084 Steve Buzogany on Client Appreciation

Steve Buzogany

Steve actually started his career in sales– as a real estate agent. One of his mentors told him he was working too hard and being too transactional instead of focusing on the relationship, limiting his referrals. But as an introvert, Steve felt awkward calling people up to cultivate referrals.

To get around this, Steve started sending gifts to people to give him a reason to call someone. This led to organic conversations about real estate, without the ickiness. (It was also much more fun.)

Using this gifting strategy, Steve got his business to 73% referrals, and made good money while taking a month off. He didn’t have to chase cold leads, and he won business in about half the time it took the average agent. Other realtors asked him how he did it, but complained they did have time to give thoughtful gifts. Steve had the insight that he could provide gifts as a service for other people.

Steve’s first gifts were “cheap”– like little bottles of vodka around the holidays. Not always appropriate, and even if it was, it was gone quickly.

Over time, he developed a more intentional gifting strategy, that you can implement by following his 6 Rules of Gifting:

  1. Focus on the client, not you. This is a gift, not a promotion.
  2. The gift must be high quality.
  3. You must personalize the gift.
  4. It must provide deep emotional impact (painting of client’s dog?)
  5. It must have staying power and not be a one-time use item.
  6. It must increase your connection (come with a handwritten note, video, etc)

Here examples of bad gifts:

  1. Thank you email. This is just a transactional item.
  2. Consumables like food and wine, flowers, or events, which are one-time events. (This means don’t give a bottle of wine, or don’t just give a bottle of wine– give a personalized corkscrew or some fancy wine glasses.)
  3. Swag bags
  4. Promotional items
  5. Gift cards (lazy)

Here are some other tips:

  • “Attack the kitchen.” Things like ice cream scoopers, pizza cutters, etc get used repeatedly.
  • Take time to get to know your best clients and partners. Trying to figure out a great gift is a good perspective for asking good questions and getting more connected.
  • Focus on the top 20% of your clients and partners who provide 80% of the referrals.
  • Plan to spend 5-10% of the revenue these clients generate on the gift. Gift 1, 2, or 4 times per year.
  • Have fun doing radically nice things for your best clients and partners.

And if you’d like to watch the episode, here’s the video:


The Wine (& Beer)

Reuben enjoys Para Maria Syrah/Petit Verdot blend from Santa Barbara county. (The second half of the bottle from the Wayne Mullins episode.)

Steve has a UFO American Style White Ale.


Where to find Steve

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 also tracks referrals and how much business you get from them and makes it easy to follow up and have conversations, just like Steve suggests.)


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083 Wayne Mullins on Full Circle Marketing

Wayne is the founder of Ugly Mug Marketing and author of Full Circle Marketing: Transform Your Marketing & Turn Customers Into Evangelists.

Wayne’s parents got him some Zig Ziglar CDs (he still needs to ask his parents why they got him this gift) and wanted to get into sales, but wasn’t very good at it. But he realized that sales provided instant feedback, if you could separate the emotional response. He got better at sales by focusing on the prospect’s perspective, rather than his own.

As he got better at sales, he decided to start his own firm, in the only other skill he had: lawn care.

His lawn care clients started to ask him for marketing help because they were impressed with his growth. When he sold the lawn care business, this turned into Ugly Mug Marketing.

The Ugly Mug name comes from David Oglivy, who said, “I would rather you show me an ad that’s ugly and effective over one that’s beautiful but isn’t.” Wayne wanted the ultimate goal to be client results, not beautiful ads or creativity awards.

His first clients were clients of his landscaping company, who wanted to know how we was growing so fast.

Here are some of his tips:

  • He started by creating a Top 100 prospect list by driving around town.
  • Then he brought dozens of boxes of donuts to those businesses about once per month. When the manager would complain about the lawn, the staff would refer Wayne’s company. (He had a big sticker with his business info on the top of the boxes.)
  • He picked up the phone and called. Don’t hide behind your inbox. The best way to connect with humans is face-to-face, then video, then phone.
  • Don’t think of marketing and advertising as the same thing. Advertising is a part of marketing. So is the way your lawn looks, the way you answer the phone, etc.
  • What are you doing to create raving fans for your business? Buying donuts and birthday gifts created evangelists. Taking care of your customers and ignoring the fads is much more cost-effective than trying to get new customers.
  • Your customers carry a contact database and social media access in their pockets. What are you doing to encourage them to use that on your behalf?
  • Create great experiences for your customers. (Wayne does this for clients based on not only their direct spending with his firm, but their referrals and referral potential.) The idea is to make people feel special.
  • Educate your customers to help them succeed in adjacent spaces. (One client would send a single email follow-up to leads that included phone numbers.)
  • Focus on the problem, not just the demographics of “who”? If we focus too much on “who” instead of the problem, we sometimes target the wrong people. What problem does your offering solve?
  • Magic Journal Exercise… you should know your ideal customer so well that you can write the journal entries for them.
  • Full Circle Marketing: move strangers to friends to clients to evangelists.
  • Opportunities in print and direct mail, if you can personalize it.
  • Eugene Schwartz: “enter the conversation that is already taking place in the mind of the prospect.” Look for places to tie your messaging to what they are already doing. (Breakthrough Advertising: https://breakthroughadvertisingbook.com/)
  • How do we turn customers into evangelists? What does a reasonable person have the right to expect. Expectation Litmus Test. On the left, right down all the steps someone goes through doing business with you. What should a reasonable person expect during each step. What does it look like if we don’t meet expectations? Now you can test if you’re actually meeting expectations.
  • Bain surveyed 4,000 small businesses and 92% of the owners said they provided the highest level of services. Then Bain surveyed the customers. Only 8% of the customers agreed with that assessment.
  • You have to hit those expectations, at a minimum, to turn customers into evangelists.
  • Call those evangelists and ask them if they know other people who are dealing with the same problem you helped them fix.

The Wine

Reuben enjoys Para Maria Syrah/Petit Verdot blend from Santa Barbara county.

Wayne is sipping on his trusty water bottle.


Where to find Wayne

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 also tracks referrals and how much business you get from them and makes it easy to follow up and have conversations, just like Wayne suggests.)


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

082 Jay Kingley on Referrability

Jay Kingley on Sales for Nerds to talk about referrals

Jay was a chemical engineer who went into management consulting, because he loved solving problems. His family was in business, so he grew up with this.

He joined a firm that had spun out of Bain in London and loved the work. But as he moved up and became a partner, he had to sell, which he didn’t find interesting at all.

He looked at what the other partners did– they entertained clients. Jay didn’t want to do that.

He wanted to solve problems. So he’d read about what was going on in his clients’ industries, then he’d call the CEO and talk about what was happening.

Jay decided to start helping smaller companies. He tried the networking groups and all that. It worked but was not a good use of time.

In this episode, learned what Jay learned, including:

  • How the 98% Typical elevator pitch (I solve these problems, for these types of clients, by providing this type of service) differs from the 2% elevator pitch, which makes the client the hero. This goes back to the great Christmas movie of all time (Die Hard– this is why Jay and I get along)– you have to be able to identify with, and root for, the hero.
  • Don’t confuse marketing (1 to many) with sales (1 to 1).
  • How to get someone to really listen to your advice.

Plus the 3 stages of marketing:

  • 0: Spray and pray (“random acts of marketing”)
  • 1: Targeted outbound prospecting. Can work quickly– in about 90 days, but not efficient.
  • 2: Referrals. (Introductions are often a waste of time. Referrals are a bit better, but if you are one of 3 referrals, you’re going to waste a lot of time.
  • 3: Provocative Perspective. Offer a contrarian perspective that people can tell to their network. Then the people who find the story resonates want to talk to you. Simon Sinek is a great example of this strategy.

Why should people help share your Provocative Perspective? Because these people know they need to nurture their relationships and provide a lot of value, but they need something to say.


The Wine

Reuben enjoys Sorpasso Italian red.

Jay has a (giant glass of) California Merlot.


Where to find Jay

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 also tracks referrals and how much business you get from them.)


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

081 Michael Roderick on getting people to talk about you when you’re not in the room


Michael Roderick on Sales for Nerds

Michael went from a high school english teacher to Broadway producer in 2 years, powered by a network that he not only created and nurtured, but empowered to help him.

He read Seth Godin’s book Linchpin, and realized he was part of a system for churning out factory workers. He realized he needed to pursue his Broadway dream, and “it not now, when?”

Later, he deconstructed how he’d been able to pull off this transition, and he realized it wasn’t just that he met with a lot of people– he empowered these people to talk about him (in a good way) when he wasn’t around.

He codified his learning in a set of easy to remember (and mention) frameworks. For example…

Why do people refer you? To make themselves look good. Use the S.U.R.E. framework to assist:

  • Shortcut– make it easy to process and use
  • Utility– make it useful for the person hearing it
  • Reputation– make the referrer look good
  • Expedient– make it easy to mention

Don’t think of your offering, think of the problem your ideal prospect wants to solve, and help them solve a small piece of it, like a magician showing how he does one of his tricks.

This could be an assessment or other useful, actionable piece of information. For example, Michael often talks to experts who have valuable intellectual property that they deploy on behalf of their clients, but they don’t package it the way Simon Sinek or Brené Brown did. So he says that if you know an expert who’s far more obscure than they should be, fill out the “Jargon Grid” to get ideas for packaging your ideas.

I call this a “verbal Lead Magnet that your network can deploy on your behalf”, which Michael says is right on.

To get people talking about you, follow Michael’s 3 Principles of Referability (A.I.M.):

  • Accessibility— can people understand it outside the “Echo Chamber of the Enlightened”— anchor in something someone already knows
  • Influence— will people share it without you asking— make them look good
  • Memory— make it easy to retell the story— focus on L.E.S.S.

Expanding the L.E.S.S. framework:

  • Langage— have your own way of saying things that carve out mental space for you (“venti coffee”)
  • Emotion—illicit emotion to access memory
  • Simplicity— don’t share a 27 point checklist. Keep it simple.
  • Structure— provide order to process information– short lists, quadrants, etc.

What are you going to do to get more people talking about you (in a good way) when you’re not in the room?


The Wine

Reuben enjoys Chateau Jander from Moulis-en-Medoc, Bordeaux.

Michael has a Sales for Nerds first: Whiteclaw Ruby Grapefruit.

Books

Linchpin: Are you indispensable? by Seth Godin


Where to find Michael

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. Plus, the “Mission and Positioning” screen will help you refine your message, and give you lots of ideas for catchy phrases that will make you more referable. Meanwhile, use Lead Magnets to help turn those referrals into leads and conversations. Get a list of 25 Consulting Lead Magnet ideas here.


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

080 Franklin Taggart on creating a creative (and profitable) business

Franklin Taggart

Franklin Taggart, host of the “Your Own Best Company” and the “Daily Virtual Coffee Break” podcasts, coaches freelancers, solopreneurs, and artists on how to connect with audiences and find clients, in a way that suits their skills, personality, and lifestyle.

He was a professional guitar player, and still teaches and also helped kids with anti-gang interventions. He fell into coaching accidentally, after a friend asked him to help facilitate a coaching retreat.

In this episode, learn:

  • How Franklin fell into coaching, and why he didn’t even think of it as “coaching” (plus, why he’s still suspicious of coaches, and what’s a sign of a good coach).
  • Why you’re not a “thought leader”, and why humility is important for successful work.
  • How to ask the right questions to find the people you really enjoy working helping (and the questions Franklin asks).
  • Why “following your passion” is not good advice, and what to do instead.

The Wine

Reuben enjoys Prodigal Pinot Noir while Franklin is still working on his coffee.


Where to find Franklin

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. Plus, the “Mission and Positioning” screen will help you refine your message, and give you lots of ideas for videos.


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

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

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

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):