Transcript of Can a Sales Person Really Think Like a Marketer?
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John: So can a salesperson really think like a marketer? On this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I talk with Scott Ingram and he has started two podcasts, he’s written a book, he is rocking it as a salesperson thinking like a marketer, check it out.
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, this is John Jantsch and today my gust is Scott Ingram. He is a strategic account manager at Relationship One and host of Inspired Marketing and Sales Success Stories podcasts, so Scott, thanks for joining me.
Scott: Glad to be here John, thanks for having me.
John: So I want to set the table for listeners, you contacted me as a… reader of one of my books, Duct Tape Seller, one of my more recent books Duct Tape Selling and just kind of said hey John, I want to share stuff that I’ve gotten out of that book and I’ve been putting stuff into play and so here you are, now you’re on this podcast because we’re going to talk a little bit about what you have done. And I want to first off suggest that hopefully there was something in the book that was both inspirational and instructional, but I think that you deserve all of the credit really for taking initiative because I think you can read all the books in the world but if you don’t take action on them they’re not going to help you, so I’ll start off with that.
Scott: Yeah for sure and I think it’s — the tagline of the book was really perfect. The tagline is “Think like a marketer and sell like a rock star.” And it helps that while I’ve always been in sales roles for the last eight or nine years I’ve been selling two marketers. So you know, it helps to just get in their heads a little bit and in some ways this is like an extreme form of empathy that helps me serve them better just because it helps me understand their world a lot better.
John: Yeah and I started my career actually in sales you know, out there banging on doors and I saw — this was — let me think when this was… back in the early 1900’s it seems like, but no it was like 1990 or so and I saw that if I did things to help my clients — you know I was a salesperson but if I did things to help them in other ways and help them with their marketing and help them do the things they wanted to do then they were a lot happier to see me, and I think even before we had all this tools and things like podcasts and social media I think that’s always been try.
Scott: Yeah. Well and the benefit of that is it’s not just that single customer and you’ve written tons about this stuff is that it becomes referrals and references and things that lead to future opportunities because you know they trust you, they value you, they’re willing to share you with their friends.
John: Yeah absolutely. So I’m going to pull a couple of things and again you suggested some of the things that you are doing and I want to kind of tee it up and have you talk about how you have put this in motion. One of the things I talked about in the book you know your job might not allow you to write 1000 words every day of incredible content for a blog, but you can certainly get content from customers and you can curate content and so tell me a little bit about how you’ve actually kind of involved your customers in telling the story?
Scott: Sure and it really is — it’s almost an extreme form of curation. I think a lot of people when we think about content curation what they’re doing is resharing articles and tweets and other things like that. The approach I’ve taken with — let’s use the Inspired Marketing podcast is really the genesis of this is kind of twofold. One, and from a content perspective the firm I work with Relationship One is a marketing, technology services company and we focus pretty much exclusively on the oracle marketing cloud suite of solutions so — and my background before joining this firm, I was with Eloqua which is kind of the crown jewel of the oracle marketing cloud. And in the Eloqua days, they had an awards event — and this continues, it’s called the Markey’s and it’s sort of a brilliant event because what they do is they create a bunch of different categories and customers submit for awards and this is incredible sort of case study capture and just a lot of content goes into this. Well in the Eloqua days, we would put all of the nomination forms in a Dropbox folder with stories in there that I could take and share with other prospects and clients to help them understand the value of what’s possible with Eloqua. Well when Eloqua was acquired by Oracle some of that — the Markey’s still exist there still, very sought after award but the stories are kind of missing and I thought you know what, we could create a podcast and go out and really bring these stories back and give them a little bit more life and so one, it creates an opportunity for us to shine a really bright spotlight on our clients and the success they’re having and give them a platform to share some of those stories, and it’s also just an incredible prospecting and relationship development tool for us because the difference in the reaction between, “Hey John, I’m Scott I work here, can I get 30 minutes of your time to tell you why we’re so great?” You know sort of that typical sales approach versus “Hey John, you’re doing some really amazing stuff and we’ve got this podcast and I would love to highlight those stories and some of the things that you’re doing.” I can tell you the response rate between those two approaches are pretty different.
John: Well and listeners know that I’ve said that forever, the dirty hidden secret to podcasting is that it doesn’t matter if anybody listens to it, it’s the access that it potentially gives you as you just talked about. And you know I joke about that but you’re using it in a strategic way that like you said, you’re providing a benefit for somebody before you ever really start a sales conversation.
Scott: Exactly. Exactly right. And I mean the benefit would be that if nobody ever listened to the podcast, just as that sort of a tool but now I’ve got a great relationship with our marketing team and we’ve done a lot of repurposing and we actually took about six of the podcasts that were featuring our clients and turned them into a magazine so that turned into Inspired Marketing Magazine that was our main giveaway as one of the lead sponsors of the — let’s see what do they call it now… modern marketing experience or the modern customer experience that Oracle just put on a few months ago.
John: Yeah and I think that one of the things you’re highlighting to and I’ve gone into a lot of organizations that were strictly built on sales out there banging on doors and they were starting to kind of bang their head against things and they had no content, they weren’t producing any content and you know, a lot of people think of content as oh that’s just a nice marketing thing to create awareness but it is an incredible asset for a salesperson today.
Scott: Oh it absolutely is because this is — I mean I can’t tell you how many times I would be having a conversation with another client and just be hey, let me just share this with you this is a story in the words of the marketer who did it, and I’ll always in those conversations try to dive into like what were the hard parts that you didn’t expect? What were those challenges? This isn’t always roses and everything goes perfectly, it’s hard. So you know showing that this is real, it is possible and there’s great outcomes possible when you’ve got a great partner and it’s just an amazing way to make those connections, and there’s real humans behind it to so if they really enjoyed the story it’s always an introduction I can make to further that relationship and that story for them.
John: Well and I think many people see the connection between interviewing existing clients but have you gone as far as saying hey, here’s our top five people we’d love to have be clients, start a conversation over a podcast have you gone that far?
Scott: Yeah absolutely. We’re probably — don’t know exactly what the numbers are, we’re probably half and half, half are existing clients, half are clients we would love to work with and this is — we’ve done business out of the podcast being a first touch and now it’s gotten to a point where we’re about a year into this between a combination between how well the podcast is getting known in that Oracle marketing cloud community and the magazine. We put one of our clients on the cover of a magazine, now people are starting to come to us and they want to tell their story and it’s just an incredible tool.
John: So I hope people heard that because we’re talking names like Eloqua and you know Oracle and what not but you can do this in your community with the local midmarket CEO’s that your trying to target and I’m sure you’ve come across cases where that content is sort of peer-to-peer where you can say hey here were some people that were on our podcast and people are looking at that and saying I’m in that class, I should be interviewed by those folks as well.
Scott: Exactly right. And just the association and in our case most of our clients are pretty large enterprise clients so you know to be able to say — all I have to do is point at our previous guest list and be able to sort of name drop, or we’ve had Lenovo and Medtronic and United Health Group and the Chicago Bears, and the list goes on and on. You know… there’s so much transference of credibility that happens with that and it just gets easier and easier once you’ve got kind of that base line laid and you can point to that.
John: And a little tip for listeners if the target that you’re — the person your target has a PR firm, go to the PR firm because they’ll put them on the show in a heartbeat.
Scott: Yeah. Yeah. That works too. I mean a lot of times we’re just going to be individual and that works fine but you know it’s funny I had one person who told us no and then he turned around and referred me to the PR person because they were interested in started their own podcast and she turned back around and was like what do you mean you told them no you wouldn’t do the podcast? Great tip.
John: So you shared something that you took — well it wasn’t like this was that original of an idea but you took from the book where I kind of have a mini rant about LinkedIn invitations… you know whatever the default is, I’d like to add you to my network or something like that and how incredible it is when you get 12 or 15 of those in one day or something and they all say that and how hard can it really be to turn around and try to stand out and in fact, that’s what I was actually saying is that it’s not hard. And you really one upped me though because you put that on LinkedIn, you want to share that story?
Scott: Yeah. Certainly wasn’t my intention, I had the exact same experience where it was a Monday afternoon, I’d gotten just this series of the exact same message from people I had no idea who they are, and I thought this is just nuts. And I just posted a little status update and I copied kind of that comment, the standard invite about three times and said no. If you’re not willing to invest 10 seconds in personalizing the message and letting me know why it makes sense to connect I’m not going to — it’s not then incumbent upon me to go figure out is this a good connection. Well apparently I struck a giant nerve because the thing just took off, I’m now a little over a week after having posted that thing, it’s been like about 2500 times, nearly has 500 comments, has been viewed over 600,000 times. I think it’s just a shared frustration, we all have that experience and to your point John, it’s such little, little things that make the difference between being average and nobody and being successful and I’m telling you it’s 10 seconds of effort and I think that’s true in so, so many ways and totally applicable to marketing because it’s just that little bit of personalization and showing that again, you’re human, you’re real, you’re different than the next person that’s going to get this message.
John: Yeah and I think one of the downsides while there are many to social media is that it’s kind of taught people this mass approach I think or it’s at least made it easy to have this mass approach and so many sales people, so many marketers, so many business owners they only need 10 or 12 clients, why are we focusing on the two million people that are in this group. And so to your point, pick out 10 and write them a really incredible message to connect as opposed to just spamming at 1000’s.
Scott: And again if you can completely differentiate yourself in 10 seconds imagine what’s possible in 10 minutes.
John: Exactly. So you also wrote a book? Now I think that was prior to you reading Duct Tape Selling but that has been — that’s certainly on the path to thinking like a marketer?
Scott: Absolutely and your book came out as I was kind of the writing process of that, and yet again that is another example of extreme curation because rather than writing a book — I had the idea and what was behind it was as I look at successful sales people and that’s another reason I started my Sales Success Stories podcast is I wanted to really get in an understand what are the best of the best doing in the real world today. And one of the things I have seen pretty consistently through my career is that the playbook — there’s no recipe, people’s approaches are all over the place. But there is some level of consistency in the people at the top often times have been in the same company, in the industry, in the same territory for quite some time. And so they benefit from the referrals and they’re well known and they have that level of trust and credibility. So it does kind of get easier for them and I was in a new role in a new company and I thought, how can I fast track that process? And I thought you know the ultimate thing would be to write a book, because now I can become known, it creates opportunities for me to speak in a particular industry, and I had kind of outlined the book and was thinking about this and then something clicked. I was talking with some friends of mine and I was able to basically take that outline of chapters and just put a name next to everyone. So I ended up having twelve co-authors of this book, it took me — and this was part-time, after hours, didn’t take much time from concept to published book it took me six months because each of those co-authors I asked write a chapter and there was some cohesiveness in the way that one story led to the next, so the work that I did really wasn’t that much and then right out of the gate, I’ve cut 12 other people who have a shared vested interested in sharing this book and again, just like the podcast, nobody says no to that I think because everybody wants to write a book but that’s really hard and if you can create an easy way for them to do that, it becomes that much easier and it was really incredible, actually the only person where it didn’t quite work out, I reached out to Joe [00:16:12] who I love and he’s like you know I’ve just got too many other obligations I can’t do this. But you know what? He ended up writing the blurb that went on the cover or the back cover, so it was still… even though he didn’t do it, it was still an amazing beginning of a relationship that I wouldn’t have today without that effort.
John: So a lot of… — increasing number of organizations let me put it that way are kind of melding sales and marketing but there’s certainly still a lot of siloed, departmentalized organizations that in some ways as I went out and spoke to sales groups about the content in this book I’d still have people come up and say my boss wouldn’t let me do any of this stuff I don’t have any extra time, all they care about is how many dials or how many this that I did, so what do you say to people that are saying, “Okay this all sounds good but the reality is we don’t have the culture.”
Scott: Yeah it’s tough. I think there’s two things one you’ve got to be… you’ve got to be doing well before you get there because this isn’t a short-term play, doing this stuff is not going to result in a sale tomorrow. So if you’re behind your number now’s not the right time to start this. You really kind of have to get ahead of the eight ball a little bit and just kind of figure out where does it fit? What can you do? Ideally you’re working for an organization that gets it and is encouraging of it and will support you in that and that’s where I am today and to be really honest, it’s kind of why I made the move to Relationship One because they completely understood my approach and the value that brings and they really embrace it and support it and amplify it, and that’s really the beauty. When you’re not in one of those places, it’s tough and I think you know one of things that is becoming a consistent theme from my sales podcast is if you don’t absolutely with your heart and soul believe in what you’re selling you’re just not going to reach the level of success that you probably really want. And a lot of times if you’re not in an environment that you feel like that’s not possible, that’s contributing to that feeling and belief in the company and gosh the job market is pretty good right now, it might be time to take a hard look and think about where do you really want to go in your future, where are going to have the most success long-term and I absolutely am a huge believer in building this kind of a platform for yourself, building a true person brand that has value, the opportunities and the number of doors that open to you are absolutely incredible not just you know your immediate sales and sales pipeline and opportunities.
John: Yeah and I think a lot of people who are thinking well gosh, I don’t have the time, this takes energy, you are — what you just talked about is building an asset, investing in yourself and if that means burning the midnight oil for a year or something you know you may have created something that will bring you three and four times where you are today if you’re willing to make that investment, I think that’s how you probably have to look at it.
Scott: Yeah and you have to find what’s manageable. In Duct Tape Selling you push really hard and encourage people to write and I’ve written before but it’s not — I don’t feel it’s my forte but the podcast for me was just a great thing and it’s a by-weekly show so we do one episode every two weeks, they’re short like yours, they’re 20 or 30 minutes and then I’ve got a great production company called Podfly that does all of the editing work and everything after the fact. So really? It takes me I don’t know in the course of a given month maybe three hours between scheduling prep and then actually doing the interviews and then everything else just takes care of itself. So you just have to figure out what is your strength, where can you apply that to — you know the best effort and then what can you — what’s the level of… output that you can commit to consistently because the consistency is a huge, huge piece of this.
John: Yeah and I want to jump on that point a little bit, I believe writing is — there are many benefits but what you just said if you think oh John said I should write so I guess I will, [00:20:46] you’ll never be good at it, you’ll never put your heart into it and I see marketers a lot of times that they hate Facebook, okay fine, Facebook might not — if you hate it you’re not going to spend the right time there built I love Instagram, okay let’s embrace Instagram. I think you do have to make some choices based on where there is some passion because that’s the only way you’re going to keep at it.
Scott: Sure. And again at the end of the day, the outcome — we’ve had all of these episodes transcribed so the first year of episodes, that’s over 100,000 words of content and the beauty of that is that it’s in the language and the words of our customers right? It’s not in our guests at what the marketing — what the market is going to be interested in. This is what real marketers in the real world who are being successful are saying and doing.
John: And obviously you bring up a brilliant point, there’s so many ways you can repurpose this, I’m guessing — I mean I can see 30 or 40 slides for a presentation just talking about the key points that came out of some of these customer areas. So Scott tell me where people can find out more about Relationship One and maybe even making rain with events?
Scott: Yeah absolutely. Relationshipone.com is the company’s website. You can find more about me and some of the other things I’m working on ontopone.fm that’s where the sales podcast lives and for god sake if you send me an invite on LinkedIn please tell me that you heard me on John’s show otherwise it’s just going to get ignored.
John: Awesome. Scott this was great and I appreciate — this is sort of my own use case study right? So I appreciate you suggesting it and hopefully we can catch up with you up there on the road.
Scott: I look forward to it, thanks John.
John: Hey thanks for listening to this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast, wonder if you could do me a favour? Could you leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I promise I read each and every one, thanks.