076 Corrie Loguidice on starting a new business

Corrie has a “very expensive piece of paper that says she can draw well.” An art degree. So instead of waiting tables, she came to join the family electronics reseller business as a graphic designer.

Instead of getting disintermediated by the internet, Corrie was able to use her graphic design skills to promote her customers, the mom and pop electronics dealers.

Corrie realized she was in an abusive marriage and got a divorce with a 5-month-old. Then she realized she was commuting 20 hours per week and paying someone to watch her son part time, just for the commute. Then, she lost her post-divorce partner to suicide.

At this point, she knew she was strong enough to keep going, but she decided to reevaluate her life.

She knew she had to leave the family business, but this was harder than all the other trials.

But Corrie got clients, a social media following, and, within a year, was on a TEDx stage. So now she teaches other people how to start their own consulting businesses.

In this episode learn:

  • That websites don’t get you leads (I disagree!), conversations get you leads (I agree!). “Conversations are what lead to revenue.”
  • How to set yourself up for financial success and handling the stress of starting your practice.
  • How to figure out who you help, what you do for them, and why they should care, including how to hone your niche, and even how to pivot from one niche to another.
  • How do this with conversations, because if you can’t do it in a conversation, how will your website do it for you? (And stop worrying about colors and brands and logos– focus on the real conversations.)
  • Why you shouldn’t discount, and what to do instead.
  • Why the gold is in the follow up.
  • How to feel confident when having conversations with prospects and partners, including sales conversations.
  • Why you don’t need to waste time and money on expensive marketing campaigns.

The Wine (& Vodka)

Corrie enjoys a cocktail of vodka, water, and watermelon juice.

Reuben enjoys a Contina di Montelcino sangiovesi. Yumm, tastes like Italy.


Where to find Corrie

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Where to find Reuben

@Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com.You can also  listen on Overcast, or Subscribe on Android, or Player.fm.

Want a way to make sales and marketing fun, without being “salesy”? Try Mimiran, the CRM for elite solo consultants who love serving clients but who hate “selling”. It tracks referrals and helps you grow and nurture your network.

(Including the more powerful than ever Free Edition.) Mimiran can help you implement a lot of Shaily’s ideas not only more efficiently, but more effectively, including telling your Origin Story, coming up with your Superhero Name so you’re unforgettable and more referrable, and much more.


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075 Julie Brown on networking the right way

“Networking” evokes thoughts of small talk and getting stabbed in the eye with business cards, at least for some of us. But it’s essential to so many relationship-based businesses. How can we grow and nurture an awesome, helpful, fun network without feeling icky?

In this episode, Julie Brown, author of This Shit Works: A No-Nonsense Guide to Networking Your Way to More Friends, More Adventures, and More Success (and host of the This Shit Works podcast), teaches you how to grow a great network while having fun and staying true to yourself, including:

  • You can build a big network– over time, not over night.
  • How Julie treats friends and colleagues
  • The “shortcut” to meeting lots of the right people.
  • How Julie’s network helped her husband launch his architecture firm, amidst the 2008 crash, how it helped Julie launch her business, and how you can apply it your business.
  • Why traditional icebreaker questions are terrible, and what to ask instead.
  • How to handle follow up.
  • Whether we should be happy and/or sad about the Celtics season (OK, that’s a bit of a tangent).

The Wine

Julie enjoys some “cougar juice” (how have I not heard this term before?), in other words, some buttery chardonnay, while I have some Nine Hats Pinot Gris from Washington (it’s over 100 in Texas, and I’m drinking white).


Where to find Julie

listen-on-apple-podcasts-sales-for-nerds

Where to find Reuben

@Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com.You can also  listen on Overcast, or Subscribe on Android, or Player.fm.

Want a way to make sales and marketing fun, without being “salesy”? Try Mimiran, the CRM for elite solo consultants who love serving clients but who hate “selling”. It tracks referrals and helps you grow and nurture your network.

(Including the more powerful than ever Free Edition.) Mimiran can help you implement a lot of Shaily’s ideas not only more efficiently, but more effectively, including telling your Origin Story, coming up with your Superhero Name so you’re unforgettable and more referrable, and much more.


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072 Rick Terrien on starting a business at any age

Rick Terrien started his first business in college, but he believes that people can (and should) start businesses at any age, particularly later in life. He started the Center for Ageless Entrepreneurs, and wrote Ageless Startup: Start a Business at Any Age.

He comes on Sales for Nerds to share his story, and tips for taking control of your destiny later in life, to work on things that are meaningful to you, including:

  • What you should be doing around 40, 45, and 50 to launch your business.
  • How to set yourself up for success.
  • How Rick looks at markets to find promising niches.
  • How he found his latest inspiration to help older entrepreneurs.
  • Why you should be thinking about a “lifestyle business” as a positive, not an insult.

(This episode, like Melisa Liberman’s, also builds on Liz Steblay’s wonderful advice on leaving the corporate world for independent consulting in episode 70.)

Books

Ageless Startup: Start a Business at Any Age

The Wine (& Beer)

Reuben is enjoying some Bergevin Lane Moonspell Cabernet Sauvignon fro Washington State.

Rick is having a Yuengling (the oldest brewery in the country– started in 1829) Black and Tan.


Where to find Rick

listen-on-apple-podcasts-sales-for-nerds

Where to find Reuben

@Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com.You can also  listen on Overcast, or Subscribe on Android, or Player.fm.

Note, speaking of stories, a good proposal is a story, not a brochure– get your “Fill in the Blank” Consulting Proposal Template.

Want a way to make sales and marketing fun, without being “salesy”? Try Mimiran, the CRM for elite solo consultants who love serving clients but who hate “selling”. (Including the more powerful than ever Free Edition.) Mimiran can help you implement a lot of Shaily’s ideas not only more efficiently, but more effectively, including telling your Origin Story, coming up with your Superhero Name so you’re unforgettable and more referrable, and much more.


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071 Melisa Liberman on going from an employee to owner mindset

Melisa Liberman loved working at a Big 4 consulting firm, but life had other plans and she ended up starting out on her own. (Listen to what happened and why “no one should have sympathy for me”.)

Even as a successful, hard-charging corporate consultant and executive, it took years for Melisa to make the mindset shift to being a business owner, with all the different hats that involves.

Fortunately, she learned a lot on the way, and found people asking her to help them transition to independent consulting, for more freedom, better work-life balance, more impact, and more money. She realized that a lot of the issues she struggled with started with mindset.

And she’s here to help you get your head in order the easy way, including:

  • The differences between consulting and coaching.
  • How to think like a strategic business owner, while you’re also an employee (of your own firm).
  • How to be proactive about client acquisition– you have much more control than you think– and avoid becoming staff augmentation for someone else’s business.
  • How to create a 3-year vision for your practice that gives you practical things to do today.
  • How to think about your own thinking, so you can get out of your own way.

(This episode builds on Liz Steblay’s wonderful advice on leaving the corporate world for independent consulting in episode 70.)


The Wine

Reuben is enjoying some Chateau Graves de Pez Bordeaux from St. Estephe (aren’t we snooty?), while Melisa enjoys some “house red” pinot noir.


Where to find Melisa

listen-on-apple-podcasts-sales-for-nerds

Where to find Reuben

@Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com.You can also  listen on Overcast, or Subscribe on Android, or Player.fm.

Note, speaking of stories, a good proposal is a story, not a brochure– get your “Fill in the Blank” Consulting Proposal Template.

Want a way to make sales and marketing fun, without being “salesy”? Try Mimiran, the CRM for elite solo consultants who love serving clients but who hate “selling”. (Including the more powerful than ever Free Edition.) Mimiran can help you implement a lot of Shaily’s ideas not only more efficiently, but more effectively, including telling your Origin Story, coming up with your Superhero Name so you’re unforgettable and more referrable, and much more.


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070 Liz Steblay on starting your independent consulting business

Liz Steblay ProkoConsulting PICA Network Sales for Nerds

Liz Steblay had it all– maybe a little too much. A successful career at a Big 4 firm and young daughter. When her boss noted that missing evening meetings to care for her child was “not sustainable” for her career, she agreed, and started off on her own.

In this episode learn:


  • How to manage money and finances (don’t make the mistake that I made, and that I see people repeating all the time)
  • How to get clients and build awareness.
  • How to keep your sanity.

This episode is aimed at people contemplating leaving their corporate careers to strike out on their own, or folks who have just made the leap, but even if you’ve been an independent consultant for years, you’ll find some helpful wisdom here.


The Wine

Reuben is enjoying some Acha Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley in California.

Books:

Irrestible Consultants Guide to Winning Clients

As mentioned by Liz, and seconded by Reuben, the Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients, by David A. Fields (check out his Sales for Nerds episode).


Where to find Liz

listen-on-apple-podcasts-sales-for-nerds

Where to find Reuben

@Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com.You can also  listen on Overcast, or Subscribe on Android, or Player.fm.

Note, speaking of stories, a good proposal is a story, not a brochure– get your “Fill in the Blank” Consulting Proposal Template.

Want a way to make sales and marketing fun, without being “salesy”? Try Mimiran, the CRM for elite solo consultants who love serving clients but who hate “selling”. (Including the more powerful than ever Free Edition.) Mimiran can help you implement a lot of Shaily’s ideas not only more efficiently, but more effectively, including telling your Origin Story, coming up with your Superhero Name so you’re unforgettable and more referrable, and much more.


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069 Will Russell on getting clients as an introvert

How do you get clients as an introvert? Will Russell started a spreadsheet to track his business development activities. And their results. Most efforts failed. But one was very successful, and powers his business to this day.

In this episode learn:


  • Why will didn’t want to follow in the footsteps of his happy father.
  • The accidental reason he decided to major in philosophy and sociology.
  • The accidental reason he started out on his own.
  • His various attempts to get clients.
  • What actually worked.
  • Why he still hates networking.
  • Why he doesn’t want to grow his headcount, and how he’s growing his bottom line instead.
  • Why having a niche is so important to his strategy. (Will helps companies with product launches, btw.)

p.s. Apologies for some audio degradation– we didn’t have a good connection, and I should have just turned off video to focus on audio. I hate bad audio, but didn’t want to ask Will to re-record, and I think what he has to say is valuable enough to make it worthwhile.


The Wine

Will is drinking some green tea. (He is British, after all.)

Reuben is some Chateau-Neuf de Pape from Domaine de Fontavin.

Books:

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain is a great read, whether you’re introverted, or have introverts in your life.

Will bought it for his extroverted dad.


Where to find Will

listen-on-apple-podcasts-sales-for-nerds

Where to find Reuben

@Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com.You can also  listen on Overcast, or Subscribe on Android, or Player.fm.

Note, speaking of stories, a good proposal is a story, not a brochure– get your “Fill in the Blank” Consulting Proposal Template.

Want a way to make sales and marketing fun, without being “salesy”? Try Mimiran, the CRM for elite solo consultants who love serving clients but who hate “selling”. (Including the more powerful than ever Free Edition.) Mimiran can help you implement a lot of Shaily’s ideas not only more efficiently, but more effectively, including telling your Origin Story, coming up with your Superhero Name so you’re unforgettable and more referrable, and much more.


Get alerted when there are new episodes (1x/month):

068 Strategic Planning for Business and Life

2021 is almost done. Have you done your planning for 2022? Started it?

The irony is that I had planned (thank you, I’ll be here all week) to make this a panel discussion, and I just didn’t have time to do that. So I just present some tips on how to plan (and how not to).

You can find lots of templates over the inter webs — pick whatever works for you.

This is not a step-by-step guide to planning. I’ve found that what works for one person may not work for another, so find the right guide for you.

This is a set of ideas on planning so that you get better results out of whatever particular process you want to use.

In particular:

  • Make sure you consider your life holistically– not just your work, but your relationships, and spiritual, mental, and physical health
  • Review 2021. How did it go?
  • Don’t drift.
  • Make sure you have strong positioning— it’s your secret superpower. I’ve said it before as have many guests on the podcast– this is foundation for everything else in your business. If you get stuck, try the Mission & Positioning tool in Mimiran, and ask your current and past clients (Meg Cumby has some great tips on this.)
  • What are your goals? Consider them holistically. You may have income goals, work/life balance goals, you may want to learn basket weaving, etc. Don’t just put out a financial target (unless you have no relationships and hobbies and just want to make money) without considering other aspects of your life.
  • You can’t just keep adding things to your todo list. Create a NOT todo list. Eliminate, delegate, and automate where possible. Use zero-based task budgeting.
  • One area people often lose a bunch of time is talking to the wrong people, because you don’t have clear positioning, you aren’t sure of your goals, and you haven’t blocked out time for actually achieving them.
  • Put the tasks you need to do to get to your goals in your calendar. Block off time every week. Don’t put the scheduled but non-strategic stuff in the calendar and then try to fit the strategic stuff around that. (Start with the “big rocks”.)
  • If talking to people is essential to getting clients, make sure you have time for that blocked off in your calendar. (Use the Pipeline Planner tool to see how many conversations you’re likely to need.)
  • If referrals are essential for your business, make sure you have time blocked off to nurture your referral network. (Check out Stacey Brown Randall’s episode on referrals for more info, and make sure you build out your referral report, which Stacy calls the most valuable asset in your business.)
  • Review your plan with trusted advisors, mentors, peers, etc. You will get insights that you couldn’t get on your own– you’ll learn where you can eliminate entire classes of tasks, and where you need to push harder. If you do this in a peer group where you are providing feedback also, you’ll get additional insights, and get to be helpful.
  • Block off time for the plan. You need to review, prepare, talk to your advisory group, and revise. How much time this will take depends on you, but I suggest several hours for each phase. (Note that if you don’t have your positioning, a big chunk of your plan should be working on that.)

And if you caught Barley barking at the end, here she is at the park:


And again– we’ve actually got video for this episode on YouTube or see below…


The Wine

Reuben mixed it up with some white wine– K Vintners Viognier from Yakima Valley, Washington. Nice and peachy– more of a summer wine, but still quite delicious.


listen-on-apple-podcasts-sales-for-nerds

Where to find Reuben

@Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com.You can also  listen on Overcast, or Subscribe on Android, or Player.fm.

Note, speaking of stories, a good proposal is a story, not a brochure– get your “Fill in the Blank” Consulting Proposal Template.

Want a way to make sales and marketing fun, without being “salesy”? Try Mimiran, the CRM for elite solo consultants who love serving clients but who hate “selling”. (Including the more powerful than ever Free Edition.) Mimiran can help you implement a lot of Shaily’s ideas not only more efficiently, but more effectively, including telling your Origin Story, coming up with your Superhero Name so you’re unforgettable and more referrable, and much more.


Get alerted when there are new episodes (1x/month):

065 David Newman on Marketing for Consultants

I got introduced to David Newman through Ellen Melko Moore (check out her episode on using LinkedIn effectively) and have loved his newsletter and webinars, so I asked him to join me on Sales for Nerds because he has a wonderful way of explaining marketing concepts in “plain English” that’s not only clear and compelling, but also entertaining, cutting through the haze of B.S. that fogs up most marketing advice.

But David took a long, strange path to get here, getting weeded out of pre-med, then earning a theater degree (one of my regrets is not returning to this in the interview), before getting into consulting and training.

In this episode learn:

  • How David learned to listen to people who were trying to give him money (and how that transformed his business and accounts for 98% of his revenue). This also gets back to the importance of having real-life conversations…
  • How and why he moved from corporate training to helping other consultants.
  • How we built a thriving business despite terrible timing (starting out on his own right before 9/11, publishing a book on speaking right before COVID) and struggling to find his niche at the beginning.
  • Why he (and you) needed help (“nobody does anything great alone”).
  • How to stop treating sales and marketing with disdain, while avoid the “ickiness” that comes from treating service sales like product sales.
  • How to avoid “same-o lame-o” websites and create compelling proposals.
  • How to separate yourself from the bad consultants who have burned your prospects in the past (“clients rarely get a chance to commoditize consultants– consultants are too busy doing it themselves”).
  • How to be an effective “professional irritant” (“if you don’t risk turning some people off, you can’t turn anyone on”)
  • How to market well (and be referable): make sure your prospects and partners know exactly what you do, and can repeat it. (“If you’re not repeatable, you’re not referable.”)
  • Why great copy isn’t written, it’s “listened”

And again– we’ve actually got video for this episode. See below…


Audio only…

The Wine

David enjoys some Spindrift Pink Lemonade seltzer, while Reuben enjoyed some Willful Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon.

Books and More

Do It! Marketing. Just go get David’s book. (Just do it, you might say…)


Where to find David

listen-on-apple-podcasts-sales-for-nerds

Where you can find Reuben: @Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com, the easy CRM for people who are awesome at serving clients and would love some help getting more, but hate “selling”. You can also  listen on Overcast, or Subscribe on Android, or Player.fm.

Note, speaking of “plain English” proposals, you can also get your “Fill in the Blank” Consulting Proposal Template.

Want a way to make sales and marketing fun, without being “salesy”? Try Mimiran, the CRM for elite solo consultants who love serving clients but who hate “selling”. (Including the more powerful than ever Free Edition.) Mimiran can help you implement a lot of Michelle’s ideas not only more efficiently, but more effectively, including tracking referrals, maintaining relationships through conversations, and more.


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060 Doug Brown on common sales mistakes

Doug Brown on Sales for Nerds

Doug Brown grew up steeped in business, starting at the whopping salary of $0.25 per week when he was 3, sweeping the floors of his father’s shop. He also accompanied his mom, a nurse by day and Avon sales rep by night, learning to calculate commissions when most of us were just learning basic arithmetic.

But that was just the beginning. Listen to hear how Doug:

  • Learned the value of leverage and freedom
  • Chose to join the army anyway, to pay for college, and how he made it work for him (including investing in calculators to replace slide rules to calculate artillery trajectories)
  • While getting a degree in nuclear medicine, he started selling music equipment, and realized he could make 3X the money selling amps versus making $13/hr doing nuclear medicine
  • Sold equipment to bands like Aerosmith, Boston, The Eagles, and Billy Joel’s band (along with lot of other lucrative customers), and what lessons that has for your business
  • Got into telecom sales and extended his sales philosophy from music sales
  • Had 2 kids in diapers and a skyrocketing sales career, he started his own business, and almost lost everything
  • Got introduced to Chet’s Holmes’ Ultimate Sales Machine training by Jay Conrad Levinson, and dropped $4,000 on the course. But that took his business to almost $1M in 15 months
  • Grew a 7-figure business with strong recurring revenue, but didn’t really like what he was doing
  • A client had told him he would make a good coach, so he called Chet Holmes’ president of coaching with some ideas and within 6 months was the top grossing coach in the organization.
  • Helped grow the coaching organization, then part of the Tony Robbins empire from 18% to 42% conversion and reduced the refund rate from 15% to less than 1%
  • His daughter cold called every GM in the NHL (you have to hear this story).

Here are the big mistakes Doug sees that you can avoid:

  • Ignoring outbound sales
  • Trying to scale before you have a stable system to scale
  • Treating coaching or consulting as a business– it’s only part of the business, you also need the system for getting clients repeated-ably
  • Using a bunch of sales and marketing tactics without an actual strategy
  • Not asking for specific help from people who would love to help you

And again– we’ve actually got video for this episode. See below…


The Wine

Reuben had some Rural Pinot Noir from Costco.

Doug had water.

Books and More

Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Tactics for Making Big Profits from your Small Business, by Jay Conrad Levinson

The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies, by Chet Holmes

Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition, by Jack Trout


Where to find Doug

  • BusinessSuccessFactors.com (doug@businesssuccessfactors.com)
  • 605-595-0303
  • LinkedIn
listen-on-apple-podcasts-sales-for-nerds

Where you can find Reuben: @Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com, the easy CRM for people who are awesome at serving clients and would love some help getting more, but hate “selling”, (Mimiran also makes it easy to track and grow referrals). You can also  listen on Overcast, or Subscribe on Android, or Player.fm.

Want a way to make sales and marketing fun, without being “salesy”? Try Mimiran, the CRM for elite solo consultants who love serving clients but who hate “selling”. (Including the new Free Edition that helps you nail your positioning, your Superhero Name, and your origin story.)


Get alerted when there are new episodes (1x/month):

058: Reuben Swartz on what I’ve learned this decade– I mean year

Reuben Swartz, Host and Chief Nerd

What have we learned from this year? Too much and not enough, it seems…

I share some of what I’ve learned– what I’m hopeful about and what I’m not, and my simple advice for 2021.

The Wine

It’s New Years Eve– wine will come later. Although probably not after 10PM or so…


listen-on-apple-podcasts-sales-for-nerds

Where you can find Reuben: @Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com, the easy CRM for people who are awesome at serving clients and would love some help getting more, but hate “selling”, (Mimiran also makes it easy to track and grow referrals). You can also  listen on Overcast, or Subscribe on Android, or Player.fm.

Want a way to make sales and marketing fun, without being “salesy”? Try Mimiran, the CRM for elite solo consultants who love serving clients but who hate “selling”.

Some particular features that may help with having more conversations:


Get alerted when there are new episodes (1x/month):