’s what notion does. It’s part wiki, part, database, part knowledge base, and part project management tool, it has replaced so many other tools that we were using. And it’s literally brought all of that information into one place. It’s very visual. And so now that’s where we have all of our processes. And again, those processes take different forms. Some of them, one of our processes is literally a calendar.

And just based on that calendar, different people know what they need to be working on. Some processes are videos, some processes are just checklist. And then of course, we have the you know, those that are the standard, you know, standard operating procedure format. So I just wanted to make sure I I left that little nugget with your listeners

Roy Barker  47:15 Develop A replicable framework

That’s a great point to make. Number one, I’ll check this Notion out. But back to the others that, you know, we need to make this interesting. And so and in-depth instead of the written I’m very visual. So I would rather see you do this on-screen than have it written down. And so we’ve got, you know, products like Loom, awesome.

Yes, zoom, even you can do just the self-recording of what you’re doing to capture. If you’re working on a computer, it captures the movements and so much easier for a process than for me to look down and see step one, you know, click here, steps two, and I’m like kind of landed on the page wherewith with one of these screen captures, you can actually watch that physically, where does this guy move this mouse to to make this happen develop A replicable framework.

And I’m looking at the same screen as what’s on it’s, there are so many great ways that we can, I guess, enhance these processes and procedures that we’re putting out, and then also to make them searchable? Because I know some people that have some great processes and procedures took a lot of time. But the employees don’t know where they are. It’s not, it’s not like onboarded?

Well, there’s not a common space where you can go when you need answers. And then it just becomes tribal knowledge like, well, instead of trying to find this thing, you know, I’ll just ask the guy next to me. And he may or may not know the correct procedure if it’s been updated. So a lot of things that we need to think about, we have so much access to digital steps to make it not only better, but also easier for people to find and you know, have it consolidated somewhere.

Alicia  49:02

Absolutely. I’m sure you already knew that I would agree with everything, right?

Roy Barker  49:10 Develop A replicable framework

Yeah, that’s kind of like, you know, similar situations, like, you know, we always talk to elderly people need wills and trust, and you need all these documents. And what we always say is that, if nobody knows where to find them, it’s just like not having them. So you’ve got to make things where people can actually reach out and use that to, you know, better themselves and a couple things.

Again, I’m gonna say I know we’re running late. I’ll try to make this quick but to you know, that’s what I like about the book, because he actually gives you examples and the couple that sticks out are the the one with the not for profit person that if I’m recounting correctly, she’s probably fixing to lose her job. It was something that she started it was her baby, but when once you take the step to put a board of directors

Then all of a sudden, it’s really not yours anymore, the board has decisions to make has the power to make decisions over who’s running, and she was fixing to lose her job. But they sat down and figured out, like, all of the stuff that this young lady was doing, it was just crazy. I think they either use like a post-it notes or the three by five cards to write down, you know.

What this process is, and once and then then they were able to basically group all of those into, you know, different positions, they didn’t actually have to end up hiring anybody, but they were able to redistribute some of these roles to give her time to be more creative at the vision and the mission of the not for profit itself. Is that pretty close?

Alicia  50:48

That’s, that’s, that’s very close. And I think it also highlights, one of the outputs of this framework is being able to have those succinct job descriptions, because a lot of times people I mean, how many times have you and I both heard Roy, we just can’t find them. The people they just aren’t out there. Well, are you being as descriptive as you possibly can be? When it comes to crafting your job description, because there really isn’t. It’s part art and part science, right when you’re coming up with these job descriptions.

But when you go through an exercise, like what’s described in the book, and what the character you’re referencing, her name is Emily Miller. And so when you go through the same process that Emily went through, that’s when you start to realize, Oh, wait a minute, okay. Now I understand why I may not have been attracting the right people to even interview, right yet alone hire.

So so it gives you even more. I don’t want to say ammunition gives you, it gives you because that’s not the word that I want to use. But it basically arms you or equips you with the information that you need to really go out and make sure that you are recruiting, interviewing, and ultimately hiring the best people to fill those open positions at your company.

Roy Barker  52:09 Develop A replicable framework

Yeah, because I have seen that before, where we advertised for a position that, you know, it’s a general position, but then we are asking them to either be very heavily analytical, or heavily creative. But the person that came in thought, I thought I was just going to be answering the telephone and, you know, making some appointments, I didn’t realize you’re going to ask me to, you know, make a proform of where we’re going to go with this new product, or are either bad or to be, you know, rat, you know, our creative blogs or something.

So, then what we do is we spend all the time and energy hiring that person, they get discouraged because it’s not what they wanted. You get discouraged because they’re not able to give you what you need. And then we start this process all over again. That’s exactly right. Yeah. And then the second one that I wanted to talk about was the thinking was two sisters that were in like a healthcare business.

Yes, they hired the new guy. And he’s like, Oh, my gosh, they had like, I don’t know, I just had this visual of, you know, he opens the door to this room, and there’s nothing but filing cabinets all through. Develop A replicable framework. Nobody knew what was where they were trying to, they had a couple of locations, they wanted to open up some more, they were just trying to get everything in order.

So then it got that kind of overlap into the digital storage looking at, you know, what they could put digital, making sure, the most important thing I got out of that was vetting the provider to make sure that they could give you you know exactly what you need them to be able to provide you. Because it you know, I think they were scanning in documents, they were moving stuff that they wanted to keep to some off site storage, and then, you know, put trying to scan everything up again for accessibility.

Alicia  53:58

Right, and another big point or lesson to learn from their story in particular, they were in New Orleans. And so New Orleans floods very easily. For everyone who’s listening right now, we another thing that so many of us in this just isn’t confined to smaller companies, even big companies get caught off guard when it comes to disaster recovery. So if most of your records are in a paper-based format, you probably don’t want it stuck in a bunch of file cabinets in a city that is prone to flooding.

They had to come up with these creative ways of distributing these old files into and strategically placing them as far away from the city of New Orleans as possible. Just to make sure that in the event, another catastrophic hurricane comes through or tropical storm that those records would not in fact be lost. That’s something that’s that actually happened to so many organizations just from Hurricane Katrina. alone.

I mean, you have courts, you know, all types of court documents were lost just when you think about the number of things that are still held in a paper format. I know a lot of us to like to think that everyone has gone digital, but there are still so many organizations that are very old school. A lot of old information has not been digitized yet. And so all it takes is a bad snowstorm, tornado, you name it, any type of natural disaster, something unforeseen, unexpected to happen. And now all of a sudden, all of that information is compromised.


Roy Barker  55:37 Develop A replicable framework

Yeah, and, you know, it’s just even like, we had that bad winter storm here back in February, and people ever thought that there would be water pipes breaking so rapidly and shooting water, you know, like you said, early, like a fire hydrant through the house. And so, our small business where all of these paper files were just ruined, and, you know, for some things, they can be recreated.

But I think in some instances, especially like, the the story in the book, you know, they had to produce these records to, I think it was, you know, like state agencies for billing and things. So they needed access to them frequently, it’s not like that they had time, and they would have been totally out of compliance. And, you know, would have lost probably all of their income had that happened to them. So something to think about for sure. Hmm. The other thing, just to mention quickly, is that, you know, these are all things that we need to think about from the beginning.

We can’t, if we wait to we’ve got 235 10 employees, we’re probably going to be behind the eight ball and take a lot more time. Whereas if we would just think this through from the beginning, make some notes, how are we going to do this, it makes it easier when we add number two, we’ve already got things in place to share with them. We’re not having to take time out of our day to create these job aids, our processes and procedures, you know, for a new person that’s sitting here, tapping their finger on a desk wondering what they’re going to do tomorrow.

Yes. Develop A replicable framework. And then we can also capture the, you know, we could just capture more in depth. And like we said they need to be living growing documents as we go through time. All right. Well, I certainly do appreciate it, Alicia, you’re giving of your time. I know that you mentioned this, notion but one of my wrap-up questions is always what is a habit or a tool? What is something that you use in your daily life that really adds a lot of value? slack? Oh, my

Alicia  57:42

Slack, Oh, my gosh, Slack in Yes. Sack has significantly reduced the amount of emails that I receive in my inbox, because it’s so easy for things to get lost. And I was I was starting to drop the ball to be honest with you Roy on some things simply because I couldn’t keep up with the volume of email coming into my inbox so by by forcing everyone to start using Slack, and now we all love it, we absolutely love it. And the great thing about Slack is that all of your communications can be organized according to different projects or according to, you know, however you want to organize your conversations, actually. So it’s it’s been a lifesaver. You can attach files, Slack actually connects with Zoom. It’s, it’s such an amazing tool. And Slack also integrates with Notion.

Roy Barker  58:35 Develop A replicable framework

Oh, okay, interesting. Yeah, you know, I like those, I use one in teams a lot similar to Slack. But the nice thing is, it’s like you don’t have the volume of emails, you don’t do that forget to copy this person. Or if the you know, it’s a cc person that, you know, may not be paying a lot of attention, they can easily go back and find you know, the information that they need. So, yeah, great tool, check it out, and put it to use for you for sure. All right, tell us how can Who do you like to work with? How can you help them? How can they reach out, get a hold of you, and then also tell us where we can pick up a copy of the book

Wrap Up

Alicia  59:16

Sure. The The, the people that tend to attend to come to us are usually almost always in the same position. They they have been in business at least two to three years. So they’re not startups. And they have a different type of problem. They’re growing rapidly, and they desperately need to take a look at their operations and their put a business infrastructure in place to make sure that they can sustain the growth. So those that’s who we typically work with the best place to find out about me and the company and the book. I recommend that people just go to my personal website, which is Alicia Butler and my first name is spelled A L I C I A Butler, Pierre and Pierre is spelled P I E R R

So go there. And Roy that really, that site really serves as a hub for everything that I have going on. So they can find out more about the book, which is also on Amazon. By the way, they can also find out about my I have a podcast as well a weekly podcast called Business Infrastructure. And they can also find out more about my consulting company Equilibria. And it can link them to all of those different sites. But rather than reciting a bunch of different websites, I always like to send people to that one hub first. And then you know, if you want to connect on social media, links to all of my social media profiles are there as well.

Roy Barker  1:00:39 Develop A replicable framework

Okay, great. Yeah, we’ll include that in the show notes as well as the book and the company sign just to help people find you a lot easier. Again, I cannot say thank you enough. Love the book. It was such a good, easy read. I mean, I could not put it down once I got started. And, you know, great. Yeah, yeah, I love the whole reference to the well, to the Wizard of Oz, couldn’t have tied it in better. So anyway, thanks a lot. Y’all reach out, see how Alicia can help you out and go pick up the book. It’s a great read. It’ll sure help you a lot, you know, help you get started on making some positive changes.

And then I know Alicia and her team can help you, you know, drive that across the finish line. Until next time, that’s going to do it for this episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, you can find us at we’re on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google, Spotify. We’re also on all the major social media platforms tend to hang out on Instagram probably a little bit more than others. So we’d be glad to interact with you there. You can also see a video of this interview live on youtube when it when the episode goes live as well. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.

Alicia Butler-Pierre Website

Equilibria Website

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Quit Pitching Your Prospects, Try Story Telling To Get Your Message Across

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Quit Pitching Your Prospects, Try Story Telling To Get Your Message Across Featuring Ted Janusz

Quit pitching your prospects. Are you still using old sales pitches? Give them all the facts and figures and then squeeze them for the close? Try storytelling as an alternative. Develop a story that involves their problem and then how you solved it. This should be based on past experiences you have had with other clients. This will put them at ease and work magic.

About Ted

Ted Janusz is a Certified Speaking Professional and a Certified Virtual Presenter. He has facilitated over 1,100 workshops (over 6,500 total hours) in 49 of the 50 United States (lone exception: Wyoming), in Canada, Australia, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Janusz’s work has appeared on,, and has been invited to appear on the Fox News Channel. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and earned his MBA in marketing from the University of Pittsburgh


Janus Presentations
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Full Transcript Below

Quit Pitching Your Prospects, Try Story Telling To Get Your Message Across Featuring Ted Janusz

Wed, 7/28 7:07PM • 52:37

Estimated reading time: 46 minutes


book, people, roi, roy, postcards, write, fact, speaker, day, client, videos, speaking, image, presentation, linkedin, marketing, talk, kindle direct publishing, story, called, quit pitching your prospects.


Ted, Roy Barker


Roy Barker  00:05 quit pitching your prospects

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that speak to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully, we can point some things out that maybe you haven’t thought about or haven’t been on your radar.

Or if they’re things that are keeping you up at night, we can actually provide some solutions and some professionals that can help you. With that. No, we just want to see everybody be successful. And today we have awesome guests. We’ve been waiting to get on Ted Janusz is a certified speaking professional, and a certified virtual presenter. He has facilitated over 1100 workshops, which is over 6500 total hours in 49 of the 50 states, with the lone exception being Wyoming across Canada, from Halifax, to Vancouver, and in Australia, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

His work has appeared on, And he has been invited to appear on the Fox News channel. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and earned an MBA in Marketing from the University of Pittsburgh. He’s also the author of Superpower Marketing and Branding, No Cost To Low Cost Resources To Propel Your Business. Ted, thanks for taking time out of your day to be with us.

Ted  01:29

It’s a pleasure to be here, Roy.

Roy Barker  01:32 quit pitching your prospects

So tell us a little bit about how you got here. I mean, is speaking been something that you’ve done, you know, since your early days, and that’s just kind of the path you’ve always been on? Or is it kind of been that long and winding road like a lot of us have had? quit pitching your prospects

More About Ted

Ted  01:47

Well, it’s definitely been a long and winding road, right. But I actually started the day before 911. I didn’t know it was the day before 911 until the next day. I started speaking when I still had a full time job. And then I enjoyed training so much in that corporate environment. I went out on my own. And you know, you just told about the results. But yeah, it was a long and winding road. I wish I would have started many years ago. But my wife said and all of us can take hard on this. You weren’t ready. Yeah. You weren’t ready yet. So

Roy Barker  02:22 quit pitching your prospects

that’s a hard lesson. I’m still trying Yes. On some things is like Yes, in due time with your reading. But we all want it yesterday. Yes. So yeah. And speaking is I think a lot of people may not realize that speaking can also be a great form of marketing. Excellent. Yes, we used to, you know, utilize that at professional trade shows, kind of you get to be the speaker presenter at one of the little breakout sessions, talk about your, your discipline. And you know, it’s not, again, I’m gonna ask, I’ll ask that as a question. Not really supposed to make it a commercial are more of a sales pitch, but you present your information about what you do, or what you know. And then of course, people are interested after Listen, tell us a little bit about how that works. Quit pitching your prospects. Sure.

Ted  03:15

Well, during the recession, during the housing crisis, I had to give up what I love to do and get a real job. So what I was doing was I was selling training for community college, and I was smiling and dialing and that just wasn’t working well ROI.

So what I decided to do was something totally different. I made up these postcards, and I sent the local businesses and said, Hey, let us come in for lunch, we’ll provide a meal for your employees. And we’ll give a little educational session all free of charge, you know, just just invite us in.

So the very first one I went out on, we gave a half hour presentation on time refuses to be managed how to manage yourself instead. Well, unbeknownst to me, there was the CEO of the corporation sitting in the audience now. What would have been the chances ROI of me connecting with the CEO if I made a cold call?

Roy Barker  04:05 quit pitching your prospects

Yeah, quit pitching your prospects problems, the 00. But

Ted  04:08

because, yeah, she was in this environment where she didn’t feel threatened. You know, in fact, if we didn’t know she was the CEO, after the presentation, she came up to us and said, you know, you were talking about some things I think we need some help with. Could you assist us? And we got a $50,000 contract out of that first lunch handler. So yes, I agree. Because people are looking for not speakers, for instance, they’re looking for experts, right? People who know things, you know, they want to get information. And that’s a that’s a very good no cost or low cost way to get in to see potential clients.

Roy Barker  04:46 quit pitching your prospects

Yeah, and I like that because of that education factor. Right. Like you said, my you know, one of my biggest marketing techniques even with the mail and newsletters is to provide information not always be just Are you ready? by you. But, you know, one of the things I do is like, you know, if I find a good article somewhere, you can put little tidbits of that in an email to say, Hey, I thought you may be interested. I think, number one, we take the time to educate, we’re giving something to our audience in our company. But we’re also it’s a form for us to present that we really are expert, we really do have this information that’s valuable to you.

Ted  05:28

Oh, I agree totally. As matter of fact, before coming on this podcast, what I did was I had an article printed in an association publication, and I ran off copies. And I sent it out to other associations. And all I had on their ROI was a post it note that said, Could this information be valuable to your members, right. Then on the very last page, I had information about my breakout session at the conference.

But I didn’t say hire me, I’m a great speaker. Here’s some information for In fact, we teach that with newsletters. So many of those email newsletters are just veiled product pitches with maybe a 10% discount. That’s not what people want to have a successful e newsletter, solve your buyers problems once a month, make it be about them, or, for instance, a success story, you know, some clients you helped, in fact, the formula I would suggest, is talk about the problem. And you tell a story about the problem.

Because your potential client could see themselves in that story. You don’t Pitch Anything, you don’t try and sell anything. You just say hey, you know, Roy had this issue. And and maybe you’re experiencing something similar. Let me tell you about what was going on with Roy. Then you talk about how you solve the problem. And then at the very end, have the client come in and talk about how well ROI serve me in his own words.

Because they’re going to believe that that client far more than your own marketing puffery or a salesperson? So yes, like you were saying, we’re always looking at ways to solve people’s problems, be a problem solver, or if you’re a speaker, be an expert who speaks?

Quit Pitching Your Prospects

Roy Barker  07:12 quit pitching your prospects

Yeah, and I think you hit probably three or four topics of, you know, some podcasts that I’ve done in the past. First off, education. You know, to me, again, that’s my personal choice for the best thing of marketing, storytelling. It’s always good to, you know, have the story. The problem solution is awesome.

And then the well, the other person coming in that you work for coming in to substantiate not only substantiate the story that you just told, but I think people are prospects would much rather hear quit pitching your prospects. Roy is great from Ted, tell us why is great, more credibility, right step number, because it’s easy for me to tell everybody how great I am.

And I’m okay leaves me, you know, right next to you believe me. But you know, there’s just so much more validity to it when we actually have that client step up. So yeah, I love the way that this ties everything together. And another key point us, I think, that really encapsulates all that is make it about that process Exactly. out there,

Ted  08:24

the protagonist. In fact, that’s the reason you tell stories. It’s not so people can learn about TED or Roy, it’s so they see themselves in your story. It’s like when I give presentations, I talk about my wife and my kids. Not so you get to know about my wife and kids. But so you see your spouse or your children.

Relatable Story

Roy Barker  08:41

Right, right. Yeah. Yeah, tell us a little bit about that. Because I think that’s important, we have to, we have to make that story relatable, like you just said, kind of where they can see a portion of them in the story, or at least the story, the problem of the story is something that I’m experiencing, but we can’t make it too long to draw, and we can’t make it to get rid of the fluff, get rid of the details,

Ted  09:10

because their only concern, but everybody listens to the same radio station, right? And it’s called letters or wi I FM. What’s in it for me, anytime you give a presentation, you have to think as you do about the listener, the viewer, because they’re sitting there thinking so what, who cares? What’s in it for me?

Roy Barker  09:30 quit pitching your prospects

Right? Yeah, and the sooner we get to that exactly, the better off that we are. And yeah, and and the the other thing is not making it overly complex with I mean, we may want to have some data that we can throw out but it should be easily understood and not like, you know, if you multiply you know, 1000 times four and a half and then you divide it and then you square root that and then do the you know it just Because after about the second or third number, a lot of people aren’t that numbers oriented. And you know, you can basically see their eyes roll back up in their head. Exactly.

Ted  10:11

Yeah. In fact, I’d like to talk about a book, not my book. But I don’t know, Roy, if you’ve ever read the book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath, you’d know it because it has an orange cover and duct tape on it made the stick? I’ve actually got it on my show. Okay, well, let me let me give you the Reader’s Digest version of the book. They studied marketing campaigns to find out which ones stuck, which ones were most successful. And they boiled it down to six factors, which is the word success without the last.

So the first test is just when you were talking about ROI, you have to make it simple. Don’t talk about 10 things. Talk about one thing in detail. Now, the U stands for unexpected. Why do we laugh at jokes, because the story is going like this and all of a sudden the punch line goes off to the side. Now, if you’re selling industrial screws, this could be a challenge. But if you take a look at the YouTube videos that have been most popular, they all do something unexpected. Like one of my favorite business, YouTube videos that went viral was Dollar Shave Club. If you ever seen that video,

Roy Barker  11:21

I quit pitching your prospects don’t get so.

Ted  11:22

Okay. That’s your homework assignment, right? The reason the reason I mentioned it is because the gentleman who produced that video, he ultimately sold his company, which he created off of one YouTube video to Unilever for $1 billion be with because all he All he does is sell razors. Okay, but it doesn’t look like a Gillette commercial. Let me just leave it at that, though. The whole thing is unexpected. You have to keep watching, like what the heck’s he going to do next?

The C stands for concrete, you have to make it very easy for people to grasp the idea. The next C is credible. Why should I listen to you? Why are you the authority? In fact, we’ll be talking about books. If you write a book, you are the trusted member of the community. And we’ll talk about how easy that is. The next letter is E. emotion. ROI. People spend billions of dollars each year in a normal year going to sporting events going to movies, nobody’s ever spent a dime to see a PowerPoint presentation. And what’s the difference?

People want to get emotionally involved, they want to laugh, they want to scream, they want to boo, they want to yell even pay hundreds of dollars to cry to see their football team lose. All right. So they want to get emotionally involved. And the last letter we just talked about s for story. Dale Carnegie said a good 30 minute presentation is 15 two minute stories woven together, they won’t remember like you said the data and the statistics and the facts and the charts. But they will remember a story especially if it’s emotional.

Right. So take a look at your presentations. Take a look at your marketing campaigns. And do they have success meaning simple, unexpected? credible, concrete and an emotional story?

Roy Barker  13:20 quit pitching your prospects

That’s awesome. Yeah, I’m gonna have to pull that book off the

Ted  13:24

may just stick by Chip and Dan Heath are brothers. One’s a professor at Duke the other one a professor at Stanford. So pretty smart,

Do You Need A PowerPoint Deck

Roy Barker  13:31 quit pitching your prospects

guys. Okay. So, um, do you use props? Or do you use a deck when you use when you present? Do you use something or just mainly just speaking?[

Ted  13:43

I do use PowerPoint. And there’s been some discussion among speakers whether you need to have a PowerPoint deck. And I say you don’t have to, but then you have to be visually interesting. Yeah. You know, because, as you know, there’s three types of learners. There’s the visual learner, there is the auditory learner. And then there was the kinesthetic learner, the person who learns by doing. If you if you, you never know who you’re going to have in your audience.

So if you have a visual learner, and all you’re doing is auditory, you’re just speaking, they’re tuning you out. So you have to make sure you have something for everybody. And by PowerPoint, we don’t mean tons of bullet points. We mean visuals, visuals that will reinforce your story. It’s like I’ve heard speakers say I’m not funny. We have a saying in the National Speakers Association.

Do you have to be funny as a speaker? And the answer is no. Only if you want to get paid. Okay, so you can put up a funny image. It doesn’t have to all be on you. But make sure that the PowerPoint is reinforcing you. It isn’t the presentation. You’re the presentation. That’s your prop.

Roy Barker  14:56

Yeah. Well, awesome. And so I guess Out of all this, you decided to write the book, the superpower marketing branding professional for with the no cost and low cost resources to propel your business, which I assume is gonna help us with this quit pitching your prospects.

Writing A Book Voice To Text

Ted  15:16

Yeah, in fact, that’s what I did. I didn’t really write the book. Because I didn’t know Roy, if you tried to write a book, yeah, yes. Okay. Yeah. How tough that is. You know, you get out your piece of paper, you get the pen and you write a sentence, and then you start correcting it. Ernest Hemingway same age Moksha. Exactly. Exactly. And in fact, Ernest Hemingway, the famous author said, right, drunk, edit sober. Well, you know, maybe he didn’t mean that exactly. But you know, I’m saying. So the way I got my book was I happen to give a presentation, an hour long presentation to a chapter. And they put on social media, how wonderful was, so one of the members sent me the video of my presentation. I uploaded to a site called Rev. Are you familiar with rev?

Roy Barker  16:03 quit pitching your prospects

Yes, I used to use them. Yes, yeah.

Ted  16:04

R e You upload it to that site? For $1 a minute. They’ll transcribe what you said. And in a few hours, you’d get it back. Now, obviously, you write differently than you speak. Okay. But it was a huge 80% of the work was done right there. Right. Right. You know, because I love to edit, I hate to write, you know, so it was easy. I had 11,000 Word document already done. I just had to go in and, you know, clean it up. And so that would be a recommendation I’d have for speakers and trainers just have somebody, either audio or video, record yourself, upload it to a site called Rev. RTV. Calm, and then within just a few hours, you’ll have most of the book right there.

Roy Barker  16:45 quit pitching your prospects

Yeah, well, that’s good advice. And I never really thought about that. But it is much easier for a lot of us to speak and you know, the, if you’re not a good typing guru that you know, we can spend, I spend more time correcting spelling, spelling errors, and I do actually get words on a piece of paper. Well, I

Ted  17:04

like what you said the paper just sits there in mocks Oh my god, it’s like I am blank. put something on me.

Roy Barker  17:10 quit pitching your prospects

Well, even like Ratan blogs, even if you’re only trying to get you know, 800, 1000 1200 words, it’s like, well, I’ve got this awesome idea. You sit down, you know, crack the knuckles, get your dream, you know, all set up. And it’s like, you get maybe two sentences out. It’s like, we’re just going no way.

Somebody. Yes, yeah. That’s a non rider rider. I guess it happens to real riders. But yes, non rider riders is an affliction for Yes, I agree. But you know, and you mentioned this earlier, is that having a book, even if you know, and I think one mistake that I make a lot of times is, you know, we think about these 200 250 word books. Oh, you know, and it, it really doesn’t have to be that way.

It just needs to be something that makes good sense for whatever you’re doing, that you can put in somebody’s hand. And it Yes, really has a huge effect on people. Definitely.

Ted  18:08

Yes. I don’t know if you’re familiar with a survey study that Microsoft did. Roy, they said the average attention span of American adult is now less than that of a goldfish. Yes, yeah. goldfish is apparently can focus for nine seconds, the average adult eight seconds. I don’t know how you measure the attention span of goldfish, but Microsoft’s pretty smart. So like you said, keep it short, right? No, I don’t know about you ROI. But if I’m interested in something, I don’t want to go to Amazon and find a 300 page book about it. Just give me the top 10 tips, the eight keys, the five secrets that you’re not. I want it right now, just don’t have the time. I don’t have the energy, I don’t have the attention span to labor over something like that.

Smaller Slices Of Text

Roy Barker  18:52 quit pitching your prospects

Yeah. And, you know, one thing I’ve looked at two is just making multiple modules. You know, you can have one, you know, 50 pager that talks about one part and just break that up. Because I think it goes with our attention span again, that somebody is more apt to sit down and breeze through 50 you know, again, I wish that have been this is you know, when we have regrets from our childhood, and my mother, I know that she’ll be glad to hear me say that wish I had finally.

Yeah, finally, I’m admitting it. I wish I had more books. Because, you know, it’s a it’s a, I guess it’s like, training for to run a marathon, the more you because like now, I love to read but I’ll lay down and read two pages and, you know, fall asleep if they’re so rusty like me, you know, I can like get through the 50 100 pages pretty quick. But you know, once like you said, if it’s too daunting, it just sets on the nightstand.

Ted  19:49

And here’s another key ROI. You have to be a good date for the reader. What does this mean? If you’re not enjoy writing it if it doesn’t flow, the reader isn’t going to enjoy reading it. And they probably aren’t, you know, it’s too laborious on their end. Like you said, you’re gonna fall right asleep. So you got to be having fun so that they can have fun. Yeah. And here’s another thing, just start someplace doesn’t have to be at the beginning, start in the middle, you know, because of course with Microsoft Word, you can move things around, just get started.


Roy Barker  20:17 quit pitching your prospects

Yeah, yeah, that’s a good tip for a lot of things is just get started that momentum you’ll be, you’ll be amazed at what just that first step, how easy it is for the second third step to come after that. So once we get it, you know, through Reb understand that process, we get it back. And it’s usually in either, you know, like a Word document, we’d write some more edits, but how do we actually get that to be an E book?

Ted  20:45

Oh, I’m glad you asked Roy. Yeah, well, unlike when I wrote my first book, I mean, back then it was just a real tedious process, you know. But now there is a free resource, because that’s what we’re talking about free reuse of resources. Take that word document that you’ve added, you know, after rev give you the file back, you got the Word document, you edit it, and you upload it to a site called Kindle Direct Publishing. Kindle Direct Publishing is part of Amazon. And they’ll make it look rather than a Word document, they’ll make it look like a book. And it’s totally free. Now, the only thing you’re missing. And one thing you’re missing in that process is what right?

Roy Barker  21:22 quit pitching your prospects

I don’t know. I don’t know enough to even know what we’re missing. The cover. Oh, cover. Okay. All right.

Ted  21:28

So this is the only cost. All right. Get yourself cover. Now, are you familiar with the site Fiverr, Roy, f fi ve RR com, you know, where there’s, there’s fantastically talented artists, but they primarily live in and we used to be able to say third world, it’s now called developing countries where maybe they can live on $5 a day. So it doesn’t mean they’re not professional. It doesn’t mean they’re not creative doesn’t mean that they’re not courteous. It doesn’t mean they’re talented. It’s just, you know, they have a different economy.

Right. So now the site is hit or miss. Alright, so always go with a recommendation. But one of my favorite artists is the guy who creates my ebook covers. So for instance, let me show you my book here. I do not think this looks like a self published book. Not Not at all, what one of my biggest pet peeves with Self Publishers is their books like that look like they’re self published. We judge a book by its cover. So make, you know, make it look professional. But he put together the cover for my ebook for just $5. Wow. Yeah, yeah. And let me just if I could just tell quick story.

Roy Barker  22:39 quit pitching your prospects

Yeah, quit pitching your prospects, sure.

Ted  22:40

part of the process is he asks you to choose an image. So he gives you a library and you go through and you choose images, and you get to choose five. And I kind of thought he would use this one. But he, of course, is a graphic artist, I am not. Instead, he chose this one, which is far better than the cartoony type image that I came up with. And again, you know, $5 Oh, so let me give you his name, his ebook cover, underscore

Roy Barker  23:09


Ted  23:10

ebook cover underscore x p, e. r. So you can go to Fiverr F I V E R, look them up and see some of the great work he’s done.

Roy Barker  23:20 quit pitching your prospects

Yeah, and I’ve had some logo work done over there. And it’s it, it’s a surprisingly good experience for the amount of money that you pay, you know, there, it’s not just a one time exchange, you know, like the people I work with, there is a back and forth and them actually trying too hard to get what you want, you know, the representation that you want. So, like you said, you just need to be careful to go with somebody that’s got this right. negations because, you know, it’s with the feedback in that civically feedback means a whole lot. And there’s no feedback. Sometimes. That’s right. There’s a reason.

Ted  24:02

Yeah, so at this point, you have the E book. Now, some people of course, like the paperback book, that’s something that could actually hold. So you can actually use Kindle Direct Publishing to create a book. So they’re on Amazon, for the millions of people use Amazon and we’re looking for a topic that have a choice. Either they could download your ebook, you know, use their Kindle reader, or they could order a paperback. And the nice thing there is when I wrote my first book, right, in order to get a decent price on the book, I had to order 2000 copies, you know, a 2000 copies of the book look like? Yes, it came on a pallet.

Roy Barker  24:42 quit pitching your prospects

Yes. Yeah, I

Ted  24:42

had to store them in my basement, attic and garage, my neighbor’s basement, attic and garage. They got moldy. Alright, you don’t have to do that anymore. With Kindle Direct Publishing, you print on demand. So you know, let’s say you were going to give a presentation. You could sell you could order and sell 25 copies back of the room. And what I like about it is, you could probably, for this book, I could order author copies for $2.15. I mean, that’s less than a price book greeting card. Exactly. Yeah. So you can order author copies, use those as market, what I do is I use this as marketing material, because like you said, It educates. It’s not selling anything. I’m trying to show myself as the trusted expert.

Roy Barker  25:25 quit pitching your prospects

And, and hold that back up. Again. The other thing that is even if people don’t read it, it’s a huge business card. I mean, it just tells your story is got your name. And even if it’s laying around on somebody’s coffee table, it’s still a presence in front of people, which That’s awesome.

Ted  25:43

I remember the first, when I wrote my first book, I was giving a presentation on my books there. And the lady bought a copy. And she looked at me with all because apparently she’d never met a published author before. She said, will you sign my book? Oh, yeah, there’s, we, well, you kind of have to organize your thoughts, you know, you’ve you’ve gone through the process. And so therefore, you have this this aura of credibility.

But someone else who has all the information in their head, but doesn’t have a tangible, doesn’t have tangible proof. This can make all the difference. And like I said, doesn’t matter what, you know, you’re a plumber, you could write a book about how to fix your drains or whatever, put it in a book, it’s going to cost you $5. And you could give this out to potential clients, whatever your expertise is, set yourself apart. I know you talk about employee retention.

And that’s a huge issue right now, of course, as you know, but I think the second biggest issue for small businesses is how do you set yourself apart from all your competitors? an E book is a book is a great way to do it.

Roy Barker  26:52 quit pitching your prospects

Yeah, we talk a lot about just the noise level out there now as you have to do, you know, back in the day, if you had a website that was now it’s like, everybody’s got one and everybody right, this level. So we’ve got to take that next step. Which basically, you know, the other cool thing about this is, you know, kind of taking a step back, is, you know, once you get your rev copy edited before you submit it. What a lot of great social media posts. Oh, yeah. Found up right there. Take the chunks. Yeah.

Ted  27:29

In fact, I don’t mean to interrupt you, right. Try not to do that. I just get so excited about talking about this. But it’s very key to chunk your information, chunk your information. So what I usually do my classes, I asked somebody to write down a random nine digit number, any nine numbers of doom as low as long as they’re not sequential. So after they do that, I’ll say, Roy, if I were to see you next week, first of all, thank you for allowing me to be on your podcast. And then ask you could you recall that nine digit number? Do you think you could?

Roy Barker  27:59 quit pitching your prospects

Probably, oh, you could, I couldn’t. But you could say I can you remember what I have for lunch?

Ted  28:07

Well, I’m going to give you a little trick, a little tip, right? After the third digit and the fifth digit. So after the third number in the fifth number, put in a dash, put in a hyphen after the third number in the fifth number of now, if you can visualize that. What does that look like in your mind’s eye? No.

Roy Barker  28:23

I was saying like Social Security now.

Ted  28:26

We’ve gone from nine pieces of information down to just three, we’ve chunked the information. See, a confused mind never learns a confused mind never buys. That’s why for instance, there are the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People that some of the Habits of Highly Effective People, in fact, you know, I just used that on you a little while ago, by talking about that principle from May to stick. It was an acronym, they chunk the information. So it’s spelled su cc e. s, that’s how I’m able to remember it. If I didn’t have that acronym, I couldn’t tell you, you know, but when we chunk the information, it makes it really easy for people to remember.

Roy Barker  29:04

Yeah. Yeah. And you know, we work. Sometimes it’s like that, you know, the blank page mark in us that we talked about earlier. It’s like, Okay, well, we want to sit down and schedule some social media out. And it kills me because I know people, you know, or bloggers or good writers, they’re like, Ha, quit pitching your prospects. I don’t know what I’m gonna put out. And I’m like, Oh, my gosh, you got three pages of information, you know, you just pull from it. Right? You’re able to do the same thing. Like you said, chocolate, but you’re still educating your engine to yourself. So I mean, that this is an awesome tool that we’ve just created for ourselves. Mm

Ted  29:40

hmm. In fact, I want to give you an alternative to blogging. This is one of my favorite tips. You’re on LinkedIn. Right? Right. Yes. Correct. Yes. Either and LinkedIn, okay, so on the homepage of LinkedIn, the top, middle, there’s either a button or a link that says write an article. Okay, okay. So click on that link, it’ll take you to a three part template. At the top of the template, they’re looking for an image. So kind of like what’s behind you, for instance, now one of my favorite sites to get images is pixabay.

Have you ever used pixabay? No, p IX, a BA YPIXAB. Ba, why? Now one of the reasons I love going to that site is you were talking about web websites. I happen open up my PO Box, and I got a letter from Getty Images. unbeknownst to me, my webmaster had unauthorized use of one of their images, and I got a bill for $1,000. You don’t want to do that. Okay, but pixabay these are our images from amateur photographers. Now, it doesn’t mean they’re not good. Because, you know, with our iPhones now, I mean, they’re so sophisticated, you know, anybody can be of what looks like a professional photographer.

And what I also like about it is it doesn’t look like stock photography normally looks so prim and proper, and perfect. I mean, these are real images. And it’s a search engine. So for instance, if you wanted to do an article about employee retention, you could type in employee, and it would show you images of employees, okay? no cost. Now you can give attribution, you can give a contribution, if you like, one of the things I always do is I at least like the image, you know, to give the whoever provided some feedback. So I get an image from The next part is the headline. And so what I do in the headline is I think about how people would be looking for the information in my article, you know, what do people type into Google?

And the reason I do that is, you know, when Google is looking for answers, they go to a credible site like LinkedIn, and they’ll look for information there. You know, so I want my title, my headline to match what they’re typing in the search engine. So that’s the second part of this template. The third part is the body copy 500 words or less, remember their short attention spans, there’s a little blue button in the upper right corner says publish, hit that, and it goes out to all your connections.

Now, I’m very particular as to who my friends are on Facebook, like, for instance, if I get a request from a half naked female, I think I probably shouldn’t go there. But with LinkedIn, it’s just business. You know, I never know when I could help you. Or you could help me. So I always say, I always say yes to those connections, and I have 1300 connections, and I ever do anything to promote it. No. So as soon as you do that, your article goes out to all of them. And then what you can also do is take that link, and use it on your other social media sites, use it on your, on your website.

And it what it’ll say is the the title of your article by Roy Barker doesn’t say by Roy Barker, it says this information is coming from Alright, you’re an authority now. Yeah, you know, so at least get started there. If writing an E book or a book, it just seems too intimidating to you start with a LinkedIn article. It’s another one of those no cost resources. All it does is it takes up a little bit of your time. And you can prove yourself to be the again trusted member of the community. The real authority on your topic.

Roy Barker  33:14

Yeah. Yeah. And because LinkedIn is such, they have such a high domain authority, it really boosts your I think it really boosts your credibility as well.

Ted  33:26

Definitely, definitely. And the other thing you could you can do, of course, is post videos 80% of what we’ll be consuming it online will be videos, and keep them short. Again, very, very short, within 10 seconds to according to tubemogul. Within 10 seconds, 10% of your audience will be gone by the half minute mark, or third, by the one minute mark a half by the two minute mark three quarters. Wow. So keep them short. Keep really short, again, because of that short attention span, but you can you can post videos, put your videos on YouTube on LinkedIn as well.

Roy Barker  34:08 quit pitching your prospects

Yeah, videos or they used to reference it. I’m sure my audience gets tired hear me say it. I say it all the time. But it used to we talked about pictures were like breadcrumbs to your article, where videos were like chocolate covered your article that, you know, they just have so much more impact. And, you know, we talked about this to the importance of using a picture or video.

One of the reasons that was explained to me it really made a lot of sense at one time was that when you write even just a post on LinkedIn or Facebook, you take up, you know, maybe an inch, half an inch of real estate, where if you have a picture, now all of a sudden you have widened out that real estate because it’s easier to scroll back up the lines of text than it is that picture makes at least it visible. Then if you have a great image, it gets somebody’s attention, you know, whatever you’ve posted there. So

Ted  35:06

definitely, if a picture’s worth 1000 words of videos probably worth a million.

Roy Barker  35:09

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And I’m like you I like, I like things that look more real. I tried to take pictures, you know myself to use, I don’t, you know, there’s times we have to use the stock image you can’t get around it, but not my choice. also depend on what we’re writing about. If it’s our company, or our service, quit pitching your prospects or something that’s more personalized a picture of you, goes a long way to people can identify you with the company name with the service makes people feel more comfortable.

Ted  35:38

Yeah, and that’s the thing about social media marketing, you want to make it real, make it authentic.

Roy Barker  35:43

Yeah, yeah. That’s why it’s different. Yeah, see a lot of these websites, it’s, you know, I was helping a young lady and they had a bunch of equipment, trucks and some manufacturing equipment that they were showing stock pictures of something that looked kinda like, I’m like, Well, why are we doing that? Why don’t we do a real thing, you know, right worker have a real worker standing by this thing. And people can tell the difference, just like you can. Exactly. And so anyway, I think it makes such a much better presentation. But so I was just reading down through here. The, you’re talking about forget the rejection and the stress of cold calling.

Ted  36:25

Oh, okay. Yeah. Well, I already told you a little bit of that story. I send out postcards. You know, I had, I was working for another speaker, and he had me doing some cold calling ROI. And I kept track. That day, I made 49 cold calls. I talked to a machine 45 times. I mean, I remember, maybe you do too, back in the old days where people would actually would answer their phone. But now on my iPhone, if I had a number I don’t recognize it’s not one of my contacts.

I never take it, right. As a matter of fact, if they don’t leave a message, I automatically block the call, or they don’t call back. Yeah. Okay. quit pitching your prospects So anyway, I made these 49 calls. 45 times I talked to voicemail. The four times I did talk to an actual person, they told me go to Hell yeah. And I thought there’s got to be a better way. And I also, I listened to a podcast from the National Speakers Association and the host, like you was talking about? Well, he was interviewing a meeting professional.

And she said, I get 10 unsolicited emails each day from speakers as 50 a week. And one of the keys to success. I got this from the book, what they didn’t teach you at the heart at Harvard Business School, by Mark McCormack, he said, take a look at what everybody else is doing. And if you want to be successful, do just

Roy Barker  37:45

the opposite. Right.


Ted  37:47

That’s why send postcards and on the postcards. I don’t talk about how wonderful and great I Am. I’ll talk about things that are of interest to the meeting professional, for instance, do virtual trade shows work? Or should my virtual conference be pre recorded? Or how to get the shy expert to speak things like that? Because, you know, if it looks like an ad, what do we do?

As soon as we get advertisement in the mail? We don’t even look at it. Right? You know, and so unlike the cold call, where somebody listen to the first two seconds, and then delete, or you know, they may only look at the subject line of an email, they can tell it’s coming from a speaker or you know, some solicitor with a postcard you can’t help but at least spend three to five seconds with it. You know, like, what is this?

And what you want to do is make it look like it’s coming from a friend. Because I gave this tip to another speaker. She said, Oh, great. I’ll print off 100 mailing labels and slap them on that. No, no, no, no, no. You want to handwrite In fact, sometimes I’ll even write something that looks like a personal note. Yeah. You know, in fact, just recently, I spoke here in Columbus, for an association that makes chocolate candies. And the executive director said, you know, why had you come speak?

And I said, No, she said, because I loved your marketing materials. They’re just so so different. So that’s what I do. I send out postcards. And so I use another artist on Fiverr. Let me give you his name. His name is Balu ba elegoo. But he has the handle of blufor 12 ba l UBA One, two Beluga. 12 on He’s in India. And every time he sends me back a PDF of my new postcard ROI, I get excited like a kid at Christmas. I mean, he does what I would do if I was creative. You know, I give him the general idea. And he just works magic.

And then I go to vistaprint and have these printed up. By the way, anytime you’ve used vistaprint, haven’t you? Yes, yeah, I mean, never pay full price. I always do a search on Google for vistaprint postcards, promo code or discount code, and I can usually say 30 to 50%. But that’s what I do to be different, you know, because I don’t want to blend in with everybody else I want to stand out. And I think that’s what a lot of your listeners need to do running small businesses. You know, we don’t have the marketing budget of a Gillette or Procter and Gamble, you know, so so we have to use these guerilla marketing tactics in order to get noticed.

Roy Barker  40:23 quit pitching your prospects

Yeah. And it’s funny, because even no matter what age you are, I still like to get stuff in the mailbox. And now I’m not so excited about getting emails that that’s that’s a no,

Ted  40:32

no, the average white collar worker sends and receives 115 a day now. You’re just gonna blend it with everybody else. Yeah. But

Roy Barker  40:39

when she comes down with the male says, hey, that’s something male. I mean, my ears kind of perked up, like, what is that? So, you know, I’m a lot more apt to give it a read. And I think the other good advice you just gave is to, you know, don’t, don’t stamp it like, No, no, you know, Mike, in fact, they

Ted  40:56

laugh at me at the postcard at the post office, because I say, hey, what what fun stamp Do you have this month? Right? So like, I’ll put Star Wars stamps on there, or, you know, something to make it stand out. So it’s fun. Yeah. And distinctive. In fact, we we had the part of the reason I got the idea. We had somebody come speak to our National Speakers Association chapter.

And like we said, the average white collar worker sends and receives 115 emails a day. How many pieces of mail Do you get now? Maybe, I don’t know. six, eight, something like that. You know, so yeah, it’s kind of a break your day, you’re going to take a little time to go through the mail. And, you know, try yourself. See, see if you you get an interesting I don’t even know if you get interesting postcards, but if you do, could you not

Roy Barker  41:39

look at Right, exactly. Yeah. And that’s well, that’s another key I think you have to get it you have to design it. To where it is an interesting enough. Somebody’s gonna flip it over and say Hey, what is this?

Ted  41:50

And to make it be about them? I mean, so many postcards again, males, mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee it’s like when I was getting information in the mail for my daughter, for colleges, it’s all about us, us, us, us, us, us, us. No talk about my daughter are people like her and and how you’ve been able to help people like her and how much they enjoyed the experience? Or what type of job they got is resolved about, you know, make it be about the recipient, make it be about your client, not about you.

Roy Barker  42:22

Yeah, yeah, one more tip, we’re getting kind of late. I know one more thing I wanted that this kind of brought up that it was an old. So what this is a way to get a really good free mailing list or low cost mailing list to people that really care about what you’re sending them. This was a jewelry store and this jewelry store, what they had figured out is that 50 to 70% of their clients were repeat clients. So if they come in the door to make the first purchase, you know, about a 750 to 70% chance you’re coming back for a second purchase.

What they did is they went to a local dentist, and they said, Look, I’ve got this deal, I want you to send out a letter to your clientele, and say, thanks for being such an awesome customer of our dental service. And because of that, we have arranged a you know, whatever discount and this particular jewelry store, you know, they said it at cost. So basically, this first purchase was going to be you know, they weren’t gonna make any money, they want to make money off of you the next 500. Right.

But what they did is they said, you know, we don’t want to touch your mailing list, we’re not asking right client’s name, we want your secretary, we’ll give you the form letter, she can type it out, she will send it out on your letterhead and say, thanks for being a client, we’ve arranged, you know, 30% discount on this purchase, send it out to all their clients. And then you know, one, one good thing to do is you may fund an hour to the secretaries time that has to, you know, get the data and send it down pay for post. Is this not a student say it’s no cost?

It’s low cost. But yeah, yeah. But now you’ve got an engaged audience, because they are current clients of this dentist. They’re excited because he’s saying thanks for being a client. And I’ve figured out how you can get a discount at the store. And now the jewelry store, you know, they were just saying, Hey, you know, this first one is going to be breakeven for us. But you know, think about if even 30 or 40% of these people come in and make repeat customers. I’ve always thought that was such an awesome

Ted  44:39

kind of Oh, it is ROI. In fact, it even has a name. Oh, does it Okay, yeah, that’s called fusion marketing. Okay. Yeah. In fact, the former CEO of ups said, you know, used to be if you can’t beat them, join them. But But now used to be, you know, you try to beat your competition. But if you can’t do that, then join them. Yeah.

And then you both can’t be beat. Yeah, yeah. It’s called fusion marketing. In fact, I’ve heard, for instance, a car dealer and a carwash owner got together, or a sporting bar, a sports bar, and a sporting goods owner got together, or a hairstylist and a clothing boutique. You know, each one had a display for the other. Yeah. Because again, what does it cost you? You know, and it makes both of you look good. So it’s a win win win?

Roy Barker  45:32

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Love the ideation marketing. Okay, great. Yeah, we put them after all these years, I can put a name to that. Cool thing. All right, Ted. Well, any any other points you want to put out to the audience before we wrap this up?


Ted  45:50

Okay, well, this one is a little bit more philosophical. Okay. But it’s a tip that I picked up from Brian Tracy. Okay. It’s something that I’ve instituted the last few months. And he said that one of the best things you can do when you get up in the morning, is to write down your goals. What are you trying to accomplish today? You know, personal goal, maybe a physical fitness goal. professional goal, and then that will keep you focused for the rest of the day.

And because you know, most people have no clue as to really why they’re here what their purpose is. So define what’s most important to you. In that way, you’ll stay motivated toward those goals throughout the day. And then each day as you rewrite them, you’ll refocus yourself. You’ll be amazed at how this will keep you on track and what you can accomplish.

Roy Barker  46:47

I love that. And I was just fixing to ask what is a habit or a tool that you and if that’s it, that’s understandable if you have something else that you do every day that really adds value, if you want to show there,

Ted  46:59

there is something else. But this this is I mean, sometimes I tell people this and they just kind of shake their head, but I am a runner last year, because like many of us back in March, I lost all of my engagements for the rest of the year. And I was under huge stress, like, what the heck am I going to do? So one of the things I did to deal with the stress was I increased my running.

And by the end of the year, by the end of 20. I had run 2020 miles. But what that enables me to do is just to let my mind go. And I think about things like this helps me plan my day. It’s just been a huge, tremendous stress lever reliever for me. In fact, last time I was seriously sick, was right after I got married. first month we were married, my wife had to convalesce me back I got mononucleosis.

And that was 38 years ago. So it is it’s really helped me to keep my energy up, keep me healthy. So you know, running may not be the thing for you. But but find some sort of physical activity, because it will help you in multiple ways. Not only will it help you with your energy in your physical fitness, but it’ll help you with your creativity as well.

Roy Barker  48:14

Yeah, yeah. And I’m not a runner, for sure. But just even for me getting out and taking the 10 or 15 Oh, yeah. And I’ll probably do that tonight when we’re done. Yeah. And if you get stuck, if I get stuck in a problem, you know, something I can’t solve or if I am writing in and get caught in a block, just instead of trying to power through Yes, because I easily end up rewriting that. Just get up, take a walk, it clears my head.

And then, you know, talking about the creativity, you know, there are studies that say that, you know, like our kids and this extrapolates to adults that were so overscheduled stimulated, that we have lost the creative edge in some cases, but taking that walk or even just sitting with yourself and trying to calm your mind can really help those creative juices start flowing again.

Ted  49:03

Yeah, the other thing that helps me and of course, this isn’t gonna help everybody but I have eight grandkids. So when they come over again, this is one of my goals. I want to be the best grandfather I can possibly be. I become like a kid. Yeah, I get down on their level. I do the same crazier, zany, are you they love it when you act like them.

And you’re allowed to be you know, as I go out and play tag with them and chase them around and we ride go karts, and they think it’s fantastic and i’m doing i’m working on one of my goals. I want to be a good grandfather you know so that when I get done I feel energized I feel like a kid I get that energy back and if so that’s that’s serious work for me is is to be a good granddad.

Roy Barker  49:42

Nothing like being a grandpa and not really having the rules and constraints as write up the kids by word is here to have that can make your job and eat your vegetables at all night.

Ted  49:55

That is your job. Yeah, yeah. It’s just to be as much fun as you possibly can. cannon, it takes a lot of energy. You know, sometimes they come over and go, Oh, geez, I’m I’m up for today. But then after they leave, I’m so glad that I did expend the energy.

Roy Barker  50:09

Now they are blessing for sure. Yes. Well, Ted, thanks so much for taking.

Ted  50:13

Oh, my pleasure.

Wrap Up

Roy Barker  50:15

It’s been awesome conversation. So tell everybody a couple things. Who, how, who do you like to work with? How can you help them and then how they can reach you, but then also tell us how we can get a copy of the book?

Ted  50:28

Oh, certainly. Well, if anybody’s struggling with writing the book, I’ve already written mine. This is everything I know, Roy. So I can’t I’d love to write another. But that’s all I know. So if somebody needs some assistance with their ebook or book, I’d be happy to help them out. You could reach me at Ted T E D @ Janus J A N U S So, Ted @ Janus

That’s all one word, obviously, my website is And I’d be happy to assist you in any way that I could. Once again, the name of my book is Superpower Superpower Marketing and Branding. I wrote it specifically for professional speakers and trainers. But just like the tips we talked about here, I think it spills over to other small business owners. And we discussed No Cost and Low Cost Resources to Propel Your Business and the ebook and the paperback book are available on Amazon.

Roy Barker  51:27

Okay, awesome. Y’all reach out and pick up pick up a copy of the book to get started and then give 10 a call. Let him help you with your presentations with your speaking or least writing your next best seller.

Ted  51:41

was indeed a pleasure, Roy. Yeah, I’m sorry. It’s over.

Roy Barker  51:44

Yeah, me too. Yeah, it was a great conversation. And I learned that it is fusion marketing. So learn something every day.

Ted  51:52

You didn’t even know you were a genius. But maybe you did. But that’s just more proof.

Roy Barker  51:55

Right? Exactly. All right. Well, that’s gonna do it for another episode of the business of business podcast. Of course I am your host Roy. You can find us at We’re on all the major social media networks, hangout probably on Instagram a little more than anywhere else. So reach out there be glad to interact with you also on all the podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify, if we’re not a one that you listened to reach out to be glad to add it to make your ears listening easier. A video of this interview will also go up on our YouTube channel. So go over there and check us out till next time. Take care of yourself and take care of your business.

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Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

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Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence Featuring Shayla Boyd-Gill

Sales strategies especially for women to focus on high ticket items to scale and provide the freedom you want.

About Shayla

Shayla Boyd-Gill went from bankruptcy to a multiple six-figure business. Now Shayla is a Family Freedom and Affluence Mentor and creator of the Luxe Your BusinessTM Sales System and a sales strategist who shows women entrepreneurs how to have it all – family, freedom, and affluence – while doing what they love. 

She teaches her clients – service-based businesses – to restructure their businesses and lives by boosting their high-ticket sales so they can make more money in less time without a heavy client load. 


Website – Shayla Boyd-Gill

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Full Transcript Below

Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence Featuring Shayla Boyd-Gill

Tue, 7/27 12:04PM • 50:19

Estimated reading time: 47 minutes


clients, people, business, money, Shayla, person, service, selling, sales, birth, important, offer, find, integrity, absolutely, teach, problem, clarity, doula, experience, Sales Strategies, Sales Strategies That Let Women, affluence, family, freedom


Shayla, Roy Barker


Roy Barker  00:00 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All

Good afternoon and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that can talk about a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we can show you something that maybe you haven’t thought about or something that’s keeping you up at night. We can provide you some answers, or at least a go to person to help you out. Today we’re excited to have Shayla Boyd-Gill.

She went from bankruptcy to multiple six figure business. She now is a family freedom and influence mentor and creator of Luxe Your Business sales system. And a sales strategist who knows women entrepreneurs have to have it all family freedom and influence while doing what they love. She teaches our clients which are mostly service based businesses to restructure their businesses and lives by boosting their high-ticket sales so that they can make more money in less time without a heavy client load. Shayla, thanks for taking time out of your day to be with us. Really excited to be with you here today.

Shayla 01:28

Roy, thank you for inviting me to your community.

Roy 01:29 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Yes, yeah. And nothing better that we like to talk about, then how we can increase our sales without having to increase, you know, necessarily our customer base. And, you know, talking more focusing on those high ticket items and how we can structure that. But before we jump into to the good stuff. Tell us about yourself. How did you end up here? Have you always been in sales? Is this something that maybe, you know, you took a turn three, some other disciplines to get here? Yeah,

More About Shayla

Shayla  01:42

I took a turn, leap, hop in a few other things, actually. So I started out as an entrepreneur in 2003, in that entrepreneurship journey, was actually in the world of birthing like having babies. Oh, wow. And by the time I started that journey, I’d already had three babies. And I decided that I wanted to leave my corporate job as a construction engineering manager, ground up construction.

I was like, I need to go home. And I want to be with my kids. But I need to figure out something that I can do because we had a dual family income. And the one thing I thought about the funny thing I tell everyone is the thing that I thought about was what can I do really well and I that I could use to make money. I was really good at having babies. Sounds weird. But so I said, Well, you know, what can we do?

I’m not going back to school for this. This is not the journey I was quite thinking of. But what I realized I had amazing birthing experiences and so many women in my community had horrible experiences. And what I understood they needed was education. So I became a childbirth educator and a doula. One of the top pain, birth workers in the Washington DC area. Wow, this industry ROI is a very we are very giving industry. And so a lot of birth workers have a hard time charging for their services.

Roy Barker  03:04

Right, right.

Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All

Shayla  03:05

I started having different birth workers come to me and say, How are you getting all these clients? Number one, and how are you charging this much for your service? We are doulas we’re childbirth educators. No one’s paying this kind of money. I’m like, actually they are. But you don’t know how to set up your business. I just happened to be a little bit more business savvy.

So I started teaching some of them how to structure their businesses and how to get better quality clients. But also make sure that as you’re serving, they’re not burning themselves out. Yeah. The only from that industry. I personally as I taught and served everyone else I burned out. Because you know, getting up at three in the morning babies don’t have a schedule right now they call when they call. And I had by the time I left the birthing industry, I had six children a mile. Wow.

And I literally said I need to retire. I need to get out of this birth working service is really good money, but it’s not sustainable. And I wanted to leave while I was still on top. I decided to leave, continue to coach other birth workers. And then I knew I knew it was time to expand beyond birth workers. Because I got out of the industry. I got out of some of the lingo the knowledge, I didn’t stay up to date. I was like, I’m actually when I retired, I disconnected. And some of my clients that had babies with me, they wanted to stay home, how can I start making money? I’m like, Oh, you should become an entrepreneur.

What do you do? Well, we figured it out. Same path. Great. Let me teach you how to turn that into a business. And from there I just realized people really suck at selling. It’s just it doesn’t matter who you are, most people don’t want to sell. I understand because we’ve been taught to sell in the wrong manner for many personalities. And I had to develop what I call my luck sale system. And I’ve been able to teach people to go from just starting to selling then Once you have an established six figure business or more how to start scaling, and sell higher ticket, that’s how I got to where I am now.

Selling Seems Hard

Roy Barker  05:07 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Nice. Yeah, so many people, you know, they’re good at their craft. That’s selling part and I think, you know, the, with people that deliver care, it’s even worse because they are compassionate by nature. Absolutely. They look at the situation like this person really needs help. How can so you can overcome that the only thing only question I have about the, you know, the birthing businesses. Did you have people come back to you? You know, when these kids turn 13 years old and hit those teenage years, like coming back wanting their money back? What do we do now?

Shayla  05:39

You know, the funniest thing is I have people that will see me in the area of like, they may see me at the grocery store. They’re like, Hi, Shayla. This is Johnny. And I’m like, Whoa, Johnny, you were my doula. You were my childhood educator. And these are teenagers now. So it’s really fascinating are like, this is your doula she was at your birth, and the kids are looking at me like, This is strange. Why are you telling me this? Mom, Dad, what’s

Roy Barker  06:05 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

what’s going on here? I’m definitely seeing them now. That’s funny. What So tell us about your about your system. You know, I think, especially starting out, you know, we want to take everybody that we possibly can. And, you know, sometimes we make deals we shouldn’t make for lower dollars, because all of us have to help us in the long run. And, you know, we all have made those mistakes. But talk a little bit about, you know, how you structure this where we can no focus on the high ticket items, like you said, less clients, less fuss, but probably more money at the end of the day.

Shayla  06:44

Well, the most challenging part that I find that my clients have in my system, we have five parts. The first part is what I call my Lux clarity. And when we’re looking at clarity, we’re getting clear on the type of client that we want to serve. Especially if we come from a place where we’re serving everyone, meaning I can teach anyone how to start a business, how to sell in your business, that was me, when I switched from the birth workers, I’m like, I can teach any woman how to start a business, right, I had to over time learn to refine that because I did fall victim into it.

I was used to generating money very easily as a doula and childbirth educator. Now going into general coaching, I needed a win, I need to land a client. Usually that gut instinct will tell you, if you’re on the phone with someone and you’re selling to them, and you realize that’s probably not the person, you should say, hey, let’s make a deal. And you make the deal. And it’s the worst client you’ve ever had, they want the most, and you’ve charged the least amount of money.

So one of the first steps I have my clients do and really just make peace with is releasing what’s no longer working for you. Alright, so when we’re looking at releasing what’s no longer working for us, what I like to say is, you know, people always teach you to go for the lowest hanging fruit of what you already know. But sometimes what you know, and what you’re familiar familiar with, or whom you’re familiar with, may not be the best person that you need to serve. Just because you’re familiar with them doesn’t mean that they need to be your clients. And so we will often sell, and we are, we’re wanting to sell here pretty high, but will often our messaging in our language, and the persons we’re calling in are at a lower level.

And so it’s a mixed match in the language. So people will say, I’m booking calls, but no one’s buying. Because you’re speaking to the lower version of the client that you really desire. You’re not speaking your client’s language, because you’re still connected to what you what worked for you in the past. And if you’ve elevated to this new higher ticket client, they’re speaking a different language.

So you have to release what’s no longer working for you. That client you used to work with may not be the client that’s going to work with you now, if they’re not elevating with you, it’s okay to release them. And the thing ROI is to make peace with that fear of leaving people behind. There’s someone for everyone. Your job is not to serve everyone, your job is to serve the right people that need to work with you right now.

Not Everyone Is Our Perfect Client

Roy Barker  09:15 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Yeah, because we can get so bogged down serving everybody, and not that market that we really need to be in that we don’t have to take care of the people in that higher market the way that we really should, you know, giving them the time and attention that they deserve absolutely no another’s and like you said, they either make a really bad client where you spend twice as much time trying to make them happy, or you end up having to fire them for them to you know, a huge mess. I think trying to get that who you know who your target is who you want to work with.

And then there has to be that they need to want to work with you as bad as you want to work with them. Sometimes that’s I don’t want to get ahead of you here, but Sometimes that’s the problem with the hard sell is, you know, we end up getting a client making a client or turning on, but they weren’t the right person. And then it just leads to a lot more problems down the

Shayla  10:11

road as lead to problems. And, and the and I love that you said the word turning them into a client until a client, our job is not to convince someone to work with us. And sometimes cells go wrong, because we’re convincing the person like they’re saying, find the pain, find the pain, tell them that you have the solution. Okay, that’s cute in a moment. But if you have to convince them that they need to work with you, you’re going to be continuing to convince them to make the shifts that you’re encouraging them to make while they’re working with you.

And so it still becomes more work more effort, more time than you actually need. The people that you really want to work with. The reality is, they often need less time. And this is what I find with my higher level level clients. They’re not looking for more hours. They want to have access to me, but they just need quick answers. They’re busy. They want quick answers and solutions. They want connections, they want the resources, but they’re not buying time. So when you stop selling time, you’re going to attract a different kind of client.

Do Just Sell Time

Roy Barker  11:23 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Yeah, definitely. I have heard that before as well about you know, we have to quit selling time because that just basically means that we, you know, we have a job. So we have an employee mindset. Yeah, exactly. Well, so what is number two, after we found clarity, where do we go from there.

Shayla  11:39

So after you find clarity, then it’s important that we create and we provide an amazing solution that’s so this is your high ticket offer. Your offer needs to be something that not only provides a solution to whatever the challenges that you’re having. But I love to say that it’s transformational, it’s it should take them from A to Z, right. And if your offer is that compelling, and it solves the problem for them, they’re going to do one of two things, they’re going to stick around and renew meaning you’re able to retain your clients if you have that type of service, or they’re going to become raving fans, where they’re going to tell more people about what you’ve done.

And so now you have new marketing, internal marketing that’s in place, you have people that are marketing for you a mistake that I think a lot of my clients have made, and I made in the past, too. I’ve had clients, I’m focusing on nurturing them, but I’m looking with the other I try to look at who can I bring in as another client, whereas you could work with your clients that you already have, and nurture them and make sure you’re creating so they have something else to go towards? Because they create you create brand loyalty that way, right.

So I do have clients that renew services, and or if our contract is over, they may come back for a VIP day or something of that nature. So we forget, there’s money right in front of us. But we’re looking to decide to chase money that’s going to take longer to nurture in, get into our system. So don’t forget what’s already there for you.

Roy Barker  13:08 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Yeah, it’s, I’m glad you mentioned that, because I see that a lot. We’re so focused on the, you know, the new people that a lot of companies totally forget the number one to take care of their customer because we want to not only keep them as a customer for longer term, but then we also don’t focus on how we can provide more services because the cost of acquisition for an existing client for a new service is minuscule, compared to you know, the cost of acquisition of a brand new client.

Shayla  13:41

You know, what I find people really buy for me ROI, they purchase an experience, right? We think like I’m a business coach, business strategist, sales coach, we think they’re buying sales coaching, but actually they’re purchasing an experience. So I have what I call seven Lux touch points, that’s one of my Lux touch points, the Lux experience, there should be an experience from the time they first have a conversation with you when they’re exploring. If we should do work together to the point where they are giving you their credit card information, they should still like feel like they’re having an experience.

Once they’ve said yes, we dropped the ball on the experience. Once we get paid. We get paid, we put them in the loop, put them in an email cycle, get them on the calendar, and it’s just like, okay, on to the next person. So are they having an experience where they feel like I made an amazing decision? Do you have emails that are following up with them? Do you have a client concierge or someone that’s calling saying, Hey, welcome. Are you sending a welcome gift? Is there something that makes them feel like they made an amazing decision and they’re so glad that they said yes. versus them paying, sitting in silence waiting for their appointment talking to their friends or family members and second guessing their decision?

Generational Differences

Roy Barker  14:55 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Exactly. Yeah. And that’s funny you mentioned that because there’s a lot of have evidence out there that, you know, it’s generational as well as just good business to add that value of the experience. But it’s, sometimes it can be our target group, because like the, like the silent generation, they were all about the thing, you know, like they wanted the coffee mug. And that, whereas, you know, the baby boomers and even the next step down, it’s more about the experience, that’s what they want, is they want to have a good experience, not just feel like they just purchased a thing.

Shayla  15:34

Yeah, they like they want to feel like they’re coming off the car a lot with the car that they really desire. Not like, okay, I just purchased the phone call, okay.

Roy Barker  15:44 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

And it’s scary, because even if you have some, if you have some history or experience with somebody, once you give them money for something, then you kind of hold your breath wondering, you know, are you going to hear from them again? And what is that going to look like? So I love the reaching out, you know, with kind of, you know, basically onboarding, your new clients.

Shayla  16:08

Yeah. And if you document that, and it and you’re consistent with that process, every client is going to have the same experience. So say, if you have some event they meet, and they’re like, Well, I didn’t get bad or Oh, yeah, I did talk to Mary. She was awesome. I have clients that will share with other people. They’re like, Yeah, when I joined Sheila’s program, we did X, Y, and Z, and then I got this thing, but they’re excited, you know, it keeps the momentum going. And we just can’t forget that it can’t just be on selling. Right, you know, we are giving an experience, the transformation starts from the Yes,

Roy Barker  16:43 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

right, right. Right. So what was number? What’s our third step after we provide an amazing solution?

Shayla  16:49

Okay, so your amazing solution is one thing that you’re creating. But also now we’re looking at pricing. So when a person says I want a high ticket, a high ticket offer, oftentimes people say, well just raise your prices, right? That’s what you hear, oh, you should raise your prices. But what does that mean? What does it really mean for your business, it’s important that as you’re packaging, this offer, that we have value pricing.

And, and it’s not based on how many phone calls as we said before, so when we’re looking at a high ticket range, especially when we’re looking in this coaching consulting range, some people may look at what we call a front end or short term. So your front end or short term, you may be looking at something between 3020 $1,000, that’s like a few months of service, when we’re looking at something that’s maybe a year long, you can easily be going from a range of 25 to 100,000 or more. And if you’re asking someone for $100,000, for example, it’s not just you’re getting four coaching calls Plus, you know, a title and a plaque, right?

It’s an experience, you know, and so number one, I tell people, make sure whatever number that you’re deciding to value your services at, that it really is valued at that, you know, anyone can say this is worth 199. And that’s worth 299. We love putting 99 and 90 sevens on the end of things, but really look at, if I, if I price a service for my clients, I’m saying oftentimes, because the way I’m selling to them, I’m like, how many clients does will it take for them to be able to get a return on investment, I only want it to be one or two.

And they can easily get a return on investment so they can see for themselves. This makes sense for my budget, you’d have to number one, know who the client is, and know what the price range is that that client can tolerate. You need to also make sure you’re absolutely delivering on the promises. The problem we have in this industry in my industry, specifically, coaching, consulting, there’s no regulation, so anyone can do anything. And there’s been a lot of raggedy things that have happened, unfortunately.

So people have been scarred and burned. People have not delivered on what they’ve promised. You need to be clear what your promises are. You have to be very careful. If you’re making promises saying you’re gonna make $100,000 in six months, how can you promise that if you don’t know how the person works? You don’t know the commitment level. There’s a lot of empty promises in that. So be clear on what the outcome is that you can promise for the person and make sure you can deliver on that outcome that’s being promised.

That’s the biggest thing be integrity around the pricing is super important. It doesn’t matter how much it is it matters. Are they going to get what was promised? Yeah, people talk. Yes. If you are pricing your services at some very high ticket level, and people are, you know, losing homes and can’t eat can’t pay their mortgage, and you told them to go and get their 401k or something strange. That’s a problem. You know, That’s a huge problem. So you should be able to sleep at night with whatever pricing that you’re asking for. But knowing you can deliver on what you say that you can do.

Roy Barker  20:09

Yeah, that’s important, because I can give you all the best advice in the whole world. But if you don’t put it into practice, you’re not going to make any more money or any more clients. And so I think, you know, as consultants, we all have to be very careful about those promises. Because you, it sounds great when you’re signing them up, and you get them all hyped up. But if there’s nothing on the back end, and you know what today’s virtual ratings and virtual communication, it doesn’t take long for something when something goes wrong for it to start spreading like wildfire, and then all of a sudden, everybody’s scared of you,

Shayla  20:47

oh, all of them, then people talk people thought. So it’s, it’s, it’s a dual agreement is the agreement on what you’re going to deliver. But it’s the agreement on what your clients are going to commit to doing. And one of the things when I’m having discovery calls with people, I’m very clear about that, here’s what I know, I can show up and do for you. Here’s the type of client that I need to show up for me. And if we are matched in that manner, we can work well together.

So I love to tell my clients, you know, when you hear the term not all money is good money. Just because someone can’t afford to pay your high ticket services doesn’t mean that they’re a good fit to work with you. If they don’t have the integrity around, showing up to their appointments on time doing what it is that you’ve requested, they are not coachable. They are like you, you can tell if people are complainer’s from the beginning. If they start their discovery call off like with like, what’s your refund policy?

Okay, so let’s, let’s talk about why we’re starting there. Okay. Because you’ve already identified that you might not do what you’re supposed to do. So if that’s your first question, we’re probably not a good fit to work together. And I’m okay with leaving a discovery call. Like, if I see red flags, I’m okay with saying I don’t believe that we’re a good fit. And people are like, you’re not gonna make me an offer? Absolutely not. Yeah, there’s no obligation for me to make an offer just because it’s a sales call. You’re not obligated to make an offer.

Roy Barker  22:17 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Yeah. And I think another great point is that it’s better to walk away from those situations, when you get that feeling are, you know, and it’s something that you just learn over time, when the conversation is going the wrong direction. It’s okay to say, you know what, we’re just not going to be a good fit. And there’s nothing wrong with that. We don’t have to explain ourselves, we get to choose who we work for. As we go through this,

Shayla  22:43

you get to choose it. And and you know they’re there. For ELS I like to say, when you’re on that discovery call, your job is to listen, people are going to tell you exactly what you need to know. You’re going to learn from that conversation that they’re telling you. So you’re going to learn, is this a good fit? Or is this not a good fit? Does this person have the integrity or not?

And then you need to lead le a D as in David, you have to lead your calls. If you get people on a discovery call that are chatty, they don’t answer questions, they get distracted, and you’re not able to bring them back to focus on the question that’s being asked, you’re not leading the call, therefore, you’re not showing your authority from the beginning. So just imagine what it will look like if you decide to start working with the person. That can be another indicator if you can’t leave this call properly.

And that fourth one is what we just talked about lead le a V, if it’s not going in the direction it needs to if you’re unable to lead or redirect if the person’s not being considerate if the person gets on the call and says, So how much does it cost? And you’re not having a conversation? It’s not a good fit.

Do Shy Away From Your Pricing

Roy Barker  23:55 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Yeah. And usually when people will lead with that, how much is it? That’s when easily stop it right there and say, you’re just trying to find a bargain basement price. And I’m not your guy, for sure. And I kind of wanted to touch on that on the prior to setting up pricing. Because I see this in the other way as people try to price something so low that they end up working for minimum wage.

So we have to give a lot of thought into how much time are we committing to this? And what do we need to charge to make money, there’s nothing you know, there’s nothing wrong with where you fall on the spectrum, if you want to make 25,000 a year and you’re good with that if you will make 50 100 whatever it is, but really give some thought into the price. And because I’ve had people before price services and I’m like, Well, how much time does it really take you to fulfill that and then when they start adding up all of these different things.

It’s like oh, wow, I’m just barely breaking even on this service. So give it some thought and then kind of on the other side of this is when people start trying to beat you up. overpriced That’s another great time to say, you know what we are just, this just isn’t for you, the service just isn’t for you. And that’s okay. And I guarantee you, if you do that enough, you will have people that hang up, think about it.

They call you back and say, you know what it is for me, you know, they just want to see what they can get get by with it a lot of times, but you can actually bring somebody around to your way of thinking by just letting them know, because people want things that are scarce. Yes, they think you’re willing to walk away, you still have to be careful, because those still may be troubled clients. Absolutely. Absolutely. Still, you might get a second chance at that. So never be scared to stand up for yourself.

Shayla  25:42

Yeah, you can’t be scared of that. Like another last touch point is being exclusive. So exclusivity is important for me, because I speak about having fewer clients but making more money. So if my client knows that I have a very exclusive offer, they understand I don’t have hundreds of people in a program, there may be just 12 of them. And if I have 12 spaces for the year, they understand I wanted the 12. And if you don’t get in, you’re on the waitlist. I don’t want to wait 12 months on a waiting list.

So I’m making my decision. But don’t use scarcity, scarcity as a false way of advertising. We’ve seen that too, right? You’ve seen like, Oh, I only have space for five people today. Oh, it was such a demand. But now we have 10 more spots available. All the email didn’t work. We’re over it. I’m like, Come on, let’s just do true marketing. have real conversations, attract the people you really want. The people that I work with, they don’t fall into that trap. You know, they’re they’re not looking for the gimmicky things, they want a straightforward offer straightforward answers. And that’s what I prefer. So know your clients know what they can tolerate.

Be Straight Forward

Roy Barker  26:51 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Yeah, no, and that’s so important. I love that to be straightforward. If if you have a product or service that you have to be gimmicky, you need to really, that’s a problem. It’s not, it’s not ethical number one, but you’re going to get into trouble on the back end, because I’ve seen those deals, you know, where it’s like, Oh, we got five seats, you know, we have limited five seats, and then you get on the call. And there may be 35 or 50 people on the limit with all five of those right?

Five in that one hour or so, but didn’t exactly know, we just can’t stress that enough, is just the honesty and integrity. Because the other part is that if you do have a client that you get, if they get a hint of that, that you’re not honest. And then you don’t have integrity, you do say things like that, then they’re gonna start to question everything that you say in your relationship. And that’s

Shayla  27:51

absolutely, you know, you might one of my coaches once told me that, you know, you need to show up as who you are, and don’t surprise people once they paid. So, you know, you can’t show up one way online, and then people pay you and they’re like, Who’s this person? And so you need to be consistent with your messaging consistent with your behavior consistent with the way that you’re speaking to people, I can’t be this super nice person online. And then I get a client and I’m like, Oh, are you like, Oh, my drill sergeant, people don’t want that. They want to know that they are buying into what you sold to them. That’s all they want.

Roy Barker  28:24 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Because that’s why they bought in the first place. Usually, you know, we buy from people that we like, or we buy from people that we see ourselves in, or we see qualities that we like, and so if we present those to get the client, and then that’s not who they get after that, you know, that’s another big red flag.

Shayla  28:42

Absolutely, absolutely. And I’ve I’ve purchased that way before. And I’m like, What happened? This first

Roy Barker  28:50 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

or they say, you know, they call you call for John. And it’s like, John is never around, he always pushed off to somebody else. And then, you know, again, it’s like, if that is the arrangement up front, and everybody’s clear, then that’s understandable. But I always feel like especially in consulting, if you’re going to be the salesperson and you’re going to represent you’re getting my wisdom, then you have to get my wish. Now you were say

Shayla  29:15

my team and I and you know you’re going to be working with several members of my team along with me. So I know I can I can accept that.

Honesty and Integrity

Roy Barker  29:25 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

No, yeah, that just gets back to the honesty and integrity that we have to present and live by we are you know, we can’t just I shouldn’t say present because we have to live by it from sales to servicing.

Shayla  29:37

Yes, well, I believe in karma. So like, if you do people dirty, it’s going to come back you’re going to pay the price one way or another. Exactly.

Roy Barker  29:44 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Oh my god. Yeah. I have a good story. I’m gonna skip for now. But I believe me in sometimes it’s Instant Karma. Right? You can do that and walk two steps and you know, it gets you get caught up with absolutely So what is our fifth? fifth step?

Shayla  30:03

Let’s see, where are we Oh, and so once we’ve done our let me just go through everything again. So we have our legs clarity, we have the offer our pricing, selling and giving. We’re when we’re getting into luck selling and giving, I’d like to combine them together. We kind of talked about selling on the phone already, and selling an offer that we really believe in that we value that we can stand behind. The other piece is giving, everyone wants to teach you how to sell and become a millionaire. Right.

But I like to position with that is also giving, giving energetically making an impact. And so one of the ways that I challenge my clients is for them to not only reach their sales goals, but to attach their impact goal to that. So their impact goal may be I want to give to an organization, or I want to give time, I want to travel to this place to make an impact. I want to start my own 501 c three to make an impact. But usually the clients that come to me, it’s bigger than I just want to make the money, money is important.

But I tell people, your goal alone cannot be money. Because you can quit on that goal. That’s not enough of a driver, you can go get a job and make money. But you have to have something that’s like people say what’s your big why you may have a personal why, but I want you to have an impact. Why too. And so that impact may be, it may be a percentage of your sales for certain product or service that you have. It may be you just make a bold acclamation the beginning of the year, I’m going to be able to give $5,000 or 15 or $20,000 by the end of the year to this cause, you’re going to work a little differently to meet that goal.

Because now you’re not going to sit back and say, Well, let me rest Oh, boy, I didn’t make my goal. No, I made a promise. Let me make sure I can meet this goal. So I can make a bigger impact, not an impact, just so my name can be associated with giving but an impact. So someone else’s life can be changed. Yeah, it’s good karma. We just talked about karma. It’s good energy, to be able to have that to be a part of your business.

Because you’re working not only for you, but you’re impacting other people’s lives, your impact, maybe if you have all high ticket items, maybe you want to be able to help. Like for me, maybe I want to help some other women to just start businesses, but they wouldn’t be in a position to do my high ticket pieces that I have, I might decided to have a program, a free program for a few women, a select group of women.

And depending on what my cells look like, I might be able to support five women in starting their first business and be able to give them a mini grant to do that. Yeah, I might be sending some young women to college, but I am making an impact outside of what I’m bringing into the company. It’s also what we’re doing outside of the company.


Roy Barker  32:49 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Yeah, again, another great point, because it’s not only the karma factor, but I think it’s just energy. You know, it is we are what we put out. And absolutely it gets back to, you know, our attitude and a lot of other things if we have bad attitude and poor me, guess what, it’s going to be poor you because you’re you’re setting yourself up for that where even when things that we don’t understand or we don’t don’t go our way, we have to still pick ourselves up and have a smile and say, You know what, I don’t know why that happened.

Yeah, but it happened for a reason. And it’s funny, because some we just had, oh, I just said something happened the other day, I was trying to purchase something, and it wouldn’t go through my credit card company blocked it. So call them got it released, I still could not buy this thing. And it was just frustrating. I came tell you how, because I needed this component to use pretty quickly to get something done. And so I’m just like, or I’m talking to Terry, my partner about this and telling her I don’t know what’s going on and this and that.

Okay, so went to bed slept got up the next day. And like I’m trying this one more time. And so as I’m looking through this collateral, I see the second component that I was looking at. Now I find that there’s a bundle where both of these things together for the same price I was fixing to pay for the first so to me, it’s just little things like that, that that frustration was actually led me to a better place. And it’s it’s hard to it’s hard to get in that mindset, but I just feel like we have to you know, it’s what we put out in the world.

Shayla  34:27

It’s what we put out. So I always say I circulate money, and it always comes back to me. Exactly. I circulate. If you’re circulating it’s always going to come around. And those little things like that, like trying to use that card because you were set on getting this thing. Sometimes I believe the universe has blocks for us on purpose and when I realize I’m being blocked, I don’t I’m not mad about it is you I get frustrated and then usually once I pause, I’m like there’s a reason and I release I kind of surrender to Okay, this is happening for a reason. Let me be still and see What’s really happening and things will clear the way up. So it happens all the time.

Roy Barker  35:04 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

I’m a slow learner, I know that it’s yours. It’s yours, don’t worry, I know that we’re putting it into practice. Yeah. And I heard another great thing. This this could go when we’re talking to prospects or clients too, is that instead of having a poor reaction, unseat reaction and resisted having a poor response, we can have a poor reaction, but count to like, you know, three or five, whatever, before you respond. It’ll definitely change the way you know, instead of that initial whatever, you know, blurting out something that you wish you hadn’t have, you could take a minute to think about it to really have a measured response.

Shayla  35:43

And we’re in a society now where we do need to pause, we need to pause because so much is there’s so much stimulation, so much is coming to us that you need to sit, pause, breathe, absorb what’s being said, especially if it’s texting. If someone’s sending messages, you’re interpreting assumptions or getting us in trouble. Okay? assumptions are like the big thing if they always like someone says something and you’re like, what did they mean by that? You create a whole story that you don’t need to create. So you do I love that you said sometimes you just have to sit for a few seconds and just let it sit with you. And then you can find the words that need to be said, and you might be able to really save a relationship and opportunity, all kinds of things.

Pick Up The Phone

Roy Barker  36:27 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Yeah, cuz there’s one meme that says, you know, there’s a list of things but the words are one thing we can ever take back and once we say that, and the other thing is getting clarity, with what said and this dealing with clients, it’s important because we don’t want to misinterpret something and that another thing, pick up the phone call pick up the phone and make a phone call where you can hear the voice the inflection, all of those different things make a difference because I will tell you I have misread misinterpreted emails and be like what the heck is going on? So pick up the phone call, call the guy and say like, Hey, can you explain this to me? And they’re like this in like, oh, okay, now I get it not anywhere close to what I thought

Shayla  37:11

nowhere. I had that happen yesterday, someone sent me a message. And they said, you know, hey Shayla, something else just hold story, then I was like, I really need to talk. And I’m like, oh, whoa, what happened? I’m running through racking my head, like, Did I say something? What happened? I’m like, wait a minute, why are you having this whole story? Right? That person didn’t say that you did anything. You’ve come up with an entire story of something’s wrong. And when I spoke to the person, it was really amazing. It was a whole totally opposite. It was a celebration. But we make up these stories. Just because I’m like, I’m always on I had to fix it. And I’m like, What am I fix? You don’t even know what you’re fixing Shayla stop it?

Helping Others

Roy Barker  37:49 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Yeah, yeah. So I didn’t mean to stray off topic. But I think that you know, what we put out in the world, not only money wise, but helping people helping people without expecting reciprocation. You know, I’ve got a little company that somebody reached out on LinkedIn, asked a question, it turned into a thing. And you know, we just had a quick phone call. I didn’t charge them for it. But I made a relationship with these two people that I’ll probably get some business from them at a later date. But if not, at least, they will tell but I’m not. I didn’t do it expecting return, I think we have to be careful with that we have to give without expectations.

Shayla  38:30

You do, you do. And you can be selective of who you choose to give to right. There’s nothing wrong with giving. There’s nothing wrong because someone probably gave something to you. So there’s nothing wrong with giving just you’re selective of what you who you choose to give to and you have to give openly, like you said without that expectation, whatever needs to be taken care of will be taken care of. Right. So I always believe if I’m giving however I choose to walk in my lane. Things will be taken care of.


Roy Barker  38:59 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Right. Right. Exactly. It’s an abundant mindset. It all comes from that place of abundance. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And talking about that. I’ll say one more thing before we get back on track is that I read this interesting article that was saying, you know, instead of being like, dang it, you know, shangela just got this new car. She just got this new client and me not so much and I’m all down. Instead of that we should say you know what, thank goodness for Shayla getting what she got.

Now, I want some of that, please. And you know, you kind of have to ask for that instead of, you know, getting distraught that somebody else got something that you think you should have or wanted, is, you know, you said it to stay in our lane run our race, because, you know, I don’t know what you’ve been doing for the last 10 years to get to this point where maybe I just started six months ago. So we’re going to be totally different places. But we can. It’s not a zero sum game. We can all be six First of all, we can all have what we need and what we want. And so there’s no reason to kind of be down on yourself or other people for what they’ve got.

Shayla  40:09

I’ve heard that story differently. And it’s very similar. When you start seeing the things that you want and desire, you start seeing the cards, you start seeing the person that you didn’t think could get this thing, they started getting it. So instead of us also doing that negative thought of why did they have it, we look at this, and it’s an indicator of evidence, it’s closer to you now than ever before, it’s closer to you now, especially if you’ve been asking for it, it’s closer to you now than ever before. You absolutely are celebrating that that person was able to get that that that person has that car, that person got that opportunity, because now it’s closer to you. Meaning it’s coming to you very soon.

Roy Barker  40:48 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

I like that. Yeah, anytime we can ship this because, you know, our mind is always grinding. And we get to choose what it grinds, we can just as easily put the positive stuff through there, then the negative. So anyway, I’m sorry, back on track, back on track, I’m always on track, always on track. Okay. So after, after we have selling and giving, we have one more,

Shayla  41:13

we have one more after selling and given is our overall what I call my luck CEO. So your luck CEO, everything that I teach my clients is about business. But what we forget often is we have to take care of ourselves too. So you can build this million dollar multimillion dollar business. But if you spent your whole time focusing on building the business, and not focusing on taking care of you, taking care of what you had before the business, so if it’s your family, if it’s your relationship, those pieces I try to make sure we put in place.

So for with my clients, for example, it may be as simple as I tell them, once we’re getting our money to a place where it’s stable, we have consistent monthly revenue, where they want to be how, how about taking one week off a month, and using that to focus on you focus on your family focus in other areas, doing things that are not businessy. Right? What are we looking at as far as spending the time and making sure you’re eating a meal with the family? What we find when we start making more money with women, and then relationships are falling apart? Right? They fall apart? One person’s on this high journey. The other person is over here holding down the fort. And they’re looking at you like what about me.

I saw this in the corporate world, I see this in the entrepreneurial world too. So I really am where you read you read earlier family freedom and affluence family is super important to me. Many of my clients are family oriented. And so I want them to build this piece, this legacy piece, but also keep their family intact in the process. And also keep themselves intact, make sure that you’re feeling good people get burned out. People get sick, we see it people in your 40s and 50s, there’s more disease that’s coming to us as entrepreneurs because we’re stressed, you can’t make money when you’re stressed.

Or you’re going to make the money and spend it all on your health because you are stressed. And so I don’t teach balance because I don’t believe there’s like work life balance. But I believe you put energy where you need to put it when it’s needed, you need to create and build that space in so that you can do that. So that’s part of being a CEO, not only being a leader in running this business, but also leading your life. And leading the things that are around you don’t leave that behind don’t sacrifice what you had just for the sake of the money.

Roy Barker  43:40 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Yeah, and I do a self self lis plug that we just did an episode with. He’s more of a wellness coach, but we did an episode because it’s important when you’re making decisions, we need to be well rested, we need to be in you know, we need to have some movement, some exercise.

And and also for myself, it helps me to have some clarity. If I’m getting jammed up, if I can’t solve a problem, if I’m feeling stressed, if I can take a minute and go walk around the you know the area where we live for just a minute, I will come back so refreshed, absolutely give it much more but taking care of ourselves extremely important. Our relationships don’t want to leave that out because we can get to the end of our journey and be very successful. And then we’ve lost all the important relationships around us.

And even if they’re not involved in the business, you know, like Terry, I keep her involved. She does a lot, but it’s the conversation that we have. So she never feels left out. She always knows what’s going on. When things get stressful, you know, we’re kind of going through this little stretch period for this reason so

Shayla  44:50

or add add we to the conversation, right? When we’re talking about our business, we will often say I’m doing this, I’m making money. I’m going to do This thing, and I always like to tell my clients, add the tag one so that we can, if you can add this so that we can, that’s the first group of people you’re selling to your family.

So for me, I have six children and I have a husband, when I’m saying, I’m going to a conference for a week, they’re like, okay, you get to go on vacation for a week, and we’re staying here, I’m going to the conference on this conference. So that we can be able to, I’m going to always add to so that we can do on there. And so now when I have to leave my husband’s like, Yeah, go ahead. I know exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing.

And I support you, right, because he understands this journey. This is we’re looking at long money, we’re looking at creating this legacy, and he understands this temporary sense of me being away, is worth it’s worth the time.

Roy Barker  45:52 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

And it’s so much easier in life when those closest to us support us. Because once friction starts to build, oh, it’s hard. I mean, it’s tough to go on, it’s tough to know what to do you spend more time dealing with the friction than you do on the business. So it’s always good to keep that. And I’m like you I don’t, I don’t really know that there is a balance, because there’s times when you can take more personal time, then you can there’s times you have to do more business time.

And it’s even more of a hurdle for some people, and I’m not speaking for you, but I can assume this as well. When you really like what you do, you know, I never feel like I’m at work. Exactly. I can go and go and go. And so you know, having a little tap on the shoulder saying, you know, enough, enough is enough for today we’re getting away from the computers. You know, it’s that does add an extra dimension, it’s but it’s good. It’s really good than to something that you love. It is it is

Shayla  46:54

because it doesn’t feel like work. No, no. And if you know, like, if I know every time I get on the phone with my clients, and like, there’s a breakthrough, something amazing is happening. I do have to remind myself shut it down. Which is why I only schedule calls between a certain time I don’t do calls late. I’m I will tell people whenever they work with me, I don’t take calls in the evening.

I’m not a night person. So I need to spend the time I can with my family, but I don’t want to be on the phone, talking to people about business and night, I want to turn my computer off. I want to be able to say hey, family, let’s go let’s do something. And people respect that my clients can respect that people say, Well, what if my clients only can talk at that time, people will find the time to speak to you when you say you’re available if they really want the thing that you say that you can do.

Roy Barker  47:40 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Yeah, and again, you’ve got to set those boundaries. Because if you don’t, you will get everything will get out of whack. You will get out of whack with your health with your relationships. And then everything gets back to affecting the business. So don’t don’t feel bad about setting those boundaries that again, that’s what we get to do. If people don’t like it, or can’t operate within them, then that’s when we get to say, you know what, this just probably isn’t going to be a good fit, right? We don’t we don’t feel bad about that.

We had it all hold your head up. Because we’re looking for people that want to work with us in the way that we work. And they’re out there. I guarantee you out there. Alright, Shayla. Well, thanks so much for being with us. Is there any other anything else that you want to share before we wrap this up? I know we’re kind of long. I apologize for that. But

Shayla  48:28

you’re fine. It’s fine. So yeah, if you want to really connect with me, you can find me online under my name, Shayla Boyd Gill everywhere from all the social media platforms to my website. So if you go there, you’ll find me plus free resources that you can use for your business and for your life.

Roy Barker 48:47 Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence

Okay, great. And I will put all that in the show notes as well. So y’all can reach out to Shayla and get some of her expertise run through this program. It’s great. I mean, everything that you hit on, it’s like putting it all together. So we can have half we can be successful, healthy, happy. And also we have a process to go through.

I think that’s one thing, right? That happens to us is that, you know, well, I tried this one time, and I tried this this next time, if we have a system that we can polish it and perfect it. And we go through those same steps every time it really helps us as well. That’s the key repetition the same steps every time. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. All right. Well, thanks so much for your time.

Again, we much much appreciated. Y’all reach out, see how she can give you a hand on your sales process. that’s gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, you know, I’m your host, Roy. You can find us at We’re on all the major social media platforms hang out on Instagram a little bit more than anywhere else.

So reach out to us there we’d be glad to engage. Also, we’re on all the major podcast platforms iTunes, Stitcher, Google, Spotify. If we’re not on one that you’ve listened to reach out I’d be glad to get added make it easier for you to listen to us every week. Also, a video of this interview will go up on our YouTube channel, so go check that out. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.

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Use Neuromarketing Science For More Efficient and Effective Marketing

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Use Neuromarketing Science For More Efficient and Effective Marketing Featuring Felix Cao

Use Neuromarketing science. What makes your consumers have loyalty? How does the consumer want to connect with you? How do you drive brand loyalty? We have to try to engage our messaging with the consumer with as many senses as possible. Neuromarketing helps us to answer all of these questions, connect with our consumers in a deeper more efficient manner.

About Felix

Felix has accrued over 15 years of business experience when it comes to sales & marketing.

He has been featured in major media outlets, such as the HuffPost, Adweek, and Authority Magazine. Felix has also appeared on a major Canadian morning radio show, to talk about neuromarketing and the 2019 Canadian election.

You can find him on numerous top podcasts. Where he shares neuromarketing insights on how businesses can grow and thrive during the pandemic. And moving forward into 2021.

Today, at his neuromarketing company called Happy Buying Brain. He is combining his 15 years of business experience with his educational background in biological science and psychology, to help businesses truly understand what makes their customers’ brains tick when it comes to better achieving customer brand loyalty over their competitors, through the power of implementing neuromarketing into their own marketing campaigns.


Happy Buying Brain Website

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Full Transcript Below

Use Neuromarketing Science For More Efficient and Effective Marketing Featuring Felix Cao

Fri, 7/23 7:12PM • 54:52

Estimated reading time: 47 minutes


brain, consumer, people, happening, called, company, brand, restaurants, customer, terms, thinking, marketing, logical, stimulus, emotion, minutes, area, primal, important, cortex, Use Neuromarketing science, effective marketing


Felix, Roy Barker


Roy Barker  00:03 Use Neuromarketing science

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests. That can talk about a diverse set of topics. We want to try to point some things out that maybe you hadn’t thought about. Or either provides support for things that are keeping you up at night. We also have professionals in many different fields that come on give us their expert opinion. And today is no different.

We are excited to have Felix Cao back with us. He has accrued over 15 years of business experience when it comes to sales and marketing. He has been featured in major media outlets. Such as the Huffpost, Ad Week, and Authority Magazine. And also appeared on major Canadian morning radio show to talk about Neuromarketing and the 2019 Canadian election. You can find him on numerous top podcasts. Where he shares Neuro Marketing insights on how businesses can grow and thrive during the pandemic.

And then of course, moving forward in 2021. Today at his Neuro Marketing company called Happy Buying Brain, he is combining his 15 years of business experience with his educational background in biology, science and psychology to help businesses truly understand what makes our customer’s brains tick, when it comes to better achieving customer brand loyalty over their competitors, through the power of marketing, implementing Neuromarketing into their own marketing campaigns. Felix, thanks so much. And welcome to the show. Again, we appreciate you coming back to talk with us.

Felix  01:41

Hi Roy. Well, thank you for having me back on the show. I definitely appreciate it. This is exciting.

Roy Barker  01:45 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah, for visitors, for new listeners that maybe didn’t hear you know, your history before. Just give us a brief rundown of kind of what led you to this spot in life?

More About Felix

Felix  01:57

Yeah, absolutely. So as you mentioned, you know, in your introduction, and thank you for the introduction, many, many, many thanks there. So as you touched on, you know. I come from an educational background that strongly resides in biological science and psychology. Right. So, that was, so initially, the journey was to go into more of the medical field during that time. But then I got introduced, obviously, to the world of business. And, and from there on, you know, got involved in things. Industries, such as finance and investments, which eventually segwayed into the world of technology.

So, you know, mobile in the 2010, was very, very popular, it was a growing field. So, you know. I spent nearly a decade there and just coming out of it now. Is, is, I believe that we’re at the cusp of another type of logical revolution. Mainly in artificial intelligence, machine learning. Virtual Reality. When I looked at the landscape of where, let’s see, technology was going. And I was going to penetrate everyday life. Was that neuroscience was actually the core of a lot of these innovation. So as we were familiar with, you know. Anything that becomes familiarized, or really popular concepts that are related to it, also become more mainstream, right. So.

When I, so when neuroscience is now applied to the field of medicine, and technology. What I saw was no for, for the growth of the entire discipline. Was that actually is going to start to be come a lot more permeated. In all the different areas of our lives. And, you know. One of the biggest things that I saw was that neuroscience was going to be a huge thing. When it came to marrying the world, the scientific world with marketing and sales and business in general.

So, you know. It’s really a combination of educational background in 15 plus years of experience. Having an extensive background in terms of now, technology for over a decade. And the timing right now seems to be ripe for neuro marketing.

Roy Barker  04:08 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah. No, that’s awesome. I think it is, like you said, it is time there’s so much. There’s just so much coming at the daily at the consumer on a daily basis. Find a way to you know. Kind of hit get to the heart of the issue or whatever they’re needing and write best. Speak to them. Because we all like we all like our messaging someone you know. I mean. I’m sure there’s groups but different. Like different messaging and different things we can do to attract them that may turn another group completely off.

Felix  04:42

Exactly. Yeah, 100% is so Neuro Marketing is really the window that allows the companies to gain that much deeper understanding of you know, the underlying mechanisms that are happening inside their consumer’s brains, so that they could craft their marketing messages. To connect with them, you know, a lot better, right?

Roy Barker  05:03 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah. And we I think we touched on this a little bit last time. But it’s not only the marketing message, but right. It’s also the packaging of the product. And there’s just so much more that, you know, companies really do give a lot of thought over.

Use Neuromarketing Science

Felix  05:17

Yeah, 100% there. So obviously, core brand messaging is a huge component. But it’s the entire experience, right? Because you know, you just don’t go to a restaurant and just have a good meal. It’s the atmosphere. Everything that comes along with it very similar to, you know. When a consumer has brand loyalty to a specific company. The product is great. Let’s say but it’s also the entire experience the packaging. You know, Apple. Tiffany’s is notorious for the sound that comes when you when, you know, somebody opens the packaging. To you know, it, all that stuff adds to the experience for sure. So companies do put a lot of thought into all the details, in addition to the core brand messaging.

Roy Barker  06:00 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah, and there’s different, just don’t want to belabor it. But just the, I think it was one of the chip manufacturers

Felix  06:11

Frito lays no delays.


Roy Barker  06:13 Use Neuromarketing science

While I was thinking Intel, you know, they had a chip, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they had that little. It was just like a little bump, bump, being bump bone, you know, whenever Yeah, it was instantly recognizable. You didn’t have to read the copy or hear what was said. But once you heard that sound, instantly brand new that it was Intel, right. Yeah. Yeah. And I didn’t mean to interrupt you on that. The other chip, sorry about that. So what was the Fredo

Felix  06:41

all free delays. But that’s a first of all, before we get into that. That’s a wonderful way for a company to associate, let’s say, the ping of a noise. And then, and then having that connect to their brand, right? So just the fact that, you know. Their consumers would hear that sound would activate in their brains, this kind of neuro map of all their experiences, memories, thoughts, and so forth, to bring their product or not and their brand, top of mind. Right. So

Roy Barker  07:09 Use Neuromarketing science

it’s a simple concept, a noise, re and a reaction. But I know that figuring that out is probably not, that’s not the simple part. I mean, it’s probably a lot of years of research, Oh, 100%. And go into that.

Felix  07:22

Yeah, it’s the same idea. I know that Google uses a specific blue. Because they’ve ran tons and tons of tests of it. To get people to click on it. So that’s one example of something that seems so simple. Of having the color of let’s say, you know, a little sort of some some words. But also it would impact, you know. Their users, say, wanting to, to click on those words, right. Based on on the color itself. So it’s so much the same idea of that building association between the sound and then connecting it with the brand.

Roy Barker  07:56 Use Neuromarketing science

Right, right. So what was the talk about the Frito? Lay? What were you gonna say, Oh, yeah,

Felix  08:03

It was just a matter of how. When we’re talking about the importance of not only core brand messaging. But also the packaging, right. So you know, at that time, you know, in the late 2000s, close to 2000 10s. There Frito lays, you know, was looking to gain greater market share into their female audience. And what they’re found, what they found, when they ran, you know, studies brain studies. Is that the packaging was actually done in a, in a nice, shiny type of format, right.

And that would activate an area of the brain that was, you know, responsible for decision making. But also guilt. So that, you know, revealed that there was an association happening in the brains of the female participants that whenever, you know, their participants would view shiny. Their current shiny for delays package that would also, you know, trigger feelings of guilt eating it, right. So in order for them to, to actually, you know, create a different, a much more positive association.

They change their packaging from a shiny style to a more beige and matte style. And what they found when they when they actually conducted brain studies. Was there’s a dramatic reduction in that same area. So now that with that indicated, or suggested that, you know. That the responses from their female participants was a lot more positive to the new packaging. Interesting. Yeah.

Roy Barker  09:32 Use Neuromarketing science

Amazing how our brain works, and just something so subtle can make such a huge, big

Felix  09:36

difference, right? It’s a huge nudge for sure.

Roy Barker  09:39 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah. And, you know, you mentioned females and not to pick on them, but I’m sure that consumer goods because they’re in the grocery store, typically shopping, I’m sure that consumer goods do a lot of studies, you know, based on females. Mm hmm. Yeah. Well,

Felix  09:55

when we look at it like females, in general, you know, in terms of decision making, for purchasing, it could be as high as 80%. So they’re the really main drivers when it comes to, you know, making a lot of the consumer choices, right. And, you know, this is this is very important in terms of, you know, there’s a lot of similarities in terms of brain structure, but there’s also some, some common are some, some differences that play into the decision making process that companies should be aware of, right. And some of them are, some of these basic brain structures are the limbic system.

So that system is more involved in let’s say, things such as emotions, memories, and, you know, and social situations, right. So the, the way that that plays out in terms of the the world of marketing is that when, let’s say, for example, a company that is looking to, let’s say, put out an ad that’s targeted more towards female, one of the biggest thing is social harmony, for example, because that part of the brain, the limbic system, you know, one of its core functions is to evaluate things on a social situation.

And, and from an evolutionary point of view, as well, that’s actually increases the chances of mercy gathering food, for example, to bring back to the family or for childbearing, where even to the day, you know, you have playdates and you have moms coming together. And all that stuff is really the genesis of you know, that that part of the brain that looks at things from, from a social point of view, right, so for a company to come in and create.

Let’s say, an ad, to really want to emphasize that social aspect, and, and show let’s say, you know, people in close proximity, but to take that even a notch hires to actually have the, let’s say, the people in the ad actually physically touching each other, because that actually activates what we call oxytocin, which is a near, which is a hormone that is responsible for bonding. Right? So this is something that’s very common when, let’s say, a mother has a baby.

Buy On Emotion, Justify With Logic

Roy Barker  12:08 Use Neuromarketing science

No, during that time. Interesting. So I guess there’s, well, there used to be an old saying that said that we buy on emotion, and then we justify with logic, right? Still pretty much hold true.

Felix  12:24

Yeah, absolutely. Like one of the things is, there’s something called bottom up process processing. Everyone understands or is familiar with left and right brain, right. So left is more logical, right is like more of the creative side, but really, the flow of information. This is very important that that to mention, as well as understanding how the brain is structured, and how information physically enters the brain.

A lot of that will actually support, you know, the whole notion of buying based on emotion and then backing up based on logic, right, so the flow from the bottom up is actually at the base of your brain is, you know, you really have your reptilian brain, right, or your physical brain, because so that’s really responsible, you know, it’s, it’s fast, impulsive, reflexive, and it’s really responsible for your fight or flight type of responses, right? So information goes from that to assess situations that are, let’s say, a threat or non threat to the individual.

And let’s say it passes from there into the next level, which is the midbrain limbic system that we touched on that was more deals with emotions, memories, and social situation. So research and look at things from you know, like, from an emotional point of view, what kind of associates you haven’t, that you have good memories, or thoughts of something of the stimuli. And then who else is kind of using this kind of thing, right, and then it passes on to finally the last part of the brain, which is the cortex, and that’s your logical part of the brain.

So I started to look at things from like a statistical point of view figures, facts and things like that. So when you actually see how that path of information gets gets traveled, at first, that’s where the emotion kind of comes in at the midbrain. And then let’s say that’s all it makes a purchase and then it finally gets to the last part of the brain to receive information which is the cortex and that’s the logical part. Yeah,

Roy Barker  14:13 Use Neuromarketing science

I think I was just thinking about Car and Truck advertising and the difference because typically you know the woman would drive the car right but you see like you said the touching you usually see I’m taking a lot of times children to events are dropping out of school. But then when we you know you never see on like a gas split in a injector fuel injector open and saying, hey, look at the flow of this thing. Exactly. But when we talk about the trucks, I guess targeting men in the group is you know, it’s a lot more about the power and how tough it is, you know, dropping stuff in the bed of it not too many people hugging and you know,

Felix  14:56

doing all the 100% right. If you’re looking towards something that’s gravitating more to the social concept, then then of course, it’s more like, Oh, we, you want to buy this SUV, because you could fit the family in there. And you have more space for, let’s say, the baby stroller so to speak. But, you know, for for, let’s say, the male demographic, you know, that might be important as well. But it’s also, you know, like, Can I take this off roading? Right, like, so it’s kind of like a different type of approach, even though there is crossover. But, you know, probably off roading is on the mind of most male consumers who are looking at bigger vehicles, especially trucks. Right, exactly.

Consumer Shifts

Roy Barker  15:37 Use Neuromarketing science

So, you know, it’s we’re in an interesting time coming out of the pandemic. have, have you noticed any? Are there any large consumer shifts that are happening? Or is everybody still kind of holding back kind of still wait and see attitude right this moment?

Felix  15:56

Yeah, that’s a good question. I think right now, it’s a maybe a combination of both, I think, from the consumer point of view, you know, it seems like they like the consumers want to go out and actually experience life, again, and from a business point of view, of course, they’re looking to make up for that revenue, but also at the same time being very strategic in terms of how they reopen. So it’s a little bit of this Dad’s going on, because nobody knows what’s gonna happen, you know, in the next foreseeable future.

Roy Barker  16:27 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah, there was a story not like, yes, this week or last week about that, that, you know, while everybody was home, and stranded, a lot of home improvement projects. Yeah, that the airlines have opened, backed up, people have like, ditched the home improvement project

Felix  16:43

and jumped on the plane to go wherever they wanted to go. Right. Yeah, I remember reading about that, as well. So it’s, it’s quite a, it’s quite changed. And I think that everybody wants to kind of have things returned back to normal as much as possible.

Staff Shortages

Roy Barker  16:56 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah. Yeah. And it’s a and the other thing, I think, you know, for our businesses out there, they’ve been struggling with some staff shortages in places, also some of their raw materials shortage, is that right? You know, in talking about home builders, the price of lumber has just skyrocketed. But anyway, even the local restaurants, we were talking about the, you know, ingredients in some restaurants that have been short. So, I mean, the businesses are dealing with a lot of challenges. Mm hmm.

Felix  17:31

Yeah, there’s a lot of things on the on, you know, that’s on the radar for sure, dealing with, you know, like workers, you know, employment, can you bring in the labor force to come in and run the business, and all the way through to, you know, like, the materials to actually create the consumer product. And then, and also, you know, people are probably are in a different state of mind, as well, as they make this transition into more of the social world, if you want to call it real life, social world. So there’s a lot of different, you know, variables that come into things, as you know, we approached the next stage here.

Primal Brain

Roy Barker  18:11 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah. And, you know, we were talking earlier, you mentioned grass and your rotation. And, you know, I see that in some consumers, it’s, it’s a trying time, because it’s like, some people are trying to open up and get back to normal, and maybe it’s not happening as fast for them. Right? I think if you’re the, you’re the neuroscientist that can really give the answer. But do you think that there’s like a lot of pent up frustration and anxiety that consumers are kind of bringing into this time period?

Felix  18:44

Well, definitely, like when we look at it from, you know, a neuroscience point of view that the primal brain, you know, is certainly in a heightened state or a much more heightened state of, let’s say, anxiety, anxiety, uncertainty, due to all the turbulence that’s happening, right.

So, really, when you look at the brand, so the brand is this a verb, our emotional state, is to really help the consumer come to a level where it alleviates a lot of those, let’s say stress is if you want to call it that, right. So that’s the main goal of, you know, of a brand to help return that level of normalcy, so that they could, you know, just have some sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, which is something that has been, you know, highly affected over the last probably year and a half during that time.

And, and, and there’s, there’s certain, of course, a certain ways like on a one to one interaction or, and so forth of how that would affect, let’s say, a business in terms of how to, you know, what, we increase the effectiveness, and we could touch on that as well. And I think, you know, we talked about sleep, being very, very important because, you know, try tries to resolving a situation when you have You know, one or both parties in an agitated state? Right, right, right, like the primal brain is, is highly active and it shuts off the cortex. So the logical the logical part of the brain goes offline. So,

Take Care of Employees

Roy Barker  20:16 Use Neuromarketing science

no, I was just gonna saying, I think that we can even talk a little bit about how businesses really need to take care of their employees through this time. Because, you know, companies that are short of people, the people that do show up there, right, you know, from candy cane, and right, get tired, and then it just takes one little lag, Hey, you got that order wrong.

And it’s like, you know, it’s, it’s unnecessary, I understand why it happens. But if we, as employers, we need to not only monitor our employees, make sure they’re getting their rest or have their chance to get even right, say, I’m fine, I can do another double. At some point, we have to, you know, be the logical one and say, Look, you really need to rest before bad. And, you know, we noticed this in, I used to do a lot of work in the senior living industry and be like in a nursing home environment.

And what we noticed was that, that was when staff tended to be more abusive, not necessarily physical, but more short with the residents or verbally abusive, when they had worked a couple of double shifts, there’s not enough staff, they know, they’re going to have to keep doubling, they’re missing their bright family events, and that their agitation level just was increases. Yeah, it’s just right on the cusp. So any little thing would just put them over the edge. And I think that we’re not seeing it wholesale. But I think that if we’re not careful, we will see a lot of that, you know, in some industries out there today,

Felix  21:53

that’s a great, great point that you brought up in terms of being overworked, burned out, and not having time to spend less time with loved ones. And from a company point of view that this obviously, meal, there’s ways to support, let’s say, your employees and your and the people that work with you, that really make the company run. And as I mentioned, one is sleep.

The reason why that’s so is it does several things, it’s it actually prunes the pathways in the brain, and really and strengthen the ones that that are in use. What that does is, it pretty much clears the highway from for like neurons to speak to each other. So So what it does is, when someone’s in a confused state, it’s easy to get agitated. So sleep really kind of opens up these highways, so that the you know, the cells within the brain can communicate with each other, which reduces the chances of someone getting frustrated, right. That’s why getting adequate sleep really, really matters because it strengthens, you know, really highways that are important, and really reduces or cleans out the ones that are not in use, right.

So that’s one reason. The second reason why you know, it’s important to get a good rest is it, it actually allows the brain to consolidate what you learn in that day. So your memories get strengthened. So it moves it from an area called the hippocampus, which is kind of like your short term and medium term memory. And then it gets transported to your cortex for long term storage if you want. So that way, when I say, the next day you wake up well rested, it’s the exact same idea where someone does not feel agitated, because their thoughts are a lot more clear on what they need to do. Right.

So that’s the power the neuroscience behind you know, the importance of good sleep, you know, the other one actually is taking walks being around nature. What it does is it calms the the primal brain by actually strengthening the cortex, which in this case, it’s like if you just see as an organization, you have the executive team, like the leadership team, that lets you communicate with Mr. frontline workers. If if the leadership team is all in disarray, then you can bet that, you know, the workers underneath are going to do whatever they want.

And before you know, you just have a big mass, right, so by having a very, very strong leadership team that could actually help, you know, communicate effectively with their workers, then you have you know, something that is a much more well run organization. That’s what happens when the say taking walks or being around nature is that part of the brain or the leadership team becomes a lot more strengthened. And it’s able to regulate the primal brain, you know, a lot more effectively. Right?

So those are two big things to keep in mind. The third thing is having support programs that facilitate you know, being social even having fun outside of work. I think that’s building that rebuilding that camaraderie again, I had been missing for the last year and a half. So by buying those things, as you know, that’s how companies could support their workers. Yeah. And

Roy Barker  25:05 Use Neuromarketing science

what about stimulus? I was just thinking, because sometimes it, it kind of acts like lack of sleep for me is that if you’re in a heavy stimulus environment, you just got things coming at you got the questions and this and always, you know, having to kind of be on on your step thinking about this next thing, right? If we have a lot of that in a short period of time that can I, I’m asking as a question, does that act, kind of like, you know, going for a long time without getting any sleep that it just wears our brain down?

Felix  25:39

Yeah, 100%, because at the end of the day, our brains need time to rest and recover. Right? So burnout is, you know, it’s a likely scenario. So during that time, there’s only so many second wins that someone could get. Right. So it’s the same idea. Even though you know, the person may be going off of, let’s say, adrenaline, and all the other good stuff, but but what ends up happening is, it becomes a law of diminishing returns as well. So even though let’s say, there’s just much more benefit to let’s say, study for, you know, a short period of time than just dragging it out, and not sleeping for three days and pulling all nighters.

Even though if you look at the time itself, it’s like, well, someone dedicated, you know, let’s say, 20 hours over three days, but they’re not going to remember anything, because as I mentioned before, during sleep, that’s how your memories and your learning gets consolidated. Right? So there’s this kind of like this, this middle ground, that that needs to happen in terms of optimize, optimizing someone’s, you know, thought process and regulating their emotions. Yeah.

Take A Break From The Stimulus

Roy Barker  26:41 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah. Like you said, that what works for me well, is that walk, sometimes just taking a little 15 minute walk, it makes a world of difference to just kind of clear your head. And, you know, I know, there’s a lot of research on the creative part, too, is that, you know, we cannot be creative. When we’re constantly being bombarded with stimulus. We have to have that quiet. Yeah. To think and be creative.

Felix  27:06

100% agree with you on that. Yeah, those those walks? I mean, they’re so valuable, it seems, you know, it’s 20 1520 minutes, but they, but what it does on a neurological level on the brain, is, it’s significant. Yeah. Right. So it’s, yeah, it This allows, you know, clear thinking allows the primal brain to be a lot more regulated and under control, and rather than have it like, act as a loose cannon, and that’s when a lot of the kind of irrational behaviors happen where, you know, it just takes a little to put someone over the top. Yeah.

Roy Barker  27:39 Use Neuromarketing science

Right. So I think you mentioned, maybe it was pre show, or last time we talked that stress can actually reduce parts of the brain is that did I get that? Right?

Felix  27:52

Yeah, that’s pretty much what it is. Right now, obviously, for for some people, you know, that’s a reality, right? So based on all the different circumstances, and on a brain level, what ends up happening is we talked about the cortex, which is like the leadership executive team, right. Stress actually reduces the amount of area they called gray, or gray area, or this thing, that that part of the brain, let’s say, your executive team, you know, shrinks pretty much, so they’re there.

And then what ends up happening is there’s a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is your kind of your emotion, area of the brain that’s found in the midbrain, or midbrain, your primal brain, and that’s where a lot of your fears and that kind of stuff comes out, that area to actually grow gets bigger. So you have this executive team at the top, kind of shrink.

And then you have the the megillah, which is your emotions, and one of its fear. You know, there’s a big imbalance here. So that so that’s why, you know, stress has a has a big effect on, you know, the the areas the brain, and that’s one way to look at as a comic, the power of balance of a shrinking executive team and a growing, you know, a growing base underneath it that without control is, is acts like a loose cannon.

Roy Barker  29:06 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah. Yeah. And I know, this is kind of off topic from sales and marketing. But I guess I think it’s important because of the damage, you know, if we’re not careful, if we don’t think all this through the drain that we can do to our company to our brand, that can be permanent. I mean, sometimes we don’t get out from under that. If we’ve got staff that’s on the ragged edge, and maybe they don’t treat our customers, right. And then, you know, we’ve got, again, Alaska says a question, but it seems that we have a little bit more of the canceled culture, right, and go on.

So it’s like, if if I come into your establishment and I feel like you’ve wronged me, then I’m like, I am never going back and I’m telling everybody, you know, I’m telling all my friends never go back. You know, sometimes it amounts to something. Sometimes it doesn’t, but really, as a business owner, you In the fragile environment that we’re operating in, right, this moment, you just can’t really chance any of that. Right?

Felix  30:07

Yeah, so the Catholic culture is, especially now that everybody pretty much has the voice on social media and on the internet, right. So that’s, so for a company, it’s, it’s almost like you, the way they’ll look at is the reason why that really exists. And really, it’s a kind of like a dichotomy of polar opposites, as they say, right, like, it’s big contrast between A and B, for example, but to really get down to it is to really break out this us versus them type of thinking, is the final way to make you know, as, as the your consumer base as inclusive as possible in different circles.

So really, you’re expanding your click to these different areas of value, that also overlap with the consumer. So before it would be, for example, was this based on product, you someone would go to a company, and they would really, really like the product. And then and then that’s how kind of like the relationship was built on. But now as we see it, and brands are now offering to extend and deal with more social matters, for example, you know, equality, gender, all that stuff now.

So now it’s like, you know, companies that go beyond just okay, we provide the best products and services, so come to us and, and your value it to now it’s like, okay, we probably provide the best price and services. But also, we understand that, okay, this is some of your values as well, we share some of those values. So that’s something that’s becoming really important as the company is expanding, kind of like their web of values, right. So that it starts to, you know, really get connected with their consumers as more of a whole rather than just product service by


Roy Barker  31:48 Use Neuromarketing science

relationship. Yeah, it’s funny, you mentioned that because I just did an interview with an author, Lynn, Yap, she wrote, The Altruistic Capitalist, okay, you know, basically, you know, what we were talking about is, you know, these companies are getting squeezed on three sides, the consumer wants him to be socially, environmentally, socially, and management responsible, but investors are actually asking for that same thing. And now, employees are kind of stepping up and wanting that same thing.

So companies are, you know, they’re really gonna get squeezed into doing the right things. And, you know, it’s just a matter of making sure that we develop some checks and balances, because, you know, one of my questions always is, and I can tell you, I’m environmentally sensitive, while I’m, you know, porn, you know, toxic waste out the back door here. So, you know, it’s easy, sometimes it’s easier said than done.

Felix  32:47

Exactly. I think as you brought some really good points there in terms of that would be more of an accountability, accountability issue, right? When you know, somebody, or let’s say, an entity or a brand, for example, a company or business mentions that they’re going to do a certain task, do they actually carry out with it? Right. You know, social media is, that’s one of the things that has enabled people the ability to self express themselves and brands to have social identities as well. That’s how, you know, the ability to communicate effectively. And I think that’s where the key is that the communication options, all those channels are, there’s now how, from a brand point of view, how did they communicate with their consumers, based on let’s say, carrying through ensuring accountability for what it is that they had mentioned? Right, and broadcast to the public?

Cancel Culture

Roy Barker  33:40 Use Neuromarketing science

Yep, had one other question kind of back on the council on the canceled culture, and kind of this maybe like a heightened state of agitation that right, people are in for, you know, what we all the uncertainties that we’ve talked about. So it’s part of this lack of an illusion of control issues that things have been so out of everybody’s control. It’s, these things have been forced on us for the last year. So now I’ve got some control to write get on social media and I realized social media, the reach that we have there has influenced it some but do we? Do you think that it’s part of this trying to gain a little bit of control back of our life?

Felix  34:24

I think I think that’s the goal for pretty much anybody. Right? wouldn’t wouldn’t really look at I think what has happened has this kind of open the doors to more what was really going on? And then But, yeah, that’s, you know, in terms of that sense of control, it’s, it could be just, you know, can I communicate with this person? Could I share my ideas, right, so, that’s something I don’t think will ever ever change is is now there’s a lot more opportunities and channels to share and to express.

You know, what someone is feeling I’m thinking so in terms of that is this, you know, that’s just the way that we’re, we’re moving in terms of, you know, a wide platform for people to communicate. But there’s also things that come out of it, where, obviously, you know, they would have to be, you know, there’s certain things that that comes with, like the good part, like the positives and negatives of, of any situation. Right. So is this a matter of how do we navigate this, to make sure people are still heard, but done in a way that continues to move our society forward?

Roy Barker  35:34 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah. And I’ve always communicated with businesses as a consumer, because, you know, a lot of times I feel like the business may not know what’s going wrong, right? They’re not necessarily their own customer every day. So sometimes it just doesn’t hurt to politely I’ll stress, I politely, you know, reach out to the company and say, Hey, I had this experience. And then if, if they’re good, and they do what they’re supposed to by saying, well, we probably made a mistake, let me know, we’ll fix it.

That’s awesome. You know, but, again, we’ve talked a little bit about reviews and things like that. Don’t throw gasoline on that when either and, you know, just started Yeah, well, you’re pretty bad consumer. So yeah, right. Because I have seen those where it’s like, you know, somebody reaches out with what may be a legitimate issue. And the business owner just goes crazy on them

Felix  36:26

exactly what it comes down, as you mentioned, to to accountability as well, right for the for a bow, but it’s almost like, the way to see is it the responsibility lies on all parties involved. So at the end of the day, a company can only control what they can control this, like in real life, an individual could only control what they can control.

So so the approach needs to be a very holistic approach where it takes in all these different factors and variables, rather than singling one variable out, and saying that, hey, we fixed this, everything else is going to fall in this place. But here, as you mentioned, you know, there’s a lot of a lot of changes that are happening, or that has happened over the last a year and a half, that are influencing the way that people think feel and expressing themselves.

So so the, you know, the concept needs to take in all those different, all those different drivers. And then find the best way to make all make everything align as best as possible. So that as a unit, or as a collective unit. It moves from in the direction that you want it to come rather than Okay, you fix one thing, but then the muffler falls off, for example, right. So there’s different aspects to the situation that has a much greater chance of success when they’re addressed together.

Reaction vs. Response

Roy Barker  37:43 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah, yeah, there’s a good technique, it’s called something about the difference between how you how you react and how you respond, you know, we can take that all in. But if we’ll take about 234, breaths before we actually respond, sometimes we’ll be much better off in the long run for that.

Felix  38:03

Exactly. That’s a great point, there’s actually a book and maybe that’s what you’re alluding to, by Mel Robbins written in 2017, called the five second rule. And that’s, that’s probably where, you know, there’s probably connection between that, but it was pretty much saying that, you know, confronted with a situation, instead of this acting out, really quick, take take the time to count backwards 54321.

Because what that does, that actually, you know, allocates the blood from that agitated part of the brain, where it’s so easy to just like, you know, lash out at somebody back into the cortex, so it turns it back on, and then it turns the logical side of the, you know, the process back and then from there on, you know, it could be one step to reducing an impulsive action, for example, but it also works the other way, where if someone’s in the, let’s say, Stage or Stage of procrastination, also, counting down from five will, will bring the blood flow back into the cortex, and then that would be the moment to act otherwise, you know, nobody’s going to take any action.

And, you know, things get procrastinate or delayed for X amount of time. Right. So, so same idea there, but the neurosciences, well, how are you? How are you allocating the blood flow from one area of the brain to the next, in order to really turn on the part of the brain that you need to work? Well, that’s

Roy Barker  39:29 Use Neuromarketing science

cool. I’m gonna try that. I need to take the trash out after a while. I’m gonna do that and see if I can get motivated.

Felix  39:35

Yeah, exactly. So so there’s different things and you know, the, the primal brain and the logical brain. It’s almost like this tug of war, because the primal brain wants things now, it’s almost like a little kid, right? Once it’s now it’s impulsive. Whereas the logical brain is like the grown up adult, for example, or the parent, and they’re more in the private brain or the logical brain is more long term thinking.

So it’s a matter of, you know, how do you come up with strategies To make them work together very similar to your situation with, you know, you’re taking businesses with, you know, consumers and so forth. And everyone is having this big conversation with each other. And then, but making sure that the conversations are, are, you know, very valuable and an effective right in terms of moving things in the right direction, as opposed to just, you know, talking about a bunch of things and then adding more, more powder to the to the keg, if you want to call it

Roy Barker  40:27 Use Neuromarketing science

you’re at. Yeah, so what are some, let’s look at the some, as we open up, a lot of let’s just kind of stick with restaurants for a minute, because some of them have kind of limited menus for cut it down to be more manageable, they’re still doing a lot of takeout, and they still encourage a lot of takeout. I know that, you know, we’ve had places around here that, you know, they just have to close the dining room down because they don’t have staff to staff.

But what are some things that businesses can do to, I guess, to be proactive with the consumer about it? I don’t know coaxing them back or, you know, trying to write need to let them know kind of what’s going on. So that doesn’t have to turn into a thing everybody can understand, not the way we want to operate. Unfortunately, we just have to operate this way.

Felix  41:21

Yeah, so the number one thing is obviously to make it safe. if let’s say you’re a restaurant, and you have a dining room. That’s the number one thing, right? So let’s say that there’s a restaurant that’s open. And they want to encourage people to come that they know it’s going to be safe, but also quipped at the same time, they’re not sitting there waiting for you know, two hours to get a seat. So they’re gonna have to have the restaurants gonna have some sort of system in place to facilitate that. That just that that traffic, let’s say gets really, really busy.

Because the last thing, especially right now is have a have a waiting consumer, because our primal brain already, he goes, look, I want Now’s my opportunity to get out and then have some sort of social life other than this thing at home for the last 18 months. But now let’s see, they get there. And then and then they find out that they have to now wait another half an hour, two hours, or whatever it is like that is going to really take someone over the edge. Right.

So So what, you know, one of the things is this having processes in place, where it could help facilitate kind of like that, that type of traffic if or even, you know, one of the one of the restaurants is one thing they could do is assuming they have the resources, is that shakes bad and their patio. Yeah. Right. So that’s something that you know, like, because chances are most restaurants, they can’t just knock down a wall.

And then like put more tables in there. But the patio assuming that there’s space there, that’s a much more cost-efficient way to add more chairs. That would be instead of, you know, without doing that needed, the customer that waits there for two hours now only has to know that the waiting times a lot shorter, right.

Consumer Experience

Roy Barker  42:57 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah, and we’ve seen around here, some that have even taken up some of their parking space, you know, they have enough extra parking against some of those front parking spaces and setting up tents and outside

Felix  43:07

darkly doing those, those things that will make a big difference for the customer experience. Right. And obviously, you know, everybody has kind of been inside for the last year and a half is Yeah, is is now will continue to, to market and to get the front of mine again. Right. So that’s gonna be huge thing in terms of, you know, being being on the radar again.

Roy Barker  43:31 Use Neuromarketing science

Yeah, yeah. And I think communication, we can’t over stress that enough, as we just have a good open line of communication and the gym that I go to, they actually put a meter on the little, you have an app that you have to show the card when you walk in the door, but they put a little meter on it to show how crowded it is. Right? You know, and I think that was pretty cool. Because he can evaluate even if you want to go over there or not, let’s just don’t even think about the COVID process for a minute just you know, want to go to crowded gym and stand around and wait to get on machine.

So it allows a customer to be a little bit more informed. And you know, some of these restaurants would do good at just being honest. And you know, some of them think that they’re doing there. Some of them think that they’re being a little bit tricky by saying, Oh, yeah, well, just 15 minutes, but you know, when 15 turns in 45 then all you’ve done is really make some people mad.

Felix  44:31

Exactly. So that’s actually really neat to hear that the the gym that you go to actually has that type of neuroscience is called biometrics. It’s almost like oh, what’s your heart rate? Right or like that’s what is or the dilation of the people are people for example, or you know, for instruments that are measuring this kind of like your physiological reaction and responses to stimuli.

From the outside, for example, you know, in the in the medical field, let’s say in the operation room, you know that they would hook you up to those machines, and they’ll show you your heart rate so, so you would know how the person is actually where they’re at, on a physiological level. So the same thing applies not to those of the gym or the restaurant, where people know, there’s some sort of indication or external indicator that says all this restaurants like 90%, full, for example. That’s going to impact whether someone’s okay with coming there, know that they’re gonna wait a long time or being like, okay, you know, what, maybe I’m gonna have to have a look at another, another option, right?

And that’s one of the reasons why Uber and no log companies follow suit is to have, you’re able to track your Uber driver, because that eliminates the stress of, you know, where’s my food? Right, it eliminates that fear, right? So it brings that level of certainty and be like, Oh, you know, like, the food is only five minutes away, and so forth. It’s, that’s, that’s a similar type of concept. When it comes to Oh, this restaurant is, you know, 80% 90% full? Do I want to go here or not? Yeah.


Roy Barker  46:02 Use Neuromarketing science

Right. And that applies to a lot of things. And I just, I’ll use me, for example, is, you know, you want to be patient, and you want to wait, so let’s take food delivery, it’s like, they said, it’d be here in 20 minutes, okay, it’s been 30. But you know, what, they’re behind traffic, we’ve got all this stuff. And so you can be patient. And then all of a sudden, when you’re at 45 minutes, you’re like, Hey, we’re, you know, it’s kind of like, there’s this line where you’re patient, you’re bright.

But you never know, you know, when do I when do I not be patient? When do I pick up the phone and give somebody a call and don’t want to rush them? Right? Let there’s external circumstances. And so this is, again, backward communication, and, you know, implementing whatever we can try and help that customer understand where they are in their journey. It just, it’s invaluable. Oh, exactly. So

Felix  46:55

you know, having some sort of system that will let someone know, almost like an ordering system, for example, you’re at the back, working and creating the the meals, there’s some sort of timeline? Like, if you look at fast food restaurant, for example, they’ll let you know, hey, like in 60 seconds, where should it be along the way? Pretty much. And the same thing would apply from a consumer point of view, when they’re looking to engage with the company, right?

It’s kind of like, I’m waiting in line here, what position on my end line, you know, and then the groceries are in the earlier like, they I think they removed that system was everybody used to take a ticket? You remember that? Oh, you wanted you wanted your favorite cold cut? meats, for example, here’s the machine and take a number, we’ll call your number. So at least you like, you know, it’s very straightforward. It’s hard to say, hey, look up before you write if someone’s holding a ticket with it with a number closer to be in front of line, so it’s a similar idea.

Roy Barker  47:48

I’m like, yeah, that back. That’s pretty good. Except it backfired at the driver’s license office, you know, when you walk up there, and you see the click, and like, they’re on number 10. And you pull, like, number 312? off of the machine.

Felix  48:01

Yeah, so there’s always gonna be some sort of variation, right? Where, where it could work for or, in that case, you know, a lot of people, because they’re not too excited to renew, to do those tasks. But but if someone goes, Oh, look, I’m moving up in the light. And I know that, hey, I’m gonna, let’s say, finally get seated and have a meal, then the type of anticipation is different, right. So there’s different what’s happening is the dopamine is the activities, the two different activities or have a different impact on the dopamine levels. Right.

Roy Barker  48:33

Well, Felix, we appreciate you taking time out of your day to come talk with us. This is all great information. I just, you know, I think that this is such an interesting discipline. And it’s needed. I mean, you know, as sales and as marketing, we want to be able to reach our customers, give them the message and write all the activities that we need to do, you know, in order to make that a pleasant experience, for sure. Perfect.

Felix  48:59

Well, yeah, it’s, you know, it’s always a pleasure to speak with you right to be on your podcast, and I’m absolutely privileged to be a returning guest on here. And I hope that our conversation here is gonna provide a lot of insights to help your listeners in their entrepreneurial journey.

Roy Barker  49:18 Use Neuromarketing Science

Yeah, yeah, it will. And I’ll do like I did last time, I’ll, you know, extend an invitation to get you back on here and two or three. So you kind of, you know, how this environment has changed. And, you know, if there’s anything that as businesses that we need to be doing, you know, a little bit different to take care of, you know, the other thing we talked a lot about prospects, but also to take care of our current customers. I mean, that’s, yeah, that’s an important thing. Sometimes we, you know, and I’m, I’m guilty of that we think about how we’re going to get the next new guy and we’re not thinking about taking care of the people. God already. That’s

Felix  49:52

a really that’s really good one is there. That’s why they’re a customer, right? It’s it would make sense to take care of them. So I think that goes a huge way and the consumer, the customer, and they’ll definitely remember that.

Roy Barker  50:05 Use Neuromarketing Science

Yeah. All right, well, tell us give us another tool or another habit, he was something that you do every day, that really adds a lot of value to your life, either professionally or personally,


Felix  50:19

I would say, meditating, meditating even for 1015 minutes, you know, it is certainly has a way to rewire the brain makes things a lot more calmer, clears up the thinking. And that’s something that will, you know, generally what I found my personal experience to impact how the rest of the goes, right. So, you know, personally, that’s something that has been effective for in my own life. And, you know, hopefully, that will encourage some people to try that and then see how it affects, you know, their life moving forward. Yeah,

Roy Barker  50:52 Use Neuromarketing Science

I’m pretty new at this. I’ve been trying it. And one thing I implemented was in the evening, too, because it gives me a little bit of separation from whatever I was doing until, you know, trying to lay down and sleep exactly, head. But, you know,

Felix  51:06

what I have to say is, I am not good at it. And I find myself some days being all over the place, but I think it’s one of these things, you just have to stay after it. Yeah, you just practice, right? Like, there’s no easy way around it. Like as much as we like to take, you know, some sort of accelerated shortcut, it isn’t a matter of, you know, it’s like, typically, if you know, a baby’s getting born, it needs nine months. Yeah, thing, right. So let’s say anything rushing it. It does, it does, it does, like it typically does not work as well as we’d like to like it to.

Roy Barker  51:39 Use Neuromarketing Science

Yeah, and the other thing, I’m gonna start, I’ve heard this last week is a guy that he actually implemented a little, maybe not, you know, 10 minutes, but maybe two or three of meditation and breathing in between when switching tasks. And I thought, wow, that’s an awesome idea. Because I’ve never thought of that, you know, you’re fully engaged in whatever you’re doing. And you have to stop and try to engage. And it takes just a little bit of time to make that transition. So anyway, that’s I think that’s really cool.

Felix  52:09

Yeah, that’s very similar to the whole idea of taking naps throughout the day, rather than just having a big sleep a night. Right. So yeah, so it’s this on a micro scale, is kind of like these mini meditation sessions in between each, each task to allow the brain maybe to make sense of all the different activities and kind of create some sort of barrier, so it doesn’t get all mushed together, right.

Roy Barker  52:36 Use Neuromarketing Science

Actually, I saw Sorry, I’m gonna ask you one more question. Yeah, absolutely. No, there just was actually a I read a piece just the other day about napping in the afternoon. Again, I don’t know. It’s trying to make a resurgence, you know, make a resurgence. But they were just saying, you know, how much more productive that we could be? Right, by taking I think it said like a 30 minute nap. Which depending on that?

Felix  53:00

Well, there are studies, I believe in Europe, that’s a quite common practice. I can’t remember the specific country so but but from what I recall, and of course, we could always look at is Sweden, the highly encourage that. And it seems to maybe have the same effect, as you know, that the one tip, which is to have those kind of like mini naps, or meditation sessions in between, right, and allows like the brain to kind of recharge itself instead of just going full throttle for so long.

So so it’s so it’s like, it’s really a way for the brain is to contact brakes. Now, so that could begin to like kind of recharge, you know, consolidate the the memories and so forth. And, and then get going again, because, you know, as much as we’d like to go at 100%. You know, that’s a that’s a fast way to go to Burnham. Oh, two.

Wrap Up

Roy Barker  54:00

Right. Alright, Felix, I certainly appreciate it. We’ll get you back on here. And we can talk a lot more as a lot of great information for our audience for sure.

Felix  54:09

Excellent. You bet.

Roy Barker  54:10 Use Neuromarketing Science

So that’s gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, you can find us at We’re on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify, we’re not a one that you listened to please reach out I’d be glad to get it added and make it easier for your listening. Also, we’re on all the major social media platforms, probably hanging out on Instagram a little bit more than anywhere else. So reach out there. We’d love to interact with you. A video of this interview will go up on our YouTube channel, so be sure and check that out when the episode goes live. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.

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How To Scale Your Business With Facebook and Instagram Ads That Convert

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How To Scale Your Business With Facebook and Instagram Ads That Convert Featuring Shelby Fowler

How to scale your business. If you are looking to scale your business today you can’t discount the value of advertising on channels like Instagram and Facebook. Learn how to develop and run ads that convert

About Shelby

Shelby Fowler is a Facebook and Instagram ads expert, creator of Fempire Ads Academy, and the founder and CEO of Fempire Media.

She started Fempire Media, an ads agency, in 2019 after freelancing as a digital marketer for years. She has grown the company to multiple six figures in the first 2 years and is passionate about serving clients, teaching ads, and encouraging her team.

In late 2020, Shelby launched Fempire Ads Academy to empower female entrepreneurs to run their own profitable Facebook and Instagram ads. Every month, members get all the tools and support they need to scale their business with ads.

Outside of business, Shelby is a mom of 2 girls, a crazy-awesome cook, lover of real housewives (and all things Bravo), and a true-crime fan


Fempire Media Website

Fempire Media – Facebook

The Fempire Team – Facebook Group

Fempire Media – Instagram

Shelby Fowler – LinkedIn

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Full Transcript Below

How To Scale Your Business With Facebook and Instagram Ads Featuring Shelby Fowler

Fri, 7/23 12:06PM • 48:46

Estimated reading time: 41 minutes


ads, people, business, clients, Instagram, run, spend, Shelby, industry, customer, lifetime value, figure, sell, pay, money, brand awareness, leads, video, posts, Facebook, How To Scale Your Business, Facebook and Instagram Ads


Shelby, Roy Barker


Roy Barker  00:00 How To Scale Your Business

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests and that can talk to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we can either point something out that you aren’t doing that can really help you add some success, or we can.

If something is keeping you up at night, we can provide you some answers and some awesome professionals that can help you out to kind of get you back on the right track again. Today we’re excited to have Shelby Fowler. She is a Facebook and Instagram ads expert. Shelby is the creator of Fempire Ads Academy and the founder and CEO of Fempire Media. She started Fempire Media as an ads ads agency in 2019.

After freelancing as a digital marketer for years, she has grown the company to multiple six figures in the first two years and is passionate about serving clients teaching ads and encouraging her team. In late 2020. Shelby launched Fempire Ads Academy to empower female entrepreneurs to run their own profitable Facebook and Instagram ads every month. Members get all the tools and support they need to scale their business with ads.

Outside of business. Shelby’s a mom of two girls a crazy awesome cook. Lover of Real Housewives and all things Bravo and a true crime fan. Shelby, thanks for taking time out of your day. And welcome to the show.

Shelby  00:00

Thank you for having me.

How To Scale Your Business

Roy Barker  00:00 How To Scale Your Business

Yeah, you bet. We kind of bonded over the true crime fan. fan myself, so that’s awesome. Well, tell us a little bit about how you got here is, you know, is Facebook and Instagram ads? Is that kind of something that you’ve been interested in for a long time? Did you kind of take that path where it just kind of came up on you?

More about Shelby

Shelby  01:57

Yeah, kind of just came upon me, I was doing a lot of marketing for restaurants and salons, doctors offices, and everything from web design, to social media management to ads, like you name it, I was an and like, just in, in house promotions, like I was doing an event like I was doing kind of all the things. And what I learned pretty quickly was that I really liked doing the ads, I just at the time didn’t know people like specialized in that I just honestly didn’t know people could do only that.

So what I loved about it was, and with clients, we would see, social media takes a long time to see results. Like it’s a lot about consistency. And, and time. With ads, we could see quick results. And it was nice to be able to see the fruits of my labor, like, you know, for for social media and a lot of other marketing. It’s really the long game, which is powerful. Just a lot of times I wouldn’t be able to see the fruit of my labor.

So I fell in love with it. And then once I realized that I could specialize in it. I met a few people that like Well, yeah, we we own ad agencies. I was like no way you can do that. And so I really began to pivot at that point and really specialize a nation on that area.

Fempire Media – Awesome Name

Roy Barker  03:29 How To Scale Your Business

Oh, that’s cool. Yeah. You know, I think it takes a special technique. I’ll just write down some notes for you. There’s really a lot to unpack in some of your statements there. I was also going to comment on Fempire, I have to say, I love love that are that is an awesome company name. But it really describes you know what you’ve got going on. So kudos on figuring that one out.

Thank you. Yeah, I mean, it’s tough. You know, it’s always you always want to find a name that sticks with people. That’s not too complicated. But that’s a little bit out of the norm. And I think you accomplish that on that. So that’s awesome. Thank you. Yeah, a couple things that you mentioned, I always like to start with is, you know, ads, like marketing, like a lot of things growing a business, anything we do in life. It takes time, and it takes consistency.

And I think sometimes in this world today, you know, we have this instant gratification thing going on, and we forget that we and I’m not saying that you can’t get lucky, there are people that put an ad out on Facebook, they get slammed life is awesome for them. But for most of us, it’s just it’s really that constant grind. I mean, you got to get up every day and you just got to do something number one take step and then tweak it as you go to try to find where your sweet spot is.

Facebook and Instagram Ads

Shelby  04:53

There’s a lot of strategy that goes into it. I think. I think we have you know, cold really made it sound like it’s just this magic pill or quick fix. And of course, you hear those miraculous stories about, you know, somebody, it’s like the jackpot, right? They hit the lottery. And you know, I always that it does happen, right. But usually very rarely. And I, they don’t always share what happened before they did that all of the ads that didn’t work out and all the testing that was done, or that they hired an agency that has 10 years of experience, right or, or a couple years of experience, they don’t really share that part of it. Right.

So just to kind of it just to clarify here, it takes a lot of strategy and time to really figure out what your audience is responding to. Ultimately, if we could really just simplify this idea of Facebook and Instagram ads, it all it is, is you’re getting a ton of ton more traffic to something than you would be able to do organically with with your own marketing efforts, right? And so it’s going to amplify what’s already happening in your business. Now, if you already have a funnel or a website that converts like crazy, or you already have an offer that people just can’t get enough of and you run ads to it. Well, what do you think’s gonna happen? It’s gonna, of course, it’s gonna blow up because you’re getting on more traffic to something that’s already working.

Roy Barker  06:24 How To Scale Your Business

Right? Yeah. And I guess the converse of that, if you’ve got something that’s struggling, even if you drive much more traffic to it, you might have incremental growth, but it’s not going to be exponential, like what you would hope it’s going to be.

Shelby  06:38

Yeah, you’re probably going to lose some money on advertising. Yeah.


Roy Barker  06:42 How To Scale Your Business

Yeah. You know, when we talk about strategy, oh, there’s a lot of things that work together. And I noticed that, you know, you do the Facebook and Instagram, which are tied pretty closely together. So do you actually look at that, the other components of that? Or do you just focus on night, the Facebook and Instagram, and then how to integrate that into somebody else’s other overall marketing plan.

Shelby  07:08

So when we when we typically work with the client, well, first, Facebook owns Instagram, so innately, when you go to create an ad, it’s going to artists, as long as you have your Instagram connected as a business account, it will go to both platforms automatically. So that saves you a lot of time, right? You don’t have to figure out how to like run ads on both platforms, it does it for you. Right, I will say that going into into running ads, you should already have a marketing system that’s working.

You should already have a sales process that’s working, because ads aren’t going to fix a broken sales problem I see this a lot with especially new newer entrepreneurs, is they think, again, the ads are going to be a quick fix. And so maybe they have a sales system that is not working out really well. They’re like, well, all I need is just a bunch more leads. Well, you know, although Yeah, sometimes sales is a numbers game, right? But, I mean, if you can’t close people on the phone, nothing’s gonna change with 50. More.

Sales Process

Roy Barker  08:11 How To Scale Your Business

Exactly. Yeah. And you’ll just be actually burning through opportunities. If you get your, if you get that sales process down. Just think about how much further along he could be with those few ads?

Shelby  08:24

Absolutely. I’m always like, figure out where the bottlenecks are in your business and in your marketing and sales before you run ads. That way, you know, what you need to fix, and then it’s not, you’re not wasting money, you’re gonna be a lot, the ads are gonna be a lot more effective if you’re doing the job on the back end. Right.

Fempire Process

Roy Barker  08:45 How To Scale Your Business

Right. So if I came to you today and said, Hey, I need you to, I want you to get involved and run some ads for me count, what is that intake process? What are some things that I need to think about having answer for, you know, prior to me coming to you to make that a productive conversation?

Shelby  09:03

That’s a really great question. So it’s gonna depend on what type of business you own. But these are the questions I asked. That is, what’s your monthly revenue. And that makes people uncomfortable sometimes, but if you actually are serious about scaling your business, that shouldn’t be uncomfortable, because I want to see the reason why I asked that is I want to see, are you profitable, right? Are we adding ads into on to something that’s already going? Well, if you tell me that you’re only making a couple $1,000 a month in revenue, then I’m going to kind of ask some more questions about your process because I want to see, you know, and your growth like.

How long have you had along. Have you been doing this and all of that because I want to see where you’re at. It’s not that effective to pay someone like me. A couple $1,000 a month in addition to your ad spend if you’re only making a couple 1000. Right? And so, like, that’s a question that I asked how much are you making off in revenue per month?

Then I asked what they’re wanting to run ads to, right? Because, again, you need to have something to run ads to before you, we don’t just like magically run ads, it needs to go to something, whether that’s a free webinar that you’re providing. Or if you want to. If the if the goal is to sell more of a course, right? You don’t have to have all the answers because a good a good ad agency will help you with strategy as well, based on experience, they they know what works more than probably you do. Because they’re spending people’s money all the time.

So trust, trust that the probably 1000s, hundreds of 1000s of dollars, they probably manage an ad spend, right? Because they’re going to tell you what, like, Hey, I would do it this way. Because this is what we’re seeing a couple clients get really good results with. So you don’t have to have all the answers. But you need to know what you want to grow or scale. Is that is that a one to one model? Are you wanting more clients or patients? Or, you know, what does that look like? Do you need just leads coming in? Or do you want to grow your audience more, you need to have kind of an idea?

Do you have a certain offer that you want to grow? And then I will always ask what the cost is for that offer, or service that you provide. So again, I’m in my head doing a little bit of math. Like, Okay. I know this is on average, the cost per lead or click for your industry, right? So I kind of do a little bit of math to make sure that you’re going to be profitable running ads, I would also ask if you’re going to hire somebody, ask them some questions about if they’ve ever run ads for your industry before, because I will tell you that there’s agencies that specialize in certain types of ads.

And a great example of this is e-commerce ads, vastly different than ads for like coaches, right? The strategies are going to be different, it’s a whole different ballgame. It’s like being and I’m going to use this example. Because we can all we all know what it means. I’m by no means relating what I do, or what my industry does to a professional, you know, medical doctor, but it’s like going to a, you know, a podiatrist and being like, hey, my eyeball is really itchy.

You know, and they’re gonna be like, well, I could tell you all the stuff about a foot, but I don’t know about your eyeball? So it’s the same thing like find a find somebody who’s an expert in your industry. Yeah. And and you’ll probably have much better results.

Roy Barker  12:59 How To Scale Your Business

Yeah, I think that’s good to, to know these questions, but to also be aware, in my opinion, is that if, if there’s somebody offering you a quick fix for money, and they don’t ask you any questions, that’s a huge red flag. Because you know, everybody, even if I’m, even if we’re in the same, even if we’re, you know, you mentioned beauty salons earlier. So we’ll go with that. But, you know, even if different beauty salons, they may kind of focus on different things.

I mean, maybe one’s just the haircut place, but maybe one does more of the fancy extensions. Yeah. So asking those questions, it’s very important because it can change the audience in which we are going to be or which you’re going to be, you know, trying to target. Absolutely. And I assume that’s another thing, that’s probably a very good to give some thought to. I mean, hopefully, you gave some thought to it, you know, like, as you’re working through your business, but at some point, you kind of have to think of who is my customer.

As we need to know what the age group is, you know, because and also within, you can set parameters on your ads, but also it’s in the messaging, I wouldn’t have thought to a young 20 something the same way, you know, the same language in the same way we would talk to somebody like myself, because, you know, may say, hey, go see us on tik tok. And I’m like, What was that? You know? Yeah. So we have to be careful with that messaging.

Shelby  14:34

Absolutely. I always ask, what, where is your ideal customer or client? Where are they currently at in their life in their life or business? Like what’s happening? What is their life in business? Look like right now? What are they experiencing? Becoming aware of the pain points that you solve is so important and knowing A few things like, like you said, age range and gender, like do you maybe some of you really only work with? Maybe like, we talked about the hair salon industry?

Like maybe your you do hair extensions? Well, you know, sure, there’s gonna be some men out there that are like, Yes, I want hair extensions, but the vast majority are going to be women. So it’s best for you to spend your ad dollars probably targeting women, right? Um, and there’s, I mean, there’s several like men examples there, too, right? So figure out what gender and maybe it’s both. Maybe you work with both, that’s fine, too. But think about the gender you work with. And age range, I tell a lot of my clients, because they they come to me, many come to me, and they’re like, I could really help everybody. Right?

A lot of people are there you have a business that has maybe a lot of clients or customers and you’re like, oh, a lot of people buy my stuff. And that’s great. I want to know what age range the vast majority of your clients are coming from, and who do you enjoy working with or selling to? So I tell this to people, you know, anybody under 25, for example, you obviously are going to always have outliers, you’ll always have outliers. I know some people in their early 20s that have million dollar businesses.

And I’m like, Man, I wish I could have figured that out in my early 20s. Right. But there is most of the people in their early 20s. Where are they at in life? You know, they’re in college, they’re, or they’re trying to figure life out. They’re just paying off student loan debt, or they’re getting their first car or their first house or, or they’re still living in an apartment.

They don’t have a lot of money. I mean, I mean, I lived off of, you know, Taco Bell, and hopes and dreams is what I? Ramen. Yeah, ramen noodles. So, think about that, like, of course, there’s gonna be outliers, but we’re talking about targeting a huge amount of people. So we have to get pretty specific here. Like, what age gap? What age range Do you want to work with. So most of that is usually somewhere between 25 and, you know, 5560, something like that. Think about also technology. If you sell if you’re an a SaaS company, you sell some sort of software, if you target someone over 60.

Think about that. Like that may not be your ideal audience, you might want to target someone more in their 30s or 40s. Because they probably are a lot more comfortable with technology, and software. Like, you know, that’s just that’s just being realistic. There’s, of course, always outliers, but I want you to really think about that. Who can you best serve? That would best Enjoy your product or service?

Lifetime Value of Customer

Roy Barker  17:54 How To Scale Your Business

Yeah, that’s a good point. Even if we we have buyers from all ages and all genders, you kind of have to look at, you know, like in statistics, the bell curve, and say, Where are the majority of those coming from? And then also, you know, I can only say, like, talking about the hair salon is, you know, prior to COVID. You know, I was the, you know, the $10 cut every three or four weeks. So, even though I’m your client, I’m probably not one of your high-margin clients. And so, you talked about earlier about, you know, how much does your service cost?

Because we have to look at that customer acquisition costs. Yep. No, how is it really good to go spin $100 to acquire one customer that you make 15 off of now, if they are a lifetime customer, and we have, you know, a lifetime value of more than that, we can figure all that out. But Yep, you know, again, it’s like, I may be that hair salons customer, but I’m not the person that they want to target.

Just because I don’t spend the money you want to, you know, try to get as the people that use the most services, the higher margin people that are going to spend with you too. So it’s just important to think about all of those things in depth. I mean, it takes a lot of thought, but it’s well worth it before you start going to spend for advertising.

Shelby  19:12

You made a really great point about knowing the lifetime value of a customer, and what are you willing to spend to acquire a customer? What is their average order value? So, you know, if you talk about hair, like if someone if your haircut costs $10, but you know, you’re doing hair extensions for 20 $500 it you know, that makes a lot more sense to get clients

Roy Barker  19:38 How To Scale Your Business

on Sorry. I’m not gonna be in the hair extension market, I can do that.

Shelby  19:44

That will that’s where all the money is in, in the hair industry. Hair extensions, right? It’s weaves, it’s all it’s the they have to pay for somebody else’s hair to be sewn into their head. So that it’s a it’s you It’s a higher priced. And you’re targeting, again people with money, right?

People that have expendable income. They’re like, Yes, I want I want all this hair. Yeah. Right? So keep that in mind, like, what and what and how long now, your hair extension client, they have to get their hairs resewn back in their head every like, eight weeks. They’re coming back for and that’s a couple 100 bucks, right? So think about the lifetime value of a customer? What are your margins?

How much are you spending on labor? If you have an assistant or something? What are your margins? What are you willing to acquire a customer? Like, what are you willing to spend, and also, a lot of you that may have a lower-priced offer, think about this, if your lifetime value of a customer is much higher, like let’s say your product or service is maybe 50 bucks, okay?

But people on average, the your lifetime value of a customer is more like, let’s say 1000 bucks, like, let’s say that you have a reusable product or service, and they have to come back and come back and come back, you might be willing to spend more than that initial cut, like the other initial order to acquire a client or customer because you know that they’re going to ultimately spend quite a bit of money with you on average, right?

Know Your Audience

Roy Barker  21:15 How To Scale Your Business

Yeah. And it’s, you know, kind of figuring out that with the industry a great example, this used to be, you know, this was back in the old male days. But, you know, the jeweler figured out that 50% of his customers, or, excuse me, 70% of his customers came back in were repeat purchasers.

So what they figured out was, they could actually give you the first visit at cost, you know, whatever that was, you know, offered this huge discount, take all their margins off, because they knew that you would, you know, 70% of the people would be back in their 234 times, and that’s where they really made their money. Yeah, no, no one your industry, it’s very important.

Let’s talk about managing expectations because you know, we’re all impatiently think that the good thing about social media is is kept us all in touch. It’s a great advertising vehicle. But the bad thing is, like you were saying earlier is that we can make a lot of presumptions about people that we’ve never seen them before. So today, they ran an ad, and now they’re an overnight success.

But we we don’t know the 10 year story have come to get to this point. So you know, we just have to manage expectations that this is a long term play. And, again, if you got lucky and put an ad up tomorrow, and you just got swamped, then, you know, bless you. And I’m glad that happens for people, but for most of us, it’s figuring out that strategy within it sticking to it.

Shelby  22:46

Yeah, absolutely. And it’s it’s also about reading the data. So numbers do tell a story. And if you know how to run ads properly, you’ll be able to see what needs to be tweaked in your ad, like if your click link, click through rate on your ad is less than 1%, then you probably need to update your graphics or video on your ad because that’s what’s actually slowing your ad down.

Now if you notice that people are clicking on your ad, and let’s say they’re they’re going to your website, but your website’s converting at like 5%, then you need to change your website up, you need to bring in somebody to help you with that, because that’s where you’re losing the people. It’s actually not the ad that’s not working. I see this with a lot of people, they’re like, my ad didn’t work. And we look at the data. And it’s like, actually, your ad was doing really well. But you are losing them on your website, right, your website sucks. Go find somebody to help you with that ASAP. Because if you turn these ads back on, I have a feeling you’re gonna be you know, you’re gonna be in a good spot.

So knowing the numbers and knowing what the I guess the benchmarks are for your industry. Then as far as managing expectations, when you hear these stories, and I’m telling you this as somebody who runs ads for a lot of high ticket coaches, okay, so business coaches, a lot of business coaches, they’re selling programs that are $15,000 $30,000, right?

What do you think when they run ads to like, let’s say, a master class, okay, we run ads to fill a masterclass, they teach something, and they sell their program at the end of it. Now, if we spend $10,000 in ads, let’s just say that. And they so three of their programs. That’s what getting these like stories of people are like, Oh my gosh, I made, you know, hundreds of 1000s of dollars from ads, but like, it’s like, yeah, they also spend a little bit more money than you probably would, but also, their price point is really high.

So of course, they’re going to get this really great ROI. Now, of course, like we have clients that sell 20 $9 products online, and it’s you know, it’s, they do really well. But again, they’re spending 300 bucks a day. And they have a they have a very successful business already. They’re in Walmart they’re in. They’re on Amazon during CVS drugstores, right, like, people know this business already. So it’s a lot you there’s no, there’s brand awareness. So people already trust the brand.

Roy Barker  25:27 How To Scale Your Business

Yeah, I was just written that down on the brand awareness. Because, I mean, I don’t even know what to say, you know, I start selling Roy’s chicken soup tomorrow and put an ad on Facebook, people are gonna be like, well, what is this now, if I was Campbell’s, and ran the same ad with Sam in, it would be totally different reacts. And so, again, I think this gets back to managing expectations is in slow, lower ticket items. Versus higher ticket items, you know, there’s a little difference we can afford, how we do that. But for a big ticket item for the 1520 $30,000 package.

That’s where we have to be patient because you see my name one time with this $20,000 back ends, you’re probably going right on by or maybe you check it out, but you move on, it takes, you know, it used to take like eight to 12 touches or view before somebody would be that interested in maybe picking up the phone or reaching out through email. So how does that work nowadays?

Shelby  26:33

Yeah, and a lot of it is just the strategies are going to be different for every industry. So if you’re selling high ticket, like a coaching package, the best most effective way to do this is to always in the background, we should be running brand awareness ads, because we want you to be seen as the expert. But all it is the difference between low priced items. And high ticket when you sell high ticket. It’s all about positioning and authority like you have to be positioning yourself as the go to in the industry.

So how you do this is you should have a conversion event. like and what I mean by that is a masterclass a workshop, this can be virtual right, and a challenge a webinar or something like that, right, a presentation style, where you’re going through, you’re giving value. So now that people are watching it, these cold leads come in, watch your training, and now they know like and trust you because you’re giving them really good content for free.

And then you convert them into clients because now they like you know, you trust you. It’s almost impossible, I will I’m going to reiterate this. If you are selling high ticket, it is almost impossible to convert cold leads, like straight cold never heard about you before, into paying clients, you have to warm them up just any marketing is all about that. That’s what building a community or following it’s all about, and building brand awareness. It’s about warming you up, and you use Campbell as an example, right?

We all have memories of, of eating their soup as a kid, or opening up those cans when you’re sick, and mom brings it home because she’s working and she can’t make you homemade soup. So she’s like, you’re gonna have to have canned soup today, right? We have we have we trust the brand. We see it in stores. And if you’re online, you have to warm people up. And especially if you’re selling something that’s high priced, you need people to like know and trust you if they’re going to invest in you.


Roy Barker  28:42 How To Scale Your Business

Yeah, cuz I was, as you’re saying that I was just thinking about the distrust factor. Let’s not say district, let’s just say the trust factor, like you’re speaking about that, you know, if I’m going to go buy a $5 item or $10 item, if it’s if it’s from a reputable company, you know, if I’m going through, I would be more concerned to get it off XYZ because I don’t know if that’s a real deal or not.

If somebody told me that it is but really, I’m more and more ready to you know, wager five or $10 that this is going to work out and live. You know, if it doesn’t, I really haven’t lost that much. But then when we’re talking about 10 15,000 I can only imagine that I’m not going to see this ad The first time you say oh Joe Smith, the coach, bam, charged my credit card $10,000 or sign up for $1,000 a month or whatever it is. It just it just really doesn’t happen that way.

Shelby  29:43

Even Dean grazi oc and Tony Robbins they partner up with a bunch of people to like Brendon Burchard, Marie Forleo, Annie Porterfield, Jenna cook, there’s a bunch of people that they partner up with every year they do a conversion event. We all know who Tony Robbins is. Do you think that we need more brand awareness from Tony Robbins. Now we all know who he is. He has the same thing. They sell a $10,000 program every single year on how to use your knowledge to basically build like a consulting agency or to have a high ticket mastermind program. That’s what they teach $10,000 that’s the price point, or two grand a month.

If you break it up into payments for 12 months, you end up paying 12 grand, okay? That’s the price point. They don’t just run ads to join. What do they do? They have a huge masterclass, a huge masterclass, and they run ads. Hey, free, masterclass, Join Now we’re gonna teach you how to, you know, use your knowledge to make more money, and whatever you do. And so people sign up, people sign up, people sign up, and then what do they do they share with you how to how you can do this, why you would want to do it.

And then they say, hey, if you want all of our templates, if you want our coaching, if you want to know how to price yourself and how to make you know, how to get the support, then join the join our $10,000 program, and they make a lot of money doing that. So that’s the way to sell high ticket is is follow that lead because that’s exactly what they do. And like I said, Tony Robbins you don’t need. We all know who he is he could probably run an ad for, you know, a $10,000 program and get some cells.

Roy Barker  31:18 How To Scale Your Business

Yeah, yeah. But even though I know who he is, I think the the benefit of that warm up, like you’re saying is that I want to know what’s in this because, you know, a lot of us were just skeptical of anything that costs a lot of money. And we want to make sure that we are really, truly getting value for that. And I guess that’s another good thing about, you know, like having testimonials and other things like that can really benefit us to 100%. Yeah.

Okay, so the other thing, now we need to think about is spend and time so if, you know if I’ve got a fairly good business that’s going on, and how, what kind of commitment should we make at a minimum? And then also, what’s that time horizon, you know, do we need to go for two months, three months, six months, make that commitment to continue to do this.

Shelby  32:18

So how much you spend is going to depend on your offer, what industry you’re in all of that and what the strategy is, so there’s no one size fits all. A, you know, again, when you get on a call with an ads manager or agency that you want to hire, ask them to run some numbers with you. Because if you have an idea, I always like for you to leave a call knowing, you know, a rough estimate of what the investments going to look like, as a whole, because I’m already a couple $1,000, then you add in your ad spend, and we can quickly get up to 567 $1,000 a month, right? So I want you to have an idea, like a really clear idea of what this looks like.

Um, if you are just running ads to let’s say, grow your email list, you have a lead magnet out there, you just want and by the way, like you can do this for any type of business, because you’re just growing your email list. And with a bigger email list, you do have more leads in your lead pool, if you will. So you know, with that you really want, you know, I would spend 20 bucks a day, at least like that’s what I would do right now. If you’re, if you’re running ads to, let’s say just a video, and it’s only just like, maybe you’re a, let’s say you’re a chiropractor in Dallas, and you’re like, Okay, there’s a lot of chiropractors out here, I just want to get my face out there.

And I don’t really want to go by a billboard, cuz I’m not into that. But like, I want that effect. Like I just want to be everywhere. I want everybody to know who I am. I’m not necessarily looking for them to click, and you know, book a console, I just want to be out there. So I would recommend running a video view ad for like, let’s say, you could do it for like 1020 bucks a day or more.

And you’re just running the ad to people in a certain age range that would pay for your services in your location, like maybe 15 miles from your address. So now you’re everywhere and that it’s like I call this the billboard effect, right? Because now people are on social media. They’re just seeing you all the time. You know, you can run, you can run reach ads. So just like a picture of you like, come visit me right?

Or you can do a video of maybe you walking around the office or telling how you started your business. And again, there’s no direct call to action. It’s just about getting that brand awareness and getting out there, which I promise you and leads up to in the long term getting more business because if you’re seeing again as the authority in the industry in your area, then you’re gonna you’re gonna win the competition.

Roy Barker  35:07 How To Scale Your Business

Picture or Video

And, again, it’s there’s so many variables depend on if we, you know, if we’re just trying to gain the attention if we want to, if we’re collecting emails, or if we’re actually, you know, direct to an event or the master class or something, but in general, how do we cut through the noise? You know, because we have a lot of options. We’ve got text, we got pictures, we got videos, I guess any advice on how we kind of use these different mediums to get our message across?

Shelby  35:44

Yeah. So in every ad, you’re going to have, you’ll see when you go to create an ad, inside of ads manager, you can choose a graphic or a video for your ad for that campaign. And you also have ad copy, which is they call it primary text. And that is a it’s it’s just ad copy. You know, when you go through a magazine, and you see ads in the magazine, the people you know, writers that get paid the most money in the in the world are the ones that write those ads, they get paid a bunch of money to do that.

And no different in your ad, you want it to stand out, you want to call out who you who you are trying to attract, right, you want to tell them what they’re going to get. As far as your graphic or video though, this is the first thing people see. Right? It’s the first thing that’s gonna either make them scroll past or stop. Like you said, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of noise out there.

There’s a lot of other advertisers and people posting on social media. I think our attention spans have gotten shorter and shorter and shorter in the last couple years, especially. The goal for you is to create a pattern interrupt in someone’s mind as they scroll. And there’s, there’s some ways to do this. I’ll tell you some of my secrets here. But you want to stop their scroll as they’re scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. You want them to be like, Oh, wait, what was that?

And take a look doubletake, right, you want them to take a doubletap on your ad, and then they can read it and click on it. And the way to do this is I’ll ask you a few questions here. What is Facebook’s brand color? Blue? Exactly. So if you use a lot of blue in your ad, people are gonna think it’s like, just they’re gonna scroll past it. They’re used to seeing a lot of blue on Facebook.

Okay, it doesn’t create a pattern interrupt in their head, right? It’s just like, oh, blue stuff was. Right, you want to make sure that you’re, if you can use bolder or brighter colors, please do. Here’s the other thing, what is the shape of every post? And there’s two shapes right? The the shape of my laptop screen right now is a rectangle. The shape of my iPhone screen is a rectangle.

Every my tablet, my iPad? What are they rectangles right? Now, let’s go inside of those. When I’m on Facebook. Every post is like square shaped or rectangle shaped? Right? The only thing that’s a circle is your profile photo. So people you’re used to seeing squares and rectangles everywhere.

Roy Barker  38:29 How To Scale Your Business


Shelby  38:30

So what if your graphic created us had a circle on it or a more fluid like shape on it? It’s gonna create a pattern interrupt in your brain because your brain is categorizing things. As you’re scrolling. This is just psychology. And you’re gonna see Oh, wait, what was that? Because it’s different than the five other things you just scroll past. So that’s the goal is you have to capture attention quickly. We have we have less than a second to do this really.

People scroll fast. And we have you know, we have such a short time to be able to capture this attention. So the goal is to create this moment of of pattern interruption where you’re just like, okay, square, blue, square, blue, well, that’s yellow and a circle. What is that? Right? And that’s what you want to do. photos of people do well, so because again, it’s like creating that like no trust factor.

If I see somebody’s face, I’m more likely to trust what you’re selling me, right. Even if it’s not your face, you can use you certainly can use stock images, although my recommendation is if it’s your business and you’re the face of the business, please use a photo of you and use a high quality photo of you a headshot professional photo, photograph. Use use that please.

And not just necessarily like unless you’re doing a video ad that I have different opinion about. But yeah, that’s like my best tips is the brighter colors, more bold colors. And or using more fluid shapes or circles on your graphics, put pictures of people on there. Make sure that you have a few words on the graphic, but not too many. And it’s telling them what they are going to walk away with or get, okay?

People don’t care about you. And this is what people don’t understand. Like, I don’t care about your chiropractor business, I don’t write you know, what I care about, what how you’re gonna make me feel when I leave, I get I care about what I get out of it. And we’re all selfish like that, like I nobody cares about you or your business.

What they care about is how you’re going to make them feel what you’re going to do for them what they’re going to feel like once they leave after working with you. That’s what they care about.

Roy Barker  40:46 How To Scale Your Business

Yeah, it’s like when we come on about us and all of our credentials and things people get turned off, because they they don’t really care that my concern, they want to know what’s in it for them. What’s the benefit? What problem do you solve for me?

And it’s important to keep that in our messaging we can. Yeah, and the other thing is, is, it’s always better to have somebody else tell people have great, you have to do so much rather believe other people when they tell me. But yeah, I think that’s the, you know, we talk a little bit also about the real estate factor, like, even just regular posts that we put out there is when you have text, you know, it’s maybe an answer to window, and it’s black and white, easy to go by.

But when we have a picture, all of a sudden, it’s like we stretch this real estate out. And then, you know, somebody told me a long time ago that using a picture is like leaving breadcrumbs to our blog, or to our product or landing page. When we use videos, it’s like leaving chocolate covered. Video, chocolate-covered breadcrumbs to that same spot it just and I don’t know if that’s still the same, but videos used to just have so much more power than even just an image.

Shelby  42:04

They still do if and when done right. And I think it’s an untapped thing. Um, not enough people are using video ads. I will tell you that I’ve seen the very well produced videos work well. But a lot of times like just you walking, filming a short video on your iPhone or smartphone, like those do really well to like, there’s no secret to the quality necessarily, I say test both.

But I will tell you that you got to get to the point sooner. Again, we go back to our attention span is very short. So people that are there videos are like, Hey, guys, it shall be here. How you doing? I’ll wait for a second, you know, to get some comments or you know, when you’re when you’re, when you’re maybe or sharing like, like you said all of your accolades at first and start the video. Nobody cares.

The sooner you get into it, the better. And remember that like, even if you do the video on your phone and you shoot it, it’s not overly produced, you still have to capture attention until you’re going to do that by talking faster, so people can keep up with you and they’re not going to scroll past you. If you’re pointing to something point at the camera, because it’s like, again, pattern interrupt if I do this, I’m right now for those of you that can’t see, I’m just reaching towards my camera.

And if you saw that in a video, you’re gonna be like, Whoa, what’s that? Right? Instead of just watching my face talk, like use exaggerated movements and stuff, you have to have high energy, if you are naturally somebody who is very monotone video won’t work for you. You know, it’s just not gonna work. Or the

Roy Barker  43:56 How To Scale Your Business

talking fast. I don’t know if I could ever get in. Yeah, to practice that.

Shelby  44:00

Well, but you’re not monotone. So that will that helps you right. But like some people are, you know, and you know if you know if you’re this way, if you’re just like, Hey, you know, I don’t have all that energy. Like, I don’t know how to exude that kind of confidence or energy on video. If you’re really nervous to do it. If you’re really nervous on video, it’s not going to work. It’s not going to show up well, so don’t pay for that ad. You know, just try graphics.

Roy Barker  44:27 How To Scale Your Business

Yeah, and you can look at a lot of these ads on TV. I think too. Well, I’ll ask this as an opinion. But, you know, when you said that I was thinking of a guy he’s a car dealer here in town, but he’s got they’re not crazy, as you know, like with the elephants coming through the screen, but he is really high energy and does use a lot of, you know, hand gesturing and things like this.

They’re really well done ads because you don’t he doesn’t come off as you know. Questions? Very professional, but you know, I know who the guy is like, yeah, you know, I know his name. I know where his dealership is and know all about him. So, you know, we can I think it goes a long way to study other ads that have a lot of impact and then kind of mirror that as we go. 100% Alright, Shelby, I know we’re running late. I appreciate you taking time. Is there anything else you want to leave the audience with any other tips or tricks before we get out of here?

Shelby  45:27

No, thank you for having me. But if any of you are wanting to learn more about what ads can do for you, you can head to my website fempire And you can also follow me on Instagram for fun videos, or me trying to dance. You can follow me at life with Shelby. How To Scale Your Business


Roy Barker  45:49 How To Scale Your Business

Okay, great. Also to what is a habit, or a an app or anything, something like that, that you use daily that you feel adds a lot of value to your life? Professional or personal?

Shelby  45:54

That’s a great question. Um, can I give you two?

Roy Barker  45:55 How To Scale Your Business

Certainly, yeah.

Shelby  45:56

Okay. I, I have, I have a desk calendar. And I know that that’s old school, for those of you that are that are maybe young, but and I feel like I’m pretty young too. But I have to have a desk count, I have to like visually see it, not only do I have Google Calendar, I have a desk calendar. And I look at it, and it just I don’t know, like things click much better. The second thing is, um, I would say, this is an app that I use on my computer.

It’s a Google Chrome extension. And it is it eliminates, it’s called Newsfeed Eradicator. And you can turn it on, and it eliminates all of the posts on your newsfeed. So you can go into social media, if you use it for business, especially, and kind of do your work without getting you know, sidetracked with everybody’s, you know, personal posts and everything.

Wrap Up

Roy Barker  46:59 How To Scale Your Business

Okay, great. Those are two good tips. We appreciate it. Okay, so also just tell us a little bit to like, Who do you like to work with? And then of course, you know, how can you help them? And then yeah, what’s that one more time?

Shelby  47:12

Absolutely. Um, business coaches, life coaches, mindset coaches, I love working with coaches, high ticket coaches, specifically, that are ready to run ads are at multiple, six figures. And they’re like, let’s go, let’s let’s scale this bad boy. So you can go to my website, Fempire, to get more information book a free consultation, and we can run some numbers and see if it would be a good idea for you.

Roy Barker  47:42 How To Scale Your Business

Okay, awesome. Well, again, thank you for your time y’all reach out to Shelby see how she can go to work for you help you scale your business. It’s, you know, it is a nice niche that not we, as business people, we can’t do everything. So we have to pick and choose and then you know, find experts like yourself who are good at the Facebook and the Instagram ads and reach out. Let her help you. Increase your business make that easy? Yeah. All right.

So that’s gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, you can find us at We are on all the major podcast platforms Stitcher, Google, Spotify, iTunes. You can also find us on all the social media platforms. Typically we hang out on Instagram a little bit more than others. A video of this interview will go up when the episode goes live so you can reach out on our YouTube channel and see that until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business. How To Scale Your Business

Fempire Media Website

Fempire Media – Facebook

The Fempire Team – Facebook Group

Fempire Media – Instagram

Shelby Fowler – LinkedIn

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Finally, You Published That Awesome Blog or Social Media Post. What Now?

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Finally, You Published That Awesome Blog or Social Media Post. What Now? Featuring Alison Ver Halen

You published that awesome blog. It’s very difficult today to market without including content. Your audience has grown dependent upon it. They want it and they expect it. Tuning up your SEO to make sure your message is seen is also important. But now you have posted this awesome content and someone has seen it, now what? What is the next step? What action do they need to take?

About Alison

Alison majored in English and Psychology, little knowing she was getting the perfect degree for content marketing. When she was offered a chance to write blog posts for a friend’s law firm, she jumped at the chance to make money with her writing.

Not only has she not looked back, she’s improved her online marketing and SEO skills while gaining experience writing for various industries.  


AV Writing Services

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Full Transcript Below

Finally, You Published That Awesome Blog or Social Media Post. What Now? Featuring Alison Ver Halen

Thu, 7/22 3:40PM • 48:09

Estimated reading time: 43 minutes


people, google, content, keyword, writing, blog post, words, domain authority, providing, backlink, content marketing, picture, searches, website, strategy, talk, email, link, seo, newsletter, You published that awesome blog


Alison, Roy Barker


Roy Barker  00:05

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests. That speak to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully, we’ll uncover something that may help you be more successful in your business. Or if you have something that’s keeping you up at night we can provide you a solution. You published that awesome blog.

So today we are we are happy to have Alison Ver Halen. She is with AV Writing Services as our guest. She majored in English and Psychology little knowing she was getting the perfect degree for content marketing. When she was offered a chance to write blog post for a friend’s law firm. She jumped at the chance to make money with her writing. Not only has she not looked back. She’s improved her online marketing and SEO skills while gaining experience writing for various industries. Alison, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to be with us. We certainly do appreciate it.

Alison  00:57

Thank you so much for having me.

Roy Barker  00:59

Yeah, if we get through the introduction, and there we go. It’s gonna be all downhill from here. So before we jump into this. Its something I’m I am so interested in because I’m a non writer, writer, I love to write. But I mean, my skills are in spreadsheets and more math functions. And so it’s it’s a challenge. But before we get into that, tell us a little bit more about your history. So what was your original path that you wanted to? Where did you think you wanted to go? And then what really excited you about writing enough to, you know. Make you stick around and make a career out of it?

More About Alison

Alison  01:34

Well, I’ve always loved writing, I’ve been writing short stories since I learned my alphabet. And always always wanted to be a professional writer. I was always told growing up that writers don’t make any money, and I needed to get a realistic career. But I ended up majoring in English, because I just couldn’t stay away from it. And there’s always something you can do with an English major.

I also got sucked into psychology, which really surprised me. I took an AP Psych class in high school and loved it and took another class in college and love that. And so I ended up double majoring. So I graduated thinking I was going to go into publishing. Thinking, Okay. Well, if I can’t be a professional writer. Maybe I can be an editor or something to do with writing and books. I graduated college in 2009, right after the job market crashed. So there were no jobs to be had in publishing or really anywhere else.

So, you know, I was in customer service, I was receptionist, they were jobs, they were not careers. As you said, I found myself doing jobs at one point. And my roommate at the time. Her dad, who was an attorney was awesome, and offered to give me stuff to do around his office. Until I got back on my feet. And one of the things he needed was someone to write blog posts for his law firm.

So I took over writing for him. And then for an associate of his and then for some friends of mine. I did eventually get another day job, but I kept writing on the side. And the writing kept going growing to the point where I couldn’t really do both anymore. So quit the day job. But six and a half years ago now. And I’ve been doing this full time ever since.

You published that awesome blog

Roy Barker  03:11

Yeah, that’s an awesome story. And I don’t think that a lot of people don’t understand the value of writing. for a lot of reasons. I mean. Even personally. We could talk about journaling. That’s something that I’ve picked up of late that I really tried to do to get thoughts down. But then also in our business. Because it’s not, you know, blogs are important, I think.

But think about emails. Our conversations. Our email marketing. You know, we have to have a plan behind that, and not just loosely throw some words out there. That might make a sentence and send out because not only is it the message. That we’re trying to motivate somebody, but also I think we’re probably just a little bit on our grammar. And you know, being from Texas, English is my second language. So, you know. That’s something I have to really watch for is. The the grammatical and the, you know. Turn of phrases and things like that.

Alison  04:08

Yeah, and the the strategy. I think is something that people really fall behind on. When they’re trying to do their own content marketing. Is they know they need to be emailing. They know they need to be doing blogging and social media, but they don’t really think about what happens next. What do you want the person to do after they’ve seen your social media post. Or your email or read your whole blog post? So that’s another area where I help my clients and help figure out okay, what does this client journey look like? Where are they going after this?


Roy Barker  04:37 You published that awesome blog

Yeah, no strategy is so important. Because with with writing and what we can do with that. It’s, um, we really need to sit down and have a strategy. I think for a couple reasons on I’ll throw this out to get your comment on that. But it’s not a short term. It’s not a short term fix or not a short term problem. And basically, you know, we may get lucky. And we may hit something off that first email we send out. But typically, you know, it takes time. And so anyway, I think that gets back to why the we need to develop a strategy. That cuts across all different forms of media.

Alison  05:18

Yeah, absolutely. And you need a strategy. That, like I said, gets people in the door and then converts them. So that you’re actually getting them to engage with you. And like you said, it’s not, I always say it’s not a get rich quick scheme. It’s it’s a long term strategy. You made a lot of blog posts and a lot of emails. Because you’re building that trust is what it really comes down to, you have to build trust with Google. Google is not going to start sending traffic your way immediately. You have to build trust with your readers. So it, that’s everything that goes into your your, your strategy is building that trust. And yeah, that’s not going to happen overnight.

Roy Barker  05:58 You published that awesome blog

Yeah. And there was a, you know. We were talking to a friend of ours that has a more of a fashion type business. And she started out blogging, and that’s where she grew it. But she said it was probably well over two years. And you know, I don’t know exactly how much she was doing. It just more the point is. We need to have a strategy because we can want as we jump in and say, Hey, I’m gonna start writing, you know.

We write three or four pieces, put them up in a couple weeks. And then after two weeks, it’s like, phone’s not ringing. So that must not be the thing they need to do. Whereas like you said, I mean, it just takes a while for Google to start looking at it. But then also, you can kind of speak to the fact of the word counts, because I think sometimes people, people kind of short themselves on what they write. So it doesn’t get a lot of exposure as well.

Alison  06:48

Yeah, so I do want to talk about word count, because I do get that question a lot is how long should my blog post be? I always say at a minimum 500 words. And consistency is a big one, too. So if you can write at least once a month, I recommend that preferably more often. But I know as small business owners, we’re often crunched for time. So if you can only do 500 words a month, that’s the bare minimum. But the average post showing up on the first page of Google these days is closer to 1700 words, which is like three and a half pages, if you’re writing it up in a in a Word document, single spaced.

So that’s a lot of content. But we find these people these pieces of content that are these really long, really in depth, how to guides that are like the ultimate guide on such and such. That is what gets the the searches and Google that shows up on the first page. And that’s what people tend to engage with, when they see that you are answering every question that they have on a particular topic, they are much more likely to not only engage with the content, but spend more time engaging with the content, and then again, they’re going to be more likely to convert into a customer at the end.

Repurposing Content

Roy Barker  07:59 You published that awesome blog

The other thing is because some people think, whoo, 1700 words, that’s a lot. But what I think another part I’d like for you to talk to is about repurposing some of that longer form content, you know, into other platforms.

Alison  08:16

Yeah, and we talked about this a little bit at the beginning, right, you’ve got the emails, you’ve got the blog, you’ve got the social media there, the podcast, there are all these kinds of content you’re supposed to be creating, and it is really overwhelming. So I always recommend that people repurpose as much as they can. If you have 1700 words of content, take advantage of all of those 1700 words, put them out in your emails, put it out on social media, again, people don’t tend to have a strategy when it comes to social media.

They put stuff out on social media, and it’s like, Okay, are you driving people back to your website? Where are you just posting and hoping they’ll find you after that? Right. So I always think blog posts are a great way to provide something of value on social media that also gets people back to your website. So yeah, having all that great content is a great way to it gives you something to repurpose, it gives you a lot to work with on all those different platforms.

Roy Barker  09:10

And one thing I just thought of while you were talking, you know, is if you’re doing the How to, like you said you’re answering people’s questions. Another conversion is not necessarily writing, but we can take our writing and make it into quick how to videos because again, it’s, you know, we, I think part of our strategy is, you know, we have places we know our audience lives and we hit that a little bit more, but we really can’t ignore every place and so we try to, you know, break it up and have a little bit of nuggets that go out across a wide variety of channels.

So it’s it’s a tough question to ask and I don’t mean to put you on the spot because I know it depends on if your service if your product who your audience is, but you know, how do you typically handle strategy across All of these multiple channels, as far as maybe, you know, more number of posts, things like that.

Alison  10:07

Yeah, again, it all comes back to repurposing your content. And I like to remind people that if they are making videos, and they should be making videos that that’s great, because yes, people do engage with videos, Google cannot yet read visual visual content or audio content, they are working on it, I am sure they will get there soon. But for right now, it really is all about the text. So you need that that written text in order to show up in Google.

That being said, Google also owns YouTube. So if you really optimize your video headlines and your descriptions in YouTube, that gives you a pretty good chance of showing up in online searches. And again, like you said, it depends on what you’re providing. If you’re doing a high how to tutorial. That’s very, it relies on video, and you’re showing someone how to do something that can show up on the first page of Google because, again, Google owns YouTube.

So but yeah, as far as repurposing, I always recommend, if you’re already making a video, and it’s not super reliant on the visual, you can have the video, you can take the audio from that video, turn it into a podcast, like this. And then you can transcribe that content, the audio content into a blog post. So you, you created one thing, but you can spread it across three different channels without spending all that time creating three different pieces of content.

Roy Barker  11:35 You published that awesome blog

So I’ll tell you what my list of the turn page, turn the page on my list. Let’s start at the top. Because headlines, usually is is that the one the I guess, rank high and what Google looks at first, I know they scan the entire document, but how to headlines play into us getting eyes on our writing?

Alison  12:01

Yes, headlines are one of those things that Google looks at first, if you have 1700 words of content or longer. I know some people write 2000 3000 words, long blog posts, that’s a lot of content. And it does take Google a while to go through it. So yes, Google will look at your headline, first, it will look at your subheadings first or second. So always use those subheadings. A for SEO reasons. But also, if you’re writing 1000s of words, it helps to break up that content. So it’s easier for people to skim and to read and to find what they’re looking for.

So yeah, and then alt tags on your images. Again, Google can’t read images yet. But you can have a little alt tag there that inserts a keyword there. And Google will read that first. Those are all what we call meta tags. So you can put those in throughout your content. And Google kind of kind of scans those first, before it looks at the rest of your content. So you absolutely want to make sure that your target keyword for that particular piece is throughout all of those meta tags. Okay.

Alt Tags For Pictures

Roy Barker  13:07 You published that awesome blog

Yeah. So on the the alt tags for the pictures, do you have suggestions on what we should be putting there? Because I’ve heard both like, sometimes I use the actual headline, again, there with the name of the show after it. But I’ve also heard that you can just describe what you see in the picture with your keywords in it. Is there a preference on that?

Alison  13:31

Yeah, I would not use the same thing over and over the same description or the same alt tag just because then you you’re kind of fighting with yourself to rank for that particular keyword. So I would recommend having a different keyword for each image. Obviously, it all has to be related to what it is you’re providing, and the search terms you want to show up for it with that particular piece of content. But yeah, make sure you have a good keyword.

Roy Barker  13:57 You published that awesome blog

Okay. So let’s talk about selection of pictures. I mean, I have some very definite opinions that I’ve made on this show about that about picture selection, but I’ll let you talk about that. Images are important. And a couple reasons that I know about is just because we’re visual, I would rather look at a picture than anything else. But also, when we start looking at social media, especially like Twitter, and a Facebook, it’s the real estate, you know, if we write for send sentences or five sentences, you take up, you know, an inch or so but if you got a picture, that all of a sudden, you know, doubles, triples, quadruples, the real estate, and that the picture usually catches people’s attention then they read.

Alison  14:45

Yeah, absolutely. It’s very eye catching. Like you said, We are primed to engage with visual content. So yeah, if people see even if you have a whole bunch of text on something, and it is like a big long post, first of all, you’re going to have that little show more tags. So it’s not necessarily all going to show up right away. But yeah, people are, a lot of people tend to see a big block of text, even readers like me, who will look at it and be kind of intimidated by it like, Oh, that’s a lot of text.

I don’t know if I’d have to read all of this. But yeah, you break it up with some images, and it makes it much more engaging. So I would say, make sure they are high quality images, try avoid using stock images, try you know, hiring a graphic designer or learning graphic design yourself. So you can get high quality images in there. You can also use images. And I do this a lot, because in my blog post, because I talked about SEO, when sometimes it gets a little technical. You can use charts and graphs to demonstrate what it is you’re talking about.

So if you’ve got a bunch of data and numbers and stuff that people can get bogged down in, if you can present that in a visual format, that’s going to be much more engaging. So it’s not just that you need good images, it’s that you need good images that help people engage with the content you’re writing.


Roy Barker  15:59

Yeah, yeah. And that’s kind of one of my things I stand on quite a bit is that, you know, if there are times we have to use stock images, we don’t, there’s no way around it. But if we can use a personal personalized picture, something that we took, if it relates to what we’re writing about, it seems to resonate much better with the audience, because what I find is people are, they can relate to this picture, which makes them relate to you and to the story that you’re writing. Because I Oh, you know, we used to go to a lake or you know, whatever it may be that, or we’re dog lover. So, you know, it’s like when we see a picture with the dog, and of course, we’re drawn to that.

Alison  16:39

Absolutely, yeah. And people do love looking at pictures of other people’s faces. So it might be kind of scary to put your face out there. But that’s what people want to see. Because, like you said, it makes you relatable, especially in this digital era, where we are increasingly digital, people want that proof that there’s a real live person behind this website and showing a picture of yourself, or even a video is the best way to do that.

Roy Barker  17:06

So let’s jump down to the bottom of the page for just a minute hashtags. You know, a lot. And I’m confused about that used to more was better than I’ve read some stuff of late where, you know, it’s even stranger that each different platform maybe has some of its own guidelines for how many do you use? What can you help us with on that?

Alison  17:29

Yeah, I’ve I think the general rule I’ve seen is that like, two is best. And I think I initially saw that on Twitter. And then I’ve kind of seen that rule on other social media platforms as well. So that’s kind of the rule that I stick to is no more than two, someone once put it really succinctly, I think, which is they said that if you’re, you know, if you’ve got two hashtags, you’re talking to people.

If you’ve got more than that, if you’ve got, if you’re trying to max out that those like 30, hashtags, you’re not talking to people anymore, you’re talking to an algorithm. And while we do have to work with the algorithm, it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, there’s a specific audience you’re trying to reach. So what hashtags are they following? What search terms? Are they using? focus on that? And that’s where you’re going to find the gold?

Roy Barker  18:21 You published that awesome blog

Yeah, cuz I’ve seen Instagram, it seems to be the place that happens is there’s three lines of text and 24 lines of hashtags that follow. But yeah, I’ve seen that too. So let’s talk about the middle. Because, you know, as we write, we want to keep the keywords and the SEO, in line. But again, I will ask you this, at the very basics, if we write a good piece about what we are, you know, what we’re writing about, and we do a good job at that. It’s pretty much going to be optimized in itself. Is that correct?

Alison  19:02

Yeah, you have to answer people’s questions and provide value and do that consistently. So yes, there’s always tweaking you can do around the length and the subheadings, and then other tags and the keywords, but at its most basic level, content marketing is all about creating that rich content that answers people’s questions. Google is just getting better and better at matching people with the content they’re looking for. So if you always keep your customer in mind and not trying to think too much about Google, again, we do have to play by Google’s rules. But keep in mind that Google is not your customer. That’s not the person you’re ultimately trying to reach. What does your customer want to know about? If you can provide that Google will find a way to pair you with those people?

Roy Barker  19:45 You published that awesome blog

Key Word Stuffing

Yeah. Which kind of leads to the keyword stuffing. That’s what I had written down is that, you know, we have to be careful back in the old days. You know, there were all kinds of tips and tricks you could make the words fade into the background and he could have you know, Like a whole nother written page that was all white on the background. But nowadays, you know, they will actually, I guess they’ll take you know, we call it jokingly Google jail that they’ll put you in, but they know they’re actually blocked your website from any of the search results. Is that correct?

Alison  20:17

That is correct. Yes. So for I don’t know how much your your listeners know about this. But keyword stuffing is when you have one keyword that you cram in as many times as you can into a page or a paragraph. So if we want to talk about content marketing, and I can tell you how I can help you with content marketing, because content marketing is awesome, unique content marketing. That’s an example of keyword stuffing that yeah, it did work for a short period of time, as far as showing up for that particular keyword.

And then Google caught wise to it. And now Yeah, like you said, they’ll actually blacklist you for it. So you, you won’t show up in any searches on Google. So yeah, and it’s just not good content. I mean, again, always keep in mind, you want real people reading your content, and you want to convert them. So showing up in searches is just the first step, then you have to get them to engage with your content, and then convert them into a customer. So always keep in mind, what kind of content will accomplish that? Yeah,

Roy Barker  21:12 You published that awesome blog

cuz I’ve heard you know, when, when it was explained to me this way about Google is, you know, they want to provide the optimal experience to their clients to their readers. And so, you know, it kind of gets back to the The, the, what you were just talking about, about the content marketing, stuffing, that’s not going to be very pleasurable to read, and probably, nobody’s gonna really get much out of reading that.

So it’s a good thing, you know, sometimes people look at as a bad thing, but really, what’s the use of washing up to search return with something that’s just really garbage that nobody can read anyway? Yeah, exactly. So So let’s talk about that for a minute. That brings up something a good point that I have pondered more lately than I ever thought I would.

But if, how do we structure that key word, are key phrases that we want to work around, because what of what I’ve heard lately is that when you try to structure it to a keyword that’s got a lot of a bunch of traffic and a lot of high, big money chasing it, it can be very difficult for a smaller company, to really ranked for that. So sometimes, it’s almost better to look down the list at some, you know, and I don’t know how far you go. But can you talk about that just a little bit?

Alison  22:32

Yeah. So I always look for the content gaps when I’m doing my keyword research, which means you want something that’s getting a decent search volume, which sometimes you hit gold, and you do find those keywords that are getting 10s of 1000s of searches a month, but don’t already have a ton of competition. And if you’re using any keyword research tool, even the free ones, they’re going to show you the monthly search volume that numbers the average monthly search volume, and then it’s going to show you the SEO competition score, which is a score from one to 100. And that gives you an idea of the competition out there, what are your chances of actually showing up for this particular keyword.

So one is super easy, there’s no other content out there, you’re golden 100 is there’s a ton of content out there don’t even bother, I tend to aim for like 20 to 30 as my SEO competition score, which gives me like a 70 to 80% chance of showing up in on the first page of Google for that particular keyword. So yet, sometimes you gotta go for the keywords with a little bit lower search volume in order to get this sweet spot for the SEO competition score. And yeah, it’s all about playing around and finding about where where’s the sweetest spot where you can get the most searches for the least amount of competition.

And one of the ways to do that is those longtail keywords. So a short tail keyword is one to two words, long tail keyword is three to five words, those are the ones that tend to have, again, a lower search volume, but also lower competition score. And the big value of those, I think is the fact that people tend to be looking for something specific if they’re looking for I’m gonna use myself as an example. Again, content marketing is a huge keyword that a lot of people use, it’s really hard to rank for it. If I talk about a content marketing company providing you know, serving small businesses in Chicago, that’s someone’s looking for something very specific when they’re searching for that. So when they find me, they’re much more likely to click on my website to engage with my content and become a customer.

Quanity vs. Quality

Roy Barker  24:37 You published that awesome blog

Yeah, and also we can talk about the again, the volume, the number of pages that we have out there, I think, you know, as we build that content, it’s always much better to have more than less quality. You know, we don’t want to put a lot of quantity a large quantity of junk out there but if we do a high quality, high quantity of high quality Then we have something, you know, we start to have something for everyone.

Because everybody, even if we have, even if we’re looking at content marketing, I may have some different, you know, like I may search for blog writer or something, you know, kind of a little bit different. So the more pieces we get out there that cover more ground, we generally are just automatically start to attract more viewers, because you can like I look at it this way, instead of having one page and 100 viewers, you can have, you know, 100 pages now with one viewer, and then that way your numbers can usually tend to grow correct?

Alison  25:38

Correct? Yeah. Because you’ve got all that juicy content. And Google gets, the more content you have, the more Google gets an idea of what you’re all about, which helps Google pair you with the right search terms. So yeah, and I always advocate for quality and consistency over quantity, quantity does matter. But I would say quality and consistency first, and then worry about the quantity.

Roy Barker  26:02 You published that awesome blog

Yeah, and a good recommendation of like you said earlier, I guess you know it. If you could write quality every day, of course, that’s more desirable. But if if you’re in a business, and you’ve got to take care of your daily stuff, if you get one quality longer of work higher word count peace out a month, that’s a great starting point. As you get used to doing that, you can always up it to twice a month and then grow from there.

Alison  26:30

Yeah, absolutely. And again, it’s going to be better at engaging and converting the people who do find those blog posts. Because if you try to create content every day or every week, and it’s just not sustainable for you, you’re not going to get results from that. So yeah, focus on quality. First,

Roy Barker  26:47 You published that awesome blog

you mentioned earlier, the little dotted read more line. And I’ve always been curious, cuz I use those because you know, the transcripts from these podcasts can be quite lengthy. So ones that have taken up a lot of real estate. But I just wonder, do they affect Google’s ability to scan that text for that page?

Alison  27:08

Not at all Google sees every Google knows all this even reading stuff, you can put stuff on the back end of your your website, stuff that the viewers don’t see Google will go in and see that like the alt tags for those images. That’s something that does not the viewer never gets to see that. But Google will see it. So that’s a way of saying Google Hey, this is what’s here in this block, but you can’t really see right now.


Roy Barker  27:34 You published that awesome blog

Yeah. So let’s talk about those. What do you call them the subtitles, it’s like you have the the title at the top, and then you’re supposed to break your text up and put like a subtitle? How many words? How, how should we use those? Because I’ve heard that they’re very important. And you just confirm that, but you know, somebody like myself, be honest. And say you’re, you know, until a few years ago, I never used them, I just didn’t understand the value and just write a straight piece of paper, but talk about them for just a minute.

Alison  28:10

Yeah, it is really a way of breaking up your content into different sections. So I think the most concrete example I can give is, if you have you know, three ways to do such and such, you’ve got three tips that you’re providing. So you have tip, you’ve got your little intro right after the main headline. And then you’ve got tip number one is your first heading. And then you’re going to talk about that tip and more depth and the two or three paragraphs following and so with the tip to tip three, however many chips do you end up providing?

Roy Barker  28:44 You published that awesome blog

Okay. infographics of you kind of were talking about that we didn’t call it by name, but you know, talking about if you have a lot of numbers, stats, you know, graphically format, but I’ve heard that those things perform easily, very well.

Alison  28:59

They do perform very well. That’s another way that people again, they’re very visual, we are primed to engage with visual content, so they’re very eye catching. And for people who look at, you know, a multi 1000 word blog post and figure that’s too much content for them to read. There. If you can condense that content into an infographic, people are much more likely to look at that and see what they need.

And right now, the big thing is interactive infographics. So if you can get little animated stuff in there, that’s really eye catching, if you can get a link in there or multiple links, so you can have like a, an infographic where each little thing provides a link to a subheading in your blog post so they can click on it and go straight to the part of the blog post that really interests them. You know, if you have lots of words on a particular subject, maybe they don’t want to read the whole blog post.

They just want an answer to this. particular question by providing an interactive visual format that they can navigate and find their way to just the answer they need. It’s going to be make it much more likely that they interact with that content.

Roy Barker  30:13 You published that awesome blog

Yeah. Would you bring up links and, you know, talk about this and kind of multifaceted points. Number one, our content, let’s just take a blog, for instance, our blogs, usually, they want was at one internal link to something that’s in our site, and then the next sternal link or more going out, but then we also have what they call the backlinks. And I’ll let you talk a little bit about both of those and the importance of them.

Alison  30:43

Yeah, so there are internal and external backlinks. And internal backlinks are like you said, when you link back to another piece of content and your own website from something else on your website, that’s an internal backlink. And external backlink is when another website, links back to your website and Google kind of figures that like hangs out with like, so if you have high quality websites, with great content that are ranking for certain keywords, and they’re linking back to your website.

Tthat’s really good for you, Google is gonna like that, that helps establish you as an authority in your industry, that helps boost your rankings, if not, so great. websites are linking back to your website, again, Google figures like hangs out with like, and it’s gonna discount me for that you’re, you’re going to be punished for it, which I know is not fair. But you’re getting punished for what other people do online. There are backlink trackers and analyzers and ways to mitigate that.

So you can use these online tools, not to delete the link, because you don’t have that power, because it’s on their website unless you delete your content that they linked back to. But you can tell Google Hey, no, I don’t associate with this website. Please don’t follow this link back to me.

Roy Barker  32:00 You published that awesome blog

Yeah, because, you know, they’re, and they may still go on, there was a time they had what they call backlink farms. And, you know, I’d create a website, and all I did was charge people $100 to put their website link on mine. And it I mean, I guess in theory, it makes sense. But the other part you have to think about is that domain authority. And I’ll let you talk a little bit about that. You published that awesome blog

But if you get a backlink from a domain authority, it’s equal to or less, are you really not going to help you that much. And so it’s just a word of caution that when people reach out to you and say, Hey, I can get you this backlink for, you know, 50 bucks. I always kind of grimace at that because it takes a lot of work to get a decent, good backlink you don’t just you can’t acquire them. And it’s very hard if you try to do it organically as well.

Alison  32:55

Yeah, I would say don’t ever buy backlinks. Google does not like it admittedly, it is kind of hard for Google to figure out what’s a blog battling backlink and what’s not. But again, Google knows all and they do have their ways of figuring these things out. So just don’t risk it, make sure that they are quality websites, you mentioned domain authority, which has gotten a lot of talk lately, it’s actually something that Moz made up as a tool that they offer where you can, in theory, track your your domain authority, which is supposed to be how well Google likes you.

But Google doesn’t talk too much about like how their algorithm works. Moz has their own algorithm to figure out domain authority, which is not necessarily the same as Google’s algorithm. So and I know there are other SEO tools that are, again, they’re saying they provide domain authority, it’s it’s more tricky than that. So take it with a grain of salt.

But I think if you’re if someone links back to your website, and you get that little alert, just take some time to look through their website, make sure it’s relevant, make sure they’ve got good content, make sure that the content in which they’ve linked back to your website, it actually makes sense that they linked back to you it has something to do with what you’re talking about in your content. If it seems completely unrelated, and it’s really badly written and there are no graphics or terrible graphics, then you want to manage that backlink.

Roy Barker  34:25 You published that awesome blog

Yeah, and I would say that echo that message across all social medias. Because, you know, years ago, almost learned the hard way that, you know. A guy told me he could really increase my Facebook traffic, I think. So I’m like, Okay, well, he did. But they were, unfortunately, from another country that weren’t buyers of my product. Luckily, you know, I told him, You show me what you can do, and then we’ll talk about how much this is going to cost me.

Well, yeah, I had a flurry of activity, but they were not buyers, and I think it’s an important part, an important point to stress is that, and I kind of use it jokingly and said that, you know, we went out to eat at our local Mexican restaurant last weekend. And when she brought the bill, I pulled out all my legs from Facebook, and she wouldn’t take them, you know, she still wants cash. So unless they are quality people who are our customers that will lead to them being a buyer. It’s totally useless. It’s more of a vanity metric.

Alison  35:29

Yeah, and I think that’s all gets back to what we were saying, beginning about how this is a long term strategy. There really is no get rich, quick scheme, whether it’s, you know, buying those backlinks or buying views on social media is, you really have to put in the work in order to earn Google’s trust. And again, are your audiences stressed? Yeah,

No Shortcut

Roy Barker  35:51 You published that awesome blog

there’s just really no shortcut. So if anybody approaches you with a shortcut, always be leery? Well, I know we’re running a little bit long. But a couple things I wanted to touch on before we get out of here are newsletters, and, of course, emails, again, one of my strategies in email marketing was to, what I would do is I had Google alerts for a lot of different things. And so whenever an article would come across, that I felt like resonated with one or more of my clients, what I would do is kind of deconstruct that and say, Look, I found this article, give them a hot link to it, here are three points that I got out of it that I think will really help you and send it to them.

I think. Because I don’t like and this is a personal thing. I don’t like getting an email saying, hey, Roy, we talked last week, and are you ready to buy it? You know, it’s like, and I think we also have to think about how many touches does it usually take now, I think smaller dollar items and services, don’t take much thought I buy five or $10 thing on an impulse. When we start talking about 510 $20,000 items, I’m gonna have to give that a lot more thought. You’re gonna have to reach out and touch me a lot more during that buying process. So how, how can we handle that tactfully?

Alison  37:13

Yeah, I feel like there’s a lot of questions in there. Let me see if I can remember everything. So yes, it does take a lot of touches, especially for me, I’m in a b2b industry. So people need to make sure that they’re really going to get a return on their investment with me. A lot of my clients that I work with, like I said, I started working with an attorney, I have since worked with other attorneys, and coaches and financial planners. And those are all people who they’re their clients are really going to think for a while before they decide to go ahead and buy and make that investment.

So you again, long term strategy, again, you can if you have lower cost items, like you said, you can put up an ad on Facebook or Instagram or wherever your audience is hanging out. And they’re more likely to go for that, that impulse buy. But if you’re in professional services, and or b2b industry, yeah, it’s going to take a little bit longer. And I love what you did with your email because you’re providing value to them. So it, but it is a way to get in front of them. And to remind them that, hey, remind them you’re still around and be remind them that you’re an authority on the subject by demonstrating that in everything that you provided for them. So I think that’s a really good strategy.

Roy Barker  38:29 You published that awesome blog

Yeah, because I like the education component, because maybe you maybe you’re a user of my product or service, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need it right at this moment. Maybe you’re perfectly happy with the person, maybe you don’t have the money for it. lots of reasons that we just don’t know. But I think it’s important to stay in front of prospects that haven’t bought from us, because we never know when the moment is that they’re going to be ready to commit.

And I think this, again, it kind of winds us back to this long term strategy, that if we are consistent in our messaging and getting it out there, it’s not like I sent you a message, you know, six months ago, now you’re ready to bind, and you don’t even remember who I am or can’t remember that last email. But if I’ve just been dripping on you along over this last six months, you’re like, Hey, I know. I got it. Somewhere in here in my email. I know this guy’s been sending maybe I’ll take a look at that. Yeah, exactly. So what about newsletters? How often how much stuff? I know, there used to be a lot of talk about structure about, you know, kind of breaking it up and not just being totally all business. What are your thoughts on that?

Alison  39:41

Yeah, again, I would say no less than once per month, because if you get less than that people aren’t going to forget who you are and they’re gonna they’re gonna think they never signed up for that newsletter because they don’t remember signing up for it. So at least once a month, no more than once a week. I think most of the newsletters I follow some Do something once a week. Some of them I think, send me the same thing twice, which probably means I messed up and gave them multiple email addresses. But yeah, I think most of the ones that I follow send me something once a week, which is good because I, again, I know who they are, it reminds me that they’re still around and what they’re doing.

But it’s not inundating my inbox with their newsletters. So that as far as timing, that’s what I recommend, as far as frequency. Timing is something you want to play around with, again, it’s going to depend on your industry, on your target audience, when are they answering your emails? When are they more likely to be checking their email and engaging with your newsletters? So take a look at that. See, when people are opening your emails, if they’re opening them after you, you know, hours or days after you send them, you might want to switch around when you send them out to get a better open rate?

Roy Barker  40:54 You published that awesome blog

Yeah, yeah. And that’s another good place to remember that it’s a it’s a long term strategy that we don’t. If we, if we buy a list, and we upload them, and we send it out, and a lot of people unsubscribe or cancel, or whatever they do at that point, that the, I guess the big newsletter companies they whacked, I guess they will deactivate you from us. And because that’s a score for them, they don’t want to be the name at the bottom of the page that’s keep spamming people. So again, we grow them organically, and they need to be people that we’ve had some interaction with the prospect the customer, you know, something like that.

Alison  41:34

Yeah. And they have to either opt-in or confirm that they want your newsletter. So I think I’ve had one or two people on my newsletter where I manually put in their email address because they asked me to. But yeah, I never just like, input a whole bunch of emails or by emails, because yeah, like you said, that’s that’s gonna backfire.

Roy Barker  41:55 You published that awesome blog

Yeah, yeah. Oh, what about days to release used to Tuesdays, that was the day everybody pushed everything out. But now I just wonder is everybody pushing everything out on Tuesday, is there you know, a better day to put our blogs out there? Yeah, I You Published That Awesome Blog.

Best Release Days

Alison  42:12

think the data I’ve seen is Tuesday is probably still the best day, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday are like the top three. Again, if you’re providing something and like the professional services, or b2b industry, if you’re selling something more, that’s fine. So sorry about that. If you’re selling something that’s more B to be a little less expensive, you can get away with sending stuff on the weekends when people are more likely to be shopping. But again, know which email it’s going to if it’s going to their business email address, and they’re only checking in Monday through Friday, then make sure it goes out Monday through Friday. .

And take a look at when people are looking at your email and when they’re opening your email address or your your newsletter that you send out. So that I think I played around with that for a while because I used to send mine out on Tuesdays. And I was realizing most people opened it on Wednesdays. So I switched it to Wednesday, and I get a higher open rate now. There are always the general rules, but your audience might be a little different. So always check your own data and do some AV testing.

Roy Barker  43:13 You published that awesome blog

And that’s kind of been the pattern with this podcast is you know, played around with releasing through the weekends. You know, the traffic goes way, way down, just because everybody’s out doing fun stuff. The other thing you can tell summer versus winter, it’s like you get a lot more traction in the winter months when people are sometimes have to stay indoors when everybody’s outdoors in the summer.

So you have to look at all that you can’t get discouraged if you have a bad week, because you know, holiday weekends when everybody’s out of the office, you know, just gonna be have less people there to read it. Yeah. All right. Well, I appreciate your time. Alison, we’re going to wrap this up. So what what is a tool? Well, first, before we do that, any other tips that you want to put out there for people writing? Yeah, You Published That Awesome Blog.

Alison  44:01

you mentioned the phrase that when to post the blog post, the one thing is again, like the newsletters, it tends to be best on Tuesdays, or, you know, if you can’t do Tuesday, for whatever reason, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, or like the three best days, again, do some A/B testing, play around with it, see what works for you. And also the more you can drive traffic to your blog post the day it goes up, the better it will perform because that organic traffic kind of shows Google that there is value in this that people are interested in this content. So that can help improve your rankings as well. So if you can get it up and then get a newsletter out that same day and start pushing it out on social media that same day, that’s going to help you out a little bit.

Roy Barker  44:47 You published that awesome blog

Yeah, definitely we didn’t talk about that a lot. But definitely if we put a blog post or a podcast or anything out we need to really you know follow up on social media put some words out about it. Let people know we have loyal followers for sure. But we always want to grow that audience so we could find some new eyes out there. Absolutely. Well, we appreciate it. So what is a habit that you use in your daily life that professional or personal just something that you couldn’t do without


Alison  45:15

just the writing is something I could not do without that there’s a reason I chose that as my profession, or the reason it chose me, I think is just, it’s something that I do every day, even if it’s only for a little bit, if writing to if you don’t have time to sit down and write 2000 words, then sit down and research some keywords. And then the next day, write an outline, and the next day do a little bit of research, it doesn’t have to be a two hour chunk, which is one of the things I’ve learned most recently, I think, is that I’m actually more productive in those smaller chunks of time, rather than the huge chunks of time. So take advantage of that.

Roy Barker  45:50 You published that awesome blog

Yeah, you know, as a non writer, writer, I got into that as well, I thought I had to sit down and just wrap this whole thing out. And I’d get very discouraged. But I think I’ve learned to do like you said the outline, let it set, get back and do the rain, if you can structure this in the beginning and get on a path. But then also, once it’s written, I let it sit there for a day or two. Because I tend to find changes I need to make or other things I would like to add. So you know, don’t rush through the process. Be sure and set aside enough time to make it high quality for sure.

Alison  46:23

Yeah, I always let it sit for at least 24 hours before coming back and editing it. And yeah, if I can leave it alone for a week or longer, that’s even better.

Roy Barker  46:32 You published that awesome blog

All right, we’ll tell everybody, how can they reach out and get a hold of you at AV Writing Services? Who is your typical client you’d like to work with? What can you do for them? And then of course, how can they reach out and get a hold of you?

Wrap Up

Alison  46:44

Yeah, so a typical client is any small business owner who’s looking to increase their online presence, whether they’re not blogging or and they know they need to be or if they are blogging and not seeing results from it. Those are the people that I can help. So again, my company is AV Writing Services. It’s really easy to find me, I’m at AV Writing Services everywhere. My website is I’m on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and my youtube channel is actually under my name, Allison Ver Halen. So you can find my videos there.

Roy Barker  47:21 You published that awesome blog

Alright, yeah, and I’ll be sharing that include all those in the show notes as well. So, again, thank you so much for your time certainly appreciated. that’s gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, you can find us at

We’re on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify. If we’re not on one that you listened to reach out, I’d be glad to add it to help you listen easier. We’re also on all the major social media platforms probably hang out on Instagram a little bit more. You Published That Awesome Blog. Be sure and reach out and engage with us over there. A video of this interview will go up on our YouTube channel when the episode goes live so you can look at it over there as well. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business

AV Writing Services

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