97: Exploring Popular Demand With Leadsology With Tom Poland
In today’s current financial state of affairs, every business owner must create an inbound flow of leads. You create better businesses through better leads, which requires a higher level of understanding about what it means to be in demand. Luckily, Tom Poland has taken care of the process with his program called Leadsology: The Science of Being in Demand. Tom operates a blended learning program that gives professional advisors a model for generating a flow of high-quality, inbound, new client enquiries into their businesses almost every week of the year. Tom, a marketing mentor who started his first business at age 24, has gone on to start and sell four others, taking two of them international. He’s helped over 2000 business owners across 193 different industries add millions to their earnings – and with Leadsology, you, too, can be in demand.
Exploring Popular Demand With Leadsology With Tom Poland
Our guest says that 99% of marketing messages don’t work and he can back that up with lots of experience. My guest started his first business at 24 and has gone on to start and sell four more companies, managing more than $20 million in revenue. He’s the bestselling author of three books, with a fourth book on the way, and has shared the stage with mega stars like Michael Gerber, Brian Tracy, Richard Koch, and others, and he’s here to talk to me. Welcome, Tom Poland, to the show.
Thanks, Mitch. It’s a real honor and a privilege to be here.
We got a lot to talk about Tom. You have an incredible life that you led and incredible value that you want to deliver. Let’s start from the beginning. How did your business get started when you were 24 years old?
When I was 24 years old, I got sick of working for the man. I could see the limitation on ceilings and income, and I wanted to be my own boss. I want to be able to choose the hours that I work, the days that I worked, the time that I spent with my kids, where I wanted to live, and so on. I kicked off a financial advisory business at age 24, which was a bit of a tough gig because back in those days it involved a lot of cold calling and a lot of selling. Essentially, you were contacting people who didn’t have a registered interest in what I was offering, which has to do with wealth creation. We’re talking almost 40 years ago. This is not like it is today where there are a lot of people that are financial planners and wealth coaches. It was a new concept and it was a tough gig. That’s where I cut my teeth. I did a lot of sales calls because I recognized that I had been pretty good at selling and prospecting and phone sales, and so that’s where I cut my teeth. I cut my teeth in sales which, funny enough, I’ve moved away from completely because now I only do marketing and I operate a sales-free zone.
What’s the sales-free zone? I don’t understand.
I’ve always had this fascination with marketing perhaps because I was in sales. I was doing cold calling and I had to have good telephone skills and meeting with people and shaking hands. I grew to dislike it partly because I had so much of it, I suppose. I heard about this thing called marketing. I’ve always read about marketing. I didn’t understand it, but I was still intrigued by the idea that people would buy without me selling them. It was like nirvana. It was like heaven. The best analogy I can give you is, to me, effective marketing makes selling redundant. It makes it irrelevant, obsolete, and unnecessary. The analogy I’ll give you is out the back yard, we live in this pocket-type place on the sand next to the beach. In the backyard, I have four beehives because I do a little bit of amateur beekeeping. I also have a Border Collie dog called Monty, and outside the back of the beehives is his dinner bowl. If I go and put flowers in Monty’s dinner bowl, that’s going to be a hard sell. He’s going to look up at me and his ears are going to perk up and he’s going have his head tilted to the side. He’s going to look at me and go “Are you nuts? You want me to eat flowers?” If I put those same flowers in front of the beehive, they’re all over it. Similarly, if I put steak in Monty’s dinner bowl, there is zero selling required. I don’t have to convince any dog of anything to eat the steak. That to me is what good marketing could do.
As a salesperson in one of the toughest gigs in the world selling financial security for people, who thought it was a matter of working for 40 years and putting money in retirement fund cold calling people, this to me was unbelievably incredibly tantalizing. That’s what started my interest in marketing. Would it be possible to structure some systems whereby people would be calling me on landlines? In those days there was no internet, we did not have mobile phones, and we didn’t even have faxes back then, but they would be calling me and they will be wanting to meet with me to talk about doing some work with me. It took me until 1995 to figure it out. This journey of leadsology, lead generation, as a professional style way back in 1995, almost seventeen years after I started selling, I started marketing.
Tom, I’m not going to call you a slow learner, but after all, you did figure it out. I’m not sure I’ve figured it out yet. I can’t tell you for certain that I know how to write copy that will drive people directly to the buy button every time they read it or even half the time or a quarter of the time they read it. Clearly you have a skill that you’ve developed that you’ve honed over the years. I definitely want to hear all about that. How did you get started starting and selling companies? Where did that come from?
It came from frustration. I’ve done a lot of Tony Robbins events. I’ve done all of his events. He said that discovery and learning often start with frustration and disappointment. That’s when we start asking ourselves questions about “How could I do this better?” or “What could I improve on here?” or “Why didn’t that work?” and “What could I replace it with?” To me, the marketing journey started with that. It started way back in 1995 as the intern because I had started and sold a couple of businesses and that was fine. I was settling on what I wanted to do. I wanted to do this thing called the Entrepreneurial Success Program. There’s a hole in the market where the MBA didn’t reach and the local Chamber of Commerce’s or Management didn’t reach, and that was a real thorough education program for business owners, not for corporate execs. I want it to relaunch this Entrepreneurial Success Program, or ESP program as it became known, and I succeeded in that. It took me some years, but we franchised that internationally and eventually sold that business as well.
When I started, I was fortunate in that I was listening to not an MP3, not a podcast, not even a CD, but an audio cassette, and the speaker was saying Nike is a smart company. They said they paid Michael Jordan $20 million because Nike understands that they are a marketing company, they are not a running shoe company or a basketball apparel company. They understand that they are a marketing company. He went on to say that Michael Jackson was doing an advertisement for Pepsi and they paid him something like $150 million to do this 60-second advertisement. That’s because Pepsi understands that they are a marketing company.
When I started my company, I still remember in 1995, I had a little bit of money in my bank account, but my mission was to figure out how to do marketing before I run out of money. I gathered my little team around. There were three and a half of us, one part-timer. I was going to launch this program, the Entrepreneurial Success Program, which is a three-year curriculum-based education program for business owners. We started not only how to grow the business but also to have a life while doing it, work-life balance. One day, every three months over three years, we keep coming back and they keep paying us and we’ll keep giving them value. I said to these guys, “What business are we in?” This was my little team huddled around pre-launch. They said “We’re in the education business.” I said, “What we’re in is we are a marketing company. I don’t know how to do it, but we’re going to figure it out, but first and foremost we are a marketing company because if we develop the skill of marketing, of lead generation, of new client generation, we can pretty much take that and apply it to pretty much anything else, any other service, whether it’s coaching services, consulting services.” That’s where it started. It started back then.
There was another twist to that, I suppose, to answer your question. I talked about the frustration and disappointment being the beginning of a journey sometimes. What I did is I got every book I could possibly get on marketing. Back then, you advertised on the radio, you’d put a newspaper advertisement out, or you send out 10,000 letters. You bought a list of 10,000 people, you sent them a letter, and you invite them along to hear you speak. That worked pretty well except it was expensive and it was time-consuming. Way back in the early days, I had three kids at home, so I took them to the office on a Saturday morning. Guess what? They’re all licking envelopes and soft folding letters and stuffing them in the envelopes as we were operating, getting paid the princely sum of a McDonald’s hamburger afterwards. That worked and it worked well, but it was very expensive.
Everything works well until it stops working. Cars work until they stop working. Our bodies work well until they stop working. Lead generation methods are exactly the same. They work until they stop working. I had all of our business, other than word of mouth referrals, coming in from these direct mails. Buy the list, send out 10,000 letters, hold some events, and convert people to clients. I noticed over a period of time that all of a sudden in our city, everyone seemed to be doing free events. When I started, I was one of the only people doing free events. Everyone else was saying, “Come to a workshop,” and they would try to make money out of that first initial workshop. I thought “To hell with that. I just want people in the room” and if I’m good at what I do, I should be able to convert some of those into clients, which was the case.
Everything works until it stops working and that stopped working so well, so I bought every book, went to every workshop, went to every seminar on marketing, came back and implemented them. I’m a pretty good implementer. I’m pretty disciplined. I structure things and schedule everything else. I spent all this money and all this time and I literally flew around the world and bought all these books. I came back and put everything in place and nothing changed, nothing was different, nothing improved. I wasted a whole bucket of money and a whole bucket of time. I sat down and I decided that I had to figure this thing out, and that’s when leadsology was born. I gave it the name leadsology many years later, but that’s when leadsology was born.
I was learning how to generate inbound inquiries for my business. Other business owners and some of my clients were saying I could put 180 people in a room, paying clients in one room at one day, deliver the value, get paid tens of thousands of dollars, and obviously some people seemed to be impressed and they were “How did you do that?” I started teaching a few clients, tried a few clients, and helped a couple of friends. That’s how my business was born because the day came when I thought, “I can make more money out of teaching people how to lead gen than I can running the old program,” so I sold that and started this business.
You have to tell us exactly what leadsology is, why it’s different from any other method, and the specifics about how we can implement that system in our own businesses and lives.
How many weeks do we have? Often, great clarity is achieved by understanding what a thing is not before you understand what it is. I work with people who have a service or they offer advice or they have software. I taught marketing for many years to everyone who had a business, so you could’ve been a manufacturer, a retailer, or real estate agent. If you have a physical thing or if you had a service, I taught marketing. I figured out that I had clients that I used to look forward to my meetings with them because I knew I could dive deep and help them. There was some, yes, I could help them, but it was more of an effort. What I figured out is that when you’re marketing the invisible, when you’re a consultant or a coach, you have a service, advice, or software, it’s more like you are proposing marriage than it is you’re selling a car. That’s the massive difference between marketing something that’s physical such as a car or you’re a restaurant owner or retailer or manufacturer or multi-level marketer versus marketing service, advice, or software.
I’m going to get to more specifics, but this is important because the failure to understand that distinction that marketing the invisible is more like proposing marriage than it is selling a car, that failure to understand is the root of a lot of marketing methods that people tried that don’t work. They don’t understand it’s more like proposing marriage than selling a car.
I can tell you the very quick story about how I met the woman who’s now my first wife. We were both single at the time and I know it’s cliché, I literally saw her across the other side of a crowded room and I fell in love at first sight. What that literally looked like was the whole room went out of focus except for a circle around her head and shoulders. This is literal. Literally the whole room, everyone in the room, all the walls, everything, went out of focus except this small circle that was clearly sharply focused around her head and shoulders. A higher power than myself was telling me that this is your life partner. I swear to God, I could have gone over to her and said, “Would you marry me? By the way, my name is Tom.” I don’t think that would have worked. In fact I know I would’ve been slapped down. It took a year of dating and wining and dining. I proposed exactly twelve months to the day, very romantic, on the beach, with a poem I’d written for her. I had someone playing our song in the background and the waves were lapping up on the sand. You would think that would be a winner, but it was appropriate it was on a beach because she looked like a fish that I’ve been pulled out of the water and her mouth was opening and shutting but no words were coming out.
Are you telling me you don’t like selling? That sounds to me like one of the best sales jobs I’ve heard in a long time.
You would have thought so, but that’s the thing about marketing. You never know until you launch. I launched and I crashed and burned; 869 days later, she said yes. I’m not saying I just shot my value proposition, but what I’m saying is if I was going to go buy a car, then I could take my best friend who is a great mechanic and he could look at the car and maybe he would whisper to me and say, “This is such a deal, it’s almost a steal. This is the best car I’ve ever seen. It’s got low kilometers.” I’m talking to the guy who is selling me the car and whatever I am, he’s the opposite. If I got short hair, he is long hair. If I was clean, he was dirty. If I don’t like Donald Trump, he liked Donald Trump, and we’re exactly the opposite and I do not like this guy. I hardly even know him, but I still buy his car. If you’re offering a consulting or coaching service or advice, you’re entering into a relationship with someone. That’s the fundamental difference between marketing invisible and marketing a physical thing.
How does that manifest in nitty-gritty terms? What manifests is you need to have 3% of your audience, 3% of the people you speak to at an event or 3% of the people who attend a webinar, 3% of the people who read your book, 3% of your audience are looking for what you’ve got and they’ll buy immediately. Only 3%, and that’s the 3% that I used to be satisfied with. The other 97% needs multiple exposures to your brand until they’re ready to buy. 3% will buy immediately provided your value proposition is sharp, other than the proposal I did to my now wife, but they are actively looking for it. If someone says “I can show you how to speak on stage and make money,” 3% of people in the audience are looking for that and they will buy immediately provided it’s in their budget.
Of the remaining 97%, 12% are also actively looking to buy. These are the people I call the explorers. The 3% are the seekers, but they need five validations or five experiences of you or your service before they buy. I call these honey pots. It’s like you put a honey pot outside the forest, the bears that are hungry come out and try the honey pot. The seekers will buy immediately; the explorers have to try five different honey pots. It might be they read a couple of your blog posts, they read your book, they come to a webinar, they download a guide, they do a five-hour challenge, and then they buy. This is the science. We tracked this as best we can. We’ve measured it. We use a platform called Infusionsoft, which is pretty good at measuring things. We know that 3% of the audience buy immediately, 12% will buy after an average of fifth exposure to our brand and to our stuff, and the other remaining 85%, we have the opportunity to move them to the 12% and 3%.
I understand that. It makes a lot of sense. It’s extremely similar to what Chet Holmes used to teach. He used to call that the Stadium Pitch. Did you know that process?
I don’t. I’m sorry. No.
Do you know who Chet Holmes is by chance?
Yes, I know Chet. He’s deceased unfortunately, but he was one of the founders of Early to Rise and a terrific marketer.
Chet and I were business partners along with Tony Robbins. We built Business Breakthroughs together.
I didn’t know that.
Tony, Chet, and I built Business Breakthroughs International together. Chet and I had been friends for decades before that time that we got together to form that company with Tony. One of the things that Chet teaches in his book is in fact something called the Stadium Pitch. It’s a little different than what you said, but what I love about what you said is that it is an extension, each of you are covering a different element of the same idea. Chet’s theory, he used to say, “If I brought every one of your potential target audience into a stadium and I put you on stage, but they can leave anytime they want, how are you going to keep them there beyond the 3% who are ready to buy now?” He goes through that process and describes in his book The Ultimate Sales Machine under Stadium Pitch that the top of the triangle 3%, like you said, are ready to buy now. The second level down are those open to buy, the third level down are those who are not in the market to buy, and the fourth level down are completely not possible to buy because they don’t have the money or they don’t even speak the same language.
The idea is that you use a similar process that you talked about which is numbers of exposures, then you isolate the ones who are ready to buy next and you can conduct the process that Chet has called the Dream 100. What that means is that you start sending to the top hundred people at the second level of your sales pyramid communication on a regular basis, high value communication, physical gifts and things like that to get them warmed up, so that by the fifth or sixth time, you now make a presentation, you now show up, you now ask for that meeting, and you’re going to get it and close a very high percentage. It sounds similar. It sounds like you had a lot of the same ideas but expressing them in a different way, so I love what you’re saying here. Please tell me more.
What I do now, Leadsology, was born out of frustration and disappointment. Coincidentally I was asked by someone what my definition of innovation is, and I had some warning of the question I was going to get. This is relevant to your question. Because I had an opportunity to prepare, I sat down and figured it out and I said “How do I innovate? How do I come up with these lead generation systems which are not traditional and not traditionally what people are generally taught how to generate leads but work?” My definition of innovation is wondering plus experimenting plus observing.
I get frustrated and disappointed because I bought the stuff and it didn’t work. If I have Chet’s room of 100 people and I say, “Put your hands up if you’ve bought marketing courses, you’ve read training books on marketing, you’ve gone to seminars, and nothing changed,” 97% of them will put their hands up, so a common experience and most people can relate to that. That’s when I figured that I have to make this thing out myself, so I wonder if it’ll work, plus experimenting, and observing. In the experiments, there’re a lot of failures of course. That’s why it’s more like a science and an art, because there is a lot of experience.
What does it look like? Let’s go down one level from my understanding that this is more like proposing marriage than it is selling a car. I have this thing that I call a lead stream. You’ve got a physical stream with water flowing through it, and lead stream has leads flowing into your business. If we look at this one level down from the difference between proposing marriage or selling a car, a lead stream consists of two things. One is an asset and the other is an audience. You put the asset and the audience together and you get a flow of leads coming in. I suspect we’re both fans of Tony Robbins. Tony used to always ask this question in his seminars, “What does that look like?” Someone will say “I’m emotionally upset.” He is like, “What does that look like?” “I’m going to get rich.” “What does that look like?” He had this incredible skill of asking questions. It was one of his greatest skills. What does it look like when you get flow of leads coming in? That’s a concept, that’s an idea. What it looks like is I wake up on a Monday morning and I checked and I have seventeen people who had gone online, clicked the link, and made time to talk with me to see what I got.
What happens when you put a lead stream in place is that you would wake up on a Monday morning, you would look at your calendar, and you would see these bookings from people, whether you needed three or five or seven or however many you needed. You will see bookings from people who, chances are, you’ve certainly never physically met and probably not even one‑on‑one, but they made time talking to you about becoming a client. That’s what a lead stream producers. How do you get that happen? That’s physically what it is like, but how you get it to happen is you get the right asset and you put it in front of the right audience. That produces that phenomenon that we call lead streams where people are booking and trying to speak with you about working with you.
I love the simplicity of that. That is absolutely profound. Audience, this is Tom Poland, the Leadsology author and specialist in generating incredible marketing. You can see every word and read every word that Tom is saying on Tom’s show page at YourFirstThousandClients.com. Go to Tom Poland’s show page, you will see a full transcript of this interview, every one of Tom’s books, and a chance to reach out to Tom through his programs and get more and learn more. Tom, I want you to tell me what it looks like. It looks like there are seventeen people who want to talk to you, which is awesome.
That happens every week of the year, virtually every week. Christmas could’ve been quieter. Frankly I can’t cope with that volume, so I have to turn the tap off little bit. Be that as it may, what it looks like is different things for different markets. Let me give you some examples of some assets and some examples of some audiences. Matching the asset and the audience is critically important so people understand. Let me take it from a concept of something nitty gritty. I have a fifteen-page downloadable special report. I call them guides. That’s been a great list builder for us. It’s called How to Stop Relying on Random Acts of Marketing which did use my leadsology model to systemize the total leads. That’s an asset. I have a book called Leadsology, that’s an asset. I could run a webinar, that’s an asset. I have a five‑hour lead generation challenge, that’s an asset.
One thing that all wealthy people have in common is they all have assets. The big difference between people in business who are wealthy and people who struggle is developing the right assets. We’ve got to match the asset to the audience. For example, I mentioned before that if I put a bunch of flowers in my dog’s dinner bowl, he’s not going to be buying or he’s not going to be eating it. Similarly, I can get an asset like a webinar and if I tried to get the vice presidents and CEOs of some of the world’s largest corporations to attend a webinar, that would be like putting flowers in Monty’s dinner bowl. Nothing wrong with the asset, but it doesn’t match the audience because CEOs and VPs are some of the busiest and most time-stressed people on the planet. They have a hundred emails coming in every hour, they probably have twelve meetings packed into a day that should have six. They don’t have time to sit through a one-hour webinar. That is flowers in Monty’s dinner bowl.
We’ve got to match the asset to the audience. There are three categories of the audience, and we can break this down even further. The three categories are consumer, which is the easiest audience to reach. This is what we call B2C or business-to-consumer. There’s the SMEs or solopreneur audience, people who or have their own business and can make their own decisions. The toughest audience to crack is the corporate executives like Mitch. Each audience has assets they will respond to and assets they will not respond to. We’ve got to match the asset to the audience.
Audiences, a lot of people think that, “I will just write a book or I will just develop a webinar or I will just do a special report and then the leads will come in.” No, it’s got to be done the right way. I mentioned on my fourth book, the first book sold in its tens, and I don’t mean tens of thousands; I just mean tens. It didn’t sell that well. It bored one of two clients. The second book, I figured out a couple of things and I wasn’t so good either frankly. The third book is what brought in a lot of clients, because it’s not just a matter of having the right asset; it is having the asset right.
For example, the third book, one of the things I started off with is I said, “This is probably what you’ve tried for lead generation, but let me explain why it didn’t work.” I established this high level of reliability. At the front of the book, even before the table of contents, I put in some free resources that people could click a link and then they could go to my website because when you sell a book on Amazon, you don’t know who’s buying it. You to have something right at the front of the book, not at the end, before the table of contents, so the people who download a free Kindle preview version or they have a look online and do the preview thing on Amazon, they see the links, they click on them, they go to my website, they opt in.
There are ten things I did with a third book that added up and brought in new leads and new clients. It’s not a matter of having the right asset. You’ve got to have the asset right and then you got to match up with the audience. For example, I have a book on Amazon. If you go to Amazon, type in Leadsology or Tom Poland; there was two Tom Polands who are marketing books. One is a very skilled southern writer, my namesake, but the other one is the guy who writes these leadsology books, me. If you go there, because I use Amazon marketing services, they will put the book on the screen in front of someone who’s looking to buy a similar book.
It’s like this physical shop. You imagine a physical shop. Let’s say I sell coffee mugs and it is a physical shop, and the shop said to me, “We want to stock your coffee mug, and by the way, we sell 37% of the world’s coffee mugs. What we’re going to do is when someone walks in the door that fits the description of the target person who are buying your cups, we will magically have your coffee cup appear in front of them.” That’s what Amazon does. The coffee cup store, which wants to sell your coffee mugs, says, “We sell 37% of the world’s coffee mugs. We will have your coffee mug magically appear when your ideal client walks in the door so they’re far more likely to buy it. We will take care of all the manufacturing, we will take care of all the stock, all the inventory, and we will deliver the coffee mug to your clients. By the way, Tom, we will pay you three times the amount that any other coffee cup reseller store will pay you.” That’s what Amazon does. That’s a great example of matching the asset to the audience.
I love the analogy that you’ve given me and that makes a lot of sense. In my experience, it seems like when people type in the name of my book, Amazon shows them other people’s books. In a sense I said “Yes, I totally get what you’re saying,” but Amazon is in business to sell books, they’re not in business to sell my book. That’s a very big difference, as I’m sure you know.
I have to apologize because I’m probably one of the guys that’s tailgating your book. What you can do with Amazon marketing service is you can nominate certain books that when people put that in a cart or even before they put it on the cart, Amazon will say people that looked at this book also looked at these ones below. You can buy that positioning pretty cheap.
I didn’t know that. That’s good to know. That’s something that I would like to get a little bit savvier about because I have a second book coming out soon as well. I learned the lesson the same way you did, the hard way. If you don’t put something upfront in that book as close to the front as you could possibly get it, for those people who do download the previews, they never ever will see who you are or you’ll never have an idea of how to reach them. I’m glad you mentioned that. That is something I completely forgot about. We did that early on when the book was first released two years ago, so it’s a great reminder and it’s also a great lesson. Let’s take this one step further, Tom, because you’re right. You need to have an asset, and you absolutely need to have an audience. We all have assets, but we don’t all have audiences. What is your thinking about how to obtain audiences efficiently and economically?
There are seven great direct responses to audiences that are available for most people. Some of these will apply depending on which market you’re serving, whether it’s corporate, SME, or consumer. The direct response to audiences are, first of all, your own list. Most people don’t have a list. I say to people that the best time to start a list is now, even if you get something like MailChimp or iContact or the new kid on the block, which looks exceptionally good as MailerLite, but it is completely free to sign up. Some of them could have 1,000 or 2,000 people on there and won’t even charge you. You start an email subscriber list, that’s the first thing. There’s your list. I know you’ve got a big list and you’ve got a lot of followers, but you started probably with nothing and we all do.
Other people’s networks, OPN, is by far my number one source of new leads, new subscribers, and new clients. OPN is available to every single person on the planet who’s got anything that’s half decent to market and it’s completely free. It’s like a safe. You have to know the combination to get in. One of the people that have booked a time with me to speak in early March is one of the most famous internet marketers on the planet. He’s not talking to me about becoming a client of mine, but he’s going to be talking about doing a little business together.
You have to know who to approach. For example, you have your ideal clients in the subscriber database or an email database, not social media followers. You have to know who they are. You have to know your ideal clients and their subscriber base. You have to be able to create a relationship with them at four levels before you ask to meet them. The first level is rapport. They have to get to know you and like you. The second level is respect. They have to be able to trust you, but professional integrity. The third level is what I call relatability. They have to feel that you want to stand with them and their business. The fourth level is reciprocity. Reciprocity is one of the most powerful psychological forces on the planet and very few people use it.
A good marketer certainly uses that and you mentioned before about Chet giving lots of value to the 3%. Giving lots of value evokes reciprocity. People would then rather work with Chet. If they’re going to work with someone to hit the sales calls, they’d rather work with Chet than anyone else because he was smart enough to invoke the psychological reciprocity. If you have that combination to get into the safe, there’s a lot of treasure inside that safe. I rarely do any affiliate things. 80% or 90% of my business would come from other people’s networks and that’s the best audience. Derek Roberts who’s a consultant and a client of mine has a company called Taste Emotions. He works with the likes of Coca-cola, Unilever, MAS. He has had inquiries from those three companies specifically recently through other people’s networks. If there’s someone else who is serving your market who is good at marketing and they have a list, you have to know how to get your message in front of the list.
I have to agree with you completely. I, too, utilize this simple idea of working with joint ventures as a way to build a business. In fact, when I first started Timeslips Corporation, which was my software company, I didn’t have any money to market anything. I had two options. I could either try and get free PR by writing to newspapers and magazines to get them to review my software or I could do a joint venture with other software publishers who already had the audience that I needed. That turned out to be the best way ever for me at the time to build my company and it worked like gangbusters. It was perfect and fantastic as a way of building a marketplace. The other thing you said that’s important is anyone who has an asset has an audience out there that would be perfect for your asset. It is just a matter of locating that audience and putting together the right arrangement so that people will want to do business with you, and then it’s developing the rapport.
You absolutely nailed it. One of the tips I can give people is I call the Prius factor. When the Prius, the hybrid car that has a petrol engine but also has a battery, was launched, Honda launched almost exactly the same time their hybrid. Toyota outsold Honda’s hybrid like ten to one. It was a slaughter. Honda probably had a slightly better quality brand and it was similarly priced and yet they got slaughtered by Toyota. Obviously, my company got very interested in this. Why did the Toyota Prius outsell the Honda’s equivalent car ten to one when the pricing and the quality was similar? After a lot of research, the answer came back. Remember that the Prius was the ugly duckling of cars and we all know what a Prius looks like because it looked different to every single car in the market. What Honda had done is they got the normal Honda Accord body, real nice car, and they’ve stuck a little badge on the back of it that that said hybrid. That was it. There wasn’t any difference between what looked like a normal Honda Accord and a hybrid.
When the research was done, what came out is that people who bought a Toyota Prius wanted to be environmentally friendly, but as much as they want to be environmentally friendly, they wanted their neighbors to know that they were environmentally friendly. The Prius factor as I call it makes the host of this other people’s network look good in front of their network. If someone says to me, “I got a deal for your network. We should push this thing and you’ll make a lot of money out of it.” I’m not too interested. I’m far more interested in getting emails from people saying, “Thank you so much for sharing Mitch’s offer with us, because it’s been valuable and it’s helped me a lot,” because that’s what gives me brand loyalty when I share cool stuff like Mitch’s stuff with my network.
It’s exactly the right point to make because if you didn’t follow your own guideline of building some reciprocity first, that would mean that I didn’t know what your audience needed before I said, “Tom, how would you like to promote my stuff?” It’s such a great lesson, and honestly, it’s so fundamental when it comes to building relationships. When it comes to doing any kind of joint venture marketing, you’ve got to get this part right. It’s so important.
You got to establish that relatability and reciprocity. Otherwise, you feel like that approach is ROI. I could’ve gone after the woman who’s now my wife because I fell in love at first sight and said, “Hi, can we get married? My name’s Tom.” The affiliate is doing the same thing, except they are saying, “Hi, can we get married? My name is Tom. By the way, I’m going to pay you some money if we can get married.”
I get it. Tom, this has been such a great conversation. I learned a lot chatting with you. I enjoyed our time so far. I have a question for you and this is one of my favorite questions to ask all of my guests. The reason I like to ask the question is because it helps me understand who they are, so here’s the question. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch, or an intense conversation with?
That’s easy. It’d be Mark Twain.
That’s so wonderful. You gave me a completely original answer. Tell me why.
I’ve long been a fan of Mark Twain and there are several reasons why. First of all, he had this extraordinary wisdom. For example, he started a letter once and he said, “I’m sorry. This is going to be such a long letter. I don’t have enough time to make it a short one.” He said it’s not the things that we don’t know that hurt us. It’s the things we think we know that just isn’t so. He has all these pithy sayings. The other reason I like him is he was extraordinary with words and I love words. I love the English language, but he hated learning German. He lived in Germany. That woman I talked about, she is German, so I’ve been learning German. You can get on the internet and if you Google Mark Twain, “That awful German language,” so he wrote several essays as to why learning German was the most infuriating and frustrating and impossible thing. Here’s a guy who’s a genius and a master of words in English, which struggled like I did learning German, so I can relate to this guy.
I wish he was still around because you’re right, there’s so much to learn. When you read someone and appreciate them as in history, as in their books, what starts to happen is we start thinking like them. When I was a little boy, for me it was Thomas Alva Edison. I read every book in the library. My mom made the library go get more books because what I saw, I mirrored. What I saw in Thomas Alva Edison was a man who was relentless about the way he invented things and he did not give up. That was the quality I admired most about him. Mark Twain is a great person and I’m so glad you mentioned him. Here’s the grand finale question. This is the question that I call the change-the-world question. Tom, what is it that you’re doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?
It’s simple. While this might appear to be self-serving, it’s true, and that would be for everyone to have effective lead generation systems. For anyone who’s a breadwinner, anyone who is providing for their family, there’s an old saying that Chet would have quoted, I’m sure, that “Nothing happens in a business until something is sold.” You don’t get paid, supplies don’t get paid, you can’t grow the business, you can’t take money out of the business to have a better house or a better education for your kids or better medical care, or you can’t support philanthropy, until something is sold. Most people would agree with that, but what I’d add is that nothing is sold until the lead is generated. If I had a magic wand, I would give every business owner that ability to create an inbound flow of leads because you create better businesses through better leads and you create better lives with better businesses.
Tom, I’m going to go one step further and I’m going to explain why I’m going to do this. I believe that every business owner who has an incredible product that benefits people and that changes people’s lives has a moral obligation to learn how to generate leads so that they do not deprive the world of their amazing and incredible products. A moral obligation means that you’re never imposing on anybody when you offer your product, but instead you’re gifting them the chance to change their lives in a very positive way. I’m with you, brother. I want you to be able to help as many people as possible generate more leads and get their lead gen right.
Tom, before I let you go, how the heck can people find you?
There is my website of course, www.Leadsology.guru. I do apologize for the dot guru but dot com was gone. There are lots of free stuff on there. One thing that is not on there, which people might like to check out is www.FiveHourChallenge.com. If they don’t want to contact me, but they want to get started on lead generation, they can sign up for free and they get five lessons over five days. It takes them five hours to both consume the lessons and generate the leads. That’s completely free. If they want to talk with me, they can email me direct, so I’d go to Book-A-Chat-With-Tom.com.
Audience, YourFirstThousandClients.com, go to Tom Poland’s show page, you’ll be able to take the five-hour challenge and if you like, even book a chat. I want to make this clear. Tom’s books are incredibly informative and he has a beautiful way of writing. I read one of his books. I’m now reading his second book, so I want to encourage you to go to Amazon and grab some of those books, put them on your Kindle if you know you’re going to be on a plane sometime soon and sit back and enjoy listening to a master describe exactly what you need to do because that’s where I’m at. Tom, thank you again for your time. It was such a pleasure chatting with you and I can’t wait until we get a chance to talk again soon.
Thanks, Mitch. It’s been a pleasure. I look forward to do a follow-up with you one on one.
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Tom Poland
- Leadsology: The Science of Being in Demand
- The Million Dollar Ceiling
- Your Extraordinary Life
- Entrepreneurial Success Program
- The Ultimate Sales Machine
- Derek Roberts
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