Today’s episode is jam packed with great insights into two of the essential aspects of sales: Prospecting and standing out.
Today’s guest is John Brubaker, a nationally renowned Performance Consultant, speaker, and award-winning author. He has written six books on leadership performance including his latest book, Stadium Status. John shares his secrets to keeping a healthy pipeline and the secrets to upselling.
John actually started as a lacrosse coach and getting fired on his birthday became a blessing in disguise that eventually got him into the world of sales and entrepreneurship.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with John:
The Coach Approach:
- Don’t sell. Recruit.
- John took his skills he learned as a college recruiter where you sell the invisible and you’re selling hope, dream, and education.
- John sold radio airtime and took the best practices he learned selling a more expensive product or service and applying it to the world of advertising and sponsorship.
How to Sell a Dream:
John did college recruiting for three years until going on his own as an entrepreneur, speaker, and author. He says the fundamentals of selling are all the same.
- Prospecting – Identify good opportunities.
- Qualify the prospective buyer. – Be able to sniff out the suspects. Separate suspects from prospects.
- Tell a story and make a compelling offer. – People want you to solve a problem (ex. save money, find them more time, new revenue stream).
John explains that It’s ingrained in us through our educational system to fit in and stand out, to be seen and not be heard. You’re not taught to question authority or taught to be different. So it’s hard to be able to differentiate. You have to find ways to differentiate, to add more value, and stand out.
Your reality is not always right for everyone. The faster you can get a no from the suspects, the easier it is to sort through the prospects and figure out the right ones to get a yes. According to John, best practices are well and good. However, they become common practices. Unique, remarkable brands stand out for something and one thing ideally.
Make an intangible product tangible.
John tells a story of how they actually turned an intangible product where they sold airtime into a tangible product through experience. And through that simple act that no one else was doing, they hit the rating books for the first time in the history of the station.
Another example is Flo. Progressive Insurance took an intangible product which is insurance, that’s not sexy and they attached a human being with a fun, goofy character to it and put her on a retail store front. They made an intangible tangible and they made it fun.
Get creative and make your own version of that. Have the courage to stand out and be different.
Do not rush the process.
In sales, we’re always rushing and doing everything so fast. Learn how to work your process and just play the long game.
Strategies for Upselling:
- Show people success.
Show to them early on how your product solves a problem. Oftentimes, a buyer will trust you with something small before they’re willing to trust you with a bigger deal. Show first that you can drive traffic to the door. Once they’re happy with that, you have that opportunity to upsell.
- Attach celebrity, social proof, and name recognition to your brand.
In any way you can, try to tie in celebrity, social proof, and name recognition to your brand.
- Build that trust.
What business are you really in? First and foremost, you’re in a relationship business. Built that trust and it will pay dividends later.
Strategies for maintaining a healthy pipeline:
- Build a brand that attracts instead of chasing.
Cold calling and those traditional ways of selling are an example of chasing. People are going to run away from you and that’s exhausting.
In order to get people interested, you need to first be interesting. Be different or be invisible.
In his book, Stadium Status, John interviewed American country rapper Cowboy Troy where he explains the concept of the Law of Sevens.
- The Law of Sevens
Seven is the number of methods you need to employ to make your brand known. Our brain remembers things in units of seven. (ex. phone numbers). Have seven different ways to connect people back to your brand. Figure out seven ways that you can make yourself known to the public and attract people to you.
Create a minimum of seven different points of awareness for people to be attracted to you and make you a household name (ex. Publish a book. Host a radio show or podcast. Contribute articles to a magazine or trade publication. Get out and speak. Be a media guest.)
Seven is also the number of times people need to see your message before they move to take action.
Some insights from John’s Book Stadium Status: Taking Your Business to the Big Time
- The biggest problem you have is not having enough people to pay attention to your brand, product, or service. The Law of Sevens come in here.
- We are in an attention economy. Attention comes first. Then, you can monetize people’s attention.
- Obscurity is the biggest thing everyone is fighting in sales, not the competition or lack of resources.
John’s Major Takeaway:
Focus on your first few fanatics. We have our fans and we have our super fans. The more we cater to our super fans and over-deliver to them, the more they advocate for us and they can expand the amount of attention we get for our brand.
Check out John Brubaker’s books:
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