In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Amanda Holmes. Amanda is the CEO of Chet Holmes International (CHI) which has worked with over 250,000 businesses worldwide. At age 24, she inherited her father’s multi-million dollar enterprise, which specializes in helping companies double their sales. She’s the author of a book — Based on The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies.
At just 24, Amanda Holmes inherited her father’s multi-million dollar enterprise – Chet Holmes International. Without much direction, she had to navigate the uncharted waters of running an enterprise at that scale. In this episode, Amanda shares more about her journey as CEO and the challenges of implementing change in a long-standing organization. Amanda dives into the process her father developed years ago that has helped large companies quickly double their sales and how she has helped that process evolve over the years.
Questions I ask Amanda Holmes:
- [03:04] What was it like being thrust into an ongoing organization as a family member?
- [06:14] What was hard for you to change?
- [08:10] What’s been the most fun for you when it comes to stepping into the CEO role of Chet Holmes International?
- [09:39] Would you say that your music and arts background has brought a level of creativity that maybe didn’t exist in the organization before?
- [13:15] Who is your typical client at CHI?
- [14:40] A core concept of your coaching is Dream 100 – can you describe what this is?
- [19:16] One of the challenges you alluded to – we’re so focused on digital right now, you particularly have yourselves firmly in what you’re calling old-school processes – would you say that the old-school processes are working better than ever?
- [21:29] Where can people find out more about you and your work?
More About Amanda Holmes:
- Get a copy of her book on Amazon — Based on The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies.
- Connect with Amanda on Instagram — @amanditaholmes
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John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast was brought to you by the MarTech Podcast, hosted by my friend Ben Shapiro, is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals with episodes you can listen to in under 30 minutes. The MarTech Podcast share stories from world-class marketers who use technology to generate growth and achieve business and career success. And you can listen to it all on your lunch break. Recent, an episode featured Max Novak, the founder of Nova Cast, where he talked all about how podcast booking campaigns create value. For listeners and for brands. You know, I'm a huge fan of being guests on podcasts, so listen, check out the MarTech podcast wherever you get your podcast.
(00:57): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Amanda Holmes. She is the CEO of Chat Holmes International, which has worked with over 250,000 businesses worldwide. At age 24, she inherited her father's multimillion dollar enterprise, which specializes in helping companies double their sales. A lot of their works based on the best selling book, The Ultimate Sales Machine, of which they have a new edition coming out. Amanda's name will be all over the new edition as well. And she has merged her father's proven process with her own forward thinking ideas to connect the old school sales process with hybrid, online and offline instant gratification and short attention span that we see in consumers today. So Amanda, welcome back to the show.
Amanda Holmes (01:48): Thank you so much, John. You know, it means so much to me that you interviewed my father and then you interviewed me so many years ago and here we are again. It just, it means a lot. I, not a lot of people interviewed my father either, so
John Jantsch (02:01): I I was gonna say, I might be one of the few podcasters who has interviewed you both
Amanda Holmes (02:06): Yes. Just I have never heard it from anybody else and I've done hundreds of interviews, so you are the only one
John Jantsch (02:12):
Amanda Holmes (02:23):
John Jantsch (02:24): So we also have another shared connection. My daughter has actually worked for me for about 12 years. She is our chief operating officer. So I really kind of have to go there. Didn't work in the business as a family member. Right. You really brought, came into the business. I would have to think in some ways that was a pretty tall order because in fact I think you were studying music in college and you know, not necessarily preparing for a career as a ceo. Right. So what's it, I guess I was gonna ask you what's like working with family, but that's not really, it wasn't really your experience. So what was it like really? And I know you've told this story many times, what was it like basically being thrust into an ongoing organization, but as a family member?
Amanda Holmes (03:12): Yes, it, well, it was hard because me and my father were very close. I was actually born in his birthday. We shared the same birthday February 13th, and it was as if just the stars aligned. And so losing him was like losing air
(04:01): It was like, how, how is this possible that, So my father battled with cancer for a year and a half before he passed. And he spent 352 nights in the hospital and never once did he spend it alone. So it was me, my mom, and my brother. We just, we rotated spending all-nighters with him. So I spent easily a hundred allnighters with my father in the hospital. Never once did he say, Hey Amanda, let me explain to you what my businesses are
(04:54): So I do talk on that every once in a while. But, so it was utterly shocking and it really is. I look back and I think it's a miracle that we're here today based on the fact that Right, I knew nothing. I was trying to get over the loss of my father while couple hundred staff, you know, this crazy enterprise. But here we are. I stepped in and it took me two years to step in cuz it just looked like, this is crazy talk. I don't know why I ever would. But then over time I fell in love with our clients. I recognized that there was something that was really beautiful about what my father had built and it could be carried on. It just needed that heart in the center of it to make it all work. And yeah, I increased our leads by 1176% the first year I stepped in and doubled our coaching clients multiple years in a row. And this year we're up over 300% and that's without the book releasing just yet. So it's a lot of wonderful things. My father had a great system and a great framework for how to grow organizations and I had to learn it from his books and his training programs instead of him explaining it to me. But nonetheless, I think I'm probably one of his greatest success stories just because of that.
John Jantsch (06:11): Right. What was hard for you? I mean you, you, you obviously made some changes, you know, what was hard for you to change? I mean, not necessarily resistance, but just really hard for you to even wrap your head around changing.
Amanda Holmes (06:28): So we had never processed an order online. My father was very strict around, you know, every sale should come from a salesperson having a conversation either over the phone or in person. So I could remember the first time that I put some pricing online and I took a moment and it was like, I'm so sorry dad, I know you said this, but times have changed and I have to do it, have to put some of our stuff online. So that was a big, that was a big turning point in learning how to do digital marketing was critical and selling things online. And then also a huge change was for me, the people that I surround myself with, a lot of them were very different than who my father surrounded himself with. So I find that the culture that he thrived in is different than the culture that I thrive in.
(07:20): And making that distinction because at first it was anybody that my father respected, ultimately they would say, Well your father said I was the best in the planet on this. And I'd go, Okay. And I'd put them up on this pedestal of who was the best, right? Cause my father said he was the best
John Jantsch (08:10): So shifting gears a little bit to maybe a more positive, less of a challenge, what's been the most fun for you?
Amanda Holmes (08:18):
(09:25): But that's been a blast. And just being really creative about ways to get attention and then converting those, that attention into sales and leads and sales. That's a ton of fun for me.
John Jantsch (09:39): Would you say that your, and I know this is gonna sound sort of stereotypical, but would you say that your music background, your arts background, has brought a level of creativity that maybe didn't exist?
Amanda Holmes (09:51): Absolutely. So the new addition to the book The Forward, instead of saying Dear Reader, I instead said Dear dad. And that was a, and it something that Julia Easton, my book coach at the time, had suggested I do. And when I wrote it, everyone that read that majority of grown men that read it would cry reading it. And they thought they, out of all the every page, every sentence, I made sure that it was some way to double sales. But that letter to my dad, everyone said lead with that. Cause that's going to touch more people than just doubling sales techniques. And I put that into a video actually. And that's been what I've been using to promote the book. So to me that video is a music video. I wrote the lyrics, even though I'm not singing them, they're written. But everything that I had as a songwriter, I put into that video. To me, that's the single that came out with this new edition of the book, which is kind of funny to think about. But man, it is hitting people in a completely different way that I never expected. And it was the most nerve-wracking thing on the planet to put that thing out. I really thought that. I didn't think that people would like it, but everybody kept saying, I love it, I love it. You should put that out. And it's been such a loving response. So yeah, that, that songwriter in me, I think
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Amanda Holmes (13:21): Yes. Okay, I'll answer that by asking you a question. And you probably know the answer to this. What percentage of businesses do you think make it to a million in annual sales?
John Jantsch (13:31): I don't know the exact answer other than it's relatively small. Not,
Amanda Holmes (13:36): Yeah, if you had to guess,
John Jantsch (13:37): I would say 9%.
Amanda Holmes (13:39): Okay. That's close. That's close. 5% of companies make it to a million of that 0.08%, make it to 5 million of that 1.5%, make it to 10 million. So it gets a little bit better.
John Jantsch (14:33): One of the core concepts. I have actually not, not seen what you've done in the second edition yet, but in the, certainly in the first edition. Well, and, and I know it's a core concept of your coaching, is this, uh, concept of the Dream 100. I wonder if you could kind of describe that. Cause I know that's a big E for you
Amanda Holmes (14:49): Yes. It's the fastest, least expensive way to double sales
(15:40): For him, Back then it was direct mail, cold calling and faxing. So twice a month he was doing direct mail. Four times a month he was cold calling and following up with a fax in an email every once in a while. And he did that for months. For the first four months he got nothing, which, and talked around the office like, what is this? Why is this expert in sales? And he hasn't generated a thing. But in the sixth month he closed the largest contract that the industry had ever seen. And then subsequently after that doubled it doubled now. So by definition, there's always a smaller number of better buyers than there are all buyers. That means that marketing and selling to them is cheaper than marketing and selling to all buyers. And I've even, as I look at this and what you'll see in the new edition is so many people get, they see the Dream 100 and they go, Oh my gosh, how do I do direct mail?
(16:31): How can I make this work with direct mail? And how do I get a hundred people on my list? You're missing the point if you're super focused on just those two things. Because we have so many marketing mediums in our use today. I show how I used a dream One, I focused on one potential dream client and I followed up with them every single day using social media. Every time they post something on social, I'd comment with something of value. Every time they posted another thing, I'd add another piece of value and another comment at another For every single day, for three months, I commented on every single thing that this person said. And three months in they came back to me and said, Hey, I'd like to buy 650 books of the Ultimate Sales Machine. I'm still reaping the benefits of that. Three months of Pig had a discipline and determination.
(17:19): Today they bought another thousand books. It's actually, it was the CEO of ClickFunnels. So Dave Woodward I did this with. So the point is, it's about picking who's one person that could completely change your world. And then can you multiply that even by, you could have four, you could have 10, I'm calling it the Target 12. It doesn't have to be a hundred, right? The whole point is just to get laser focused and follow up with pigheaded discipline and determination, whichever medium that may be. If you wanna use direct mail, that's great because it will land cuz nobody's doing direct mail, right? Yeah, yeah. But if you wanna do it on Instagram dms, that's where I did it to get that client. Right. It could be on LinkedIn, it could be on voice drops, on cell phones
John Jantsch (18:02): Or all of them. Right? Or all of them. Or all of them, right?
Amanda Holmes (18:05):
John Jantsch (18:21): Yeah. And I think what's so important about that lesson is you can now afford to spend money
Amanda Holmes (18:38): Absolutely. We had a client, so I went, I've created these bootcamps and a client went through the bootcamp, they went after four people that had already said no to their services. It was a hard, no, I'm definitely not interested. And then he led with an education to those four. After he gave the presentation of an education, he closed 8.4 million worth of sales in just six weeks. Six weeks. And the average sales rep would sell 8 million in an entire year. He did it in six weeks. Cuz he targeted his dream. He only needed four. Dream four to generate 8.4 million.
John Jantsch (19:16): So one of the challenges, I th I, you kind of alluded to this, we're so focused on digital right now, you, you have yourselves firmly in what you're calling old school
Amanda Holmes (19:35): Absolutely. I mean, take what I just did at trade shows. It's shocking how many people at trade shows have no idea how to have a face-to-face conversation. I'd walk up to a booth and 90% of them had no idea how to start asking questions. You know, I'd ask, What do you do? And they have no idea. They look starstruck. Like what? You're talking to me in real life. I don't know what to do. It's so bizarre how we've lost the frameworks and the basic foundational principles. Everyone thought, Oh, a billboard. Yeah, that's brilliant. But then I also QR code there so that I could collect people that were taking pictures. Anyways, the first few days they were taking pictures of me cuz they thought I was hysterical. But then they didn't realize that now I'm converting them cuz they're clicking on that I'm getting their email and then they're buying.
(20:24): So it's blending of the two. My funnel online got me the sales, but me walking around with a four foot billboard on my back in a trade show got the attention in the press. And now I've taken vi video that I got from influencers in the space that were recording me cuz they thought it was hilarious. And I'm using that in my ads and I'm repurposing it, right? So there's so many different ways that I think in person too. It was just at a mastermind with Grant Cardone two weeks ago, and there were 80 people in the room, all of which would've loved to talk to Grant Cardone. He walked out of the room and nobody followed him. And I'm looking around the room going, Are you kidding me? That's a billionaire. I'd love to talk to Grand Cardell. Why not? So I run out there and I start to have a dialogue with him. It's like, it's as if we only can communicate through a text or on right in an in a social media aspect. He was right there living, breathing. And I handed him the book and I said, You should watch Dear Dad, it'll make you cry. I'll send you a book. And he's like, I will definitely cry from that. I'm sure I will. I love that. Thank you
John Jantsch (21:26):
Amanda Holmes (21:37): Yes. Ultimate sales machine.com is where everybody can pick up the book. It'll give you a bunch of extra bonuses that you wouldn't get on Amazon. And then if you wanna online, I'm a lot of different places, but I spend more of my time on Instagram. My name Amanda Holmes was taken, so I'd use my salsa name Amanda Dita Holmes. So you can find me on Instagram at Amanda dita Homes.
John Jantsch (21:59): All right, awesome. Well, great to having you back on the show again and uh, hopefully we'll run into you again, one of these days out there on the road.
Amanda Holmes (22:07): Thank you, John. It was such a blessing.
John Jantsch (22:09): Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It's called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it @marketingassessment.co not.com. Co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That's just marketing assessment.co. I'd love to chat with you about the results that you get.
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