A fantastic episode today. You'll want to grab a pen & paper for this one!
Dean & I talk about leading people from requesting a copy of your book, through to conversations that give you the opportunity to solve people's problems.
It's so easy to fall into the 'broadcast' trap of treating people as a metric rather than as individuals. In this show we're talking about specific ways to break that pattern and follow up with people in a more human way.
Technology encourages us to treat 'Leads' as numbers in a CRM rather than individuals reading messages, so Dean shares 2 acronyms to put you in the best frame of mind to engage people and start real conversations.
L - let's
E - engage
A - and
D - do
S - something
which develops to
S - show
A - all
L - leads
E - easy
S - solutions
Transcript: Book More Show 028
Stuart: Mr. Jackson.
Dean: Mr. Bell. What are we going to talk about today?
Stuart: Lots of exciting things happening at the moment. We've had, the last couple of podcasts Betsey and I were talking about people using their books, so using traditional book launch and ideas as a kind of a seed. It's been how people can best use it for lead generation. So that ran over two shows, got some great feedback on that. And then, just a couple of days ago, I put into the feed the call that you did a couple of weeks ago with Bill Bloom.
Stuart: So that was another great example. So I thought we might build on that a little bit and just talk about people using their books, starting conversations, how people can kind of ... We got very focused on the doing, so I thought it would be great to focus a little bit more on the using and the creating.
Dean: Okay. Perfect.
Stuart: And that's your unique ability as well.
Dean: Ah, well. You know it really is about the conversation. I mean you said that, that's what I always talk about as the thing that we're using the book to do. You know, it's just to start the conversation. That's why I always start out with the title, you know? Starting out with the title of what would be the book that your ideal client would definitely want to own. And if you can get the book to ... If you can get the title to telegraph what they want be an indication of them raising their hand and saying, "I want this," then starting the conversation is really just about advancing the path to them getting that, to getting what they want.
And, you know, part of the thing of really looking at the idea of the conversation here, starting the conversation with them raising their hand, I've always ... I don't know whether I've shared this with you, the idea of, you know, using a lead generation, and I've always been sort of hesitant to use the term "leads" as a collective because I take such a personalized approach to it, but recently I came up with a way to kind of harmonize that, in my mind, of now using an acronym for LEADS being an individual showing up and saying, "Let's Engage And Do Something."
And if we think about a lead as somebody, you know, showing up in your office saying those words, that makes it ... That really sets the tone here. That's really what it is. And it's our duty then to interact, to engage with that person, and show them all of the easy solutions that you have for them. And that's really where I came up with an acronym to go with SALES of "Show All Leads Easy Solutions". And so when you take your leads and sales that takes you through, you know, the result of Profit Activator 2 is leads, and the purpose of Activators 3 and 4 is sales. It's to Show All Leads Easy Solutions. And so when you harmonize it like that, you're taking an individual with your mandate of engaging with that person conscientiously and individually to resolve the matter of them showing up on your doorstep saying, "Let's Engage And Do Something." And that's really, it takes a more of an intensified approach in a way.
You know, most of the time people take lead generation as this bulk activity. They look at it that we're going to generate a bunch of leads, we're going to shake them through this systematic gauntlet series and some of them are going to fall out of the other end as people that we can do business with. As opposed to taking this sort of mandate approach of engaging with each individual and resolving the matter on whatever level that means. And so it's really ... You know, we talk a lot about this idea of lead conversion and I think it kind of misleads people into thinking that you can, somehow, convert people into something, right? And the reality is that what it's really about is finding the people who are five star prospects, who are ready and want to do what it is that we need that they want to do. And so you look at it that when we use the book as a lead generator to start the conversation, that gets us into kind of the first element there, you know. They show up in your doorstep to have a purpose of the conversation, the thing that we're trying to do is to identify who are the five star prospects.
And those are the people who are willing to engage the dialogue, who are friendly and cooperative, who know what they want, who know when they want it, and would like us to help them. Now, primarily what most people do is they start at the opposite end. They start right with how they can help them and trying to convince people to let them help them right now, right? Offering them the price incentives and all these things to try to convert them into buyers right now. And what I looked at was thinking, well, if they have to be five star prospects in order for us to do business with them, and, you know, I came to that conclusion when you think about it every single person that you ultimately do business with is a five star prospect at that level.
So you have to kind of start with the first one that are they willing to engage and are they friendly and cooperative? And that makes it much easier to start the conversation. And you've got a big hint if somebody downloads a book that has a title that telegraphs exactly what the outcome that they want is, or it telegraphs that you're in that ballpark there. Then you know how to start the conversation and do it in a way that isn't just about them buying what it is that you've got, you know?
Stuart: Such a subtle difference, isn't it? Language is so important but the mindset changes completely from so much the curse of the internet age people, and I think in terms of much bigger top end, top of the funnel numbers because they feel they've got access to it, but it really does a disservice to all of the other stages in the process, all of the other Profit Activators that follow it up because, as you say, you're concentrating on quantity rather than quality, and talking to them at the wrong level.
So, I think that those acronyms, the LEADS and SALES, just writing that down and keeping that in mind as you're thinking about the audience. I know you've spoken about it a lot of times before, right? Kind of creating the copy, coming up with the words or titles. And I'm thinking in terms of, if someone was actually sat in front of me at the moment, if someone knocked on the door and stuck their head in, what would that conversation look like? It really ties into a real conversation with a real person engaging someone to do something, rather than just there's a robot here that's going to go out and stick this ad in front of people and then hopefully, just by virtue of the law of big numbers, something's going to fall out of the bottom of it.
Dean: Yeah. And that's kind of an interesting thing. You know, if you imagine that person, it really is such a great construct for thinking about and sort of architecting the conversations that you're going to have. Because if you do imagine that somebody opens the door to your office and pops their head in and says the words, you know, they're basically, "Let's Engage And Do Something," if you're offering a book called Financial Peace, and they open the door and say, "I'm here for financial peace," now you can imagine that that person is there because that's what they want, right? Or I'm here for ...you know, we have our book Getting Listings, or Getting Referrals, "I'm here for getting listings," "I'm here for getting referrals," or "I'm here for the adult acne cure."
And you can imagine that it's like them, now you know what they want because why else would they have left their name and their contact information, right? They voluntarily did that. They saw your offer, they came to your website, they left their name and their email address, they voluntarily did all of that, we're not hoisting it on them, right? They asked and chose for it, made that decision, so they're essentially saying, "Let's Engage And Do Something." And so now this idea of engaging in a dialogue in the easiest kind of most non-threatening way is a really kind of good opportunity that we have. And it's really not about trying to just jump on right away, get them to buy ultimately whatever it is that you're offering, but to engage them in a dialogue about that result, you know? Or about that category. And think more like a chess master, that you're thinking two or three moves ahead that you'll be able to steer the conversation once you know whether they're friendly and cooperative and whether they know what they want and when they want it and then you can make your prescription on how they can get it, you know?
Stuart: It's almost the people wanting to dive on something and just jump to the conclusion, focus on the features rather than the benefits, the sale rather than the conversation that leads to it. They're trying to cut down that step too long rather than thinking, like you said, the chess moves, the few moves ahead, this isn't the only opportunity you've got but engaging someone in a normal way.
Stuart: I think the other benefit at the moment is who else is doing that? I mean, when you look at the emails that you get back, I've joined someone's list a couple of days ago talking about, there was a specific Facebook thing which we do more on Facebook now there's some interesting developments with the lead ads that Facebook are now running so what I'd opted in for was specifically about that, but after three emails, I think it was, all the broadcasts ... Which weren't particularly engaging, just those three it was kind of more broadcast stuff, but the emails that have gone out after that have all kind of tangentially related but they're really off subject, it's just gone into normal broadcast mode. So there really is the opportunity to keep it conversational, to advance the dialogue to try and engage an individual to get a response. And that, I think, is going to really set you out from the ... Set quite a big difference from what everyone else is doing and lead to more successful outcomes.
Dean: Yeah. Well lots of people, you know, that's what they come to expect, right, is that when you look through your inbox in any situation there's mostly broadcast things. Most people are following sort of this launch model of just ... But they're misinterpreting it, right, they're thinking I just send them information, information, information and then ask them to buy. Or they're, you know, then I magically they will buy. But it's not the same as engaging in a conversation with someone, you know? And that's really ... The inbox is very, you know, empty of anybody reaching out on a personalized way to engage with you in a dialogue.
Stuart: These could be the physical mails, when you think about what comes in, I can`t even remember the last time I received a personal letter, but I receive quite regularly either bills or invoices or postcard-type advertising-type mail. It`s a very similar thing, I think it`s easy to stand out. I think people are slightly concerned, I was talking to someone this week about the call to action on the back of their book, and what the ideal next step is, how that conversation starts to manifest itself. And they kind of vocalized that concerned about having too many responses. And I think I've yet to see a situation where people have genuinely too many responses off the backer campaigns. It's far more likely these days that you'll get a lot of kind of top level numbers for the amount of people that engage at the next level down. It's very, very ... It's much smaller. So I don't think it's a valid concern for most people to be too concerned by getting overwhelmed by trying to manage personal conversations. And, to be honest, if that does become a problem then it's a good problem to have because it's probably being successful and more of them will convert so anyone listening to this, don't get scared off by the thought that you're going suddenly have to have individual conversations with a thousand people, that's unlikely to happen, and even-
Dean: Right. And there's a path to get there, even at that level, it's still crazy. I mean, when we're running the full page ads in Success magazine, we could get hundreds of leads at a time and that was manageable even on its own. Because you got to imagine that not everybody who gets the initial message is going to reply. I mean, we were getting 68% opt in on the home page, then we were getting 40 plus, just 42% or so of the people who get the initial message asking them what business they were in would respond to the message. So, even if you got a thousand leads, that would be four hundred people that would be engaging there, and it's very unlikely that you're going to get that in a day, you know?
Dean: It's almost like you hear a joke about that, I forget who I was talking to about that with, but you know a lot of women are uninterested in lifting weights because they don't want to bulk up, right? So they're afraid to even touch a barbell, you know? And it's almost like-
Stuart: Like it's going to magically happen overnight.
Dean: Right, exactly, like Ben ... I think it was Ben Pakulski I was having this conversation with, who's like one of the top body builders in the world, we were saying how it was like, "I dare you to try and bulk up," you know? It's the way to bulking up is through leaning out, they got to lean out to bulk up first, you know? So, it's the same thing here. It's kind of like, you know, "I dare you to try and have hundreds of conversations," but-
Stuart: To get overwhelmed, you know, exactly.
Dean: -yeah really, but it's so funny when we were talking about sending a nine word email to prospects that you already have on your list, I mean we just saw this ... Even in people who have been around for a long time, sometimes forget about that. That they'll send out a nine word email and they'll get all these responses, get avalanched with responses all at once. I saw in our Breakthrough Blueprint group that Andrew, in Toronto, had sent out a nine word email and got to the point where his Gmail had reached its capacity for the day. Like he had sent 500 responses to his nine word email. But he also ... He made $60,000 in that first 24 hours, you know? So, it's okay, it's a good thing to have that kind of-
Stuart: Yeah, even if you're only 80% as efficient with responding to people, I mean, ideally respond to as many as you can, but even so that's still a good ... Those are conversations that you're not having by not doing it.
Stuart: I think the long term effect of it, as well, I mean we see it, nine words we sent out on the book email list last year, so we're coming up to the London Breakthrough Blueprint Event again at the end of this month and I can remember last year sending out an email. We still occasionally get responses to that email that we sent out that long ago. And these are conversations that start something, start to engage people, allow us to show people easy ways to solutions, which, without having done it in the first place, without having that engaging mind to asking where we're kind of sure expecting a response, that I really think is the key. And all of the effort around writing the book in the first place, so many people get caught up in the doing and then get across the finish line, it's published, it's out there and think, "Oh, thank God for that, never have to think about that again." Which really is the complete opposite, it's the start to the conversation.
Stuart: Had we talked about the Michael Gleeson book, one about selling. I think you mentioned it-
Dean: No, I've never heard of it.
Stuart: So, I think Ed mentioned it a few years ago, it's a pretty old book now, and I think there's still a PDF down, digging up from various places, I mentioned it on the show a few weeks ago, it came up when I was talking to Betsey so, Michael Gleeson is a professor at a business school, I get the exact details wrong but something like that, and his model is very similar to what you were mentioning before insomuch as you can't convert someone. The power of conversion is entirely in their hands. So the kind of Glengarry Glen Ross type, always be closing model is flawed because it's impossible for you to close.
What you can do, though, is always present what he calls check moves. So you can never do checkmate but you can just continually put check moves in front of people, which is always presenting them with the opportunity to close themselves. And that, mixed in with a number of the other things you said about the conversational approach and leading individuals towards easy solutions rather than just mass dumping out a message where you hope a small proportion will convert. It's not an instant opportunity to put check moves in place, to start a dialogue which other people aren't starting and treat people as, or engage with people as other human beings, rather than just a number on a spreadsheet. I think that is really, even more so nowadays in the kind of numbers-driven internet world rather than previously where people are actually coming through the door that check moves mentality is really a key engaging difference and it ties in nicely with the email mastery and Profit Activators, the 3 and 4 Profit Activators we were talking about.
Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And, you know, it's so funny, we had Brian Mertins, who you may remember from an episode of the More Cheese, Less Whiskers podcast. He does, he's up in Canada, and he helps people with nature skills. And they ... I had him on the actual podcast before the end of the podcast, while we were live within the hour, send out a nine word email to his list of people, right there live while we were on the call. And, you know, he engaged in a lot of dialogues that way and he's really kind of come, you know, full in on this whole model here.
You know, he's joined our email mastery program and he did a book called What's That Crow Saying? And because we went through the exercise of the book titles, right, and one of the categories of book titles that we talk about are the question magnets, you know, the things that what are your clients actually saying, right? If you can tap into exactly ... Like I was just thinking the same thing, books like What to Expect When You're Expecting or, you know, all of those kinds of things. So he thought about the context of it is that where people really would love to know is, they probably ask themselves, you know, what's that crow saying? And so, we put that's the title of the book and there's a picture of a crow with its mouth open, you know, and you can imagine your ideal person if you've ever wondered, what is that crow saying, because you hear all they're making all this racket. And he's been just engaged in the most amazing conversations.
He's been running Facebook ads and Ad Words ads to the very simple, you know, our model of landing page for his book, and engaging and rolling people in a virtual, like a distant learning nature skills course. So he's got the whole, you know, funnel, and I use that word because that's what everybody's familiar with, but that whole sequence set up that whole process to somebody's raising their hand saying, "What's that crow saying?" And then he's starting the conversation with them that leads them to, you know, a course that he runs on how to know what that crow is saying and what other birds and wildlife are saying. How to interpret intuitively what's going in the forest or in nature. And there's a whole group of people that that's exactly what they love, so it shows you there's no market that is too-
Stuart: That is too specific or too small.
Dean: -unusual, or yeah, I mean, I would never ... But I mean it's just, I chuckle every time I see that, just those words, "What's that crow saying?" It's such a great book title when you see the whole context of it, you know? And that way you know that the person that asks for it has definitely had that thought.
Stuart: And that, I think, is the key thing. It's understanding or jumping in to the thought that they're already having. I mean, just even the words because there's no technical language around it, it's not trying to be overly clever, you can almost imagine those exact words popping through someone's head. Then seeing it at some later date in ads that asks exactly the same question, going to a landing page where the only action they can do is complete the thought and then the follow-up sequence being entirely consistent with the conversation that's already started.
Stuart: It's so tailored.
Dean: Yep. It's great. You know, it's like the financial advisor book we did, How Much Is Enough? And that's the question that people are having. So when you start it with that in mind you kind of begin with the end in mind, that the purpose of this is to start that conversation, then the book title is setting the tone for this. Or the fact that they've asked for your book no matter what it is that's the sort of lead off point for the conversation.
Stuart: I think that there's something to that lead off point and the conversation that then follows. I think there are a couple of people that we've spoken to recently are talking about that next stage and we're having more and more conversations with people now about the level of engagement. And it's very difficult to get people out of the habit, and we even fall into the same trap ourselves, but to get people out of the habit of just switching into kind of broadcast mode or sales mode or traditional kind of copy advertising mode. But just starting with a ... You know someone's requested a copy of the book, so you know within a couple of days hopefully they'll have read it, so even just that first stage of following up with someone within two or three days of saying, "Hey, did you get a chance to read the book yet?" Or "Hey, do you have any particular comments on it?" Or "What was your favorite section of it?" Something short and expecting a reply, so putting you out there as a human. I think even if people did nothing else but that then the responses they get from that initial, somewhat surprising, contact I imagine would be a big step that people could take with no additional overhead, not thinking about putting other things in place but just a very simple way to start that dialogue.
Dean: Right. But I have to, you know, Stuart, you've been around long enough with me to know that the worst question you could ask somebody is, "Did you get a chance to read it?" That's not what we're looking for. It doesn't matter, right? That's the whole point is we want to ... That's the natural thing, "Did you get the book? Did you get a chance to read it?" That's kind of the thing that would naturally come to us to start it, but the point we're ... Of starting this conversation is that one somebody asks for the book, I consider that the book has done it's job. And I'm not worried about whether they get a chance to read it right now, I just know that it got me into the conversation that they want whatever it is, you know? That they want ... That if they've asked for a book called the Adult Acne Cure that I know that they want that. So let's start with a conversation that's around that, and ask them something like, "How often do you get breakouts?" Or something related to it, but not about the actual ... having them required to have done some homework, you know?
Stuart: And that's such a fantastic point. And it's such an easy trap to fall into, I mean even, like you say-
Dean: I know, even though you know that, but your natural reaction was to fall back to that.
Stuart: Yeah, it's still the first one. So if anyone else is hearing this, you'll know that I have honesty and transparency, I left this in and didn't edit it out.
Stuart: But let's just leave that section in. So those follow-up questions, it's assuming that the much better way of doing it is having that next step in mind. Having the chess master move in mind of saying, "Okay, someone did request it. They did receive it. They are interested in it. They are a five star prospect. So obviously the next thing to ask them is ..." Like with realtor books, are you looking to buy or invest? Or with the adult acne cure, how often do you have breakouts? That simple next step with the books, do you have a title yet? That obvious next question when going back to the example of if someone walked in the door, they knocked on your door and said, "What is that crow saying?" What's the next question? "Where did you hear the crow? Is it in the trees or on the ground."
Dean: What did it ... Did it sound like this, or did it sound like this?
Stuart: Yeah, yeah. It's such an easy trap to fall into, isn't it? Just falling back, because that's what everyone else does. But I think, as you're saying, the key difference being understand that they've raised their hand for something because they're interested in it, and that's what's perhaps different in this funnel, again for want of a better term, than the other one. Because you've already got that indicator right at the start of what the conversation is about.
Dean: Well, that's the best thing is if we can just get people to think about the email, not as a ... You know, that you've got to get two or three things with a complete thought out there, but that it's a conversation and you can use it that way. You say just what you would say if they literally popped their head in your door, and then you wait for them to say something. You don't have to get everything out at once. One thought at a time. Start the conversation, ask something, so it's just like a really slow real conversation. And the best part is, you get all of the time to figure out and rehearse what you would say, you know? It's like imagining that scenario, you get to say, and you can think about it and carefully choose your words. But it's still a conversation, at its highest and best level it feels like, and is, and individual conversation.
Stuart: Yeah. That is fantastic. We have blasted through 30 minutes already, today has gone really fast. So I think sticking with that idea and one thing at a time, let's call it a day thereof and going onto anything else and then we'll pick up on another subject in a week or two, and we can pick up on the next thing.
Stuart: Fantastic. So I am going to put a load of ... As we've been talking here, I've got some links that we'll put in the show notes so head over to 90minutebooks.com/podcast and this is episode 028. Grab a copy of the transcript and there will be some links to some of the other things we've spoken about. There's a ... Anyone who hasn't been listening to the More Cheese, Less Whiskers podcast I highly recommend going over there because we have a number of-
Dean: That's a good one.
Stuart: Yeah, I think if nothing else that's going to be the best. There's a lot of longer expanded conversations with people every week, so hour-long conversations really looking at how to utilize some of these things, so head across to MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com. For everything else, check out the show notes. Dean, thanks again, always a pleasure.
Dean: Thanks Stuart.