Do you know how to use social selling?
Building relationships with your clients is now more important than ever in a world where everything is increasingly on-demand. This is where social selling comes into play. Join Doug C. Brown and David Asarnow, the CEO of Business Nitrogen, as they discuss the how to’s of social selling, building relationships through trust, and much more.
David Asarnow is the founder and creator of Business Nitrogen. He is the highest award-winning ClickFunnels Certified Consultant with seven Two Comma Club Awards (marketing funnels that have exceeded 7-figures) plus an 8-Figure Award. David has built multiple 8-figure businesses and has generated over $250,000,000 in revenue for his companies and clients.
Visit his website: www.BusinessNitrogen.com
David and his team are giving away a free strategy session! Learn more here: www.BusinessNitrogen.com/Discovery-Session
We’re going to have a great episode coming to you with Mr. David Asarnow from a company called BusinessNitrogen.com. David and I have known each other for a very long time. We actually used to work together way back when in the entrepreneurial world. He has gone on to build and own companies. He’s got about $5 million in his business. I invited him on because David is a specialized guy in regards to taking social selling, online needs to offline and teaching how to convert as well.
Pay attention because we’re going to talk a lot about social selling and what do you do in order to build trust? How do you do this the right way especially if you are going to be selling on a high level on and just B2B? You’ve got to know how to build trust or rapport very quickly. What should you do and what shouldn’t you do? You’ll hear us talk about this as we go along. We’re also going to talk about using the power of conversation regarding stories and different things throughout. Without further ado, let’s go to the interview right now with Mr. David Asarnow from BusinessNitrogen.com.
I’m bringing you another great guest. His name is Mr. David Asarnow. We have known each other for a very long time. We’ve going to talk a lot about selling online and how to take it online to offline as well as some social selling. David, welcome to the show.
Thanks, Doug, for having me. It’s an honor.
For those of you who don’t know, David and I go way back and we’ve done a lot of work together. David has an interest in companies doing over $5 million. I remember when David started out in his marketing agency. Is that a way to call it or something different?
Yes, it is. Do you know what’s interesting? We started off and people think we are a marketing agency but what we are is a sales empowerment agency because most people think a marketing agency can help them get leads. We actually go from the beginning. How do you find attract and convert and build a lifetime relationship? All the things that we worked on and talked about.
That’s true. David and I used to spend some long nights and weekends. We used to work on a business together and these were the things that we used to talk about. How do you find, keep attract, convert, lock in clients for life and keep expanding the sales? I think we’ve both taken that in the same direction but maybe different facets of that.
I’ll also add this. The exact same thing happens if you want to build a scalable company. How do you find attract and convert potential team members and build that team that wants to be with you for life?
That’s so key because that cost of turnover is expensive in companies. That’s where I think I probably went on my facet a little different than you did and what I’ve watched you do over the years. I’ve told you this, not because we’re good friends but because it’s gratifying to see where we both came from and where you’ve grown to. Before we go there, Dave, if somebody wants to, “Let’s talk to David.” How do they get ahold of you?
It’s easy. BusinessNitrogen.com.
I remember when you name the company, I used to think because you had BusinessOxygen.net and BusinessNitrogen.com. I was like, “That was pretty cool.” I know your son was into automobiles and I was like, “Is that where the nitrogen came from?”
We were Business Oxygen as we started out. It was BusinessOxygen.net. I was in Pittsburgh doing a strategy planning session with clients and they’re like, “You need a dot-com.” I started joking. I said, “Should it be Business Healing and I’ll float your business higher?” They started laughing and like, “How about Business Nitrogen?” I’m like, “Nitrogen. Nitrous oxide. Accelerant. I liked that,” and it was available.
Here’s the funny thing. You talk about a name and a brand and how it can change or define you. What happened is, literally, we changed this to Nitrogen. I sold this at Auction.net up. I haven’t touched it in years. We were deciding what we’re going to do but as soon as we went as Business Nitrogen, we doubled our business that year and have continued our progression since then. It’s amazing what can happen with a name.
A lot of people don’t realize they named their company certain thing then they don’t like their name later on. They can change it is what I keep telling you.
The name is only a name. Here’s the funny thing. Our clients didn’t care. The ones that we had at the time, “We’re marketing under a different brand.” No one could care.
One of the growth strategies for the companies is mergers and acquisitions. A lot of times when something’s acquired or they merged, they’d change the name anyways. Sometimes it makes me chuckle a little bit because people get so hung up on, “I named this thing Pandora Industries or whatever it because of this reason,” but the market’s telling them something different.
Look at Apple. Apple changed their logo and their brand multiple times over the years. It is what it is. The here, now and your future is open.
Let’s talk about the future. One of the things I’d like to delve into is you and I have a very vast business-to-business background. A lot of times, people who are trying to do online lead generation and conversion, it’s a little different game doing it for the B2B audience than it is doing it for the other audience. I know you and I are very skilled in this. I think a lot of people here will get extreme value out of us talking about it. Where do you see the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to sell to a B2B audience from going online to offline?
I think there are quite a few mistakes that many people make. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is they try to avoid having a conversation with people because we live in this text and chat world society. Social selling does have its point in chatting with someone but even years ago when I started on Facebook. We started messaging with people because I was advertising on Facebook in 2008. I’m probably one of the grandfathers of Facebook Marketing.
One of the things that I used to do, even back then is I would message someone and I’d say, “It looks like we swim in the same pod. We have 75 mutual friends or acquaintances. I’d love to connect with you.” That little thing would say yes. The next thing as soon as they connect, I would say, “I’d love to schedule a call and learn a little bit more about you and your business.” It was a call only to build a relationship. Not having any pretense, no selling.
Now, many people especially with LinkedIn and with Facebook, people are looking, “Where’s the quick win? Who can I solicit right away?” It’s still about relationships. I think that online marketing paves the way. It makes it so much easier to reach out to anyone that you want to connect with. The question is how do you add value to someone before money ever exchanges hands so that way you now have a relationship? That’s how I look at it.
It’s all about personalized, relevant and value-added. It drives me nuts when people hit me on LinkedIn and it’s like, you know what they’re doing. It’s a pre-templated thing. It drops the credibility. This is what I don’t think a lot of people realize. When we’re trying to sell especially a product or service that requires some thought to it, a higher-end type product, it requires a relationship. Every once in a while, somebody will go ahead, “I don’t need the relationship,” but the majority of people out there need that relationship. The relationship has to be built on trust.
The first connection point and this is what I tell all my folks is your most important first connection point because as we begin, we proceed. If we’re coming out and we’re trying to be one of those pitch people then people are going to go, “I can’t trust this person.” What I know you do like a master because I’ve seen you do it over the years and we’ve worked together so long. You build these strong relationships and those strong relationships then end up trusting you then end up asking you for the business versus you even asking them many times even though you will ask.
Isn’t it amazing what happens when people are leaning forward so much? They’re like, “Can you help me?” I’m sure I can but let’s talk a little bit more about you first. I’ll always take it away anyway because I don’t want our company to be known as that company that you described. By the way and you know this, we have a program called Leads On-Demand that we utilize for Facebook and for LinkedIn. We run it for clients. We are one of those companies that do outreach. The question is what are the commonalities? What are the interest points? How can we turn this into a real-world conversation?
For instance, for me, I was targeting. I’m a Florida Gator. We were reaching out to other Florida Gator CEOs. My intro is, “I noticed you’re a fellow Florida Gator entrepreneur. I’d love to be able to connect with you and see what your journey has been like and going on and now.” Many people would reply back saying, “I get hit on day and night on LinkedIn but because you’re a Gator, I’m happy to connect with you and have a conversation.” It then turns into a conversation. When I don’t pitch them at the end, they’re like, “You’re not pitching me?” I’m like, “No, it’s great to meet you. What’s the biggest pain challenge or problem that you’re having in your business?” They’ll tell me and I’ll say, “Would you like some insight on that?” We turn into a different conversation and then, they can ask us if they’re interested.
What’s so interesting and I imagine people who are reading and by the way, we’re speaking with Mr. David Asarnow from BusinessNitrogen.com. We’re talking about how do you build a relationship to lead to a sale? Many people are in such a rush to make the sale. I can imagine if there are people reading, sales teams reading to this at this moment going, “I got a quota, David. Doug, come on. We can’t take forever. I’ve got to hit the numbers.” How quickly does building a relationship happen online if you do it the right way?
We’ve had conversations with clients and in that first conversation. I’ll be frank. I don’t go for a one-call close. I always want to leave it hanging and want them to come back for more. In that first conversation, our focus and whether it’s me or Bob or anyone on our team, our goal is to add value and understand the pain problem challenge they’re having. We set a frame where we may be the company that could solve their need beyond anyone else. If there looks like there’s interest, we’ll make sure that all the key parties and decision-makers are on the next call.
Many times my team will bring me on that call to add extra value. We’ve had people that have moved forward. By the way, the average lifetime value of each of our clients and I did this a few years is over $100,000. We’re not talking about a low ticket. We’re talking about big investments even with our company, the lowest investment is over $60,000 a year. When you look at that, we’ve had that happen to calls and people say, “I want you guys,” because here’s what happens. If you do things the right way and set the frame and build a relationship focused on value, what’s going to happen between that first and second call is they’re going to go check you out online.
By the way, if you don’t have videos, you must have videos. People are going to check you out. They’re going to see what you have on your website. They’re going to check you out and google you and find out all the information that they can. When they come back, if you’ve done the right thing in framing yourself online and if they opt-in to your website and you’ve got the right diet-based communication going forward, you’re 90% there before you even get on the call. It’s not only what you do on the call, it’s what you do outside of the call or the meeting that determines whether that client’s going to move forward.
Let’s talk about what I would call framing, the pre-framing with the videos and with things like that because it is so true. Especially those who are selling to, I would say, CEOs and business owners or any executive level, they are going to check you out. They’re going to go and say, “Is this person legitimate?” What we’re all looking for when we’re buying something is we want somebody that we can trust but we don’t know that person so there’s that gap between, “Is this person real? Can they help me or not?” Let’s speak to the videos and speak to the pre-work that should be done in order to achieve what we’re talking about.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you have an opportunity to frame your business online, first and foremost. I remember reading something that was put out by YouTube a number of years ago. It said that their studies show that CEOs would rather watch a ten-minute video on YouTube than read an email. Oftentimes, when I’m in front of a group or a crowded mass, how many of you would rather watch a 5 to 10-minute video than sit there and read a long email? Almost every hand goes up. Now, YouTube is the number two search engine. When I want information, I go to YouTube before I go to Amazon or Google or Facebook or anything because I want to hear what real people have to say.
Facebook Instagram changed its entire algorithm to have a preference of video over posts. People were putting posts and long-term posts. Why did they do this? It’s because what their studies have found is the average person and I’ve been at Facebook multiple times over the past few years because we have an agency that’s run multimillion dollars a month in paid ad spend on Facebook and Instagram. One of the things they said is the average person scrolls 300 feet a day. That’s taller than the Statue of Liberty. They’re scrolling 300 feet a day. The one thing that they found is that the more videos that are shown to people, it slows the role and people stop and they’ll watch it for minutes.
In these companies, YouTube which is Google and Facebook, which is also Instagram, they make all their decision based upon data. They’re data-driven decisions. They’re not arbitrarily saying the video is important. They changed their algorithm because it’s showing statistics. If you want to make decisions based upon data and statistics, listen to what they’re doing and not what they’re saying. Video is very important.
In fact, I can tell you this. Most clients who end up moving forward with us, even though the last conversation they have is with me, watched at least five or more videos on the website or online that I’ve put out over the years. They’re making decisions every time they’re watching a video or they go to a page on your website, “Is this the company for me? Are we aligned? Do we speak the same language? Is this the person or company that can help me solve the problems that I’m having?” They’re making those decisions. You, it’s incumbent upon each of us as leaders, as entrepreneurs, as sales leaders to make that job very easy for them.
You do that through what I affectionately called framing. You set the frame ahead of time. If people think about this, you walk into a museum or anything and you see a picture there and all of a sudden, you get drawn into that picture. Why? The lighting is thought through. The frame is thought through. If the painting is 300 years old, maybe they didn’t think through the frame or maybe they did but something captivates and pulls us into that picture. I see a video on YouTube and everything you’re discussing here is the same thing. We’re drawing that person in.
You go to the beach on a sunny day and there are thousands of people there. All of a sudden, there’s a shape that walks on the beach and it catches your attention. It starts pulling the attention in. As the object gets closer, usually that level of interest goes up. It’s the same thing here with video and with all the framing. I can’t tell how many times that people have said, “I saw you published in Forbes,” or “I saw your video,” or, “I listened to your podcast,” or whatever. A lot of business-to-business companies are starting to get this, David but I think many of them are still like, “We can keep doing it the old traditional way.”
I have a feeling and I should say an industry experience in looking at the data as well because I agree with you on the video. I do the exact same thing. I did it now. I was going down through there and I was like, “A video. I’ll click,” but then I clicked on writing and I was like, “Too long.” I went down and I went to the next video. Let’s discuss this because I know from talking to people, a lot of them are going, “The pandemic hit. This hit. Selling seems to be changed but it’ll come back. It’ll go back to the old way.” I don’t see it that way. I think there’ll be parts of it.
One of our clients has a $2 billion company. Bob and I train their entire sales team. We started with them a few years now. He said that the number of deals in the deal flow in the leads in the discovery calls and closes went up 45-degree angles since we started working with them. They do it the old-fashioned way. They cold-call. Cold calling is not dead. I’m going to tell you this. In fact, it’s better than ever because so many people are scared to call. The question is how do you go about doing it?
One of the things that we talk about is consistency. What do CEOs want? By the way, I believe in calling on the CEO. I’ve always done it. Call high as you can go. Remember, many years ago, when I called on McDonald’s and I mailed a shoe in a FedEx box and said, “Now that my foot is at your door mail, may I please have five minutes of your time,” because they didn’t return my call. If they don’t return your call, you have to have a creative way.
Now, we do a video for sure that we’ll mail out to people and someone will open it up and the video will play. There you are. We’ll mail out a video for sure to someone or we’ll have a great call with someone. We’ll send the video over confirming our conversation or, “It’s Dave. You had a conversation with Lauren or Maddie or Bob. They told me this about your company.” We do all these little things to help separate us out from everyone else.
I’ll give you an example. When you’re cold calling someone, you have to put yourself in the mind of the CEO. What does the CEO want from their team? They want consistency. They want people who do what they say they’re going to do. They want people who are going to operate at the highest of levels like their company. Here’s the thing, people don’t like change so it’s not going to happen overnight. We created a series of voicemails that at the end of every voicemail, we say, “By the way, if I don’t hear back from you, I will call you next Monday at the exact same time at 2:00 PM. You can reach me at this number but if not, you will hear from me then.” They’re probably thinking, “They’re not going to call me back. They’re not going to do what they say they’re going to do.”
On the eighth call, here’s the voicemail message. “Doug, it’s Dave but by now, you already know my voice. I have a question for you. Every night before I go to bed, I talk to God but for some reason, I can’t speak with you. As usual, Doug, I’m available at (678) 555-1212,” or, “Yes, Doug. I will call you back next week, the exact same time.” We play with the resistance. You play with the resistance. You do anything you can do.
If you know and you’ve identified, these are the ten people that I want to do business with. If I do business with three out of those ten, not only am I going to change their world, it will change my company because these are the people I want to do business with. You need to be willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Most people and by most I say, 97% of the people, are not willing to do what they say they’re going to do.
I agree that consistency builds trust. A lot of people think, “I might be being a pest by calling every single week.” I went through this with a company, David. I put a 21-day everyday contact campaign together for them. They’re like, “Isn’t this overkill?” I’m like, “Try it,” because it’s so respectful. I tell people, “Don’t be differentiated, be different.” You sending a video in the mail that’s confirming the appointment or whatever. It’s not differentiating you. It’s different. People are going to get that and they’re going to go, “This is a different level play than we’re having.” As you’re doing the voicemails, for example, a lot of people don’t know to leave those types of voicemails. They don’t know to use humor in a lot of ways and people love humor.
Have fun. Play with the resistance. I had a meeting with a client we’ve had for a number of years. Since they came on board, I’ve only had a couple of meetings. I haven’t spoken to them for almost a year. I requested a meeting. I got on and they looked there and I’m like, “Why are you nervous?” They’re like, “We love working with your team. Your team has changed our lives and we’re scared that you’re going to tell us that we’re not moving fast enough for you. You’re going to tell us bye-bye.” I’m like, “Our team loves working with you. I only wanted to connect and hear how things are going and how we can continue to improve.” They’re like, “Do you want to know?” I’m like, “You guys are awesome.” Anyway, it turned into an hour conversation. Based upon that, I said, “Next time I reach out to have a meeting with you, know that I’m only reaching out to say hi.”
That tends to blow people’s minds because everybody else is coming in with that pitch. If we’re going to lead to a complex sale or we’re going to lead to a sale that requires some time, investments and thoughts and all that, we’ve got to build a relationship. That’s probably the theme of what we’re talking about going from online to offline. You’ve got to build that relationship and cold calling is not that scary. I agree with you. I also agree cold calling is not dead. When you were speaking, I was like, “I remember, I cold-called the guy and that got me a little tiny account calls to NASCAR,” but it was a cold call. I had to go build that relationship with this person. It took me a while to get it done. Back then, we could go face to face. I’d go for Chinese food because that was their favorite. Every other month I would eat Chinese food.
It was their favorite because I know all the times that I stayed with you and visited you in Houston, you took me to Chinese quite a bit.
That’s true. There was Chinese but it was more Asian because a third of the community was Asian food. I still love it now. I still eat that type of food. David, I’m a company. My sales team is doing it the traditional way but I want to supplement this using social or I want to supplement this using online. My response would be to call David but what would be your response to that? How do they start?
First, identify who do you serve beyond anyone else and where are they hanging out? If you want to reach someone online, are they the person to hanging out on LinkedIn? If they are, you create a plan around LinkedIn. By the way, this will blow people away. It may or may not. If you want to talk to doctors, you don’t need to go to them on LinkedIn. If you want to work with doctors, guess where they’re hanging out? Facebook? “No, doctors aren’t on Facebook.” Yes, they are. The idea here is how do you reach out to people that you don’t know? I want you to think through the entire step of the process strategically. It’s not only I’m going to reach out, “Doug, I see that we both like purple elephants and I’d love to connect with.” You need to think through.
Doug, as you said, thinking through, what is the 21-day plan for reaching out to the person? How do you add value? Here’s the thing. It’s not only reaching out and say by email message number three, “I’d like to invite you to a webinar.” That means you’ve given up already. Here’s one of the biggest mistakes that people make. Once someone says, “I’d love to talk.” “Here’s my calendar, go book an appointment.” You know how many times people have done that to me, “I’m willing to talk.”
As soon as they gave me their calendar link, I’m like, “They’re trying to sell me. I’m not even setting the appointment.” That’s when you say, “Great. I’m available. Do any of these three times work for you?” Keep the conversation going. It’s predicated on building value. Pick your niche. Pick where you’re going to contact them. Is it Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn? Those are the easiest ways to do it. Plan out the next 30 days.
In our case, we plan out the next twelve weeks. Every week, what are you going to do? We don’t do it every day but at least once a week doing what you say you’re going to do. How do you change it up amongst modalities? If this is someone you want to do business with and you’ve identified, this is someone you want to build a relationship with, great. If they’re not responding to your messages, then you go ahead and send them a brochure. This is a personal video message right here on the thought. If you have their cell phone number, do you send them a video? You send them a video and sent a video via LinkedIn or Facebook. I gave you five different ways that you could start adding value and separating yourself out from everyone else. Here’s the thing, go to serve. Go with a basis of adding value and in my belief, everything else will take care of itself.
I would imagine David if you said to me, “Doug, these are the ways of going about this thing.” I’m sitting there listening while I go, “I don’t know what they want,” because I have found that it is a big challenge for people. A lot of times, they identify like, “I want to go for CEOs of $25 million companies,” or whatever but they don’t understand what value means to those people. I equate to value in two places. It’s the personal return on investment and it’s also a professional return on investment.
Most people pitch professional return on investment but they’re leaving out the human component of that, which is as important in many cases as what the professional is. If I didn’t know and I would love to get your opinion on this because we haven’t talked about this one. I would call my target market and ask them, “Could I ask you a few questions? Would you be willing to help me? I’m trying to do some market research to get into markets like you’re in.”
That’s perfect. You did it the way that I would do it as well is ask people for help. Do you know why? People want to help other people if you ask for help. I said that very slow intentionally. I’ll give you an example. My son was looking for an internship. The school only does so much and you’re competing with everyone else. One of the things that Josh ended up doing was finding out people who are heads of departments in different financial companies.
He reached out to them on LinkedIn and said, “My name’s Joshua Asarnow. I’m a junior at Tulane University studying Finance and Economics. I’m looking at getting into this field in this niche. I was wondering if you’d give me fifteen minutes of your time. Maybe you can guide me on the best way to enter this field.” One of the people that he talked to ended up having multiple conversations with him. He introduced him into his company. He had an internship with AllianceBernstein out of Nashville all from a cold outreach that he did on his own. He was nineteen years old or twenty years old when he did that.
If a person at nineteen can do this then certainly somebody sitting here reading who is 35 can do the same exact thing. I’ll add another story to this, Dave because we know each other’s children pretty well. I remember when Jacqueline, my youngest daughter. She came to me one day and she said, “Dad, I’m thinking I want to become the first female NHL, National Hockey League General Manager. That’s a goal I have.” I said, “That’s cool.” She goes, “How would I go about that?” I said, “You’re fifteen years old. Why don’t you put together a bunch of names, go online and research. Find out who the general managers are. The numbers are there, call them or email them.” She said, “That sounds like a good idea.”
Little did I know that she and her sister did go to do that and I had told them, I said, “If you want to know what to say, let me know,” but I would tell them exactly what Josh said, “I’m fifteen years old. I’m giving this consideration. I was wondering if I could have a conversation.” Little to my knowledge, they went out and cold-called every general manager in the NHL, in Canada, the United States and the Boston Bruins, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Calgary Flames responded and said, “We’ll have conversations.”
Mr. Treliving from the Calgary Flames was mentoring her for a little bit because he found this so different and so unique that he wanted to help. It’s not hard. For folks who are reading this, call and ask for help. Say something and compliment them, “I see you’re in a nice position in life. Someday, I might want to be where you are and I just don’t know how to get there. I was hoping maybe you could give me some help and some pointers on how to get there,” because anybody who’s successful, you and I both know David, it didn’t happen overnight.
People think it happened overnight.
“How many years did it take to become an overnight success,” is the old saying.
20, 30 and still growing.
It will always continue to grow. That’s the thing. I imagine now, somebody called you and said, “David, I’m thinking about doing X, Y and Z. I sought you out because I find that you’re doing quite well in the industry that I’m looking to come into. Would you mind having a fifteen-minute conversation with me so I can ask you 3 to 5 questions and get some answers?”
I’ve done it. In the past year, I’ve had three high school or college kids reach out to me and asked to interview me. I said, “Sure.” Other people I said no to because I didn’t know who they were but if someone says, “I’m in high school. I’m in college. I’ve researched you and your company. I’d love to be able to interview you on my podcast. I’m starting a podcast. Would you be willing?” “Yes, I’m happy to help,” because I want people to pay it forward. I’ll do stuff like that. I want people to do it for my kids. I will say yes to things like that.
It doesn’t have to be only where they’re young. It could be a 35 and you call and you say, “I’ve got two kids. I have a wife. I’m thinking of making a life’s transition. I see you in a position where I might want to be,” and you could compliment that person. In my case, “I’m 59 years old. I’m thinking of taking a different life’s direction now that my kids are getting out of the house,” etc., whatever it might be. It’s not that difficult but I think a lot of times people feel that they’re going to be rejected or maybe they were framed growing up, “We were taught not to interrupt people,” or whatever it might be.
I want to say something. I want to go back to the video. Something hit my head real quick. Do you remember when we were with Tony and Chet? We asked Tony to create an intro video for us before people got on a call. We never got that but we said it would help things. One of the things that I’ve done and I don’t know why. It only popped in my head but I wanted to share this because when we go through the funnel so many times, people think they’re going to talk to me. When they find out they’re not going to talk to me, they’ll cancel their appointment in the past.
One of the things is that because I’m on the videos on the front page then once it is, it shows, it’s not my calendar that they’re booked in. I created a video when I was in Necker Island, Richard Branson’s Island. I held my cell phone out there. It was a walk and talk showing the island. This is David Asarnow. Thanks so much for coming to this page. This tells me that you’re looking at growing your business. I want to tell you about that next call you’re going to have. I happened to be here on this island, stranded. Yes, stranded because of COVID with my good friend and a confidant, Bob Sears. Bob and I worked together years ago with Tony Robbins.”
I did a whole video building value in Bob and then I say, “Before we go any further, Bob wants to tell you a few things.” Bob’s sitting there. He did his own little video talking about what the call is going to be like. It’s a seven-minute video but here’s what I can tell you happened. Our show-up rate and went through the roof. Our cancellation rate dropped out of nowhere and people sometimes want to talk to him about Necker Island and what that experience was like because he did get to meet Richard. He has Richard’s cellphone. They’ve talked and texted since then. Why? Bob was the first person ever on Necker Island to have COVID. There’s a bomb there.
One of the things that I thought about when I was there is like, “How can I capitalize on this huge, most people would say, it’s a big disaster. I’ve got an expensive trip and now I’m stranded in a room. We’re separated in our rooms on separate sides of the islands. What can we do? We started having fun with it. We started doing videos there and telling stories. Here’s the thing. If you’re the executive, if you’re the entrepreneur and you’re saying, “How do I translate and build the rapport to the people who are watching my videos to someone on my team?” It’s exactly what you and I asked to happen a decade ago that we didn’t. You can do that for your people. If you do a video introduction building them up, adding value to them, it’s going to help you. It’s going to help them, which helps you in your business.
I fully agree with what you’re saying as you and I have already tested this out as well and in other capacities. I think you also struck on an important topic, which was stories. In your videos, don’t be afraid to tell a story because people love stories. They can be personal or business stories. I did a solo episode and I was talking about the experience I was having with my insurance company and how they left me on hold for an hour and twelve minutes. How people answered the phone and use the phone can affect the profitability of their business. I named that company GEICO. I’ve had people start with stories. They respond to the stories and they go, “You know what I have? That same thing happened to me with XYZ insurance.”
I have a question. Is even 15% worth waiting an hour and a half?
The answer to that question is no.
There you go, GEICO.
It kills me because I’ve been with GEICO for nineteen years, which is unheard of in the insurance business. I’m listening. I’m like, “Are we recording this call?” “Yes, GEICO. I’ve been here for nineteen years. Maybe you ought to listen to this call.” I was going on and on and playing with them. The reality is I did start looking for other insurance companies afterward.
Why don’t you use USAA? I’ve used USAA for over twenty years. They’re the most expensive but I can tell you this. I’ve never waited on hold for more than five minutes.
Yes and that’s important. It’s like, “Why do people use American Express Platinum?” It’s the same reason. You call Chase Bank or whatever and you’ll be on hold for two hours. Calling an American Express, they answer, “Hello,” right out of the gate. That is added value and that’s being different. It’s not differentiating. Stories are important. I know you use a lot of stories. Over the years, I’ve watched you tell all kinds of stories.
By the way, I want to say this. You all have to start somewhere. I started off sucking. I know so many people who see me now would have a hard time believing that I’d get up in front of the room and I would be shaking. I would be nervous. I would read from my notes. I remember I was a Regional Manager for a company. I was about three or four years in there. I had a Vice President of Sales who said, “Dave, you have such great presence. You’re so good one-on-one with people but I put you up in front of a room and you are dry and boring as F.” I said, “Thanks. What suggestions do you have for me?”
He said, “Dave, you need to learn how to tell stories.” I’m like, “What do you mean?” He said, “When you’re presenting numbers, numbers are numbers but there’s a story around those numbers. What do those numbers mean? I want you to think about this. My challenge to you next time you get up here, how can you tell an exciting story that people remember the numbers that you presented? If you only present numbers, as soon as you’re off, no one’s going to remember a darn thing you said but if you tell a good story, people will remember how you made them feel during that story. It doesn’t matter what they remembered because you’re the person who makes them feel this way or that way.”
That was a good point and a good lesson that Mark Raff gave to me so much so that I ended up getting the opportunity a couple of years later to start a new division for that company. It grew to $45 million in less than five years. It was only a $6 million to $8 million company when I started. Stories build rapport unconsciously. That’s it. If you are going to give yourself one thing to do over the next year, become great at telling stories. That’s it.
I firmly agree with you. We learn as children through play and through stories. As we become big children, which is that’s all we are as adults only in a bigger body. For some reason, people let go of that play and that stories thing. I know you never have and I don’t either. This is part of what people gravitate toward because they know that they’re not doing it themselves, I believe in a lot of ways.
As you tell stories, people can recall a story of something that happened to them at three years old. I just did. I was thinking and I remembered my grandmother teaching me how to tie my shoes when I was three years old. I’m like, “How the hell do I remember back that far?” Grandma was telling me a story about how you take the lace and this is the thing and this is the story that comes around and how people tie their shoes.
I told a really interesting story. I created a new podcast series. We’re launching out and it’s Zero to Sixty because I’m doing it while I’m driving in my car with the top down and videoing and talking. My video guys are starting and stopping. I’m driving along, looking at the road, talking. I said, “Everything that I needed to know about becoming an entrepreneur, I learned at three years old.” How did I learn everything? I learned about the importance of family. I was spending all the time with my grandparents at that time. My sister was born and my grandmother was taking me every day. My grandparents, at 50, my grandfather decided to sell everything and move to Florida and start all over.
All of a sudden, I was without them but then they flew up. I ended up spending as a four-year-old over a month at a time with my grandparents. I wasn’t in school yet. I was there with them starting their business. I got to be curious George asking the questions and things like that. All of a sudden, when I turned 50, the blood left my face and I was like, “My grandfather started over at 50 and created this amazing life and amazing business. I’ve done so much up until now. What can I do? What impact can I make? What contribution can I make to this society from here on out for the rest of my life?” By the way, I just told a story. Everything I needed to know about being an entrepreneur and being able to take risks. It doesn’t matter how old you are. You can change the world, your life and your family. You can make the greatest impact ever. You only need to make the decision and being willing to do it. That’s it.
The interesting part of this also for me, David, what you’re talking about is absolutely true. I have the privilege of talking to a lot of people now over 50 through client relationships. I get an opportunity to talk to them about what they’re doing. I have people coming in their ‘80s and ‘90s saying to me, “I’m bored. I want a life or I want to pay for my grandchildren’s education. I want to be able to travel the world a little more and I’m doing fine because I have all this cash behind me but I want something to be able to do it or I want tax write-offs,” or whatever it is. It doesn’t matter what age that people want to get going in business. It’s only a matter of you learned everything you needed to know at three years old and you carry that forward. You’ll do fine as long as you stay consistent with client acquisition. That’s the key in business.
If you want to know, the number one thing, what’s closest to the cash? How do you generate revenue? How do you build that into a business and not a hobby? That’s it. Go sell something.
Also, short, long. Stay with short-term things that bring cash in quickly then work on the long-term as need be. Don’t work on long, short because that’ll cost a lot of money and a lot of carrying of cash over time.
It’s sexy but you need to fill the coffers with clients you can serve now.
Remember, in whale hunting, if you look at the Inuits, they had a whole team of people who go on after the whale. It wasn’t Joe who jumped in the boat and said, “I think I’ll land this whale.” Joe ended up under the water at that point. I could talk to you all day as we always do. I have to ask if people want to reach out to you, what type of client should reach out to you, David, for Business Nitrogen?
Our main client is about $750,000 to $5 million on average. Our largest client is $2 billion so we can serve higher. If you’re looking to attract leads, as you heard, we have a Leads On-Demand System that we can plug you into. If you’re looking for more, we do that as well. Either way, if you want some information, go to BusinessNitrogen.com. We put out plenty of videos. I have a newsletter. I put out videos every week. They’re all there to add value and to serve you. If I can help you be better at what you do in serving others, I’ve done my job.
Agreed and for those of you that trust me, I endorse David 100%. Check him out. Check out his website. I’m sure you’ll be glad you did. David, thanks for being here. I appreciate it. As always, it’s great to reconnect.
Wasn’t that pretty good? We talked a lot about building value. You’ve got to add value to the conversation. If you don’t add value to the conversation, what is value or what do they deem as value, the person you are speaking with? When you build value whether it’s on a professional, personal or preferably both on their return on investment in their conversation, you will get higher levels of trust. It’s that simple.
Make sure you build some value out of every single conversation. If nothing else, practice it because it is a really great scale. You got to build value whether you are online or offline. If you are online, you don’t go out there and pitch your product or service. Start a relationship. Build that relationship up. Build trust. Build everything that’s going on with that relationship. That leads naturally to the next conversation. Finding commonality is very helpful and having something to say that will provide added value to the client. If you are looking for marketing help, services to take your business online or you’re online and you want more help, go to David. Go to BusinessNitrogen.com. I’ve known him for a long time. He definitely got ethics and he will take care of you.
If you are looking for our sales revenue growth and you want to play that game of how do I increase my revenues or my profitability, I’m certainly here to help you. As always, I’m at Doug@BusinessSuccessFactors.com or BusinessSuccessFactors.com is the website. You can reach out to me on LinkedIn @DougBrown123. That’s another episode of the show. Go out there and make some sales, build your business, increase your profitability and improve your life.
If you like this show, please give it a five-star review. If you would like to have a subject matter that you’d like me to cover on this show, just email in or call in. Let me know. I’d be happy to take that and see what I can do. I’m here for you and this is why we do this particular show. I would be remiss without plugging my book, www.WinWinSellingBook.com into the power of raising your profitability through conversations and handling objections. It’s a great book, not because I wrote it but because I read it. Thanks for being here for another episode. I’ll see you on another episode of the show.