In today’s episode, we’re delivering the REAL truth about sales for speakers, trainers, and experts.
The perfect person to do that, you may ask? Phil Gerbyshak!
Phil is a noted sales expert, corporate sales trainer and small business coach who is passionate about building relationships, using social media for research and connection and leveraging technology.
He is a highly respected speaker who has been on the cover of Marketing, Media & Money magazine, the cover of Speaker Magazine and
has presented at Influence, the national conference for the National Speakers Association (NSA).
If you’ve been struggling with sales, hate picking up the phone, and feel like you’re wasting time on non-revenue driving activities, this is the show for you.
Let’s dive in!
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Listen to the Podcast 🎤
Show Notes 📓
✅ Get Phil’s LinkedIn Sales Navigator Jump Course: http://lisnjumpstart.com/
✅ Connect with Phil on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/philgerb/
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🚀 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’re your hosts, Taylorr and Austin, and today we are delivering the real truth about sales for speakers, trainers, and experts, and the perfect person to do that you may ask is Phil Gerbyshak. Phil is a noted sales expert, corporate sales trainer, and small business coach who is passionate about building relationships, using social media for research and connection, and leveraging technology. He is a highly respected speaker who has been on the cover of Marketing, Media & Money Magazine, the cover of Speaker Magazine and has presented at Influence, the national conference for the National Speakers Association. So look, if you’ve been struggling with sales or you hate picking up the phone and you feel like you’re wasting your time on non-revenue driving activities, this is the episode for you. As always, stick around until the end for some awesome resources. And we hope you like this one… And we are live! Phil, man, it is so awesome to have you on the show today! I feel like it’s just been a long time in the making.
Phil: Way too long, way too long, Guys. It’s great to be here with you,
Taylorr: Certainly. Yeah.
Austin: Great to have you.
Taylorr: So, as we always like to kick off the show, what got you into the speaking space, and like, how did – what was your journey like? How did you get here? Why did you stick around? Just fill us in.
Phil: Yeah, so really rewind right? All the way back to the start of the world, age four front of the room, handing out papers, can’t read, but I’m going to fake it till I make it, handing stuff out, talking to people. Okay, great, friends since high school. But then, went in the Navy, delivered email by hand for the NSA that listens the National Security Agency, thought the internet was fake, so I’m going to be a school teacher. Oh yeah, sure I am…. yeah. Okay, no, I’m not, but I love to teach. So I’m thinking, okay, that maybe there’s a way to teach, maybe there’s not. And then I’m president of my association, and I hired a professional speaker, and he was so bad that after 12 minutes we had to pull him off stage and I had to fill the remaining 48. Somebody said, “Hey, dude, you should do this!” And that was kind of the start of my journey.
Taylorr: Wow, so 12 minutes onstage. How does someone have to be so bad that they have to get pulled off 12 minutes after they’re onstage?
Phil: Well, let – let’s think about first how do many people hire speakers? They hire them based on their demo reel, their sizzle reel, which is their greatest hits or hit, right? Their greatest one story that they maybe told once really well, and they cut it up, like, 64 times because really they just changed their shirt and it’s the same exact story. Right? So- this guy, he had a really good six minute piece and I was like, “Wow, this is awesome!” And that was all he had. All he had was six minutes. So I was like, “Why?” Cause at first I was like, “Okay, right, some buildup of course.” Nobody starts with their best material, though we should. Let’s be honest, right? As a speaker, punch ’em in the face right away. Let’s go, right? Get the hook, get him in. And then six minutes of, “Wow, this is really good!” and then three minutes of, “Oh, my goodness.”
So I’m like, we’re done. I mean, like I had people like, like 12 minutes in. Now, I should have known because the guy followed me around like a puppy dog as soon as he arrived at the event, and then I’m the president of the association. So I don’t – you know – I don’t need an ankle biter, right? I purposely, you know – I – at the time, I didn’t have kids, so I didn’t – I am not used to people hanging on me. This guy would not leave me alone. And so I should’ve known, but I didn’t and people coming up to me and saying, “Hey, you – you’re pretty good at this.” Right? “Hey, you should try this.” I’m like, “All right.” Didn’t think I could make any money. I saw my mentor, my hero, the guy who first believed in me, even before I did: Kirkby Slur. Kirk wrote a book called “Dog Poop Initiative.” I don’t know if you guys know Kirk or not.
Austin: No, but that’s a great title of a book.
Phil: “The Dog Poop Initiative” – Great book, right? Great – and great human being. He believed in me before anybody else did, you know. Social media came along, I had a blog, I had a podcast, rewind 2006 – long time. I’m old in the internet age. And so I’ve learned how to build relationships digitally, which at the time was like some foreign substance. Like, you mean you don’t have to talk to people in person? No.
Taylorr: No, of course not. Why would you?
Phil: Guys, I mean, we might’ve seen each other at an NSA event, but, really, this is our relationship, right? We’re digital. We’re in the… in the… the ether space, not the meat space. And so I’m like, okay, this is interesting, interesting, interesting. Did that, had a blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, all this stuff. And then I gave my two-year notice in corporate in 2008 and left in 2010, and, from there, I joined the NSA that talks and won’t shut up, the National Speakers Association.
Austin: I get the – I get the analogy now between the NSA that listens and then the NSA that talks. [cross-talk 05:21]
Phil: So, there you go. So, right? Thank you. So, right? So… so there we go. So that’s, that’s kind of how it all started, and you know, I, I keep it going. I’ve, I’ve actually attempted to go back into corporate a couple of times because I really think it’s important to keep your skills sharp. So, I was director of social strategy for a software company that went head to head with all the big banks and investment firms and, you know, in financial advising firms and on wall street. So that was really fun. Teaching – teaching big companies that Twitter is actually safe. Now I’d probably tell them that it isn’t, but back then it was, right? So back then it was, so I did that and, you know, and I was VP of sales training for, uh, for another software company and teaching them how to sell ’cause I’m kind of an odd duck in that I love tack and I love sales and I really love people. And that doesn’t always all mesh together. So, whatever it is, I’m focused on the connection and around the relationship, and in the middle of that is usually where you can find Phil Gerbyshak.
Austin: Nice. I love that. It’s such a good combination, too, especially in this space of speakers, consultants, coaches, authors, podcasts, all these, you know, expert businesses, right? ‘Cause, for most people in this space, this is not a local business thing. You’re serving people all over the world a lot of the times, and, in 2021, there’s no way that you’re going to be able to build a business without having a strong digital presence and an ability to connect with people digitally. So you’re at a – an interesting juncture, and I, I know that, in a lot of ways, that’s how you’ve sort of built your reputation. I think anybody in this community knows you as being like “the guy” when it comes to digital sales and marketing, which is awesome. But anyways, I, I appreciate that about you. I think that’s an important skill set to have.
Phil: Thanks, Austin.
Austin: For sure. So I’m, I’m curious, um… you know… Building on your expertise obviously, and I know that you’re involved in the same community as us – speakers, coaches, authors, podcasts, et cetera. What are some of the common mistakes that you see people making as it relates to their digital marketing and their ability to bring that connection into the digital world?
Phil: Sure. Well, one of the biggest ones is they think they can set it and forget it. Like they set up a social presence, they set up an outpost, they set up a blog, and then, “Well, it’s been nine months and I haven’t said anything. Nobody’s calling me, what’s going on? This doesn’t work!”
Taylorr: “It’s not working!”
Phil: No kidding, right? So that’s the first one, right? They – they do nothing except for set it up or worse than that – and I mean this. Worse than that, they over automate. Everything goes out all the time. They just set it up. They never respond. They follow no people. And then they wonder why this, again, doesn’t work. Now, when you get to a certain level, when you are the President, you don’t follow anybody, okay? But the rest of us mere mortals need to be available and at least have the illusion of connection, the illusion that we’re actually listening to somebody else.
And I’ll tell you that ratio of, “Oh, I’ve got 15,000 followers and I only follow 363.” I got to tell you the meeting professionals, the folks in the audiences that I talk to are like, “Really?” Like, “Nobody gives you advice? You don’t follow anybody?” And people say, “Well, you know what? You can use a Twitter list or you can set this up” – come on. Listen. If you don’t look like you’re listening, you’re not listening. If you don’t look like you’re participating in the conversation, you’re not participating in the conversation, right? So you have to do that, right? You have to participate. And then I would say the third big mistake is that illusion of intimacy that so many folks have like, “Hey, I found you online. So I can smack in the face with a pitch, like right away.” That “pitch slap,” as my friend, Ron Tite calls it, stop it.
Like don’t pitch slap. Take some time to build a relationship. Now, that being said, okay –I want to be really clear here – If somebody has an event next week and you want to speak at it, absolutely be direct. Say, “Hey, Austin, I know that you’ve got an event next week. I just want to know, do you have any room for any other speakers? And if not, you know, I could fill in at a moment’s notice. ‘Cause I live in Orlando, Florida, and I know your conference in Orlando next week. So, if somebody doesn’t show up on your guy, here’s my number. Give me a call.” Right? That’s cool. I’m still being of value. I’m still being of service. But the other one – here we go. “So, Taylorr, I was wondering if you hire professional speakers…” No, don’t – like, come on, man. Like, you can’t do that on social.
You might be able to get away – might be able to get away with that on the phone, but you sure as heck cannot get away with that on social because you should be doing enough research and looking at that person and saying, “I see your event is the 15th of July at 3:00 PM. And I don’t see yet that you have a keynote speaker slot filled there. And I was wondering if you were interested in a tech and sales speaker that might be able to come in at a moment’s notice. Would you like to learn more?” I want to invite the conversation. I want to draw you close, not “Blah, here’s my one sheet. Blah, here’s my speaker reel. Blah, here’s my website.” Stop that stuff. That’s not helping you. So those are the three big mistakes that I see.
Taylorr: Man, I’m so glad we kicked off the episode with this information just right out of the gates. Like, all right, so there’s a couple of things I want to highlight here, Phil, that you did a tremendous job talking about. It’s like the whole social media complex, right? Like social media literally breaks down into two things: social and media. Now, you have media, and most people will just automate that, but they’re not being social. They’re forgetting literally every aspect of it. And then to your other point about building relationships – and I think this even transcends outside of social media – like emails, for example. You’re prospecting, you’re reaching out to a decision maker. Maybe you didn’t find them on social, but you just hit them right away with the pitch without even considering what their life is like or what’s going on in their world or trying to be of service or of value.
And there’s like, “Here’s my demo reel and here’s my one sheet and here’s my website and here’s my speaker kit and here’s my…” Holy crap. Like how do we – how does someone, you know, feel like – you gave a couple examples. But, like, how does somebody actually build a relationship? Let’s say, let’s go, let’s go with a concrete example. So we have an event, let’s say, three or four months out. Doing some prospecting, you find a potential decision maker. How do we actually build the relationship? Because I know some people, too, who are so afraid of being direct that they’ll just say, “Oh, hey, let’s just do a networking call!” And then they ended up networking, never actually getting to the point because they can’t actually drive it home. How do we strike that balance of building the relationship yet still being direct enough to get the outcome that we’re… We’re looking for and acknowledging that outcome.
Phil: So it’s hard. First thing let’s acknowledge this. It’s hard to do. I’ll give you my best tips that worked for me, and I’ll tell you that it is – some of this is because of my personality. Other folks, you adapt this for your personality. For me, I’m very, self-deprecating. When I’m thinking about a relationship, I’m thinking about how I can be of service and I’m not leading with my ask, right? I don’t want to be an “ask-hole” right out of the gate. I want to be someone who’s helpful out of the gate. So I see you have an event let’s remark on that. “Hey, congratulations, Austin. I see you got this great event in Orlando in September. That’s great! Do you need any help filling slots for speakers?” Now, chances are, this is an Austin’s only job. Let’s be really clear. Austin’s running his company, he’s selling, he might be doing some tech.
He might have his regular job, you know, spend a lot of time heads down, doing email, stuff like that? Can I help you with a job that probably, frankly, is really challenging, but yet you’re getting lots of missiles fired at you, but the offer for helping is great. The other thing that you can do – and this is actually the easiest thing to do – is to see who you know in common and ask for an introduction. Now not your joker/broker/speaker buddies, unless they’ve spoken for them, but I’m talking about other people that you actually know that can say, “You know, Taylorr is actually a really nice guy, and he can help you out. I know, Austin, that you’re having a hard time with this, and you know, if you talk to Phil, he could probably help you in a lot of ways. And he’s not going to be pushy.
He’s just going to try to help you.” “Oh, okay.” So we get on a call, and I’ve got my kind of my pre-call. I’ve prepped, right? I’ve always got pen and paper. I’ve got a remarkable tablet, right? I’m, I’m prepping for this call, and my outcome – my ask at the end – is “Can we have another call?” That’s what I want. Because that first call, I just want to add so much value that you’re like, “Oh my God, I can’t wait to talk to this guy again.” That’s the goal, right? You want them to say, “Oh my gosh, that was so valuable. I can’t wait to talk to you again. You added all the value you can, gave everything away, answered every question, come up with everything that you have.” I just got off a call with someone that I’m going to be speaking with later this year, who I gave them so much value they asked me to speak at their event. They made the ask.
Now let’s say they don’t, right? The next call is, “Hey, you know what? The last call, I just want to follow up that everything worked. Did you need more help?” Pause, listen, help more. And then, “And by the way, in July, I see you have this event. Is there any room for any tech sales speakers that you might have? Do you have a slot for that? If not, do you have other events that maybe I might be a fit for?” Just to make the ask, make the ask after delivering value. So value over volume all day long. That’s really the key, and that’s the formula that I always use now. Now does it always work? No. Of course not, nothing does. They don’t always have a slot for me. I don’t always fit, right?
Sometimes, you know, they’ve got nine other white dudes on the, on the stage and I want them to have some diversity. I don’t want to be White Guy Number 10 at a, you know, around a “manel,” right, of nothing but dudes. I want them to have some diversity, but if there’s a fit, I want to be considered. And you have to ask because people don’t know – I don’t… They… They get trapped in their own world. They’re so busy doing their own stuff. Their wheels are turning, “Oh my gosh, my coffee’s cold. My kid’s running around. My dog is about crapped his pants. What do I do here? Oh, and I’ve got an event in September. I totally didn’t even think about that.” Right? So, – and the help that you provide, to be clear, does not have to be about the event. It can be whatever they need.
Taylorr: That’s right.
Phil: You can make a recommendation. “Hey, here’s a great book for you, that might help you.” “Oh, by the way, – Hey, you know what I saw, I’ve listened to this podcast. It was super helpful. Here you go.” Stuff like that, right? And sometimes, hey, you can be a little self promotional. “Hey, you know, I was interviewed and I had a conversation about this, and I think about minute 9:15 would be really helpful for you and you might want to give it a listen.” That’s helping, right? Value before volume. Value over volume, all day long. That works.
Taylorr: Value over volume. That’s such an easy thing to remember, too. I love that. And you know, like more than anything, there’s two major things I like about what you just said. First of all, and this one isn’t super measurable or predictable, but I think that in a lot of ways, this approach to providing value as the first thing – it plays into the human’s innate capacity to be reciprocal. Like I think generally, if you do good work, then people want to pay that forward somehow because it’s a positive exchange for everybody, and so you’re teeing yourself up to get good karma or whatever you want to call it, right? Where good things come back to you when you do good things. I think that just happens. But, on a more measurable side, like I think that so many people get stuck on sales because they’re so concerned about the, the outcome.
Austin: And they put a lot of pressure on themselves to say the perfect right thing that’s going to lead to them saying a “yes” or whatever it may be. But what you just mentioned isn’t you driving somebody towards saying “yes” or coercing them or persuading them or anything. All you’re seeking is what we call a “micro-commitment,” just the the lowest barrier of entry, next step that continues the relationship in a positive way and that will eventually lead to the ability to make “the ask” in a way that’s comfortable for everybody. And I think that, for people that are scared by sales, that can – that release of pressure to get something by the end of the conversation probably will enable a lot more people to be willing to try it. So, anyways, I think both of those things are, are important notes to take away if you like what Phil just said.
Phil: Yeah. Can I add one little piece to that, guys? And that is, if you – if sales makes you queasy, I want you to replace the word “sales” with “service.” Sales with service. It is a privilege to serve you. It is a privilege to be able to work with you. It is a privilege to make a sale. If I am of service, then I’ve given you value. It’s only fair that I asked for some back. It’s only fair because you have to have boundaries, right? I mean, we all have that family member that does nothing but leech money off of us. We do, right? I mean, we can think about them and that person in our head and they never pay us back, and we resent them. Sometimes, when we are of service and we don’t give people the opportunity to serve us back, they feel indebted, and then they won’t even pick up the phone because they’re like, “Oh my gosh, it’s been a month, two months, three months, six months, nine months, a year. Oh my gosh. I owe Taylorr so much that picking up the phone – Oh my gosh, I’m never going to be able to pay him back so I should just ghost him.” Here’s the thing: You have to make it safe for people to serve you back. Giving back to you is a gift from them to you, and you giving to them is a gift from you to them. So think about service. If you can always be of service, you will make more sales. You are serving a purpose. We were joking before, right? We’re barely an entertainer as a speaker, really. We are – we’re barely entertainment. We’re a slot on their schedule after dinner, before dinner, before breakfast, after breakfast started the conference end of the conference, filling us a sales kickoff meeting, a monthly sales meeting.
I mean, you know that they’re endless, right? Endless purposes, but we’re barely entertainment. Well, what if we amp that up, and our goal was to be of service instead of worrying about everything else? And sometimes the service is straight-up entertainment. Sometimes it’s to make people laugh. That’s of service, but think about that. What do you offer of service that people need and then asking, “Hey, would you value this? Would a technology sales speaker be a value to your organization?” And then let it go because what they’re saying is “It’s not a fit. It’s not, you it’s me.” Well, why aren’t you butt-hurt about that? Just make the ask and let it go. You don’t – you couldn’t possibly speak at every event this year. You can’t. 365 days – I don’t care if you’re working from home. You do three a day, you’re going to have no voice. No. Stop. How many of you really need, right? I think that’s the other thing, right? How many do you really need? Do you need a thousand speaking engagements a year? If you’re charging a hundred bucks, maybe you do. But, if you’re charging more than that, you got to be honest with yourself. What do you really need? And then make some asks to get there and understand, hey, if you convert one out of 10, that’s pretty darn good. That’s pretty darn good.
Taylorr: Yeah. Phil, I’m curious about, about this question for you, because obviously we work with – both of us – we’re in the world of speakers, coaches, trainers, and so on. And, like, let’s first acknowledge the fact that we’re all business owners, right? So each person that we work with, they own their own businesses, and one of the main goals of a business owner – and correct me if I’m wrong guys here – is sustaining that business, driving revenue to it, right? But – so why do you think so much time is spent in our industry, the people that we work with, on non-revenue-generating activities? Like, even when people switch that mindset from sales to service, they still don’t want to do outbound and start reaching out to people, and they still would just rather automate everything on social media and wait for their lead magnet to drip out 10 emails to somebody to fall through the cracks later on. Like, why isn’t there more revenue-generating activity happening, even for people who understand, “Well, I can provide service.” Like, what’s the hesitancy there?
Phil: Well, I think rejection is a big thing, right? People don’t like to be rejected. I’ll tell you – I don’t like rejection. I don’t know – Austin? You like to be rejected?
Austin: Uhh… not really.
Phil: Not really? How about you, Taylorr?
Taylorr: I prefer to be accepted than rejected for sure.
Phil: Of course! And, and that’s a natural thing, right? But that’s, that’s a hesitancy, and the reminder to that, to get past that – and we have to practice this. This isn’t, this isn’t innate ’cause, you know. ‘Cause I don’t, I don’t love this either. And that is understanding that they’re not rejecting me. They’re not even rejecting my program. They’re rejecting the idea that I can fit into their thing, and that’s about them. So if we, if we let that go and we let go of that outcome and we think about a positive outcome – positive outcome is “I had a really good conversation with them, and I learned ‘Why not me?’ And then I put that in my CRM, and I know then that if that ever changes or if they change, right? If I can tell you –”
Meeting professionals, they don’t – the people that run the meetings – and sometimes they’re not meeting professionals, right? Sometimes they’re just people that have to hire a speaker, right? HR, sales managers – they don’t hire speakers for a living, so those jobs change. 17 months is about the average timeframe. So get over the rejection callback, right? Put it in there, see, right? Pay attention on LinkedIn. If – “Hey, Taylorr, if we can’t do business, maybe we can connect on LinkedIn and we can see how it can help each other.” And then I get the alert on LinkedIn sales navigator that says, “Bing! Taylorr is no longer working at SpeakerFlow and is now here at New Company, and now Austin got promoted.” Ooh, I haven’t talked to Austin yet. I’m gonna try to talk to Austin to see if maybe my program aligns with his needs. Again, not rejecting me, right? So rejection – first one. Second one, second reason that people don’t make more outbound is they think they’re interrupting.
Phil: They are. You are. [cross-talk 24:10]
Taylorr: They are. Yeah, you’re a professional interrupter.
Phil: You are. That’s okay, right? The thing is they still need to do that, but, but the – filling the “barely an entertainer slot” at their event is probably right after making sure that you have creamer for the coffee for the morning. Like somewhere in there, right? It’s seldom. Now, sometimes, but seldom do they build the whole program around the barely entertainer, and that’s when it’s really an entertainer. Like if Beyonce is coming in and we’re going to run an event around “All The Single Ladies” – Okay. That’s totally cool, right? But she’s the center. Phil Gerbyshak doesn’t have a song like that, and, honestly, when I dance like that, people leave the stage, right? [cross-talk 24:56]
Taylorr: Is that from experience, Phil?
Phil: Yes, it is. Yeah, one time at band camp… Oh wait, we can’t talk about that. So that’ll be the “Phil After Dark” program that will come after the show today, right? So, you know, but uh, yeah… So seldom does that happen. So we are an interruption, but we’re also helpful, so how we overcome that is we’re respectful. “Hey Taylorr, I’m calling, and if you have 30 seconds, why I can tell you why I’m calling you? I saw that you have an event on Tuesday, June 37th, and I thought maybe I could help you fill the program. And I don’t see that you have anything yet.” But this is where you have to do the, you have to do the research. This is not magic, right? This is – that’s the big miss here. You can’t just pick up the phone, right? This is, you know, to use art subjects terms, it’s “smart calling” not “cold calling.” You have to know something. Otherwise you’re not of value. Otherwise you are just an annoying interruption. So be of value. So that’s the –
And then the last one is, frankly, I think they’re lazy. I’m going to call people on this. I think you’re lazy, right? You think that an automation drip campaign that you built out, that you paid somebody really smart and really cool to build, and then you paid a copywriter to write it and then you put it on your website – And you’re hoping, hoping, magically that some meeting professional jumps in your funnel and gets through the bottom of it when you finally make an ask of, “By the way, perhaps you could hire me to speak.” No. Stop. No meeting professional is going to wade through your list of 10 things and then suddenly, magically say, “Oh yeah, I’ve got to hire Phil Gerbyshak.”
Now, that’s not to say that that’s a bad thing. It’s not to say that sometimes they might not even buy your program, but that’s not why they’re choosing you to speak. They’re choosing you to speak because they saw your video, they read a little bit of content, they heard you on a podcast, they heard about you from one of their friends. The number one way that meeting professionals and people who hire speakers find other speakers is referrals. Referrals. If I see that Austin is connected to Taylorr, my first call should not be to Austin. It should be to Taylorr. “Taylorr, how well do you know Austin? Would you be able to make an introduction? Can we get on a three-way call? What can you say?” And Taylorr could say, “I don’t know Austin” or he could say, “Oh yeah, I love Austin. He’s great. You should really talk to him. Let’s get on a call.”
You’ve now bypassed all the crap, and now all you have to do is prove that you’re worthy. That’s it! Now you’ve got to prove you’re worthy, and how do you do that? Well, now you’ve got a demo reel. Now you’ve got a website. Now you’ve got a book. Now maybe you have this 10-step cool funnel that you can show them examples of – not sign them up for but show them examples of – so they’re like, “Oh wow, man, you’ve got aftercare. You’ve got this aftercare program so they can continue to go deeper. Oh, wow. And you have a, a product that can solve more problems. Oh, wow.” Right? So maybe, maybe speakers are just a little lazy, or maybe they’re a lot lazy. Let’s be honest.
Austin: Yeah. Well, that’s true, and I mean, I get it like – honestly, right? The human condition is such that you try to take the path of least resistance, generally speaking. And I think a lot of people get into this business without thinking about the fact that it’s a business. This is not a hobby. That’s just magically going to create outcomes for you. Like, you have to do the work, and, like, it’s, it’s natural for that to be the case. There’s no business that just overnight, all of a sudden is successful. Like, right? If it was, everybody would be doing it. That’s the bottom line. Like, if being an entrepreneur and running a business and making money and providing huge amounts of value and managing all of it – if it was easy, there’d be a lot more entrepreneurs than there are. And if you’re going to get into this space, you have to acknowledge reality. Otherwise, you’re going to be severely disappointed when it comes time to do the work. So I don’t think that people are lazy because they choose to be lazy a lot of the time. I think people just don’t acknowledge reality. I don’t know if you agree with that or not, Phil.
Phil: No, I think, I think – you know – that’s, that’s mostly true. I think people, uh, you know, the… The hope strategy is a big strategy for a lot of friends.
Taylorr: Spray and pray?
Phil: They hope they’ll get seen by Oprah. They hope that their tweet will get picked up by the New York Times. They hope that their video will go viral. It’s not going to happen, gang. It’s just not. I’m just – I’m just telling you. Unless you created the Evolution of Dance 20 years ago and you’re Judson Laipply… 20 years ago… It is really hard to stand out with a video of you performing by yourself. It’s really, really hard. Now, sometimes it does, right? Sometimes it catches fire. You’re really funny. It hits the spot that’s really hot, you know. Scott Stratton’s gotten gigs that way ’cause his videos are, you know, spot on, and the stuff he says is really, really crazy good, but that’s not most of us.
Taylorr: Well, and he’s been publishing content for how long? It’s a numbers game, just like outreach, right? Like you get better with it with time. You don’t just make a tweet, and when you don’t have any followers and you don’t regularly engage with people and all of a sudden it goes viral, you know? It’s, it’s the iceberg effect. You only see this much, this tiny amount of the entire piece of the puzzle, and I think people just tend to tend to miss out on that. And you know, one of the things I want to pick your brain about here on the topic of sales and technology is like, does sales need to be this extremely complex, like, step-by-step process with the perfect messaging and perfect templates and automated things? Like, how simple can sales really, really be?
Phil: Well, I’m a sales guy, so it’s gotta be complicated, Taylorr.
Taylorr: Of course.
Phil: And if it’s not hard getting [cross-talk 30:52]. Just kidding. Of course not! It isn’t hard, right? It can be super simple. I will tell you simple is not easy. I have to give that disclaimer, but yes, super simple. Here we go. Ready for this process. First, find the person you want to talk to and find their contact info. Second, think about what do you want to say to them? What I want to talk about? What’s a logical next step that I might ask for at the end of the call? What’s value I can add to them, right? And then three, pick up the phone. Send the email. Connect on LinkedIn, whatever. But I would encourage you – I said, “pick up the phone” first because it’s the hardest one and it gets you the best results. Yes, they might not answer.
Then, it’s real easy. Then, you combo it. I think it’s [inaudible] can’t remember his last name. Right? Rural Combo Prospecting. Here’s the one, two punch. I call and the voicemail says something like this: “Hey, Austin, I know you’re super busy so you don’t have to call me back, but I want you to know I just sent you an email with some information.” The email subject line is real simple: “I left you a voicemail. Here’s the information I promised.” And then send them the information. Really simple, and invite the ask. Would you like to learn more now? Often the answer is “no,” in which case you have to be more persistent or the answer really – I lied. It’s not, “no.” It’s usually crickets. Nothing. So 15 tries. Be ready to make 15 attempts.15. Boom. 15 attempts. Now, that does not mean you send the same crappy message 15 times.
It means phone call followed up with an email, LinkedIn connection, Twitter, Instagram, another email. Maybe you send some lumpy mail. Another phone call. I send a video. I send a text message. Oh, I mention them in one of my posts. I asked for their feedback. I call them again. I send them another message. I bump it up. Here we go. I got 15 tries there, but not the same crappy message. It’s gotta (A) raise awareness that yes, you’re a person of help, and (B) it’s gotta be worth opening so you gotta have a good subject line. I mean that first one, that first one, if they don’t open that, now you’ve got to get creative. But here’s the great news: If you have a great message, the only thing that you need to tweak then is probably the subject line. You don’t have to rewrite the whole message.
Just tweak the subject line. That’s cool, right? You spent all day crafting this perfect message. Then, just tweak the subject line. Make it shorter. Make it longer. Look at what it looks like on mobile. Think, “Boy, did I send this on a holiday? What?” Right? But 15 tries – that’s the followup sequence. And then here we go. Make an offer. Get them on the phone. “Hey, does it make sense for me to send you a contract to speak at your September event?” Or “Are you interested in learning more because we ran out of time. Either way is fine.
Taylorr: So actionable. It’s the exact same thing we teach. It’s, it’s so close. It’s honestly, uh, humorous. It’s 15 touches. The 15th is “Decide what you want to do with the lead,” basically. But it’s this concept that, like, the average number of touch points – and for those of you that don’t know this – before somebody gets to the next step – not before they buy from you – before somebody gets to the next step in the process, like booking a meeting, right? Like I think that’s kind of the goal, right? Get them on the phone and or book a meeting or whatever after you’re doing some prospecting. Takes seven to 12 touch points, on average, before someone’s going to do that. So if you get to 14, 15 touch points, like, at the end of that, you can confidently move that lead somewhere else and prioritize something differently.
And one of the things that you outlined here, Phil, that I just – I have to make sure everyone listening understands and I tie this back to the very beginning where you mentioned “setting it and forgetting it” – So many of us, what ends up happening is you end up writing some email templates. You put in some subject lines. You’ve got like seven or eight because you’re really excited about this 15 touch process, so you get it going and you just never change anything. You never look at the data. You don’t look at the open rates. You don’t look at the click rates. Don’t look at the reply rates. You don’t iterate on the subject line, like you said. You, you, you “spray and pray” your way through your prospecting, and you’re not intentional before you reach out about what matters to that person so you can actually focus on the relationship and sales doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.
Just focus on the relationship, add value, stay top of mind, and understand that it takes seven to 12 touch points – at a minimum – before somebody moves on to the next step, and you’re gonna do just fine out there. So, Phil, thank you so much for rounding that out at the end. I really appreciate it. The value here is just so jam-packed. I want everyone to go and listen to this episode twice, take notes, and go do something with this episode. Stop listening to the show, and go start selling because that’s exactly what you need to do in order to generate revenue in your business. So, Phil, as we always like to round out these episodes, what are you working on right now that our listeners can benefit from? How can they get more of Phil?
Phil: Sure. Well, you know, I’ve got a LinkedIn Sales Navigator Jumpstart course that’ll be launching real soon. By the time you listen to this episode, it’ll be out. Make sure we put links in the show notes for you because you need to get started, right? Sales Navigator is LinkedIn times 10. It’s LinkedIn times 10, and you combine that with the… With the, you know, Speaker[Flow] Intel Engine, with a great CRM – Now you’ve got something, right? Because part of that touch is LinkedIn, and LinkedIn, of course, is a walled garden. They don’t want you just putting people in there. And I would tell you until you qualify them as a lead of somebody who has a need, you should be looking at LinkedIn, right? You should be spending a lot of time there because that’s a professional networking site so the… The LinkedIn Sales Navigator Jumpstart’ll be out soon.
Of course, if you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, that’s really simple. You can spell “Gerbyshak” and find me. It’s G E R B Y S H A K. Real simple. There’s two Gerbyshaks, maybe three, three or four now. But – so my brother, Paul? That’s really close, but he’s got like 12 connections. That’s not me. Brock is my cousin. He’s an engineer. That’s not me. I’m Phil Gerbyshak. Really simple. You find me, and then, you know, as you’re listening to podcasts, as you’re thinking about, “Oh, I need some sales tips,” well just again – search for Phil Gerbyshak. You’ll find my podcast, Conversations With Phil Gerbyshak, but you’ll also find the shows like this wonderful one that I’ve been on where I’ve shared some sales insights.
Taylorr: Awesome. We’ll make sure all of those links are in the show notes. So be sure to explore, go connect with Phil, explore all the content and, hey, if you liked this one, don’t forget to rate it, like it, subscribe to it. 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 your podcast, and it’s actually what we run here at SpeakerFlow for Technically Speaking. It makes planning podcasts simple. 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.