S. 1 Ep. 8 – The Power Of Prospecting: Everything You Need To Know

Picture of Cece Payne

Cece Payne

Marketing Coordinator at SpeakerFlow - Follow us on social media to stay in the flow!

Cece Payne

Marketing Coordinator at SpeakerFlow - Follow us on social media to stay in the flow!
Technically Speaking S 1 Ep 8 - The Power Of Prospecting Everything You Need To Know with SpeakerFlow and Sam Richter

In this week’s episode, we’re chatting with speaker hall-of-famer, and top 25 most influential sales leaders in the world, Sam Richter.

Sam is also the co-creator of the SpeakerFlow Intel Engine and has incredible depth around sales intelligence, prospecting, and sales.

Join us in this episode as we chat about how to apply sales intelligence to prospect like a pro.

No more crappy lead lists, expensive databases, or outdated association information. This is the only process you need to find highly qualified leads AND convert them into customers.

Let’s dive in!

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Show Notes 📓

✅  Not using the Intel Engine yet? Get it here: https://www.knowmore.university/a/aff_gqtxt90h/external?affcode=231462_hfyvfatg

✅  Check out Sam’s new mastermind with other sales experts: businessleadershiproundtable.com 

✅  Download the report from CEOs about what they’re doing when we come out of COVID: https://richter.ck.page/2489ef9edc

🎤  Thank you to our sponsor, Libsyn Studio (formerly Auxbus)! Want the best podcasting solution out there? Learn more here: https://www.libsynstudio.com/

🚀  And as always, don’t forget about all the mind-blowing free resources at https://speakerflow.com/resources/

Read the Transcription 🤓

Taylorr: Welcome to another episode of technically speaking. We are super excited about today’s guest, Mr. Sam Richter. Sam, welcome to the show.

Sam: Hey, thanks so much. It’s really great to be with you guys. 

Taylorr: Yeah, it’s always great when you’re on, I’m really excited about this episode. So, for those of you listening who don’t know who Sam is, Sam is an award-winning speaker, best-selling author and is considered one of the foremost authorities on sales intelligence and digital reputation management. He’s a member of the national speaker hall of fame that is CSP CPAE, and was named one of the world’s top 50 sales keynote speakers, one of the world’s top 25, most influential sales leaders, and one of the top 15 highest rated virtual presenters. Sam annually delivers more than a hundred keynote programs and workshops to top organizations in the industry around the globe and he’s also an entrepreneur, a software developer near and dear to us at Speaker Flow as the creator of the Speaker Flow Intelligent. Sam, it is so awesome to have you on the show today. Thank you again for being here.

Sam: Yeah, thank you guys so much and I really appreciate that you’re wearing your hats because as I look out my window here, it’s snowing like crazy in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Taylorr: Yes, that is doing the same over here. So, something that kind of piqued my interest in your bio is sales intelligence. And when you read that, I don’t know that I even have a box for it. So, what is it? Why is it important? And how can we as speakers and thought leaders benefit from it? And more importantly, what led you down this path of sales intelligence in the first place?

Sam: Sure. Great question. Well, I think sales intelligence is just a fancy way of saying, knowing more about other people. And it really emanates from, I think the greatest business book ever written is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, back in the 1920s. In fact, pretty much every business book I’ve ever read has some essence of how to win friends and influence people. Meaning it’s really all about the other person, especially in sales. In sales, I’m not really trying to convince somebody to do something. What I’m trying to do is align what they care about, what are their goals, what are their issues and, and what do I offer? And is there an intersection there?

And what we try to do with sales intelligence, if we really boil it down into the three core components. Finding the right person, so who should I be talking to in an organization? At the right time what’s going on in their world, where they actually might be interested in hearing your message? With the right message? How do we be relevant or hyper-relevant? Or a little redundant, but I call it real time relevant to what the other person cares about today. 

Because as Carnegie said, the sweetest sound in the English language is the sound of name. Well, a lot of people call me the modern-day version of Dale Carnegie so, I would put for lack of a better term, this spin on it. The sweetest sound in the English language is of course someone’s name, but also something that they are passionate about. So, don’t talk about yourself and your own solutions, talk about the other person and what they care about because that’s when relationships occur, that’s where we can be relevant and that’s where we can align what we have to sell our solutions with what they genuinely care about.

Taylorr: This is so fascinating to me too, because I think that people’s natural tendency is not to do that. We’ve all got egos, even the best of us that try to stay as humble as possible. We love talking about ourselves and it’s an active process that you have to follow to do something else other than that, to really focus on that person. It’s not something that you just do, you have to really pay attention in order to do that correctly so that it makes an impression.

Sam: Yeah as you were asking earlier, Taylorr, how did I get into this? Well, it’s pretty simple. It’s kind of weird, but as a person who’s used to getting up on stage in front of 5,000 people, I’m actually fairly a severe introvert. And so, getting on stage no problem meeting one-on-one with somebody, oh my goodness, I’m terrified. And what I found early on in life way before I was a speaker, I was in advertising and became a creative director and all of a sudden, I had to go out and sell my ideas and I was just terrified meeting with people. But what I quickly learned is if I would get information on somebody, what they care about that, well, then I can open up our conversation about them and most important I can ask really good questions.

And you think that I’d been reading a bunch of sales books or taking a bunch of sales courses because they all talk about the need to ask great questions but the reality is I wasn’t particularly interested in asking great questions, I was most interested in not having to say anything because I knew if I asked the question, the other person would do all the talking. Well, lo and behold, I started to sell a bunch of my work, my solutions and it was fun and when you know something about another person it’s engaging. Well, how did I used to do that? Because this was years before the internet was even invented really, and so I used to show up 15 minutes prior to a meeting and I would speak to the receptionist and being young, I suppose they’d share a bunch of information. So, I’d say something like what are some of the neat things you’re working on? What are your competitors doing? And what are your goals for next year? 

I would then go in and meet with the person, repeat some of that. There’d be a little bit of how did you know that? But then they’d answer. Well, fast forward now with Google, a lot of that information is searchable and that’s, again, what sales intelligence is all about. It’s how do you use the tools that you already use every day like Google and social media and other online resources to basically answer questions that I used to be able to ask a receptionist waiting for the meeting.

Austin: Yeah. That makes perfect sense. It’s funny when we recommend that level of research for prospecting, because we recommend that all the time being us, the question comes up every single time. Won’t people think that’s creepy though? I feel creepy trying to find that information. Is that like out of line for the relationship? Tell me your perspective on that.

Sam: Well, I think it’s a great question, there’s really a two-part answer. The first one is I use some specific language and it’s a little corny and I obviously modify, but it might go something like this. I might say hey Austin, before I meet with people, I like to do a little bit of homework. You’re a busy guy and I don’t want to waste your time. Well, just that little statement right there has completely differentiated me from pretty much anyone you’ve ever met with before. Because here’s a crazy thing in a world we live today where it’s estimated that I can pull up every written word in history on one of these things in under 30 seconds, most people don’t do it. So, just letting you know that I did my homework completely differentiates myself. Well, then I’ll say hey Austin, before I meet with people, I like to do a little bit of homework, you’re a busy guy. I don’t want to waste your time. And then I say, and guess what I found now, what do you think happens when I say, guess what I found? 

Austin: What did you find? 

Sam: What’d you find, right? I have the person’s full attention, which is important because in today’s world, if I walk in, if I’m doing a zoom call or a phone call, or even  have the opportunity for an in-person meeting, the other person’s pretty busy and the small talk that’s going on in their head is usually when is this guy going to go away? But the second I say, and guess what I found, I have their full attention. I tell them what I found and then I’ll say something to the next magic phrases. Can you tell me a little bit about that? And then for the next 20 minutes, the other person usually talks about themselves. Now sometimes you’ll go to a meeting or you can even tell that they’re all in the business, they got their arms folded up. The key is when you know something about another person, even if you choose not to share that, you know it, and sometimes it might be inappropriate to share that you, you know, hey, congratulations on the second divorce, you think you’d get it right this time.  You’re not going to go there. When you know something about another person and they don’t know that you know it, how does it make you feel? 

Austin: Anxious.

Sam: Confident. Well, to me, it makes me feel confident and powerful. I know something.

Austin: I was thinking on the other side.

Sam: Yes, so if I know something about you, Austin, that you don’t know that I know it, but I know it. There’s no rule that says I have to state it, there’s no rule that says I have to tell you that I even know it but what it does do is it allows me to ask better questions. So, for example, you like music, you like guitars. I can tell that by the way, because I can see in the background of your picture here, that you have a guitar. Now, let’s just say I had done my homework hand and I knew that for whatever reason, you really enjoy playing guitars. I’m not going to tell you that if this was a business meeting, that would be a little weird. 

Hey, I was spying on you, I could see that you play guitars, but there might be a point in time in the conversation where you might say to me, Sam, tell me a little bit about you. Now, I play guitar poorly, but I play it and I used to play it a lot, but I love going to live music, love going to especially tribute bands. So, normally I would never tell you that, but if you asked me, Sam, tell me a little bit about yourself. Well, a couple of kids, my wife and I are empty nesters and one of the things we love to do is go to tribute bands. And I might mention, oh, [inaudible 09:34], because I know you like music, you were going to start going down that path. So, just because you know it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to share that, you know it but it will allow you to ask better questions. Which is a very long-winded way of saying sometimes the answer is you don’t have to let them know that you use it to ask better questions.

Austin: I like that. 

Max: Do you find Sam, that now where changes is weekly, daily sometimes that that idea of real-time relevance is even more front and center, it’s even more important based on what you’re seeing out there and your experience?

Sam: Yeah, absolutely. Especially as it relates to company information and really even industry information as a whole. So, just to use an example if we were going on a sales call on say March 25th, and we were calling on restaurants, it might be important to have real time information because what they were dealing with on March 20th might be a little bit different than they’re dealing with on March 25th. Now to begin that’s a little crazy answer, but if I can find a press release a news article, even some industry information of what’s going on in the world, well, it does a couple things. One, it shows my prospect that I genuinely care. Wow, this person took the time to do their homework. 

And again, our key here, because a lot of people think that, oh, we find it online, we need to state it as fact. No, what you find online might not be accurate. A matter of fact, Abe Lincoln actually said that after the battle of Gettysburg and he did his address, he said what you find online might not be accurate. I read that online. You’re supposed to laugh at that one. My point being is we all know what we find online might not be accurate and so you use what you find to ask a better question.

And it might be something along the lines of, I’m making this up here, but hey Max, when I was doing a little research prior to our meeting today, I saw that one of the things going on in the CRM industry is there’s been some major changes as it relates to privacy. How are you dealing with that? I just made that up off the top of my head but that would be a good question if that were true.

Max: Yeah, for sure. 

Austin: Sam, do you find that the research that you do, the thing that you find that you want to ask them about has to relate to what you want to talk to them about? Because I think for some people, they feel like they need to dig up information that’s going to parlay into a sales conversation. But do you find that it just needs to be something to get them talking or does it need to be something specific that can translate into you being able to sell them something?

Sam: Well, that’s a great question. What I try to do is find something that is related to what I have to do. So, in the speaker world, it might be as simple as, hey, I saw that you had Ross Bernstein as your speaker last year, isn’t Ross amazing? I love how Ross talks about and then I might mention a couple of things that Ross talks about. But specifically, if the, again, the first words out of my mouth can be about the other person. It might be about an award they’ve won, a big contract they won, an expansion they went through, maybe they purchased a company so talk about the other person. Again, it just shows that you’ve done your homework and it gets the other person talking about him or herself. Now, if what you find is maybe something they’re not proud of or something that really threatens their work or their industry, I might not dive right into it but again, that might be an example of, of where I use what I find to ask a better question.

Taylorr: Yeah. That makes sense. So, I’m curious when the sales intelligence really happens inside of a sales cycle. So, for our listeners, the sales intelligence happens after you have a lead that you’re working and you finally have that call? How soon do you start this level of research if you’re pursuing your sales in an outbound way?

Sam: Well, the answer is always going to be, it depends. So, in our world of professional speakers, usually we know that there’s an we’ll call it an advantage, a double entendre, there’s an event going on where they need us. They have an event; they have a conference where they need a speaker. And in that case, like I just mentioned, I might find who their previous year speaker was, or I might find a piece of information that’s going on in their industry. So, for example, if I was pitching the National Restaurant Association for their conference, I might be talking about, hey, obviously your members are dealing with something that they’ve never dealt with in history before. Funny, but my expertise is dealing with change. So, you’re trying to align with what we know is going on in their world with what our expertise might be.

And that’s again we’re I guess you’re being for lack of a better term, almost reactive with your sales intelligence, where I know I’m calling on somebody, now let’s find something where we can align the two, my solution with what they have to deal with. Now, oftentimes we’ll use sales intelligence to actually identify who to call and that might be what’s called a sales trigger. A sales trigger is what’s going on in the other person’s world, where they might actually be interested in hearing from you today. So quick example, if I call any of you right now and say, hi, this is Sam from Sam’s Roofing Company. I’d love to come out and give you a free estimate. Well, you’re going to hang up, go away. 

But if a huge hail storm just hit your house, water starts leaking through your kitchen. Five minutes later, hi, this is Sam from Sam’s Roofing Company. I’d love to come out and give you a free estimate, well I’m your new best friend. That’s a sales trigger. Now, not all speakers have a sales trigger. So, now for me, quite possibly could be, if I’m calling on companies, I might go look for a sales trigger, might be companies where they just announced earnings, and it’s not as good as it used to be. That could potentially be a sales trigger. 

But other sales triggers, so for example, speakers who speak on change might go in and talk about… might go do some searches online to find executives who have recently been hired in their jobs. So, new CEOs, new presidents, because I can guarantee you if a new CEO comes in especially from the outside, a lot of the employees are struggling with change. Companies that have gone through a merger and acquisition where they’ve acquired two companies bringing together. If you’re a diversity speaker, that might be a great one, a generational speaker might be a great one. So, there are some sales triggers that might be good fits for speakers depending on what a speaker’s particular topic might be.

Taylorr: Got it. 

Austin: I feel like this begs the question then, if you do have a trigger, let’s say you’re one of those speakers that happens to fall in that category. Where do you start? I think that the resistance to start here can be a real challenge because there’s a lot of different places you can go to try to find this information. So, if you were looking for one of these triggers for your own business, where would you start?

Sam: In terms of finding the information, really, I’d start with Google. Google got a lot of really powerful tools. Now, most people don’t know them because the beauty of Google, the beauty of technology is it’s super intuitive, I’d fire up Google type in two words, results to show up. You want to know the problem with really good technology? It’s intuitive. We never read the manual; we never get the instruction booklet because there’s a lot of power sometimes if you actually read the manual. 

So, for example, let’s say I was looking for leadership change. Well, the key of Google searching of any searching online is I like to say, think like the author. So, if I was writing a press release, an article, a blog, post a newsletter, what words would go into that newsletter? So, for example, if my company just hired a new CEO, what words might go into the press release? Well, it might be something like welcomes or announces or announced, or is joining. And so how you build it’s called a query inside Google. 

Let’s say I’m looking for companies in Ohio. I might type in Ohio, plus, and then in parentheses, because you’re going to use parentheses to separate things out, within parentheses, I might type in new president. Put that in quotes, when you put something within quotes, you’re telling the search engine, the words within quotes must be in that exact order. So, Ohio plus parens, new president or new CEO or new chief executive, end parens. Now, make sure your or is in all upper case when you put an or in all upper case, you’re telling the search engine, give me this or give me that we’re expanding our search. So, Ohio new president or new chief executive or new CEO, and I might put it in then another parens plus announced or joined or welcomes.

So, you following me? Now I’m going to run my search. Now, you’re probably going to get a few million search results because Google is going to pull back every press release, article blog, post ever written about new CEOs or new presidents or new chief executives in Ohio. And calling on someone and saying hey, Fred, congratulations on getting that job back in 2016, that’s not a good sales trigger but what can you do? On the upper right-hand corner of every Google search result page is a little button called tools, if you click on that, a drop-down menu appears that allows you to sort your Google search results by date, by past year, past month, past week, I might choose past week. And when you do that, now you might get five search results of new chief executives, new CEOs, or new presidents who have been welcomed, announced, joined a company in Ohio. So that’s how you would technically do it in Google.

Taylorr: So, did you keep track all that Austin?

Sam: Yeah, it’s a little complicated.

Taylorr: You could duplicate probably all of those parentheses and ors and things, right?

Austin: Sure, no problem.

Sam: Well, you could do that or shameless self-promotion for all of us. That’s why I developed the tool, the Speaker Flow Intel Engine, because what happens when you’re in the intel engine there’s a sales trigger area in the speaker ops page where you can type in Ohio president and, or just even type in Ohio healthcare and then you click the new executive button, and it will automatically go out there and build that 30 to 50 word. It’s called a Boolean Algebraic Equation. It’ll automatically build that 30 to 50-word equation for you all you had to do is type in healthcare, Ohio, and it automatically is going to sort the list of new executives who have been welcomed to, join, announced in Ohio in the past, I think we defaulted to the past year.

Austin: Got it. 

Sam: So, there are easy ways to do it.

Austin:  Which is good because I feel overwhelmed and I understand at least a little bit of this. I’m curious, this works on Google, does this work anywhere else?

Sam: Well, only can work inside different social media. As an example, if I wanted to find a list of executives in LinkedIn, I could go into LinkedIn and I could type in chief or CEO or CFO or chief executive put chief executive within quotes, you can build those [inaudible 21:02] queries inside. By the way, it also works when you’re searching your email, when you’re searching your network drive, so that could be a huge time-saver by the way. But it doesn’t really work as well in other popular search engines. The ones I just shared with you will, the ors. The one I didn’t share, which I can talk about in just a moment here is the minus sign, those will work in pretty much every search engine. 

But as we get into more complex searching, it’s called a Complex Boolean Query, I have found Google to be the best. Let me just touch on something. I mentioned the minus sign. I love the minus sign because it removes bad search results. So, for example if I’m looking for the word Vikings, but I want the guys from Norway with the big the horns on their helmets and the swords and the big boats. Well, if I go into Google right now and type in the word Vikings, what am I going to get? 

A few million search results on the crush my heart again, Minnesota Viking, professional football team. Maybe we might get the first draft choice this year, but somehow, they’ll probably screw that up too. I don’t want that, I want the guys from Norway, so I could go into Google and type in Vikings plus Norway plus guys with big boats or something like that. Or I could type in Vikings, if I attach a minus sign to the word that I want to remove. So, I want to remove the word football, so no space after the minus sign. If I attach a minus sign to the word that I want to remove, Google remove all of the results without word in it. 

So will your email searching, so while you’re searching your network drive in searching your computer. So, just knowing that minus sign, again, no space after the minus sign, but you can attach a minus sign to a word and any search engine will remove all of the results with that word in it. You can do that about 30 times in Google, you can add about 30 minus signs. Meaning you can start out with a super broad search term and in seconds, get down to the information you care about.

Taylorr: That was really powerful. I think this is… after hearing you talk so much about the sales intelligence and prospecting and finding that relevant information. One of the biggest areas of pushback that we see when we’re coaching people on the power of prospecting is that they’re really quick to say, oh, I can just go on Fiverr and find somebody to generate me a list of 15,000 people. And oh, I don’t need to prospect, I can just do word of mouth. And we’re talking about the other end of the spectrum here, where you’re using custom searches to find your ideal clients, to find what’s relevant to them, and then reach out very intentionally. You’re very intentful with that outreach and that’s very different than taking those 15,000 leads that you just paid $25 for on Fiverr and dropping them a mass email. Where does the true power of… when is prospecting, why is prospecting, let me rephrase that question, I’ll cut here by the way, why is prospecting so powerful in the way that you just outlined Sam? Why is it better to go this route then to kind of follow the spray and pray method for lack of a better term when you’re prospecting?

Sam: Well, I really think it gets quality versus quantity. So, for example, I could go out and like you said, get a Fiverr list of, hey, give me a list of everybody who’s got the job title, Director of Events as an example. And I’ll get it back, 70% will probably be accurate and I can fire off an email and guess what? To be blunt, nobody’s probably going to respond to that, but after maybe three or four emails, and if somehow, I’ve got a call team, that’s going to call all 15,000, I might get lucky. There might be somebody on that list who happens to be planning their event for next year. You could do that by the way, nothing in that list that you got from Fiverr said that these people actually pay their speakers.

Taylorr: That’s right.

Sam: Which would kind of be important, I think. Or you could use something like the techniques I’m sharing with you to go into Google and do some searching into the Speaker Flow Intel Engine, we can automate this for you, but I’d like to say, you know, people ask me all the time, they’ll say, Sam, how do I find a list of places that pay speakers a lot of money? And I said, well, if I had that list, I would just charge you for it and life would be really easy. I don’t have that list, but here’s what I do know, and again, I’ll use my friend Ross Bernstein as an example. I do know if Ross Bernstein spoke at a conference last year, he didn’t speak for free because he’s a rock star pro. And I also know that if Ross Bernstein spoke there last year, they’re probably not going to have him this year, but they are going to have a conference. We know they pay speakers. The only question now is, are they paying me?

And so that’s where sales intelligence can come in. That’s a perfect example. Find a speaker. Who’s similar in your niche. Well, how do I find a speaker who’s similar in your niche. Look at the agenda from last year’s conference, where you spoke and there’ll be seven other speakers on there. Go do a Google search on one of those seven others, where have they spoken in the past? Well, how am I going to find that it’s probably on their website, most of us put our client list on the website. Where if not, there are some Google terms you can put in a long Google search to pull up some of those places where a speaker might’ve spoken. Now, here’s the beautiful thing. Many times, that’s going to be an agenda, click on it. It’ll tell you the date to their conference, back it out six months, that’s when they’re probably starting to make your decision on which speaker they’re going to hire.

Oh, scroll down a bit. There might even be a button called contact, when you click on that, there may even be the contact person, their email and phone number. So, what I’m sharing is not rocket science stuff, it sounds cool sales intelligence, but a lot of it is just logical thinking. Again, I could go, maybe there’s a list somewhere online of every event place that pay speakers a boatload of money, probably not. Maybe I could hire someone on Fiverr and get a list of 25,000 names, maybe of that 25,010 are actually looking for a speaker and they actually pay, or I can use some sales intelligence techniques using some technology and find the right person at the right time with the right message.

Austin: Man. I hope everybody’s listening. Yeah, it’s so important and I think that there’s like this default tendency that we have, where we want to take the path of least resistance and sometimes the path of least resistance is, I’m just going to go get a Fiverr list. And you know what I tell people all the time, like if you feel inclined to do that, go for it, give it a shot and maybe you will get good results like you said, but more often than not, it doesn’t go that way. And I think that something else that’s important here is that by taking the additional time to do your research and learn about this individual, this event, this organization, and so on, it turns it into an actual relationship and not just a transaction. 

Sam: That’s right.

Austin: We all are getting bombarded by hundreds, if not thousands of sales emails every month or a year from people trying to sell us stuff that they think that we need and we’re numb to it I think on some level. I don’t think that it takes that much effort to stand out from all of those other people that are just trying to do the bare minimum.

Sam: Yeah, that’s absolutely right. I’ll give you two sample sales calls, so I’ll use you Austin as an example. Sales call one. Hi Austin, I see that you’re an event manager at Widget Corporation and I was wondering, do you have any upcoming conferences? And oh, by the way, if the answer is yes, do you actually pay speakers? And Oh, by the way, if you pay speakers, would you pay somebody like me? Okay, that’s option A. Now, you’re not going to use that language, but guess what? That’s what your buyer’s hearing when you call and you’re completely uninformed. 

Austin: That’s right.

Sam: Or I call and I say, Hey Austin, you don’t know me, but my name is Sam Richard. I was doing a little research and I saw that you’ve got the Widget 3000 Conference coming up, I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re looking at around May 1st. Well, I know that most companies, if they’re got a conference of May 1st, they are starting to look at their speakers, is that accurate? Just nod your head like that. I know last year you had Ross Burstein and he is one of my favorite speakers on the planet and one of the concepts that if you probably remember from Ross is, he talks about the need to really build relationships with people and providing value. And where Ross about that for 10 minutes is his program, I spent an entire hour on that.

I happen to also be a national hall of fame speaker. So, I’m pretty good on stage, but what I was really wondering is, is there a way we could take what you did last year with Ross and maybe expand it and give your attendees kind of just a real nice progression of the types of speakers that you might have on a year to year basis. Now that was way too long. It was making it up off the top of my head, but you see where I’m going between that and the first one of hi, do you pay speakers?

Taylorr: Totally.

Austin: And you didn’t have to undercut Ross to do it either too.

Sam: Not at all.

Austin: You used him as a perfect mechanism to say hey, I can take this and go further just as he could probably do with some of the concepts you touch on. I know for me, that’s one of the things I hear people say sometimes is doing that competitive research or bringing that up in a sales conversation feels sleazy or something, but it’s not, you can benefit each other. Like there’s plenty of pie to go around.

Sam: Right. There is plenty of pie to go around and guess what? Ross is a nice guy and Ross knows that he’s not speaking at Widget next year so, maybe I’ll even call Ross. Let’s say I met him in the hallways of net NSA, or maybe an event we were doing and I’ll call Ross and I’ll say hey, see if I call Ross, this is called part of one of the things I teach is asking for introductions versus referrals. If I call Ross right now and say hi, Ross, business really tough during the COVID era, do you know anybody that could maybe use me as a speaker? Welp, because he’s a nice guy he’s going to say yeah, I think I spoke to the Duluth Rotary, you know, they had a hundred bucks. He’s going to give me some name just because he wants to be helpful. 

But if I call and say, hey Ross, I was doing a little bit of homework and I saw that you spoke at the Widget 3000 Conference last year and it looks like Julie Johnson was your contact there. Boy, if you think of my message, do you think I’d be a good fit for the Widget Corporation? Well, Sam, I never really thought about it before, but I think you’d be awesome. Hey, I don’t need you to do any work Ross, but if I send Julia a notice or give her a phone call, can I at least drop your name as somebody who’s recommended? Well, that’d be great, Sam. In fact, I I’m happy to make the introduction for you. Now, there will be some speakers who jus, aren’t nice people who won’t do that for you, but most of the people I know would be happy to make that introduction, but you have to make their lives easy. If I say, can you give me a referral? It’s uncomfortable. But if you say, do you know Julie Johnson at Widget Corporation? Sure, I’d be happy to help.

Taylorr: And that is how it’s done. It kind of all boils back to the original point, Sam, about relationships. A reason why you got into this in the first place is just the adaptability to drive the relationship forward. 

Sam: Exactly.

Sam: You’re not only doing that with zero prospects, but you’re doing that with the people that also serve your prospects and really kind of creating this cyclical nature for generating leads and reaching out and more importantly, having the confidence to do so. Because I know a lot of people listening and we hear this all the time, we don’t want to be used car salesman, but I think the difference between used car salesman and a professional car salesman is that one of them really cares about getting you the right car, whereas one of them doesn’t. And I think that’s the same difference that you pointed out here with people who are reaching out and saying hey, do you have an event that you could potentially hire me for? Versus hey, I’ve done a ton of research and I know where you’re at and I can help you out. And by the way, here’s my friend who spoke before.

It’s just a different approach and it’s all focused on the relationship, but I think that’s really where the power of prospecting gets unlocked because you’re not taking 25,000 people you don’t care about and hoping for a transaction, you’re taking 25 people that you definitely care about based on the research you’ve done and you can differentiate yourself simply because of that research. And I think that whole idea of differentiation becomes a lot more simpler too. So, I feel like we hear that as business owners like, oh, you have to differentiate yourself, but what does that really mean? And is that just my message? Is that how I talk? Is that my stagecraft< but I really think it boils down to those micro interactions that you have that build up to being differentiated. It doesn’t all happen based on one thing, it’s just how you prospect and how you sell and how you manage the client and how you deliver is so much more than just one thing that differentiates you.

Sam: Well, that’s absolutely right. And by the way, it never stops because even using the techniques I’ve shared with you today, it’s not like every time I do this, someone says oh, Sam, you’re perfect. Where do I send my $15,000? I wish it was that like that. You also have to stay in touch with people. And so, how do you stay in touch with people in ways that are relevant to them? And again, the same techniques? Yeah, because I don’t want to be calling someone the third, fourth, fifth, eighth time, ready to buy yet? Ready to buy yet? Ready to buy yet? Because you just become annoying. So, you can use these techniques again, whether it’s finding in the article, whether you’ve set up a Google alert on the company and any time that alert comes in saying hey, Widget Corporation just won a big award, you just drop a note over to Julie. 

Hey Julie, congratulations on the award was thinking of you. Or it might even be more proactive where let’s say I’ve got a bunch of clients, a number of prospects in the healthcare industry, I’ll go online and try to find a recent survey result or a white paper research report article that talks about trends in the healthcare industry.  Hey, Julie stumbled across this white paper online. I’m guessing you’ve already seen it, but just in case, here’s a link. Just want you to know I’m always thinking of you. Hope all is well. Notice that I didn’t put anything in there about hiring Sam. It’s all about the value that I want to provide to other people. 

The number of times where I’ve had somebody reach out saying oh, Sam, I was just thinking about you. No weren’t, but maybe you were thinking I’m hiring a speaker and what was that guy’s name that’s possible, but that, interaction, but again, it’s not because the email didn’t say subject line, ready to hire me yet? No, it was founded this white paper thought you’d be interested. So, it’s about providing ongoing value to other people and here’s the key in ways that are relevant to what they care about.

Taylorr: That is right. And if there’s anything to take away from this episode, it is that. It’s important to provide value, but it’s also important to stay relevant. So, Sam, thank you so much for your insights and as you know, speaking of value, we’re all about delivering that for our audience. What are some things that you’re working on that our audience can benefit from?

Sam: Well, of course I’m constantly tweaking the Speaker Flow Intel Engine. Google is always making changes so I’m always making mathematical changes in the background and adding new features, trying to make that a better tool and resource for people. And the other thing I’ve launched is I’ve launched a program with three other speaker friends of mine. Mark Hunter, the sales Hunter, Meredith Elliott Powell, and Dr. Mary Kelly, we’re doing a mastermind group. Still think of a Vistage, EO YPO, but instead of getting one chair, you get all four of us. You get all of our content, eBooks workshops, videos, we kind of built a vault of everything from A to Z to running your business. Plus, you get the four of us, plus, you get a monthly mastermind, real time call with all of us where we process your issues.

So, you can learn about that at business leadershiproundtable.com. Business leadership, round table.com. And by the way, if you go there, we just finished a report. It’s really an amazing report that we’re sending out to CEOs and getting incredible feedback on. It’s a report on what our CEOs doing to prepare their businesses once we come out of COVID? There’s a lot of articles and content out there right now saying how are we reacting today? But very few, if any are like this where we’ve interviewed a few hundred CEOs and asked them, what are you going to be doing tomorrow? How’s the world going to look like tomorrow? And it’s completely free. You go to businessleadershiproundtable.com, download the white paper. For speakers, it might give you some insight into what the future of your message might be based on what some of these companies are going to be doing.

Taylorr: Perfect. I love that. And Sam, thank you so much for adding in all those resources. Those will be in the show notes for all of you listening. And as you know, don’t forget to subscribe to the show and if you want more awesome resources like this, go to speakerflow.com/resources. 

Thank you so much for chiming in. I just wanted to take a second to thank our sponsor Auxbus. Auxbus is the all in one suite of tools you need to run podcast. And it’s actually what we run here at Speaker Flow for Technically Speaking. It makes planning podcast simple; I=it makes recording podcasts simple; it even makes publishing podcasts to the masses simple and quite honestly, Technically Speaking, wouldn’t be up as soon as it is without Auxbus. Thank you so much Auxbus. And if you are interested in checking Auxbus out, whether you’re starting a podcast or you have one currently get our special offer auxbus.com/speakerflow, or click the link below in our show notes.

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