What I’m doing here today is giving you a real practical example of something that I’m experiencing right now in my life. I want to walk you through how this is playing out. I think it’s actually a really great example of how people could be doing a better job at taking somebody from maybe being unknown to them. Maybe it’s a referral that you don’t know somebody has mentioned you to, maybe it’s a listener on your podcast, maybe it’s somebody in your social audience or whatever, then turn them into a lead, then into a buyer.
For me, at the moment, I am considering buying a car. My lease is up and I’m considering buying a used car. The reason I’m considering buying a used car is that I’m looking to do some different things with my money. I think that for me, as someone who doesn’t really care so much about what they drive, who doesn’t even drive all that much, I drive around town, I find having a car is a bit of a waste of a resource. How can I make better use of the money that I’m putting into my lease to help that grow for me? What I want to do is I want to save money on my lease and I want to invest that into cash-generating assets.
I mentioned to somebody, I said, “Oh, I think I’m going to buy a used car when my lease is up.” They said, “Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. You have to talk to my friend, Mike. He can get you any car you want at the price you want to pay.” Fantastic. I know this person who gave me the referral. I highly trust them. They said that Mike (I’ve changed his name to protect the innocent)… They said that Mike has been a long-term friend of theirs and that I should give him a call, and they gave me the phone number.
Now, I have Mike’s number but I have not reached out to him yet. Why? My lease isn’t up until June. It doesn’t feel particularly urgent to me right now. A buyer, someone who’s going to be a buyer, has to have that urgent problem that they need solved. Currently, I’m not a prospective buyer. I’m a potential lead. I’m not even officially a lead because this guy, Mike, doesn’t have my information. He doesn’t have a way to contact me to get more information from me.
Why aren’t I an actual lead? He doesn’t know I exist. This is why it’s really important in my opinion that we have email lists because that’s a way for somebody to give us some information that allows us to stay in touch with them, that allows us to start better conversations with them than just on social. Now, of course, have I had people who have bought from me off of social media who have not been on my email list? 100%, absolutely, that happens. I consider the whole podcast, social media, email list, and ecosystem that I am toggling between but ultimately, ideally, I want to capture this person as an official lead so I can continue having that conversation with them.
Now, his friend suggested I contact him. I don’t have a lot of urgency right now but what I do have right now is a need for information. Because Mike doesn’t know I exist, he can’t get me the information that I need. Also, clearly, Mike is doing business in a very traditional format and isn’t putting out any content to help me get the information that I need to take the next step with him. That is how our content works for us is it does the job, a sales job before we even get people to us. It’s helping them identify and assess whether or not they’re going to purchase from us, whether or not they actually have the problem that we solve, and whether or not now is the right time for it to be solved.
For example, all I keep seeing is how expensive used cars are right now. Is that true? I don’t know. I would like to have that information. How do I assess if now, given what we’re seeing in the economic climate, is the right time to buy a car? We’re considering buying out my lease. Is that a good choice? What are the things that I should be considering between buying out a lease versus buying a used car? How long is it going to take me to find the car that I want? There’s information that I need that would be helpful in whether or not I’m going to be taking these next steps with Mike.
Now, I could absolutely pick up the phone and call Mike, and ask him except I really freaking hate calling people. Really, like I don’t like it. It’s not my jam. How do your best fit clients like to receive information? How do they like to engage with you? Are they people who want to be picking up a phone or are they people who want to be able to read information, listen to information, then make decisions, whether or not they’re going to take a next step, based on that? Because let’s face it, we’re all busy. Our time and our energy is going elsewhere. I don’t need to get on a call with somebody and start with small talk. That’s my worst fear. Clearly, I’m an introvert.
However, it’s also just been the holiday season. I’ve had a lot on my plate. My family’s just been sick. There are other things that are precluding me from picking up that phone but I could still be getting the information if Mike was giving it out in some way. Also, that might attract me to give him my email information so that I become an actual lead. Some people might be like, “Well, Tara, if you’re not going to pick up the phone and call him, are you really his best fit client?” Actually, I am because I’m decisive. I have money. I’m seriously questioning my never-ending lease payments. I would be a good fit for Mike to have a conversation with. How can Mike make this sale without knowing I even exist?
The first step to identifying a lead.
The first thing he needs to do is get me from floating around out in never, never land where he doesn’t even know I’m here to be a lead. For him, it would be giving better instructions to the people in his referral network. If he had said to his friend, “From time to time, you might come across someone looking to buy a car. I’m specifically looking for folks who are really questioning these never-ending lease payments and right now, they might even be questioning what they’re hearing on the news. They might be wondering, ‘Is this even a good time to be buying a used car?’ so I created this helpful PDF on how to know if turning in your lease and buying a car is a smart financial move in 2022. If you know anyone who can benefit from this, here is the link where they can download this PDF or you can just easily email me with their information. You can even connect them by email with me, then I can take it from there.”
We want to make sure that we’re always capturing that information, which is why it really is important that you have some kind of lead magnet, opt-in, freebie that speaks to an issue that your best fit client is having, then you promote it, you share it, and you ask people to share it if they’re in your referral network, so you’re capturing leads. This is very effective. I know it sounds really simple but we grew our email list by 92% last year. I think that we increased our new contacts by 165% by organic methods. This being one of them is just routinely communicating that entry point, that opt-in that we have over and over, and over again. That’s one way that now I’m like, “Oh, he’s answering my exact question.” But did you see how specific he was? He’s not looking to sell to anybody. He has specifically heard what so many people are saying to him in the sense that they don’t know, “Is this the right time to buy?” He’s going to give us some data and information, and help us discern whether now is the right time in the economy to be buying a used car. He’s speaking very clearly to his best fit client.
Now, who could he be reaching out to for referral partners who knows people who might be having this question? Accountants, financial planners, bankers, friends and family, other people in his community. The second they start talking like, “Yeah,” they’re on the side of the soccer field. “Yeah, I’m thinking about turning in my lease and buying a car but who knows with the way things are in the economy right now, every newspaper article I read is talking about the cost of used cars,” then they’d be like, “Hey, you should talk to my buddy, Mike. He’s got a PDF on this that will help you decide, not whether or not you want to buy from him per se, but is it the right time? He’s going to give you some useful information.” I’m like, “Awesome. Great.” I signed up. I now have the PDF. I’m now a lead. What does Mike need to do to turn this lead into a sale? He needs to start a conversation.
We are all overlooking how simple this is. You need to start a conversation. That’s how sales happen.
I know that there are a lot of us who maybe we’re introverted like me. You think, “Hey, great. I have all these online tools. I don’t actually have to have conversations with people. I don’t like them anyway. I can just send them emails and spam them with links, and just post three times a day on Instagram. They’re just going to automatically book calls with me.” That’s not actually how it happens. Sorry, it’s not. However, it doesn’t also have to be hard, so what Mike’s next step is—I’m going to tell you what his next step is—I download. He has my email. He sends me an email. He doesn’t even need to have a nurture sequence. He’s going to send me an email, “Hey, Tara. I see you downloaded my guide. When is your lease up?” That’s it. That’s a conversation that’s appropriate for him to start. “Hey, Tara, I saw you downloaded my guide. When is your lease up?” I’m having a problem he can solve, that is why I have downloaded his thing. I don’t need a gazillion forms of nurture now. I just need to have a conversation. I need him to make the conversation easy for me. That’s actually a value-add.
I’m really excited that Mike made contact with me. I don’t need to open an email, start an email, ask him questions that I’m not even really sure I know, like I’m not even really sure what questions to ask at this point. Right out of the gates, I really like Mike. He just made my life so easy. I respond, “June.” That’s it. One word. June. What does he do with that? He now responds back. He says, “Great. That’s the perfect amount of time to get you something you really love for a great price point that fits your budget. Any idea what you want your next car to be?” How easy is this? Now, I am a prospective buyer because I’m in a conversation with Mike. He’s starting to understand where I am in my buying process, what my needs are, what my urgency is. He got a lot of information, just from asking those two simple questions. That’s information that I do have and that I can give him. He’s not asking me anything really complicated.
For Mike to make this sale, I need to have a problem he can solve.
I have to be in alignment around what our beliefs are on key points. He has to believe that buying a used car right now is a good idea because I’m looking for someone who’s going to give me information around, “Buying a car right now is a good idea.” Now, he could be somebody who’s lacking confidence. He might be like, “Gee, I don’t know, I don’t know if now’s the best time for me to be selling used cars. The economy and they’re more expensive right now,” but that’s not the energy that he needs to be leaning into. He needs to be leaning into finding the reasons why now is the best time. He can find them. He’s an expert. He knows. He’s been doing this a long time, so he can help me weigh the pros and cons. I need to be able to afford the car. If I can’t afford a used car and where I don’t have the ability to take out financing for a car, really no point in Mike continuing this conversation with me because that would be a giant waste of his time.
For Mike to make this sale, he needs to know who is making the decision.
Also, he needs to know, am I the decision-maker or am I going to get all this information from him, build this relationship from him, then toss it in say, I don’t know, my husband’s lap, and be like, “Mike, really John is going to make this decision. I know you’ve spent all this time building a relationship with me and giving me this information but John is going to make the decision now.” What John might be interested in might be completely different than what I’m interested in. This actually happened when we were putting in our pool and the salesperson was sitting down to have this conversation about our pool with us. He says, “Would you like to see how the pool gets put in the process of what it’s going to look like in your backyard while we’re here working?” My husband was like, “No, no, I know what that looks like. Talk to me about the tech. Where can I get the app that goes on my phone that helps me manage the chlorine while I’m sitting, watching Succession, and drinking my Scotch?” Because that’s a very Succession thing to do is to drink Scotch and watch it.
I was like, “Whoa, wait a second. I actually do want to see what it’s going to look like. One, I’ve never experienced having an in-ground pool put in. John lived in a home where there was a pool. He did experience that. He’s also not home all day. I’m working from home. He’s working from an office. I absolutely want to know what’s happening in my backyard while I’m trying to record podcast episodes. How disruptive is this going to be?”
Again, John and I have really different viewpoints on cars as well. He really is a car guy. I’m not. The thing he’s interested in about a car is going to be very different than me going, “Is it going to get me to the tutoring center where I need to take my kids twice a week or not?” It’s a different perspective, so you need to know who that decision maker is. You need to understand who you’re talking to. We need personal urgency. We need this to be important to the person now because when those things happen, people are more likely to buy from us.
What can you control, and what is not in your control in making this sale?
First of all, right now, nothing is in Mike’s control because I’m floating around in Never Neverland. He doesn’t know I exist. That’s the first thing that Mike can control. Mike can control whether or not he is putting something out there that attracts his best-fit clients to give them some information so that he can make contact with them: our opt-ins, freebies, lead maggots, whatever you want to call them, but we want to make sure that they’re speaking to that very specific thing and that they’re somewhat qualifying our prospects, our leads as we go.
For example, he’s talking about, “Is this the best time to buy a used car in 2022?” If someone’s like, “Well, I’m not buying a car in 2022,” that’s going to disqualify them as it should because he only wants to be talking to people who have this need right now. It’s also not applicable to people who are looking to lease a car because he’s not a car person. He’s not someone who leases cars. He’s someone who sells used cars, so we want to be qualifying them as best we can along the way. What does Mike have control over? He has a way to capture a lead. He knows the information that qualifies his lead. He starts conversations. These are all things that he has control over.
He asks good questions, “When is your lease up? What kind of car are you interested in buying?” He follows up until he receives a no. That is within his control, to continue to stay in contact with me and follow up with me, asking the right questions to lead me, either to make the decision to buy a used car from him or to not buy a used car or to not buy one from him. Until he gets a no, there’s still an opportunity for him to make this sale.
Also, his knowledge and understanding of who his best-fit buyer is within his control. I can’t say this enough. You need to understand who your best-fit clients are. You need to understand how they’re thinking, what they’re saying, how they’re feeling, what their concerns and hesitations are. You need to understand them, like you’ll be able to play them as a method actor. I was just watching the Harry Potter reunion episode on HBO Max. They were talking obviously about one of the challenges being that they were in these roles for 10 years. There were seven movies that they had to make over a 10-year span, which started when, oh my gosh, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, you should watch it, they were itty-bitty. They were babies. I don’t even know how they even got them to get through their lines. It was probably like herding cats. There were these itty-bitty babies to mature adults and Emma Watson was saying it was the most challenging method of acting because they almost didn’t know who they were anymore like Emma didn’t know who Emma was after 10 years because of how long and extreme it was that she was playing Hermione. She was so into Hermione’s character.
Now, obviously, we don’t want you to lose touch with who you are but the point is that we want you to understand your best-fit buyers to that level of a degree so that you can be speaking to them and understanding what’s happening for them every step of the way. What are those common trigger points for them that they might be impacted by?
For me, right now, it’s a whole subset of women business owners who are feeling a lot of pressure on them for the last two years. They’re probably three to five years into their business. They’re like, “I need to make this work. It’s time.” They’re watching maybe even some of their friends who are in professional careers get huge increases because of the great recession. They’re like, “This needs to start to become more financially viable for me. I need to start paying myself a paycheck that is commensurate with my expertise, experience, and effort that I’m putting in or maybe I should go and start to look at some jobs in the professional space,” because things are changing. The pay is going up. People have a lot more negotiating room. Work is becoming more remote and flexible. Maybe people have taken on a significant amount of debt and now they’re like, “Wow, I need to stop taking on debt in order to pay myself and grow my business.”
There’s a real urgency there among women business owners as this time that we’re in is ever evolving and continually uncertain. They’re realizing that all the marketing tactics that they’ve been investing in over the last three to four years haven’t really gotten them where they need to be and maybe it’s time to start having a different conversation around skill set, competency, and sales and not necessarily marketing or marketing tactics. There’s a lot happening for your people at any given point. These are some of the things that I really impress upon the people in The Bold Profit Academy and give them resources to do like, “Are you regularly debriefing and collecting that data that you need to continually improve your messaging, how you communicate your value, the results that you get from people? Are you speaking exactly to the relevant problems right now?”
I can tell you, in the last week, I started this with saying if you’re somebody who feels like you have no leads—because in the last week, this has come up multiple, multiple times. It’s also the thing we’re talking about in The Bold Profit Academy right now—if this is something that’s resonating with you, this is a great time for you to join us.
I want to leave you with some questions that you can be asking yourself.
How can you do a better job of identifying the leads you already have?
Where is there low-lying fruit for you that can be converted into income revenue right now?
What are you willing to do to master the art of converting leads to buyers? Not necessarily the art of having a big audience. We want you to have leads, then we want you to master converting those leads into buyers because if you can’t convert the warm leads that you have, the people that you’re already nurturing through social, through your email list into a buyer, it’s going to be really hard to understand how to convert less warm leads, cold leads.
What assumptions have you been making about your buyers that are holding you back from making the sale? For example, if Mike were to be like, “Well, if she can’t even pick up a phone and call me, then she’s not my best fit client or buyer,” that would be an assumption that he’s making because of something that he’s feeling internally. I’ve triggered something in him by just not simply reaching out instead of him going, “Oh, okay, how can I make this easier for her to connect with me? What hesitations might she have about getting into this conversation with me that I can address before we even speak?”
Please know I believe in you and the power of small businesses to create infinite opportunities and income for not just you but everyone around you. I’m really going all-in on making Small Business Saturday, every day in 2022.
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