How to increase conversions with less leads while generating more money and more time.
Special Guest: Ed Bailey
The 4 Most Important Priorities For Owners To Focus On Every Day: https://dontbefooledpodcast.com/daily4focus/
Bad Advice That Even Good Salespeople Take
How to increase conversions with less leads while generating more money and more time.
Special Guest: Ed Bailey
One of my favorite stories is I remember when I first started out, I did a lot of odd hustles, including GMAT tutoring. And I was able to convert a GMAT client into a business client that ended up being well North of six figures. And so I always knew that if I can get someone on the phone, I could close them. I could figure out the right value and I can sell, but I really didn’t know how to do was how can I get those consistent at bats and consistent conversations with new people? So it would be predictable. And so I could start to plan my life as if I was working at a company, collecting that every two weeks paycheck,
Because at the most basic levels of sales is the monetization of a service and helping others see the value in what you do and be willing to exchange the value of their money for the value of your service.
If we just keep doing the same thing over and over without a critical eye towards the impact that those actions are having, I’m telling you, we could basically be just lulled to sleep thinking everything’s okay. When really, we’re about to run off the rails.
Hi, there I am. Amy and Shane is with me today on the don’t be fooled podcast, and we are so excited to journey with you as we all climb to new levels of impact and profits in our businesses. Now, Shane true question. Have you ever lived near a railroad track?
I have, I did. I grew up living in the country and there was a train track that ran along the border of our property. And I’m telling you, it was so peaceful to me at night. It was just far enough away where it was just peaceful to hear that train start to come through.
So I, I have not, I’m not surprised that you did,
But I had a friend Shane who lived real close to a railroad track. And I mean, these locomotives would roar, roar past their house in the middle of the night. And she would not even budge, but one night she’s at my house and it’s still, and it’s quiet and something falls in the kitchen. And literally she’s wide awake almost in a panic. I mean, have you ever wondered why someone can sleep through a train, but wake up at the slightest sound in a quiet house? Crazy, right. Well, I have learned it’s because of something called habituation. So this is the brain’s response to a frequently repeated stimulus. Now scrolling is a really good example of this. So Shane, have you been on social media before and 30 minutes has passed and you have no idea what you’ve just done?
Frustrating. I’m like what happened at the time go?
Right. Well, another really great example of this is when we’re driving somewhere, that’s familiar, and we get there and we can’t remember how we got there.
I’ve had that happen.
Yes. Well, in the scrolling example, the stimuli is the scroll. What happens is the brain shuts down and it literally zones out causing time to pass without us even noticing. Now, as owners, we have to be aware of habituation because it will kill our impact and our money like this. If you’re sitting down in front of your prospects over and over, and you’re saying, so, hey you, from around here, you from this area? Or you’re following that question up with, so tell me more about what you do. And then you launch into your 30 minute sales pitch. This is habituation. You see you’re repeating verbatim like a robot, a sales pitch, then eventually your brain shuts down. And what happens in that moment is we will miss important information coming from the client or prospect.
That’s right. So in other words, our own conditioning can cause us to miss some very important aspects of our business activity. And if, if we just keep doing the same thing over and over without a critical eye towards the impact that those actions are having, I’m telling you, we could basically be just lulled to sleep thinking everything’s okay. When really, we’re about to run off the rails.
Yes. You know, Seth Godin says this: “surprise and differentiation have far more impact than noise does.” So in other words, don’t be noise. Telling others what you do or asking those same questions over and over in the exact same way will eventually lead you to ignore what the prospect is saying and cause you to focus on what you want to say instead of helping them make the decision to hire you. And there is a difference between habituation and a rinse and repeat sales conversation. And we actually get into that in the master class. That’s in the link below this episode. And you know, Ed is a really good example of this idea of habituation. You see, Ed came from a background of selling for large names like LinkedIn and Google. Yet he couldn’t sell his own service to people that didn’t know him personally. Or, he could not sell to people that had not been referred. So let’s hear Ed’s story and his experience in his own words.
Hello everyone. My name is Ed Bailey. I’m currently CEO of Polymath Performance, an organization that I created to really help business owners and individuals perform at their highest level. I think really from a young age, my parents always tell stories about how I would watch the news with them. And I would, typically care about things going on in the world. People suffering, things like that and asked how I could help. And, and in watching my parents role model, working with myself and my brother and helping their family members and their colleagues around them that were less fortunate. I think service was built into what we’re doing. And as an adult, my first aha, where I realized I can make a big differences. It was my first year at Michigan State. I was on full scholarship. I was really excited to be in a free college environment and make new friends.
And as the first semester went on, everyone was really struggling with math to the point where maybe five of my best friends were going to fail their first course and therefore be put on probation and potentially get kicked out of school. Now, my first semester wasn’t a cakewalk, but I was, I would say I was better prepared. And I had a lot of ideas on how to navigate the process and had an interesting choice to make. When it came to finals prep, I could spend the time on me and try to get the best grades possible, or I could help my friends and make sure that I had a network to support me throughout my four years. And so I basically went to the dorm director. I rented out one of our basement rooms and I basically created a math study hall. And I learned the three remedial curriculums and syllabuses for Math 1825, which was the math course that all the entry level students took in their freshman year.
And I basically reached out to the class over the course of two weeks and all of my friends passed the class and the rest is history. And so that was my first taste of, wow. If I really just focus on serving, I can make a huge difference, not only for myself, but for a lot of different people. And actually Michigan State ended up taking that model and rebuilding how they prioritize academics in the dorms. They help students transition into their freshman year. And so that was really exciting. That gave me an understanding of wow, if I can just focus on serving instead of on getting, I can make a lot of difference. And so, as I progressed throughout my career, I never imagined I would be at a point where I would be a consultant or a coach selling my services. My first vision was, I thought I’d be a math, math, high school teacher and a football coach.
That’s what I thought I’d be doing. But as I learned about business, I learned that there were a lot of ways to teach in business. And so as I built my company, I had already knew I had the knowledge to help my business clients and my executive coaching clients be successful. What I didn’t know how to do was how to build a business, how to get customers. And I was thankful. I knew a lot of people, a lot of people respected my abilities. So organic opportunities came pretty fluently. And one of my favorite stories is I remember when I first started out, I did a lot of odd hustles, including GMAT tutoring. And I was able to convert a GMAT client into a business client that ended up being well North of six figures. And so I always knew that if I can get someone on the phone, I could close them.
I could figure out the right value and I can sell. What I really didn’t know how to do was how can I get those consistent at bats and consistent conversations with new people so it would be predictable. And so I could start to plan my life as if I was working at a company, collecting that every two weeks paycheck because the paycheck and that predictability is nice, but my skill set is much better set up to be a business owner. And so I knew if I could just bridge that gap, I’d be okay. But the big obstacle is I didn’t have it.
And that’s where Amy came. I think the Ascend Program, what it really taught me was that there was a nice human way to help people figure out if the problems that you solve, all the problems that they have. And really by focusing on speaking in their own language, whether you’re using free venues or paid venues, there’s a great ability to attract. And one of my favorite stories is I remember the first time I tested my messaging on LinkedIn with 30 people that I had reached out to the first day, one person came back to me and said, wow, you must have read my mind. I’m having this exact problem. He was a salesperson at a, at a pretty big Silicon Valley, I guess they’re not a startup anymore, but being an account executive in that environment was new to him. And so he didn’t really understand how to prepare himself for high, consistent performance in a super competitive environment where everyone was as good of a salesperson as he was.
And so that was my chance. Normally in that spot, I would sell hourly coaching. But this time I decided to sell my high performance coach course that laid out exactly step from A, to B, to C, to D to E how you set yourself up to bring your best self to work and not be focused on the smart goals of your company, your clients, but really manage yourself to your best. And then when you deliver that, everyone’s amazed and they’re wild, and they give you the compensation and the accolades that you really did. And so that, was an aha moment for me. It was like, wow, I could just tell people, targeted people. Here’s what I offer and I can walk them through a process. And they’ll just say, yes. And so it just got me excited. And I remember my first three months with Amy, I was able to sell five of these really, really quickly.
And it changed my life and well, the biggest way it changed my life is at the beginning of the pandemic. My major source of revenue was from a company whose business was highly affected by the pandemic because, you know, you sports couldn’t play. And so they had to give a lot of refunds and they were running out of money quickly. And that was probably 60% of my revenue at the time. And so I had to figure out how to replace that and beyond, but because of Amy system, not only was I able to replace that, but by the end of the year, I was making four X on a monthly basis, what I was making at the start. And wow, the biggest thing for me after that is I recently had a daughter in May of 2020. And so I was able to rearrange my life where I could work two days a week, spent three days a week with her plus Saturdays and not really worry about if the customers were going to come in and if the revenue was going to come in. I knew I had a system to make as much or as little as I want it based on how much time I was willing to dedicate to service.
And that is a game changer because, you know, as most of you all, especially those of you who are parents know our kids, our biggest gift, and being able to be present and be ourselves with our families is even more important than the compensation and the money and what money can buy. And so the biggest impact for Amy Ascend System for me is I am able to live life the way that I want to, and actually still serve and impact people at the same time and not make compromises. In terms of time.
Selling sales, sales person. These words have always had really negative and slimy relation in my mind. Now, before I could sell something really well, it became important for me to understand exactly what I was doing when I was selling. This allowed me to lead my conversations more effectively and then train my teams to have enthusiasm around selling. You see, here’s what I have come to accept. Me, Amy. I am the tip of the spear when it comes to the clients at Ascend. I am the one building the trust, building the relationship and the platform we have built at Ascend starts with trust and is sustained by relationship. You see, we have been trained by corporate America to silo the idea of sales in two ways. There’s this B2B idea, business to business or B to C sales business to client. But I have found due to the technology era that we are now selling human to human. Sales are no longer in silos. I mean, just go to your favorite brand and scroll their social media, their Instagram, their tweets, their, their Facebook pages watch their YouTube channels. And you will find personal stories of the people that created this brand of the people that are running this brand because at the most basic levels of sales is the monetization of a service and helping others see the value in what you do and be willing to exchange the value of their money for the value of your service.
Amy, when I started selling, I was, I was taught that it was all about persuasion and convincing handling objections. I heard phrases like close early and close often. You remember those days, right? Oh boy. Saying those words out loud brings up memories of bad experiences that I’ve had both as a salesperson and with other salespeople. I mean, I’m telling you, there were times where I felt embarrassed. I mean, guilty, ashamed, and maybe, maybe that does that for you as well as you’re listening. If so, I want you to know you’re not alone. Like I really believe this is a major reason why people have an aversion to the process of sales. They’ve experienced someone being salesy and they hated it.
Yeah. I mean, Shane, I was trained the same way. The focus was on me, me getting a yes or even a quick, no. Now I’m not wired to be the focus I’m wired and inspired to serve others, focus on them, help them get what they want. First. You see this really makes me very happy and very satisfied, but the old way of selling the way I was originally trained, puts the product and the person selling it as the target. It’s about getting the consumer to come to the seller. There is very little attention paid to the process of building rapport. Now with the rise of technology, Shane, our consumer is far more savvy and they’re looking for service based sales opportunities. So follow me. In other words, people in brands that will serve them while they are making a decision, not delay that care until they have actually paid them.
Wow, Amy, that right there is a huge distinction. When I was practicing that old way of selling, I thought I really thought it was my job to get something from the prospect. The image that came to mind for me was, uh, uh, that old cartoon, you know, where there’s the snakes in the basket. And there’s the snake charmer with the little flute and he’s playing that tune to try to get the snakes. Like I felt like I was trying to charm clients over to me. And my goal was to find a way to get them just close enough so that I could reach out and tell them, you know, why they needed what I had to offer. And I wanted to share with them all the features and the benefits in such a way that it made them feel like, well, they just, they would feel foolish if they didn’t say yes.
And I paid absolutely no attention in that conversation to what they needed, because it was not about them. It was about me. Now, the new way of doing business takes me out of the center of the conversation and replaces it with the prospect. And what that does is it requires something of me. It requires me to have a genuine desire to serve the other person. And that is not something that you can fake, right? It has to be coming from conviction. You see the old way was all about the transaction and the new way. It’s all about transformation. And when you’re convicted about serving the other person, it’s natural that you put them at the center of your thinking from the very beginning and all the way through to the point of their decision. In fact, I know from experience that when you do this, you’ll do it without the expectation of anything in return.
Yes, the old way is all about transaction. And the new way is all about transformation. So powerful Shane. And you’ve heard it said nothing happens until someone sells something. Peter Drucker said that. Now I don’t agree with how trainers have positioned this quote when they’re training other people. They use it to imply that the value of the relationship comes after the exchange of money has been had now selling in my experience. And according to my KPIs it is the ability to help people make a decision to move away from their current self and move closer to their desired self. This is how the economy ticks. I want you guys to think about it every day. People wake up and they make buying decisions based on who they see themselves as today. So I see myself as someone that would appear more successful if I drove that car.
Okay. So this is the idea that, and I need you to follow me because this is an important idea, and it will revolutionize the way that you interact with prospects. Because when you understand that, they’re trying to find a way to move away from their current self, to this idea that there’s something better. This is your value position. You see every day they wake up and they see themselves as someone today, but they have a future self that they’re trying to get to. So instead of trying to convince others to give us money for something I show up and I help them make the decision to move to journey from their current self to their most desired self. How? By asking a lot of questions and showing a genuine interest in their answers. Out of a 60 minute conversation, I may speak five minutes. You see, only when I have done this only when I have asked really good questions and done a lot of listening with no distraction only then can I determine if the path that this prospect will take from their current self to their desired self includes me, includes Ascend and includes my offer at its highest level.
Not a version of it, not a piece of it, but as it is crafted right now, having the highest conversion at the highest value. Now, what this has done for me is it has eliminated the desperate feeling of getting the sale and the indirect result of focusing on someone else and really listening to what they’re saying has resulted in higher conversions with less leads and less time to convert. You see this has improved my marketing and my advertising dollars. So I’m not only making money on the conversion, but I’m making money on the money I’m saving in my marketing and advertising sales. And ultimately it has built trust with prospects that eliminates the question of what else costs this much?
Mm boy, it’s so powerful to think about the power of question-based selling. And it reminds me Amy of a time where I worked to transition a sales team from this old way to the new way of doing sales. And making that transition, I want you to know, was really difficult because of one thing, ego. There was so much ego tied to winning a deal and comparing who was winning versus who was losing. Part of our transition was changing what we celebrated. And we went from having, you know, scorecards up on the wall that were tallying, who was ahead and who was behind and literally ringing a bell every time that someone made a sale, to celebrating prospects who chose us as the solution to help them achieve their goals. So instead of ringing a bell and bragging about how awesome we were, we started sharing stories of the dreams that we would be able to help clients and the new clients actually achieve for themselves.
And the ones that struggled the most with this transition. Some of them who could not make the change, the ones that were so set in their ways, they actually made a lot of fun of the people who gave this a try initially. I want you to know, you should have seen the looks on those people’s faces when those who were adopting the change quickly in this new way of selling began to outperform them. I’m telling you it was a game changer. And that’s something that we’re going to expand on, this idea of the value of human touch, during the masterclass. And you can find that link just below this episode, in the show notes,
We really value the time that you have spent with us. And we want to help more entrepreneur likeminded people like you. So would you join us in helping others by subscribing to this podcast on your favorite podcast platform and sharing this podcast with your business-minded friends? Again, thank you so much for listening and sharing your feedback and leaving us comments and letting us know how you feel about this information. And we will talk to you next time about what’s not working, what won’t ever work as you scale your impact. Bye everyone.
Bye bye for now.
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