Prospecting New Business Transcript
Season 1: Episode 26

This is a written Transcription for the episode: The Secret To Prospecting New Business Of the Midwest Mindset podcast.

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

Matt Tompkins: How would you like to know the secret to prospecting new business and not just any prospects, but a way to connect with new business leads that actually pan out? As a small business owner, you can’t afford to waste time or money and you need results.

Now, I can personally tell you that the answer is not in those Facebook ads we see with the rich guy on a private jet telling you that he has the secret to making a million in sales in just 30 days. If you buy his ten step program that comes on 20 different DVDs, which I now know I should have seen as a red flag right there, know today you’ll get the secrets for free. No strings attached.

If you Googled the definition of spam, you’ll get two options, either of which are very appealing. One is for a canned meat made mainly from ham. Mainly, I do not want to know what else they’re using. The other option, though, isn’t much better. Irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent to a large group of people on the internet. The first email advertisement was sent back in 1978 and I’m pretty sure whoever received it was angry and put it in their junk folder.

Today, some 320 billion spam emails are sent every day. In fact, half of all global email traffic is spam and nobody likes spam, right? I mean, spam gives marketing a bad rap. So what are they doing wrong and how can you do it right? Today, we’re going to learn how to cast that large net, but do it in a way that is non spammy, if that’s even a word, so that you can deliver new business leads that turn into new customers. Jeff Beals, co host The Grow Omaha Radio Show and podcast, and he is an international sales coach, speaker and author who trains sales teams every day on how to prospect new business leads. So if we’re starting off at square one, Ground Zero, what’s the first thing we need when it comes to prospecting? New business leads?

Jeff Beals: First of all, it’s a mindset. I mean, as a business you have to be of the mindset that you are obsessed with those people who are not yet your customers, not yet your clients, and you can never have too many people in your pipeline, period. End of discussion. You can never have too many prospects because things happen over the course of time.

Current customers leave, hot leads don’t pan out. So that’s that’s one thing that I always get a little bit frustrated with. For instance, I worked with a manufacturer once. I do a lot of sales training for manufacturing companies and the head of sales said The operations people are breathing down my neck. They’re frustrated because they say we’re producing too much business and that we need to slow back because they can’t keep up with all of it.

What do you think I should do? And you want to know my answer? I said you should bury the bastards because and no offense to the ops people, I don’t think they’re really bastards. But you should bury.

Matt Tompkins: And you’re not going to literally bury them. But no.

Jeff Beals: Bury them with business because and and some operations people and some CEOs might say, Jeff, that’s really irresponsible. But I’ll tell you what, the moment that manufacturer takes its foot off the gas pedal, you start a series of events which will lead to downtime and having to eliminate a shift.

Matt Tompkins: Note to self Do not mess with Jeff Beals. This guy takes his sales leads very seriously. All kidding aside, what Jeff is referring to is having a scarcity mindset. Having the wrong mindset. A scarcity mindset in sales may seem like foo foo philosophy,

but it is like poison in the veins of your business if you let it creep in. Scarcity mindset is limiting how big the pie is, and if someone else succeeds, then that must mean you automatically lose sales and business overall is not a zero sum game.

Having an abundance mindset is important for yourself and your team because it helps you focus on the bigger picture and helps leadership recognize your long term vision. Now, it has been a long time since that first email advertisement was sent back in 1978. So what does prospecting new business leads look like today?

Jeff Beals: Well, first of all, it’s the most important thing that anyone in sales does. And I always like to say that the reason sales people are paid on commission and many times even 100% commission, or at least they have bonuses, is because of prospecting. It’s not because you’re good at filling out contracts. It’s not good because you’re it’s not because you’re good at following up after the sale.

Matt Tompkins: It’s not my it’s not my good looks and my charm.

Jeff Beals: Or well, in your case, but in my case.

Matt Tompkins: I’m the.

Jeff Beals: Hell, isn’t it? You’re paying on commission because people don’t like to go approach strangers and ask them for business. And I always define prospecting as the act of interrupting someone’s day when they don’t expect to hear from you in order to provide them with something they need, but they might not yet know about. Yeah, well, interrupting someone’s days. Tough, because that triggers our natural fear of rejection and we all have it.

Unless you’re a sociopath. In which case sometimes I envy sociopaths. But unless you’re a sociopath, we all have that fear of rejection. And so the reason they’re paid on commission is because it’s not easy to get people to do that. And so prospecting is the single most important thing that you have to do, and you have to be willing to do it all of the time. Mad I always like to say that prospecting is like brushing your teeth. You don’t take a day off and hopefully you do it more than once a day.

Matt Tompkins: Yes, getting used to hearing the word no is not an easy thing to do, but you have to reframe it. I mean, how else could actors move forward when they’re rejected 99 times out of 100 auditions? And that’s probably being generous, you know, to have a Hall of Fame level batting average of 300, that means that you’re striking out. 70% of the time, a big part of really successful people is taking that failure and turning it into growth.

This is what separates elite athletes from the rest of the pack, and they’ve actually studied this. Elite athletes are able to accept it in the moment. They don’t waste any time on it. They don’t expend any emotional energy on it. They learn from it and they move on. They compartmentalize it appropriately. So what are some other techniques that are most effective at generating results?

Jeff Beals: One, you want to mix it up a bit. You know, just as a business likes to have multiple streams of income, a sales person wants multiple streams of prospects. And so you’re going to do some social media, you’re going to do some networking, you’re going to do some email prospecting, you’re going to do some telephone prospecting, and you’re going to do some office pop ins.

You can mix it all up. Now, this is the part that a lot of people listening are not going to like hearing today. And that is the telephone actually remains the number one prospecting tool despite all of the new technology we’ve had.

When you factor in effort and money put into it and results put out, so is showing up and meeting with someone in person a better form of prospecting in terms of results? Hell yes. But is it easier to get a hold of a lot of people on the phone than it is to meet everyone in person? Absolutely. No question. So believe it or not, the lonely old telephone, which is 140, 150 year old technology is still numero uno.

Matt Tompkins: Here’s something I never thought I’d say, but cold calling is cool. Oh, man. Who have I become? Yes, cold calling is cool because it can predict the future. So let’s say that my goal is to bring in ten new customers a month.

I start making cold calls and I find out that it takes about an average of 100 cold calls to bring in one new sale. So now I know that I need 1000 cold calls every month to bring in ten new sales. I can expand that from there. I can go from monthly to my quarterly goals and to my annual goals. And pretty quickly, I find out that if I make 50 cold calls a day,

I can reach my three year goal that just a few weeks ago seemed impossible. Now that is pretty cool. So now you’ve set your goals, but where do you go find these new business leads? What’s the next step?

Jeff Beals: First of all, you’re going to create a a social media online presence as fast as you humanly can. But frankly, that’s marketing, not sales. The social media stuff gets you credibility and burnishes the brand, and it also gives you access to leads, right? I mean, your connections on LinkedIn can be a lead generation source for your prospecting efforts.

But the problem is a lot of people will put too much emphasis on the social media for the prospect, and we can get into that a little bit more in a moment if you’d like, but but I think that’s the first thing you have to do is establish your brand. And that’s going to be heavily online, Right? And then as far as getting the leads, you think to yourself, okay, who exactly am I going to serve? And you have to know exactly who is in your business as target audience.

And you’re going to want to start to put together lead sheets of people who meet the criteria that would most benefit from the product or the service that you sell. And then I’m going to go back to that telephone again. Yes, I believe very heavily in the power of Zoom and other platforms like that. I use them almost every day in my life. But when I’m first initially going to reach out to a prospect for the first time, especially if I wanted a hit, a lot of prospects who don’t know me in a short period of time, I’m going to use the traditional telephone. Yeah.

Matt Tompkins: Even I mean, even a voicemail even. Oh, right.

Jeff Beals: If we had more time, I would get into the art of leaving a voicemail. I could do an hour class on voicemails. Voicemails are one of the greatest tools we have as prospectors, and 80% of sales professionals don’t even leave voicemails as dumbest thing they could possibly do a 30 to 40 second or less voicemail.

And the prospecting world is gold. And also you have to remember when you’re cold prospecting, it takes on average, let’s say you’re calling a decision maker, someone who makes significant decisions for a company or an organization.

It’s taking now between eight and 12 attempts on average to get a live interactive conversation, really with the decision maker scares people to death because no one wants to be a pest. We all have that fear of rejection.

Matt Tompkins: Rejection, right. That’s tough to.

Jeff Beals: Overcome, but you have to do it. And and we’re talking about cold people. All we’re trying to do is to get them to have a meeting with us, to get a live interactive conversation with us. Whether it’s in person or via technology is irrelevant.

Yeah, So, so so those would be the things that I would do. I would focus on my brand and start to establish online credibility as fast as possible.

I’d know exactly who I’m serving and I would chase those people as I generate my leads and then for the very first outreaches. Like I said earlier, people don’t want to hear this, but go telephone.

Matt Tompkins: Knowing who you’re serving, who your audience is, knowing who your ideal customer is. That is something we have come back to a number of times on the podcast because it’s perhaps one of the most important first steps to any aspect of your business, and it’s unfortunately something many people skip. When I coach podcasters when we’re starting out, I asked them, Who is your podcast for? Who is your ideal listener? The most common answer I get is, Well, everyone. I want everyone to listen. So my podcast is for everyone.

Business owners make this same mistake when we think too broadly and vague. Your business can’t be everything to everyone. You shouldn’t try to be everything to everyone. That’s an improbable task for any business except maybe Costco. I mean, seriously, you can go into Costco today and buy an inflatable boat, a diamond ring, a £72 wheel of cheese and a casket.

Yeah. You can buy caskets at Costco. Instead, try this. Describe your ideal customer with the same specific details as you would describe yourself. You wouldn’t describe yourself as a man or woman with 2 to 4 kids, married or single with a salary of 50 to 150000. Being specific and niching down is how to find and best serve your ideal customer and know don’t stress. We do not alienate people by niching down like we think we will. Instead, we’ll actually end up reaching the largest group of people when we focus on one ideal customer.

Jeff Beals: Yeah, you have to know exactly who you’re speaking to and then you have to really spend a lot of time working on your message. I always say the first thing you want to do, if you want to have a great message to that person you’re speaking to, is to have a good idea what it is that they truly value and care about without any ambiguity or assumption.

And then once I know that I want to craft messages that I think would really matter to them, use the example of your wife. She’s a crafter, right? But she also has a career. If I approached her talking about something that she’s passionate about in her case crafting, I have a lot more success If she’s never heard of me in getting a meeting or a conversation with her than if I start bombarding her with the features and benefits of the stuff that I sell or I make the critical error of.

Her name is Wendy. I say, Hey, Wendy. Jeff Beals from from Jeff Beals and Associates. We’re a sales consulting company. I’d love to stop by your office, pick your brain, take about 30 minutes of your time, and see if it’s a fit for me to work with you that’s useless and worthless and, frankly, selfish on my part because I’m asking to steal her time for.

Matt Tompkins: Making you instead of the person you’re trying to help.

Jeff Beals: But even if I’m even if the work she does has absolutely nothing with crafting, if I approach her from a crafting perspective for whatever reason, maybe I have expertise in that I’m going to have more success in getting that coveted interactive conversation with her than if I just start, as I like to say, vomiting features and benefits all over a poor, unsuspecting prospect.

Matt Tompkins: Know who your specific customer is and know what makes you unique. Why should they choose you over everyone else? What is that category that you’re going to be first in? Now, I mentioned email spam at the beginning of this episode, and email marketing is one of many options for marketing and sales. While everyone has their own opinion on what is the least effective way to prospect, new business leads from email marketing to no social media.

That’s the worst or cold calling. It doesn’t work. I think that this statement is the actual truth to settle all debates. There is no wrong tool for you to use. As much as I hate spam, there are extremely effective ways to execute mass email marketing campaigns.

The tool that is wrong for you may be what is best for someone else. So stop googling what is the best sales tool to get new business because it doesn’t exist? No, CRM is perfect for me. It might be HubSpot for Marj Jenkinson and our billing department. What works best for her is a notebook with stickers and color coded markers. Focus on what works best for you, what makes you unique, and how to reach your specific ideal customer in the best way possible.

Jeff Beals: Yeah, I would agree with that statement. You have to be very careful which tools you use because you are correct. Matt. There’s no bad prospecting tool, just bad execution. And frankly, there’s more bad execution of prospecting that I see than good execution. And one of the places where I see a lot of bad execution is in social media.

Social media is great. I’ve been I’ve been using social media for my sales training business since I started doing it in 2008, and I’ve had a lot of success with it. But you got to know what social. Social media is, and that is primarily a marketing and lead generation tool. So I use social media the way a company would use advertising. To me, it’s for brand and credibility. And then if I do a good job with branding and credibility, then I also have access to people through social media platforms to create my lead lists and all that.

Now, is it possible that sometimes I will put out a piece of content on social media and it will impress someone so much, resonate with them so much that they pick up the phone and schedule me for a 10,000 speech? Yeah, that’s happened. Could I live on it? Absolutely. No. Yeah. And so I think people sometimes get frustrated with social media because they don’t realize what its limitations are. If your only source of prospecting is going to be social media and most cases that’s going to fail unless you have a certain type of e commerce business in which that might work. But most people don’t. Most people use social media as a crutch or frankly, a copout.

Give you an example what I’m talking about, Matt. How many times do you get a LinkedIn invitation from someone who you don’t know and you get that little alarm that goes off in your head that they’re just going to try and sell me something and for whatever.

Matt Tompkins: Reason, book event invite. That’s why an only 10% of my friends, if that show up when I invite them to my my birthday party. But that’s a different issue.

Jeff Beals: It’s a personal.

Matt Tompkins: Problem, a different reason. But you’re right, though, it’s not personal.

Jeff Beals: But let me ask you this. So. So you get that right? How many times do you get that that email? Multiple times a day, probably. Right?

Matt Tompkins: Yeah. And you get.

Jeff Beals: A lot of them. Yeah. And sometimes you have a weak moment and you click accept. How long does it typically take after you click accept before someone is direct messaging you through LinkedIn, vomiting, features and benefits all over.

Matt Tompkins: This is a tip that I’ve found really helps. If you’re a small business owner and you’re doing your own social media marketing, we think that we have to be on every single social media platform all at once from the start. But when we do that, we severely limit our impact and results. So if you have one hour per day or even just 30 minutes each day to dedicate to marketing outreach on social media, I recommend that you don’t divide that up into seven different platforms because you’ll likely get overwhelmed and frustrated.

The quality of your outreach is going to suffer and odds are you’re just going to give up on most of those platforms, leaving them as just dead pages, you know, laying there not updated and not getting a response. If people message you on them, which is a bad look and it’s an easy way to lose brand equity with your business. So instead start with just one platform and spend all 60 minutes focused on that single platform. Pick the platform that you actually spend the most amount of time on, because that’s going to be the platform where you feel most natural and familiar, and it’s where you’ve already built up equity and credible authenticity. If it’s Facebook, find the Facebook groups where your ideal customer can be found and simply participate in their life.

Once you feel that you’re just crushing it on this primary channel, add a new channel and then take the same approach one platform at a time.

Jeff Beals: Oh, absolutely. Like in my case, yeah. Linkedin is my primary social media tool for my sales consulting and training business, but I always think about ways that I can say little things on Facebook which reinforce what I do. Because those 4000 some people I’m connected to on Facebook are a little more personal than the LinkedIn, But the people that have a little more or a lot of a personal relationship with you can be a big source of business.

I once back when I was doing commercial real estate brokerage many years ago, once found out about a major real estate purchase that a relative of mine made by reading the business paper, it didn’t use me. And when I talked to the relative about it, the relatives said, Oh, I forgot that you were in real estate. And so I ever since that day, I have always thought, okay, I need to make sure the people who are in my own backyard right under my nose, so to speak, remember me and what I do, because they’re the ones that should be giving me all of their business.

So Facebook is very, very important for for getting new business. But if it’s your sole tool, you’re probably going to be eating ramen noodles and going bankrupt.

Matt Tompkins: You have to know how it works. And that’s why Jeff Beales has an amazing TikTok channel where he does dance off competitions and dance challenges.

Jeff Beals: No shirt on.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, well, I didn’t know that was the case. I’m glad. I’m not so glad I brought that up because people are going to like, search for that and it’s going to.

Jeff Beals: Actually, I don’t have a TikTok. I mean, I have all the other ones.

Matt Tompkins: A few final things to consider. Once you know who your ideal customer is and you know what platform they spend the most amount of time on, you also need to know how they use that platform. And don’t assume that one platform is only for one age demographic or only one type of use. In the US, many assume that TikTok is only for teenagers and yes, while 60% are between the age of 16 and 24. 30% are in that coveted 25 to 44 demo and growing.

And Tick Tock is also a growing source for where people get their news and information. So it’s not just Jeff Beal’s dance off videos all the time, although that would be pretty awesome. We appreciate you, Jeff Beals, Thank you so much for coming on the Omaha podcast. You can reach out to Jeff Beals directly in the show notes. We have the links to his podcast and radio show Grow Omaha, as well as his website Grow Omaha dot com. Or you can hire Jeff to coach up your sales team or come speak to your organization.

Thank you so much for joining us here today on the podcast. Hit Subscribe So You Never miss an episode.

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